It could be stated that offenses in the NFL have morphed into multiple schemes under three different umbrellas.
You can find the West Coast offense in nearly every single playbook in the league. "Air Coryell" finds itself meshed into different schemes, while the Erhardt-Perkins scheme, first made famous in New England, is being utilized in a more widespread manner today.
Then you have the pistol and read-option sets that threaten to revolutionize how offenses are run in the NFL.
Either way you look at it, each team runs its own variation of these schemes. Some go all out and employ multiple philosophies within the same playbook. Others stick with what has worked in the past.
Today's article is going to identify every team's base offense and give you a look at what they are attempting to do on that side of the ball entering the 2013 season.
Bruce Arians brings Colts scheme with him to the desert.
Base Offense: Vertical passing system with a zone-blocking scheme
Sound familiar, Carson Palmer? Well it should, this is the offense you ran with the Oakland Raiders. By adding Palmer to the mix, new Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has made it clear he will rely heavily on the strong-armed quarterback to make plays down the field.
In addition the selections of guards Jonathan Cooper and Earl Watford in April's draft indicates that Arizona will transition to more of a zone-blocking scheme with versatile linemen up front.
You are also going to see Larry Fitzgerald utilized in more sets this upcoming season. He will not just be lined up in one spot throughout the duration of the game. Instead, you will see Fitzgerald utilized a great deal in the slot. That's going to be huge for Palmer as he transitions to another new team.
Arians had success running this offense with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis last season and Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh in previous seasons.
Will Palmer get the necessary pass protection to succeed? That's the big question here.
Base Offense: Vertical passing, power running hybrid with a flex-blocking scheme
Atlanta averaged 24 rush attempts this past season compared to 28 in 2011. Most of this had to do with new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who runs more of a pass-first offense than his predecessor Mike Mularkey.
Atlanta's runs a vertical passing game, but does a solid job causing mismatches and moving its receivers around on the outside. In addition, Koetter focuses a great deal on the bubble screen to Julio Jones and basic running back screens.
Atlanta's blocking scheme is dependent on the play. It can utilize the man-power scheme and the zone-blocking scheme.
The addition of running back Steven Jackson indicates a shift to the basic power-running game.
Base Offense: No huddle, ball control hybrid with man-blocking scheme
A couple changes occurred when Jim Caldwell took over for Cam Cameron as the Ravens offensive coordinator late last season.
First, he implemented a high-octane attack that seemed to be popular with quarterback Joe Flacco and the rest of the offense.
Second, he put the receivers in a situation to succeed by creating mismatches on the outside.
It cannot be a coincidence that wide receiver Anquan Boldin started to pick his game up a great deal once Caldwell took over for Cameron. In addition, Flacco put up one of the best postseason performances for a quarterback in the history of the league.
It will be interesting to see how this "new" attack works out of the gate in 2013 with an entire season to change up a majority of the playbook.
I am intrigued.
Base Offense: West Coast, no-huddle hybrid with a zone-blocking scheme
New Bills head coach Doug Marrone integrated the zone read into his offense during his final year at Syracuse, but you are going to see more of a "pro-style" offense in his initial season in Buffalo.
While he will still call those plays to an extent, expect more of a high-tempo offense with multiple tight ends and low-risk passes.
That being said, he'll mix it up a great deal during games. You will see spread formations, one-back sets, jumbo packages and, as I mentioned before, the zone read.
The idea here will be to put C.J. Spiller in the right situation to succeed. He'll see more space on the outside with spread formations and Buffalo will keep defenses guessing in the zone read. Of course, a lot of this has to do with who is under center.
EJ Manuel is more capable of handling this type of offense than Kevin Kolb, who has experience in the basic West Coast offense.
Base Offense: Run-first, play-action pass hybrid with a zone-blocking scheme
New Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula doesn't plan on changing a whole heck of a lot from what they ran last season under Rob Chudzinski.
More so than in previous seasons, Carolina will rely heavily on an expensive backfield to get the job done. This might mean less pass attempts from Cam Newton and more touches for a combination of running backs who still possess a great deal of talent.
This also means that Newton won't be put in obvious pass situations on third down, which should limit the mistakes he makes at crucial moments.
As with all the young athletic quarterbacks in the NFL, you will see some variation of the zone read. After all, Newton has rushed for 1,447 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons.
