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View Full Version : West Coast Offense Vs. Spread Offense



NightTrainLayne
03-20-2009, 11:24 AM
Ok, I guess it's my turn to ask for a primer on offensive systems for dummies. Over the past few weeks since Shanahan was replaced by McDaniels and the resulting Cutler/Cook fiasco I've seen comments in many threads talking about QB's that run a WCO, but wouldn't be able to run a Spread Offense.

If that is true then my own casual understanding of those two systems is totally off-base.

To keep my post brief, I'll just try to sum up my own thinking on the subject into one or two sentences, and then hopefully some more knowledgeable folks can really expand and show us the difference between these two systems.

My own thoughts are that the Spread offense is basically the next evolution of what we all know of as the West Coast Offense, which relies on crisp, well-run routes and accurate throws by the QB. To me the Spread just expands on that by spreading the field and utilizing the entire field, and creating mis-matches just as in the WCO, but on a wider scale.

What are the differences between the two systems? Why would a QB who is successful in the WCO not be successful in the Spread?

CoachChaz
03-20-2009, 01:27 PM
Pretty much the responses I expected to see.


There is no reason or conclusive evidence that McNabb or Garcia, etc. couldnt excel in a spread offense.

bullis26
03-20-2009, 01:48 PM
west coast you get rid of the ball much much quicker, in spread you want to take shots down field, but you dont force the ball in the spread if its not there you dump it off.....west cost is a lot of slants, and underneath routes; where spread is deeper routes with 1-2 underneath dump off recievers

bullis26
03-20-2009, 01:49 PM
Pretty much the responses I expected to see.


There is no reason or conclusive evidence that McNabb or Garcia, etc. couldnt excel in a spread offense.

Mcnabb no there is not...... garcia yes there is remeber the Detriot and Cleveland experiences? it wasnt pretty.....Garcia is a west coast passer

CoachChaz
03-20-2009, 03:28 PM
Mcnabb no there is not...... garcia yes there is remeber the Detriot and Cleveland experiences? it wasnt pretty.....Garcia is a west coast passer

I can see the argument, but it is tainted a little bit by the words Detroit and Cleveland. They could have run the WCO when he was there and he still would have failed in both situations...IMO

King87
03-20-2009, 07:59 PM
Mcnabb no there is not...... garcia yes there is remeber the Detriot and Cleveland experiences? it wasnt pretty.....Garcia is a west coast passer

Garcia is a smart QB who has a stronger arm than people give him credit for. In Cleveland he played in the only division to consistently sport to elite defenses - Baltimore and Pittsburgh. He also played against a Cincinnati defense that while wretched, always had awful secondary players who were universally good at INTs.

I also think that Cleveland was a run orientated team when he was there as well.

omac
03-21-2009, 09:28 AM
Taken from FO articles .... explanation of the passing game and how it's evolved from more basic forms, to the run-and-shoot, to Walsh's WCO, to what's popularly known as the spread. Most of them got their roots from the run-and-shoot. The first link is the basics, 2nd involves the slants and stuff the WCO uses, 3rd are the bootlegs and such, and 4th is the spread.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/strategy-minicamps/2006/science-pass-offense

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/strategy-minicamps/2006/passing-game-ii-slants-and-flats

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/strategy-minicamps/2006/passing-game-iii-bootlegs

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/strategy-minicamps/2006/passing-game-iv-spread-offense

The spread, or McDaniels' "amoeba" offense isn't something new; it's been around for a while, or rather brought back to the NFL from college in a more modern form after it was popularly ditched for a while, due to the dangers it posed to QBs.

Some excerpts ....

What is the spread offense?

Quite simply, the spread offense is a formation where the players spread out. Its polar opposite is a two-tight end, three-back formation like the wishbone or the T, where everyone is close to the ball. The spread usually features two wide receivers on the right side, two wide receivers on the left side, and one back in the backfield with the quarterback. Even that back is as much a receiver as a runner, though; most spread offense plays call for the back to be ready to catch a short swing pass if the quarterback can't find any of his receivers open.

What are the advantages of the spread?
..........
The greatest advantage of the spread is the way it dictates the defense's reaction. With four wide receivers on the field, the opposing defense has no choice but to use its dime package, taking a lineman and a linebacker off the field and replacing them with two defensive backs. Teams are naturally more confident in their base defensive formations, with seven men up front and four in the defensive backfield, so forcing a defense to go with six defensive backs is forcing it to go outside what it does best. With six defensive backs on the field, the opposing offense can find one who's not up to snuff and exploit a mismatch.

What are the disadvantages of the spread?

Getting the quarterback killed is generally not a good thing for an offense, and many critics of the spread offense have pointed to the lack of a fullback or a tight end who can help with blitz pickup as a serious flaw. Jim Kelly, the first pro quarterback to play in the run-and-shoot offense with the USFL's Houston Gamblers, was sacked 75 times in 1984. Buddy Ryan, the defensive coach who built great defenses in Chicago and Philadelphia around his blitz schemes, sneered at the run-and-shoot, calling it the "chuck-and-duck." In fact, Ryan did more than just sneer: In 1994, as defensive coordinator of the Oilers, he punched offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride after Oilers quarterback Cody Carlson fumbled when he was drilled by an opposing blitzer.

