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West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #16
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Originally Posted by Ade Jimoh Fan Club View Post
I know we have some smart football folks on this site - I was wondering what you thought about the switch to the West Coast Offense, specifically:

1) Is it just me or is this a terrible move for Campbell? He throws a sweet, sweet long ball, but his short dinks and dumps are horid. They are almost always off target - he just doesn't have that touch in his arsenal. Since this pretty much IS the West Coast Offense, do you think Campbell can change this part of his game, or is the beginning of the end for him...?

2) We definitely have the perfect receivers for this offense; fast, speedy, RAC WR's. Plus Portis has shown himself to be a great (and in my opinion, underutilzed) receiver. Do you think we are good in this area?

3) What does this mean for the O-Line? I know we had a lot of injuries last year, but they group should be starting next year intact and we all know they are a pretty good group of linemen. Does the West Coast Offense call for a different set of O-Lineman? (i.e. smaller and more agile?)

4) We all know that the priorities for the draft are D-Linemen and DB's. Is the move to West Coast Offense going to re-prioritize any of our draft picks?

Thanks for your input!

THE ADE
1) While accuracy is not yet JC's strong suit, Im sure than having a former QB as the head coach will definitely be an asset. Zorn will undoubtedly have Campbell more than ready before the season starts, and as someone mentioned earlier, he ran a version of this in college.

2) I think that we are good in this area, but we definitely could do better. The WCO does need receivers that have YAC (yards after catch) ability, it also requires larger receivers who can also break tackles in this predominantly short pass oriented offense. I dont think we need to draft a receiver right away because of this, but we may want to look into it and/or keep our eyes open to who's released in free agency.

3) Our O-line is good. Just add depth in the off season and we will be good. The WCO should bode well for them, because the WCO requires shorter drops from the QB. This in turn, shortens the time that the O-line has to sustain their blocks in pass protection.

4) I think that depending on how our cap space looks, what we do in free agency, and who we release will dictate who we draft. We need a receiver anyway, so Im sure we will address that in the draft. If the draft were held today, I think we would take Devin Thomas out of Michigan state if he is there. At earliest we get a receiver in the 2nd round.

Side Note - I think we should snatch up this guy in the 3rd round. He is projected as a 3rd round player at best, but I say he is the best receivers that you have never heard ofYouTube - Inside K-State Sports - Jordy Nelson Highlight Video

He would be a joy to have and a value pick at that for us in those middle rounds.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:35 PM   #17
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Campbell threw for over 300 yards in week 11 and 12 and then got hurt in week 14. Not sure that qualifies as losing it at the end for a rookie quarterback. He did make some mistakes on game ending drives, but people seem to forget that he had a knack for driving us all the way down the field every single time we were in a close game in the final minutes it's just that he had problems right at the very end with regards to finishing. In my mind that was a very good sign from a young QB.
I completely agree.

Campbell has now been above the league average for two straight seasons. He's not yet in his prime. That alone would designate him our "franchise quarterback."

Someone has to win the game when it gets down to the wire. The fact that it hasn't quite happened for Campbell yet is no reason to discredit him for taking us there.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:45 PM   #18
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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I'd be interested to see if his short to intermediate range accuracy increased as the season progressed last year. I think that part of the reason for his struggles was due to the receivers making the adjustment from left-handed, lo-mein with shrimp armed Brunell, to right-handed, Pachelbelled armed Campbell.

I think I mentioned this in another thread where we discussed the WCO at great length.

One of the most important requirements for a QB in the WCO is to be an accurate passer. It is also important to realize that arm strength and being able to pass are not synonymous. Some QB's can throw a football 80yds. but they aren't good passers. Good passing involves accuracy, timing, and throwing the ball with enough touch so it's catchable. Most importantly, it requires a vast knowledge of the offense with an even greater sense of anticipation.

While it may be considered admirable to be able to throw the ball 35-40 yds. on a line, if the ball is off target or arrives in such a way that it's difficult to catch, such an ability is of dubious value.

Footwork is also an essential tool to be effective. Watching Montana, Young. McNabb and Hasselbeck perfect the mechanics of footwork, and how it's implemented is going to be crucial for Jason. Initally, I had a knock on this form of offense, but after watching Montana run it to perfection in the 80's made me a believer, mainly because of his extreme accuracy enabling his receivers to be able to run after the catch. My knock primarily was on it's lack of balance, I figured you would win some games, but eventually a pass first offense would come back to haunt you. Bad weather, a strong pass rush, lack of ball control, too many turnovers and a host of other reasons I offered as obstacles to sustained success. I felt like some others have said, "three things can happen when you put the ball in the air,and two of them are bad".

