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Old 06-23-2008, 01:23 AM    (permalink
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Default West Coast Offense

So, I was confused about the West Coast Offense and the players roles in the offense so, I looked it up.

http://www.kffl.com/article.php/73828/488

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The term "West Coast offense" is thrown around a lot in football circles everywhere, but just what is it exactly? Obviously the West Coast offense refers to a type of offense run in the NFL, but exactly what does it do and, more importantly in this case, how does it pertain to fantasy football?

First off, it's important to understand the roots of the West Coast offense. Today's versions of the scheme vary from squad to squad, but they all can be traced back to the legendary Bill Walsh during his term with the San Francisco 49ers as head coach, general manager and team consultant. Walsh developed his system during his time as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns, drawing different ideas from other great coaches such as Don Coryell, of the San Diego Chargers, as well as Al Davis, Sid Gillman and John Rauch.

Walsh was faced with a dilemma in Cleveland, with a quarterback that had great accuracy but a weak arm. In response, he devised a timing-based passing attack where the receiver and quarterback must be completely locked into each other. Since then his system has evolved, and in current basic cases, the West Coast offense is a short-passing scheme designed to control the clock using high-percentage, precision passes - what Walsh termed the "extended handoff." However, despite the reliance on the passing game, there have been several running backs that have thrived in the system in both the past and present. Terrell Davis (Denver Broncos) and Roger Craig (49ers) both enjoyed career years in the West Coast offense - the same can be said for Shaun Alexander (Seattle Seahawks) and Clinton Portis (then with the Broncos).

General Guidelines

Although each team's version of the West Coast offense is different, there are quite a few similarities between them. Here are some of the staples of the West Coast offense.

Discipline comes first. Since the scheme is based mostly on timing, freelancing and missing assignments result in missed opportunities for points.
Use the pass to set up the run. Most teams using the West Coast offense more often than not have a pass-first mindset, choosing to instead spread the defense out to get better matchups in the run game. (The major exception to this rule would be the system the Denver Broncos utilize.) The offense also should be prepared to throw on any down or distance during the game.
The passing game attacks the defense within the short-to-medium range. This means the quarterback should have good accuracy in tight quarters, and it makes the receivers run precise routes in order to get open.
Everyone is a weapon. Whether it's a four-receiver set, a pro-set, or a goal line formation, all of the players on the field (including tight ends and backs) have to be able to catch the football and make plays.
Create matchup problems for the defense. The quarterback usually will make pre- and post-snap reads to judge where the ball should go. Audibles and motions at the line of scrimmage open up holes in the defense to create mismatches for the offense to capitalize on. The offense can also be run out of any formation, which will give opponents headaches as well.
Ability to run the football. Although it is typically a pass-first scheme, the ability to run the football when needed is a must for any successful West Coast offense (or any scheme for that matter). Most West Coast teams now use zone-blocking to help in the power-running game (including Denver and Houston). This aspect of the scheme derives directly from Coryell and the Chargers of the 1970s.
Quarterback play: Signal-callers should be mobile and football-smart. They will be expected to make reads at the line of scrimmage to figure out who the hot (or primary) read is on any given play. Touch and accuracy are usually a must; while a strong arm is a nice asset, isn't the most important thing. The ability to see the field and either get rid of the ball or make a play after the three- or five-step drop is important as well.
Running back play: Obviously the ability to pick up yards when needed is a must, but running the ball is just one job of a back in this scheme. Many West Coast offense rushers are key cogs in the passing game (such as Brian Westbrook) and are also needed in pass protection, at times, as well with tight ends running routes more often than not.
Receiver play: Wideouts in the West Coast offense obviously have to run very precise and sharp routes with the ability to separate from opposing defensive backs. What may be even more important, however, is the ability to make plays after the catch. This was a big reason why someone such as wide receiver Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys) was such a big-time player in the system.
Tight end play: As touched on earlier, tight ends will mostly be counted on to be a part in the passing game as a receiver, with their blocking ability being an added bonus. Running sharp routes is a great attribute to have in this system, especially as a check-down target for quarterbacks trying to get rid of the ball quickly.
With all of these basics in mind, it is much easier to assimilate statistics of players in a West Coast offense and those that aren't. It also helps to describe why some players succeed and others don't in the system.

Teams that Utilize the West Coast Offense

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of teams that run a version of the West Coast offense today.

Philadelphia Eagles
Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos
Houston Texans
Green Bay Packers
--
While the 49ers have incorporated some of the West Coast offense into their scheme since Walsh's tenure as head coach, the specific features of the system have changed often over time. From George Seifert to current head honcho Mike Nolan, the key elements of the basic form of the West Coast offense have changed. For instance, after the 2005 season, former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy left the team and took a head coaching job with the Green Bay Packers, bringing his form of the offense with him.