Base Offense: West Coast variation with flex-blocking system
New head coach Marc Trestman brings with him a hybrid West Coast Offense that relies on the short passing game to act as somewhat of an extension to the running game. In this system, Jay Cutler will be asked to throw the ball more than in the past.
That being said, Cutler will be set up for better success behind what has to be considered a mediocre offensive line.
One of the biggest criticism of previous schemes in Chicago is that the playbook did not take into account substandard pass protection from the men up front.
This won't be a problem in Trestman's newly installed system.
Cutler will be relying on quicker passes to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the outside. In addition, you will see a great deal of screens to the backs, most notably Matt Forte. This fits into what Forte does well. He is averaging 53 receptions per season with the Bears.
Base Offense: West Coast with flex-blocking system
Cincinnati ran a watered-down version of Jay Gruden's offensive playbook during Andy Dalton's rookie season in 2011. It worked pretty well as the Bengals made a surprise trip to the postseason.
The scheme was, for a lack of a better word, conservative. It relied heavily on the short-passing game and didn't put Dalton in situations to make mistakes.
Fast forward to 2012, and it was pretty much the same story.
Cincinnati's deep-passing game relied on Dalton to A.J. Green and not much more. Outside of that, it was check downs and primary read outs.
This won't be the case in 2013.
Gruden plans to fully utilize his playbook and give Dalton the benefit of the doubt. If that's the case, you can expect a hybrid West Coast system with multiple shots down the field to a myriad of pass targets.
Base Offense: Vertical, timing based passing attack with power-running game
New head coach Rob Chudzinski will rely on fellow first-year offensive coordinator Norv Turner to implement a system that was successful for the most part in San Diego and before that in Dallas.
It's a vertical variation of the West Coast offense that asks the quarterback to place the ball at a predetermined location.
What may surprise a lot of people is that Turner's ideal offense is more of the run-first variety. After all, his previous offenses have featured Emmitt Smith, Ricky Williams and LaDainian Tomlinson.
This type of scheme seems to fit what Cleveland boasts in terms of talent. Trent Richardson will be a huge part of the offense on the ground, while Josh Gordon will act as the vertical threat.
It's now up to Brandon Weeden to prove he can keep this offense afloat through the air.
Base Offense: Air Coryell Hybrid
In what has to be considered a less-than-surprising move, the Dallas Cowboys have stripped head coach Jason Garrett of play-calling duties (via NFL.com). The writing was on the wall here, especially considering the Cowboys lack of success in the run game.
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will now take over play-calling duties.
This doesn't mean that the Cowboys' plans include changing their philosophy. They will focus more on the run than in the past, but the "Air Coryell" should still be in full force, or at least to an extent.
Romo was pretty good from the start," Garrett says in the book. "But we absolutely had to coach him to get away from the center. And we've had to coach receivers to get off the ball. Like Ernie always said: 'Speed, speed, speed.' None of that changes.
It's a timing-based offense. The quarterback, in this case Romo, throws the ball to a target and spreads the field. The overall philosophy is to force the defense to cover the entire field and give receivers an ability to make plays in the open field.
In a perfect world, Dez Bryant fits great into this scheme. He is one of the most electric receivers with the ball in his hands, which is an important point of emphasis in this type of attack.
Blogging the Boys is also reporting that Dallas my start using the terminology of the Erhardt-Perkins scheme, which enables the play call to get to the field much quicker. It also focuses more on concepts than actual route trees and specific plays. This system has been popularized by the New England Patriots over the years.
Base Offense: Up tempo, no huddle scheme
Peyton Manning is really pushing his offense this time around.
According to The Denver Post, he is helping implement a high-temp attack in Denver:
This is Peyton Manning at his best because he's trying to learn a new system himself, implementing the no-huddle and a faster tempo," Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson said following organized team activities (OTAs) Wednesday. "Those guys are getting their camaraderie down, and we've got to get ours, too, because they're going super fast.
This tempo might not rival New England or Philadelphia, but its impact will be huge in Denver due to the thin air.
In terms of sets, you will see a lot of three-wide formations with a tight end off the shoulder of the tackle and one running back in the backfield. You will see empty backfield with spread sets. You will see bunch packages with multiple tight ends. Heck, you will even see tight ends lined up in the backfield next to Manning.
Base Offense: Pass-first, one-back spread set with man-blocking scheme
You will see an extra receiver split wide in Detroit's offensive under coordinator Scott Linehan. An example of this can be seen here.
According to Smart Football, the idea is simple.