These are the things I'm sure we're going to make every atempt to make work for us in this offense:

1- Spread the defense over a large area of the field both horizontally and vertically;

2- Create mismatches in the speed, size, or number of receivers defenders have to cover;

3- Throw on any down and distance to avoid tendencies that defenses can key on;

4- Maintain possession through the air just as other teams have tried to do on the ground. I think these are the keys to the successful implementation of at least parts of this offense.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:08 AM   #19
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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JC needs work on his all around accuracy. I wasn't impressed with his deep ball ability at all. I mean the potential is there, but how many times did he over shoot wide open WRs last year?? Too many times if you ask me.

He's getting there, his completion % went from 53.1 in his first year to 60.0 in his 2nd, he just needs to keep building on that progress.

In a WCO he really needs to get that % up closer to 65%.
Amen!!! Campbell's deep ball misses killed us at times. He needs to learn to put more air under the ball - his miss to Lloyd at GB should have been a game winner. I believe that Campbell is most effective throwing darts in the 15-20 yard range, but I'm confident that he will adapt to the short rhythm passing of the WCO given time. That said, I hope that he learns to put more touch on the deep ball. Given the whole package, the sky's the limit for Campbell, but we need to be patient with the offensive change.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:19 AM   #20
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

Great responses so far - thanks for the input. Actually, the feedback has created three more questions in my mind:

1) Will the West Coast Offense require Campbell to scramble more? I've always thought he should take off and run with it more - he's definitely got the speed to pick up 1st downs. As far as throwing on the run (i.e. rolling out of the pocket) - this doesn't seem like Campbell strong suit - am I wrong? He seems like more of a pocket passer.

2) Why does everyone think that hiring a great Q-Back coach like Zorn is going to greatly impact Campbell? He is the HEAD COACH. He'll be spending very, very little one-on-one mentoring time with Campbell. As we've already discussed, this is one of the huge downsides of the decision to hire him as Head Coach.

3) Playoff games usually occur in bad weather. How smart is it to have our offense built around a pass-first mentality? Or does it not really matter because of the number of domes and the fact that these guys are pros and are unaffected unless it's a whirling blizzard?

Thanks,
THE ADE
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #21
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Originally Posted by Ade Jimoh Fan Club View Post

2) Why does everyone think that hiring a great Q-Back coach like Zorn is going to greatly impact Campbell? He is the HEAD COACH. He'll be spending very, very little one-on-one mentoring time with Campbell. As we've already discussed, this is one of the huge downsides of the decision to hire him as Head Coach.
THE ADE
I think he actually will have a great deal of one on one time with Jason. Right now we're unclear as to how much time that actually will be, but I think we'll see a head coach that has never been so involved in the development of a QB thus far in the NFL.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:30 AM   #22
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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I think he actually will have a great deal of one on one time with Jason. Right now we're unclear as to how much time that actually will be, but I think we'll see a head coach that has never been so involved in the development of a QB thus far in the NFL.
I don't see how that's a good thing. I don't think a head coach should be spending a high-percentage of his time with just one player. He has a million other things that need to be done, and if he truly is spending a lot of time working with Campbell, then he's blowing off something else. More succinctly - that's not his role.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:31 AM   #23
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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I think he actually will have a great deal of one on one time with Jason. Right now we're unclear as to how much time that actually will be, but I think we'll see a head coach that has never been so involved in the development of a QB thus far in the NFL.
Bill Walsh was pretty hands on with the QB and that worked out pretty well. I am not comparring JZ with BW but it has been done before.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:38 AM   #24
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Originally Posted by Ade Jimoh Fan Club View Post
Great responses so far - thanks for the input. Actually, the feedback has created three more questions in my mind:

1) Will the West Coast Offense require Campbell to scramble more? I've always thought he should take off and run with it more - he's definitely got the speed to pick up 1st downs. As far as throwing on the run (i.e. rolling out of the pocket) - this doesn't seem like Campbell strong suit - am I wrong? He seems like more of a pocket passer.

2) Why does everyone think that hiring a great Q-Back coach like Zorn is going to greatly impact Campbell? He is the HEAD COACH. He'll be spending very, very little one-on-one mentoring time with Campbell. As we've already discussed, this is one of the huge downsides of the decision to hire him as Head Coach.

