Hi guys it's been a while since I've made a fanpost as college has kept me busy but I finally have found some time to explore the intricacies of our offense. In order to understand the roots of Pep Hamilton's 'no coast' offense, the basic principles of the west coast offense must be explained first.
By its most basic definition, a West Coast offense is simply an offense that emphasizes passing the ball more than running it. The two most commonly known variations of the WCO are the 'Air Coryell' offense created by Don Coryell and the offense created by Bill Walsh. Both of these offenses originated in the late 1970's and through the 80's, contributing greatly to the successes of these two coaches and their teams.
Air Coryell was an offense that placed a special emphasis on vertical routes and the big play. This offense was successful because of its Hall of Fame trigger-man Dan Fouts along with fellow Hall members TE Kellen Winslow Sr and WR Charie Joiner. Although Air Coryell was as dynamic as it gets, the Chargers never reached the Super Bowl because this vertical offense was just not sustainable in the playoffs as windows became tighter and defenses were geared to stop the big play. In his career Dan Fouts never had greater than a 63.3 percent completion rate, which would be considered average by today's standards.
Bill Walsh's variation of the WCO was quite the opposite of Air Coryell, placing greater importance on a horizontal offense, or one that generally focused on shorter, safer throws than Air Coryell. Joe Montana, in stark contrast to Dan Fouts, had several seasons where he surpassed a 64 percent completion rate, even reaching 70.2 in the 1989 season. Walsh's WCO was very effective in the playoffs because its style was perfect in countering the slow pace dictated by defenses in the postseason.
In today's NFL, these two WCOs have branched out into several more variations. I have chosen 2 different variations to provide an effective comparison. In Kansas City, Andy Reid will implement the same offense as he had in Philly, one that occasionally takes deep shots but is focused on shorter throws and screens that involve the running backs. Reid's variation of the WCO stems mostly from Bill Walsh's system.
On the other hand, the system utilized by Mike McCarthy in Green Bay is a vertical offense that stems more from the Air Coryell variation of the WCO. Although the Packers are not afraid to take shots, they are also patient enough not to force the ball deep, which was a weakness of the original Air Coryell offense.
Pep Hamilton, by terming his offense 'No Coast', has basically TOLD us what the colts offense will look like in 2013. Because of the speed of the Wide Recievers ( Hilton, DHB) the Colts can implement principles of a vertical, 'Air Coryell' offense. However, with the presence of 2 potentially dynamic Tight Ends (Allen, Fleener) and a running back that can catch (Bradshaw), Hamilton can also implement principles from Bill Walsh's classic WCO. By combining the best of both worlds, the Colts' variation of the WCO will cause nightmares for defenses in 2013.
What do you guys think?