"The West Coast system under Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos for example utilized different offensive sets (single back, double tight end, 5 wide, I formation, etc..) that often saw potential pass blockers run out for passing routes. A mobile QB for Shanahan’s system was also important as the coach liked to run a lot of bootlegs and roll-outs where mobility and accuracy on the run were needed. Each coach had their own little wrinkle and tweaked the system according to their personnel. Generally speaking, the West Coast Offense tends to prefer bigger receivers who run well after the catch. This offense typically predicates on the short and mid range passing attack and tries to create match-up problems for the defense."
"The West Coast offense has been traditionally known as a “Pass first” offense..."
"Wide Receivers aren’t the only passing threat in this style offense. Typically RB’s and Tight Ends play a huge role in the passing game."
"As for the running game, some teams
that run the West Coast Offense also employed the vaunted Zone Blocking Scheme
. This scheme is intended so that the offensive line works in unison off the snap to get the defense flowing in one direction. The key is for the entire line to move together and they need mobility to slide down the line of scrimmage. Since mobility is key, usually the linemen are smaller and more agile. The running back is then responsible for finding the proper lane then making one cut and then head down hill. While the line is moving in one direction, the backside (away from the direction of the flow) of the offensive line “cuts” (meaning bring to the ground) the defensive linemen thus opening an opportunity if the original running lane is clogged. One of the many geniuses of this system is that often times the offensive line would get to the “second level”, meaning a Center or Guard on a Linebacker or Safety. If the Running Back hits the hole at the proper time he only has on or two guys left to beat which can mean big plays. It is a running system that proved a one cut style runner who could hit the hole hard could do well. If the Running Back has great vision and ellusive abilities he can become elite."
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