West Coast offense

In American football, the West Coast offense is an offense that places a greater emphasis on passing than on running.

There are two similar but distinct offensive strategic systems that are commonly referred to as "West Coast offenses". Originally, the term referred to the Air Coryell system popularized by Don Coryell. Following a journalistic error, however, it now more commonly refers to the offensive system devised by Bill Walsh while he was the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, characterized by short, horizontal passing routes in lieu of running plays to "stretch out" defenses, opening up the potential for long runs or long passes. It was popularized when Walsh was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

History and use of the term

The term "West Coast offense", though most often associated with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback coach and, later, 49ers' head coach Bill Walsh, may actually derive from a remark made by then New York Giants coach Bill Parcells after the Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers 17-3 in the 1985 NFL Playoffs. Parcells--a believer in "old-school" tough defense over a finesse-oriented offense featuring frequent, high-percentage passing--scornfully derided the 49ers'offense with the statement: "What do you think of that West Coast Offense now?"[1] In 1993, a Bernie Kosar quotation used to describe the 1993 Dallas Cowboys' offense as "West Coast offense" was publicized by Sports Illustrated writer Paul Zimmerman ("Dr. Z"). Originally, Kosar had meant a comparison with the "Air Coryell" system used by West Coast teams in the 1970s--in particular, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. A reporter mistakenly applied Kosar's quotation about the Air Coryell system to the 1980s-era attack of Walsh's San Francisco 49ers.[2]

Initially, Walsh resisted having the term misapplied to his own distinct, unique system and was especially incensed by the use of the word "finesse" in reference to his innovative, even sophisticated, offensive schemes. Zimmerman notes that an article of his so misapplying the term provoked a phone call from an upset Walsh: "He called me up... (saying) that wasn't his offense". Still, the moniker stuck. Now the term is commonly used to refer to a range of pass-oriented offenses that may not be closely related to either the Air Coryell system or Walsh's pass-strategy.

Despite disputes about the term's first use, the true origins of the offensive system devised by Bill Walsh go back to Paul Brown, legendary coach of the Cleveland Browns and later the new Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Central Division. Under Brown's tenure, Bill Walsh was tasked with coming up with an offensive plan suited to Bengal quarterback Virgil Carter, who had an accurate but relatively weak arm. In response, Walsh created a system based on short, high-percentage passes, favoring straight and direct 10-15 yard strikes over the 40-50 yard "bomb". This system compensated for any weakness in the quarterback's arm, as it allowed the ball to be thrown to short and intermediate routes where receivers with running ability could make up for any shortage in yards after the catch. Walsh's system immediately paid off, as Virgil Carter led the league in passing percentage in 1971. Strong-armed Ken Anderson, initially a "project" of Walsh's, replaced Carter as Cincinnati's starting quarterback in 1972 and was even more successful in his execution of Walsh's complicated, versatile patterns, leading the Bengals to a Division title in his first year as Bengal starting quarterback. In 1975 he would bring widespread recognition to the West Coast offense in a nationally televised Monday night contest between the Bengals and the Buffalo Bills, whose offense was built around league-leading rusher O.J. Simpson. Anderson's 447 passing yards were enough to overshadow Simpson's 197 yards on the ground in a Bengals win that proved a milestone, providing a striking contrast between the "old" ground game of defense-oriented football and the new game envisioned by Walsh--a game of higher scores, more action, and lots of air travel. This 1975 contest, in effect, offered its national audience a glimpse of the future of professional football.

At the end of the 1975 season, Bengal head coach Paul Brown would retire and appoint a successor other than Walsh. Ambitious and anxious to become a head coach, Walsh resigned from the Bengals and left Cincinnati for the West Coast, taking along his films of Ken Anderson running his offensive schemes to serve as a teaching aid for quarterback Dan Fouts after Walsh had been hired as an assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers. Next, after a year of success as head coach at Stanford University, Walsh received and accepted the call to be head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He would soon transform the '49ers from a mediocre team to a perennial league powerhouse recalling the dominance of Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packer teams of the 1960s and of Chuck Noll's Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s. His versatile offensive schemes along with his high percentage passing game and emphasis on ball control complemented the skills of Joe Montana, who implemented Walsh's visionary system with great success as a 49er quarterback. The West Coast offense was then passed on by Walsh's disciples, and its principles still remain in use today.


Bernie Kosar used the term to describe the offense formalized by Sid Gillman with the AFL Chargers in the 1960s and later by Don Coryell's St. Louis Cardinals and Chargers in the 1970s and 1980s. Al Davis, an assistant under Gillman, also carried his version to the Oakland Raiders, where his successors John Rauch, John Madden, and Tom Flores continued to employ and expand upon its basic principles. This is the "West Coast offense" as Kosar originally used the term. It is now commonly referred to as the "Air Coryell" timed system, however, and instead the term West Coast offense is usually used to describe Bill Walsh's system.

The offense uses a specific naming system, with the routes for wide receivers and tight ends receiving three digit numbers, and routes for backs having unique names. For example, a pass play in 3 digit form might be "Split Right 787 check swing, check V". (see Offensive Nomenclature). This provides an efficient way to communicate many different plays with minimal memorization. Conversely, the Walsh "West Coast offense" could in theory have more freedom, since route combinations are not limited by 0-9 digits, but at the price of much more memorization required by the players.

NFL teams that used Sid Gillman's Vertical offense

Start End Team Head coach Offensive coordinator
1957 1959 Los Angeles Rams Sid Gillman
1960 1968 Los Angeles / San Diego Chargers Sid Gillman
1963 1965 Oakland Raiders Al Davis
1966 1968 Oakland Raiders John Rauch
1969 1970 Buffalo Bills John Rauch
1974 Houston Oilers Sid Gillman
1979 1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Tom Flores
1992 1994 Seattle Seahawks Tom Flores Larry Kennan
2006 Oakland Raiders Art Shell John Shoop and Tom Walsh


Walsh's West Coast offense

Walsh formulated what has become popularly known as the West Coast offense during his tenure as assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968 to 1975, while working under the tutelage of mentor Paul Brown. Bengals quarterback Virgil Carter would be the first player to successfully implement Walsh's system,[4] leading the NFL in pass completion percentage in 1971. Ken Anderson later replaced Carter as Cincinnati's starting QB, and was even more successful. In his 16-year career in the NFL, Anderson made four trips to the Pro Bowl, won four passing titles, was named NFL MVP in 1981 (and also appeared in Super Bowl XVI that year), and set what was then the record for completion percentage in a single season in 1982 (70.66%).

