CN: Whipping the Pistol -- Or, How Not to Get Pistol Whipped?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by MichaelWinicki, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Posted by Rafael at Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    A fevered panic erupted from a sector of the Cowboys fan base when Monte Kiffin was hired to be defensive coordinator. The embarrassing yardage totals that his USC defense gave up to new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly's Oregon offense was offered as proof that the 2013 Cowboys defense could be doomed.

    "He can't defense the zone read," said the rippers.

    Are they on to something?

    Kelly's fast-break Eagles will be one of the most watched stories in 2013, but the bar was set low by Rob Ryan's 2012 defenses against zone read attacks. His Cowboys surrendered 149 and 271 rushing yards in two losses to Robert Griffin's Redskins. To be fair, no NFC East opponent slowed the Redskins ground game. The Giants gave up over 200 yards in both of their games. The Eagles allowed an average of 145 rushing yards per game.

    Lots of defensive squads are no doubt working this offseason to decipher the pistol offense and the option plays is offers. Be it a fad, or the future of the league, the option game is making believers out of many coaches. The Patriots Bill Belichick destroyed Tim Tebow's option attack in an AFC playoff game two years ago, yet yesterday, he signed Tebow to caddy for Tom Brady. One scouting source told me last year that NFL scouting staffs are re-evaluating how they grade quarterbacks and being more forgiving towards players with unpolished arms who can make big plays with their legs.

    Which brings us back to Kiffin. Can he, line coach Rod Marinelli and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus dial up a successful option-stopping recipe? I've done some digging and found these factoids for thought:

  2. Fredd

    Fredd Well-Known Member

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    In this era of technology and being able to review EVERY play over and over, there is plenty of time to figure out the redskins...and, the eagles haven't even picked a QB yet...I will worry about them once I see Kelly's first game or two...

    btw, thanx, nice read
  3. Tex

    Tex Active Member

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    I thought his name was Michael Vick. Seems like the perfect fit for that offense and why that coach was hired there.

    Did Vick go someplace else?
  4. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    I think DC's will certainly be making tweaks to how they approach the zone read, and especially NFC East teams after last year (same in the NFCW)

    We saw what Rob Ryan did in week 17 which was essentially flood the passing zones with players and make it impossible to throw downfield. This ended up exposing the running lanes and Alfred Morris had a career night.

    The "read" part of the read option makes it incredibly difficult to defend because of the post snap read. The D can't disguise what it is going to do *after* the ball is snapped, and the QB has several options including the throwing the ball (as we saw on the Aldrick Robinson TD pass on Thanksgiving)

    Here are some recent quotes from Kyle Shanahan on the read option. And also, lets not mix the pistol (which is simply a formation where the RB is behind the QB in the shotgun) and the read option (which is the actual play design itself) together. You can still run the pistol and use it in a traditional passing game because of the multiple advantages it gives you, and not just use the pistol in a read option context

  5. CooterBrown

    CooterBrown Well-Known Member

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    It isn't that complicated. Tell your DE to bury the QB every time he comes around the end. Sure, he'll pitch it every time, but pitches don't always go where they are supposed to, and pretty soon the QB will be so battered that they will stop running the option.

    The option play with the QB as a run option is not new to football. The NFL teams wouldn't run it before because of the danger of injury to the most important (and usually highest paid) player on the offensive side of the ball. Re-instill that fear and they will quit running that play.
  6. Aven8

    Aven8 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but USC did not have Carter or Lee on there defense. Not even close. If, and that's a big if, they stay healthy the piston/zone read, etc will not bother us. These two are beast. It will and always will come down to the players. If you got better players you can beat anybody.

    Take a look at Texas Tech with Leach. They can kill almost anybody, but you put them against LSU or OU back in the day and they look pedestrian. Athletes and better players always can make scheme moot.
  7. Califan007

    Califan007 Well-Known Member

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    Yep...that's what I came onto this thread to say lol. Anyone--fan, sportswriter, whoever--who uses "pistol" and "read-option" interchangeably, doesn't know jack, and it's a waste of time listening to them as though they do.
  8. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    Agree. LSU and Alabama have superior athletes compared to just about everyone else.

