WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN WITH THE PASS?Erick Streelman
Win With The Pass is a version of the Air Raid System that is based on a few very simple principles. It’s fun. It works. It trains Quarterbacks. It helps reduce injury.
No matter your situation, I know that the Air Raid system will benefit your team.
The Air Raid System is a hard sell to the coach that is always winning. If you are going 13-2 and winning state championships every year with the Wing T or the I formation or the Triple Option, I know it will be difficult to give up your system. When it comes down to it, there is nothing more fun than winning and your system is serving you well. But, on the flip side of that argument, if you are going 13-2 and winning state championships, you have really good players and if you have really good players any system can win. If you buy in to this system you will keep winning and you will have more fun doing it!
The Air Raid System is an easy sell to that coach that is struggling. If you are going 2-8 every year, then what do you have to lose? You might as well switch and have a ton of fun in the process.
But, the Air Raid system wasn’t really designed for the coach that goes 13-2 or the coach that goes 2-8 every year. This system is designed for most of us.
I’m a lot like you. I’ve won a lot and I’ve lost a lot. I built this air raid system for the coach like me; the coach that has fluctuating talent, the coach that doesn’t coach at a football powerhouse, the coach that has two juggernauts waiting for him every year in the playoffs.
There are so many schools in this country that are destined to live between 4-6 and 7-3. Your conference is really hard. Your district doesn’t have enough talent. You have great kids, but they aren’t really football players. Your athletic program doesn’t have enough funding. That is who this system is really built for. If you were 6-4 last year, you might go 6-4 again next year. I can’t promise a drastic change if you switch to this system because I do not know the landscape of your conference and your state.
But, pretend you are a high school kid for a second. Do you want to go 6-4 running the Wing T every day for 5 months, or would you rather chuck it around the yard 150 times a day in practice and 45 times on Friday night?
Then, one year, you will get the guys. You will have the right QB, a couple receivers, a good back, and you will go on a 10-2 run. It happens. You ride the wave of success based on the cycle of kids in your program. So, if we know that is the case, why do we try to beat the Double Wing down their throats and turn practice into a mundane, boring, and uninspiring two hours. Football is supposed to be fun! And, if you think kids really like pounding their heads against each other for two hours a day trying to win the battle in the B Gap, you don’t understand the modern high school athlete. This system is built for kids. They love it. They will come out to play because of it. They will transfer to your school because of it. If I was 17 and my coach rolled this out, I would not be able to wait for practice to start.
This air raid system is not a set of plays. It is a philosophy. To Win With The Pass means to commit to throwing the ball. We throw the ball 90% of the time in practice. In games we will use the pass to set up the pass and the run. In games, we will take what the defense gives us. We may run the ball 50% of the time on Friday night, but we have committed to the pass so heavily in practice that if and when we do run the ball, we will always have a numbers advantage.
First, and foremost, IT IS FUN TO THROW THE BALL. Your kids, your fans, your administration, and your coaches will love this offense. You won’t have a hard time convincing kids that they should come out and play football if you are running this offense. Everyone will get touches. Your linemen will play hard because they don’t have to bang every single play. You will have QB’s dying to play in your system. It is so much fun. Kids have a lot of options now-a-days. If football is only fun on Friday Nights, there will be no buzz around your program unless you are constantly winning. If you want to recruit your hallways, get kids excited about football, and redefine your program, this system will do it.
Second, THE AIR RAID SYSTEM WORKS. If you practice this offense according to my prescribed methods, you will complete over 60% of your passes. You will be explosive. You will stretch the field. You will score enough points to win games. This system has an answer for every coverage and every front that you will face. Game planning will become easier because there are only a certain amount of ways that teams can line up against 4 and 5 receiver sets. The routes don’t change each week. We don’t have to install coverage beaters because the entire system is built with an answer to every coverage. For example, we can run the same play against a cover 4 or 2 Man. We don’t have to call a new play. We just throw it to a different guy because someone else is open. You can eliminate meeting time because all you have to know is what coverage your opponent plays. Moreover, if your opponent switches it up on you on Friday night and goes to a different look that you haven’t practiced, you can still run the same stuff. Just throw it to a different guy
Third, THE AIR RAID SYSTEM TRAINS QUARTERBACKS. Most of us use the term “System quarterback,” like it is a negative thing. But I completely disagree. To me the quarterback and the system have to mesh. How many playbooks have you looked at that just have a play drawn up and then say something like this, “QB reads outside linebacker.” Or, you see Four Verticals drawn up with no direction of how the QB is supposed to read the play or who he is supposed to throw it to. Win With the Pass is completely different. It is a progression based system. Your QB will have a set process for every single play. It will always be the same no matter what the coverage. It will not change week to week. This system takes the guess work out of playing QB. You simply drop back, go through your progression, and throw it to the first open guy. If you have a kid who can throw accurately, you will have a great QB in this system. Why do Mike Leach’s QB’s always led the nation in passing and usually have limited NFL productivity. It is because in college they know the system, execute progressions, and throw accurately. In the NFL it is much more nuanced. There is a different definition of open and covered. But we aren’t playing in the NFL. We are playing in high school, where maybe one kid on the opposing team actually has any coverage skills. If you release 4 guys on every route, someone will be open. All you have to do is teach your QB to find him. We have to understand how high school kids think. We need to give them a prescription, a process, a system. That is what Win With the Pass does.
Fourth, THE AIR RAID SYSTEM IS THE FUTURE. You can be very physical in this offense and we coach physicality. But, we are smart with how we use our kids and with how we protect them. We all see the trends. Physicality is being taken out of the game. States are beginning to legislate the amount of contact you can have in practice. Let’s take California for example. They have recently passed a law that limits padded practices to two 90-minute sessions per week during season. (For more on this, check out The Future of Football).
I’m sure we’ve all tried to run an inside drill or a run-heavy team period without pads. It doesn’t work and in a lot of ways it’s a waste of time. But we can throw every day, pads or no pads. This means that while the Wing T or the Triple Option coaches are limited to when they can actually practice, you are getting better. If your state hasn’t gone there yet, it is coming. It isn’t crazy to think that eventually tackling might be banned in practice. The 3 point stance might be outlawed. That is where the game is headed. Even if your state isn’t as drastic as California, you still have to be ahead of the trend. You need to prove to your parents, your community, and your players that you are doing everything in your power to protect kids.
I don’t know a better way to do this than to take kids out of a three point stance. Stand them up and let them use their chest and hands instead of their neck and shoulders. We are still going to move our feet and bring our hips, but we aren’t going to bang our heads every single play. If you think this is a good thing and you care about the safety of kids, this is the perfect offense for you. Your linemen are going to stay healthy in this system. You are going to reduce collisions and make the game safer.
Here is the bottom line. You can keep doing what you are doing. There are a lot of systems out there that are proven to be successful. But, if you want to build great QB, make the game a little safer, save time for you and your coaches, get kids energized, get more kids out for football, excite your administration and fan base, and have more fun than you have ever had coaching, it might be time for a change.
If you’re fired up right now, and can’t wait to get going, all you have to do is subscribe to this site. You will get my simplified version of the Air Raid and you can start installing the offense today.
Thanks for reading Coach, I appreciate it.