Thread: WR's Role in the WCO
05-13-2007, 04:59 AM #1
WR's Role in the WCO
I had some time to kill tonight at work so I thought I would put a sanity check on if our WR's fit our KAO much like I did a while ago on our OL and thier fit in the ZB Scheme.
The first one kindof gives a overview of the WCO as well as history, however I stuck it in here because of some of the statistical data (size/weight/speed) that a WR needs in the WCO.
The wide receiver position is probably the second most important position in this offense only because of the passing. The ideal size of a wide receiver should be at least 6 foot 3 inches, and weigh about 210 pounds.
While pure (track) speed may be desirable, the ability to increase his foot speed as needed (i.e., explosiveness) and his full stride speed are more important factors for a wide receiver.
Full-stride speed enables a receiver who has the ball in the open field to be able to keep the separation with the closing defenders until he crosses the goal line . He doesn't have to out-run the defenders or gain ground on them just get to the goal line before the defenders do. This situation requires full-stride speed, rather than track speed.
These two at the bottom are a bit dated but still very interesting.
You will see that they were written to help out with Fantasy Football drafting but still helped in determining if our WR fit the WCO.
It's important to understand that the West Coast offense is not a single system. It's a philosophy.....
The West Coast philosophy includes ways to practice, develop players, plan a game and scheme the offense. On the field, the West Coast offense operates as a short-passing game designed to control the clock and move the ball with high-percentage, precision passes (which Walsh referred to as "the extended handoff"). This is not to say that there is not a strong rushing component in the West Coast offense. Many of the best West Coast offenses have had a major rushing component.
......the West Coast offense generally relies on the passing game to free up the running game, which is counter to traditional football thinking ... at least when Walsh created the system
A certain WR that everyone still pines for on here sure doesn't match any of these attributes.
Core features of the West Coast philosophy are:
QB makes pre and post-snap reads and judges where the ball should go.
All five WRs run patterns (ie. no TE or RB blocking).
Passing game attacks defense within the short-medium range (up to 15 yards).
Receiver's skill relied on to create YAC and break big plays.
Force defense to react to passing game: this opens up the run.
Quick drop (generally 3-5 step, though the 7 step can be used) by QB used to minimize sacks.
Multiple formations, shifts and motions to create mismatches.
QBs job is to find the open receiver and deliver the ball by progressing through his reads.
Triangle passing (strongside, weakside and middle).
The Split End (SE) position is generally reserved for more of a possession type receiver who has a good release off the line, because the SE has to line up on the line of scrimmage (LOS).
The Flanker position in the WCO, while not reserved for a speed receiver, gives the wideout more freedom to release and thus can be played by a faster, smaller receiver.
WCO offenses frequently use a third receiver who generally plays the slot position. While slot receivers are traditionally smaller, quicker receivers who have trouble beating press coverage, many WCO teams choose to use larger players who are of the same basic type as the SE and Flanker.
(Probably not though as some of you are as hard headed as I am
In essence, what we've learned are that the Flanker and Split End positions are not always viewed as a No. 1 and No. 2 because of the schemes. At times these receivers will post similar numbers. At the same time, a slot receiver should not be a targeted position as a fantasy receiver based on their limitations in targets. The TE position is key to a WCO and the ability of an RB and FB to be pass receivers is essential.
Maybe this was a deciding factor for a certain WR that the team targeted in FA not to sign with us.
Since offensive balance is the aim of the WCO, parity is often the result of its proper execution. A good example (albeit of a bad WCO) is the situation in Carolina in 1999. George Siefert's Panthers ran a classic WCO that season (no shotgun formation, lots of two-back sets). At the end of the year, the top three receivers were within 9 receptions of one another, the TE had 43 receptions and the FB had 26 receptions. In Philadelphia last year, James Thrash and Todd Pinkston posted similar numbers (635 yards-6 TDs for Thrash and 798 yards and 7 TDs for Pinkston). This is the perfect illustration of the balance the WCO seeks in utilizing all offensive weapons.
Mostly gives us a bit of history/insight into the coaching goals/envirnment our HC came from as well as a better insight into why he he as the WR on the staff and not the ones we have been griping for.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLESJames Thrash (Flanker); Todd Pinkston (Split End); Freddie Mitchell (Slot)
The Eagles are undersized at every WR position. Thrash (6', 200 lbs), Pinkston (6'2", 174 lbs) and Mitchell (5'11", 184 lbs) are all smaller than the normal players that play their spots in a WCO. The Eagles also have no true No. 1 WR.
Thrash entered last season as the team's No. 1 but didn't finish off with the best stats. His 635 yards and 6 TDs just didn't measure up to Pinkston's 798-7. Thrash has some good speed and can do a lot of things on the field and was actually doing much better than Pinkston until QB Donovan McNabb went down with an injury. Whether he will return to being the team's "No. 1" or not is anyone's guess at this time, though popular thought says he won't. That stated, he can be drafted as a No. 3 fantasy receiver who could post No. 2 fantasy numbers.
It is simply amazing what Pinkston was able to do at split end last season with his lanky build. Pinkston also has some impressive speed, which helps him to get off the line of scrimmage without being too physical. Pinkston gained 385 yards and scored 4 TDs in his final six games, so he does have some momentum entering this season. He also has a great vertical leap which allows him to come down with those tough catches despite his lack of physical ability. Unlike Thrash, Pinkston's being drafted higher than what his return will probably be. However, as a No. 2 fantasy receiver (where he's being drafted as), is not a reach and he should be able to deliver.
Mitchell was a first-round draft pick a few seasons ago and has done nothing to earn a starting job. He has had a real nice off-season, though, and the good news for him is that the Eagles rely heavily on their No. 3 WR. You have to look no further than Antonio Freeman to find just how important the slot WR is to the Eagles' system. Last season, Freeman caught 46 passes for 600 yards and scored 4 TDs. Mitchell is much smaller than Freeman is, so it will be interesting to see whether he can overcome the beatings he will receive over the middle to still perform at a high level. He's not really a draftable player until he shows he can successfully post numbers. However as a slot receiver his total numbers will be limited. He's someone that's best left undrafted at this point.
http://www.kffl.com/article.php/1793/204Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.
05-13-2007, 05:30 AM #2Star Spokesman
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Re: WR's Role in the WCO
Brilliant. Nice work.
05-13-2007, 06:53 AM #3
Re: WR's Role in the WCOWR's Role in the WCO
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
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