(on a side note, Matt Cassel was the most sacked QB in the league last season; also, the Giants in the Superbowl mandhandled Tom Brady).

honz
03-27-2009, 07:35 PM
west coast you get rid of the ball much much quicker, in spread you want to take shots down field, but you dont force the ball in the spread if its not there you dump it off.....west cost is a lot of slants, and underneath routes; where spread is deeper routes with 1-2 underneath dump off recievers
Not necessarily. A lot of college offenses that run the spread are focused on the short passing game. It's all about spreading the defense out, letting the QB easily read the D out of the shotgun, and getting the ball to playmakers in space. My Utes run almost exclusively out of the spread and they hardly ever go deep down field. I'd almost call it the West Coast Spread as it is all reading the defense and getting the ball out quick.

Obviously the QBs in the NFL are better and can go down field better than a lot of college QBs, but there are a lot of different ways to run the spread.

Jaded
03-27-2009, 08:24 PM
I'm with Buddy Ryan on this one, the Spread sucks ass.......

bullis26
03-27-2009, 08:34 PM
Not necessarily. A lot of college offenses that run the spread are focused on the short passing game. It's all about spreading the defense out, letting the QB easily read the D out of the shotgun, and getting the ball to playmakers in space. My Utes run almost exclusively out of the spread and they hardly ever go deep down field. I'd almost call it the West Coast Spread as it is all reading the defense and getting the ball out quick.

Obviously the QBs in the NFL are better and can go down field better than a lot of college QBs, but there are a lot of different ways to run the spread.

ok NFL teams spread..... Pats, downfield..... Colts downfield..... and even the cardinals ran a little bit of spread the tried for deap passes

West
03-28-2009, 01:45 PM
ok NFL teams spread..... Pats, downfield..... Colts downfield..... and even the cardinals ran a little bit of spread the tried for deap passes

:lol: Those aren't 'spread' offenses. They are a variation of the spread but still mainly Pro-Style. You'll have to go to the NCAA for a true spread offense.


And Texas Tech mainly uses short routes out of their spread offense. :coffee:

Lonestar
03-28-2009, 01:53 PM
:lol: Those aren't 'spread' offenses. They are a variation of the spread but still mainly Pro-Style. You'll have to go to the NCAA for a true spread offense.


And Texas Tech mainly uses short routes out of their spread offense. :coffee:


and has a very prolific offense.. to bad they had ZERO defense..

West
03-28-2009, 02:31 PM
and has a very prolific offense.. to bad they had ZERO defense..

It is a common trend in the Big XII.

Lonestar
03-28-2009, 02:35 PM
It is a common trend in the Big XII.

I live here so am very familiar with it but TT is even more so.. not even sure they have a defense..:laugh:

West
03-28-2009, 02:38 PM
I live here so am very familiar with it but TT is even more so.. not even sure they have a defense..:laugh:

Yeah... They looked pretty bad against OU and Ole Miss.

King87
03-28-2009, 03:14 PM
At the end of the day, I want to run the damn ball.

Lonestar
03-28-2009, 09:33 PM
At the end of the day, I want to run the damn ball.

I suspect if your watching DEN that will not happen like it used to....

King87
03-28-2009, 10:05 PM
I suspect if your watching DEN that will not happen like it used to....

Whether I watch team number one(the Bengals) or my number two team (the Broncos) neither will run the ball.

Sigh.

sneakers
03-28-2009, 11:53 PM
I would rather have the Triple Option offense than the spread offense.

frenchfan
04-06-2009, 08:43 AM
I would rather have the Triple Option offense than the spread offense.Sneakie... I invite you to make a thread about Triple option Offense to explain us what it is. :salute: :D

bullis26
04-06-2009, 08:14 PM
Sneakie... I invite you to make a thread about Triple option Offense to explain us what it is. :salute: :D

Georgia Tech

West
04-06-2009, 11:12 PM
Georgia Tech

Go ahead, bullis.. Explain to us what it is... I want it broken down. I don't think you can do it. I'm challenging your football intellect.

Broncolingus
04-06-2009, 11:49 PM
(on a side note, Matt Cassel was the most sacked QB in the league last season; also, the Giants in the Superbowl mandhandled Tom Brady).

...good caveat, O.

frenchfan
04-07-2009, 12:59 AM
Georgia TechSorry but I don't have any clue about College football... I just follow NFL ;) :D

:beer:

FanInAZ
04-07-2009, 01:30 AM
It seems to me that the "spead offense" is simple a repackaging of the now defunked "run and shoot offense." Buddy Ryan denounced it as the "chuck and duck" because because it relied almost exclusive on the O-line to do all of the blocking. It was almost impossible for them to adjust to blitzes. So what Ryan did was to simply blitz the opponent on every down.

Now consider how our head to head meatings with the Patriots played out when they were winning SBs and we could not get a pass rush from our d-line. We had no choise but to blitz on every down out of desperation. And we kept beating them everytime.

We were not the only ones to do that to them either. The Giants ruined their quest for the perfect 2007 season by doing blitzing them into the ground during the SB. My step dad, who is not a football fan, what the game and could not figure out how the Patriots even made it to the SB. The Chargers, whose DC was one of Ryans sons, ruined the Colt 2005 bid for a perfect season the same way. Pittsburg then blitz them out of the play-offs.

So if you want a heads up on what teams are going to do to stop our new spread offense, just look at what the demise of these two teams. Note the success we had against the Patriots and that the Colts finally won their SB when they switched to a more ballenced offence.