Reading the options of the future of offense

Posted by Darren Urban on January 28, 2013 – 10:48 am

The Super Bowl run-up this week — on both TV and in print — will be filled with a handful of the obvious stories this week: The last game for Ray Lewis, the Harbaugh brothers, and, with the 49ers becoming explosive on offense with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick, there will be plenty written and said about the read-option offense.

The conventional wisdom has long been that running quarterbacks will have a hard time having long-term success in the NFL. Defenders are faster and stronger in the pros than college. The chances of a quarterback getting hurt — and the chances that a coach wants to make sure his quarterback doesn’t get hurt — are high. Of course, that all got turned on its head this season, with Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson (to a lesser degree) all making the read-option incredibly dangerous to opposing defenses.

Where does it go from here?

It’s impossible to know for sure. I do know that defensive coordinators are going to have an entire offseason to prepare to defend it. If you are Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who could/will see some version of it up to seven times in 2013 — the Niners twice, the Seahawks twice, the Panthers (Cam Newton), Titans (Jake Locker) and Eagles (with new coach Chip Kelly) — you know the Cards are going to study the strengths and weaknesses carefully. There have been comparisons made to the Wildcat offense, and that version became a lot less effective the year after it hit the scene hard.

Then again, the Wildcat was done in a situation where the main ballhandler wasn’t a quarterback. The threat of the pass was only that, a threat. It wasn’t normal. That’s what makes the read-option so difficult, because the quarterback could instead fade for a quick throw. That’s why Kaepernick and Griffin and Wilson have been so good. It’s not because they run the ball well — although they do do that — but because they are accurate passers and can make defenses pay through conventional ways too. (In other words, Tim Tebow they are not.) As more and more college quarterbacks find ways to do both, it will inevitably find its way into the pro game.

Injury concerns are legitimate. The Redskins understand this. The more hits a QB takes, the more chance he gets hurt. Simple math. Maybe the success can be sustained on a football level, but on a player level, the quarterback won’t last as long. Or maybe the QB has to morph after a few years, like Michael Jordan went from going to the hoop every time into one of the best jump shooters. Pocket passers aren’t going away. It’s really about what the talent is coming from colleges and what coaches are willing to do to adapt. I doubt every team suddenly starts running the read-option, but I don’t see it going away.


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62 Responses to “Reading the options of the future of offense”

  1. By D on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    To me, with I believe the Cards in last place in the division in terms of talent, I think they can’t miss on this draft. With the young QB’s in the division, they better load up more on the defense because SF, Seattle and even St.Louis have weapons on offense and are all young.
    Cards needs on defense are another pass rusher- D lineman, another inside LB (unless Bradley suprises everyone) and safety/corner depth needed. Sounds like a lot, but that side of the ball is closer to winning than the AZ’s offense.

  2. By Red Page Band on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    All I can say is that I hate that kind of ofense!! Stop it CARDS!!

  3. By Billy on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    We should draft EJ Manuel. That will makes us relavent again instantly.

  4. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Like Aaron Rodgers commented, the NFL is cyclical.
    The athletic QB is here to stay like all positional players, and Kolb best fits that bill of the options available.

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Interesting article Darren,

    Did you hear Aaron Rodgers comments on the subject? He said about the read option , This too will pass.

    DC’s are smart guys. When the league sits down in an off season and examines this read option, I think they will come up with an answer.

    I also agree that we have already seen the effects on RG3. Cam and Kaepernick are big guys, so maybe they can take more of a pounding, but my thought is, if your offense is centered around the read option and your QB goes down, do you have a backup that can do the same things. Obviously in SF and Carolina, the answer is no.

    One more point I think the league should consider is the QB who keeps it, is now the same as a ball carrier, meaning he is open to helmet to helmet hits. We protect our QBs in the pocket but if they become runners, fair game. I’m not sure I want my QB taking those shots.

    It will always be a play in the playbook, but I agree with Rodgers, that it will run its course. How quickly it runs its course may be up to guys like Todd Bowles.

  6. By Nick on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    ” In other words, Tim Tebow They are not ” What a cheap shot especially since Tebow has been one of the greatest read option quarterbacks in College History. What Bruce Arians described as a starting quarterback one with character and ” True grit” sure sounded like Tebow would fit the bill.

