The first image most think of when it comes to the West Coast offense are the quarterbacks, which includes the likes of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia or Matt Hasselbeck.
Next on minds are the wide receivers that thrived in the scheme over the last two decades, including Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe, Terrell Owens, Antonio Freeman, among others.
But often lost in the discussion is a position that plays a major role.
“If you don’t have a tight end that can play well, that fits in well, you can’t do a lot of the things that you saw Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Steve Young or Donovan McNabb do in the West Coast offense,” former Packers tight end Jackie Harris told me for a recent Pro Football Weekly article.
The story, “Signs point to TE involvement, success in Chiefs offense,” slanted to the Chiefs for an obvious reason. With new coach Andy Reid in town, the Chiefs are expected to incorporate his version of the West Coast offense.
Still, Harris wasn’t alone in discussing the significance of the tight end position. I also had the privilege of interviewing former Eagles teammates Chad Lewis, a former three-time Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro tight end, and quarterback Koy Detmer for that article.
Their combined thoughts during the interviews proved fascinating.
It’s worth the read.