    USC also has great athletes

    In the NFL though, everyone is a great athlete. You have your DeMarcus Ware's who his clearly in a class of his own, but for the most part you won't have a situation where an entire roster (LSU/Bama as examples) completely outclasses its opponent.

    The athletes on the other side of the LOS are pretty damn good also
  9. Hardline

    Hardline Well-Known Member

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    I would neutralize the pistol by knocking RGIII head off no matter if he pitched the ball or not . I would even be willing to take a few roughing the QB penalties just to let Griffin know that he is gonna get hit like a semi truck every time he runs that play. You have to make them one dimensional . And let the linebackers worry about the pitch man.:laugh1:
  10. Hardline

    Hardline Well-Known Member

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    Same with Michael Vick .
  11. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    The read option as the Redskins ran it is not a pitch though. The mesh point is a hand off behind the LOS which is why the pistol and the read option work so well together.

    So in the examples of RG3 and Vick, they aren't running and pitching as more so they are either faking the handoff and keeping, or giving the ball and faking their own run (in which case RG3 threw up his hands to say 'I don't have the ball' and never got touched)

    The "beat up the QB strategy" really isn't going to be that viable

    A few more words on this

  12. jrumann59

    jrumann59 Well-Known Member

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    Can someone tell me why you do not run a 2 man spy, one for the RB and one for the QB. The RB spy is to shadow the RB regardless if he gets the hand off or not. The QB shadow would watch the QB until its known the RB has the ball and then either rush or go into coverage.
  13. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I think the pistol is staying in the NFL. It allows the QB to feasibly run a legitimate play-action which has been a staple of NFL offenses for decades. But, I expect the read option to be done with in a year or two. We see this all of the time throughout the history of the NFL, they try to design offenses around a running QB. It works for a year or two and then gets smashed into the ground. The Wildcat's problem was that the tailback had limited throwing capabilities. Ronnie Brown could throw it better than most. Once he was gone, nobody else could really run the Wildcat with any efficiency.

    My guess is that we'll see teams moving away from the 3-4 soon. I really believe this is where Dallas is ahead of the curve (for once). We'll see teams with more of a Jimmy Johnson style of approach, smaller defenders who are quicker and fast. Shoot gaps so defenders can get to the ball carrier quicker and thus don't have to make a decision.

    Offenses will then adjust to the switch to the 4-3 defense and then we'll see teams gradually go back to the 3-4.

  14. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    That opens up the passing game, and RG3 has a thanksgiving day like performance every quarter
  15. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    DC's just need to make sure someone hits the QB on every play. HARD. That will end the pistol.
  16. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you understand the difference between the pistol and the read option
  17. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think the reason the pistol will continue to be effective is because it is not purely a running system. This is not the old time option football the ability to throw the ball within the offense is what makes it work.

    QB is not as exposed as they are within the old fashing option like the Wishbone or Veer offense. Only reason for guys like RGIII getting banged up is because he is not protecting himself down field when he does run.

    I think you could run this offense even with a QB who is not the greatest of runners
  18. AmberBeer

    AmberBeer Well-Known Member

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    QB's get hit period and when they run the ball often like RGIII does it's just a matter of time before he suffers an injury.
  19. FuzzyLumpkins

    FuzzyLumpkins The Boognish

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    This does not make any sense nor does it bear out with watching. The link in the OP does a great job with stills explaining how poor gap and assignment discipline/execution allowed runs to get outside of contain. Our corners couldn't get of blocks and we got what we got.

    We were not sending our LBers into 15 yard drops and the SS wasn't hanging back at all costs but instead were charging run plays not caring about the pass read as much as your assertion would demand.
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Problem is it is not just to the outside as the RB like Morris used cut back lanes as the line would pull. It is not like the old time pitch option it is a bit more detailed than that and QB can just as easy throw out of the formation with little pressure should the end go outside. If he pinches hard to the inside the QB pitches out to the back.

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