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Thread: Jim Corbett - West Coast Offense: Past Its Time

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    Jim Corbett - West Coast Offense: Past Its Time

    Well, I was feeling pretty good about the WCO until I read this article, which is from September 2012 and includes analysis of Flacco:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sport...ime/57816080/1

    West Coast offense: Past its time
    by Jim Corbett, USA TODAY Sports | Updated 9/21/2012 2:41 PM

    Quote Originally Posted by USA Today
    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In a city best known for defense and running the football, the Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco has star tailback Ray Rice setting up play-action deep passes to his fleet of speedy receivers and tight ends. Flacco has suddenly become the epitome of the new wave of NFL quarterback, a deep-strike passer with a no-huddle offense.

    After two games, Flacco and the Ravens are averaging 33.5 points a game, tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second best in the NFL.

    "There are a lot of things set up these days to attack downfield and throw the ball a lot," says Flacco, named the AFC's top offensive player of Week 1. "That's what football is becoming."

    And it's those vertical passing attacks -- especially by formerly run-heavy teams like the Ravens -- along with record scoring and passing yardage, that have people wondering:

    Is the West Coast offense dead?

    Popularized by late San Francisco 49ers innovator Bill Walsh, the high-percentage, short-passing, ball-control system produced five Super Bowl titles for the 49ers from 1981 to 1994. Have teams abandoned Walsh's baby, the short-pass, ball-control offense, used for decades, to heave the ball downfield for quick strikes or big chunks of yardage?

    "To answer your question point-blank about the death of the West Coast offense: Yeah, people are looking to get bigger chunks of yardage now because it's become a passing league and you get your points in the passing game," said former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, now coaching in the United Football League.

    Fassel used the West Coast offense as an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL. The dink-and-dunk offense took his Giants to a Super Bowl in the 2000 season. Today, it's difficult to find.

    "More wide-open, spread attacks in the college game have developed these quarterbacks faster," he said. "And coaches are more adaptable to the spread."

    A record 1,556 points were scored in this season's first two weeks. Last season, three quarterbacks eclipsed 5,000 yards passing. Three hundred-yard games, once rare, are almost the norm. There have been 18 in the first two weeks of 2012, topped by Eli Manning's 510 yards vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. Quarterbacks have thrown 92 touchdown passes.

    A comparison of the passing numbers last season with the those of a decade ago support the notion that the deep passing game has taken over. When New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 5,476 yards to lead the league in 2011, he averaged 7.8 net yards per pass attempt. When Peyton Manning passed for an NFL-best 4,413 yards in 2000, his net yards per pass attempt were 7.2, the same number Warren Moon put up when he led the NFL with 4,689 passing yards in 1990.

    Of course, throwing deep with impunity against defenses handicapped by rules changes makes high-percentage sense.

    "Teams are trying to score, get matchups, get quick strikes," Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher says. "The rules are probably making it more conducive to go downfield with the pass-interference calls, not being able to be as physical with receivers as you want, illegal contact."

    And change is the NFL's constant: Adapt or lose.

    There are other factors, too: Passers are bigger and stronger and have been throwing the ball since high school in pro-type offenses, and prototype receivers, such as 6-5 Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, are as big as the NBA's top rebounders.

    "The quarterbacks have the arm strength, but more so, they have the accuracy," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome says. "When our veterans saw Joe throwing deep in minicamp, they went, 'Wow!' That's when they started embracing him."

    Newsome adds: "The receivers coming out in the draft are bigger, faster, with the ability to become vertical threats right away."

    The Ravens' example: 2011 second-round pick Torrey Smith. The University of Maryland product stands 6-1 and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at the 2011 combine. Five of Smith's seven touchdown catches last season went for 25 yards or more.

    "When you're a former secondary coach like myself, all you can think about is how the quick-strike ability in this league is amazing. It's the way the game is played now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

    The formula is simple, with deeper passing translating into more touchdowns. The stats are stunning: In 2011, three quarterbacks threw more than 40 touchdown passes and two others threw more than 30. In 2000, when there were no quarterbacks with 40 TD passes, only three eclipsed 30 TDs. And in 1990, the 30-TD club had only two members.

    So, there's a perfect storm for offenses: Stronger, more accurate passers; bigger, stronger receivers who can wrestle the ball away from defensive backs; and rules that make it tougher for the secondary to shadow them closely.