Walsh installed a modified version of this system when he became head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, serving as the team's coach from 1979-1988. Walsh's 49ers won three Super Bowls during this period, behind the passing abilities of legendary quarterback Joe Montana. As a result, Walsh's version has come to be known as the "West Coast offense". Montana thrived for many years as the starting QB for the 49ers. He captured 4 Super Bowl titles (three of them under Walsh), 3 Super Bowl MVP awards, and 2 AP NFL MVP titles while in San Francisco in the 1980s. Montana and Walsh have both been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Walsh's coaching tree

Several members of Bill Walsh's coaching tree went on to successfully implement his West Coast Offense system.

George Seifert succeeded Walsh as San Francisco's head coach in 1989, and won two Super Bowls with the 49ers; once with Joe Montana at quarterback in 1989, and later with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Young in 1994.

Paul Hackett was another former assistant coach who once served under Bill Walsh. He served as a 49ers assistant from 1983-1985, coaching quarterbacks & wide receivers. During this time, Hackett helped San Francisco win Super Bowl XIX. He next served as offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry from 1986-1988. Hackett would later teach his version of Walsh's offense to several coaches, including former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy, who was the Packers head coach from 2006 until December 2018, would go on to win a Super Bowl himself with the use of the West Coast offense in 2010, with the help of superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Mike Holmgren won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 1996 behind the quarterbacking of 3-time NFL MVP Brett Favre, and then returned to the Super Bowl in 1997 where they lost to the Denver Broncos, who were coached by Mike Shanahan. Holmgren later became head coach of the Seattle Seahawks where they played in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season. The Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, however.

One of Holmgren's former assistants, Jon Gruden, has had reasonable success running the West Coast offense in his own right. He started his head coaching career with the Oakland Raiders, leading them from 1998-2001, and turned the Raiders into a strong playoff contender. Gruden then went on to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season. Gruden coached the Buccaneers from 2002-2008. After several years as a color commentator on ESPN Monday Night Football, he signed a deal to return to the Raiders as head coach for the 2018 NFL season.

Another one-time member of Holmgren's coaching staff, Andy Reid, has successfully utilized the West Coast offense during his tenure as a head coach for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. From 1999-2012, Reid served as Eagles head coach. From 2001-2004, Philadelphia made 4 consecutive appreances in the NFC Championship Game under Reid's watch (The Eagles would reach the NFC title game again in the 2008 season), with the Eagles reaching Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 season. Since 2013, he has served as head coach of the Chiefs. Kansas City has made the playoffs 5 of the 6 seasons he's been their head coach.

Although Andy Reid has never won a Super Bowl, his former offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson, has succeeded in both reaching and winning a Super Bowl. Pederson, who served as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator under Reid from 2013-2015, became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 and installed his own version of the West Coast offense. The following year, despite losing rising star quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL, Pederson was still able to guide his team to a world championship. The Eagles, with the help of backup QB and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Mike Shanahan is another NFL head coach who has had success running the West Coast offense. He first started his NFL coaching career with the Denver Broncos in the 1980s, coaching receivers and then serving as offensive coordinator under Dan Reeves from 1984-1987. It was Shanahan's work with the Broncos offense, particularly rising star quarterback John Elway, that earned him the head coaching job of the Los Angeles Raiders for the 1988 season. His career as head coach initially got off to a rocky start, as he couldn't co-exist with the Raiders' maverick owner Al Davis. Shanahan only compiled an 8-12 record in Los Angeles, and was fired early in the 1989 season. After again serving as an assistant for the Broncos from 1990-1991, he rebuilt his solid reputation working as offensive coordinator of the 49ers under George Seifert from 1992-1994, helping the team win Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan then enjoyed a strong, lengthy tenure as head coach of the Broncos from 1995-2008. During his time as head coach, he won two Super Bowls with the Broncos in 1997 & 1998, utilizing John Elway's passing skills and leadership. Shanahan's run-heavy variation of the offense, under the leadership of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, is also known for utilizing previously unheralded running backs, including 1998 NFL MVP Terrell Davis, and developing them into league-leading rushers behind small, yet powerful, Zone Blocking offensive lines. Hall of Fame players from the Broncos' Super Bowl-winning teams in '97 & '98 include Elway, Davis, and tight end Shannon Sharpe.

Gary Kubiak has had a stellar career as an NFL head coach as well. Kubiak served as the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2006-2013. After serving as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator in 2014, he became head coach of the Broncos in the 2015 season, and won Super Bowl 50.

College origins

LaVell Edwards and Dewey Warren created an offensive system similar to the West Coast offense at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1973.[5]

One reason for the success of this version of the offense was in its simplicity. Norm Chow said the offenses had around 12 basic pass plays and 5 basic run plays that were run from a variety of formations, with only some plays tagged for extra versatility, so that the players knew the offense by the second day of practice.

The highpoint of the BYU offense was a NCAA Division I-A national football championship in 1984 and a Heisman Trophy for Ty Detmer in 1990. BYU broke over 100 NCAA records for passing and total offense during Edwards' tenure. Several coaches and players associated with BYU's football program had success with this offense at BYU and elsewhere, including Virgil Carter, Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid, Brian Billick, Ted Tollner, Doug Scovil, Norm Chow, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, and Steve Sarkisian.

The University of Washington Huskies were among the first of the Pac-10 teams and in 1970, under coach Jim Owens and quarterback Sonny Sixkiller, used the "Sixkiller" variation of Coryell's West Coast offense with great success. Years later in 2002, under coach Keith Gilbertson and quarterback Cody Pickett, the Huskies ran a variation of Walsh's West Coast offense to a conference championship and a top four passing attack averaging 352.4 yards per game.[6] Today, the West Coast offense no longer only resides on the west coast, but can be found in schools across the nation, including Boise State,[7] and Vanderbilt.[8] Former Pittsburgh and Stanford head coach Walt Harris also used a variation of the West Coast offense during his stint at Pittsburgh.


