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Whiteboard Wednesday: Logic behind the modern passing game

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The methods coaches use to beat defenses.

San Francisco 49ers
Bill Walsh- the father of the modern passing game
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The passing game is one of the most complicated aspects of football. It doesn’t help when the camera crops out what is happening downfield during most football games, leaving many fans with very little idea of what the quarterback is looking at when he steps back to throw. This may seem overwhelming, but some clear patterns emerge when you look at these plays long enough.

Football plays may have started as crude ideas sketched out in the dirt, but now they have been honed and shaped for maximum efficiency. All passing plays are looking to attack the defense in some way. So what are those different ways? What are some common links and patterns we can start to draw between different plays in order to better understand football?

The passing game is always changing and evolving. As defenses learn to adapt to the different methods discussed in today’s video, offenses will be forced to evolve. Passing plays are an endless canvas which creative coaches will use to their advantage, but if you know what to look for, you can almost always find the method to their madness.