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Good book, but...
on June 4, 2003
Warning to HS coaches...
The West Coast Offense, like any other offense, requires a certain type of athlete at certain positions. Just as the wishbone quickly degenerates without a power fullback to draw 4 - 5 defenders at the point of attack (Bear Bryant's recommendation, not mine!), the WCO requires a QB who is accurate within a given range (in the HS environment, 30 - 50 yards accurately and consistently) and mobile, receivers who have the native speed to force DBs into a 10 - 15 yard cushion and are capable of executing the occasional deep route. You run the WCO at your own risk if you lack those athletes, with predictable results.
Defensive coaches run 6 - 7 man blitzes, DBs congregate in the short zones (since they conveniently aren't forced to worry about the bomb), and unless your QB is exceptionally mobile (think young Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, etc.), you can count on him taking a pounding w/multiple interceptions, rushed throws, and sacks. Furthermore, most HS QBs lack the experience and maturity to avoid locking onto primary targets, which means that if the DBs hang in the short zones, you'll increase the opportunity for blitzing lineman/linebackers to take out the QB w/delayed throws.
Offensive lineman generally have an easier time in the WCO, since they are not forced to try to move defensive lineman/linebackers through drive blocking, but instead become amateur sumo wrestlers (another warning: Pro and College lineman routinely get away with blatant holds that will result in penalties at the HS level, so if you are counting on using WCO blocking techniques like the pros, think again).
The primary attraction of the WCO at the HS level is that many districts are composed of teams running offenses from the 1970s (the wishbone being the main example), and you may find success simply because your opponents aren't preparing to defend against a WCO every week.