The popular term "West Coast Offense" is more of a philosophy and an approach to the game than it is a set of plays or formations. Traditional offensive thinking argues that a team must establish its running game first, which will draw the defense in and open up vertical passing lanes downfield; i.e., passing lanes that run perpendicular to the line of scrimmage.

Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense differs from traditional offense by emphasizing a short, horizontal passing attack to help stretch out the defense, thus opening up options for longer running plays and longer passes that can achieve greater gains. The West Coast Offense as implemented under Walsh features precisely run pass patterns by the receivers that make up about 65% to 80% of the offensive scheme. With the defense stretched out, the offense is then free to focus the remaining plays on longer throws of more than 14 yards and mid to long yard rushes.

Desired outcome

Walsh's West Coast Offense attempts to open up running and passing lanes for the backs and receivers to exploit, by causing the defense to concentrate on short passes. Since most down and distance situations can be attacked with a pass or a run, the intent is to make offensive play calling unpredictable and thus keep the defense's play "honest", forcing defenders to be prepared for a multitude of possible offensive plays rather than focusing aggressively on one likely play from the offense.

Beyond the basic principle of passing to set up the run, there are few rules that govern Walsh's West Coast Offense. Originally the offense used two split backs, giving it an uneven alignment in which five players aligned to one side of the ball and four players aligned on the other side (with the quarterback and center directly behind the ball). This imbalance forced defenses to abandon their own favored, conventional formations. Although Walsh-influenced teams now commonly use formations with more or fewer than two backs, the offense's unevenness is still reflected in its pass protection philosophy and continues to distinguish it from single back passing offenses. Throughout the years, coaches have added to, adjusted, modified, simplified, and enhanced Bill Walsh's original adaptation of the Paul Brown offense. Formations and plays vary greatly, as does play calling.

Another key part of the Walsh implementation was "pass first, run later", It was Walsh's intention to gain an early lead by passing the ball, then run the ball on a tired defense late in the game, wearing them down further and running down the clock. The San Francisco 49ers, under both Bill Walsh and George Seifert, often executed this strategy very effectively.

Another key element in Walsh's attack was the three step dropback instead of traditional seven step drops or shotgun formations. The three step drop helped the quarterback get the ball out faster resulting in far fewer sacks. "WCO" plays unfold quicker than in traditional offenses and are usually based on timing routes by the receivers. In this offense the receivers also have reads and change their routes based on the coverages presented to them. The quarterback makes three reads and if no opportunity is available after three reads, the QB will then check off to a back or tight end. Five step and even 7 step dropbacks are now implemented in modern-day WCO's because defensive speed has increased since the 80's. Some modern WCO's have even used shotgun formations (e.g. Green Bay '06-present, Atlanta '04-'06, Philadelphia '04-present).

Typical plays

The majority of West Coast routes occur within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. 3-step and 5-step drops by the quarterback take the place of the run and force the opposing defense to commit their focus solely on those intermediate routes. Contrary to popular belief, the offense also uses the 7-step drop for shallow crosses, deep ins and comebacks. For instance, past Michigan Wolverines offenses utilized the 5- and 7-step drops about 85% of the time with West Coast pass schemes implemented by then-Quarterbacks Coach Scot Loeffler. Because of the speed of modern defenses, only utilizing the 3- and 5-step pass game would be ineffective since the defense could squat and break hard on short-to-intermediate throws with no fear of a down field pass.

The original West Coast Offense of Sid Gillman uses some of the same principles (pass to establish the run, quarterback throws to timed spots), but offensive formations are generally less complicated with more wideouts and motion. The timed spots are often farther down field than in the Walsh-style offense, and the system requires a greater reliance on traditional pocket passing.

Another aspect that makes the West Coast one of the most difficult to master is that it requires a deeper connection between quarterback and receiver, and an ability to communicate mid-play. On any given route, a receiver has as many as three options; a hitch, a slant and a fly, depending on what the defense is showing. The quarterback is responsible for recognizing the defense and the reaction of the receiver to it and adjusting the route if needed. This explains the communication mistakes that commonly occur on West Coast offensive plays where the quarterback throws to a spot that the receiver is running away from.

Scripted plays

A Walsh innovation was scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game. Walsh went as far as to script the first 25 plays but most teams stop at 15. Since the offensive team knew that the first 15 plays would be run as scripted no matter what, they could practice those plays to perfection, minimizing mistakes and penalties. By ignoring situational play-calling and increasing the game tempo, scripted plays also served to confuse the defense and induce early penalties. Executing these plays successfully could establish momentum and dictate the flow of the game. It also gave the coaching staff an opportunity to run test plays against the defense to gauge their reactions in game situations. Later in the game, an observed tendency in a certain situation by the opposing defense could be exploited.

Requirements and disadvantages

The West Coast offense requires a quarterback who throws extremely accurately, and often blindly, very close to opposing players. In addition, it requires the quarterback to be able to quickly pick the best one of five receivers to throw to, certainly much more quickly than in previously used systems. Often, the quarterback has no time to think about the play and must act robotically, executing the play exactly as instructed by the offensive coordinator, who calls the plays for him.

This is in contrast to the roles quarterbacks were required to perform in other systems, which were to be an adept game manager with a strong arm. Many people reasoned that Johnny Unitas, a strong-armed field general would not have fared well in being subservient to the offensive coordinator, and that his long but sometimes wobbly passes would not have worked in the West Coast system. The West Coast offense caused a split still evident today among quarterbacks; those who were more adept at the West Coast style: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck; and those more in tune with the old style: Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, and Peyton Manning. Rich Gannon is a good example of a quarterback who fared better in one system than the other. Gannon struggled in the old style system but found great success with the Oakland Raiders and the West Coast system run by head coaches Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan.

The West Coast offense requires sure-handed receivers who are comfortable catching in heavy traffic, and the system downplays speedy, larger receivers who are covered easily in short yardage situation. One result has been the longevity of receivers in the West Coast system such as Jerry Rice, because familiarity with the system and clear signalling is of greater importance than systems that require a receiver to "stretch the field" where any loss of speed is a major liability. "WCO" systems also rely on agile running backs that catch the ball as often as they run. Roger Craig was a leading receiver for the 49ers for many years and was a 1,000 yard rusher and 1,000 yard receiver in the 1985 season. Finally, receivers must follow precise, complicated routes as opposed to improvisation, making meticulous, intelligent players more valued than independent, pure athletes. Jerry Rice's unique skill-set made him a reliable and durable asset in both Walsh's and Seifert's versions of the West Coast Offense, and he was able to break numerous NFL receiving records over the course of his career. Rice, who earned induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, recorded 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards, and 208 total touchdowns, more than any other NFL player in all three categories.

