SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With the San Francisco 49ers and other teams expected to run a lot more read-option plays using running quarterbacks this season, how do coaches limit the hits the QB will take? “In that read-option, after (the quarterback) hands the ball off and he continues to fake like he has it, then he is live with no protection,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.
“All he has to do to get protection is drop back. In other words, hand off, start down the line, then after a couple of steps — if he’s not hit obviously — drop back like he’s throwing,” said Madden. “Then he picks up passer protection.”
Quarterbacks who draw out fakes will be hit more often. “If you continue to run down the line like you have the ball, then you get runner protection, which is nothing. The runner has no protection,” said Madden.
On the other hand, if a quarterback like the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick abandons a fake too soon, another defender is freed up to stop the play. “They want to take (a defender) with him, I mean that’s the idea,” Madden said. “(The defense) assigns a player to Kaepernick and then (the 49ers) want to have him carry out a fake that takes that guy that’s assigned to him out (of the play).
“But if that guy takes (Kaepernick) out, then it’s not worth it… If I were Washington for example and playing RG III… after a couple of steps I would just (have him) fade back.”