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  1. #16
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    I'd love to read the articles to which you refer, HornIt, because my amateur eyes don't see it.The verbiage thing may well be true but ,living in SF, I watched a lot of Whiner WCO, and what is enviable about it,imo,esp from a QB's point of view, is that very flexibility on the LOS. I see MB struggling with the rigidity of a predetermined timing play esp with WRs who don't read Ds well or run timed routes precisely because of fading legs or inexperience.

    The WCO line calls may be more complex but once the ball is snapped,it's as basic as sandlot ball.That is Walsh's genius; it brought football back to a simple premise; the ball moves more efficiently and consistently through the air and over short distances. Less can go wrong on any given play.

    Dunno about you but I'm all for less going wrong even if it's less exciting and magical.

    You throw directly to the open guy on a shorter route-usually one of several options the QB CAN SEE quickly, not blind to a spot down the field with huge bodies wrassling around you & timed to a clock in your head and the receiver's.

    It puts more control in the QB's hands and relies less on the understanding of the WR of a play given in the huddle, not to mention an o-lineman's understanding of the snap count or the line's ability to maintain a stable pocket while a spider web of routes is woven downfield.


    Those are the problems that often made MB look like an incompetent to the casual fan. Again, I'm not excusing MB for all of it but he hasn't been given WCO-like control with those other elements necessary to make it work very often,either. That applies doubly to the no-huddle.

    As you say yourself, it is likely to be elements of WCO, not "full-blown". Why claim that MB struggled with the WCO elements that Limpehan wanted to use when MB was HIGHLY successful utilizing SJ as a pass receiver which is one of the "pillars" of it, to borrow a Spags-ism? I don't see it. What elements are you referring to?


    I agree that it will be interesting to see how MB and the rapport with his young WRs develops with more control in his hands but I see it as a positive to avoid the myriad miscommunications that have plagued The Rams of late.

    I wish I had a dime for every time I heard a commentator say "it looks like Bulger and the receiver weren't on the same page". I like the idea of MB being able to make sure his guys are on the same page or flip to another if what he sees pre-snap necessitates it.

    As Ferter will tell you, it's not so much about scheme or a QB mastering some arcane language as it is about the talent & execution of the players, allowing them to react to what their eyes are telling them in the moment, not what the OC envisioned when diagramming the play on the crapper.

    There are concerns in my head- on the crapper or here( some would say same stuff, different smell) about whether MB isn't too beat-up physically to regain/maintain his consistent accuracy and quick release for a whole season but his smarts ain't one of them.

    Maybe you need to send me your copy of Football The Linehan Way to understand where Bulger failed under his ,um, tutelage.

    Otherwise, I'll have to go with what I have seen with my own eyes and MB's stats,not to mention the numerous affidavits supporting his abilities from other pros in the NFL,inc DeSpags.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-16-2009 at 03:21 PM.


  2. #17
    HornIt's Avatar
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    For Ferter and Azul e Oro

    A good example of making the switch here would be the Redskins last season as Jason Campbell had to make the change from the Coryell to the WCO. Here are some things on that transition.....


    Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders are products of the Don Coryell tree and Walsh - the man who first brought glory to the ***** - is the other prominent tree, the West Coast tree. (Gregg Williams wanted to keep Saunders as OC - he had back-up plans, including Zorn, but Al was his first choice for the good of Campbell, league sources said. He would have made Al focus more and curtail his legendary 700-page playbook, rather than force Campbell to start all over again.)


    "These are opposite systems," said one former coach who worked in both systems during his coaching career. "Coryell is a number-based system, there are different principles. The West Cast offense is all word-based, it's terminology. It's all word-based now. Campbell's learning another new language, and this can be a long process. It's all rote memorization."


    In reality, the Redskins have already set Campbell's development back, as he was making good strides in his former system. We're talking major, major change. (JC's best year at Auburn came under West Coast OC Al Borges, but the precision and quickness required to execute this in the NFL will be one of the major subplots to the OTAs and mini camps).

    Jason Campbell has only to look across the field on Sunday--at Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck--to see what his future may hold.
    Campbell is in his first year of the West Coast offense. Hasselbeck, who tutored under Redskins head coach Jim Zorn from 2001-07, has played in the system since he was a rookie in 1998.


    Hasselbeck, a three-time Pro Bowler, has mastered the West Coast offense.
    He is Seattle’s all-time highest-rated passer with a career mark of 86.3 and he has set several franchise marks.


    Campbell entered the season expecting a learning curve. He had played in the West Coast offense in his senior year at Auburn, so he had a foundation. But the NFL is a whole new ballgame.


    “[Coach Zorn] told me that it would take a while, just like it took him a while with Matt to get things going the way they wanted,” Campbell said. “As you learn the ins and outs of the West Coast offense, it’s a matter of finding your own way in it so that you feel comfortable.


    “Matt is a guy who started off slow in this offense, but when you look at him now, he has accomplished a lot. A lot of that has to do with the teachings of Coach Zorn and the relationship they had.”


    Campbell had to learn new footwork. He had to adjust how he holds the ball in the pocket. He had to adapt his throwing motion. He had to learn new terminology and new pass routes.


    It was, in a sense, a quarterback makeover.


    To get a head start, Campbell studied Hasselbeck closely last offseason.
    "I watched a lot of film on Matt and the quarterback drills," Campbell said. "I watched how he reacted to certain looks, how he stepped up in the pocket and moved around."
    The results have been positive. Better than expected, actually.


    For the season, Campbell has completed 198-of-307 passes--a 64.5 completion percentage--for 2,122 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions.
    His QB rating of 90.3 ranks him 11th in the NFL.


