Here’s Why Graham Harrell’s Offense Will Work at USC

If you have 25 minutes to watch this Mike Leach Coaching Tree/Air Raid YouTube video, you’ll see why USC, behind Graham Harrell, just might be on to their best offensive switch since adopting the I-formation under John McKay. The main difference being, USC under McKay didn’t invent and perfect this one —  Leach did (basically).

The Air Raid is all about flexibility, controlled aggressiveness, killing man coverage, forcing defensive players to “rub” against each other while trying to cover the “mesh”, placing safeties in impossible situations, creating unguardable open spaces, allowing WRs to wreck defenses with hot adjustments and putting QBs “who can snapshot the whole field” into total command. Their mobility just isn’t that important, not nearly as much as savvy, patience, timing and accuracy. Escapability always helps, of course.

Leach’s influence on modern football offenses is literally unrivaled as I see him now. This graphic, detailed Brett Kollman exposition explains it all. Just makes you wonder one thing. Why doesn’t every school run this?

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SanClemente
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hmmmmm wonder where you found this. lol. sc

Steveg
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Steveg
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Great video and I have to admit I was surprised at how wide spread the air raid actually is in college and now into the nfl. Not sure if I agree with you on JT Daniels as the fit for this offense. Not that he isn’t, but after what I saw last season, JT had one focus, the primary and didn’t look off or go through progressions. What I am reading and learning myself is that the qb is going to be throwing to an open area where a receiver is going, both based on the same instantaneous reads. Not… Read more »

Chris
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One big thing that was touched on a little bit not emphasized was how Oklahoma’s stud receivers just ate up everyone they played in the offense. The receivers get to make their adjustments, and because they are better athletes, those adjustments are just that much more effective. That play against Texas where the receiver made one step outside and then went right back to the post is the perfect example. WSU has had crafty guys, smart guys, and a few decent athletes at wideout. We have studs. We have guys who will eat up safeties in one on one matchups… Read more »

Rock2112
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Great video! I guess the answer to the last question is pretty easy — so far, no college or NFL team has ever taken this style of play to a national championship or even one step short of it. The Patriots are the closest, but they don’t run a pure air raid — as best exemplified by their frequent involvement of tight ends in their passing attack. Eventually, somebody will, but the magic trick there will be figuring out how to prevent this offense from taxing the defense too much. Another problem with this offense is that it is prone… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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Rock, I was stunned after I watched this video. I thought I knew football, but after this video, I realized I knew very little and that was probably confused. I think SC can be the team to take the Air Raid to the top, even with Clay. Despite what I think of Clay, you have to give to him for dumping his approach to O and his entire O scheme. I gave my analysis in the “This and That”; look, it may take two or three years for the QBs, WRs and RBs to develop. For me, that is the… Read more »

Rock2112
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Fully agree — I believe our offense will be fine this Fall. It will probably not be great but will have a lot of really big moments (which I can’t say much for last year) and some frustrating moments as we get the kinks get worked out — especially early. The difference between this team struggling and surprising to the upside in terms of wins and losses is primarily on defense and special teams. We need a consistently good defense that can make teams work hard for their scoring plays, even if we give them up more than we should.… Read more »

Steveg
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The Rams with Jarod Goff seemed to do well running their style of the air raid, which I assume is what they did run.

Rock2112
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The Rams rely a lot on the run, and when Gurley got injured and their running game went South, so did their fortunes.

DebraSchulze
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Great video on the Air Raid! I think our offense will execute it very well! They want to succeed, and have plenty of wins! JT as QB has the skill set to adapt and execute the Air Raid, and the respect is definitely there by the O line to succeed under Graham Harrell.. Hoping its a TROJAN Win Win situation in the 2019 season! Fight On!
Beautiful Commencement Ceremony on campus on Friday! Congrats to the class of 2019!

rleeholder1
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I started watching and had to stop due to the focus on KK’s version of the Air Raid, and the rhetoric about how both Murray and Rosen could run it for the Arizona Cardinals. Rosen is gone and Murray’s the guy for the Cards, or so it appears. I’m still sore over what KK did to us and even more so that his contract had a buy-out clause of only $150K, which is “chump change” to an NFL owner. I’ll put that one on Helton and Swann. Every decade or two a new offense starts being the darling such as… Read more »

Steveg
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According to the video, we are 20 years into the air raid in various shapes and sizes. Seems we are now seeing it come of age and being utilized by the nfl along with college ball to open up defenses quickly. It places a huge emphasis on the brain power of the qb and wr’s, to be on the same page.

Chris
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Most of the responsibility falls on the QB. As I understand it, the receivers run option routes finding space as it is available. They can break off of their route and run to the open grass, not too tough. The QB has to read where the receivers are headed and throw into that space. The good news is the playbook is small and they get lots of reps with the option routes so they get good at it.