There is a 7-series of these videos and it starts with this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-MfNd-SjZo&feature=relmfu
They are short videos and I highly recommend watching but just in case, here are my notes. After watching/reading, I recommend you watch one of our games to compare:
West Coast Offense: Bill Walsh
- Offensive WCO philosophy - "To me football is an art form...it's a science but it's an art form. The pass offense was high percentage, timed passing. The same system of football being refined continually. That's the essence of coaching - isolating skills that are needed in the game of football and finding the best drills to teach those skills. " ~ BW
- The dropping back game - "Cross-over, hitch step, hitch step, throw. (demonstrating proper positioning of hands, where snaps should be and how critical the first right step is for timing) Joe, can you just show your hands...notice the length of his first step...now you'll notice Joe actually covered up to 3 yards on his first step and that's the key to QBing. (on throwing motion) You'll notice that the ball is brought right up to the shoulder, its always delivered above the shoulder and the tip never goes below the waist. Everything is released above the shoulder and caught above the shoulder...never throw a ball to a receiver below the waist. If the ball is caught below the waist, it affects their stride." He covers the three step quick out/hitch pattern here (good stuff re: the defensive positioning). Don't turn that head to the right when you're throwing to the right until you step to throw (on telegraphing throws)...keep your head straight forward as long as we possibly can. (on the slant pattern) 10 yards deep to the inch. (on progression reads). He covers the primary (almost always a WR), alternate (always a TE) and outlet (RB)...on virtually every play. (this one is awesome b/c he highlights how by the time he gets through the first two covered reads and when he passes to his TE/back (outlet) as the third option he needs to practice it moving/running b/c the pocket will most likely have collapsed and he will have to avoid his own blockers and defenders - epic. Right, to left and back to Brent, the third receiver."
- Covers 5-step drops (toughest for the QB), throwing left and right; 5 big steps, hitch-step, throw. Alternate receiver throw..feet are always moving; you never stand stationary when throwing to an alternate receiver. Pass to a back - 22-Texas pattern (how we beat Seattle d/t the LBers clearing and instrumental in "The Drive" finished with the 5-step Seam Post).
- 7-step drops (3 big, 4 small/quick). Designed to get receivers deeper or clear out space for underneath receivers. It's much harder to throw left...helmet still facing straight ahead. "For every extra step back here Joe has to take and look at a receiver, a defender can run 2 or 3 yards...your feet and your mechanics...have to be perfect." How the ball needs to be in the air before the recevier breaks. If Joe does decode to throw it and not look to the alternate, "The ball is going to be half-way there when the receiver breaks." 7-step, 2 hitch steps, throw - to clear out the defenders (get clear of them) and to avoid the DE's rush. BW talks about how soft (catchable) accurate Joe threw his balls...Joe said it's b/c he couldn't throw hard. LOL.
- Go patterns - "The go-pattern used to be 45, now it's 35" (d/t Joe's weak arm). LOL. There are three components to this pattern: 1. Position of where you're at on the field (depth you have) 2. The defense itself and 3. The time you need to get your man open. You don't throw it if the defender is deeper than your receiver. You throw it ONLY if they are parallel (or behind) and if the defender is playing on the inside of the receiver (never on the outside) and you are confident in your receivers speed. Know your personnel...time each one of them for precision; "That's just what you do." On press coverage, they throw go patterns on 3-steps. We could destroy teams (Giants, Hawks, etc.) on this one! 5-step go route with a hitch step (45 yard pass). They do it with a 7-step too but its the same pass every time; trajectory on it and to the outside if possible. Practice it until perfect (receiver needs to get to that spot). Go-route (covered) so go to alternate route (TE) and then the outlet (RB). "Most coaches will call it and just throw it one way or another and hope for the best" - is this the Kaepernick bomb or what! "But we'll call it often...if we call 10...4 or 5 will go to our TE's and backs."
- Screen passes (used to offset a good pass rush esp.). "The thing you can't do on a screen is to telegraph the ball." 5-step screen...helmet still straight ahead. Often screens work better left, than right. 7-step drop, right...QB moves slightly towards the right side to shorten the distance of the throw. The timing needs to be perfect. "The mechanics of it, have been conditioned into them (Joe/Roger) for so long (even years after retiring it's still perfect) that it's just automatic." There are 3 categories of passing: 1. Your drop back game (3, 5, 7-step drops); 2. Action passes (where the QB is on the move, away from the pass rusher and closer to the receiver). "You don't want the ball in the air very long on any pass if you can help it." Square outs. Waggle - play motions/sweeps left, QB runs naked right and the reverse action (where he wants to roll out but he's cut off and has to step (pull) up instead and throw). Joe notes that his eye is always on the LDE (in case he needs to pull up) first and then the receiver. "Don't waste any movements/motion/steps." More precision. Getting a QB's feet set rolling to the left is the biggest problem. Play-action passes - the key to this play is a great fake handoff (total sell by both QB/RB)...it's an actual handoff but the RB opens arms a little more and QB pulls ball back to himself and fools the secondary just enough. Uses the draw and fake-draw play to demonstrate it. "It has to be practiced...so the mechanics look identical."
- More philosophy & Sweep Pass Right, Z Out - "One of the key plays in franchise history." The QB drops back like normal pulling the DL (pass rush) to him and then sweeps right (past the pass rush) and passes. The Patriots used this one as well in Superbowls. Sprint right option - the Catch (pick play); it's a Paul Brown (Cleveland) play from the 50's in the North Ohio River Offense (LOL). BW was the OC. It was hard to defend b/c it offered so many receiving options esp. near the EZ (in the RZ). Everybody runs it now and have added to it...including throwing all the way back to the other side of the field to a wide open receiver (since everyone flowed to the side the QB went). BW would only sprint to the QB's strong arm...right if he was Montana and left if it was Young. 1. is a quick throw, 2. is to QB run and 3. pass to the corner of the EZ. Montana thought it was odd b/c it's was a designed play that they practices...but to him it was a play you do out of necessity/ad libing. BW said they practiced that play for three years, thousands of times in practice before the (fulfillment) Catch.
"We took the field and executed...and that's the essence of the WCO...it's the repetition and dealing with the contingencies and over and over practicing these things to where there isn't anything really verbal that has to be done!" ~ Bill Walsh (Mr. Automatic)