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KY s Air Raid Offense AFCA Proceedings 1999 [1]

KY s Air Raid Offense AFCA Proceedings 1999 [1]

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• Kentucky Offensive Staff • Coaching Clinic • Wednesday • January 13 •


an would like to discuss three of the' ~today. I honor to speak in front of you b-;;stplays in our offense. The first play is our Mesh play that is diagrammed for you (Diagram 1). The "V," which can be a tight end or a wide receiver is responsible for working to a depth of no deeper than six yards when he reaches the center. As he crosses the center, he will settle in the open area which we call "grass," and face the quarterback ready to receive the ball. Diagram 1


The quarterback reads high to low: corner (Z) NO.1, mesh NO.2, backs NO.3, while taking a 5-7 step drop. Another great play for us has been our V-cross play (Diagram 3). We use this play several times a game from a variety of formations. Diagram

Kentucky's Air Raid Offense

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Runningbacks Coach University of Kentucky Lexington, Ky.

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The X is responsible to run an up route and get deep as fast as possible. He will be the quarterback's first read, and 3-5 times a year, we will hit this for a big play. The V works under the Sam linebacker and climbs over the Mike linebacker. If he were to reach the opposite hash, he would be at a depth of 17 yards, and if he made it all the way across the field, he would be approximately 22 yards deep. Once he climbs over the Mike linebacker, he may settle in the open "grass" vs. zone coverage, or continue to run and snap off his route vs. man. He is the second read by the quarterback. The H will release outside the defensive end and press up the field to 3-4 yards and run an option route. He will stick his toe in the ground and break hard outside or inside vs. match-up zone or man, and he will settle in the "grass" vs. zone. It is crucial to have a great option route runner. We've been fortunate to have Anthony White for two seasons to run option routes, and we have him back one more season in '99. He has caught 59 and 78 passes the last two seasons. The Z will run a post-curl at 14-17 yards on the backside. He will settle in the open grass vs. zone. He is our fourth option on the V-cross route. The F will check release and run a swing as he did on the mesh route and will be the fifth option. Both backs will check on all our 5-7 step drop back passes. The quarterback will read X on the up first, V-cross second, H-third, Z-fourth, and F-fifth. The last play today is one of our quick screens. This screen is good versus press or soft coverage. The University of Montana has been great at running this for years,

The "X" will be responsible for the "mesh" with the V and will go under V at the center. When X crosses V, he will settle in 'he open grass. X and V both will continue o run if they feel man coverage and slightly bend their route up field (Diagram 2). Diagram 2

Chris Hatcher Quarterbacks Coach


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Guy Morriss Offensive Line Coach

The "z" will run a corner route to a depth - somewhere between 13-23 yards Jspending on where the best "grass" is. He ust read the coverage on pre-snap, and ~s the route develops, be on the same :,age as the quarterback. The "F" will run a swing route, and must as wide as the numbers. If the ball is on


:.~s near hash, he should get a little wider ::-an the numbers. He must work hard to


:: .'lays get to the numbers or he will clog up mesh area. The F should also work -;, d not to gain ground upfield as he runs

swing. he "H" runs a shoot route to a depth of = /ards when he reaches the numbers. He ~ must widen if the ball is on the near 30th backs will check-release the Sam


::.:-j the Will before releasing. If they blitz, '=' Nill stay and protect.

• Proceedings • 76th AFCA Convention • 1999 • 113

• Kentucky


Staff • Coaching

Clinic • Wednesday • January

13 •
Drill: This is the first drill

along with many other screens. Their offensive coordinator, Brent Peace, is one of the sharpest minds in the country. The play-side receiver (wide) is responsible for driving up the field three hard steps to sell the vertical route, before sticking and retracing his steps behind the line of scrimmage and back towards the hash mark and quarterback. He should receive the ball before reaching the hash and turn up the field inside the play-side guards kick-out block (Diagram 4). It is important that he trusts the guard, set up his block, and get straight up the field after the catch.