Another aspect of the West Coast offense is the use of fast running quarterbacks. In blitz or short-yardage situations, many of the West Coast offense's strengths are negated by defenses blocking running and passing lanes. A running quarterback can compensate by acting as a runner himself, paralyzing an overly aggressive defense. Quarterbacks such as Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick have been successful runners in this offense, as well as other notable scrambling quarterbacks such as Jake Plummer, Donovan McNabb, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson.

Although not related to the West Coast offense, the similar "dink-and-dunk" offense has also helped quarterbacks that are more adept to older systems. Kurt Warner (a disciple of a variation of Air Coryell) and Ben Roethlisberger (a traditional gunslinger) are notable examples of non-West Coast quarterbacks that found success in the "dink-and-dunk" system.[9]

College teams that used the West Coast offense

NFL teams that used the West Coast offense

Start End Team Head coach Offensive coordinator
1979 1988 San Francisco 49ers Bill Walsh
1984 1991 Cincinnati Bengals Sam Wyche Bruce Coslet
1988 Los Angeles Raiders Mike Shanahan
1989 Cleveland Browns Bud Carson Marc Trestman
1989 1996 San Francisco 49ers George Seifert Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, and Marc Trestman
1990 1993 New York Jets Bruce Coslet
1992 1998 Green Bay Packers Mike Holmgren Sherman Lewis
1992 2001 Minnesota Vikings Dennis Green Jack Burns, Brian Billick, Ray Sherman, and Sherman Lewis
1992 1995 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sam Wyche
1993 1996 Chicago Bears Dave Wannstedt Ron Turner
1993 1994 Denver Broncos Wade Phillips Jim Fassel
1993 1997 Kansas City Chiefs Marty Schottenheimer Paul Hackett
1995 2008 Denver Broncos Mike Shanahan Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison
1995 1997 Philadelphia Eagles Ray Rhodes Jon Gruden
1996 Arizona Cardinals Vince Tobin Jim Fassel
1997 1999 Cincinnati Bengals Bruce Coslet Ken Anderson
1997 2003 New York Giants Jim Fassel Jim Skipper and Sean Payton
1997 2002 San Francisco 49ers Steve Mariucci Marty Mornhinweg and Greg Knapp
1998 2000 Arizona Cardinals Vince Tobin Marc Trestman
1998 Carolina Panthers Dom Capers Gil Haskell
1998 2001 Oakland Raiders Jon Gruden Bill Callahan
1999 2007 Baltimore Ravens Brian Billick Matt Cavanaugh, Jim Fassel, and Rick Neuheisel
1999 Carolina Panthers George Seifert Gil Haskell
1999 2012 Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid Rod Dowhower, Brad Childress and Marty Mornhinweg
1999 2008 Seattle Seahawks Mike Holmgren Mike Sherman and Gil Haskell
2000 2005 Green Bay Packers Mike Sherman Tom Rossley
2000 2004 New Orleans Saints Jim Haslett Mike McCarthy
2000 2010 Tennessee Titans Jeff Fisher Mike Heimerdinger and Norm Chow
2001 2002 Detroit Lions Marty Mornhinweg Maurice Carthon
2001 2005 New York Jets Herman Edwards Paul Hackett and Mike Heimerdinger
2002 Dallas Cowboys Dave Campo Bruce Coslet
2002 2003 Oakland Raiders Bill Callahan Marc Trestman
2002 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jon Gruden Bill Muir
2003 2005 Detroit Lions Steve Mariucci Sherman Lewis, Greg Olson, and Ted Tollner
2003 2004 Jacksonville Jaguars Jack Del Rio Bill Musgrave
2004 2006 Arizona Cardinals Dennis Green Alex Wood, Keith Rowen, and Mike Kruczek
2004 2006 Atlanta Falcons Jim L. Mora Greg Knapp
2005 2009 Chicago Bears Lovie Smith Ron Turner
2005 San Francisco 49ers Mike Nolan Mike McCarthy
2006 present Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy Jeff Jagodzinski, Joe Philbin, Tom Clements, and Edgar Bennett
2006 2013 Houston Texans Gary Kubiak Troy Calhoun, Mike Sherman, Kyle Shanahan, and Rick Dennison
2006 2007 Kansas City Chiefs Herman Edwards Mike Solari
2006 2010 Minnesota Vikings Brad Childress Darrell Bevell
2007 Atlanta Falcons Bobby Petrino Hue Jackson
2007 2008 Oakland Raiders Lane Kiffin Greg Knapp
2007 San Francisco 49ers Mike Nolan Jim Hostler
2008 2009 Buffalo Bills Dick Jauron Turk Schonert and Alex Van Pelt
2008 Detroit Lions Rod Marinelli Jim Colletto
2008 2010 Oakland Raiders Tom Cable Greg Knapp and Hue Jackson
2008 2009 Washington Redskins Jim Zorn Sherman Smith
2009 2010 St. Louis Rams Steve Spagnuolo Pat Shurmur
2009 Seattle Seahawks Jim L. Mora Greg Knapp
2009 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raheem Morris Greg Olson
2010 present Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll Jeremy Bates and Darrell Bevell
2010 2013 Washington Redskins Mike Shanahan Kyle Shanahan
2011 2015 Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis Jay Gruden and Hue Jackson
2011 2012 Cleveland Browns Pat Shurmur Brad Childress
2011 2012 Denver Broncos John Fox Mike McCoy
2011 2013 Minnesota Vikings Leslie Frazier Bill Musgrave
2011 Oakland Raiders Hue Jackson Al Saunders
2011 2014 San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh Greg Roman
2012 2013 Miami Dolphins Joe Philbin Mike Sherman
2012 2014 Oakland Raiders Dennis Allen Greg Knapp and Greg Olson
2013 2014 Chicago Bears Marc Trestman Aaron Kromer
2013 2014 New York Jets Rex Ryan Marty Mornhinweg
2014 Oakland Raiders Tony Sparano Greg Olson
2014 2015 Cleveland Browns Mike Pettine Kyle Shanahan and John DeFilippo
2014 2015 New York Giants Tom Coughlin Ben McAdoo
2015 San Francisco 49ers Jim Tomsula Geep Chryst
2013 2017 Indianapolis Colts Chuck Pagano Pep Hamilton and Rob Chudzinski
2013 present Jacksonville Jaguars Gus Bradley Jedd Fisch and Greg Olson
2013 present Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid Doug Pederson, Brad Childress, and Matt Nagy
2014 present Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh Gary Kubiak, Marc Trestman, and Marty Mornhinwheg
2014 2016 Washington Redskins Jay Gruden Sean McVay
2015 present Atlanta Falcons Dan Quinn Kyle Shanahan, Steve Sarkisian
2015 2016 Buffalo Bills Rex Ryan Greg Roman
2015 2016 Denver Broncos Gary Kubiak Rick Dennison
2015 2017 Oakland Raiders Jack Del Rio Bill Musgrave
2016 2017 New York Giants Ben McAdoo Mike Sullivan
2016 2017 Minnesota Vikings Mike Zimmer Pat Shurmur
2016 2017 Philadelphia Eagles Doug Pederson Frank Reich
2017 present San Francisco 49ers Kyle Shanahan
2017 present Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay



