Cam Newton's Versatility Extends To Panthers' Zone Read Triple Option

"The option won't work in the NFL," your dad and all his curmudgeonly friends told you. They were wrong: the Panthers are among the teams experimenting with option concepts, and deployed a triple option against the Giants on Thursday.

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On the play, Newton fakes to fullback Mike Tolbert, coming across the formation on a dive, then bounces the play to the left and pitches to DeAngelo Williams.

This zone read triple option requires two important decisions from Newton that most NFL quarterbacks don't have to make, much less on the same play: he's got to read the defensive end and figure out if he'll commit, giving him room to gain yardage, and decide whether to keep or pitch the ball when in the open field.

That's harder in the NFL, with faster and bigger defenders than college teams, but defenses don't prep often for the triple option. And the Panthers are running this out of the pistol, which adds another wrinkle of complexity.

Also: Carolina employs Cam Newton, which makes it uniquely suited to try out the concept.

For more on the Panthers, head to Cat Scratch Reader. For more on the Giants, try Big Blue View and SB Nation New York.

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