Coach Franklin has already discussed a few of our base patterns, and now I would like to talk about how we actually teach these routes and the fundamentals that are needed to execute them properly. One can describe our offense as a wellcoached backyard team. We firmly believe in throwing the football short first, long second, and then run the football when the numbers in the box are favorable. Another belief of ours is to keep things simple and put our players in a position to succeed. We never want to ask an athlete to do something that he is unable to do effectively. In our offense, the quarterback is the key to our success. Since this is the case, we keep our schemes very simple because we can run only what he is capable of comprehending. So in our dealings with the quarterback, we follow four basic objectives: 1. We try to be fair with him especially the way we treat him in front of the other players. The worst thing one can do with a quarterback is to destroy his confidence and the team's confidence in him by degrading him in public. 2. We must also be firm with him. We allow our quarterbacks to check plays at the line of scrimmage when needed. However, by allowing this, we must let him know that he better have good reason to check out of plays called from the sideline. In other words, we handle our quarterback with an iron fist and a velvet glove. 3. We try to make football as much fun as possible. We do not stretch or run sprints. Everything that we do is geared towards playing football. In fact, recently I had the opportunity to hear Coach Spike Dykes give a lecture. He summed it up in one sentence,'We do not work football, we play football." 4. The most important objective is putting emphasis on the importance of fundamentals. We work hard daily on football fundamentals and feel that our attention to detail has allowed our offense to be among the nation's best the past two years. Our offensive schemes are very simple, but we try to become very good at the few things we do. This is accomplished by getting as many repetitions as possible in a very short period of time. The two drills that I would like to share with you today are the basic cogs that make our offense go. Both the Settle/Noose and Routes on Air are drills specifically designed to make the most of your time while on the field. Remember that time is one thing that cannot be replaced.

that our quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends, running backs, and centers participate in once they run onto the field. Placing two dummies ten yards apart on the sideline sets up this drill. The receivers will line up behind one dummy while the quarterback and center line up on the line perpendicular to the sideline. (Diagram 5) The receiver will start in a good stance, and release on the quarterback's cadence. He will proceed to settle closer to one dummy, than the other. He will then face the quarterback with his hands in the noose position (thumbs together and index fingers together) ready to catch the football. Once the ball is caught, he will then turn straight up field.

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The inside play-side receiver will drive vertical for half the distance of where the defender will end up who is guarding the ball-catching receiver. He will then stick and plant his inside foot, break sharp toward the defender, and kick him out at approximately the time of the reception. Both tackles will lock on and pass-pro the defensive ends. The play-side guard will pass set for 1001 count, and then release flat to kick out NO.2 (Diagram 4). The center will pass-set for 1001 count, and release, to block the Mike linebacker. The fullback's fake will help hold the Mike until the center can get there. The backside guard will pass-set to 1001 count, and release to block NO.4 or attack any lagging "trash" along the way. The Y will check the Sam blitz, and release to block Sam. The outside receiver away will fake quick screen, and then release to block his corner. The quarterback will flash the ball and quick fake his fullback; he will glance to the opposite side, set his feet, and throw on rhythm. The fullback will fake and block the man over the playside guard. This has been a great play for us for two seasons. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to speak.


The quarterback will work with the center on the exchange, and then take his specified drop (e.g. three-step, five-step, and seven-step). Once he hits his last step, he will step up in the pocket waiting for the receiver to face him. When the receiver is ready, the quarterback will release the football aiming for the receiver's number that is farthest away from the nearest dummy. This tells the receiver which direction to turn. (Diagram 6) This process is continued with each receiver taking turns. If you have more than one quarterback, several stations can be going on simultaneously.

Diagram 6



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This drill is done at one-quarter speed, and allows many things to be accomplished while warming up. In a ten-minute period, our receivers are catching balls while loosening their legs. Our quarterbacks are working on the quarterback/center exchange, drops, and accuracy.