  1. ^ Harris, David. The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty, New York: Random House, 2008
  2. ^ Zimmerman, Paul. "The real West Coast offense". Sports Illustrated (October 29, 1999). Retrieved 20 May 2005
  3. ^ a b https://www.pro-football-reference.com/
  4. ^ Doc Bear. "Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells and the Rise of the Left Tackle" Mile High Report (May 27, 2009)
  5. ^ Anderson, Mark. "Brigham Young's Lavell Edwards: More than a passing legacy" Las Vegas Review-Journal (September 22, 2000). Retrieved 15 July 2008. Quote: "He put in the West Coast offense before it was known as the West Coast offense. And he did it at a time when college football teams were winning national championships with the run and not the pass."
  6. ^ Linde, Richard. "Pioneers of the West Coast Offense". Retrieved October 1, 2008
  7. ^ Hunt, John "In Oregon-Boise state game, expect a bag of tricks" The Oregonian (September 17, 2008) Accessed: October 1, 2008
  8. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (18 September 2004). "Auburn puts south in west coast offense". USA Today. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  9. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/10/21/roethlisberger-criticizes-haley-offense/1647279/

External links

Air Coryell

In American football, Air Coryell is the offensive scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. The offensive philosophy has been also called the "Coryell offense" or the "vertical offense".

With Dan Fouts as quarterback, the San Diego Chargers' offense was among the greatest passing offenses in National Football League history. The Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record six consecutive years from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985. They also led the league in total yards in offense 1978–83 and 1985. Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow would all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame from those Charger teams.

Bill Walsh (American football coach)

William Ernest Walsh (November 30, 1931 – July 30, 2007) was an American football coach. He served as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal football team, during which time he popularized the West Coast offense. After retiring from the 49ers, Walsh worked as a sports broadcaster for several years and then returned as head coach at Stanford for three seasons.

Walsh went 102–63–1 with the 49ers, winning 10 of his 14 postseason games along with six division titles, three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984. In 1993, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bootleg play

In American football, a bootleg play is a play in which the quarterback runs with the ball in the direction of either sideline behind the line of scrimmage. This can be accompanied by a play action, or fake hand off of the ball to a running back running the opposite direction.

The quarterback can be accompanied by an offensive lineman to block for him, or run without a blocker, which is known as a naked bootleg or waggle. More complex versions involve multiple offensive linemen moving with the quarterback to block and multiple false hand offs; one such variation is known as a rollout. After escaping the area behind the offensive line, the quarterback may either throw a pass downfield or run with the ball himself to gain yardage.

A bootleg is called to confuse the defense, by moving the quarterback away from where they expect him to be, directly behind the center. The quarterback's motion may also attract the attention of the defensive backs, allowing one of the receivers to become uncovered. The play is typically used by teams with mobile quarterbacks, such as Steve Young, Randall Cunningham and Russell Wilson.

Additional variations can be combined with bootleg plays. In the West Coast offense variant designed around quarterback Michael Vick, counter techniques combined with play action bootleg plays served to provide several types of simultaneous misdirection which caused defensive players to freeze after often misjudging the intended direction of the play. These techniques, along with Vick's unusual athleticism, slow down and isolate defenders and provide extra space and time for the quarterback to survey the field and/or run the ball.

The bootleg and its variants have become more common in recent years as the rules have been changed to permit a quarterback to avoid a sack by throwing the ball away once he is outside the "tackle box". Since the quarterback in a bootleg usually sets up to throw well outside the tackles, if he is in danger of taking a sack he can throw the ball safely out of bounds without risking an intentional grounding penalty.

The name comes from the fact that on a play action the quarterback often hides the ball from the defense by his thigh to make the run look more convincing. This is similar to the way bootleggers would hide whiskey in their trousers during Prohibition.

Pop Warner is given credit for inventing the bootleg play.

Chris Pazan

Chris Pazan (born October 21, 1983 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former starting quarterback and former assistant coach for the University of Illinois. Pazan attended Brother Rice High School in Chicago, Illinois from 2000–2002, after transferring from St. Laurence High School in Burbank, Illinois. During his senior year, Pazan threw 2,500 yards with only one interception in 12 games. In his high school career he threw for over 4,800 yards and 35 touchdowns. Pazan was named a consensus High School All-American by Tom Lemming and many other football publications. Pazan was rated among the top 15 quarterbacks in the nation. Pazan chose to attend the University of Illinois over the University of Michigan, Northern Illinois and Notre Dame.

Pazan attended the University of Illinois from 2002–2005 and earned a degree in Sports Management. Currently he is working on his masters degree at the University of Illinois in Sports Management. Pazan started/played in 21 games over his career. In his first game action he was 8-8 for 112 yards against Purdue University. His first start was at the University of Michigan as a redshirt freshman at Homecoming in front of a crowd of 111,000, where he was 11-20 for 124 yards and an interception. His career high was throwing for 2 touchdowns and 278 yards against Northwestern University and 18-26 for 247 yards with 1 touchdown and an interception at the University of Wisconsin Pazan was the assistant quarterbacks coach and Offensive Quality Control Graduate Assistant at the University of Illinois for head coach Ron Zook and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley from 2006-2008, when University of Illinois went to the 2008 Rose Bowl game vs USC. He is already being recognized at one of the bright, young coaches at the college level.

