New Cal Bears coach Sonny Dykes will be implementing the Air Raid (or “Bear Raid”) offense to gain excitement for football fans and win games. With every great strategy, however,, comes with difficulty in executing that plan.
The biggest factor for implementing a new offense to a team is time. The players and supporting coaches must buy into the game plan and must believe that plan is going to work. This belief will not come in a day, rather weeks of practicing and running those plays. Unfortunately for the Bears, time isn’t on their side.
The Air Raid offense will rely heavily on the quarterback’s decision. The quarterback has the freedom to audible depending what he sees on the defense and can directly affect the tempo of the game. But Cal still has yet to name a starting quarterback. Without a starting quarterback, the offense will progress much slower. Each quarterback has their own style and these differences will make it hard for the rest of the team to adjust.
The offensive line will also have to learn a completely new style (“Vertical Set Pass Block”) with this offense. The offensive line is set up about four yards behind the line of scrimmage and has to retreat another four to five steps to pass-block. The theory behind this style is that the defensive line will lose leverage (will be in an upright position) by the time they reach the offensive line.
This new offensive line style will theoretically be good for the passing game, but will pose many uncertainties with the run game. If the offensive lineman are already lined up four yards behind the scrimmage line, won’t that be easier for the opposition to tackle the running back in the back field?
There are still a lot of questions and uncertainties surrounding the new offense. There are a lot of new plays and assignments the Bears’ offense has to learn. There is also a big difference between running the plays and perfecting the plays, and as we know, perfection comes with time, and time is just not with the Bears side right now.