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Ryan's Reality: A Weekly Sports Blog. Volume Two.

Updated on March 13, 2014

What is the "pro-style" offense?

A while back I was doing some basic scouting of draft prospects and I realized something.
When discussing college offenses, any type of offense that is used predominantly in the NFL is called a pro-style offense. If Joe Blow from Cornfield University Tech of Miami (Ohio) is the quarterback in an offense where he lines up behind the center frequently, calls audibles at the line, and the play-calls are mostly balanced between passes and runs, that would be what's typically referred to as a pro-style offense.
However... Is that really the appropriate title? Is that really what a pro offense looks like?
In 2013, the Raiders, 49ers, Seahawks, Redskins, Panthers, and Eagles all ran spread and option offenses, something you see more often in college than in the pros. And let's be completely honest, the game has started to change.
The 2007 Patriots were the first team to run the majority of their plays out of the shotgun formation, and since then, most teams have started to follow suit, and the adaptation of the pistol formation has been greatly utilized by passing and running offenses alike.
But the pistol isn't a new thing, colleges have been using it since the late nineties.
Yeah. Almost 20 years ago.
So... As the NFL begins to mimic the collegiate game, what is a pro-offense?
Is it Denver's spread offense?
Is it the sugar huddle Philadelphia offense?
Is it the Redskin read option offense?
Who knows.
But this upcoming season, look to see how often teams line up under center per game, I think you'll be surprised.

What do you think?

Is the option in the NFL here to stay?

See results

Are there racial stereotypes in the NFL?

Okay, let me just start this off by asking everyone to take a deep breath.
I know that race is an insanely sensitive subject, and that people want to jump to conclusions and get defensive.
I understand that, but this is something that needs to be discussed.

Are there racial stereotypes in the NFL?

Why is it that people make broad assumptions about a player and his position because of his race?
Why is every young black QB coming out of college immediately labeled as a running quarterback? Even when it isn't true, even when a guy comes out like Teddy Bridewater, who's easily the best passer of this draft class, who's easily a pocket passer, how come he gets labeled as an option QB?
If you ever want a laugh, look up Donovan McNabb's draft profile.
"Arm strength and accuracy issues, lacks football intelligence, just an option QB".
They're talking about somebody who turned out to be be, bar none, the best quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles. Somebody who became infamous for being able to throw the ball accurately down the field, somebody who played in 5 NFC championship games and got the Eagles as close to a Super Bowl title as anybody ever had.
Yet, Tim Couch, who was drafted one spot ahead of him was considered the best QB in the draft. He was considered a pure pocket passer with incredible accuracy and an amazing football IQ.
Yeah... Tim Couch ran a faster 40 than McNabb...
And look at the career, if you can call it that, that Couch went on to have.

Of course, that street goes both ways.

For instance, Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram.
When Mark Ingram came out of college, Mike Mayock said he was "one of the most polished running back prospects in recent memory." He was the guy coming out of Alabama. He was "the next Adrian Peterson". He only lasted 27 picks before the Saints picked him in the first round.
Meanwhile, Toby Gerhart was "probably better suited to play fullback" in the NFL. That very same Mike Mayock said that Gerhart "did not possess the speed scouts like to see for the next level." He was an afterthought, a guy with a third round draft grade. And he almost made it there, before the Vikings snagged him late in the second round.
So, obviously Ingram is better right? I mean the mighty Mike Mayock is never ever wrong (Unless we're talking about football).
Because Gerhart is too slow, right?
Ingram has "game breaking speed" as Mayock put it.
That's why he had a faster 40 and shuttle time?
That's why Gerhart ran a 4.47 40 and 4.25 shuttle time and Ingram ran a 4.53 40 and a 4.62 shuttle time?
And who had better stats in college?
Surely Gerhart, who played behind a bad offensive line on a passing team doesn't have better stats than Mark Ingram, who played behind an all-american offensive line at Alabama, a run first school. Right?
Wrong.
False. Gerhart ran for 3,522 yards and 44 touchdowns, while Ingram ran for 3,251 yards and 42 touchdowns. While it's true that Gerhart played one more season, he was hurt in his first game. So i doubt he had time to get 271 yards and 2 TDs.
Even in the pros, their stats are screwy.
Despite playing second fiddle to Adrian Peterson, and having almost 100 less carries than Ingram, Gerhart has only 100 less yards in their careers.

Why do people make such frivolous assumptions based on something as irrelevant as race?

Johnny Manziel isn't a pocket passer, in fact, he's just the opposite, he's an option QB if I've ever seen one. So why is the media labeling him a field general? Why is he drawing comparisons to Tom Brady?! They don't have anything in common.

Race doesn't matter.
Eric Decker (4.54) is faster than Larry Fitzgerald (4.63)
Andrew Luck runs a nearly identical 40 to Cam Newton.
And despite not being exceptionally fast, Teddy Bridgewater isn't considered a pocket passer but Manziel is.
Race doesn't matter.
Athletes are athletes.
People are people.
Maybe we should start judging people by film.
I dunno. Maybe I'm crazy.

The Downfall of New England.

What a weird headline.
The Downfall of New England?
The model of consistency? The team that has played in seven of the last ten AFC championships and four of the last ten Super Bowls? What could possibly be wrong with them?
Well, all good things must someday come to an end.
All summer days fall into autumn nights, and all dynasties meet a bloody end.
And the sun is setting on the New England Patriots.

Before anyone angrily slaps their keyboards or threatens to kill me, back up a second.
I don't mean this season.
Hell, you might even get next season.
But there's more sand at the bottom of this hourglass than on the top.
I'm not talking about the aging offensive line.
I'm not talking about defensive struggles.
I'm not talking about a looming Bill Belichick retirement.
I'm talking about the happiness of the greatest player in the history of the Franchise.
That's right, I'm talking about Tom Brady.

Despite being the only thing keeping the Patriots in the playoffs, Tom Brady has not been treated fairly by the Patriots brass.
Sure, he's gotten fat paycheck after fat paycheck from Robert Kraft and the Patriots, but how can you ask a guy to make dinner without giving him the ingredients.

Last season, Peyton Manning had Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, and a revolving door of runningbacks to catch passes from, while Tom Brady had...
Um...
Who?

Sure, he had all-star Rob Gronkowski for a few games before he re-injured himself, but who else?
A misfit gang of nobodies, featuring two dudes with butter-fingers (Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson), an undersized and injury-prone Welker wannabe (Danny Amendola), and one pseudo-reliable set of hands (Julian Edelman).
Despite all of that, and a shaky defense, Mr. Brady carried his team to the AFC Championship game. He singlehandedly carried his team all the way to Mount Doom, but couldn't make it to the top.
And what did the Patriots do the reward him?
They allowed Edelman to walk out the front door and drastically overpaid for an injury pron and aging corner. (12 million for one year? Are you kidding me?).
For the second year in a row, Brady had to watch a close friend and trusted target bolt for free agency. Hell, last off-season, he took less money so they could keep Welker and the team offered him a half-ass contract.
Word is starting to slip out that Brady is furious about the talent surrounding him and the involvement of Robert Kraft in football decisions.
So far, it doesn't look like the Patriots are heavily pursuing any offensive help for Brady, in fact, it seems like they are preparing the team for life after him.
It won't happen this year, because the AFC East is the most laughably bad division in the AFC, but some day soon, the Patriots empire will crumble.
Don't be surprised if Brady doesn't jump ship before too long.

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