No playbook? No problem for Kingsbury and Texas Tech

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is doing his part to save trees.

Kingsbury is installing his version of the Air Raid offense without an actual playbook.

Instead of the standard, team-issued binder full of diagrams, Kingsbury has his players copy down notes while he draws up plays on a board.

The idea, as Kingsbury says in a short documentary on Grantland.com, is for the players to have to process the information rather than merely glance at a page. It’s the same theory as writing down a name or phone number so it’s easier to remember.

Texas Tech did essentially the same thing when Kingsbury’s coaching mentor, Mike Leach, was running things in Lubbock. Leach never had a playbook full of plays, but instead had a list of formations from which plays could be dictated by reads at the line of scrimmage.

It takes everyone being on the same page – whether it’s keyed into an iPad or a scribbled on a piece of notebook paper – with the backs, receivers and linemen all choosing from a set of options at the snap based on the quarterback’s reads at the line of scrimmage.

As Kingsbury states in the documentary, the goal is to get everyone to “play without thinking” – to read and react instinctively.

When it works well, it saves a lot of time in both implementation and execution of the offense. And if a few trees are spared in the process, hey, bonus!

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire