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Spread Offense vs. Pro Style Offense

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#1 Demetrius Dew

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:38 AM

Everyone says the Spread Offense is a gimmick offense that defense's are now adjusting to and stopping it.  What about the Pro Style Offense and Offense that is ran by majority of Division 1 schools are schools adjusting to and stopping this offense as well?

My question is why do many see the only true offense that can be ran in College is the Pro Style Offense and not the Spread Offense?  I understand the arguement with the Triple Option because that was a 90% Run to 10% Pass offense which all the defense had to do was stack the box with 8 defenders.

#2 popcornplaya

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:57 AM

 Demetrius Dew, on Nov 12 2008, 11:38 AM, said:

Everyone says the Spread Offense is a gimmick offense that defense's are now adjusting to and stopping it.  What about the Pro Style Offense and Offense that is ran by majority of Division 1 schools are schools adjusting to and stopping this offense as well?

My question is why do many see the only true offense that can be ran in College is the Pro Style Offense and not the Spread Offense?  I understand the arguement with the Triple Option because that was a 90% Run to 10% Pass offense which all the defense had to do was stack the box with 8 defenders.

The pro style offense is more of a smash mouth offense, of sorts, as it has a power run game and a good passing attack.  The spread is more of a speed offense that relies on zone reads.  The only spread that would work in the pros is Texas Tech's, IMO, beacuse they run it with a lot of west coast offense attributes and little to no zone read required.  The pro style is more of a 3 yards and a cloud of dust.  For the spread to really work you have to have speed personnel, the pro style needs a power back.  A spread offense could be stopped easier with a good DL because of the fact that the spread doesn't have a smash mouth mentality.  You have to be able to run the ball between the tackles to run the pro style.  And you can incorporate speed with the pro style, you can't really incorporate the smash mouth mentality with teh spread because it doesn't work with the personnel.

#3 sdogg

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:05 AM

 popcornplaya, on Nov 12 2008, 03:57 PM, said:

The pro style offense is more of a smash mouth offense, of sorts, as it has a power run game and a good passing attack.  The spread is more of a speed offense that relies on zone reads.  The only spread that would work in the pros is Texas Tech's, IMO, beacuse they run it with a lot of west coast offense attributes and little to no zone read required.  The pro style is more of a 3 yards and a cloud of dust.  For the spread to really work you have to have speed personnel, the pro style needs a power back.  A spread offense could be stopped easier with a good DL because of the fact that the spread doesn't have a smash mouth mentality.  You have to be able to run the ball between the tackles to run the pro style.  And you can incorporate speed with the pro style, you can't really incorporate the smash mouth mentality with teh spread because it doesn't work with the personnel.


Well said. And if your an NFL team, you better not draft a QB coming out of a college that runs the spread. I feel for the one that makes the mistake on Tiebow.

#4 Statick

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:33 AM

 sdogg, on Nov 12 2008, 11:05 AM, said:

Well said. And if your an NFL team, you better not draft a QB coming out of a college that runs the spread. I feel for the one that makes the mistake on Tiebow.

I agree as well.

I pointed out the same about suspect players (like a Tebow) that are weened in the college spread offense, but of course, college coaches and ADs don't give a d*mn about the NFL future of those kids outside of their alma mater.

#5 freakyfalcon

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:39 AM

And thats why Stafford is considered by the draft experts and NFL scouts to be the top college QB for the upcoming draft if he decides to come out.

#6 stumpjumper

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:24 PM

The Patriots ran the spread a lot last year...I saw Brady in the shotgun often.

#7 Demetrius Dew

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:48 PM

 popcornplaya, on Nov 12 2008, 10:57 AM, said:

The pro style offense is more of a smash mouth offense, of sorts, as it has a power run game and a good passing attack.  The spread is more of a speed offense that relies on zone reads.  The only spread that would work in the pros is Texas Tech's, IMO, beacuse they run it with a lot of west coast offense attributes and little to no zone read required.  The pro style is more of a 3 yards and a cloud of dust.  For the spread to really work you have to have speed personnel, the pro style needs a power back.  A spread offense could be stopped easier with a good DL because of the fact that the spread doesn't have a smash mouth mentality.  You have to be able to run the ball between the tackles to run the pro style.  And you can incorporate speed with the pro style, you can't really incorporate the smash mouth mentality with teh spread because it doesn't work with the personnel.


