Leafing Through Pages: Analysis of Sports and Other Topics


Texas Tech Air Raid Offense: Intelligence Required

Here are a handful of quotes and paraphrased quotes in regards to Mike Leach‘s Air Raid Offense at Texas Tech. At the bottom will be a list of resources.

“He has two blocking reads to make even before he can think about going out for a pass.” – QB Cody Hodges on RB Taurean Henderson.

“Leach wants all four of his receivers to have 1,000-yard seasons and his running back to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving.”

“In all, Hodges said, there are no more than 25 primary passing plays, but each can be run using five different formations. The challenge is for the quarterback to know when to switch plays at the line of scrimmage.”

“The key, Leach said, is running the same play again and again, almost a monotonous routine.”

“Most people think we run 50 different plays, but when it comes down to it, and you’re watching the tape, it’s like six different plays but in a lot of different formations.” – G Manny Fernandez

“We just make sure that we run our certain plays the way we’re supposed to and we run them accurately.” – WR Joel Filani

“Most teams run 70 plays in a game; Tech runs 90.”

“It took more than three minutes to explain what goes through his head in a single play. ‘Go x, y, f to the flat because no one is over there because they’re all trying to stop this guy. And he runs right over and we complete the pass and we’re about to get some yards there.’ Asked in how many seconds he does that, Harrell said, ‘I don’t know, two seconds?”

“We’ll take what they give us and be happy with that.” – QB Kliff Kingsbury

“The running back’s got to be able to catch in this offense.” – QB Kliff Kingsbury

“In the Air Raid, the quarterback is given the responsibility of calling the plays at the line.”

“The system can be adjusted to fit a team’s strengths, but the offense’s 50-play ‘call-sheet’ usually stays short. For every three or four plays that get added, another three or four get taken out.”

“The Z receiving position primarily runs the deep threat patterns. The Y receiver is one of two inside receiver positions that primarily take care of the shorter yardage routes including curls, slants and outs. When the quarterback is in trouble, the Y is usually the first direction that he looks. The H-back uses his speed and elusiveness to turn the nickel and/or dime corner inside out. The H TE is the only skill position that doesn’t catch a fair number of passes. The player at this position is a very good run blocker and physical pass blocker, who is willing to assist the tackle in pass rush situations or blow open holes for the backs in running situations. The X receiver gets the majority of the fade passes thrown to them since the physicality inherent to the position makes it a logical destination for that pass. The F-back is also required to pass block on nearly every pass play. The F-back is also the primary threat on screens or shovel passes, which effectively slows down the pass rush in Leach’s offense. Many opposing teams are appalled at the wide splits that Tech’s O-line uses, but it’s hard to argue with the success that they have had. This system forces pass rushers to run further to reach the QB, and has proven to be effective in protection. It also enables the quarterback to see through these lanes to find the open receivers.”

“Sometimes he will only signal the formation from the sideline and the QB calls the specific play at the line. For example, over 90 percent of Tech’s running plays were checked to at the line of scrimmage.”

Amarillo.com 2002-08-18 QB Kingsbury Is Texas Tech’s Ticket

ESPN.com 2004-04-29 Leach and Tech Flying High

USA Today 2005-10-18 All Systems Go

ESPN 2005-04-25 Leach Charted Own Path To Success

Washington Post 2005-08-07 QBs Reading Done On Field

Scout.com 2006-07-25 Offense of The Genius

Washington Post 2006-08-09 Red Raiders’ Fate Rests on Right Balance at QB

Covers.com 2006-10-27 Texas Tech Ready To Raid Longhorns Defense

Arizona Daily Star 2006-12-30 Hope From Above?

CBS News 2008-12-31 Mike Leach Mad Scientist of Football


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