Mike Holmgren was on Seattle radio this week where he explained the evolution of the West Coast Offense. Wait, hold on, why am I bringing this up? Well, the WCO played a big role in the St. Louis Rams' recent past and in the development of quarterback Sam Bradford. Got it? Ok, stay with me here.
There were more than 1,500 plays in his WCO playbook. A team has about 60 offensive snaps per game in which to decide how to portion out those 1,500 plays.
Think about that for a minute. Pat Shurmur is a direct branch from the Holgrem/Reid coaching tree. He's a WCO acolyte. It's the system he used here in St. Louis, including a dumbed down version of it for Bradford's rookie year in 2010.
So when you talk about the learning curve, imagine a kid having to learn 1,500 plays. Then think about the other players who struggled in that offense, the receivers. Is it really any wonder? Shurmur gets credit for easing Bradford into the NFL. I still think his approach is more of a hindrance to quarterbacks like Bradford and their teams. But those days are gone now.
(h/t to Arrowhead Pride ... audio of Holmgren breaking down the WCO, which is really fascinating to hear, is at Field Gulls).