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Mechanics of the West Coast Offense -Topic Bill Walsh 1983 49ers Offense

Mechanics of the West Coast Offense -Topic Bill Walsh 1983 49ers Offense

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The West Coast offense (WCO) is a difficult philosophy for any defense to contend against. Over time this offensive system, and it’s creator, has become part of football lore. Innovation has built upon Walsh’s most basic principles of the WCO. The system ran today, only reflects the 49er’s of yesteryear in base applications. No matter how different today’s formations may be in this system (i.e. Jon Gruden’s I-Formation based WCO or Andy Reid’s Spread based WCO), the principles of the WCO stay the same. Defending the WCO can be challenging for someone that does not know or understand what the WCO sets out to accomplish. This guide is meant to present those basic philosophies and how to best defend against them.
The West Coast offense (WCO) is a difficult philosophy for any defense to contend against. Over time this offensive system, and it’s creator, has become part of football lore. Innovation has built upon Walsh’s most basic principles of the WCO. The system ran today, only reflects the 49er’s of yesteryear in base applications. No matter how different today’s formations may be in this system (i.e. Jon Gruden’s I-Formation based WCO or Andy Reid’s Spread based WCO), the principles of the WCO stay the same. Defending the WCO can be challenging for someone that does not know or understand what the WCO sets out to accomplish. This guide is meant to present those basic philosophies and how to best defend against them.

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Published by: Denauld William Brown on Apr 16, 2013
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 Theoretical Football
“Theoretical football is the notion that American football is an exceedingly complex sport that 
requires a branch of learning. Its goal is to accentuate the cerebral, academic, and quantifiable
aspects of American football.” 
-
Denauld William Brown
 
ContactTwitter: @theofootballEmail: theoreticalfootball@gmail.com
 
 
Mechanics Of The West Coast OffenseBy J.A. PolkTopic: Bill Walsh1983 49ers Offense
January 10, 1982, The NFC Championship Game: Down 21-27 with 58 Se
 
conds left in the Fourth Quarter, San Francisco faces a 3
rd
and 3 on the Dallas6
th
yard line. Joe Montana enters the huddle and gives the play call; Red Right Tight, Sprint Option Right. The huddle breaks, the men line up, and theCatch becomes part of football history.
The West Coast offense (WCO) is a difficult philosophy for any defense to contend against. Over time this offensive system, and
it’screator, has become part of football lore. Innovation has built upon Walsh’s most basic principles of the WCO. The system ran
today,
only reflects the 49er’s of yesteryear in base applications. No matter how different today’s formations may be in this syste
m (i.e.Jon
Gruden’s
I-
Formation based WCO or Andy Reid’s Spread based WCO), the principles of the WCO stay the same. Defending the
WCO can be challenging for someone that does not know or understand what the WCO sets out to accomplish. This guide is meantto present those basic philosophies and how to best defend against them.
Next Topic: Steve Mariucci1997 Cal Offense
 
 
X
How do you defend an offense thatholds the ball, throws it around, and
pulls tricks out of it’s sleeve? That was
the question many defensivecoordinators were faced with in the
early 1980’s. Bill Walsh was the
brainchild of such a system. One thatattacked, for the times, in such anunconventional way.The WCO set out to accomplish a greatfeat in football; controlling possessionand scoring the ball through the air.Today, the principles of the WCO aretime honored, and have beenincorporated into other offensivesystems, but way back then it was a
beast of it’s own.
 In principle, the WCO attackeddefenses in many new ways. Theseincluded:
Spreading the defense horizontallyand vertically.
Creating mismatches betweenreceivers and defenders.
Passing the ball, instead of runningit to maintain possession.
While using all 5 receivers.Other principles, contributed to whydefending the WCO was/is difficult.Quick, timed passes caught defensesoff guard, while sound passprotections and formations warded offblitzing defenders. Receivermismatches wrecked havoc on M2M,
as great QB’s picked apart zones.
Defending the WCO is just likedefending any other offensive system;by knowing and defending the
principles. How can a team use it’s
bread and butter, after the defenseslammed the bread box closed?That is what the essentials of WCOdefense comes to, taking thoseprinciples away. While saying that is alot easier then doing it, it is possible; ifplanned for correctly. Remember,football requires proper planningtoday, for accurate executiontomorrow.
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