Steelers Mike Tomlin Looks Forward To Eliminating The Read-Option Offense

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a defensive minded coach at heart, so it was not too surprising to hear what he had to say Tuesday at the NFL owners\’ meetings when asked about the ever-so-trendy read-option offense that a few teams are using right now in the league.

“I think it\’s the flavor of the day,” said Tomlin. “We will see if it\’s the flavor of the year. We\’ll see if guys are committed to getting their guys hit.”

All of the talk right now about the read-option offense being in vogue stems from the success that the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers all had with it in 2012. With more and more athletic quarterbacks coming out of college every year, it would not be too surprising to see another team or two implement it in 2013.

The offense gives defenses another player to account for in the quarterback, but just like Tomlin pointed out, it also opens up that same quarterback to more than his share of hits. When a team loses a young quarterback for several games due to these hits, they will think twice about the offense being so in vogue.

Tomlin? He doesn\’t seem too worried about it all and the Steelers defense did do a good job last season in stopping the Redskins offense that was centered around their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Tomlin, however, has his own plans moving forward for the read-option.

“We look forward to stopping it,” Tomlin said. “We look forward to eliminating it.”

Let\’s just say that I don\’t think you have to worry about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger running the read-option anytime soon.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    i like the confidence he has throughout this month, just gives me extra reassurance

  • SteelSpine

    Tomlin’s reaction is faith that LeBeau would figure out anything, his faith is understandable. Steelers even stopped a previous fad. For those of us who remember run & shoot went from college into NFL, it was the Steelers who made the run & shoot extinct. Rod Woodson & company made receivers pay, then smurfs started hearing footsteps & started dropping balls, & that was the end of that, heheh.

    So altho our D is old at some positions & this time the fad is all about QBs (read-option), I share Tomlin’s hunch LeBeau would figure out how to stop a fad.

    A factor now tho is this is a different era regarding concern for injuries (driven by looming lawsuits $$), so halting this fad is not as simple as smacking a QB on the run. Steelers can still discourage this new offense if our D players remember Tomlin’s commercial: “don’t hit the head, & don’t use the head”.

  • Clint Martin

    Thats right it’s all fun and games until your quarterback is out for 4-6 weeks due to a concussion. Add Eagles to that list this year with Kelly’s no huddle spread offense. He will run the inside and outside zone reads. Poor Michael Vick will be sore this year. and Dixon Chip Kelly’s old college QB.

  • Steelers32

    I think it is a very short lived system when QB salaries are 1/6 or so of a teams entire roster. Its all fun and games until he is hurt, and it dose not have to be anywhere near the damage a back has to endure. He also must be able to throw, and is involved in every play, like running through a minefield, sooner or later it is going to get you.
    You did not see Kapernick run a great deal vrs the Ravens, my guess is Pollard had a lot to do with that.

  • steeltown

    Defenses will learn to defend it and all of the read-option systems will have to adjust, not the other way around. You want your QB to be mobile and athletic but you are not going to pay a guy $100MIL and then get him killed like he’s a RB

    RB’s have short shelf lives for that very reason.. thats why I’ve always been against even drafting a RB in the first Rd

  • WeCominForYou

    Says the coach of the team who cant run the read option…

  • Junior Crusher

    AFC north is no place for the read option. all 4 teams hit hard.

  • mokhkw

    Why do I get the feeling they’ll introduce some stupid rule which stops D from hitting the QB at all? It used to be that you could put the pitch man ( usually the RB) on his arse as soon as the play was run, the NC -double-arseholes changed that citing the pitchman was an unprotected player ( I’m guessing it’s the same rule for NFL as that’s usually how this works).

  • steeltown

    Exactly… look at RGIII last season or Vicks entire career.. it doesnt take long to get hurt in the open field or along the sideline

  • Marky Zeigler

    cause any Steeler fan want’s to see Roehtlisberger get hit anymore than he already has??

  • charles

    The run read option is maybe the best argument for the 3-4. Watchout for Russel Wilson though, he is like Bernie Kosar and very good at avoiding the big hit. As for RGIII, he may be finished, his knee was completely torn up. He did however come very close to shredding our D. The color analyst claimed 7 or 8 “dropped” balls, but some if not all were poorly thrown. RGIII almost killed us but he is not a very accurate qb, on the other hand Wilson has good accuracy to 15 yards and he is very good at throwing the back shoulder pass on the long bomb. Don’t discount the run read yet. Maintaining defensive lanes are the key to stopping it, if you can accomplish that you force the athletic qb to become a throwing qb which all the read run qbs (including Cam Newton) don’t seem to be too good at.

  • Ahmad

    I admire the confidence Tomlin has and I must say I hope we are the team that kills the read option. Dropped balls aside, we handled RGIII pretty well last year so that’s encouraging. Plus we have the best defensive mind in the NFL in Dick LeBeau so that’s a bonus.