Originally Posted by Caulibflower
I don't know that it's a fad. The key term is read option. It's an option to run, not a prerogative. It's a running back's running play first - the QB reads the defensive end and if he overplays the handoff, the QB takes 5 yards (or more, or less, or whatever the situation allows). The problem is when quarterbacks like RGIII think of the plays as a 50/50 decision every time; what RGIII needs to learn is to let Alfred Morris be Washington's primary runner, and then use his own running ability when the opportunity is given to him. Again, understanding when those opportunities are available is the "read" part of the read option. RGIII thinks "I can make this play!" when he should be thinking, "Is the defense telling me I should run?"
That's what's going to extend these quarterback's careers and make the read option a viable NFL scheme - quarterbacks who know it's supposed to be plan B for them to take the ball and run. It should keep defenses honest and make plan A - the running back taking a handoff - more effective. For all their ability, quarterbacks who run the read option just need to keep in mind that they are playing a different position than the player they're handing off to and have different responsibilities. Clearly, if a player like RGIII plays quarterback like a tall running back with a big arm, he's opening himself up to a lot of punishment he doesn't need to take. The running back needs to take the punishment; the quarterback should only keep if he has the self-control to slide or get down before he's gotten every possible yard. i.e., the quarterback should only keep if, in reading the play, he sees that the defense has given him something in its effort to stop plan A - the running back.
Unfortunately, like RG111, they are going to take some real hits sooner or later and the injuries will follow. Defenses will catch up a little at a time and really lay the body on these running QB's even if it means the odd penalty.
There is a reason why pro football has always been reluctant to have QB's who can run the ball, it is injuries. RB's have a 5 year shelf life because teams go after them and have real opportunities to lay the body on them and that is what is going to happen to Kaepernick and Wilson. I predict very short careers for these 3 QB's.