As you can see, West Coast offense teams are often intertwined, as they learn the system under one coach and bring it to another team. In fact, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden, as well as former Packers head coach Mike Sherman all worked under Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren when he was coaching the Green Bay Packers. Holmgren was a disciple of Walsh during his time in San Francisco as the team's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

Positional Breakdowns

As is evident from the general features, the quarterback is the key to a West Coast offense. You can't run this type of offense successfully with a quarterback that can't make quick reads and sharp, precise passes. As a result, certain quarterbacks in the league aren't suited for - and as a result should never play in - a West Coast offense. While they aren't necessarily but can be the main focus of the offense, running backs and tight ends are also key as they are relied on to catch a lot of passes more so than other schemes. These positions might not be main targets (or hot reads) on every play, but they must run routes and are often used as fallbacks or check-downs in case the hot read is not open.

The focal point and key to a successful West Coast offense, though, is the wide receiver position. Unlike other offenses, wide receivers fit into a different terminology of positions on the field. West Coast receivers have to be excellent at gaining yards after the reception, something that made retired NFL great Jerry Rice such a lethal wide receiver for the better part of two decades. They include:

Split End: This position is generally reserved for a more possession-type receiver that has a good release off the line, because the split end must line up on the line of scrimmage on the weak side of the field.

Flanker: This position gives the receiver more freedom, since he doesn't line up on the line of scrimmage and can go in motion to the weak side of the field. An illegal formation penalty will be called if there is not a wideout on the weak side of the play, whereas the tight end on the power side is on the line of scrimmage. The flanker is not technically reserved for a speedy receiver, but it does give smaller, speedier receivers more room to work.

Slot: The newer versions of the West Coast offense often use a third receiver placed in the slot instead of a second tight end. Slot receivers are generally smaller, speedier players that have trouble beating press coverage. However, some teams may use bigger players to offset this.

Summary

Know the roles of each receiver in each West Coast system and how each specific system works. While wide receivers don't hold traditional depth chart roles as other offensive systems, it's still important to know the types of chances they should have and the typical matchups they should face. While running backs and tight ends are not the focal point of West Coast offenses, that doesn't mean that players at those positions can't have solid fantasy seasons in such a system. How a running back or tight end is set to fit into a West Coast offense has a lot to do with what team he is on and how that team views those positions.

Generally speaking, slot receivers are rarely marquee fantasy contributors based on the limited number of targets, especially since slot receivers are "tweeners," meaning they don't fit into one specific position - size-, speed- and sometimes talent-wise.

With a more in-depth knowledge of the West Coast offense, you can have a major advantage over the other owners in your league. You should be able to identify players that, in the general fantasy world, might be more well-known but might not have great seasons based on the elements of a West Coast offense. The more you know, the more you stand to gain.
Basically, The Eagles have the Ideal QB, RB, TE, and Flanker and Slot Receiver.

Larry Fitzgerald is the ideal #1 Receiver in a West Coast Offense. In the draft, Micheal Crabtree and TE Travis Beckum are good fits.

Lorenzo Booker and Brian Westbrook are the ideal west coast offense RB.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:28 AM    (permalink
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I don't see how Crabtree would be an ideal fit but then again I think he would do well in any kind of offense.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:38 AM    (permalink
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I don't see how Crabtree would be an ideal fit but then again I think he would do well in any kind of offense.
He's a possession receiver and he is bigger, and runs solid routes, and is fast enough to rack up YAC.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:53 AM    (permalink
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TO is ideal
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:33 AM    (permalink
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TO is ideal
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Not entirely sure about that. You need extremely sure hands to be a great WCO WR.
He would do the most damage with the rock in his hands though.
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:57 AM    (permalink
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Anquan Boldin's the ideal player, great hands, great routes, and just beastly with the ball.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:15 AM    (permalink
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Anquan Boldin's the ideal player, great hands, great routes, and just beastly with the ball.
he is ideal, too. pretty much any possession receiver who is big, can run solid routes and can get YAC is a good fit at #1 receiver for a WCO.

Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Terell Owens, Marques Colston, Brandon Marshall, Braylon Edwards etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Jerry Rice is the golden standard at WR in a WCO.

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Old 06-23-2008, 04:37 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by eaglesfan_45 View Post
he is ideal, too. pretty much any possession receiver who is big, can run solid routes and can get YAC is a good fit at #1 receiver for a WCO.

Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Terell Owens, Marques Colston, Brandon Marshall, Braylon Edwards etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Jerry Rice is the golden standard at WR in a WCO.
Boldin is better after the catch than any of those receivers outside of TO, and he's a better route runner and blocker than TO.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:23 AM    (permalink
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Once again another solid thread by EF 45. I'd say that Shockey and Witten are ideal fits at TE in the WCO, LJ not so much.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:24 AM    (permalink
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I never thought I'd see this, but I went to give EF 45 some rep, and I got the window that said I needed to spread some reputation around before giving some to him again. What is the world coming to, haha...
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:41 AM    (permalink
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I never thought I'd see this, but I went to give EF 45 some rep, and I got the window that said I needed to spread some reputation around before giving some to him again. What is the world coming to, haha...
Oh no, that happens a lot, but it's typically because I've just -rep'd him. ;)
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:18 PM    (permalink
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Oh no, that happens a lot, but it's typically because I've just -rep'd him. ;)
Same for me, but I was referring to a positive manner, haha.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:28 AM    (permalink
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I t still won't let me give him rep, and I've spread it out a lot lately.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:21 PM    (permalink
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The Eagles still require a beastly WR and TE to have the perfect offense. Or at least ones with great hands, and can get open by running routes.

