The spread keeps spreading.

Over at the Coaches Hot Seat Blog, they’ve taken time out from indulging in flag waving rants about the BCS to put up a pretty good post about the spread option offense.

I completely agree with this:

… If the NFL does begin to have a backlash about drafting college QBs that are running the Spread Offense, then that will definitely have an impact on how both current college QBs view the Spread, and more importantly how up-and-coming recruits view signing with a school that exclusively runs the Spread Offense. Colleges that decide to stick with a “pro-style” offense might just find themselves in a very strong position in the coming years as both the demand for “pro-style” QBs increases in the NFL, and top QB recruits look to play football at colleges that give them an opportunity to be picked high in the NFL draft. The next 3 to 4 years may very well determine which direction the Spread Offense will go in the game of college football, because there are several high profile QBs working within a Spread Offense right now…

And they make a solid point about what a great spread option QB Steve Young would have made.

They also toss out this thought in discussing the type of offense they would run if they were a college offensive coordinator.

… we would also include the Al Davis special in the playbook, the long bomb play with our fastest receivers, which is play that we don’t see much in college football, or even in the pros anymore. It is almost just worth to run the long pass a couple of times each game so that the cornerbacks are aware that the play exists, and are not always biting on the shorter routes. We all remember Jim Plunkett with the Raiders effectively running the “bomb” on many occasions, and it is interesting that so few teams really try to “stretch” the field with the long pass anymore.

Like this?

That’s one reason why I’d take a slight tradeoff in Stafford’s completion percentage numbers this year.  If you’ve got the big gun, you’ve got to take a few shots with it.

But I digress.  Take a look at the whole thing, especially about what you need to have on defense to slow the spread down.  Like I said, it’s a good read.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere

4 responses to “The spread keeps spreading.

  1. Kit

    Great article. For an example of this, Google “Terrell Pryor.”

    To me, what’s just as important to think of is how this will affect high schools as well. Part of the high school game is to get the ball in your fastest, most agile, best playmaker’s hands as often as possible, which means that potential corners, safeties, running backs and wide receivers in college played some QB in high school.

    How will that affect the college recruitment of these kids? Also, what happens to QBs that can run along with being able to pass? Will they be more prone to transfer to high schools that run pro-style offenses and instead use their legs for elusiveness and elusiveness only (see: Aaron Murray)?

    In the world of the Spread, the offense levels the playing field for teams with lesser talent so they can use motion to compete with teams that are better at standing up and hitting you in the mouth.

    However, when you’ve got kids with athletic ability oozing out of their bones, are they going to resist running an offense that allows them to use their tools because it may hurt their chances at being recruited by a certain school that runs a certain offense where if they do well, they may get drafted one day?

    I see a very large trickle down theory type model here that could really bring about some changes in football in general, not just at the NFL and college levels.

    And yes, I know that the notion is a little far-fetched, if not a full decade away from even happening. Just playing devil’s advocate here.


  2. peacedog

    It’s rather absurd and wrong to assume that a “traditional” offense can’t let kids use their athletic ability to full potential. Or that kids will automatically want to play on offense even though they “project” as a defensive player (having played offense in highschool because they were the best athlete, which definately happens).

    Also, playing QB in a spread isn’t necessarily easy, so just being a pretty good athlete who fails to fit into the traditional QB mode isn’t enough.


  3. Kit

    It’s rather absurd and wrong to assume that a “traditional” offense can’t let kids use their athletic ability to full potential.

    I think it’s spot on (but of course I would, it’s my opinion). I mean let’s take a look at Matt Stafford’s old film from Highland Park and you’ll see that he ran the option multiple times in high school. He wasn’t a running quarterback but he was much more mobile in that system than he is in ours. He can still run, he just isn’t doing it as much.

    And I never said the spread was easy, but if you follow recruiting, you’d realize that Russell Shepard is the No. 2-5 player in the nation right now and is being recruited to play QB at LSU. However, due to the fact he never passes the ball, everyone’s asking if that’s what he’s going to play in college.

    Don’t you think DJ ever got tired of asking when they were going to use him in the slot? For a QB in the NFL, it almost looks like speed kills. Why wouldn’t a guy who could run choose an easier path to college by going to offense that shows off his skills? And in turn, why wouldn’t the same athlete go to a high school that does the same so he can be recruited by said college?

    Pryor went to tOSU b/c he wanted to be a QB first and a runner second because it was an easier path to the NFL. He stated that. It’s FACT. To suggest that the college game is headed in that direction is true. So why not say the trickle down theory of ultimate success applies here? Besides, the spread became prominent in college and then filtered to the high schools. Why can’t the same be said for Pro-Style offenses?


  4. chefboyardee

    Good article. I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea that teams don’t take shots down the field anymore, though . Seems like you see a lot of those in the highlight clips, both in pros and college.

    I’d gladly sacrifice a couple of completion percentage points for some long balls; you’ve got to have a true deep threat to do it though. A.J., I’m talking to you.