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Nick —

    RE: Tebow

    Key phrase: “college history.”

  8. By georgiebird on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Arians was hired to get the offense/QB position straightened out. If we are to believe the hype, Arians is the best (one of the best) person in the NFL to figure out all your questions.
    If the Cardinals do not take the right path with the QB and offense, then Bidwill and Arians will take the hit. And the criticism will be hot and heavy and it will come real quick because the HC hire should have been done with the “options of the future offense” as its centerpiece.

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Coach

    So in other words, if the new staff isn’t successful and don’t win, they will be criticized.

    Sounds pretty much like every coaching staff ever hired. Nothing new here.

  10. By NYCardinals212 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Darren Thomas Urban!

    You two better start playing nice. Don’t make me pull this car over!

  11. By NYCardinals212 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    I ruined it with a question mark. Now, I’m sad.

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    NYCardinals212 —

    RE: question mark

    The magic of editing

  13. By dave on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    There’s a reason no one wants Tim Tebow as their QB—can’t take away from his college career but his future as an NFL QB—nonexistent……….

  14. By Laird on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Stick with Kolb! Just re – build Offensive Line to protect him! Get good R.B.’s that will pick up on blocking blitzers!

  15. By Andy Kw on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    -QB Zac Dysert should be drafted in the second round. The team needs the long term answer at Quarterback now. This Quarterback is probably one of the best Quarterbacks in the draft. He is athletic, smart, fast, and accurate in the pocket. His arm strength is good and I see him throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald already. We need this Quarterback. Kevin Kolb can bring this team to the playoffs but due to his history of injuries, Kevin Kolb can take the reins for now and let Dysert develop into the Quarterback this team truly needs.

    -Offensive Tackle Ricky Wagner would be a steal in the 3rd Round. He has the ability to strengthen our run game which ours ranked 32nd in the league. We already solidified Lyle Sendlein as Center and Daryn Colledge as Guard. Our team has potential starters in Bobby Massie and Nate Potter but this team does not seem committed enough to them. Levi Brown is key to the offensive line and I see him as our Starting Left Tackle, Bobby Massie is our starting man for Right Tackle so don’t even think about moving him. This team has spent too much money on the Offensive Line (Adam Snyder, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge, and Levi Brown)

    -CB Melvin white should be looked at to draft in the 5th or 6th round as well. A 6’3 Defensive Back that is capable of being one of the best. I don’t believe William Gay will be our long term answer at #2 CB and Jameel Fleming only makes sense on the Nickel position so I see Melvin White as a must draft in the later rounds. Since he has comparisons the Richard Sherman and has good cover & tackling ability, we can not pass him down. Since Melvin White can also play Safety, he could be a future replacement for Adrian Wilson. Since he is rated a 59.6, I expect him to be drafted in the 5th Round but the Lions seem to be in contention to draft him.

    -I hope in the 2013 NFL Draft, our team really considers Theo Goins. He has the potential to become an elite Guard that this team could get for cheap. Out of all players in the later rounds, Theo Goins is probably one of the best Offensive Guards in the Draft. Since he is graded a 65.3, this team needs to draft him in the 5th or 6th round

  16. By Cardfan on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Darren doesn’t have to play nice when he’s right. Tebow is terrible, and it’s not an insight to realize that when a team doesn’t when the coach and owners will be blamed. I’m not worried about Arians, but I do question the DC choice, Eagles defense was terrible and then got worse. Well here’s to next year.

  17. By Cert 33 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    I agree about the cheap shot at Tebow. It’s interesting that his playoff record with the Broncos (1-1) exceeds that of Peyton Manning’s with the Broncos (0-1). Hmmmm… That said, despite the fact that the athletic, run-option style QB’s like Takenton, Vick, Kaepernick, RG III, Wilson, etc…, are exciting and bring a little extra for a defense to account for, in the long run they have very short shelf lives, the defenses always adapt, and no QB of this type has EVER won a Super Bowl. This year will probably be no exception.

  18. By Kevin S on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, Tebow has his defenders, even on the Arizona Cardinals site.