I don't think Eagles have the Slot WR, even though Desean Jackson might seem to be perfect fit, I have yet to seem him preform in a game or catch a ball at NFL level. He is training with Rice so maybe it can happen
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bhaarat316 View Post
The Eagles still require a beastly WR and TE to have the perfect offense. Or at least ones with great hands, and can get open by running routes.

I don't think Eagles have the Slot WR, even though Desean Jackson might seem to be perfect fit, I have yet to seem him preform in a game or catch a ball at NFL level. He is training with Rice so maybe it can happen
Agreed, though Jackson is showing promise, there are no gaurantees at this point. What we need is a good TE and a good #1 WR for this offense to be deadly.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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Agreed, though Jackson is showing promise, there are no gaurantees at this point. What we need is a good TE and a good #1 WR for this offense to be deadly.
Good thing the Eagles have alot of picks next year, there are some good fits in the draft.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech [6-3, 212]
Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio St. [6-3, 197]

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma [6-6, 250]
Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State [6-5, 260]
Travis Beckum, Wisconsin [6-4, 224]
Darius Hill, Ball State [6-6, 235]
Cornelius Ingram, Florida [6-4, 228]
Chase Coffman, Missouri [6-6, 245]

WRs are more difficult to find because the Eagles need a reciever who is big, runs good routes, catches the ball well, and gets YAC. Those guys aren't the easiest to find.

TE's for the Eagles offense is much easier to find, because the Eagles don't need an all around TE, you can just have a pass catching specialist and the Eagles would be fine. Like it said in the article, blocking is an added bonus. Practically any TE can fit the system.

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Old 06-24-2008, 02:28 PM    (permalink
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The Eagles still require a beastly WR and TE to have the perfect offense. Or at least ones with great hands, and can get open by running routes.

I don't think Eagles have the Slot WR, even though Desean Jackson might seem to be perfect fit, I have yet to seem him preform in a game or catch a ball at NFL level. He is training with Rice so maybe it can happen
Quote:
Slot: The newer versions of the West Coast offense often use a third receiver placed in the slot instead of a second tight end. Slot receivers are generally smaller, speedier players that have trouble beating press coverage
.

That basically is DeSean Jackson's scouting report. I completely forgot that he is training with the best WCO WR ever: Jerry Rice.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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Good thing the Eagles have alot of picks next year, there are some good fits in the draft.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech [6-3, 212]
Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio St. [6-3, 197]

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma [6-6, 250]
Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State [6-5, 260]
Travis Beckum, Wisconsin [6-4, 224]
Darius Hill, Ball State [6-6, 235]
Cornelius Ingram, Florida [6-4, 228]
Chase Coffman, Missouri [6-6, 245]

WRs are more difficult to find because the Eagles need a reciever who is big, runs good routes, catches the ball well, and gets YAC. Those guys aren't the easiest to find.

TE's for the Eagles offense is much easier to find, because the Eagles don't need an all around TE, you can just have a pass catching specialist and the Eagles would be fine. Like it said in the article, blocking is an added bonus. Practically any TE can fit the system.
Unfortunatley, there are some positions like S and OT that may be of bigger need next year, but thees a whole seaon to go, so we'll see.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:07 PM    (permalink
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Well I finally got EF 45's +rep in, hooray.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:42 PM    (permalink
Eagles own the NFC East
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We don't really need a receiver in the 1st round next year, its almost a lock we go O-Line at one pick, and DE or S with the other. And you don't HAVE to be a big wideout to be effective in the WCO, look at Kevin Curtis. Its basically about running precise routes for the WR's however you are right that big WR's are preferred.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:54 PM    (permalink
eaglesalltheway
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True, though big WRs are better off, but that is true for almost any system.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:01 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles own the NFC East View Post
We don't really need a receiver in the 1st round next year, its almost a lock we go O-Line at one pick, and DE or S with the other. And you don't HAVE to be a big wideout to be effective in the WCO, look at Kevin Curtis. Its basically about running precise routes for the WR's however you are right that big WR's are preferred.
Kevin Curtis is the flanker receiver
Quote:
Flanker: This position gives the receiver more freedom, since he doesn't line up on the line of scrimmage and can go in motion to the weak side of the field. An illegal formation penalty will be called if there is not a wideout on the weak side of the play, whereas the tight end on the power side is on the line of scrimmage. The flanker is not technically reserved for a speedy receiver, but it does give smaller, speedier receivers more room to work.
not split end.

Quote:
Split End: This position is generally reserved for a more possession-type receiver that has a good release off the line, because the split end must line up on the line of scrimmage on the weak side of the field.
Also, the Eagles are stacked at DE, so why would we draft one.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:10 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, that had me wondering too, DE is one of our most solid positions.
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