All Types of Football Offenses

American football player (16-20) holding football looking into the distance

Football coaches must select an offense that fits their teams' strengths. If a team has outstanding running backs, employ a running offense. If a team has terrific wide receivers and an accurate quarterback, go with the passing game.

Spread Option Offense

The spread option offense is used by coaches such as Rich Rodriguez, Urban Meyer, Chip Kelly Paul Johnson and Dan Mullen. The offense was run by the Florida Gators during their 2006 and 2008 national championship seasons. The spread option is primarily used out the shotgun formation and uses multiple wide receivers. However, some teams such as Georgia Tech and Army like to run the spread option under center. The running game is based on the quarterback making multiple option reads based on the defense's alignment. The basic running plays in the spread option offense are the triple option, zone read, midline option, speed option and counter option. These plays are based on the quarterback reading a specific defensive player based on the teams scheme. Anyone in the backfield can wined up with the football on the option plays. The passing game in the spread option offense uses play action passes to confuse the defense.

The Run and Shoot Offense

The run and shoot offense is a passing offense that uses four wide receivers, five down lineman, one running back and the quarterback. The offense has been used by top coaches such as June Jones, Jerry Glanville and Mouse Davis. The offense spreads the entire length of the field by having the wide receivers line up wide to make the defense have to cover all areas of the field. The offense is based on wide receivers changing their routes based on what coverage the opposing defense gives them. When the quarterback and receivers understand what coverage the defense is giving them they will use hand signals to change their running routes. By changing their routes it puts them in a better position to beat the defender. The passing game relies on throwing deep passes into the secondary, while the running game consists of only trap, dive and toss plays.

Air Raid Offense

The air raid offense uses a short passing game to intermediate passing game at a no huddle pace. The offense has been used by coaches such as Lavell Edwards, Mike Leach, Hal Mumme, Tony Franklin and Dana Holgersen. The offense uses a pass first, run second approach. The offense uses various formations out of the shotgun formation such as trips, two back shotgun, one back shotgun, and four- and five-receiver sets. The offense is based on the quarterback's ability to read the defenders and find the open spot in the secondary. Popular pass plays in this offense are the shallow cross, mesh, Y-stick and the screen game. The run plays in this offense are inside and outside zone runs.

Pro Style Offense

The pro style offense is an offensive system that uses multiple formations with tight ends, running backs and receivers. Teams that run the pro style offense focus on using a balanced offensive strategy. The offense likes to run plays based on the defense's weakness. If a defense has a weak defensive line, the offense will utilize multiple tight ends and running backs for extra blockers to run the football. If the defense has a good defensive line the offense will spread the field with multiple receivers to pass the football.