Pazan took the job as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Division II St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana from 2009-2010. Pazan ran the West Coast Offense attack, similar to the one that he ran when he started at QB for the University of Illinois under former Head Coach Ron Turner.

Pazan in his first year as the Offensive Coordinator for St. Josephs College was named the GLVC Conference Assistant Coach of the Year, for an offense that averaged 32 points per game, and 387 yards of total offense per game.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Their divisional opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bengals were founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL) by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the Bengals' head coach from their inception to 1975. After being dismissed as the Browns' head coach by Art Modell (who had purchased majority interest in the team in 1961) in January 1963, Brown had shown interest in establishing another NFL franchise in Ohio and looked at both Cincinnati and Columbus. He ultimately chose the former when a deal between the city, Hamilton County, and Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds (who were seeking a replacement for the obsolete Crosley Field) was struck that resulted in an agreement to build a multipurpose stadium which could host both baseball and football games.

Due to the impending merger of the AFL and the NFL, which was scheduled to take full effect in the 1970 season, Brown agreed to join the AFL as its tenth and final franchise. The Bengals, like the other former AFL teams, were assigned to the AFC following the merger. Cincinnati was also selected because, like their neighbors the Reds, they could draw from several large neighboring cities (Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Columbus, Dayton, and Springfield, Ohio) that are all no more than 110 miles (180 km) away from downtown Cincinnati.

The Bengals won the AFC championship in 1981 and 1988, but lost Super Bowls XVI and XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers. After Paul Brown's death in 1991, controlling interest in the team was inherited by his son, Mike Brown. In 2011, Brown purchased shares of the team owned by the estate of co-founder Austin Knowlton and is now the majority owner of the Bengals franchise.The 1990s and the 2000s were a period of great struggle. Following the 1990 season, the team went 14 years without posting a winning record nor making the playoffs. The Bengals had several head coaches and several of their top draft picks did not pan out. Mike Brown, the team's de facto general manager, was rated as among the worst team owners in American professional sports.

Since the mid-2000s, the team's fortunes have improved. Two years after becoming head coach, Marvin Lewis guided the Bengals to their first winning season and first division title in over a decade. After the acquisition of Andy Dalton as quarterback in 2011, the Bengals had made the playoffs each season until 2016, ranking highly among NFL teams in win totals. The Bengals drafts are also highly touted, leading to a consistency that had long escaped the franchise. However, the team has remained unable to win in the postseason and have not won a playoff game since 1990, which is the longest such drought in the NFL.

The Bengals are one of the 12 NFL teams to not have won a Super Bowl as of the 2017 season; however, they are also one of 8 NFL teams that have been to at least one Super Bowl, but have not won the game.

Corner (route)

A corner route is a pattern run by a receiver in American football, where the receiver runs up the field and then turns at approximately a 45-degree angle, heading away from the quarterback towards the sideline. Usually, the pass is used when the defensive back is playing towards the inside shoulder of the receiver, thus creating a one on one vertical matchup. The corner route is less likely to be intercepted when compared to the slant route, because it is thrown away from the middle of the field. The pass is used frequently in the West Coast offensive scheme, where quick, accurate throwing is key. The pass may also be used closer to the goal line in what is called a "fade". The quarterback will lob the ball over a beaten defender to a wide receiver at the back corner of the end zone.

History of Los Angeles Chargers head coaches

Sid Gillman coached the Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers to five Western Division titles and one league championship in the first six years of the league's existence.

His greatest coaching success came after he was persuaded by Barron Hilton, then the Chargers' majority owner, to become the head coach of the American Football League franchise he planned to operate in Los Angeles. When the team's general manager, Frank Leahy, became ill during the Chargers' founding season, Gillman took on additional responsibilities as general manager.

As the first coach of the Chargers, Gillman gave the team a personality that matched his own. Gillman's concepts formed the foundation of the so-called "West Coast offense" that pro football teams are still using.

He coached the Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers to five Western Division titles and one league championship in the first six years of the league's existence.

He played college football at Ohio State University under legendary coach Francis "Shut the Gates of Mercy" Schmidt, forming the basis of his "West Coast offense." The term "West Coast Offense," as it is now commonly used, derives from a 1993 Bernie Kosar quote, publicized by Sports Illustrated writer Paul Zimmerman (or "Dr. Z"). Originally the term referred to the "Air Coryell" system used by two west coast teams beginning in the 1970s, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. However, a reporter mistakenly applied Kosar's quote about the Air Coryell system to the 1980s-era attack of Walsh's San Francisco 49ers. Initially, Walsh resisted having the term misapplied to his own distinct system, but the moniker stuck. Now the term is also commonly used to refer to pass-offenses that may not be closely related to either the Air Coryell system or Walsh's pass-strategy.

Don Coryell coached the San Diego Chargers from 1978 to 1986. He is well known for his innovations to football's passing offense. Coryell's offense today is commonly known as "Air Coryell". However, the Charger offense lacked the ability to control the clock, resulting in their defense spending too much time on the field. As a result, they fell short of getting to the Super Bowl. He was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame in 1986. Coryell is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He did not use a playbook.

Al Saunders was the coach for the Chargers from 1986 to 1988 and became a citizen of the United States in 1960, one of the four foreign-born coaches in the NFL. In college played Defensive Back and Wide Receiver for the Spartans of San Jose State University (SJSU) from 1966 to 1968 where he was a three-year starter, team captain, and an Academic All-American.

In the 1970s, Al Saunders joined the coaching staff at USC and San Diego State University (SDSU), whose SDSU Aztecs were then under the control of Head Coach Don Coryell. Saunders would go with Coryell to NFL when Coryell became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

Statistics correct as of December 30, 2007, after the end of the 2007 NFL season.

