The West Coast offense is an offense that places a greater emphasis on passing than on running.
Two similar but distinct offensive strategic systems are commonly referred to as "West Coast offenses." Initially, the term referred to the Air Coryell system popularized by Don Coryell. Following a journalistic error, however, it now more commonly refers to the offensive system devised by Bill Walsh who at the time was the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, characterized by short, horizontal passing routes in place of running plays to "stretch out" defenses, opening up the potential for long vertical passing opportunities. It was popularized when Walsh was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.