Read option is back in NFL and better than ever

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Read-option quarterbacks also need to learn when to slide or get out of bounds to protect themselves when keeping the ball. Tebow was probably the best college quarterback ever to operate the option during his time at Florida, but NFL linemen and linebackers are bigger, faster, stronger _ and hit harder.

In one game last year, Tebow was hit 17 times. In another, he ran it 22 times, more than any NFL quarterback since 1950, prompting Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to crack that he’d like to get his star tailback Adrian Peterson that many touches.

“There’s not a person in the league that says, `Hey, sign me up for a car accident every play,’” Griffin said. “But we know what we signed up for.”

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who burnished his head coaching credentials as the architect of the turn-back-the-clock offense in Denver last year, ran the option just one time while he was a quarterback at the University of Utah two decades ago.

“Yeah, I called it once up in Wyoming and I broke my collarbone and my first rib,” McCoy recalled.

It’s not for everybody, but for those teams with the quarterbacks who can do it, the option is turning out to be, well, a great option in today’s pass-happy NFL.


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AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich and AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley, Steve Reed and Joseph White contributed.


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