“It’s everywhere and nowhere.”

The Air Raid offense, that is.

Mike Leach settles into a leather chair in his office overlooking Mississippi State’s practice field after a routine spring session with his team and is asked to give a status report on the Air Raid offense, which has been carving up major-college defenses for the last 25 years.

As is often the case with Leach, his assessment of the pioneering, pass-centric scheme he helped hone into a record-breaking tour de force is a bit over the top but not without merit.

“Well, three of the last four teams that won the Super Bowl have run it so I guess it’s doing pretty good,” the 61-year-old head coach said.

Birthed from the mind of Hal Mumme at a high school in East Texas in the 1980s and passed down to the latest batch of Leach-inspired, 30-something coaches, the Air Raid’s evolution over four decades has made the offense both ubiquitous and inconspicuous.

It would be difficult to watch a football game at any level and not find a team running at least some of the Air Raid’s foundational concepts and plays — mesh, Y cross, four verts, the quick game.

However, finding a team at the highest levels of the sport running Air Raid in a way that resembles what Mumme unleashed on the Southeastern Conference as Kentucky’s coach in 1997 is nearly impossible — outside of Leach’s teams.

It’s amazing how it’s mutated at both the college and pro levels.  It’s also pretty amazing how many branches have grown from the Air Raid coaching tree.


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!, Strategery And Mechanics

11 responses to ““It’s everywhere and nowhere.”

  1. People have figured out the Pirate’s version of the Air Raid. Play zone with the corners up and take away any running threat with 4 linemen.


  2. The Ray Goff coaching tree seems to be working out just fine between the hedges these days 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    Gotta give more than a little credit to the rules people who’ve done so much to promote the passing game. Gone are the days of knocking QBs out, putting WRs in the hospital if they enter the middle of the field, and fogettabout offensive holding penalties.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 7 on 7 with extra linemen and RBs for window dressing.


  5. beatarmy92

    Kirby Smart is from the Mumme Coaching Tree. Change My Mind