Okay so the recent brouhaha Dahl started…. made me wonder what kind of tips did the Rams actually get, and why did we have success against the “Read Option” when other teams got blown away by it. As usual I went searching the electronic jungle to see if I might come up with a potential answer. No, the Rams didn’t use spy film of the 49ers practice to gain clues to how they operate.
So what’s the answer and why is the “Read Option” going to be in trouble this season?
This article makes the Rams sound like cheaters, lucky, or magicians. The quotes from the 49ers, after we beat them are great:
“It seemed like everything they called,” left tackle Joe Staley said, “was the best call they could have as a defense.”
Said quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose star dulled slightly after he posted a so-so 83.9 rating and committed an ugly, momentum-shifting fourth-quarter turnover in his third career start: “It seems like they were in the right defense for the things we tried to do.”
“I think the perception was that, well, we might’ve caught them on a bad day,” St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said of their first meeting. “So we got to start over again and find a way to beat the team to beat… in our division.”
“Their defensive front gets after it,” tight end Delanie Walker said. “Those guys are explosive and fast and got pressure on Kap. They messed up some of our timing plays … They were pressuring him so we couldn’t get the deep throws that we wanted.”
The victory sent a message that at least one team might have caught on to San Francisco’s offensive scheme, which features an endless array of formations, personnel groups, shifts and power-run plays.
I’ll give you my ideas based on research, and you can make up your own mind. I found this article (Below) that I believe is the answer to why we did so well. It boils down to great coaching, and player’s following that coaching. For those of you who don’t want to read the attached article (Highly Recommended) I’ll try to condense it down into my own words.
Jeff Fisher & Co. are truly brilliant, and ahead of the game! Football is basically a full-contact chess match where the player’s carry out the moves dictated by the coaching staff. The Read Option is exactly what it says it is……..the QB decides what to do based on the alignment of the defense and even the shoulders and body positioning of the players. The Rams did their homework and saw from film what Kap did depending on those alignments.
You’re saying, “So what?” right about now. Well the beauty of this is that once the defense knows how the QB will react to a particular formation…..now you can scheme them!
That’s right, you can show an alignment that tells the QB to hand-off to the RB and that’s what he will do. You know it’s going to be a run or a pass and have it covered, even though your alignment might be showing you will defend in a different way.
Now having learned that, it should be easy to see why the “Read Option” is in trouble this year. I don’t see how an option team can change up their operating signals for every single game of the year. If they do, they are bound to make mistakes and that is another plus for the defense.
The Coach’s Corner: Defending the Zone Read
Thanks for reading!