Chris Hatcher, Quarterbacks
This is a great opportunity and privilege for me to speak to you today about the University of Kentucky "Air Raid" offense.

• Proceedings

• 76th AFCA Convention

• 1999 •


• Kentucky Offensive Staff • Coaching Clinic • Wednesday • January 1 3 •
Routes on Air: This particular drill involves everyone on offense except the inemen. Our receivers and running backs 'ine up in a base formation. All five of our uarterbacks line up side-by-side in a presnap position. If you do not have five quar:erbacks, just insert a coach or manager. cross from the line of scrimmage (35 yard ine), seven dummies are aligned to represent a particular coverage that we will see . the game that week. (Diagram 7) The ",xtra receivers will line up behind their -espective positions and wait for their turn :0 run the pattern. Diagram 7 Diagram 8 sive line which tells them whic they block (Diagram 10). Diagram B -"'" E 10 B , TiE / direction

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This drill has been very important in

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developing our passing game. In fifteen minutes, we can run everyone of our plays at least five times. Again, this drill allows us a lot of repetitions in a very organized short period of time. Guy Morriss, Offensive Line

If the halfback stays and blocks and the fullback is in the route, the halfback makes a "Louie" call to the offensive line which

tells them which direction to block (Diagram 11). Diagram 11

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honor for me to be here today. Our offensive linemen must develop a passion to become the very best pass protectors they can be. Becoming a good pass blocker requires hard work, study, concentration, dedication, strength training, and most of all, patience. Repetition must be accepted as a way of life for the pass blocker. We spend 85-90% of our time teaching our linemen how to block, rather than figure out who to block. The beauty of our system is just how simple it is. We have only one protection at Kentucky. We do not slide, turn, or zone protect. We use a man scheme and strive to be one well-coordinated unit, as well as exceptional one-on-one individual pass blockers. The scheme is easy to learn, easy to teach, and easy to adjust during the heat of a ballgame. Our base rule is as follows: The offensive line will block the four down linemen and the Mike linebacker. The fullback will check Sam to any strongside edge player, and the halfback will check Will to any weak side edge player (Diagram 9). Diagram 9 ""', EfT

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Once everyone is lined up correctly, the ach will then call a play. All the receivers n their routes while all five quarterbacks -'" e their drops. Each quarterback will - row to one of the five receivers. Each -eceiver will catch the ball, turn straight up " e field and sprint to the end zone. Our -eceivers are taught to never settle behind dummy, and our quarterbacks :;)row over a dummy.




The scheme applies to three-step, fivestep, and seven-step protections. The base rule is the same, the only thing that changes is the depth of the set by the offensive line. I see that we are out of time. Remember that any lineman can become a better pass blocker if he has the courage, tion, strength, and willingness to Please allow us to be of any by calling the University of determinawork hard. assistance Kentucky 1':9

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During this drill, the receivers will work proper alignment, stance and starts, - d running good routes. Also by making em sprint to the end zone, the receivers are being conditioned. The quarterback's play is probably one of the most important aspects of this drill. The quarterbacks will read each route in a certain progression. For example, the quarterback with the first read will throw his ball once he hits his last step. The quarterback with the fifth read will look at the first four receivers before he releases his ball to that receiver. In essence, the balls will be released in a typewriter fashion. (Diagram 8) After this play is completed, then the next group of receivers will line up and replace the receivers who just participated. The quarterbacks will rotate and throw to a different receiver. This process will be repeated five times, so that each quarterback will throw all five routes. If the balls are not being released in the proper order, then I know there is a problem with one of the quarterbacks knowing his progression of reads.

Yootball Office at (606) 257-3611.

Improve Your Professional Image
Ask your sports information director to mention your membership and involvement in the AFCA in your biography in your school's media guide.













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If defenses play our base set with six "in the box" we must define where the Mike linebacker is. If the fullback stays and blocks and the halfback is in the route the fullback makes a "Roger" call to the offen-

• Proceedings • 76th AFCA Convention • 1999 •


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