Bobby Ross coached the Chargers from 1992 to 1996, and is the only coach to win awards while coaching the Chargers. In 1992, Ross won the Pro Football Weekly NFL Coach of the Year, the Maxwell Football Club NFL Coach of the Year and the UPI NFL Coach of the Year. The Pro Football Weekly NFL Coach of the Year is presented annually by various news and sports organizations to the National Football League (NFL) head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent he has at his disposal. The Maxwell Football Club NFL Coach of the Year was created in 1989 and is originally titled the Earle "Greasy" Neale Award for Professional Coach of the Year. The United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1955. Before the AFL-NFL merger, an award was also given to the most outstanding coach from the AFL. When the leagues merged in 1970, separate awards were given to the best coaches from the AFC and NFC conferences. The UPI discontinued the awards after 1996.

The San Diego Chargers hired Schottenheimer as their 13th head coach on January 29, 2002. Schottenheimer posted a 47–33 record (.588) with the Chargers. His success did not come immediately, as the team posted a 4–12 record in 2003, thereby "earning" the first overall pick in the draft (this was the last time that a team with the worst record in the NFL kept its head coach the following season, even considering the three other 4–12 teams that season replaced their head coaches, Oakland, Arizona, and the New York Giants hiring Norv Turner, Dennis Green, and Tom Coughlin, respectively). He was named NFL Coach Of The Year for the 2004 NFL season. Schottenheimer led the team to two playoff appearances, his 17th and 18th as a head coach. However, both appearances resulted in disappointing losses to the underdog New York Jets in overtime in 2005 and the New England Patriots in 2007, bringing his playoff record to 5–13. Schottenheimer was abruptly fired by San Diego on February 12, 2007. Schottenheimer was fired because of a strained relationship with general manager A.J. Smith, which reached a breaking point when four assistants (Cam Cameron, Wade Phillips, Rob Chudzinski and Greg Manusky) left for positions with other teams.There have only been four coaches to lead the team into the playoffs. Bobby Ross holds the best record percentage wise in the playoffs. Norv Turner holds the best regular season coaching record, with 0.640, followed by Hall of Famer Sid Gillman with 0.608. Ron Waller holds the worst regular season record, winning just one out of the six games he coached.

Hot Route

A hot route is a short passing route in American Football used to escape a potential sack from a blitzing defense.

A hot route is a variation on the regular running route for a running back. It results usually from an audible called by a quarterback, and is based on a read of a blitzing defense. If the defense does not blitz, the running back runs the regular route. If the defense does blitz, the running back will, instead of blocking the blitzing defensive player, run a short route, such as a bubble screen, and catch the ball which the quarterback dumps off quickly.

Jack Reilly (American football)

Jack Reilly (born May 22, 1946 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a former college football and National Football League offensive coach. He served as an offensive coordinator with both the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys. Reilly's background is in the Don Coryell-Ernie Zampese style West Coast offense.

New England Patriots strategy

The New England Patriots generally run a modified Erhardt-Perkins offensive system and a Fairbanks-Bullough 3–4 defensive system, though they have also used a 4–3 defense and increased their use of the nickel defense.

Pat Barnes

Pat Barnes (born February 23, 1975 in Arlington Heights, Illinois) is a retired National Football League quarterback. He played from 1997 to 2003 in the NFL, XFL, and CFL.

Barnes played as a quarterback at University of California, where he started a couple of games as a freshman and emerged as a budding star through his college career. Barnes played for Steve Mariucci at Cal, where he threw 420 passes during the 1996 season, and learned Mariucci's version of the West Coast offense. Barnes gained the reputation as a QB who spread the ball out to all his receivers, and threw very well on the run. He set a Pac-10 record for touchdowns in 1996, and had a 31-8 touchdown to interception ratio. Barnes finished the year as a second-team All-American selection behind Jake Plummer.

Barnes, a graduate and football standout at University of California, was drafted in the 4th round (110th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He participated in 7 NFL seasons for seven different teams. Though he never threw a pass in the NFL, Barnes played very well in his five seasons playing outside the NFL, throwing 30 touchdown passes in his two seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy.

After four seasons out of the league, he signed with the Cleveland Browns on February 10, 2003. He was released on June 6. His football career ended when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL released him on December 9, 2003, at his request and subsequent retirement from the game.

Personnel grouping (gridiron football)

Personnel groupings are groups of players used in American Football to identify the different types of skill position players on the field of play for an offense. Personnel groupings, also known as personnel packages, are commonly denoted using a two-digit numerical system that identifies the type of offensive personnel, and the number of each type of personnel. Teams use personnel groupings in order to set a base for most of their plays, as well as being able to send out players in a timely manner during a game.

Pro-style offense

A pro-style offense in American football is any offensive scheme that resembles those predominantly used at the professional level of play in the National Football League (NFL), in contrast to those typically used at the collegiate or high school level. Pro-style offenses are fairly common at top-quality colleges but much less used at the high school level. The term should not be confused with a pro set, which is a specific formation that is used by some offenses at the professional level.

Generally, pro-style offenses are more complex than typical college or high school offenses. They are balanced, requiring offensive lines that are adept at both pass and run blocking, quarterbacks (QBs) with good decision-making abilities, and running backs (RBs) who are capable of running between the tackles. Offenses that fall under the pro-style category include the West Coast offense, the Air Coryell offense, and the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system.

Often, pro style offenses use certain formations much more commonly than the air raid, run and shoot, flexbone, spread, pistol, or option offenses. Pro-style offenses typically use the fullback (FB) and TEs much more commonly than offenses used at the collegiate or high school levels.

Part of the complexity of the offense is that teams at the professional level often employ multiple formations and are willing to use them at any point during an actual game. One example might be that a team uses a Strong I formation run (FB lined up where the TE is located on the line of scrimmage) on 1st Down followed up by a running play out of the Ace formation on second down before attempting a pass on 3rd down out of a two-WR shotgun formation.

Another aspect of the complexity is that the running game is primarily built on zone blocking or involves a power run scheme. Both of these require an offensive of line that is very athletic, one play they could be trying to zone block a Linebacker, and the following one could be power blocking a defensive line. Most of the blocking schemes involve a series of rules, or a system in which they operate their blocks. The passing game as a result often employs play-action, often with the QB dropping back from under center, as a means of passing the ball while building on the running game.

Coaches who make the transition from the NFL to the NCAA as head coaches often bring with them their pro-style offenses. Such examples include Charlie Weis (former HC at Kansas), Dave Wannstedt (former HC at Pittsburgh), Bill O'Brien (former HC at Penn State). One positive aspect of employing a pro-style offense is that it can help players make transitions from the college level to the professional level quicker as a result of their familiarity with the system's complexity.

