Tag Archives: Mike Leach

A Quick Look at Spread Systems

20 Jul

Overhead_Spread (rustytanton)

The spread offense has become the dominant philosophy across most of football. For years the game was about moving big, powerful people around to create angles and advantages at the point of attack but specialization and skills development have led to the forward pass becoming the dominant aspect of the game.

It’s hard to have the strongest and most powerful team, especially if you’re a program at the high school or collegiate level that doesn’t have access to a wider talent pool. However, lots of teams can find a quick-thinking leader who can fling the ball around. Eventually the bigger programs in college football also realized that putting their speedsters in space only helped their cause and even helped their run games. As a result, now you only tend to see bigger, pro-style formations forming the basis of the offense for schools who’s talent pool consists primarily of big, powerful people.

Now that the spread has proliferated across multiple leagues there is a ton of variety to the systems you see on a given Saturday. This is going to be an attempt to try and categorize some of the main schools of spread offense that have developed and to describe their philosophies of how to use spread formations to score points.

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Offensive System: Air Raid

21 Mar

air raid - line splits

The Air Raid is a no-huddle, spread attack that turns all five of its eligible receivers into “go-to” guys. The objective is to get “the ball to the person who can score [the fastest].”1

The no-huddle approach dictates tempo. Defenses are forced out of their normal routine and can barely catch their breath, let alone substitute personnel to fit the situation.

Meanwhile, the various spread formations it uses stretch defenses horizontally, creating space in which the receivers can operate and, at the same time, isolating defenders – most especially the weak ones.

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