Air Raid Offense EXPLAINED in 3 Minutes

Do you want to run the Air Raid Offense, but have no idea where to start?

What even makes up the Air Raid Offense?

As with any topic, the internet will present you with a million answers.

Some are good.

Some are bad.

But this post is a good one!

Trust me, I run the Air Raid Offense and talk about it all the time on my YouTube channel which is linked above this blog.

But back to this post.

In less than 3 minutes of reading time, I am going to introduce you to THE offense of your wildest dreams.

Let’s go.

Personnel and Formations

The Air Raid Offense is a 4 wide receiver offense.

You’ve got the two wide outs called “X” (left side) and “Z” (right side).

They never leave their side.

Then you’ve got the two slots called the “Y” and the “H” (you can move then around the formation as you please but most often the H is on the left, and the Y is on the right).

The Y is your man. He’s going to be the best receiver on the team.

The H is a back up running back who has good hands.

Now let’s get to the big boys up front.

They need to have 2.5 to 3 feet splits.

Why so big?

Because we need to open up those passing lanes.

Don’t worry about the defensive line shooting gaps.

If he’s told to line up as a 3 tech then he will line up outside the guard. Nothing else to it.

If they are killing you by shooting the gaps, then run your screens. See the beauty of IF/THEN thinking? Check this blog out here if you want to read more about that…

Run Plays

Most Air Raid Offenses stick with only 3.

They are 1) Inside Zone 2) Draw and 3) ISO.

You could also replace one of those and throw in Counter or Power.

But never put in more than 3 (this is the AIR RAID OFFENSE, not the Ground Raid Offense).


I mentioned the beauty of these before.

You must be a good screen team to be a good Air Raid team.

Quick screen, tunnel screen, smoke screen, slow WR screen, slow RB screen, any of the screens are good.

(Hint: Treat your screens like your run game in terms of play calling)

Now, don’t try to master all the screens.

Pick your best 2 and master them until you cannot run them wrong.

Quick Game

The bread and butter of the Air Raid Offense.

You might even run variations of Air Raid staples and not even know it.

These are the three that you need to have if you want to tell your friends that you’re an Air Raid coach:

1) Stick 2) Corner and 3) Fade/Out.

Attach slants to the backside and you’re golden.


4 Verts.


Shallow Cross.



That’s it.

And that’s all the plays you will run. Don’t add a single other.


The Air Raid Offense’s approach to practice is actually what separates this offense from others.

Sure, the obsession with 4 Verts is a cute quirk, but the philosophy behind practice is what makes the offense special.

This is how you practice:

  1. Settle up and Noose
  2. Pat ‘n Go
  3. Ball Security
  4. Routes on Air (quick game)
  5. Routes on Air (dropback)
  6. Screens
  7. 7v7
  8. Inside
  9. Team

While all that is going on your line is working on pass pro, screens and all in between.

And you do this EVERYDAY.

And please script everything.

This is an absolute necessity. Take the time to script.

For example, in team you will need to do what I call Bandit drill.

You start from one end of the field and go the other moving the ball hash to hash.

Now you can work situationally.

Because in a game you don’t run your plays randomly, right?

No, you run them based on where you are on the field and the situation.

So, practice like that. And with a script.


Those are the basics.

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s not a lot.

And it’s not supposed to be.

The beauty of the Air Raid Offense is that it allows you to focus on all the small details that separate good teams from bad teams.

Now, don’t be afraid of anything.

Bad weather? We’re still running Y-Cross.

Interceptions? 4 Verts again, please.

Incompletions? Call Stick.

Remember, don’t add anything, don’t subtract anything.

Be simple and be great.

And if you do that, you will Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun.


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