San Francisco Chronicle Features Speckman in Article about 49ers

NFL Team Running Fly Sweeps made Popular by Willamette's Head Coach

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University football Head Coach Mark Speckman is generally considered the nation's expert on the Fly Offense. After all, it's Speckman who took a few plays involving a flanker going in motion and turned them into a complete offense, which he has used throughout his career as a high school and college head coach.

His expertise was noted in a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League adding a few plays from the Fly Offense to their professional offensive attack.

Although the 49ers are giving the Fly Offense more exposure by running the fly sweep at the NFL level, Speckman's offense has been visible for some time in college games. Willamette has been running the offense since Speckman was hired as the offensive coordinator in 1995. He became Willamette's head coach when Dan Hawkins left to become an assistant coach -- and later head coach -- at Boise State University in 1998.

More recently, highly visible NCAA Division I teams such as the University of Oregon have added elements of the offense, particularly the fly sweep, in which the flanker goes in motion across the offensive formation prior to the snap. The flanker is already near full speed by the time he reaches the quarterback.

The flanker can receive a handoff, or the quarterback can fake the handoff and either give the ball to a running back or keep it himself. Willamette even uses the fly sweep to set up passes, since the quarterback can drop deeper into the pocket after faking the handoff.

Speckman Featured

San Francisco Chronicle
Article about 49ers using
plays from the Fly Offense

Willamette Head Coach Mark Speckman is regarded as an expert on the Fly Offense.

Willamette Head Coach Mark Speckman is regarded as an expert on the Fly Offense.