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Air Raid Playbook: Conclusion and Links

We conclude our series with some thoughts on what we hoped to accomplish, and include what amounts to the appendix - a dump of every link that went into the making of the Air Raid Playbook series.

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This concludes our Air Raid playbook series. I would encourage you all to post links to external sites you've found useful in the comment section. I didn't really search all that hard for video cut ups, so if any of you have stumbled across good video, I'd really appreciate you sharing.

Back when Jeff Nusser, Brian Floyd, and I talked about doing this series, I decided I needed to have a few goals.

I didn't want to talk too far above, or below the reader's football IQ.
I've found the range of football knowledge in our readership to be surprisingly large. Some people have years of playing/coaching/studying experience and some people are just starting to get into football. I wanted these to be readable by everyone, to find a nice medium and hopefully provide some novel content for those at each experience level.

I wanted to focus on the Cougs as much as possible.
As you can see from the links in this post and comments, people have talked about the Air Raid already. Very smart people have talked about the Air Raid. Not a lot of people were able (or cared) to talk that much about the Air Raid at WSU.

When the offense picks up, and I'm confident it will, that will change. A lot of X and O gurus will be interested in the Pac-12 with Mike MacIntyre, Sonny Dykes, Rich Rodriguez and Mike Leach all in the conference.

We're in store for some really cool offensive studies, written by some very intelligent people. With any luck these posts can serve as a sort of primer for those future studies.

I wanted to be descriptive enough our readers could identify some of the plays while watching live.
Knowing why some play worked/didn't work, or what the offense/defense were trying to do, makes the game a little more enjoyable for certain people. There is an observable chess match happening on every play that can be appreciated if you pick up a little X's and O's.

Other times (most of the times) it's best to chug off the bottle of Fireball you snuck in to the stadium and enjoy the hell out of being a fan.

At a very basic level, I wanted people to appreciate the complexities of playing the quarterback position.
Not everything is as simple as learning a scheme -- last year proved that. You not only have to know what you're doing, you have to be able to actually do it, as Jeff has astutely pointed out in some comments. One word in the football vernacular describes this notion: Execution.

Football in general, and the Air Raid offense specifically, require quick decision making and consistent execution from the quarterback position. Execution in the face of defenses that are trying their best to disguise how the secondary is guarding your receivers, altering who rushes, and dialing up blitzes from angles you don't anticipate.

Are your receivers on the same page? Is he settling in that hole? Which defender are you reading? Did the running back need to stay in and pass block, or is he sprinting, hand up through an abandoned stretch of field both you and the defense simultaneously stopped caring about?

Get the ball to play makers in space.

If this series accomplished anything, I would hope you can now appreciate how much of a challenge that simple request is, and understand a little of how Mike Leach and the Cougs try to do it.

Thanks for checking out the series and I hope you enjoy the Crimson and Gray game!


CougCenter Air Raid Playbook

This section contains all of the posts in the series. You can always find it in the future by navigating the "sections" tab on the homepage.

SmartFootball: Air Raid Links

Chris Brown was already nice enough to compile a list of useful links, so we might as well take advantage of it. There's another dozen or so links here.

SmartFootball: Why every team should install its offense in three days

SmartFootball: The divide route in the multiple smash concept

SmartFootball: Snag, stick and the importance of triangles

SmartFootball: Hal Mumme's Air Raid practice plan

Bruce Eien Air Raid concept diagrams

Air Raid passing plays: PDF from an unknown source

Football X and O's: Air Raid playbooks and articles (Norm Chow, BYU, Grey Ghost HS, Hoover HS, among others)

If you don't want free playbooks and would rather pay $49.99

Football Study Hall: Leach V. Holgorsen (9 posts in the story stream)

X and O labs: Interview with Mike Leach

1999 Oklahoma Sooners playbook (

Spread 'Em and Shred 'Em

Hal Mumme Coach Clinic (Video): Mumme speaks with coaches about his Kentucky teams

Let Coach Mike Leach teach you how to play quarterback like Tim Couch