Falcons visit Clemson Tigers to learn how to defend the read-option.
As the read-option craze continues to grow throughout the NFL, teams are seeking ways to improve the way they defend against opposition who run the system.
The Atlanta Falcons have taken the initiative to go to the college ranks to learn more about the run play, as that was the birthplace of the scheme.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his time with the NFL coaching staff, and what they were aiming to get out of the meeting.
“The Falcons are trying to learn more about what we do and how we defend what we do,” Swinney said on Monday.
“Yet, we were able to take a lot from them as well. I’d be surprised if there’s an NFL team that hasn’t gone and spent time with college coaches this offseason.”
Atlanta struggled with defending the play last year, but also came up against four teams that ran that ran the play also in Seattle, San Francisco, Washington and Carolina twice, more than anyone else in the league.
The read-option likely to develop further, and there is a distinct possibility of it being turned into a play-action move, so defences must be ready to evolve ways to counter such plays.
Atlanta are probably not the only team to be doing this kind of research, and each NFL side will have to learn this play inside out if they want to have any chance of being able to defend against it.