Prior to the 2011 NFL draft one of the 'liabilities' thrown at Cam Newton was that he was limited to running a Read Option offense and that certainly doesn't work in the NFL, right? So guess what, Panther OC Rob Chudzinski decided to try it anyway and guess what, it's working. Now before you blow that off as the result of superior athlete at QB then also consider that a certain unorthodox QB with a fraction of Newton's athletic ability is also running the read option pretty effectively in Denver. Yes though I loath to mention the Mile High Messiah Tim Tebow I have to say he has turned water into wine this season running the read option at critical times.
Look at these two guys rushing totals:
Cam Newton - 114 rushes for 609 yards (5.3 ypc) and 13 TDs
Tim Tebow - 106 rushes for 610 yards (5.8 ypc) and 5 TDs
From the QB position that is absolutely tearing it up in the NFL. What I find amusing about their success is that opposing Defensive Coordinators are scratching theirs heads trying to figure out how to stop it. It seems they are not used to having to defend against a QB that can actually run for a first down consistently if left unassigned at the line of scrimmage.
Once you look past the rushing though there is little similarity in these QBs though they have almost identical QB ratings: Newton 82.3 vs. Tebow 83.6. Newton produces a lot more passing offense than Tebow but Tebow compensates with a lot fewer turnovers...but I digress.
So I'll ask again, is it time to stop saying the Read Option won't work in the NFL? I have a feeling both of these QBs will continue to feed their families using these type of plays until NFL defenses show they can stop it. I don't see that happening anytime soon.