That means terminology, formations, and plays. In many Bill Walsh Offenses there are thousands of plays. A novice coach can't determine which ones to pick.
That's where the problem lay.
The real idea of the Bill Walsh Offense is in the approach to the passing game. As then-Cal Head Coach Steve Mariucci, and the late Bill Walsh himself told this blogger, the difference is in how we think about the passing game. Or footwork, vision, and throwing.
In other words, you can use any formation you want to and still run the basics of the offense. In fact, one can have a Wishbone Formation and still run a play with the split end going 12 yards downfield to an In Pattern, the right halfback running a Swing Pattern, the fullback running a Circle Pattern, the left halfback running an Up Pattern, and the other wideout running an Out Pattern.
The Quarterback takes five steps, reading the outside linebacker, takes a hitch step, and throws to the split end.
And still, the coach can run the Triple Option.
Sometimes football coaches are in such a hurry to try the newest flavor, they forget they don't have to force-feed it to their players.
That's the case with Bill Walsh' Offense.