We’re in an era of football now where one of the most valued attributes a college QB can possess is experience and familiarity with running a “pro style” offense. And that’s one of many reasons there is so much intrigue surrounding Broncos QB Tim Tebow right now – his most tangible attribute is the ability to run a college style offense in the NFL.
Tebow’s been a hard player for opposing defenses to contain of late, as he’s guided the Broncos to a 5-1 record since taking over as the team’s starter in Week 7. In a league that displays and glorifies prolific passing attacks, Tebow and the Broncos are racking up wins by running the football. Since Tebow was named Denver’s starter, the Broncos have a run-to-pass ratio of 249 to 135.
Much of the difficulty in stopping the Broncos rushing attack is that their scheme is not the standard NFL running scheme. It’s literally an option offense, similar to those you’d see watching college football on Saturdays. As good as the Vikings are at stopping the run, containing Tebow and the Broncos ground game on Sunday will be a tall task.
But there is good news. Vikings Defensive Coordinator Fred Pagac is no stranger to stopping the option offense. Pagac spent 23 years coaching at his alma mater – Ohio State University – and has seen plenty of the option offense in his day. In 1998 with Pagac as defensive coordinator, the Buckeyes led the nation in rushing defense, ranked 2nd in pass defense and were 4th in overall defense. Also, Ohio State played in 20 bowl games while Pagac was on staff.
Pagac’s long tenure in the college ranks will serve him and the Vikings defense well this week as they prepare to face Tebow, one of the best college players of all-time and a player who is doing in the NFL exactly what he did in college – win.
“Going back to college and playing option football,” Pagac responded when asked about the adjustments he had to make in preparing for Denver this week. “That’s part of their package now. They have different looks that they run base football out of, they have different looks that they’re running the spread zone reads, the option game, so obviously we’re going to have to be prepared on all facets of the game.”
As for Tebow specifically, Pagac, who has seen a countless number of impressive offensive players in his 34 years as a football coach, was complimentary in talking about the 2nd-year pro.
“He’s a competitive son of a gun that’s a good football player,” Pagac said. “Big, strong kid. Very, very competitive, and obviously he’s like playing with a second running back in the game and you’ve got to be alert to it.”
Tags: Fred Pagac
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