  19. By georgiebird on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Your article was about “options of the future on offense”. What I was trying to say is that the bar will be high for Arians as it concerns the QB and the offensive options for the future.
    If Arians doesn’t win but a viable QB is put in place and the offense shows progress, I think he will escape harsh criticism.
    I think most Cardinals’ fans will be very happy if Arians can get to 8-8. As I mentioned previously, the Cardinals are back to NFC East days when, yearly, they would battle with two of the best teams in the NFL. The West might now mean at least 4 losses even if the team improves a great deal.
    And just a note because I like you- “staff” is a collective noun and should be used with the verb “doesn’t”.

  20. By dwhitlock on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply


    any word on how adrian wilson is feeling post whiz? is there more optimism? or is he still skeptical?

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    dwhitlock —

    RE: Adrian

    I haven’t had a chance to talk to him.

  22. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Nice Darren, to compare Michael Jordans adjustments to getting older and therefore not get beat up as bad when making points.

    Now, if Coach Arians and the new staff can do the same, not so much for those that are getting older, but the Adjustments to the o-line so the QB, whom ever that is, doesn’t get the “Crap knocked out of him!”
    Maybe then we can have the same QB starting for more than four games!

    The fact that Russell Wilson does not do the Read Option so much makes him a very Dangerous QB for the D and the DC of any team.

    What I would like to know is how Wilson slipped through the cracks to the third round, did he not impress enough?

    Also, I seem to remember watching an old documentary film when I was younger, about the “Forward Pass Option,” That for a long time was not used when pro-football was first played, for a reason I can not remember. But one thing did stick with me. That the “Forward Pass Option” was a passing fad of the times.
    Oh how wrong they were..

    GO CARDS!!!

  23. By clssylssy on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    It looks like Reggie Bush may become available and he’s a playmaker. Please draft Gino Smith and don’t put another season in the hands of Kevin Kolb who hasn’t been able to stay healthy enough to play 50% of the games since he’s been signed. The guy may be nice but he’s never going to be able to be in the same class as Wilson, RGIII, Luck, Kapernick, Flacco or the elites. I think Mr. Bidwill hired Arians with the hope that he could make a silk purse out of something we have inhouse but that’s not likely. Seeing Fitz in the Probowl was bittersweet as he is so talented and is just dieing on the vine with the Cardinals. Since the organization has decided to dump our defense we are going to need to rebuild that in addition to the offense. Picking up some FAs like Bush or Ed Reed could really help shore up the team and buy us some time to rebuild through the draft.
    (Like a lot of other teams our defense is starting to age and this is going to be a year where defensive players are in demand by such teams as the Steelers, Ravens, Giants, Saints, etc.)
    Defenses win championships as evidenced by the two teams that are playing in the Superbowl. Where before we just needed an offensive fix and a little tweeking, now we are going to need a complete rebuild and fans aren’t going to settle for less than a playoff team that Arians promised when he was hired.

  24. By NYCardinals212 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that… he’s gone.”

    Thanks Darren. You wouldn’t believe how much that bothered me. I think I need professional help.

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    NYCardinals —

    RE: “He’s gone”

    Great reference.

  26. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Well I found it, I think.

    The forward pass was once ridiculed by college football’s powerhouse teams only to be proved wrong by Pop Warner and his Indians.

    GO CARDS!!!

  27. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Not the one I remember, but it does make you wonder, and Think.

    GO CARDS!!!

  28. By Safety Guy on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    When does free agency signing kick off. And is Hoyer still on the roster?
    Hoping cards consider bringing him back. What’s his status?

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Safety —

    RE: FA/Hoyer

    Free agency begins March 12. Hoyer is scheduled to be a free agent.

  30. By Eazy E on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah Darren that was a cheap shot. Their are alot worse QBs than Tebow and he is alot better than them. i.e. ours to start

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Eazy E and everyone —

    RE: Tebow

    Saying Tebow isn’t as good as Kaepernick and Wilson is a cheap shot?

    Ah, no.

  32. By jocards on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Look Tim Tebow seems like a genuine, quality individual that has a lot of very positive and redeemable traits….As an NFL QB however he leaves a lot to be desired. I’m not going to bash the guy at all because he did some things in the league that were amazing considering his skill set but it takes more than a great attitude and a tendency to be a winner as a person to win games consistently in the NFL. I like the guy and I give him a world of credit for accomplishing what he has but he is simply not starter material in the National Football League.

  33. By Eazy E on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Todd Bowles ain’t going to figure out how to stop a damn thing!

