ONN – Kliff Kingsbury Says His Arizona Cardinals Offense Will Not Use Vertical Set Blocking “That’s A Mike Leach Mind Set”.
One aspect of the Airraid Offense has been that the offensive line always stood up and blocked – they were never kneeling. That approach was and is called “vertical set” pass blocking.
Well, new Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that he was not going to use that approach.
Asked about it by Zennie62Media at the 2019 NFL Annual Meeting, the former Texas Tech Football Coach called vertical set pass blocking a “Mike Leach Thing,” pointing to the Washington State Head Coach, and one of the main proponents of the Airraid Offense.
This marks an interesting break in thinking behind the offense that features four and five wide receiver formations and constant use of the no-huddle approach to play calling. In Kliff Kingsbury’s Airraid Offense, the blocking will be more conventional.
During the talk with the NFL Annual Meeting Press, Kingsbury also said that he “never saw a reason not to be in” the shotgun. “To me, you’re able to see clearly, pre-snap, post snap.” This indicates that, should Kingsbury indeed pick Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray as the Number One Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury talks about Kyler Murray, Josh Rosen and his offense), the coach has a set of running plays in mind for him to use from shotgun.
But back to the matter of the vertical set, or lack thereof. It will be quite interesting to see that in action in the NFL. The vertical set was perfect for blunting a hard charging rush, but it did have the handicap of causing the pass pocket to collapse faster than a quarterback would like. Still, if you planned to pass over 35 times a game, the advantage is that the defensive line tires out and so it makes running easier as well as passing to score quickly, if necessary.
UPDATE: This vlogger went back to watch Texas Tech Football video from Kingsbury’s coaching time, and a watch of a series of downs reveals that his teams did use the vertical set blocking approach. That makes his answer at the 2019 NFL Annual Meeting notable: did he deliberately tell a falsehood to avoid giving away what his offensive plans are, or did he just not understand what a vertical set approach was, or something else?
Here’s Kliff’s Texas Tech team:
Note the standing but kneeling style of blocking: that’s vertical set.
Now, here’s Washington State’s version of that verticle set – there’s a slight difference:
The difference is that the Washington State Offensive Line stands taller in their verticle set – but it’s not too dissimilar from what Kingsbury did at Texas Tech.
Come on, Kliff!
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