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SB Nation: The Future is Already Here: How the Pistol Offense is Changing the NFL

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by SkinsHokieFan, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    Great article written by Chris Brown of smartfootball.com

    Part of the discussion we have had over the past few weeks is about running an "NFL offense" My argument has been that the pistol elements which the Redskins/Seahawks/49ers/Panthers are now running, in part to the talent at the QB spot, will be the future, and the attack that Andrew Luck is running, which he is asked to force the ball down field and is committing many turnovers

    Great read

    Link for rest
  2. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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  3. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Gimmick offenses never last. It will go the way of the Run and Shoot. The real test will be next season when there is a whole season of tape to view.
  4. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this is gimmick offense.
  5. NIBGoldenchild

    NIBGoldenchild Well-Known Member

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    You're absolutely right, it's not a gimmick.
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think like other offense system such as the WCO coaches will put their own version of it on the field.
  7. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    I do. Because it is based off a single guys ability. After he goes down for an extended period of time they have to change.
  8. SkinsFan28

    SkinsFan28 Active Member

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    I think the point of the pistol, and the article explains it very very well, is that it integrates "smash mouth" north south running, with the qb's ability to receive the ball and survey the field without a 3 -5-7 drop. Thus, the defense has to react quicker, while the qb already has a sight line on the d's weakest spot.

    That is the purpose of the shotgun, and it has been a mainstay for a long time. I remember Gibbs not liking it because he liked the sure handed center to qb exchange. But the shotgun forces east west running and takes away the most of the inside run game. The pistol is an attempt to balance both good points (runner going north south, qb seeing whole defense).

    A good example of how it works, without ever using the zone-read "gimmick" is Griffin's quick pass when he sees a defense stack the box with 3 linebackers. By being in a passing stance when he receives the snap, a quick playaction fake freezes all 3 lb's for a quick second, and he can toss a straight pass down center field where the lb's are cleared out, for almost always a 7-8 yd gain. That ability, for many qb's, will not leave the game soon.

    In fact I think Romo would be very dangerous with that same play, with Murray coming towards the line, and Witten crossing down the center. I hope your coaching staff thinks like the fans here that say it is a fad, and doesn't put Romo in the position ever.
  9. SkinsFan28

    SkinsFan28 Active Member

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    I disagree, in the sense that I think you are alluding to Griffin's running ability. I think there are many qb's in the NFL that will take the pistol and use it, even without the threat of a running qb. What you need is a credible RB threat that can freeze the LB's for a second, that and the qb's ability to read what the d is doing ought to allow a good qb to pick where the advantage favors the offense, and if no receiver is in an advantageous lineup, then you go with a power run. Very rarely will you have to have a qb zone read option to make it effective, though Griffin's speed to the edge does add another threat that not every qb will bring.

    Question for you Cajun, did you read the article, and the breakdown of the formation (pistol), not the one single play call(zone read) which you see as a fad?
  10. BAZ

    BAZ Drunken Mick

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    These things go in swings and roundabouts, just like slur fans on this board. Right now it's lousy with filth, when the silt sinks.....
  11. Biggems

    Biggems White and Nerdy

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    didnt Collin K. run the pistol at Nevada?
  12. NIBGoldenchild

    NIBGoldenchild Well-Known Member

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    He did. Griffin ran it at Baylor, but not nearly as much.
  13. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Not based on his running ability but on the viability of sustaining the type of offense. It is a gimmick offense used in college to fit the personnel of their players. They don't play the top caliber defensive players week in and week out along with the type of coaching that is seen in the NFL week in and week out either. It is going to get handled very quickly and the Skins will need to adjust accordingly.

    Innovation in the NFL is always ongoing but effective schemes are born of base offensive strategy. I don't see the Pistol offense as one that has long legs in terms of sustainability.

    Most of it but got interrupted twice before finishing it. But I don't need an article to tell me what I see and what I know.

    Let me be clear on this though, I think Griffen is a good QB but the praise heaped on him at this point for basically delivering a 9-6 team. I think Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson has had just as good of a year as did RG3.
  14. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    It is not based on a single guy, this is not some pure option running attack.
  15. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Skins are not the only team who uses it

    Buffalo Bills
    Carolina Panthers
    Detroit Lions
    Miami Dolphins
    Kansas City Chiefs
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    San Francisco 49ers
    Seattle Seahawks
    Washington Redskins
  16. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    It will also be expanded with the type of QB's we see coming up. The Colts also ran some pistol this year.

    Essentially with more Geno Smith's, Logan Thomas' and Johnny Football's coming through the college ranks, you will see more and more pistol formations being used. The skillset of these QBs is lending itself to greater innovation.

    I am actually very excited to see what the future holds with the talented QBs coming through the college ranks. This is probably the biggest change since Landry started using the shotgun in the 70s
  17. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Often what you see is coaches putting their own version using certain aspects of an offensive system. No one is running the pure Pistol offense just as no one runs the pure west coast offense.
  18. AmericasTeam31

    AmericasTeam31 Active Member

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    Yet even NFL coaches call it a college style of offense, not a pro style offense...

    “They’re way ahead of everybody else in terms of their commitment to a really college style of offense,” Carroll said of the Redskins.

    Some call it a gimmick, some call it college style and some call it high school... I see the same plays run on Friday nights everywhere. My 11 year old son's football team ran the pistol all season long.

    Where I think the offense will ultimately fail in the NFL in the fact that it is primarily based off of misdirection. Even the plays discussed in the article you posted were designed misdirection plays. Why do misdirection plays work? Undisciplined defenses. I feel that with the amount of time the NFL coaches can devote to film study and practices in the offseason it will get figured out. Maintain your gaps, don't follow the flow of the offensive line, follow the ball, read your high hats and low hats. These are all part of being a disciplined defense. And right now, teams running the pistol and read option plays are simply taking advantage of what has become lazy NFL defenses. I'd bet that this season will wake up a lot of D Coordinators and make them realize that you can't just sit back and find the QB sitting in the pocket, or just scheme your defense to follow the flow of the play to the ball anymore, because you never know where the ball will be.
  19. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    You could say the same thing about Shannahan zone blocking scheme in the running game if you stay disciplined and maintain your gaps you can stop it but he has done it for years and has done so successfully. Sure a defense who stays disciplined can stop most any offense it not that easy. People considered the shot gun a gimmick when Landry brought it back to the NFL now everyone uses it from Little league to the NFL.
  20. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    The misdirection is huge, but as Schiano said the threat of the QB to be a running playmaker changes the numbers.

    All defenses need to win the numbers game. Going back to college here, the Virginia Tech defense is built on spilling the play to 1 unblocked defender (usually the whip or rover) who is then responsible for making the tackle.

    The other thing I find interesting is unlike Brees/Brady/Manning, who need to be right pre-snap (and they usually are) the pistol gives QBs a chance to change the play post snap.

    RG3/Kapernick/Wilson can change the run/pass play after the snap by reading the defense.

    If its a matter of gap control and discipline, that is not hard to adjust in season. The Giants were much better about it in round 2 but the Redskins offense still churned up yards the entire game.

    As we see more QBs with the run/pass ability that is just starting to creep into the NFL, we will see more NFL coaches adopting this formation

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