Football is, by design, a complicated game. Offenses innovate, defenses adapt, and new schemes make their way into the American sports lexicon.
The West Coast offense, as it came to be known, was popularized by Bill Walsh, first as an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati during the 1970s and then in earnest as the head coach in San Francisco during the 1980s. The fact that the name of the offense was mistakenly attributed to Walsh's aerial attack that aimed at stretching a team horizontally and not Don Coryell's vertical passing attack is immaterial now. Even a casual fan can describe what the offense has come to be known for and the players (Montana, Craig, Rice) who made it sing.
In today's Krossover Insight's segment, we'll examine a new "coastal" offense that is primed to take the nation by storm. Willie Taggart has quickly climbed the coaching ranks. The 41-year old head coach of Florida State was a running backs coach under Jim Harbaugh just eight years ago. His meteoric rise has been tied to his ability to recruit, adapt his strategy to his personnel and his "Gulf Coast Offense."
Last season as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, Taggart's offense was hit or miss due to the loss of rising superstar Justin Herbert at quarterback. For that reason, it's more helpful to look at a full sample size. In this case, South Florida's 2016 season is a better representation of what the "Gulf Coast Offense" is capable of producing. Below is a visual representation powered by Krossover Insights of the Bulls season on the ground.
The Bulls racked up the fifth most yards on the ground in the nation (3,709) and did it at the second highest yards per carry clip (6.5). As the tendency chart above illustrates, Taggart found ways to get big yardage in the C-gap. With Insights you'd be able to dive right into relevant game footage to see those big runs in action. Here's an example from 2016:
This play perfectly encapsulates the Gulf Coast scheme. It's an RPO, evidenced by the WR screen option at the top of the screen. It's also out of the shotgun, yet utilizes a power running play for a mobile QB. Essentially, they spread out the defense just so they can bully their opponent in the box. Taggart's short stint in Eugene this past season certainly added bells and whistles to his offense, but the power running game remained the same. Here's an example of another power run complete with counter and pulling action, with some jet sweep window dressing layered on.
Think Stanford power running game meets the spread. Formationally they want to spread defenses out, limit defenders in the box, and present their ball carriers with one-on-one opportunities in space. For all the RPO, motion and read-option eye candy, it's really a simple offense by design. And with simplicity comes speed and perfected execution. Don't take my word for it, listen to Taggart.
This is just another example of how you can slice and dice big data into teachable moments both for your coaching staff and your players. Imagine what you could accomplish with this technology?
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