- One-back formations, with the base being three wide-receivers, one tight-end and one runningback. (Other coaches would put different spins on it, whether with four receivers or two tight-ends.)
- A running game consisting of inside and outside zone, Power-O and the counter trey.
- A heavy emphasis on the three-step drop passing game.
Naturally, Detroit will have to stick with the short drop back due to its shuffled offensive line and necessity to protect Matthew Stafford.
Adding running back Reggie Bush will also place an emphasis on the screen pass. Detroit will want to get the ball to him in space. Going three wide on the outside and spreading the defense thin at the line will help Bush find the necessary space to succeed.
Base Offense: Modified West Coast with zone-blocking scheme
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy ran the New Orleans Saints offense from 2000-2004 and then took the helm of San Francisco's offense in 2005 before landing the head-coaching gig in Green Bay.
Needless to say, his primary scheme is a variation of the West Coast offense with a bit of his own philosophy mixed in.
Offensive coordinator Tom Clements has also utilized this scheme for the vast majority of his NFL coaching career.
That being said, the play-calling duties are McCarthy's with Clements relied on to make in-game adjustments. His primary role is to understand what type of scheme the defense is running and counteract it was an offensive set that takes full advantage. It's the idea of running when the defense is prepping for the pass and throwing when the defense stacks the box.
In terms of overall philosophy, it's premise is pretty simple.
Get Rodgers to find rhythm in the passing game early with mostly timing and intermediate routes in order to set up the run later. In addition, this version of Bill Walsh's system relies on shorter passes as an extension of the running game.
If you look at Green Bay's base offensive set, it is eerily similar to what Walsh ran in San Francisco during the 1980s. It doesn't rely on a workhorse running back, but is still able to have success when it decides to go to the ground.
That'll only be magnified with the additions of running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin in April's draft.
Base Offense: West Coast with zone-blocking scheme
We see a lot of stretch runs with Arian Foster, play-action passes with Matt Schaub and zone-blocking up front from the offensive line.
This has been the recipe for "success" under head coach Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans for some time now.
It didn't change when Rick Dennison replaced Kyle Shanahan as the Texans offensive coordinator and it hasn't changed since.
Houston relies on intermediate routes to Andre Johnson with a soft cushion in between the hashes for Owen Daniels. Schaub doesn't push the ball down the field too much, and Houston doesn't run four-wide sets too often.
It's all about moving the ball down field, controlling time of possession and utilizing a run-first philosophy. If it hasn't changed yet, it probably won't until a new regime comes in.
That being said, you might see Houston look to stretch the field a bit more in 2013 with rookie first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins in at wide receiver opposite Johnson. That could take a bit of the onus off Foster, who has touched the ball a whopping 640-plus times over the last two seasons.
Base Offense: West Coast focus with high-percentage passes and a flex-blocking scheme
New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who coached Andrew Luck at Stanford, is going back to the basics in his first season with the Colts.
He is going to rely a great deal on high-percentage intermediate routes and a run game that sets up the play-action pass. In reality, it is going to be eerily similar to Luck's days with the Cardinal in Palo Alto.
You will see bubble screens to T.Y. Hilton on the outside, short out routes to possession receiver Reggie Wayne and a focus on the tight end between the hashes.
Fortunately, Indianapolis possesses a highly accurate quarterback in Luck and two solid receiving tight ends in the form of Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
This new passing game will also enable Luck to get rid of the ball quicker. You will not see a lot of five-step drops. Instead, Luck will look to hit on timing routes relatively early in the play.
Considering Luck was sacked 41 times last season running more of a downfield passing game under Bruce Arians, you should see him stay upright a whole lot more in 2013.
Base Offense: Up tempo stretch spread with a zone-blocking scheme
New Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will be running more of a spread-type offense that quarterback Blaine Gabbert was familiar with at Missouri.
It's major difference between Jacksonville's offense over the last two years is that he will use more personnel groupings with more tempo variation between plays. This enables the quarterback to get into a rhythm once he hits two or three passes in a row.
In addition, Fisch's offensive scheme calls for more roles for the running back. He won't just ask Maurice Jones-Drew to sit back in pass protection. Instead, the coordinator will look to loop him out in his route after initially showing a blocking assignment. This should help Jones-Drew find more open field ahead of him in the passing game.
The stretch-spread formation is pretty simple in premise.
It will look to threaten the back end of the defense with vertical routes, while being able to see single coverage on the outside on intermediate routes.