  34. By fightingbird on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    I would like to see Alex Smith here and or bring Tebow in neither can be as bad as the one we have.

  35. By Andy Kw on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Is there a possibility of any of the Cardinal’s current high paid Offensive Linemen will be cut such as Adam Snyder, Daryn Colledge, or Levi Brown?

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Players cut

    There is always a chance players could be released, but cap implications come into play on all of them.

  37. By kerouac9 on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    The read option has very little to do with the threat of the passing game and much more to do with the ability of the offense to out-number the defensive players assigned to a particular side of the field.

    If you’re interested in the inverted veer and other aspects of the read-option game, Darren, take a look at Chris Brown’s SMART FOOTBALL, or his articles on the read-option on

  38. By Andy Kw on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Few more question;
    -If this team is committed to a 4-3 defense now over the 3-4, does that mean that our front Defensive Line will have DE Calais Campbell, DT Dan Williams, DT Darnell Dockett, and an extra defensive end?
    -Would that also mean that the number of linebackers in the starting lineup would drop from 4 to 3 making Daryl Washington, Sam Acho, and O’Brien Schofield as the top 3 LBs in the team?
    -And since William Gay had so many struggles in the 2012 season, will there be competition for the #2 CB spot?
    -With the firing of Ray Horton, what is the probability that Rashad Johnson returning?
    -What are the current statuses of injured RB Ryan Williams, QB Kevin Kolb, OT Levi Brown, and TE Rob Housler?
    -Since our Offensive Line has so many high paid veterans, are the Arizona Cardinals really going to make major changes to the Offensive line or is the Offensive Line going to remain the same in the 2013 season with the exception of Levi Brown returning? (What do you think? (I know it is early but in your opinion))
    -If this team drafts an Offensive Tackle in the 1st or 2nd Round, does that mark the end of LT Levi Brown in Arizona?
    -Has the Cardinals organization view OT Levi Brown as a major factor to Larry Fitzgerald’s production over the years which could boost his chances of staying?
    -I am kind of lost, If this team doesn’t draft a QB in the first round, will they draft a QB in the 2nd Round or will they push the drafting of a QB into further rounds? Is there a possibility of Kevin Kolb being cut if one of our QBs beat him out for the starting job?
    -Has Bruce Arians analyzed QB Zac Dysert in the Senior Bowl and considered him as a possible draft option?

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Questions

    I plan on doing a chat in the next couple of days.

  40. By Dynosoar on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    It sounds like Eddie Lacy, RB from Alabama is entering this years draft. I really doubt he’ll be around in round 2 of the draft. I know we need O-Line and a QB, but with who we have now, I feel we can wait until the second round and beyond for O-Line and QB, but Lacy will be gone.

    We need a running game and yes a running game needs a solid O-Line that can create running lanes, but it also requires a running back that can stay healthy and create running lanes when the defense holds the O-Line.

    Eddie Lacy showed he can do this.

    1. Eddie Lacy
    2. Tyler Wilson or Landry Jones
    3. – 7. O-Line and Safety (to be mentored by Wilson and Rhodes)

    Look to FA for other needs. I personally feel we are set at pass rusher and D-Line.

    This may be my first mock draft, so it’s not as refined as some of you, but I like it. Too bad there are 31 other teams to mess up what I want. Good thing there is a Keim and Arians to mess up what I want.

    I just hope we can land Lacy and either Wilson or Jones. It’d be cool when we face Seattle to make it easy on the announcers calling the QB position (a pass by Wilson).

  41. By fred mcmillan on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    “The magic of editing”

    very interesting

  42. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    It wasn’t a cheap shot at Tebow, it was the truth. The QB’s running the read option now are better pocket QB’s than he is, like it or not. For all the revisionist history about “his” wins that the defense was largely responsible for, his career completion percentage is a shade under 48%. Kaepernick and Wilson have real QB rates of 62% and 64%, respectively. QB’s at that level don’t last (see our own John Skelton for a second example of that, another guy who “won” all those games last year).

    Have to agree with Darren, while it may not get implemented league wide it isn’t leaving, either. What we’re seeing, which we haven’t before, is world class athletes at the position who can pass as well as they can run. So far, the only way I’ve seen to stop it is with a dominant performance by the defensive line, like the one Nick Fairley turned in against Oregon a few years ago in the BCS title game. One thing’s for sure, and it’s something I’m very happy about, we won’t be seeing any more one dimensional pass rushers being overvalued in the upcoming drafts.

