WSJ: Innovative NFL Coach Favored Air Attack


Don Coryell’s offensive-minded approach helped spark a passing revolution in professional football.

Mr. Coryell, who died Thursday at age 85, was the designer of the “Air Coryell” offense for the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers. His teams never made it to the Super Bowl—a fact that may have kept Mr. Coryell out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame—but they exemplified a wide-open style of offense that fans loved.

“He helped give the game the entertainment value that it has today,” said Kellen Winslow, a Charger tight end who played for Mr. Coryell. “Before that, the NFL was three yards and a cloud of dust.”

I like the running game, but I did prefer Air Coryell to Bill Walsh’s version of the West Coast Offense. Any pigskin experts here know what his legacy is? Do any teams still throw long as much as the Chargers did?

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