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Saturday, July 10, 2004
The WCO. I don't like it. We don't play it.
By Mark Lawrence
Now, just to be clear, by WCO I mean the timed passing attack designed by Mike Brown in Ohio, and brought to surgical precision by Bill Walsh in SF. The idea that passing the ball can set up the run, and making 5 yards on a simple out pattern is just as good as making 5 yards on a run.
I do not mean "Air Coryell," the spread speed passing attack designed at some college, brought to the NFL in San Diego, and raised to nuclear levels by Mike Martz in '99, and significantly plagiarized by Denny for MN.
I'd say The Great Walrusian still runs a relatively pure WCO in Seattle. Oakland has been running a WCO related attack for a couple years now.
The WCO does not include shotgun, as the steps the QB takes are an essential part of the timing. Favre, as we all know, just loves the shotgun.
The WCO takes a highly disciplined QB who will make his progressions coolly. Favre has been anything but disciplined. Patty will be happy to document the 1,248 plays where Favre ignored his progressions and missed a big play.
I suppose the WCO is a good offence for a warm weather team - SF, Seattle, and Oakland - but I think a team that plays in the cold should have a bruising running attack, like Pittsburgh normally has and like we've had for a couple years now.
I read recently that Atlanta will be installing the WCO. I find this hilarious. Vick is, in my mind, a terrible choice for a WCO QB, both because I doubt he has the smarts to run it, and because the WCO has no place in it for a QB who runs 4.2 40s.
I also don't like paying for a franchise QB. Denny always said he could plug anyone with an arm into his attack, and indeed he had something like 8 starting QB’s in 7 years and made the playoffs with all of them. Heck, he even made boy George look good for a season. I like very much the idea that you pay your QB $3-5M / year, not the $12-18M that Favre, Manning, Culpepper make.
Under Sherman's running attack, Favre all but had his thumb fall off for about 5 games, and we put up points in all of them. I liked that just fine. I like that we probably can get by just fine with a journeyman type.