The most recent episode of Inside the Mind of Mumme, Ep. 2 shined more light on the air raid philosophy for the Dallas Renegades. This philosophy should be beneficial for the Renegades’ success and any actual playmakers they have on the field. The air raid is literally created for playmakers, who can catch a 5 yard out and hit it up the sideline for 50 yards. Yards after the catch (YAC) is the name of the game, and the offense really wants you to focus in on that one guy who needs to be accounted for as the playmaker, so that the offence can adjust and kill you somewhere else, either by match up or blown coverage. The play calling is what has me most excited about the XFL. The NFL is known to be a copycat league, except for the Baltimore Ravens this year, every team ran the same vanilla offense, with subtle adjustments sprinkled in. By incorporating an offense like the air raid, it makes for a mix match nightmare for defenses. The ever-changing formations and early nickel-dime plays can lull a defense to sleep, opening a big play at any given moment.
With Landry Jones expected to miss 4-6 weeks due to a knee injury, either former East Carolina QB Philip Nelson or the newly acquired former Syracuse QB Eric Dungey have a chance to land a pretty good starting role. The only job of the QB in an air raid offense is to facilitate the ball to the playmakers on the short opportunities. It is pivotal that you have a QB who be damn near 100% on short throws, or you’re doomed. You aren’t expected to be the savior heaving 20 yard passes every play, unless that’s what the defense gives you, so of course its imperative that either QB has a firm grasp of the play call system, but I think, even if they just trust the system as is, they can be successful. More importantly, the WR and RB playmakers will emerge quickly in this offense. As Dallas Renegades OC Hal Mumme explains, “its not that there are a ton of plays, but it is really based on formations and motions.” This then sets up the best possible match up. Which means, even if they keep a steady rotation of players switching in and out, there should not be any confusion as long as you know where to be to execute your route in the concept.
This looks good on paper, and I can’t help but think about the Mike Leach led 2008 Texas Tech air raid offense that took the NCAA by storm. Former Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell was feasting on defenses, and even managed to go up against a stout Texas Longhorn defense for a historic win that will go down in history as one of the greatest games of that decade. It also doesn’t hurt to have had a WR playmaker like Michael Crabtree. What’s even more ironic about this air raid history lesson is that the one regular season loss that occurred for Texas Tech in ’08 was to the Oklahoma Sooners. Score, Oklahoma 61, Texas Tech 21. Who was the head coach of the Sooners at the time you ask?….Bob Stoops. Who is the head coach for the Dallas Renegades?……Yea.
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