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Old 02-05-2007   #1
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Default Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

I was just remembering back to last offseason when everyone started talking about the Gulf Coast Offense and what it is and will be. After a year, do we have a better idea of the identity of the Gulf Coast Offense and where it differs from the Denver Offense?

I've picked up on this old blog from TC:

[quote]
To get a better understanding of what he intending to do this season, it is instructive to look to what the Bronco playbook is all about. So, I asked one of the legion of Bronco fans to do a primer about their offense for those of us who haven't really seen many Bronco games. Apologies if this is a little too elementary for some, but I do think that there a number of Texans fans who might be interested to know this. So, here is Bronco Tim's sum up:

The Broncos-style offense is merely a modification of the so- called "West Coast Offense," popularized by Bill Walsh's San Francisco 49ers in the Nineties.

The philosophy of the offense is to use SHORT, SAFE passing routes and balance these with a strong running game. The object is to control the ball for long periods of time and march methodically down the field. It doesn't rely on deep passing routes or Hall of Fame runners who can bust out for 40, 50, 60 yards at a clip. It's the SCHEME, not the personnel, that has made the Broncos successful.

Coach Mike Shanahan, who coached under Walsh in San Francisco, is a leading proponent and "mastermind" behind the Broncos' success with this style offense. It's been said many times that your grandmother could excel as a runner in this offense. Hence, you've seen a half- dozen fairly mediocre backs rack up 1,000-plus yards in the past few years. And you've seen Shanahan not hesitate to trade or cut running backs -- even a "superstar" such as Clinton Portis -- when he sees fit.

The rushing scheme relies on quick, relatively light (ave. 295 lbs.) offensive linemen and an iron-fisted discipline by running backs about how to use those blockers. Broncos runners are not paid to juke, zig-zag, outrun, fake or otherwise use their individual skills to pick up yards. They are paid to get the ball, make ONE cut behind their blocker and run north and south toward the endzone while squeezing the football. (Fumbles are not allowed.) Those who can't or won't do the job in this precise way are benched or traded.

Because of the reliance on short rather than long gains, the Broncos' tight end position is very important. Broncos tight ends are paid to both block on running plays and short passes and to catch short passes. Those who can't do BOTH these things need not apply.

I don't mean to suggest by this that the Broncos NEVER attempt a long pass. Sometimes, of course (third and thirty, for example) you have no choice. And sometimes the defense starts cheating up a little, "knowing" the Broncos will be throwing short. That offers an opportunity to fake the short route, then burn them deep. But the fundamental offense is as described.

Sounds like a fair summary. I'd probably maybe add that the Bronco offense needs a quarterback that isn't just a pocket passer, who can easily do bootlegs.

[\QUOTE]

I think this blog predicted the Texans' first year under Kubiak very well. The need for a TE made Owen Daniels the most prolific rookie TE in the league. The running game faltered with the "light" running backs. Maybe a disparate of the Denver scheme this year was a dependency on a "heavy" or "broad" running back.

Passing Game: It seemed to me that the Texans' Passing Game was heavily concentrated on the shorter passes. If anyone can find the stats, I'd be curious to know how AJ and Moulds ranked in the league for yards made after the pass. My problem is that AJ seems best when racing to the endzone with one or two guys practically hanging off him, and I wish we could see more of those plays. I'd like to see that change from the Denver Offense.

I'm not one to talk about bootlegs, so I won't go there, but if anyone wants to add something about bootlegs, go for it.

So I'm curious to hear what people think about the identity of the Gulf Coast Offense and where they think it will go from here.
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Old 02-05-2007   #2
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

Johnson's YAC is normal 4.5 AVG

Harrison 3.2
Chad Johnson 3.8

Highs
Steve Smith 5.7
Boldin 6.1
Driver 5.9

---

Jerry Rice 4 to 5 YAC avg ( but they didn't track the stat in his early years )
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Old 02-06-2007   #3
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSisters View Post
Johnson's YAC is normal 4.5 AVG

Harrison 3.2
Chad Johnson 3.8

Highs
Steve Smith 5.7
Boldin 6.1
Driver 5.9

---

Jerry Rice 4 to 5 YAC avg ( but they didn't track the stat in his early years )

I hate that stat. I think it's misrepresented too easily. If a guy catches a two yard hitch pass, breaks one tackle and runs for an 80 yard touchdown, his YAC is 78 yards. But if a guy catches the same two yard hitch but breaks three or four tackles and looks like he's running through a pinball machine and gets tackled after a 14 yard gain, his YAC is 12 yards. Taken at face value, I would much rather have the 80 yard touchdown, obviously. But, what if the 80 yard run is the only big play that Player A has - his YAC for the game will still be something like 25-30 yards. While Player B may have similar 14 yard plays throughout the game, his YAC will still only be 10-12 yards. But, IMHO, Player B had the better game from a YAC perspective because he proved that he could make guys miss (or break tackles) on a consistent basis. Player B proved he could outrun everyone, which is a valuable asset, but is better measured by yards per catch than YAC.

