Coach Mike Leach is well known for his signature “Air Raid” offense. Coach Leach’s teams have set multiple NCAA passing records. The signature play of his high scoring offense is the Mesh Play. The video clip below is a sample from the CoachTube course entitled Unlocking the Secrets of the Air Raid Offense
The video has sound so please make sure your sound is turned on.
A description of the video can be found below the clip.
In the clip Coach Leach discusses the key components of the Mesh Play beginning with the offensive line responsibilities. He has his offensive line play off the ball and give ground so as to buy some additional time for the quarterback to make a read and release the ball. His key teaching points for the offensive line are to get head back, hands up, get depth and stay square. He tells his players if they can do those things they can pass protect.
He also discusses what the linemen are to do in a twist. His coaching point is that if you bump hips with the offensive lineman next to you, then call switch. If your guy leaves you, then get depth and then look for work from the side your guy went to.
Coach Leach describes that they quarterback will pick a side (out of a 2 by 2 set) depending on the leverage he sees from the defense. The two outside receivers are running corner routes at 8-10 yds unless the QB thinks they can split the safeties and he will signal for a post. The two inside guys will cross or mesh.
It is important to determine who sets the mesh. Coach Leach has the Y-receive set it. The Y must be decisive and fast. He gets six yds up field or in front of the Mike backer (whichever comes first) and then crosses. The H always goes under the Y, getting as close as possible. Coach Leach stresses it is better to be fast than perfect and the mesh point. After the Mesh the if the receiver comes to a hole they sit. If the are being chased the continue across the field until they reach the hash and then go downfield.
The QB reads as follows. First look is the corner route to the side he selected. Second to the crossing receiver on that side. Third the back. Forth the second crossing receiver and finally the opposite receiver who also ran a corner but now is likely running deep. He would prefer to have the QB read both inside receivers at once. Reading the Mesh as a big picture. However, if the QB can’t do that then he uses the aforementioned progression.