There is too small of a sample set to show the danger to the QB as last year was only the 2nd year the offense was run. That being said history has not been kind to running QBs. The other challenge with running the zone read is the QBs mentality. They view themselves as a weapon running the ball and therefore put themselves at risk to gain yards even when scrambling on passing plays. Pocket QBs for the most part will slide when they scramble. RGIII, Cam Newton and Kaepernick try to get every yard possible. The zone read works well in college because you do not have elite players with size and speed at every position like you do in the NFL. Defenses preparing for it will marginalize it's success to the point where it is no longer worth teams risking their most important player.
I think you'll see RGIII take a lot less hits this year but time will tell.
Add the QB's slide-rule protection and tendency to bootleg out of bounds, and don't believe that QB's rushing in the context of the read-option are much more vulnerable.
Yes, Wilson can scramble and run, but he didn't take anywhere near as many hits as RGIII did.
But you are right, RG3 has to play smarter to stay effective longer. Injuries can be overcome (Jim Plunkett) but we have to see more reliance of pass and running as a last resort.
When at Oregon, Chip Kelly would always say that he wanted a QB who could throw; running was just an added extra and not required. Among other things Kelly's Oregon teams would have the QB keep the ball in the read option sparingly-just enough to make the defense think. And his Oregon teams had their greatest two years with a pretty immobile QB (Darron Thomas) who beat out a faster, more mobile QB for the job. And now in the pros Nick Foles has a real chance to beat out Mike Vick, who is more scattershot as a thrower.
The read option isn't a gimmick; using it every play however is a gimmick. Used right, a QB like Kaepernick or Wilson or Luck is that much better without risking his career. But if a QB insists on running too much, read-option or not, he's gonna get hurt and have a shortened career. Vick? RGB3?
In the pro game a quarterback can't take a lot of hits and have longevity. Wilson, Kaepernick and RG3 are all talented, but they'll need to avoid punishment to have a long career. This should be an interesting year to see how teams defend the read option and if the young quarterbacks can stay healthy. From what I have seen of them, RG3 is the most reckless runner.
Last year whenever Wilson took off, he'd run out of bounds or get down as soon as he was about to get hit.
Pretty sure Kaep did similar things.
RGIII would try to juke and fight for extra yards...
Weve seen Brady, Manning and other QBs miss significant amounts of a season and they never run. I don't think the zone/read creates much more of an injury risk, especially when the play is to hand off inside depending on the look from the D. It's going to be a great year to see how the pistol and zone/read continue to evolve in the league