Ok I am talking College and not NFL.  A good DL is also need to stop a good Pro Style Offense also so that is not really releavent, IMO because every good defesne needs a DL to stop any offense attack.

So how come defense are gaining on the spread offense and not the Pro Style Offense?

Pro Style Offense is match power with power.

Spread Offense is matching Speed with Speed.

I just don't understand why many believe this offense cannot be successful long term like Pro Style Offense has been.

#8 Lightmare

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 01:32 PM

 stumpjumper, on Nov 12 2008, 12:24 PM, said:

The Patriots ran the spread a lot last year...I saw Brady in the shotgun often.

That's what I keep saying.  They ran a spread a majority of the time.  They rarely rushed, but did when needed.  And Brady had college player-like stats.  I mean they were unrealistic for an NFL player (what was it, 50-8 for TDs/INTs?).   I mean that is insane for a pro football player.  The only team that seemed to figured them out was the NYG..

#9 stumpjumper

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

I think a lot of it has to do with personel on your team, and the Pats happened to have it.

#10 popcornplaya

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:27 PM

 Demetrius Dew, on Nov 12 2008, 01:48 PM, said:

Ok I am talking College and not NFL.  A good DL is also need to stop a good Pro Style Offense also so that is not really releavent, IMO because every good defesne needs a DL to stop any offense attack.

So how come defense are gaining on the spread offense and not the Pro Style Offense?

Pro Style Offense is match power with power.

Spread Offense is matching Speed with Speed.

I just don't understand why many believe this offense cannot be successful long term like Pro Style Offense has been.

I was talking about college too.  The only reason I referenced the NFL was to point out that Texas Tech's version would work there.

The Pro Style offense matches up better against a good defense than a spread does because a good defense starts up front.  A good defense can stop a spread because the speed and lack of a power running game doesn't enable you to run play action because they can not run between the tackles.  A pro style offense runs between the tackles, thus opening play action, and a whole new portion of the playbook.  The spread is only based on speed.  The pro style is power and speed, and thus is harder by miles to defend because it opens up the play action pass.  If you can't run the ball in the middle, you can't go play action.  You can shut the spread down with a good DL and crappy DBs, you can't with a pro style offense.  The spread can be successful in college much more than in the pros, and it will stay in college football because they can recruit players to fill the positions as needed.  The triple option will stay as well, because that's what you run when you can't get the recruits to run the spread or pro style.  The spread just doesn't breed the NFL success that the Pro Style does.  It's good for college and college players, but it does nothing to prep them for the NFL, which is why players in Pro Style offenses get so much love early on in the draft.

#11 freakyfalcon

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

 Beau J, on Nov 12 2008, 01:32 PM, said:

That's what I keep saying.  They ran a spread a majority of the time.  They rarely rushed, but did when needed.  And Brady had college player-like stats.  I mean they were unrealistic for an NFL player (what was it, 50-8 for TDs/INTs?).   I mean that is insane for a pro football player.  The only team that seemed to figured them out was the NYG..

The Pats dont run a spread offense. Its a multiple set offensive scheme that was installed by Charlie Weiss when he was OC there. They just ran alot of 4-5 wide sets last year with the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.  Most of the time in those 4-5 wide sets there are only 2 WRs with 2 TEs.

#12 Lightmare

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:31 PM

 freakyfalcon, on Nov 12 2008, 05:54 PM, said:

The Pats dont run a spread offense. Its a multiple set offensive scheme that was installed by Charlie Weiss when he was OC there. They just ran alot of 4-5 wide sets last year with the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.  Most of the time in those 4-5 wide sets there are only 2 WRs with 2 TEs.

I must be thinking of the New Jersey Patriots.  I should have been more clear.  They ran it a lot last year with multiple WR sets.  I think they passed a little last year too.

