There are 166 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Cohn: Think you know West Coast Offense? Think again

Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Makes me wonder if Harbaugh and Roman have weaved the WCO into the Joe Gibbs style running game...remember the Hogs... lots of between the tackles stuff.

I think that was what Mike Singletary may have had in mind. However, the Harbaugh attack uses a lot more deception. JH really channels Walsh in that he uses a certain set with multiple options. For example, that 3 TE set looks like a running play but we have already seen 3 or 4 different pass patterns come out of it. That is Walsh stuff much more than Joe Gibbs. Gibbs just put that big ol' John Riggins behind all those big ol' hogs and dared people to stop them.

Sounds like we are going jumbo but with finesse in the running game, if that makes any sense The point is to not be predictable in your blocking at the point of attack. Not like fullback lead block with Gore right behind. Doesn't take much to diagnosed that play.
Originally posted by dj43:
One of the better pieces from the Cohn Clan.

One of the components of Walsh's offense was that he was willing to adjust as needed. Now, as we look back to 30 years ago (I can't believe it has been that long), we can say that Walsh "only" did this or that. The temptation is to look rather superficially at Walsh and suggest that today's versions of what he started are much more advanced and therefore better. The fall to that temptation would be a mistake. It would mean the writer really didn't study what Walsh did.

One can tell how much homework a writer has done by how deeply they look at him over the 10 years he really had control of what happened. For example, what Walsh started with Ricky Patton and Lenvil Elliott at RB and Freddie Solomon and Dwight Clark at WR changed a great deal when Wendell Tyler took over at RB and again when Jerry Rice accepted his mantle.

With Tyler, Walsh ran him more from an I-type set than he did previously. Tyler has great cutback ability and as well as quickness so he allowed Walsh to do things a bit differently. That approach stayed on through Roger Craig and Tom Rathman, both of whom added substantial new areas to the role of RB.

On the passing side, Rice just changed the game completely, and Walsh was bright enough to understand the possibilities with him, hence he made the "bold move" (reference another thread ) to move up and grab him. With Rice, Walsh was able to put in new routes and alignments that were not there before.

About the only constant in the Walsh years was Bobb McKittrick as OL coach, and even he added some wrinkles as the seasons went by. One of the things not often mentioned was his planting the seed in Mike Shanahan's head for the stretch blocking schemes that Denver became known for after Shanahan went there. McKittrick never used them much, because he didn't have to, but the quickness and agility he demanded in offensive linemen for the pulls and quick traps to work so well were the same requirements needed for stretch plays to be successful.

It would be fascinating to see what Walsh would be doing today if he were in Jim Harbaugh's shoes. Having watched all those years, it is my opinion Walsh would look back and those early years and say "My, how things have changed from what we ran back then." Because the true genius of Bill Walsh was that he was always looking for new and innovative ways to make the offense more effective and less predictable. Right now I would like to think he is likely looking down at the 3 TE sets Harbaugh is running with all the options and smiling.

Great post, dj... Thanks!
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Makes me wonder if Harbaugh and Roman have weaved the WCO into the Joe Gibbs style running game...remember the Hogs... lots of between the tackles stuff.

I think that was what Mike Singletary may have had in mind. However, the Harbaugh attack uses a lot more deception. JH really channels Walsh in that he uses a certain set with multiple options. For example, that 3 TE set looks like a running play but we have already seen 3 or 4 different pass patterns come out of it. That is Walsh stuff much more than Joe Gibbs. Gibbs just put that big ol' John Riggins behind all those big ol' hogs and dared people to stop them.

Sounds like we are going jumbo but with finesse in the running game, if that makes any sense The point is to not be predictable in your blocking at the point of attack. Not like fullback lead block with Gore right behind. Doesn't take much to diagnosed that play.
The jumbo formation Harbaugh is running does seem to take some by surprise and just plain overpower others. Still, what makes it so effective, particularly against Detroit, was the blend of talent of Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker in that mix. Their receiving abilities prevent defenses from just stacking up against the run. Again, a Walsh trait: recognizing the strengths of certain players and putting them in positions where they can best succeed.
I've been thinking, at what point in Harbaugh's pro or college career did he pick up the west coast offense as his philosophy? Anyone know the answer to this?

Originally posted by ObePwnD:
I've been thinking, at what point in Harbaugh's pro or college career did he pick up the west coast offense as his philosophy? Anyone know the answer to this?


I don't know the answer but I love the gif.
Originally posted by ObePwnD:
I've been thinking, at what point in Harbaugh's pro or college career did he pick up the west coast offense as his philosophy? Anyone know the answer to this?


When he answered Bill Walsh's phone call

I think it might have been with the Raiders. When he was evaluating QBs for them. I think at that time they were running the WCO...
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Didn't say anything that we didn't know 10 years ago. Mooch came in and because G. Hurst was such a good runner, he put in the I formation. Before that, Shannahan would sometime split Watters wide and essentially have Steve as a running back if things break down on that particular passing play.

