You knew it was coming … Since San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh could not get the NFL to provide even more protection to read-option quarterbacks, he is now calling the league interpretation of the rule allowing quarterbacks engaging in option tactics “flawed and biased,” when interviewed yesterday.
Obviously, Harbaugh is trying to prime the referees for the upcoming Packers-Niners contest on Sunday.
However, he has to look beyond that as other teams will be adopting the same approach as Green Bay, if the penalty calls are not forthcoming. Obviously, the referees in all of the games that involve teams employing the read-option will be watching the hits on quarterbacks closely, but the NFL’s current stance appears to be “You are on your own” if your quarterback is running the option and gets blasted.
The quarterback is wearing shoulder pads like the other players so if he decides to make like a ball carrier, he had better expect the worst or stay in the pocket.
There is a novel idea. If I wanted to watch the option, I would tune in more college football on the weekends.
The NFL Rules Committee could revisit this issue in the future if it deems necessary.
In the meantime, maybe Harbaugh should make sure his quarterback can also pass from the pocket, instead of running around Bobby Douglas-style.