NFL assistant Bill Walsh refined the ideas of passing guru Sid Gillman and became a Hall of Fame coach and an icon. The West Coast offense features horizontal passing in front of the defense. It demands Swiss-watch timing between quarterbacks smart enough to read defenses and receivers who can withstand hits. Running backs must be able to catch the ball. The West Coast has been problematic for college football, with its thinner pool of talent and limited practice time.
STATE OF THE OFFENSE
The West Coast is not obsolete but the heyday of Walsh disciples and imitators has begun to fade. Zone blitzes put a premium on a quarterback's ability to read defenses quickly. The more that colleges move to the spread and use quarterbacks who can run and pass, the more difficult it will be for the West Coast to thrive.