I just don't think the YAC stat is fair to either player.
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Old 02-06-2007   #4
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by texanfan2100 View Post
I hate that stat. I think it's misrepresented too easily. If a guy catches a two yard hitch pass, breaks one tackle and runs for an 80 yard touchdown, his YAC is 78 yards. But if a guy catches the same two yard hitch but breaks three or four tackles and looks like he's running through a pinball machine and gets tackled after a 14 yard gain, his YAC is 12 yards. Taken at face value, I would much rather have the 80 yard touchdown, obviously. But, what if the 80 yard run is the only big play that Player A has - his YAC for the game will still be something like 25-30 yards. While Player B may have similar 14 yard plays throughout the game, his YAC will still only be 10-12 yards. But, IMHO, Player B had the better game from a YAC perspective because he proved that he could make guys miss (or break tackles) on a consistent basis. Player B proved he could outrun everyone, which is a valuable asset, but is better measured by yards per catch than YAC.

I just don't think the YAC stat is fair to either player.
I think its fine. You could say that about every stat almost.

Player A is a RB who runs for 1 80 yards gain without being touched, and then doesn't do much else.

Player B is a RB who consistently gains 5 yards on the ground every time.

Both end up with 20 carries for 100 yards, at 5.0 yards pre carry.

Its just averages for you. SUre they are skewed in the short term (i.e. 1 game or a small sampling of games), but when you look over the entire season, at say 100+ catches, I tihnk its a pretty good representation of what you can expect
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Old 02-06-2007   #5
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

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Originally Posted by texanfan2100 View Post
I just don't think the YAC stat is fair to either player.
me too.

BUT after looking at a few years of it... it is pretty level among WRs like the AVG gain for RBs are.

Harrison accents the futility of the stat though... lots of yards and TDs caught where they are thrown. That leaves him with a lower YAC.

In his two big 1600+ seasons, his YAC was under 4.0.
Career YAC 3.3 Harrison

What that means for us and the Gulf Coast identity? I don't know.
I don't think we have a positive enough offensive image right now to wrap a glorious title around. That's my initial reaction.
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Old 02-06-2007   #6
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

I can't tell you about YAC, but AJ had an 11.1 yard per att, which was the lowest out of the top 15 receivers. With 1147 yards AJ would have had more than L. Evans of Buff had we not let him burn us for 2 84-yard passes ( yes that still makes me see red ). So this proves the short pass aspect of the Broncos style. As for our RB's Dayne had a 4.1 avg, wich is respectable and was 20th in the AFC, VY was 21rst, just put it in there, and Lundy was 23rd and had a 3.8 avg, again respectable. The Broncos Bell & Bell were 9&16 in yards in the AFC with a 4.4 & 4.3 avg. So, if we look at what Denver did, what we did and what the STATS say ( stats are misleading but it is the only concrete place to start ), we will be what Kubiak wants in an offense. VY was the worst QB in passer rating ( 30th) , Plummer was not much better ( 27th ), No stats do not tell the whole story but it is a part that you can put on paper as a comparrision, Carr was 15th. Apples to Apples by player we all need to keep these stats in mind.
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Old 02-06-2007   #7
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

The biggest problem I think the Texans had last year on offense was the disconnect between the passing game and running game.

There was never a game in the regular season where for the entire game the running game and passing game worked together. It was either/or, and that is not the way it is supposed to look.

The entire point of the offense is to keep the defense on its heels for not letting people know whether a play is run or pass based on the formation and the blocking. That's how Denver gets away with light linemen--they don't rely on power to make their run game work, it is more deception and look, and also committed cut blocking to get defenses to be less aggressive.

The Texans do not seem to employ Denver style blocking. And certainly, they do not have the Denver style personnel in place.

The fact that the first drives tended to be the most successful ones suggests that the team didn't feel comfortable with the playbook yet. That they did better with the plays that seemed second nature.
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Old 02-06-2007   #8
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Default Re: Gulf Coast Offense vs. Denver Offense

Reading the initial notes of the thread, I thought the following;
1. We seem to have the correct type of RB with Dayne to power for a short & goal or short and 1st down. AP if available fits solidly. Lundy & Taylor ok.
2.Spencer 352, Pitts 320, Flannagan 301, McKinney 302,Winston 310,Salaam
300, Wiegert 309 & Weary 308 seem over weight regardless of foot work.
3. Moulds and AJ are the right receivers, both strong, fast and fight for yards.
4. David Carr's skill sets fit the model, whether he is liked or not.
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