#13 popcornplaya

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:57 PM

 freakyfalcon, on Nov 12 2008, 06:54 PM, said:

The Pats dont run a spread offense. Its a multiple set offensive scheme that was installed by Charlie Weiss when he was OC there. They just ran alot of 4-5 wide sets last year with the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.  Most of the time in those 4-5 wide sets there are only 2 WRs with 2 TEs.


They don't run it with Cassell because he can't throw it downfield like Brady can.  When you have Moss you can put up astronomical numbers because you can throw it as far as possible and he'll go get it.  Why do you think Culpepper's numbers went down.  Cassell doesn't throw the deep ball like Brady, so his numbers aren't going to be as good, and he doesn't throw the slot routes as well either, so they can't run the exact same offense.  It's still not a spread though, and I agree with that.

#14 txtechballa

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:13 AM

 Demetrius Dew, on Nov 12 2008, 03:38 PM, said:

Everyone says the Spread Offense is a gimmick offense that defense's are now adjusting to and stopping it.  What about the Pro Style Offense and Offense that is ran by majority of Division 1 schools are schools adjusting to and stopping this offense as well?

My question is why do many see the only true offense that can be ran in College is the Pro Style Offense and not the Spread Offense?  I understand the arguement with the Triple Option because that was a 90% Run to 10% Pass offense which all the defense had to do was stack the box with 8 defenders.



I'm a huge Texas Tech fan, and as it has been apparent all season, even a good DL can't touch texas tech. (see texas, and okla st.)


and if you saw in the pre-season, ex-Hawaii QB Colt Brennan put up some nice numbers with the redskins and did a really good job. Today, QB's coming out of Spread offense systems are more equipped than they have been in the past. I am looking forward to see how Graham Harrell does in the NFL.  

onto matt stafford:   everyone seems to be so high on this guy because he does run a pro-style offense. But have you seen this guy's stats??   he has 61% completion rate, 15 TD and 8 INT in 10 games.   And he doesn't do well against great teams either. Against Florida he was 18/33 265 yards 0/3 TD/INT.     he does great against easy teams, but mediocre to less against better teams....this guy needs more maturation.

#15 southga08

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:59 PM

There are different types of spread offenses.  Some are more option based and some are more passing based.  The main difference is that the QBs are always in the shotgun.  So a QB does not have read defenses up under center and read them while dropping back.  Being in the shotgun makes it much easier on the quarterbacks reads.  The difference is that the running game takes a hit, because you can do less things with it.  You can still run playaction out of it, but it is much easier to sell when the QB is under center.  But QBs in both offenses have to read coverages and defenses and go through their progressions.  When a QB in a "pro-style" offense lines up in the shotgun, there is very little difference in the offenses.  The pro style offenses also tend to favor many formations and plays to confuse their opponents, whereas spread offenses tend to run less plays as a trade off to have a much higher level of execution.

The spread offense can also be adapted for more mobile QBs to be more run based.  Especially the zone read play.  A lot of teams wind up using this way too much because they do not enough talent to have an effective and efficient passing game.

The only player in the spread and triple option offenses that can get hurt going to the next level are QBs.  Now Graham Harrell should be able to adapt to the NFL.  He has a good arm and can read defenses really well.  He is just going to have to learn how to do that while dropping back from under center, and from turning his back to the line of scrimmage in the selling the playfake.  

Bottomline is that the pro style is slightly better, but only if you have an elite QB who can run it.  If you don't have that QB then you are better off running the spread.  There are generally only 5-6 elite QBs in college at any given time, so most colleges would rather find alternative ways to win than trying to hit the elite QB lottery.  But recievers, running backs, and offensive lineman are not going to have a much harder time transitioning to the speed of the NFL than anybody else.  If they are smart and talented they will be fine, if they are not it won't matter what offense they played in at college.

#16 Destroyer33

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 04:31 PM

 stumpjumper, on Nov 12 2008, 12:24 PM, said:

The Patriots ran the spread a lot last year...I saw Brady in the shotgun often.


They also stuck the rock in Maroney's gut and sent him straight up the middle a bunch as well. You can incorporate some of the spread theories into your offense but your not going to solely run a spread offense in the pros.