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Clearing up Air Coryell.


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#1 dhstandard

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

I keep seeing people try to explain reasons why it's good, why it's bad, and it seems like most people here have no idea what the Air Coryell system is. I'm going to keep it short and simple. Three key factors are crucial to Air Coryell. The first is a strong inside running game, the second is the ability to strike deep with two or more receivers on any play, and the third is to include a great deal of mid-range passing to a TE, WR, or back.
I bolded this part because this is the issue people don't realize. It's more than just tossing deep passes every play. The Air Coryell system was created because of Kellen Winslow. It has also been used with guys like Marshall Faulk because they are those type of players who are dynamic enough to play two roles.
Ray Rice is that player for us but we also have two solid TEs.

It also utilizes a significant amount of formations to go along with shifts and motions that puts the defense at a disadvantage because of the amount of looks the offense can [profanity deleted]e. Remember when the Chargers used motion last year to figure out whether our defense was in zone or man? That's another component used in the system.
The shifts and motions in particular caused problems for defenses because it enables the offense to create matchups that favored them. Receivers should be motioned in order to avoid press coverage.
The quarterback should utilize three and five step drops to deliver the ball on times routes and eventually dropping back and throwing down field to take the top off of the defense.

These bolded statements are what Cam left out. The formations were basic and Pitta and Boldin were the only receivers who seemed to be motioned. The short passing game was left out and sending two guys deep didn't open up anything because the middle of the field was never used anyways.

The system works well with out guys as Torrey and Jacoby Jones are both speedsters who cause corners to stay deep. If they try to press them Flacco simply needs to motion them away to avoid it. Just because Cam ran the system poorly doesn't mean the system is bad or that it doesn't fit these guys.

Edited by dhstandard, 12 December 2012 - 09:37 PM.

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#2 Purple Nurple

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

Great post.
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#3 Malkavian Raven

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Look at the big brain on 'dhstandard'. Preach cousin, preach!

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#4 admartian

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:47 PM

Good post.

I still feel funny about Norv coming though Because I believe he hasn't done that with the same/similar system in SD. Though he is using Matthews a lot.
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#5 dhstandard

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

Good post.

I still feel funny about Norv coming though Because I believe he hasn't done that with the same/similar system in SD. Though he is using Matthews a lot.


He isn't the OC there. There are a reason why great OC and DC go on to be terrible head coaches. Being a good Coordinator doesn't really help all that much in head coaching because, while you do have the power to advise them, you are not calling the plays so the offense and defense don't reflect the head coach.

Head coaches in my opinion are just scapegoats for real problems. Bill Parcells managed to take a terrible cowboys team to the playoffs and when they did poorly the next season everyone wanted him gone. It's the same with Rex Ryan in my opinion. Both teams overacheived and now that they are showing their true colors the fans simply think it's the head coaches fault. They should have never made the playoffs in the first place.

The reason I like Norv is because he is an expert at utilizing runningbacks while not straying away from the passing game. He got the most out of Ladanian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams all while leading a solid passing game.


Also look at this double standard. Jim Caldwell was the head coach at Indy which included the 14-2 season with a powerful offense. When he was made OC people say that we have no idea what could happen since he was only a coach and never a Coordinator.

Now look at Norv. He had great seasons as OC but now that the Chargers offense has stalled while he is at HC people are blaming Rivers regression on him. It's a double standard. What a guy does at HC does not reflect his ability as a Coordinator.

Edited by dhstandard, 12 December 2012 - 10:33 PM.

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#6 CapoRocky

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:01 PM

I like the laid back approach of Caldwell. He has a ton of experience and is willing to grab the bull by the horns if necessary. I don't see him trying to dominate everything like Cameron did. He knows that it's best to get the team up to speed and play off that momentum to carry them forward into the postseason.
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#7 T3hRaven

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

I understand what the system does and how it works, but I still maintain its an antiquated system that doesn't fit our team. The main problem is a strong inside running game, which is not at all what Rice does. For that you need a back that can push the pile, and Rice gets stopped at the line more often than not. This is a big reason why Cam failed. If Rice breaks off two 3 yard gains on run-run-pass, we're sitting at third and 4. Now the moron might still call all streaks on 3rd and 4, but that's still better than constantly being in 3rd and 8+, which is where the offense typically was. You're not going to convert many of those, and Rice's inability to consistently gain yardage is a major contributing factor to that.

I also see Torrey as a catch and run guy that, while he can run deep, needs to be given the ball on some slants and the like in order to get him in space. He's made a lot of plays with YAC, and his ability to do that simply isn't utilized enough. I've seen maybe one slant and one crossing route called this season, that's not conducive to modern offensive success.

