The read-option offense took off in 2012 behind the phenomenal play of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. But while some coaches likely stayed up long nights this offseason preparing to defend it, one coach isn’t quite sold.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the offensive scheme at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday, saying he sees it as more of a passing trend than a league-wide philosophy shift, according to USA Today.
“I think the read-option is the flavor of the month,” Tomlin said. “We’ll see whether it’s the flavor of the year,”
Tomlin’s opinion might be a bit skewed, given the Steelers only had to defend it once last season and they did so without issue. The Steelers hammered the Redskins 27-12 in Week 8, holding Griffin to less than 50 percent passing, one touchdown and just eight yards rushing.
Tomlin knows that defending that offense has likely kept coaches around the league up long nights this offseason, but he relates it more closely to a gimmick like the wildcat than anything.
“A few years ago, people were talking wildly about the Wildcat. It’s less of a discussion now,” Tomlin said. ”I think there are coaches in rooms preparing themselves to defend it, there are coaches in rooms also preparing to run it. I think it’s going to sort out on the grass.”
The read-option may well die off in time, much like the wildcat, but the addition of Chip Kelly‘s offensive ingenuity to the league should at least delay that process.