Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Way of The Strategist (1): Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh, one of the greatest innovators in professional football, the grand architect of the "West Coast Offense (WCO)" and the head coach of three Super Bowl Championship teams.

Following are some of my favorite Bill Walsh's strategic focal points:
  • Developing and maintaining high but tangible standards of performance;
  • Scripting a tactical gameplan for each and all endeavors;
  • Focusing on tactical plays that are needed (The ideal ratio for plays practiced and plays needed is 1:1)
  • Performing and producing effectively;
  • Developing a team around a few good playmakers who are great leaders by example;
  • Leading not lagging throughout the game (securing and maintaining the pole position) and
  • Be properly prepared that there is no room for mental mistakes.

  • Scripting the first 25 offensive plays of the game and implementing it
  • Running one or two trick plays early in the game
  • Controlling the clock while moving the ball forward
  • Be Professional in private and public relations
  • Winning with Class

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West Coast Offense Overview

  • Bill Walsh originated it with the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Short pass plays replace the running game to control the ball.
  • A long specific process for the QB to pick-up all the reads and adjustments.
  • The release of all five receivers into the pattern
  • QB has progression read up to five receivers.
  • Take what the defense gives you.
  • Make the defense adjust to you.


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Paraphrased thoughts from Coach Walsh:
  • "Preparation Precedes Performance."
  • "Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail. ..."
  • "Beat them to the punch."
  • "Always replace a player (resource) a season sooner than a season later. ..."
  • "Recover quickly once a mistake is made."

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