The spread offense is an offensive scheme in football that typically places the quarterback in the shotgun formation and "spreads" the defense horizontally using three-, four-, and even five-receiver sets. Used at every level of the game including professional (NFL, CFL), college (NCAA, NAIA, CIS), and high school programs across the US and Canada, spread offenses often employ a no-huddle approach. Some implementations of the spread also feature wide splits between the offensive linemen.
Spread offenses can emphasize the pass or the run, with the common attribute that they force the defense to cover the entire field from sideline to sideline. Many spread teams use the read option running play to put pressure on both sides of the defense. Similar to the run and shoot offense, passing-oriented spread offenses often leverage vertical (down the field) passing routes to spread the defense v