    And Campbell has helped guide the Redskins to a 6-4 record. The team is in position for a playoff run in the second half of the season.


    The question of how far apart Campbell and Hasselbeck are at this stage of their careers was brought up with Zorn this week.


    Zorn pointed to command of the line of scrimmage as a primary difference.
    “Matt has a complete awareness of what is going on at the line of scrimmage,” Zorn said. “It’s going to be hard for a defense to go in there and trick him. He is very verbal. He can manufacture drives and audible to get the offense into the right play.”
    And yet, Zorn sees signs that Campbell is improving in that part of the game.


    From last Sunday’s game against Dallas, Zorn pointed to two audibles at the line of scrimmage that aided the Redskins’ offense.


    One was a quarterback draw that allowed Campbell to run up the middle for 22 yards. The other was a sweep play to Clinton Portis that resulted in 20-yard run around right end.


    “He had to call his own number on that QB draw,” Zorn said. “He waited for it, he waited for it, and he got it. Some guys will just freeze in that situation--‘I know it should happen, I know I should call it’--but they don’t. Jason did.


    “That’s why we’re continuing to improve. Jason is doing what we are preparing him to do.”


    Zorn is pleased with how fast Campbell has picked up the offense, but he is also the first to acknowledge that his signal-caller has a ways to go before he is an elite quarterback.


    It could take several seasons before Campbell reaches that level--just like it did with Hasselbeck.


    Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, a mentor for Zorn, agrees that the West Coast offense is reliant on steady quarterback play.


    The hard part, Holmgren said this week, is mastering the discipline it takes to run the offense.


    "[The quarterback] has to coordinate the drops with the length of the routes, and also coordinate the progression of how the patterns are supposed to go and how to read those patterns versus certain coverage," Holmgren said. "The West Coast offense has always been less matchup-oriented than other teams. It puts a lot of burden on the quarterback.


    It’s a burden that Campbell welcomes as he leads the Redskins into the stretch run--and beyond.
    This season Campbell will also have some added responsibilities. He is in charge of making protection calls for the offensive line, and he will have to read the defense to decide which direction running plays will head.


    Several players have said Campbell struggled a bit during minicamp, and Campbell was frustrated with his own play at the start of this week's training camp. Slowly, however, it seems progress is being made.
    Maybe I'm underestimating Bulger, but he did struggle to absorb Linehan's entire offense, which is why Linehan said he never was able to get the no huddle package installed, and after 2 years Linehan decided it was better to go back to a system he was more comfortable in, which is why Saunders was hired.

    I do not think Shurmur and Spags will attempt to fit the offense to Bulger. That was a mistake Linehan made. He spent three years attempting to make Bulger happy in the offense, first tweaking his system to please Bulger and then hiring Saunders to bring back the Coryell system altogether. I think they will expect Bulger to fit in the offense and if he can't, they will get somebody who can. Shurmur has confirmed that they will be running the system he ran in Philly with that terminology, but also with a different emphasis that will be modeled more after what former Eagles OC Childress does with the Vikings and AP than what Reid does with the Eagles and Westbrook.

    It will be interesting to watch. We'll find out in 6 months.

  3. #18
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    HornIt,

    I'm not arguing against the cliche/truism that a new system is always going to take time to show the best results but I don't see any reason, other than your contention that Limpehan said he didn't, that MB can't learn as quickly as Campbell did.

    It's right there in the article above how well Campbell made the adjustment. I might add that the bigger problems,imo, are the same for The Skins as The Rams; protecting the QB and sacking the opposing QB,lower turnovers(not always on the QB),and better depth to prevent drop-offs when injuries mount as they did for The Skins in the 2nd half of the season and the wheels came off.

    The whole Skins squad,inc Campbell, played well through the first 8 games; did they/he adapt/learn and then forget?!
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-16-2009 at 03:25 PM.

  4. #19
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    Quote Originally Posted by HornIt View Post
    As has been discussed before, Bulger struggled to absorb all of Linehan's offense and because of it Linehan said he never did get the no huddle, hurry up package installed.
    Source? (I, for one, have never heard or read this anywhere)

  5. #20
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    Marc Bulger will kill in this offense...im not saying he'll be phenomenal, more like dangerous.

  6. #21
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    Assuming Bulger and the rest of the offense gets a grasp of the WCO, I think the WCO is the perfect style of offense for the personal the Rams have right now.

    First thing I like about the WCO is with the 3 step drop, Bulger can get rid of the ball faster and absorb less hits. Also I assume a lot of power running formations will be used with SJax thus having a FB and RB in the backfield. In pass situations, one of the backs can stay back and offer extra pass protection.

    I recall too that the year the Seahawks went to the Superbowl, they did not have any star receivers. I believe Bobby Engram and Darell Jackson were the main receivers? But they did have a great running game with Shaun Alexander and SJax fits that role. Assuming we don't land a superstar receiver this season like a Anquan Bolden, I think our current receiver corp can handle the short routes used in the WCO.
    Last edited by Ghost of Jim Everett; -03-16-2009 at 02:11 PM.

  7. #22
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Source? (I, for one, have never heard or read this anywhere)
    <crickets chirping>



    Yeah... that's what I thought.

  8. #23
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    <crickets chirping>



    Yeah... that's what I thought.

    I, for one, have never seen such a thing either, nor do I think comparing Jason Campbell, whose QB intelligence was questioned coming out of Auburn, to Marc Bulger when making a basis for the transition is really an adequate stage ...

  9. #24
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The West Coast Bulger?

    I am not at all concerned about Marc Bulger's mental ability to pick up the WCO. My primary concern with him would be whether he can regain his comfort level in the pocket after years of taking a beating in the Min-Protect offense

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