PHOENIX -- The read-option may be the NFL's in vogue offensive concept, but to the league's defensive-minded coaches it's just the latest in a long line of puzzles to solve.
"I think it's the flavor of the day," Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "We will see if it's the flavor of the year. We'll see if guys are committed to getting their guys hit."
The success last year of young, athletic quarterbacks such as the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl running their version of the read-option, is thought to portend a new offensive trend toward dynamic offenses that force defenses to account for more than they're used to seeing.
But as Tomlin's comment hints, the read-option carries risk and exacts from the quarterback a physical price that the small sample size doesn't yet prove teams are willing to pay.
So while the read-option may be the hot concept of the NFL moment, opposing defenses view it instead as something to be stamped out.
"We look forward to stopping it," Tomlin said. "We look forward to eliminating it."