New York Jets: Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast Offense: Analyzing a Drive

May 10, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith (7) talks with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (right) during New York Jets rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, we are going to take another look at Marty Mornhinweg and his West Coast offense. Yesterday, we broke down 2 different games to look for patterns in how the offense is run.  We looked at how drives started, the average yards per pass, among other things.

Today we are going to get even more specific.  We are going to break down a drive from last season, and look at what plays were run.  During the drive, we are going to take a look at a play, in pictures, which will show you a prime example of how the West Coast offense works.

The drive we are going to look at takes place in week 4 of the 2012 season.  There are just about 6 minutes remaining in the first half, and the Eagles and Giants have played to a 0-0 tie.  The Eagles have taken over at their own 30 yard line.

First and 10-Eagles 30 yard line: Mike Vick takes a quick three-step drop and throws an incomplete pass to the left.

Second and 10-Eagles 30 yard line:  We are going to look at this play in pictures, to see how the West Coast offense works.  Here is the formation:

Mike Vick is under center, 2 backs are behind him in the I formation.  2 receivers are set to the left, and one to the right.  Let’s role the play forward, and you will see what I mean about the West Coast offense.

Take a look at what we have this time.  Take a look at the players in the green circles.  3 receivers and 2 backs have entered into the pattern as available options for Mike Vick to throw to.   And the characteristic of the WCO comes out if you look at how far they are from the line of scrimmage.  Notice that nobody is farther out than 10 yards.  Short passing game, a hallmark of the West Coast offense.  How does it end up?

Vick hits Shady McCoy for 6 yards to set up third and short.  My point?  The West Coast offense is built on multiple options for the quarterback to choose from, a short distance down the field.  Back to the drive.

(Defensive offsides sets up first and 10 for the Eagles)

First and 10-Eagles 41 yard line: Vick throws incomplete down the field to DeSean Jackson.

Second and 10-Eagles 41 yard line: From the shotgun, Vick takes a quick drop and hits Johnson on the right side for a 17 yard pickup.

First and 10-Giants 42 yard line: Vick comes under center this time, takes a quick 5 step drop, hits LeSean McCoy in the left flat and McCoy runs ahead for 12 yards.

First and 10-Giants 30 yard line: Vick in the shotgun, takes a 3 step drop, hits Jason Avant on a quick slant for 7 yards.

Second and 3-Giants 23 yard line: Again, Vick is in the gun, but tries to cross up the Giants by calling a draw to “Shady” McCoy.  Unfortunately, McCoy trips and falls for a loss of one.

Third and 4-Giants 24 yard line: Vick drops back to pass, but in the face of the pass rush, scrambles around left end and out-of-bounds, just far enough for the first down.

First and 10-Giants 20 yard line: From the shotgun, Mike Vick surprises by handing to McCoy coming from the left side.  He runs around right end to pick up two yards.

Second and 8-Giants 18 yard line: Once again from the shotgun, Vick takes a 3 step drop and hits McCoy in the right flat.  However, the defense was ready and stopped McCoy for a loss of one.

Third and 9-Giants 19 yard line: Vick takes the snap from the gun, and hits DeSean Jackson for the 19 yard TD pass.

This drive is exactly how the West Coast offense is designed to work.  It consists of flooding the defense with many options in the short passing game, set to overload the other side with too many players to cover.  That done, is set up the rushing attack.

This is not the Jets’ offense that we have become accustomed to, ladies and gentlemen.  I can’t wait to see it in action.


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Tags: Marty Mornhinweg New York Jets West Coast Offense

  • matr dontelli iii

    after last week i don’t know that we should be using the shotgun. nor the pistol! :-)

    • TheJetPress

      I think you meant last season, but I hear ya.

      • cloudsrising

        No, I think he meant last week :)

        • matr dontelli iii

          i absolutely meant last week. :-) in related news i understand goodson is meeting with idzik and rex regarding last week’s shenanigans. i hope he doesn’t try to tell them that he was just trying to help out the team with their lack of weapons. :-) :-) ok, that’s enough. i think i’ll go to bed now.

          • TheJetPress

            I’m a little slow Matr now I get it hahaha.

  • Tracy Crum

    It’s crazy how excited I am to see the Jets play even tho I know this isn’t a Super Bowl team. It’s just good to see the team with youth, a plan and a future. I LOVE that they brought in Marty to run the offense. This should give this team a chance to win games that we didn’t have last year.

    • TheJetPress

      It’s not crazy. No reason to call yourself crazy for being excited. It’s how we get through each year.

  • John Szeligowski Jr.

    I like it! Great break down… Funny part is that Sanchez could probably succeed in this kind of offense, although I’d keep an eye out for his arm strength. Wouldn’t get myself all crazy about some immediate success for Sanchez, I think his range is a liability and that’ll be revealed at an inopportune time. Once his limitations show themselves, time to cut bait…bring in Geno if he’s not starting already.

    • TheJetPress

      I definitely believe he could succeed John, because you don’t NEED a strong arm to make this type of offense work. I agree with you, though, that success early might not translate to success the entire season.

  • EverybodySettleDown

    I worry about Sanchez’s short to mid-range accuracy more than his arm strength. I’ve seen him throw too many passes into the flat, too many check downs and too many slants behind or above the receivers to be at all confident in his ability to hit his guys in stride and put them in a position to run for YAC.

    When he throws a bad deep ball it’s more often a product of his inability to step up into the pocket or just one of his panic heaves down the field (such as his first INT against the Cardinals last season).

    On the flip side, Geno threw so many well placed short passes to Tavon Austin and company in college, I’m excited about his potential in this offense. It seems his main challenge will be getting the footwork down.

    • matr dontelli iii

      that’s a concern of mine as well. if he doesn’t put the ball where it belongs on the screens and short passes i think we’ll see geno sooner than later. unless they don’t wanna start geno game one and decide to go to greg, but i think that’s a long shot.

    • TheJetPress

      I agree with you that Geno’s biggest hurdle will be the footwork. That’s one thing I didn’t like when I watch Geno on tape was his inconsistency of footwork.
      Mark’s accuracy will be the difference, whether or not he can make the short throws to the guys in stride.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Joe Willie

      Agree –Sanchez —worst flaw–he is inaccurate—and when a NFL qb is inaccurate after 2-3 yrs usually he stays that way –aka Joey harrrington—his passing motion is very flawed —Geno on the other hand is a baby who passed 71% on a mediocre college team –Geno is smart and accountable–footwork will come to him–he never lined up under center—sanchez doesn’t know the meaning of that word (accountable)–he will join his college coach soon in Seattle.

  • matr dontelli iii

    i like that the third downs are third and short more often than not. i also like that there are no dumb penalties: holding, false starts etc. despite all the blame from last year, poor qb play, no separation for the receivers, three yard rushing average for the rbs, the one thing which is rarely discussed is how often drives were aborted by the stupid penalties. that’s another issue we need to clean up this year or everything else won’t matter. when you put yourself more than ten yards from the first down marker you start fighting an uphill battle.

    • TheJetPress

      I hadn’t thought about that but you are right. We were terrible with stupid plays in those types of situations.