The idea is to allow someone like Cecil Shorts to act as the vertical threat while a Justin Blackmon gives Gabbert passing lanes on the shorter routes.
Here is how it is planned to be drawn up (via Football Times).
Base Offense: West Coast with a zone-blocking scheme
First off, Kansas City's zone-blocking scheme should help Jamaal Charles a great deal. It calls for more athletic blockers to pull to the outside and give the running back lanes to run through on stretches. You will see certain players from the line pull right with Charles moving against the grain.
This fits Charles' athletic ability to a T.
Looking at the Chiefs passing game under first-year head coach Andy Reid, it won't deviate much from what we saw in Philadelphia. New starting quarterback Alex Smith will be tasked with getting rid of the ball in relatively short order, hitting his receivers in stride and attempting to find yards after the catch.
An offense that Reid first learned under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay before honing a bit in Philadelphia over the past 14 years also fits what Smith does well.
He is accurate on intermediate routes, understands how to read a defense and is strong in the pocket. These are three things that a quarterback simply must possess if he is going to succeed in this offense.
Here is an example of a base offensive set you will see in Kansas City this year (via Football Outsiders).
As you see, receivers are set in a semi-bunch to the right side of the hash. One is on the outside of the tackle (tight end), one is in the slot and the other is on the outside. Usually a quarterback will look left as a primary read to hit a receiver on a seam pattern. If that's not open, his next read will be to the right side of the hash.
This is the type of offense Smith had success with in San Francisco over the past two seasons. The learning curve won't be too great for the veteran quarterback.
Base Offense: West Coast with a zone-blocking scheme
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin brought Green Bay's West Coast variation with him to South Beach. In doing so, he pegged former Packers head coach Mike Sherman to be the offensive coordinator.
Both are part of the extended "Bill Walsh Coaching Tree" and are familiar with this type of scheme. Heck, Sherman ran it to an extent with Ryan Tannehill at Texas A&M.
Again, it relies on intermediate routes instead of a vertical passing game. The quarterback is asked to read defensive sets relatively quick and get rid of the ball in short order.
Tannehill exceeded all expectations in this offense as a rookie in 2012 and should find himself in a position to expand on that success this upcoming season.
Base Offense: West Coast with a zone-blocking scheme
While Minnesota does run a variation of the West Coast offense under coordinator Bill Musgrave, it doesn't call for as much verbiage in the playbook. This means that the Vikings have somewhat "dumbed down" the roots of the offense in order to help quarterback Christian Ponder succeed.
This causes some issues as it relates to predictability. Too often last season, defenses knew exactly what was coming when Ponder dropped back to pass. Some of this had to do with his inability to push the ball down the field, which is something that really cannot be taught.
Minnesota does utilize the "space play" a great deal. This gives a receiver the ball with space on the outside and is made possible by spreading out the formation prior to the snap and utilizing different blocking assignments from within the same set.
This also helped Adrian Peterson have one of the better single seasons for a running back in the history of the NFL, despite the fact that he was going up against stacked boxes.
If Musgrave opens up the passing game for Ponder, which would be ideal, Peterson will find himself with more open lanes to run through.
The causal relationship here is that Minnesota's offense becomes less predictable when Ponder drops to pass.
Will it work?
Base Offense: Erhardt-Perkins system with a man-blocking scheme
The traditional aspect of this scheme is to utilize a power-running offense to set up the play-action pass downfield. Obviously, the Patriots do this to a T.
They are not afraid to throw in obvious running situations, which creates a tremendous amount of mismatches in coverage down the field.
Wide receivers line up wide, outside receivers line up next to the shoulder of the tackle, tight ends are utilized in the backfield and all hell breaks loose as it relates to the defenses attempting a pre-snap scheme.
Yes, it is the fury and genius of New England's base offensive set.
You will see two-tight end sets, four wide receivers lined up outside, bunch formations and even jumbo packages. It's a combination of all sorts of formations, first utilized by Ron Erhardt and Ray Perkins decades ago.
Grantland's Chris Brown summed up the system here:
The backbone of the Erhardt-Perkins system is that plays — pass plays in particular — are not organized by a route tree or by calling a single receiver's route, but by what coaches refer to as "concepts." Each play has a name, and that name conjures up an image for both the quarterback and the other players on offense. And, most importantly, the concept can be called from almost any formation or set.
