Throughout the 2017 season, the Louisville Cardinals implemented the read-option offense which allowed Lamar Jackson to analyze the defense and determine what play to run. For instance, Jackson will receive the snap in shotgun formation and begins the process of giving the ball to the running back while paying attention to the defense. If the outside pass rusher decides to penetrate the line of scrimmage, Lamar will pull the ball out and run it. On the other hand, if the outside pass rusher chooses to stay back, he lets the running back have the ball and run it. However, there were occasions when the team would call a pass play from shotgun formation. For example, Lamar would line up about five yards behind the center with a running back beside or behind him and a two to four receiver set. After the play begins, he would wait a few seconds to throw the ball to allow the receiver to get downfield and then target the slant, curl, in or out route.
As a result of this, the NFL team who selects Lamar Jackson in the 2018 draft should develop an offensive system similar to the Louisville Cardinals. This is because Jackson has developed a habit of running and throwing the ball from shotgun that it is the fastest way for him to be successful. On the other hand, if the NFL team wants him to be under center, it will take Lamar Jackson one to two years of repetitions to get used to throwing the ball off of 3 to 5 step drops. Furthermore, Lamar will have to get comfortable with defensive pressure getting to him sooner because he is going to line up closer to the defense.
Unfortunately, most NFL teams won’t give Lamar Jackson the proper amount of time to learn how to play under center. This is because ownership will put pressure on the coaching staff to play Lamar within the first year in an attempt to show the public that they made the right decision. Due to this, the team would call a lot of passing plays to give him a chance to demonstrate that he is a franchise quarterback and is capable of making all the necessary throws to lead the team to victory. While it is reasonable to expect an organization to give their new investment many opportunities to prove themselves at a certain point, it will affect the performance of the rest of the team. For instance, if Lamar Jackson gets the chance to throw a lot, the offense will spend less time on the field because of incompletions, interceptions or sacks that result in short drives. As a result, the defense would have to go back on the gridiron without the proper amount of rest which leads to the unit being more susceptible to giving up yards and points. Since they would be unable regain some energy between possessions to be able to stop the opposing offense.
In conclusion, installing a similar system to the Louisville Cardinals will allow Lamar Jackson to be ready to play much sooner. Furthermore, it increases the likelihood of ownership looking good when they force the coaching staff to play Lamar Jackson because he is fully prepared.