Hue Jackson’s use of the Read Option
The following may sound brutal because it probably is. Hue Jackson has found a way to incorporate the read-option into his offense without getting his quarterback hurt.
How? By running the read-option with someone other than his quarterback. Why put the quarterback in harm’s way when you can put a receiver or backup quarterback in harm’s way?
Much has been made of the number of quarterbacks have been used by the Browns over the season. The assumption is that these quarterbacks are being used because of injury. But injury is only half the reason.
The number of quarterbacks used is high because, in addition to the injuries, Hue Jackson is using them to run the read-option. Think about it, when Terrelle Pryor came into the game as a quarterback against the Miami Dolphins he immediately ran the read-option. He then progressed to run-pass options. His fully loaded playbook included read-option, RPO’s and roll out passes. All of those plays are designed to put pressure on the backside defensive end, thereby opening the running game for the running backs.
Kevin Hogan came into the game on Sunday against the Bengals. His offensive playbook looked similar to Pryor’s before the injury to Cody Kessler. He basically ran read-options and RPO’s. After Kessler’s injury, Hogan was forced to take on the role of quarterback which severely limited his effectiveness.
Jackson has integrated elements of the read-option into his offense by using someone else as a threat in the run game who can also throw the ball. Teams can focus in on a read-option only player. But by using a player who can throw the ball as well, it is opening up the run game simply on the basis of the threat of a run or pass by the quarterback.
So far, this sub-package in Jackson’s offense is effectively getting the offensive line and the running backs the holes they need in the running game. Sometimes the threat of the read-option is better than the option itself.