Without the exact right personell and an exceptional offensive line, I still maintain the Coryell won't work.
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#8 flynismo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

What you failed to mention was that an Air Coryell (god I am so sick of hearing that antiquated, once-dead term) relies on a potent pass blocking OL.
Doesn't matter how cute your deep routes are that you call if you only have 3 seconds to pull it off
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#9 flynismo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:36 PM

I understand what the system does and how it works, but I still maintain its an antiquated system that doesn't fit our team. The main problem is a strong inside running game, which is not at all what Rice does. For that you need a back that can push the pile, and Rice gets stopped at the line more often than not. This is a big reason why Cam failed. If Rice breaks off two 3 yard gains on run-run-pass, we're sitting at third and 4. Now the moron might still call all streaks on 3rd and 4, but that's still better than constantly being in 3rd and 8+, which is where the offense typically was. You're not going to convert many of those, and Rice's inability to consistently gain yardage is a major contributing factor to that.

I also see Torrey as a catch and run guy that, while he can run deep, needs to be given the ball on some slants and the like in order to get him in space. He's made a lot of plays with YAC, and his ability to do that simply isn't utilized enough. I've seen maybe one slant and one crossing route called this season, that's not conducive to modern offensive success.

Without the exact right personell and an exceptional offensive line, I still maintain the Coryell won't work.


+1 for calling it "antiquated" just like I did!! Jesus, this system was stale back when Jerry Rice was still playing ball
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#10 dhstandard

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:37 PM

I understand what the system does and how it works, but I still maintain its an antiquated system that doesn't fit our team. The main problem is a strong inside running game, which is not at all what Rice does. For that you need a back that can push the pile, and Rice gets stopped at the line more often than not. This is a big reason why Cam failed. If Rice breaks off two 3 yard gains on run-run-pass, we're sitting at third and 4. Now the moron might still call all streaks on 3rd and 4, but that's still better than constantly being in 3rd and 8+, which is where the offense typically was. You're not going to convert many of those, and Rice's inability to consistently gain yardage is a major contributing factor to that.

I also see Torrey as a catch and run guy that, while he can run deep, needs to be given the ball on some slants and the like in order to get him in space. He's made a lot of plays with YAC, and his ability to do that simply isn't utilized enough. I've seen maybe one slant and one crossing route called this season, that's not conducive to modern offensive success.

Without the exact right personell and an exceptional offensive line, I still maintain the Coryell won't work.



But you haven't given any reasons.

-Strong inside running IS what Ray does. Rice does most of his runs between the guard and tackles which is why we still have Leach on this team. "Strong" doesn't mean power running. It means good.

-Torrey wasn't used on slants but he SHOULD have. Air Coryell would have Torrey running streaks Cam just never did that.
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#11 dhstandard

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

What you failed to mention was that an Air Coryell (god I am so sick of hearing that antiquated, once-dead term) relies on a potent pass blocking OL.
Doesn't matter how cute your deep routes are that you call if you only have 3 seconds to pull it off


True. But the quick routes (three and five step drops) are supposed to keep pressure off the QB. Teams just outright blitz nearly every down because our receivers can't break man coverage (a play calling problem). The O-line can stop a 4 man rush though.
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#12 flynismo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

True. But the quick routes (three and five step drops) are supposed to keep pressure off the QB. Teams just outright blitz nearly every down because our receivers can't break man coverage (a play calling problem). The O-line can stop a 4 man rush though.


What quick routes? I dont remember Worthless calling any of those
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#13 dhstandard

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:55 PM

What quick routes? I dont remember Worthless calling any of those


You are supposed to. That is one of the key components of the system. You don't just drop back every play and launch it deep. You actually launch it deep much less than the short throws. Once the secondary stays in to cover the intermediate passing game you launch one deep.

I know Cam didn't do it. But that doesn't mean the system is bad. He just didn't run it well. Norv Turner knows how to do it.
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#14 flynismo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:59 PM

You are supposed to. That is one of the key components of the system. You don't just drop back every play and launch it deep. You actually launch it deep much less than the short throws. Once the secondary stays in to cover the intermediate passing game you launch one deep.

I know Cam didn't do it. But that doesn't mean the system is bad. He just didn't run it well. Norv Turner knows how to do it.


Okay, I understand what you meant now...

But regardless, the system still does not fit our personnel. Neither does Norv and his system from 1963.
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#15 SecretAgentMan

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:49 PM

Okay, I understand what you meant now...

But regardless, the system still does not fit our personnel. Neither does Norv and his system from 1963.

