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  • Ryan O.

Flanker Drive

With the Super Bowl a few days away, I started to think about the parallels between real estate and football. As it’s been reported in the news, the Atlanta Falcons’ offense runs a West Coast Offense scheme.

The West Coast Offense is a ball control, timed passing offense, that heavily incorporates multiple personnel packages to stretch the defense horizontally. The offense was created by Bill Walsh.

Unlike other modern day offenses, the plays in the West Coast Offense can consist of 10+ words. For example, the play above is, “[Base] Blue Right, Flanker Short, 2-Jet, Flanker Drive.”

“Base” is the personnel group. It consists of two Receivers (X and Z), one Tight End (Y), and two Running Backs (F and H).

“Blue Right” is the formation. In the original West Coast Offense, “Blue” tells the Fullback to align 5 yards behind the Quarterback and the Halfback to align 5 yards deep, while splitting the inside foot of the Offensive Tackle. “Right” is the formation strength and it tells the Tight End to align to the right side of the formation.

“Flanker Short” is the motion. The motion occurs before the ball is snapped. The Flanker (Z) will go in motion and stop 5-7 yards from the Tight End (Y).

“2-Jet” is the pass protection scheme. “Jet” protection is a 6-man, turn protection scheme to the Will Linebacker. The catch phrase for this pass protection is, "4 to the Will." That is, four offensive linemen will slide, turn, or gap protection to the weak side linebacker (the Will). The Fullback will work, "Mike [linebacker], to Sam [linebacker], to scan."

“Flanker Drive” is the passing concept. The Quarterback takes 7 quick steps and the he reads the Mike Linebacker. If the Mike linebacker drops, the Quarterback throws the ball to the Flanker (Z). If the Mike Linebacker jumps on the Shallow Cross route, the Quarterback looks on top for Tight End (Y) on the Dig route. The Split End (X) is running a Post route and the Halfback (H) is running a Flag route. The Quarterback never throws it to the Split End or to the Halfback unless they are told to. If there is a blitz, the Z WR is considered "hot."

When it comes to real estate, there are two types of agents. There are agents who are detailed and there are agents who paint with broad strokes. Agents who rely on processes are like the West Coast Offense. Everything is important; everything is accounted for. "West Coast Offense agents" will pull the preliminary title, they will look at the tax records, and they will analyze the current inventory and sold comps. These agents are specific and they focus on executing even the smallest tasks.

Agents who paint in broad strokes are like no-huddle, up tempo offenses. They are focused on the big picture. They are focused on throwing the touchdown pass every day. When it comes to the specifics, they aren’t as detailed. In the West Coast Offense, if you are supposed to run a 12-yard Post Route, you better run 12 yards and stick it with your outside foot. In some no huddle offense, it’s okay if you run your Post route between 10-12 yards.

Both have their pros and cons. When I first got into coaching, I was trained under the West Coast Offense system. I’m of the faction of being methodical—like a surgeon with his scalpel. I like to “move the chains” one play at a time. I enjoy creating a detailed game plan and using that game plan effectively. The same applies to how I approach real estate.


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