Dual-threat quarterbacks are everywhere in the NCAA. The trend has spilled over into the NFL, causing mass chaos on how to prepare spread, no-huddle quarterbacks for the pro-style game.
Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Johnny Manziel are learning the hard way that their throwing-outside-of-the-pocket days are numbered.
Offensive coordinators are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by forcing them to stay in the pocket. In reality, they should embrace the differences of these players and change their system to fit the quarterback.
Griffin’s arm talent and playmaking ability had fans glued to their TVs during his first year in the NFL, but an injury and a change in head coach caused him to fall apart just two years later. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has forced Griffin to play from the pocket, hampering his most deadly asset on the field – his legs.
Kaepernick seems to be headed for the same doom after an inconsistent season, and Manziel had a disappointing, incomplete rookie season.
The key to these young quarterbacks’ futures is a change of offense.
Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles head coach, has already shown that the no-huddle, hurry-up offense can work in the NFL. Kelly has put up huge numbers the past two seasons with mediocre-to-above-average play at the quarterback position.
It just takes a commitment to tailoring the offense to the quarterback with a running game and playmakers on the outside. The offense would allow quarterbacks like Griffin, Kaepernick and Manziel to throw outside of the pocket and throw short, high-percentage throws to the offenses’ key players.
Similar offenses like Seattle and Carolina have proven the zone-read concept of college offenses works as well.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led all quarterbacks this season with 849 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Wilson has also added an impressive 20 touchdowns to only seven interceptions with a so-called college offense.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has rushed for 33 touchdowns in his four-year career with a zone-read, quarterback friendly offense.
Critics continue to try and find holes in these players’ ability when really it’s the coaches that need to fix their one-track mind ways.
The NFL continues to try to eliminate the progressive movement of dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL when they should be embracing it. Colleges are not going to change their offensive game, so why not accept it and move on to a new offensive style in the pro game?