    "One of the leading reasons we have more downfield passing is we used to have just pass interference and unnecessary roughness," says former coach Bill Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl winner. "Now we've got pass interference, unnecessary roughness, illegal contact, defenseless receiver and helmet-to-helmet hits."

    Throw in replacement officials from the lower levels of college football struggling to adjust to the speed of the NFL game, and, hey, why not take more shots? Though two weeks, the replacement refs have called 51 defensive pass-interference or illegal-contact penalties. There have been six offensive pass-interference penalties, according to the NFL.

    "Veteran quarterbacks like Brady, Drew Brees, the Mannings (Eli and Peyton) and Ben Roethlisberger know if they throw it down the field now, there's a real good chance something good is going to happen," Parcells says.

    This season's record five rookie starting quarterbacks owe their shots to how well rookie of the year Cam Newton and the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton performed in 2011. Newton had a rookie-record 4,051 passing yards for the Carolina Panthers, and he and Dalton (3,398) emerged as the first pair of rookies to throw for at least 3,000 yards in the same season.

    "It's become a pass-first league, and it's all about getting your best athletes in space," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says. "Some teams are doing it with two or three talented tight ends, some with four receivers and a back. The common denominator is teams trying to exploit passing game mismatches."

    Still, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell says West Coast passing remains a staple for some quarterbacks -- the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo, for instance.

    "Maybe a different way of saying it than, 'The West Coast is dead,' is 'the traditional rules of offense are changing,'" says ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, who beat Fassel in the Super Bowl for the Ravens. "I live in the Silicon Valley. And the conversation around here is, 'The old rules no longer apply.'

    "That's what you're seeing with offensive football right now. The ball is in the air more with teams being hyper-aggressive downfield."

    So put the West Coast offense on the endangered species list. But remain mindful that reports of its demise might be premature.

    "I believe there is and always will be a need for elements of a West Coast offense," Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley says. "When I think West Coast, I think progression reads. It depends on the talent you have on offense. That dictates what you do as much as defense."

    Washington coach Mike Shanahan has rookie Robert Griffin III leading the Redskins' suddenly high-scoring attack by implementing elements of the shotgun-spread, read-option offense that Griffin ran at Baylor. Shanahan says the West Coast is in the eye of the beholder.

    "I'm not sure what the West Coast offense is anymore," he says. "Everybody adjusts their system to what they do, or what they want to do, or they adjust it to their personnel."

    Contributing: Robert Klemko, Mike Garafolo

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    And then I was further confused by this coaching playbook from Top Gun QB Academy on "The Spread Multiple West Coast Offense", which begins by saying it's "Derived from Urban Meyer although most of the terminology is from Sid Gilman / Joe Gibbs / Colorado State University (Sonny Lubick)".

    This sounds like the Spread and the WCO are combined into something great that allows the Coach to make "immediate adjustments during a game" and "create an offense that is hard to prepare for because it is so multifaceted". It's supposed to be easy to teach and easy for the players to learn. In fact, it sounds a lot like what Rex says he wants our offense to be like.

    I hope this is the type of WCO that Top of the Mornin' uses. Now I feel better again. LOL - Sorry - I should go to sleep

    It's a PDF, so if you don't want to read a pdf file don't click on the link. It's a pretty interesting read and it's easy to understand.

    http://www.topgunqbacademy.com/.../T...eadOffense.pdf -

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    Mornhinweg does not run the type of WCO they're talking about in this article.

    Read this:

    GOING DEEP

    "What made Marty different from all the other West Coast guys was he took a lot of shots downfield."

    Between 2010 and 2011, Mornhinweg’s Eagles were in the top 10 in passing plays of 20 yards or more. On passing plays of 40 yards or more they were No. 1 in 2010 and No. 12 in 2011.

    Higgins remembers this philosophy going back to offensive meetings where Mornhinweg would look at the game plan and jokingly scold his coaches in Detroit for being too reliant on the safe dinks and dunks that define his system.

    "We’ve only got three or four shots downfield," Higgins remembered Mornhinweg saying. "I want to see six or seven that can give us an honest chance at a home run that are realistic plays, like deep crossing routes with seven or eight man protection."

    He wanted detail and regiment, but he also wanted the chance to surprise on any given play. In essence, what Rex Ryan has said he now wants in an offense.

    "The Jets are going to enjoy playing for him," Higgins said.

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    I'm not worried about this. If our personnel can handle it, I am sure we we be multiple in our looks. Our offense will have WCO principles but will not be limited to only WCO-style play.

