As we continue our foray into football basics, here is a vidcast about the west coast offense. The west coast offense isn’t so much a cut and dry formation or something that can be subbed in or out. It is a whole philosophy that revolves around ball control. It is a passing offense implemented by Bill Walsh as the San Francisco 49ers coach in the 1980s. The masters of the art were Joe Montana and Steve Young and it has gone on to be a widely used offense in the NFL. Much of this is because Bill Walsh was such a great coach and mentor that his coaching staff went on to become some of the best known coaches in the game to this day.
Today, the heir apparent to the west coast crown is Mike Holmgrem who taught the art in Green Bay and now in Seattle.
The West Coast offense is all about ball control. To that end, a quarterback makes several defensive reads before and after the snap. Because they are usually perfectly timed quick passes, he will only take a few drop steps, make his reads and drop the ball into a reciever. Often times recievers will run 10-12 yard patterns and the tight end will slant across the middle. Thr Running back(s) tend to be recieving backs and work the flats.
Though there are whole varieties of west coast offenses as it has evolved from club to club (Denver, for instance, tends to like deeper passes), the same basic premise is throughout: make the small plays regularly and the big plays will come. Steve Young mastered that tactic.
Watch the video and feel free to offer your own insight.