NFL Draft: Ryan Tannehill and the 'read option'

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In the NFP Sunday Blitz, Dan Pompei shared some notes on Ryan Tannehill. The QB out of Texas A&M has seen his value dramatically rise because of the demand for the position in this league. A projected Top 10 pick heading into the draft (after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III) with teams such as Cleveland and Miami looking to target a No.1 QB.

Today, I want to take a quick look at Tannehill. However, let’s move past the route tree, the deep out, the 9 or the 7 route vs. Cover 2 and focus on the former WR’s ability as an athlete in the “read option” scheme. TCheck out the clip below and then we can talk some Xs and Os.

Personnel: Jet (4 WR, 1 RB)
Scheme: Read Option
Defensive Coverage: Nickel Cover 2

Quick coaching points…

- Without a “pitch man” (triple option), this is a one read scheme for Tannehill. Read the initial angle of the closed (strong) side DE. If he gets vertical up the field, give the ball to the RB. If the DE takes a lateral angle (or slants at the snap), the QB will keep.

- The A&M QB will ride the RB through the “mesh point” while he reads the DE. As you can see from the replay, the Oklahoma State DE takes the bait and crashes on the RB. A quick, easy read for Tannehill to keep in this situation.

- Look at the blocking from A&M. The No. 3 WR will seal off the Nickel CB and the LT gets to the second level to block the Mike LB. With the Mike taking an early release in his Cover 2 drop (inside vertical seam), the LT can work up the field and clear a running lane for Tannehill.

- Poor angles from the safeties. In Cover 2, you want your safeties to read run/pass and provide “secondary” run support. They will “run the alley” vs. edge run (to fit inside of the CB) and play with an inside-out angle in the middle of the field. In this case, both safeties are late and take downhill angles into the run front. That’s not good enough—and it allows Tannehill to split them on the way to a 65-yard score.

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