The term “spread” offense is often used by fans to refer to any team that uses multiple receivers and lines up in a shotgun configuration. The spread offense comes in different forms. For instance, because they use the spread option, the Army, Navy, and Air Force are considered “spread” offenses.
Some high school teams snap the ball in shotgun but run the Wing-T. These days, they call them Spread Wing-T teams. You can locate the Single Wing dating back to the early days of football. Shotgun snaps initiated each play. Did that mean the offense was “spread”?
The “spread” offense’s basic concept was to use the whole field. Defenses can be dispersed by using several formations with a variety of receivers. The several weak points in such fortifications can then be attacked by attackers. In order to run the ball, certain spread offenses will widen the field. This is evident in the NFL right now, as more teams are using the Zone. Go through.
Tossing the ball, other teams fanned out over the field. Hal Mumme and his late mentor Mike Leach developed the Air Raid offensive. Although many NFL teams use many of the Air Raid concepts, which are centered on spreading the field, they are not true Air Raid teams.
For clarification, the spread in this context refers to the type of offense a team is running and not the “point spread” which a person may see at online sportsbooks.
The NFL’s “Spread Offense”
Although NFL teams don’t employ real spread offenses, they do use many of the same elements. There are two reasons why NFL offenses cannot operate the “spread” the way college and high school teams do.
The hash marks are one. On the college football field, the hash markings are 40 feet wide. They are just eighteen feet, six inches wide in the NFL. Although it is true that the closer hash markers provide for more passing lanes, defenses can more easily hide their coverages and stop passes thanks to them.
The NFL’s defensive players’ exceptional speed is another factor that prevents clubs from using a spread offense exclusively. At the collegiate level, there are specific defenders that teams can exploit. It is quite tough to just roll out a spread offense and run it all the time in the NFL due to the pace of defenders and the hash marks.