It's all about putting the receivers in the best situation to succeed, no matter the formation prior to the snap. Unlike the West Coast system, this enables different formations to utilize the exact same play. It also relies less on the route tree, which is normally the backbone of playbooks in the NFL.
Base Offense: West Coast and "Air Coryell" hybrid with a flex-blocking scheme
Drew Brees made his name known at Purdue by possessing stealth-like accuracy in intermediate routes. This enabled him to get selected with the initial pick of the second round back in 2001, despite "height issues."
It is also this accuracy that has led to historic success with the New Orleans Saints since signing in The Bayou back in 2006, Sean Payton's first season with the franchise.
Call it "the West Coast offense" of "the Gulf Coast offense," it really doesn't matter.
First, it calls for a multi-dimensional running back. Reggie Bush held that title for a few seasons before Darren Sproles took over back in 2010. It requires that the running back to be able to line up on the outside as a wide receiver, in the slot and also catch passes out of the backfield on basic screen sets.
It requires stretch-pass plays, which enables receivers to catch the ball in space. The mismatches caused here are created in the film room more than on the field itself. That's a primary reason that New Orleans' philosophy can also be called a Air Coryell hybrid.
Shifts and motions are also important in this hybrid. You will see Jimmy Graham shift from one set to another with a wide receiver moving from the slot to the outside. The idea is to be on the attack at all times.
Payton utilizes this to a T. He will not change up the Saints philosophy, even when up by multiple scores. That's eerily similar to the Dan Fouts-led San Diego Chargers offense of the late '70s and early '80s.
Base Offense: Run and Shoot with a zone/flex hybrid blocking scheme
New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has long been linked to the run and shoot offense and this hasn't changed in recent seasons.
The concept is rather simple in nature.
It usually requires just one running back and between two and four receivers. The receivers are asked to motion at the time of the snap. This causes defenses to second guess their personnel assignments and be forced on to their heels.
Receivers are asked to read coverage prior to the snap and adjust accordingly. It might mean breaking off routes, which relies heavily on a strong relationship with the quarterback.
Chris Brown of Grantland had this to say about receivers' responsibilities as they related to the Giants 2011 team:
A perfect example of Cruz excelling in a run-and-shoot play this season came in Week 3 against the Eagles. On third-and-2, Gilbride called an old staple — the "switch" concept. At the snap, the inside receiver, Cruz, and the outside receiver, Hakeem Nicks, were to "switch" their releases by crisscrossing past each other. But that's just where the fun begins. Each receiver still had multiple decisions to make.
This isn't your traditional run and shoot offense. It relies more on a solid running game and has actually featured some good tight ends at times. Rather it is a mix and evolution of the basic scheme, something that Gilbride himself has a history with.
Base Offense: Timing-based West Coast hybrid with a zone-blocking scheme
One common fallacy around the world of the NFL is that Bill Walsh created the West Coast offense. While he popularized it to an extent, his primary change from Sid Gillman's original scheme was to create more timing-based routes for the wide receivers.
This specific version of the offense that new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg brings with him to the New York Jets will feature two running back sets. It enables run plays to be called in a run-power formation as well as on outside zones.
Projected starting running back Chris Ivory is familiar with this due to his days with Sean Payton in New Orleans.
All passing plays are in essence timing routes. The receivers run routes that are specific to how many drop backs the quarterback takes. It doesn't matter if the route is a skinny post, slant or out. The receiver must be lockstep with the quarterback.
Again, this goes back to the specific scheme Walsh set in place with Cincinnati in the '70s before making popular in San Francisco during the '80s.
Base Offense: Power-running and play-action hybrid
To say that Darren McFadden struggled in the Raiders zone-blocking scheme under Greg Knapp would be an understatement. He is, by all accounts, a downhill runner more than anything else.
This is what new offensive coordinator Greg Olson will be bringing to the table in Oakland. He will scrap the West Coast offense and zone-blocking scheme to feature a bully-style running attack with a lot of play-action passes.
In reality, whoever is under center in Oakland will be using the passing attack as an extension to the ground game. This is the complete antithesis of what the Raiders have run since McFadden entered the NFL.
Matt Flynn has experience in the West Coast offense, but also possesses the skill set to be able to change up formations and reads to fit a new style.
If Terrelle Pryor somehow finds his way on to the field, Oakland will definitely find a way to utilize the read option. That being said, his inclusion in this offense in 2013 is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point.
