clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UCLA Football Coach Jim Mora Explains Why He Said No Spread Offense Has Won a National Championship

New, 21 comments

Jim Mora set the sports internet on fire yesterday when he said a spread team had never won a national championship. When he went on Petros and Money, he explained, in great detail, why he doesn't like labelling football offenses as "pro-style" or "spread."

So, yesterday, the sports internet blew up after UCLA Football Head Coach Jim Mora claimed that spread teams have never won the national championship.

Then, in the afternoon, he went on Petros and Money where he discussed several things, including different offensive schemes. In particular, he explained how the best teams use elements from multiple offensive schemes and how he doesn't like using broad labels for describing the offense his teams run.

Mora said:

I've always felt like the best offenses in football are multple offenses. Offenses that can combine different personnel groups and different formations and motions and concepts and attack the weakness of a defense or attack an individual on a defense.

Mora continued to explain why he doesn't like labelling his offense.

First of all, I think it's a big mistake to label an offense. People say "pro-style" offense. Turn on the four playoff games this weekend and you tell me what a "pro-style" offense is because you're going to see elements of the spread.

You're going to see zone read. You're going to see power game. You're going to see zone scheme. You're going see four wides, three wides, three tight ends, two tight ends and two wides, two backs and two tight ends, one back and three wides. You're going to see two backs and a tight end and two wides. You're going to see multiple personnel groups and multiple motions. You're going to see a multitude of plays and you're going to see eight NFL teams play.

So, I would love someone to explain to me what a "pro-style" offense is. I've never had an NFL coach that I've ever worked with and I started with Don Coryell and they called it "Air Coryell" but we ran the ball very, very well. There's not a pro coach I know that refers to their offense as a "pro-style" offense. So, I think these labels are a little bit ridiculous.

Now, if you want to talk about the Wishbone, that's different. If you want to talk about the Wing-T, that's different. If you want to talk about the Run and Shoot, that's different. But you don't really see people purely doing those things. Now, you'll see them take concepts from those packages and use them, but people don't do that.

Everybody in America, for the most part, is multiple. There's not a lot of just pure spread, all-the-time four wide receiver teams. I made a comment earlier that a pure spread team has never won a national championship and I think there's been some rebuke, from what I've been told, that that's not true that Florida did. But, you'll remember that they had this guy named Hernandez who's a tight end. So, they weren't a four wide team. And, then I was told that Texas with Vince Young....They had a tight end. I think if you go back and look and you ask Mack Brown. So, I'll call Mack tonight and say "Mack, did you run a spread?" and he would go, "No, Jim, we didn't run a spread."

So, you know, it's interesting to me this whole concept of what are you doing. The best coaches I've been around on offense...Don Coryell...Ernie Zampese, one of the great offensive minds in football...I was really lucky to work for a guy named Bill Walsh. He's in the Hall of Fame. I was very lucky to work for Steve Mariucci. I was very, very lucky to work for Mike Holmgren. Those are some of the best offensive minds in football. What they all did...sure, they had some core beliefs, but they weren't stubborn. They said, "OK, what is our talent base? And how can we get them doing what they do best?"

Mora continued to explain this in detail. It's definitely worth listening to. Here's the audio of the full 18-minute interview:

Go Bruins!