  43. By Coach Kevin on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    We have no choice if Eric Fisher is sitting there at #7, we have to take him. Otherwise, whoever is at QB will be running for their life. Fisher or Joeckel have the size and quickness to keep our QB’s healthy. So we take a left tackle first and then try to get Bray in round three, or even Scott. Bray and Scott have the strongest arms in this class of QB’s. And both should be on the board in round three or even round four.

    The only thing that could radically change everything is Geno falling to pick #7. Then everything changes.

  44. By georgiebird on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    The underground podcast (part 1) was excellent. It was 20 minutes of very little fooling around and some great points were made. Each guy seemed to give sincere opinions of the Cardinals’ situation-it was both entertaining and informative.
    As I critique the content of the podcast, some of my points:
    1) agree with the comments on QBs especially Wolfley on Kolb’s fragility. Thought Dave Pasch was right on point about the QBs in the draft.
    2) your comment on the need for a QB above all else was the most important point in the podcast – plus defenses being hamstrung today as opposed to years ago was a good insight.
    3) disagree with Pasch on his feelings about running the ball. The question should be “Can you run the ball” not “do you run the ball” SF, Ravens, Hawks, Giants, Falcons etc are all passing teams but it’s important to note they all “CAN” run the ball if they want to. Cards can pass all they want BUT they have to, at least, show the opposition they CAN run the ball.
    4) As Wolf noted Todd Bowles is under a lot of pressure but it’s unfair. Since the Cards offense was so bad, very few teams pushed the ball for a whole game against the Cardinals. As the offense gets better, more shoot out games will be played and opponents will attack the defense more than in 2012.
    Thanks again for the real good discussion, will be looking forward to Part 2.

  45. By Sarah on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply


    I watched the video, man you ramble at the beginning ! Yeah quarterback, well if there is no running game, decent line protection where does that take a new QB ? A year ago Kolb was toast, he went out losing last year and is a big question mark now. Analysts are always looking for the next hero, a draft choice is a risk, free agency is a risk. I was in SF when Alex Smith was a disaster for two years and it was considered the worst move the team ever made ! Last year was screwed up for lots of reasons on offense beyond QB like the line and run game. The Seattle game Skelton actually was ahead at the half in the first and probably would have pulled it out, Whiz applauded his play. Green Bay he played great but the team made lots of errors. Lindley I just don’t get at this stage, Hoyer we would need to see allot more of. Would Hoyer have won the Minnesota game, or first SF game, last Seattle game ? Seriously doubt it as the line stunk in Minnesota and SF game one, STL and especially Buffalo, Seattle 2 was like the sky opened and hell formed, it was not going to happen.

    If Manning had come last year it would have been great, Skelton would have backed him and learned. Kolb put us in this spot as he is unreliable dollar for dollar both in play and physical makeup. Skelton was supposed to be the backup and instead Kolb could not secure it . I say get a reliable veteran, cut Lindley, trade Skelton or release and keep Hoyer ( who has not won a game) as backup, or have him compete with Skelton who was 6-2 in 2011 and see if new coaches can fix his play. I bet they trade for a veteran ! I do not think they are all that hot on Kolb, he is a WC type and bogs down outside of that. I see Vick as an option and Smith who will want big dollars. A million QB’s out there to assess, the NFL is just about names.

    I watched four guys who have never thrown a football pass in a game be experts, let’s let the coaches assess this. Wolf has credibility, the rest just talking heads !

  46. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Sarah —

    RE: Video

    Yet you watched anyway …

  47. By Jason Marcus on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Ok , has Kolby been to the playoffs no has Teblow yes, has everyone lost there minds! Yes Tebow got hosed this year ,but that’s what happens when you play for the Jets, the dude was better off sitting ou the season and just chilln at home playing madden.I haven’t posted in a while and I wanna say I am very exited for this team and as I always say Go Cards!!!

  48. By Rich on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    as Kolb progressed through the season, he clearly was mixing his run capability with his passing. he is an extremely athletic qb. keeping Kolb healthy is the thing.