The real wild card here is rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson. He has impressed the organization in camp thus far and could succeed as a rookie in a run-first offense.
Base Offense: Extreme spread with zone-blocking scheme
Before getting into the real nuts and bolts of Chip Kelly's offense in Philadelphia, it is important to take a look at how his personnel matches up.
The decision to select ultra-athletic tackle Lane Johnson in the first round of April's draft should tell you all you need to know about what type of blocking scheme Philadelphia plans to utilize in 2013. It will rely heavily on more athletic offensive linemen to get off the snap and pull to whichever direction the play calls for.
In addition, it enables cross or reverse blocking assignments within the same formation. This means that LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown will be running away from the grain a great deal.
As it relates to Philadelphia's base offense, it's complex in nature.
You have already heard about the extreme spread and up-tempo scheme utilized at Oregon. That really won't change with the Eagles.
If practices are any indication, Philadelphia's tempo will rival that of the New England Patriots. There will be little huddling on the field, plays will come in at a frantic place and new personnel groupings will be utilized within the same formation on consecutive plays.
New additions Zach Ertz and James Casey are versatile "tight ends" who can line up in a variety of formations. Ertz was utilized in the slot, on the outside and even in the backfield at Stanford. Meanwhile, Casey is more of your H-back, who will be called upon to block a great deal. That being said, he can also line up off the shoulder of the tackle and in the slot.
It's all about spacing and formation. Getting three wide, finding a mismatch between the hashes and opening up the field for running backs both inside and outside.
As you can see here, Kelly isn't afraid to bring a fullback in on a spread formation. You will see a screen to one of the three players in the backfield with a wide receiver as a lead blocker down the field.
In all honesty, it's mayhem in its truest form.
Base Offense: Stretch, spread hybrid with man/power blocking scheme
The addition of running back Le'Veon Bell in the second round of April's draft indicates a possible shift in Pittsburgh's offensive scheme under coordinator Todd Haley.
Probably out of necessity, Ben Roethlisberger was forced to throw the ball a lot more than Pittsburgh would have liked over the past couple seasons.
This changes dramatically in 2013.
First, "Big Ben" won't be a sitting duck in the backfield anymore. He will rely more on a quick-strike pass offense that focuses more on timing and intermediate routes than the downfield passing game. Second, the running game will be utilized to set up the play-action pass and keep the defense on its heels.
All of these likely changes will help Roethlisberger stay upright and handle the rigors of a full 16-game season.
In terms of formation, you will see Heath Miller lined up at his original slot. Emmanuel Sanders will replace Mike Wallace as the vertical threat with Antonio Brown taking on the task of the possession guy.
Base Offense: Vertical West Coast hybrid with power-blocking scheme
New head coach Mike McCoy did wonders for the Denver Broncos offense over the past couple seasons. He was able to adjust from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning within the matter of just one calendar year.
That's simply stunning.
You will see more timing-based routes, shorter drops from Philip Rivers and a much larger emphasis on the running game under McCoy than what we saw with Norv Turner over the past few seasons.
This will help Rivers avoid the untimely mistakes of throwing into a set area with a receiver that had already broken off his route (we saw this a lot the past two seasons).
The premise here is that San Diego will be able to protect Rivers upfront without having to employ a dominating offensive line.
Remember, McCoy passed less this past season with Manning under center than he did with Orton at quarterback in 2011.
That's an important point of emphasis moving forward.
Base Offense: West Coast and read-option hybrid with a flex-blocking scheme
Revolutionary would probably be the best term to describe San Francisco's "new" offense. It is a variation of the West Coast offense with the read option built in.
You will see the read-option run out of spread sets, but you will also see it in jumbo packages. You will see Colin Kaepernick run the ball with four wide and zero running backs. You will also see packages that bring San Francisco back to its roots under Bill Walsh.
Some plays will call for one read, others will ask Kaepernick to progress through multiple reads. There will be pull-blocking assignments within man-power blocking assignments.
Rarely will you see the same formation utilized on consecutive plays.
But, lets make no mistake about it. This offense is still run first. It may take more chances down the field with a strong-armed quarterback, but is rooted in the fundamental belief that the run must set up the pass.
Therefore, you will still see San Francisco run the least amount of four-wide sets in the NFL. Instead, it will utilize two-back formations with multiple tight ends and just one receiver set wide.
I am intrigued to see how this offense will evolve with Kaepernick seeing one full offseason as the starting quarterback. You can bet that head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman have even more up their sleeves.