I guess Cohen just found out for himself after all this time...
kind of wildcat-ish
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by ObePwnD:
I've been thinking, at what point in Harbaugh's pro or college career did he pick up the west coast offense as his philosophy? Anyone know the answer to this?


I don't know the answer but I love the gif.

THX
Eric Branch at Chronicle reported on this, too.

http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2011/10/27/a-modern-day-west-coast-offense-no-such-thing-fangio-says/
Originally posted by dj43:
I think that was what Mike Singletary may have had in mind. However, the Harbaugh attack uses a lot more deception. JH really channels Walsh in that he uses a certain set with multiple options. For example, that 3 TE set looks like a running play but we have already seen 3 or 4 different pass patterns come out of it. That is Walsh stuff much more than Joe Gibbs. Gibbs just put that big ol' John Riggins behind all those big ol' hogs and dared people to stop them.

Walsh took what you gave him, as everyone like to say before, he would dink and dunk you to death then when it was right a quick strike down the middle with the TE or a flag or post pattern by the wr was the niners way to run the ball, he chose it because the person getting the ball would be past the first line and with the right move could break it for a long gain which was the slant and swing pass. Still, he was not afraid to adapt and let the run take over be the feature if that was your weakness, especially with craig.

But you are right a lot more deception. The one thing that bothered me about the teams O before, no motions or unbalanced line to create matchup problems or to tell the QB what kind of D the defense was playing. the diff between JH and Sing is that Sing would the club for all to see and before he could swing it the other side just took it away from him. JH has the club hidden behind his back and shakes your hand with the other and when even you see it, you don't realize it till its too late that he is holding another club and the first was only a decoy.
Originally posted by WildBill:
Walsh took what you gave him, as everyone like to say before, he would dink and dunk you to death then when it was right a quick strike down the middle with the TE or a flag or post pattern by the wr was the niners way to run the ball, he chose it because the person getting the ball would be past the first line and with the right move could break it for a long gain which was the slant and swing pass. Still, he was not afraid to adapt and let the run take over be the feature if that was your weakness, especially with craig.

But you are right a lot more deception. The one thing that bothered me about the teams O before, no motions or unbalanced line to create matchup problems or to tell the QB what kind of D the defense was playing. the diff between JH and Sing is that Sing would the club for all to see and before he could swing it the other side just took it away from him. JH has the club hidden behind his back and shakes your hand with the other and when even you see it, you don't realize it till its too late that he is holding another club and the first was only a decoy.

I see Harbaugh holding up a huge stick, but just as you think he's going to take a swing -- out of nowhere, he got a 300 pds guy pancakes you from the side.
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Originally posted by ObePwnD:
I've been thinking, at what point in Harbaugh's pro or college career did he pick up the west coast offense as his philosophy? Anyone know the answer to this?


When he answered Bill Walsh's phone call

I think it might have been with the Raiders. When he was evaluating QBs for them. I think at that time they were running the WCO...

Yup...

Originally posted by WildBill:
Originally posted by dj43:
I think that was what Mike Singletary may have had in mind. However, the Harbaugh attack uses a lot more deception. JH really channels Walsh in that he uses a certain set with multiple options. For example, that 3 TE set looks like a running play but we have already seen 3 or 4 different pass patterns come out of it. That is Walsh stuff much more than Joe Gibbs. Gibbs just put that big ol' John Riggins behind all those big ol' hogs and dared people to stop them.

Walsh took what you gave him, as everyone like to say before, he would dink and dunk you to death then when it was right a quick strike down the middle with the TE or a flag or post pattern by the wr was the niners way to run the ball, he chose it because the person getting the ball would be past the first line and with the right move could break it for a long gain which was the slant and swing pass. Still, he was not afraid to adapt and let the run take over be the feature if that was your weakness, especially with craig.

But you are right a lot more deception. The one thing that bothered me about the teams O before, no motions or unbalanced line to create matchup problems or to tell the QB what kind of D the defense was playing. the diff between JH and Sing is that Sing would the club for all to see and before he could swing it the other side just took it away from him. JH has the club hidden behind his back and shakes your hand with the other and when even you see it, you don't realize it till its too late that he is holding another club and the first was only a decoy.

I thought Walsh never got away from the Pro Set formation and always shifted from that, even if he had 3WRs, he had Rice at one of the RB spots and motioned him to slot. I think Walsh felt a lot of comfort with that formation in that it helped him decipher defenses a lot easier and made things easier for Joe. Isn't the formation what Fangio was mainly talking about? Every team has deception in terms of traps, whams,...
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
I see Harbaugh holding up a huge stick, but just as you think he's going to take a swing -- out of nowhere, he got a 300 pds guy pancakes you from the side.

Can you say "WHAM"?