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Monday, January 12, 2009

Airraid offense information, reading material, and passing concepts

This post is intended as a resource dump for links and items related to the "Airraid Offense," the pass-first offense devised by Hal Mumme and Mike Leach as a derivative of the old Lavell Edwards/Norm Chow/BYU offense. Other notable Airraid acolytes include coaches Chris Hatcher and Tony Franklin. And other notable coaches, including Sonny Dykes, Art Briles, and Mark Mangino, have all coached with Leach or Mumme and incorporate their concepts to varying degrees. At core, this article gives me something to link to every time I use the term "Airraid."

Below are the major Airraid/BYU concepts combined with Norm Chow's reads for each. Note that this more closely hews to the original BYU version than the Airraid version, which has slight differences. If you can't figure out the differences after reading all of the above, then heaven help you. (Thanks to Bruce Eien for some of the diagrams.)


5 step drop. Eye Y and throw it to him unless taken away from the outside by S/S (then hit Z), OR inside by ILB (then hit FB). Don’t throw option route vs. man until receiver makes eye contact with you. Vs. zone – can put it in seam. Vs. zone – no hitch step. Vs. man – MAY need hitch step.


5 step drop. Take a peek at F/S – if he’s up hit Z on post. Otherwise watch X-Y mesh occur – somebody will pop open – let him have ball. Vs. zone – throw to Fullback.

63 DIG

5 step drop and hitch (7 steps permissible). Read F/S: X = #1; Z = #2; Y OR HB = #3.

64 OUT

5 step drop. Key best located Safety on 1st step. Vs. 3 deep look at F/S – if he goes weak – go strong (Z = #1 to FB = #2 off S/S); if he goes straight back or strong – go weak (X = #1 to HB = #2 off Will LB). Vs. 5 under man – Y is your only choice. Vs. 5 under zone – X & Z will fade.

65 FLOOD ("Y-Sail")

5 step drop and hitch. Read the S/S. Peek at Z #1; Y = #2; FB = #3. As you eyeball #2 & see color (F/S flash to Y) go to post to X. Vs. 2 deep zone go to Z = #1 to Y = #2 off S/S.


5 step drop and hitch. On your first step read Mike LB (MLB or first LB inside Will in 3-4). If Mike goes straight back or strong – go weak (X = #1; HB = #2). If Mike goes weak – go strong (Y = #1; Z = #2; FB = #3). This is an inside-out progression. NOT GOOD vs. 2 deep 5 under. (See my article on this route here.)


5 step drop and hitch. Read receiver (WR) rather than defender (Corner). Vs. 2 deep go from Y = #1 to Z = #2. Vs. 3 deep read same as “64” pass (Will LB) for X = #1 or HB = #2. Equally good vs Cover 2 regardless if man OR zone under. (See my article on this route here.)


5 step drop and hitch. Vs. 2 deep look HB = #1; FB = #2 (shoot); Z = #3. Vs. 3 deep – stretch long to short to either side. Vs. man – go to WR’s on “returns”.

69 Y-CROSS/H-Option

5 step drop - hitch up only if you need to. Eye HB: HB = #1; Y = #2. QB & receiver MUST make eye contact vs. man. Vs. zone – receiver finds seam (takes it a little wider vs. 5 under). Only time you go to Y is if Will LB and Mike LB squeeze HB. If Will comes & F/S moves over on HB – HB is “HOT” and will turn flat quick and run away from F/S. Otherwise HB runs at his man to reinforce his position before making his break.

Video clips

Below is an assortment of video clips of the offense. Nothing too technical. You should be able to recognize the concepts nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

this is great stuff.

thanks for posting more. this is great.

squirrelyearl said...

Awesome, love it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is great Chris. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Question: why are all the formations titled after colors? Why, for example, is the I-formation titled "Orange"? Why not just call it "I", the name every blue-blooded American knows it as since being wee lads? (Same goes for gun, pro, etc.)

Lord knows Div. 1 college football players aren't ever going to split the atom; why add unnecessary confusion?

Anonymous said...

Another awesome post.

I was wondering if you had any views regarding the potential of the Gus Malzhan style offense in the NFL?

I suspect it would probably work, as the Cincy Bengals under Wyche/Coslet and the K-Gun Bills both tore up the league with decent balance in the mid80s to early '90s.


Faraz said...

nice post

Anonymous said...

I know one place that the color scheme came in from was Bill Walsh. Before that who knows ...