Base Offense: West Coast, power-running hybrid with a zone-blocking scheme
A lot was made about the fact that Seattle threw the ball less than any other team in the NFL this past season. Some indicated that it was because Russell Wilson wasn't completely ready to take over as the leader on offense.
That's utter foolishness.
Seattle ran a lot because it had success doing so. Marshawn Lynch and the downhill running philosophy coupled with a better-than-average run-blocking offensive line led to a lot of success on the ground.
When tasked with passing, Wilson was accurate and displayed an arm that skeptics figured he didn't have entering the 2012 NFL draft.
While Seattle's passing attack was timing based to an extent, Wilson threw over the top a great deal. He was tasked with reading defenses and progressing to secondary reads, something rookie quarterbacks aren't usually successful at.
You will see more spread formations in 2013 with wide receiver Percy Harvin in the mix. He'll also be told to line up on the outside, in the slot and even in the backfield. The blocking fullback will be a thing of the past, unless Spencer Ware proves he can hold down that role (Michael Robinson isn't a blocking fullback).
Of course, the pistol/zone read formation will also have its fair share of responsibilities in this ever-changing offensive scheme.
Base Offense: Air Coryell, play-action hybrid with a man-blocking scheme
As one of the three basic offensive sets in the NFL today, Air Coryell will be utilized in St. Louis to spread the field and take advantage of weak defensive secondaries in the back end.
It's the idea that you can create gaps in the defense on intermediate routes be spreading the defense thin. While the Rams didn't do a great job at this in 2012, it was mostly due to their inability to actually find competent receivers who could beat defenses over the top.
This changes a great deal with the addition of wide receiver Tavon Austin in the first round of April's draft. He will have an immediate impact on the Rams play calling moving forward. In the process, Sam Bradford should be put in a better situation to succeed.
You will see receivers set in motion in an attempt to force defenses away from either press or man coverage. In reality, it is all about creating confusion at the last possible moment prior to the snap of the ball.
St. Louis now possesses the weapons for this type of attack to be successful. It is up to Bradford to be the ringleader.
Base Offense: Ball-control run-based offense with a stretch-zone blocking scheme
Tampa Bay will look to utilize a run-first philosophy with second-year running back Doug Martin in order to set Josh Freeman up for success in the passing game.
The days of Freeman throwing the ball up for grabs to Vincent Jackson are surely over. Instead, the Buccaneers will attempt to employ more of a smart, ball-control offense under second-year coordinator Mike Sullivan.
There will not be a ton of four-wide sets, empty backfield or zero tight ends lined up off the shoulder of the tackle. The vertical passing game will definitely still be part of the scheme in Tampa Bay, but you will notice it will not rely heavily on that aspect.
It's more about picking and choosing when you throw deep. It's also about understanding exactly when to take those shots. The ball is definitely in Freeman's court here. He has the scheme and talent to be successful.
Base Offense: Ball control run-first scheme
The additions of guards Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack as well as the signing of tight end Delanie Walker from San Francisco indicates a major shift in Tennessee's philosophy in 2013.
It will feature multiple tight end sets, a power-running blocking scheme and less spread formations on the outside.
As compact as the new offense itself might seem, the pure physicality Tennessee will be able to employ at the line will do running back Chris Johnson wonders. He will be able to find holes at the line and get into his second gear before being sidetracked by a would-be tackler.
In addition, this scheme will put Jake Locker in a better situation to succeed. He will rely more on timing-based intermediate routes and only look down the field on occasion. This fits well into what he does on the football field.
Base Offense: West Coast, read-option hybrid with a zone-blocking scheme
Head coach Mike Shanahan is a charter member of the Bill Walsh school of coaching. He has utilized timing-based passing attacks and the West Coast offense in each of his stops in the NFL and this hasn't changed in Washington.
The one wrinkle Shanahan has added to Washington's offense is the read option. With an ultra-athletic quarterback in Robert Griffin III, Washington was able to keep defenses off balance throughout the 2012 season.
One thing that will change this upcoming season is the amount of chances RGIII takes down the field. He ran a watered-down version of Shanahan's offense as a rookie in 2012, but the handcuffs are sure to fly off this time around.
You will still see multiple tight end formations, a back next to RGIII and a ton of timing-based intermediate routes. That will be the primary set, outside of the read option, that Washington employs in 2013.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
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