I don't like Norv for this situation...... Believe me, the Air coyrell is outdated.... The kid who has never played FB knows this..... I can only hope Jim is the man for the job..... Want to know why the no-huddle works? It's near impossible to defend, you call a run on your first play, and you have 3 WR on the field blocking, hurry back to the LOS, call a passing play with them only having one DB(Defensive Back, not Dooshbag) and it is guaranteed to be a gain if the ball is caught. The air coyrell may be outdated, but any system in the no huddle may work. Jimmy, you on the clock, see if you can make joe Peyton 2.0....
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#16 Militant X 1

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:51 PM

i'm very familiar with and run the Air Coryell (sorry Fly...i love that name...lol!) on Madden13 with the Ravens even though it's dated. i've found this link to be of great value in my scripting this type of system on the video game. http://aircoryell.bl...ll-offense.html

contrary to others, i do believe that we have the personnel for this system except for a stronger O-line.

strong armed pocket QB - Joe Flacco - check
power running game - Rice, Pierce & Leach - check
5 WRs - Boldin, Smith, Jones, Doss, Reed and Williams - check
2 Fast WR's to stretch the defense - Smith and Jones - check
solid TE - Pitta (this cat catches nearly everything throw his way....gotta improve his blocking)
strong O-line - suspect lol!

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Edited by Militant X 1, 13 December 2012 - 12:03 AM.

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#17 BloodRaven

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:02 AM

Look at the big brain on 'dhstandard'. Preach cousin, preach!

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Malko or Mili?
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#18 Militant X 1

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:17 AM

Malko or Mili?


that's not me brah! lol! umm...that is CosmicRedPanda formerly known as Malk. lol!

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#19 T3hRaven

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:48 AM

But you haven't given any reasons.

-Strong inside running IS what Ray does. Rice does most of his runs between the guard and tackles which is why we still have Leach on this team. "Strong" doesn't mean power running. It means good.

-Torrey wasn't used on slants but he SHOULD have. Air Coryell would have Torrey running streaks Cam just never did that.


The inept offensive line is a big enough reason to say no all by itself. You can't run the Coryell if you can't pass block, and outside of Yanda this line is horrible at pass protection with the black hole of pass pro that is Michael Oher. Maybe you just read Rice's stat line, but if you watched the games you'd know Rice's numbers are inflated by a big carry or two a game. He is constantly stuff at the line for little to no gain. If he was doing strong running, as you call it, Cam Cameron would still be here because he constantly was calling for Rice to run up the middle. The offense gets put into so many three and outs because Rice does nothing for two downs and then Flacco is expected to bail us out on third and 8. He needs the ball on the outside or in space, mixed in with other runs, to be truly effective. Cam obviously didn't do a good job of running the offense and should have been using Rice more like the Rams used Faulk, but strong running is undeniably a weakness for Rice. That's probably why the team drafted Pierce.

All Cam ever did was have Torrey run streaks...

Yes the Coryell was a great offensive system in the past, and yes it produced the greatest show on turf, but it just doesn't work anymore. There is a reason only 4 teams still use it (Raiders, Titans, Chargers, and Ravens). I don't want a status quo offense next season, I want something different.
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#20 callahan09

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:35 AM

He isn't the OC there. There are a reason why great OC and DC go on to be terrible head coaches. Being a good Coordinator doesn't really help all that much in head coaching because, while you do have the power to advise them, you are not calling the plays so the offense and defense don't reflect the head coach.

Head coaches in my opinion are just scapegoats for real problems. Bill Parcells managed to take a terrible cowboys team to the playoffs and when they did poorly the next season everyone wanted him gone. It's the same with Rex Ryan in my opinion. Both teams overacheived and now that they are showing their true colors the fans simply think it's the head coaches fault. They should have never made the playoffs in the first place.

The reason I like Norv is because he is an expert at utilizing runningbacks while not straying away from the passing game. He got the most out of Ladanian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams all while leading a solid passing game.


Also look at this double standard. Jim Caldwell was the head coach at Indy which included the 14-2 season with a powerful offense. When he was made OC people say that we have no idea what could happen since he was only a coach and never a Coordinator.

Now look at Norv. He had great seasons as OC but now that the Chargers offense has stalled while he is at HC people are blaming Rivers regression on him. It's a double standard. What a guy does at HC does not reflect his ability as a Coordinator.


Great post, and I would add another notable example: look at what Wade Phillips has done for Houston's defense. He took what was notorious for being a terrible defensive team and made them one of the most feared in the NFL the very first season he was there. The Texans D had only ranked in the top half of the league in points allowed one time in franchise history prior to Phillips, and that was ranked at 15th in 2004. They had been ranked 25th or worse in 5 out of 9 seasons of existence prior to Phillips. The year before Phillips got there, they were 29th in points and 30th in yards.

The year he got there they were 4th in points and 2nd in yards, and it wasn't a fluke because this year they are 6th and 7th respectively.

The defense with the Cowboys in his first two seasons as head coach there? 13th and 9th his first season, and 20th and 8th his second season (points and yards, respectively).

Anyway, my point is just to agree with your point that a head coach's specialty unit doesn't always perform in a way that reflects that coach's ability to coordinate that unit directly.
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