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    The Eagles certainly didn't run a traditional West Coast Offense.

    They had small....very small receivers....and chucked the ball downfield ALOT.

    DeShawn Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are smurfs when it comes to WRs

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMikeIsHot View Post
    Mornhinweg does not run the type of WCO they're talking about in this article.

    Read this:
    Thank you, Mike. I read the Connor Orr article first, surfed the net a bit and promptly forgot the info about Mornhigwen's record on long passes. I plead sleep deprivation!

    Orr's article was very good and reading it again calmed me back down. Mornhinweg is a huge upgrade for us. I just wish he had an easier name to spell LOL!

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    just another stupid article trying to put things in a nice neat box when in truth they are just variations on the same thing. the wco took advantage of the obvious matchup advantage a receiver has going out on a short route. the receiver almost always has the advantage over the defender because he knows where he's going while the defender has to react to what the receiver does. so in truth the wco just brings it closer to the line and then relies on the receiver's advantage to make a play. that's why defenses will stack the box even in passing situations because they need people in close to block the quick passes. so teams will try to go over the top and get the mismatch farther out. it's no big deal. it takes a qb who can make a quick decision and execute it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMikeIsHot View Post
    Mornhinweg does not run the type of WCO they're talking about in this article.

    Read this:
    This X 10,000

    Just when we thought we wouldnt have to listen to another mention of Ground and Pound now people are ripping the "west coast offesne".

    Mornhinweg takes a lot of shots downfield, the WCO part of it is really just the verbiage and use of slants etc.

    With him and David Lee we had better be a mix of multiple looks and plays with read-option basics a couple times a game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sameoldjets View Post
    just another stupid article trying to put things in a nice neat box when in truth they are just variations on the same thing. the wco took advantage of the obvious matchup advantage a receiver has going out on a short route. the receiver almost always has the advantage over the defender because he knows where he's going while the defender has to react to what the receiver does. so in truth the wco just brings it closer to the line and then relies on the receiver's advantage to make a play. that's why defenses will stack the box even in passing situations because they need people in close to block the quick passes. so teams will try to go over the top and get the mismatch farther out. it's no big deal. it takes a qb who can make a quick decision and execute it.
    That makes sense. Before I joined J.I. I had no clue there were so many complex offenses and styles like the I formation and other stuff that makes my head hurt. I can evaluate stats but you guys can look at a play and break it down like a chess game. It's freaking awesome.

    Thanks for dumbing it down for me. I appreciate the continuing education credits here LOL!
    Last edited by JaxSuzy; 01-24-2013 at 07:57 AM.

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    That I Formation is advanced stuff, ya heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Mornhinweg takes a lot of shots downfield, the WCO part of it is really just the verbiage and use of slants etc.

    With him and David Lee we had better be a mix of multiple looks and plays with read-option basics a couple times a game.
    That's what I hope we get. It'll make it harder for other teams to prepare for us, and sounds like Mornhinweg will be flexible in making adjustments spring games.

  12. #12
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    People make too much out of these labels. The fact is, football is a game of adjustments. That's it's primary allure (imo). Just when the whole league was getting faster and smaller at the DB position, *pow* BB starts going to heavy 2-TE sets. As the league starts to bulk up again, we'll see speedier offenses to combat the trend. Nothing new, nothing old, just cycle after cycle.

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    Well, since Rex was committed to running a 1960s offense it should be encouraging that he's fast-forwarding to a 1980s offense.

  14. #14
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    There are so many variations of the WCO that have been developed over time by so many different coaches. It has mutated and evolved into what we see in Green Bay to what the Eagles were running with Vick.

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    WCO is current and widely imitated

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    Although a bit cerebral at times, WCO was and is a good poster. I don't think he's "dead'.

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    this guy has no clue about what the Bill Walsh offense encompassed. It is NOT a "dink and dunk" offense unless you have a QB that can only successfully dink and dunk.

    Nor is it dying. The Packers, Texans, Cowboys, 49ers, Eagles, Redskins and Saints still run the offense at very high levels.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by freestater View Post
    People make too much out of these labels. The fact is, football is a game of adjustments. That's it's primary allure (imo). Just when the whole league was getting faster and smaller at the DB position, *pow* BB starts going to heavy 2-TE sets. As the league starts to bulk up again, we'll see speedier offenses to combat the trend. Nothing new, nothing old, just cycle after cycle.
    Exactly, and coming up with the unexpected and being unpredictable wins games.

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