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.