News: NFL: 'Gun control: Teams need balance out of popular formation (shotgun)

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by CCBoy, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    'Gun control: Teams need balance out of popular formation
    By Pat Kirwan
    Senior Analyst

    Ten years ago, the shotgun formation wasn't part of the West Coast offense. Bill Walsh, the creator of the modern West Coast system, didn't use it and as a result many of his protégé's around the league cast it aside as well.

    But today, every NFL team has a shotgun package. In many cases, it serves as a staple formation of the offense. For perspective, on Sunday of Week 5 there were 636 shotgun plays called in 12 games, which averages to 26.5 shotgun snaps per team (see box).

    Shotgun used to be used almost exclusively when long yardage was needed or late in the games, but not anymore. Now it is used just as much in the first quarter as it is in the fourth. For example, last Sunday the Bills and Eagles came out in shotgun formation 15 times in the first quarter.

    Offenses obviously pass more out of shotgun, but should they consider running the ball too? Patriots coach Bill Belichick told me this week that there are opportunities to run the ball from the shotgun, but work must be put in on learning the blocking angles and the run lanes. Not every team is working on those run opportunities.

    I spoke to a number of head coaches, offensive coordinators and O-line coaches over the past few weeks about their run game out of "the gun," and they all claimed to have run principles as part of their shotgun package. But numbers from Week 5 suggest a massive imbalance in the run-pass ratios out of the shotgun. As a result, teams are missing an opportunity to expose their defensive counterparts....
  2. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Cutting to the chase:

    ....The Patriots always seem to be ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative strategies, and against the Jets they ran the ball eight times from shotgun for 44 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings employed the shotgun 16 times Sunday, but five of those calls were runs that averaged 7.4 yards a carry.

    When told what I was investigating, one head coach told me, "It's a shotgun world now and there are plays to be had in the run game. Most of the young quarterbacks and running backs coming in the league have been running the ball from shotgun in college, and they may be slightly ahead of the coaches at this point."....

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