What is an Option in Football?
Types of Options in Football
Run Pass Option
The run pass option is slightly different than a read option. The quarterback's options are handing it and throwing the ball. The quarterback has to decide between handing off the ball and throwing the ball based on where the linebackers are and how they react.
The triple option is a more complex read option with one more decision for the quarterback to make. There are three players that could end up running the ball: the quarterback and two running backs. Georgia Tech is famous for running the triple option.
Football Option Strategy
Option plays require good decision making from the quarterback, being able to make the correct read of the defense in a split second. So if a team has a quarterback they trust, running option plays can be a good idea. The purpose of an option is to make the defender choose between going after two offensive players. A defense simply cannot defend an option play if the quarterback makes the correct read because of the two versus one scenario it creates.
Football Option History
The option was first popular in the 1970's in college football. It remained so until about 2000, and lost its popularity due to college prospects wanting to play for a pro style offense. In the NFL, read option plays have increased in popularity recently, due to running quarterbacks becoming a trend. However, the most popular option play in the NFL is the read pass option (RPO).