Pro set

In American football, the pro set or split backs formation is a formation that was commonly used as a "base" set by professional and amateur teams.

The "pro set" formation featured a backfield that deployed two running backs aligned side-by-side instead of one in front of the other as in traditional I-formation sets. It was an outgrowth of the original, three running back T-formation, with the third back (one of the halfbacks) in the T becoming a permanent flanker, now referred to as a wide receiver.

This formation was particularly popular because teams can both run and pass the football out of it with an equal amount of success. This is important because it keeps defenses guessing on what type of play the offense will run. Because the backs are opposite each other, it takes the defense longer to read the gap the offense will run the ball to.Once the run has been established, it can be a very dangerous formation. Because of the real threat of a team running out of the pro-set, defenses must respect the play fake and play run. This pulls the safety to the line and opens up the middle of the field deep. Also, with both backs in position to "pick up" an outside blitz, the pro-set gives a quarterback an abundance of time to find an open receiver.

The set can be run with a single tight end and two receivers or no tight ends and three receivers.

A standard pro set places the backs about 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, spaced evenly behind the guards or tackles. In this look teams may utilize two halfbacks, or one halfback and one fullback.

A variation of the pro set places the backs offset toward one side (either strong or weak). This look is almost universally used with one fullback one halfback. The backs line up closer to the line of scrimmage than in a standard pro set, about 3 yards deep. The fullback lines up directly behind the quarterback, in the spot he would normally line up in the I-Formation. The halfback then lines up behind either the left or right tackle.

The formation has lost its popularity at the college and professional level recently with the rise of shotgun split back formations. It remains common at the high school Junior Varsity and Varsity level.

At the NFL level, in the mid-to-late 2000s, the formation became used almost exclusively by West Coast Offense-based teams in occasional third down passing situations, and goal-line situations. In the early 2010s, the pro set almost completely disappeared from the NFL, however in the late 2010s it has been used once again as an occasional goal line and passing downs formation by West Coast Offense-based teams.

Spread offense

"Spread offense" may also refer to the four corners offense in basketball.

The spread offense is an offensive scheme in American and Canadian football that is used at every level of the game including professional (NFL, CFL), college (NCAA, NAIA, CIS), and high school programs across the US and Canada. Spread offenses typically place the quarterback in the shotgun formation, and "spread" the defense horizontally using three-, four-, and even five-receiver sets. Many spread offenses also employ a no-huddle approach. Some implementations of the spread also feature wide splits between the offensive linemen.

Spread offenses can emphasize the pass or the run, with the common attribute that they force the defense to cover the entire field from sideline to sideline. Many spread teams use the read option running play to put pressure on both sides of the defense. Similar to the run and shoot offense, passing-oriented spread offenses often leverage vertical (down field) passing routes to spread the defense vertically, which opens up multiple vertical seams for both the running and passing game.

UCLA High Post Offense

The UCLA High Post Offense is an offensive strategy in basketball, used by John Wooden, head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Due to UCLA's immense success under Wooden's guidance, the UCLA High Post Offense has become one of the most popular offensive tactics, and elements of it are commonly used on all levels of basketball including the NBA. Wooden sought the advice of Press Maravich, then coach of NC State, whether to implement it into his offense.

The UCLA High Post Offense is flexible in its ability to use the strengths of most players on the floor. This man-to-man offense is designed to take full advantage of a center with good passing, shooting and one-on-one skills out of the high post, but it can also take advantage of the post up abilities of either guard and forward. It is commonly run out of the 2-2-1, 4-out/1-in set (also known as a two-guard front), but can also be initiated out of a 1-4 set with a variety of entries. The two-guard front keeps the pressure off a team's playmaker from having the ball in his hands all the time, as well as allowing the offense to be initiated from either side of the floor and giving either guard an opportunity to run the side-post game.

The UCLA High Post offense can be run to both sides of the court, and has a variety of options or "reads". It is a near relative of Tex Winter's triangle offense, featuring a three-man triangle game on the strong side and a two-man game on the weak side. Its strengths include simplicity, superb offensive rebounding coverage, a weak-side attack, consistent spacing, flexibility based on personnel and the ability to penetrate the defense. However, due to the presence of a strong-side high-low-wing triangle formation, the ability to penetrate with the dribble is highly limited.

Virgil Carter

Virgil R. Carter (born November 9, 1945) is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League and the World Football League from 1967 through 1976.


WCO may refer to:

Water Conservation Order

Weak Crossover

West Coast offense

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

World Council of Optometry

World Customs Organization

World Culture Open

Wildcat formation

Wildcat formation describes a formation for the offense in football in which the ball is snapped not to the quarterback but directly to a player of another position lined up at the quarterback position. (In most systems, this is a running back, but some playbooks have the wide receiver, fullback, or tight end taking the snap.) The Wildcat features an unbalanced offensive line and looks to the defense like a sweep behind zone blocking. A player moves across the formation prior to the snap. However, once this player crosses the position of the running back who will receive the snap, the play develops unlike the sweep.

The Wildcat is a gambit rather than an overall offensive philosophy. It can be a part of many offenses. For example, a spread-option offense might use the Wildcat formation to keep the defense guessing, or a West Coast offense may use the power-I formation to threaten a powerful run attack.

The Wildcat scheme is a derivation of Pop Warner's Single Wing offense dating back to the 1920s. The Wildcat was invented by Billy Ford and Ryan Wilson, and was originally called the "Dual" formation. The offensive coaching staff of the Kansas State Wildcats, namely Bill Snyder and Del Miller, made significant contributions to the formation's development throughout the 1990s and 2000s and is often cited as being the formation's namesake. It has been used since the late 1990s at every level of the game, including the CFL, NFL, NCAA, NAIA, and high schools across North America. Coaching staffs have used it with variations and have given their versions a variety of names. The Wildcat was reinvented by South Carolina Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier in 2005 against the Kentucky Wildcats to utilize Syvelle Newton in all offensive positions on the field. The experiment by Spurrier was taken and perfected by the Arkansas Razorbacks the following year with the 3 headed monster backfield of Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis.

Key figures
Division championships (19)
Conference championships (6)
League championships (5)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (73)
Offensive strategy
Defensive strategy
Offensive formations
Defensive formations

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