3) Playoff games usually occur in bad weather. How smart is it to have our offense built around a pass-first mentality? Or does it not really matter because of the number of domes and the fact that these guys are pros and are unaffected unless it's a whirling blizzard?

Thanks,
THE ADE
He's already said he's going to leave the defensive side alone, and that he's going to spend a lot of time with JC. So based on that I guess that's why people are saying he will impact JC.

Regarding #3 a WCO does not necessarily mean a pass first offense.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:38 AM   #25
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

What has been Campbell's worst downfall as a QB so far? Fumbling.

This offense will get the ball out of his hands so he's not standing around looking for Cooley to get open since WRs are covered.

Sounds like he'll excel.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:40 AM   #26
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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I don't see how that's a good thing. I don't think a head coach should be spending a high-percentage of his time with just one player. He has a million other things that need to be done, and if he truly is spending a lot of time working with Campbell, then he's blowing off something else. More succinctly - that's not his role.
Campbell has proven he can work and study harder than anyone in the NFL on his own. He'll be fine if Coach Zorn needs to focus on other parts of the team, which he will.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:43 AM   #27
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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Originally Posted by Ade Jimoh Fan Club View Post
Great responses so far - thanks for the input. Actually, the feedback has created three more questions in my mind:

1) Will the West Coast Offense require Campbell to scramble more? I've always thought he should take off and run with it more - he's definitely got the speed to pick up 1st downs. As far as throwing on the run (i.e. rolling out of the pocket) - this doesn't seem like Campbell strong suit - am I wrong? He seems like more of a pocket passer.

2) Why does everyone think that hiring a great Q-Back coach like Zorn is going to greatly impact Campbell? He is the HEAD COACH. He'll be spending very, very little one-on-one mentoring time with Campbell. As we've already discussed, this is one of the huge downsides of the decision to hire him as Head Coach.

3) Playoff games usually occur in bad weather. How smart is it to have our offense built around a pass-first mentality? Or does it not really matter because of the number of domes and the fact that these guys are pros and are unaffected unless it's a whirling blizzard?

Thanks,
THE ADE

Tried to touch on some of the points you raise in my post above. The offense wont require him to scramble as much as it will to be elusive in the pocket, often being able to make the first potential tackler miss. The ability to roll out, both left and right is one of the principal ingredients neccessary to make the offense effective. Jason is nimble enough, and his feet are quick enough to be effective at what he's going to need to do.

You must remember, Zorn was origionally hired to be the OC, and that hire was designed to further the development of JC. Now that HC has also been attached to his title it's not likely he'll be able to spend as much individual time with JC, however, there are a few things he's going to work on with Jason in hopes of further developing the skills he's going to need to make him effective in this offense.

Bad weather was one of my origional knocks on the WCO. [see Seattle vs Green Bay-in GB] In December & January when it's imperative you have balance, the running game is every teams best friend. I'm hoping our offense will resemble a more modified version of the WC that includes some power running, and not just limited to draw plays & screens simular to what the Phila. Eagles utilize. It's going to have to be more diversified to succeed in inclimate regions when the games are most important.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:47 AM   #28
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

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I think people around here are going to be very surprised just how accurate JC can be when he is running the West Coast Offense. He had a ridiculously high completion percentage(One of the best ever in the history of the SEC) his senior year at Auburn when they went undefeated. That year the Tigers ran a version of the WCO.

Campbell's completion percentage his senior year at Auburn was 69.6%
I read somewhere that the WCO Jason Campbell ran at Auburn was grossly simplified so he could operate it more effectivly. In addition to it be simplified it was also a run first style of the WCO, which many believed is why Campbell was so accurate in the passing game that year. Bear in mind, there were also two top 5 running backs (Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown) on the team, when Auburn went undeafeted, as well.

Keep in mind I am just reporting what I have read from many different people. I do not watch college football, so I cannot say if that is the case or not? If someone knows other wise I would like to hear it.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:50 AM   #29
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

There are plenty of cold weather teams that utilize WCO principles. Philly, Green Bay, Denver, Seattle, and even New England to a degree.

I found a good article on the history of the WCO, it's by our friend Lenny P but it's still worth the read:

ESPN.com: NFL - All roads lead to Walsh ... sort of
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:51 AM   #30
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Re: West Coast Offense - Good, Bad or Ugly?

Pros and cons of the west coast
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