Found July 01, 2013 on
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Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham isn't losing any sleep over defending the read-option.
The arrival of running QB's Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick have changed the lanscape of offenses in the NFL.
However, it does have its drawbacks and the worse case scenario is losing the QB to big hits.
He has studied it and has a plan, but what he see is a danger for the quarterback.
Defending the read-option is all about staying with a players responsibilities and hitting the quarterback forcing his read.
Exposing the quarterback to linemen and linebackers who will have a direct path to hit them might end up getting them injured.
"The problem is for those quarterbacks, one of these days one of them is not going to walk off," Cunningham said, via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. "It’s a lot of pressure on him to physically do that."
"It's a big thing in the league now, and that's why we've got bigger corners, because they're going to have to tackle," Cunningham said.
"The ball is going outside, they're spreading you, and quarterbacks are running the ball.
"I think we all understand what the issues are and how to play it," Cunningham said. "I reflect back on my college days and it wasn't’t that hard to remember all that stuff because it put a lot of pressure on me in those days and it does in this league too."
"The key is you need extra people to stop the run because they spread you out," Cunningham said. "So, you end up playing some man-to-man or shorten your safeties down and if the quarterback can really throw the ball, that's where we get into trouble.
"Miami couldn't do that with Rickey (Williams) and the other kid that was running the option (Ronnie Brown). But their design was as good as I've ever seen in my life and then it got away from them for whatever reason.
"Bill Belichick can tell you they killed them in the first game, came back in the second and beat them worse. So, it's an issue and we have to be on top of it."
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