Wednesday, June 23, 2010

West Coast Offense

Had a little time to browse through my vids this weekend and coincidentally enough a discussion popped up recently going over the nuances that differentiate the "WCO" from the "Air Raid" offensive system. My thoughts on the matter were

"...from what I can tell, Air Raid is an "idiots guide to passing" (via the WC concepts).

Anymore, Air Raid is all gun, and uses probably 10% of what most WC offenses use. Also, the AR progressions are deep first / shallow last, whereas WC is primarily short first, deep last.

I'll post some Callahan / Gruden clips later in the week (2000-era) in skelly (w/ play name/tag) and it is all over the place.

AR is just a handful of concepts - there isn't much to it - with an ample sprinkling of screens.

As far as the RnS influence, I could definitely see the stealing of (philosophical) concept of verticals-to-sail - basing out of a vertical stretch into other concepts (which is essentially the RnS....vertical, to balanced, to choice routes). If you go from Verticals, then to Sail, then to Dig/Shallow, you can bridge that to RnS, pretty easily."

In the meantime, here are some clips for posterity of the Gruden/Callahan Oakland Raiders during a skelly session. Play names are included in the posts, feel free to correct me as needed or offer any other comments.

I felt this was makes for an interesting discussion because it is through these concepts that you can trace the evolution of the modern game (or watch it as it takes place) back to its roots. You can see how concepts become more and more streamlined as the superflous chaff (less efficient method / terminology) is removed. You can see where Air Raid staples were derived from and this illustrates the adaptation of the passing game.

For Additional Readings:


Kevin said...

I was coached to read deep to short and so that is how I coach it too. We want to be "greedy" if it is there deep. So what is the tradeoff/advantage of reading deep to short vs. short to deep?

brophy said...

Obviously, short-to-deep would increase completion percentage. The real issue would be (I would assume) in the emphasis on hybrid footwork for the quarterback drops. Where the QB would take 3 steps (short) and shuffle to 5 (deep) as he went through the reads. Going deep-to-short, ala Air Raid, you get to your deepest depth (aided even more by the gun) and if its not there, then your release is just a lob throw, anyway (not requiring a complete reset)

David said...

Good post. Just wanting to tie up a few loose ends in my mind about timing up the QB drops/pass patterns, would I be right in thinking that the AR offense takes advantage of something I have seen mentioned in coaches clinics before that the release out of the shotgun is a little quicker than the corresponding drop from under center (three step drop from the gun compared with five step from under center for example). Is a result of this trade off an ability for the QB to be able to read deep without compromising too much the timing of the short patterns?

brophy said...

The gun obviously truncates the drop and eliminates the drive step from being under-center. With the WCO, there are so many types of drops (3 big / 5 quick / etc) to time up the routes as the quarterback reads right-to-left (entire field) and shallow-to-deep. Whereas, with the AR sets the launch point for deep throws and reads within a triangle with a dump release (check down).

This, of course, is my opinion using 2D representations of both systems.

Johnny said...

Thanks for the post Brophy. I haven't viewed the Gruden Raiders Skelly vid before. New to me.

Always, keep up the good work and thanks for the link to my website.


Dustin Humphreys said...

Very informative post with great video. I always tell other coaches that the Air Raid concepts (which we run) came from the West Coast Offense and they give me a puzzled look. I am glad I am not the only one to realize this.