Mike Leach and the Oakland Raiders: Yay, It Shall Come To Pass

Fantasy footballers, announcers, coaches, defensive coordinators and almost everyone else peripherally involved with professional football are slowly coming to a similar conclusion: the NFL is now a passing league.

But the transformation has been slow, tentative. At any moment, we're capable of regressing back to the grind-it-out, run-run-incomplete pass-punt offense of our esteemed forebears.

"Please, NFL, stop passing on first down!" we cry, clutching our heads in fear. "You're much too exciting! Put us all back to sleep now!"

Our longing for Joe Buck-induced torpor now hangs in the balance with the rumors that fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is in the mix for the Oakland Raiders' future head coaching vacancy .

Yes, the progenitor of the Airraid—the shoot-em-up attack that sent the Texas Tech Red Raiders to ten straight bowl games and propelled them to the doorstep of the national championship for at least a few weeks—is on a list of names to take over if Al Davis fires Tom Cable in the Raiders' upcoming coaching performance review.

Leach has already remade the Big 12 in his image. The conference that formerly featured 12 variations on the option-pitch now resembles a high-powered gunslingers' duel.

Leach has taken the players passed over by the big programs and plugged them into a system that is proven to succeed. By spreading the ball out to a multitude of receivers, defenders aren't able to predict where the ball will go, and the lesser secondaries have gotten torched.

It works in college. As of this year, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas and Baylor all run some variation of the wide-open passing spread spawned from Leach's days under Hal Mumme and LaVell Edwards, and the attack is spreading to the other conferences as more and more of Leach's disciples find positions elsewhere.

So is it too much of a stretch to say the Airraid, whi...

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