QUESTION: I have read somewhere that you do not like pistol, Please expain?
ANSWER: Coach B -
First off, thank you for the nice comments. It is sometimes very hard to convey things over the internet. AS you know all to well, coaching is all about interaction, so one sided, writings arent the easiest. I read your comments, and just thought I would add one more thing... DO you run more of a double wing / wing T or a shotgun pistol. The reason I ask is as a senior in high school, we ran what my coach called the Run and Shoot. But instead of 4 WRS, we had 2 WRs and 2 tight slots (balanced 1 of each on each side). There is a good examle of "different coach, different terminology". I have an ENTIRELY different view on that offense... Oh boy..
I just thought I would check on that as well. Please feel free to let me know if you need anything. BTW, where do you coach?
Coach B -
Keep in mind, that in football, almost every term can be used differently by different people. What you may call a "pistol" offense might not be exactly what I call a "pistol" offense. SO to ensure we are talking about the same thing, "pistol" to me is a TE, 3 WRs, a QB in a modified, shorter dropped shotgun with the RB directly behind him. Assuming we are talking about the same thing, read on... IF not, go ahead and write a follow up with exactly what YOU see the pistol as, and we can go from there.
One of the purposes, in my eyes, for putting a QB in a shotgun is to give him a better view, a better drop, and more time to see / read the field and the defense. When you nudge him up closer to the LOS, in my eyes, you might as well put him back under center. At least, being under center allows the QB to hide the ball a little better than in a shotgun. So that aspect is just an overall, general preference..
The other feature of the pistol is the RB being directly behind the QB.. I am not a big fan of that either. As a former QB, it is hard enough to perform the proper steps in a traditional under center OR shotgun snap. Putting someone directly behind the QB makes it very hard on that QB. Ever seen an option QB under center who has a fullback right off his behind every play? That is hard enough. And this is the same thing, just in a shotgun. The other thing is the vision of the RB. So many people ONLY think about making it harder for a defense to see things offensively, but a lot of the time, we forget that in a successful offense, the ballcarriers have to see clearly as well. Its why the term "vision" is so often used. So lining a RB directly behind a QB, who in most cases will be taller, is not the best idea to me. Its not like a QB under center who is squatting down, and the RB is 5 yards behind him. They are much closer, and are already deeper in the backfield. To me, thats a tough thing to work with. But again, thats just my opinion.
Keep in mind one thing as you read this.. Its not that I believe the "pistol" is ineffective, or stupid. Not at all. I just feel that, for me and how I coach / teach football, there are better formations and schemes to accomplish what the pistol tries to accomplish. Thats what is so great about football. There are so many ways to get the same things done. It is what the hard work as a coach is all about.
Please feel free to write back and let me know what you think. Id be glad to discuss it further, or go over anything else as well.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: HEY COACH, I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU ON YOUR INPUT ON THE PISTOL,THE ONE THING I FORGOT TO TELL YOU, IS THAT WE RUN IT OUT OF THE WING-T IF THAT MAKES NO DIFFERNCE TO THE INPUT YOU GAVE ME,DON'T BOTHER WRITING BACK,AGAIN THANKS !!!!! YOUR THE GREATEST!!!!
There is one thing. Make sure you have at least 1 play action or misdirection play off of every base running play. A big weakness of that offense is the defense being able to read from the backside and bringing an OLB down the LOS to blow up your running plays. It becomes a very easy defensive read if not. Sometimes it wont hurt, but that one game you face a good, quick DE or OLB, it will ruin your day.
So for example, if you are running an option right, make sure you have an effective wing counter left or boot left, and DONT be afrain to run it! Even if you dont complete ONE, or lose yards on the counter, it still forces the defense to hesitate that extra second! In one series, it might not help you too much, but after 4 quarters its a lifesaver..