  49. By johnnybluenose on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    i saw the niners play the jets in new york in october. i watched tebow during the pre-game warm-up. he was bad. for every decent pass he threw there was a horrible one, usually bouncing the ball five feet in front of the receiver. that pass he threw in overtime to beat pittsburgh last year was a fluke. i feel sorry for tebow. i don’t see any team out there giving him a chance to play quarterback.

  50. By Marcelof on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    I been watching Football here in Brazil for 4 years only, but I can asure you all it’s time enough to realize Tebow ain’t a good fit nowhere he goes. He can’t throw the ball.. so would you give a .50 to a sniper who can’t shot?? He might hit a partner or yours instead.

    Kolb is not that bad, actually he’s better than a couple of QBs in this league, he’s just… hm… too much fragile.

    My opinion to next April, get an offensive lineman at free agency, Veterans can protect a young QB better than what a rookie OLM can protect a veteran QB (mostly), Landry Jones seems a good fit so does Geno and Glenon… but as for now, they just seem to be…

  51. By jeffgollin on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    As a one-man movement to “bring back the single wing”, I’ve been lovin’ the trend toward deep-snap offensive schemes, whether they take the form of Wildcat, Pistol or zone-read spread formations.

    I agree that, until recently, most of these offenses involved(a) RB’s who took the deep snap or handoff and ran or (b) QB’s who passed. Although the Single Wing emphasized a multi-threat running QB (call him a “passing tailback”), it did include a “spinner” series that resembled the Pistol, with a QB either handing off to a deeper RB, handing off to a flanker on a jet-sweep or inside reverse or keeping the ball and passing.

    But, rather than get nitpicky over what is or isn’t a true Single Wing, I’ll just remain a happy camper and be content in lumping all deep-snap offenses as “single wing derivative” (to make the trend “look bigger.”

    One caveat though – anyone head coach who considers making the SW his base offense had better become 4 or 5-deep in running QB’s (because of the pounding these guys will take).

  52. By azqfan on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Cert 33, Tarkenton and Vick were NEVER, EVER run-option quarterbacks. They were both quarterbacks who ran when flushed form the pocket.

  53. By Billy on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Draft EJ Manuel

  54. By D on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Good podcast Darren. I agree with the analysis. BA and Keim have a lot of work to do. The best thing for the future of this team is to try and trade down to grab more picks, but this draft doesn’t allow that with the talent at the top and that couldn’t be sold to the fanbase who wants a impact player. I think it will come down to if one of the 2 Off tackles are on the board vs the best DE on the board. Yes, that will take them out of the M. Glennon sweepstakes and Geno Smith sweepstakes who both probably will be draft later in round 1, but if they are keeping Kolb for salary cap reasons, and probably Hoyer in case Kolb gets hurt, then that will give the second round QB draft pick some time to learn. IF that happens, then they will need to go after a G in round 3, RB and ILB in 4 and 5 rounds…maybe with improved coaching, Brown and Massie could improve at the tackle spots…

  55. By D on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    per football focus: Offensive line ranking (number in brackett is 2011 ranking)
    The reason why Russ Grimm in umemployed.

    32. Arizona Cardinals (21)

    PB – 32nd, RB – 32nd, PEN – 16th

    Stud: It’s not so much that Daryn Colledge (-0.8) was a stud, as much as he was the best of a very bad bunch. The former Packer was on big money, but his run blocking left a lot to be desired and it was only his work in pass protection that saw him land in this section.

    Dud: Look no further than D’Anthony Batiste (-38.7). He was never meant to start, but he was so bad he gave backup left tackles a bad name. In his 10 games he amassed the second-lowest rating of all tackles (the lowest average rating per game), with his pass protection a particular lowlight. You won’t find many players who give up 54 quarterback disruptions on 404 pass blocking snaps.

    Summary: Just a truly horrible offensive line. The Cardinals had made progress in recent years, but losing Levi Brown and then deciding Adam Snyder would prove an upgrade at right guard came back to hurt them in a big way. The small consolation was Bobby Massie, who turned his performance around in the second half of the season, raising expectations going forward.

  56. By Eazy E on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    No that’s not a cheap shot, it is just how you said it. ”Tebow is not” seemed pretty offensive. Russell and Colin are better imo also, but you can’t deny what he did either.

