The Air Raid Offense

The Air Raid offense is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an offense where they use a lot of spread gun formations to spread the ball around through the air. It’s typically used at the college level. The upside is that it is a hard thing to prepare for. Teams like Mississippi State were able to stay in games against great teams and even upset them by using this approach.

When Mike Leach was with WSU they would always have a good season, and usually come into the Apple Cup ranked, just to get embarrassed by the great Washington Huskies. Unfortunately, that pattern did not carry over to this year when WSU beat the Huskies 40-13.

 The downside of the Air Raid offense is the fact that it is hard to recruit top talent to a team that uses this style of offense because of it being one of the main drawbacks that scouts use when they look at draft prospects. They can never get that great player to get them over the hump because no QB wants to be looked down upon when draft time comes just because of the type of offense they were in. Sure QBs tend to put up monster numbers in this system which you would think makes scouts drool.

In fact it really isn’t that impressive because of the sheer load of passes they make per game. It tends to make you into a record breaking QB in college and maybe if your lucky a mediocre QB in the NFL. Since football seems to be always making QB more important to your teams success, the most talented QB that you can get seems mandatory.

And since not a ton of QBs love this offense and with all the drawbacks its hard to get them to come to it. Also, what running back wants to come to a school that just throws it all the time? To pass block and run check downs? I don’t think that’s what most star players in high school have in mind.

 So imagine if you’re a college coach. Would you use this offense? Try the air raid if you want to be instantly competitive. But don’t try it if you are trying to win more games than just a average bowl team

If your goals are greater than mediocrity and you want to go win a natty or some New Years Six Bowls, then maybe don’t run this offense. It tends to get teams instantly competitive but never great. If I was a coach I would avoid running this but, others could see it differently, but who wants to be like Mike Leach? I personally would rather be Nick Saban.