  57. By Cardsfan75 on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    If someone could get the kind of play out of A.Smith that Harbaugh did, he would be a good option, but until Harbaugh came along, Smith wasn’t doing so well, if I remember correctly.

  58. By Don W on Jan 29, 2013 | Reply

    Since we are desperate for a left tackle lets ship our first round pick to Miami in exchange for Jake Long.

  59. By sarah on Jan 30, 2013 | Reply


    Video was good and Wolf is always astute (getting a bit grey now), you are not a radio guy to the extent of the rest of them, hence a bit wordy on tape in executing a point. I am sure their writing skills are no match for yours so work on the former.

    The video was mere conjecture and none of us sees game tape of players and plays in a big picture sense of who is doing what. This time last year the qb situation was an open competition and Kolb failed to close it. I hope he can this time for the sake of the team and the investment made. Would he have won out the 2012 season barring injury, who knows ? I will say that what looked like a fluke first bad STL game turned into a streak and Buffalo should have been a blowout for the Cards, hence something was not right in Denmark with the team overall. We never had a solid offensive and defensive game outside of Philly. One game it would be D , then Green Bay it was the offense in the second not supported by a D.

    No solid running game negates passing and combine line issues and you end up with a dysfunctional offence as we all got to watch. Play the highlights of the NFL Minnesota game on here, the announcers mention all the sacks we took. Game was still close as Ponder was equally inept but Peterson was unstoppable as was Jarod. Lots of issues and the NFL has always been a quarterback league.

  60. By clssylssy on Jan 30, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry…but when I think of the Cards playing the other teams in the NFC West twice next year, that’s six games right off the top we won’t have a prayer winning if they continue to put all their hopes on Kolb (when has he even played six games a season?). I agree with Rogers in his assessment that QBs are cyclic however, to be effective there has to be a physical toughness that goes beyond depending on the O-line, plus there is the reality that in all the time Kolb has spent on the sidelines with injury, the clock has been ticking and he’s not gotten any younger. Some athletes like Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning work at rehabbing and becoming stronger and I’ve never seen anything to make me believe Kolb has that kind of commitment or passion for his craft. The young QBs this year were exceptional but will, no doubt, will modify their running game in the future after what happened to RGIII. Football is a team sport and there comes a time when the QB has to believe in his fellow teammates and let them to their job too. The Chiefs have the first pick in the draft and Andy Reid has always believed in building a strong line so I expect the Chiefs to take O-linemen and D-linemen first, Boyles SHOULD have learned something from Reid in Philadelphia but considering how bad the Eagles were the last few years, I’m not sure that we haven’t shot our defense completely out of the water. We can look at the Saints as well as our own defense and see that it takes longer than a training camp to learn a new scheme and with the competition in the West, I just don’t see the Cards being able to dig themselves out of the hole we’ve gotten ourselves in. The Harbaugh brothers have created the model for coaches in the NFL and epitomize the kind of youthful, energetic, innovative coaches that teams look for to connect with their players on a visceral level to inspire and win championships; the Cards couldn’t be farther away in this critical element for building a Championship team. I respect BA for his knowledge of the game but think he would have made a better GM or consultant/advisor to Michael Bidwill or even an assistant Head Coach. It would seem that a lot of very important decisions were made in the heat of emotion rather than through carefully thought out and planned decision making process and because of this, the new coaching staff have been set up to fail because winning on the field only becomes a priority with this franchise when the fans are in a roar threatening not to renew season tickets; it’s been that way for the twenty years I have been a Card’s fan!

  61. By Coach Kevin on Jan 30, 2013 | Reply

    This draft is a few months away, but it’s getting clearer and clearer to me that the Cardinals will take Eric Fisher in round one, then come back and surprise everyone by taking either E.J. Manuel or Tyler Bray, both who fit Arian’s style of QB. Then in round three a pass rushing end or outside linebacker, then a running back in round four. If they Cardinals are lucky enough to have this draft fall to these players, we will be right back in the thick of things in our division. I think Kolb and Hoyer will compete for the starting job and I feel very comfortable with either of them. Should be a great competition. Some draft boards have the Cardinals taking Tyler Wilson or Matt Barkley, but I do not see either of them fitting in with Arian’s. You can count on Kolb or Hoyer as the starter next year. May the best man win!

  62. By ken on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    drop skelton lindley and kolb. get alex smith

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