Don't Bring A Knife to a Pistol Fight

The Pistol Formation is now gaining legitimacy in the football world because of its effective use in the NFL. We all have Chris Ault and Nevada to thank for its origination and design.  For me the Pistol is more about the alignment of the Running Back than it is about the offensive scheme itself.  Shotgun teams now have a way to align the Running Back in a traditional "I" alignment giving him a more downhill, vertical entry into the line of scrimmage. I think it gives the Running Back better vision to make cuts, and it is easier to make those cuts while attacking downhill and relatively square to the line of scrimmage.  I never really liked the Running Backs entry in the Shotgun Zone Read because it always felt to lateral or east and west to me. What I would like to do today is show you how we combine Zone theories with Veer theories to give us our "ZEER READ" play.
Double or Triple Option

I am going to discuss our 1 back Zeer Read with Key Screens for Triple Option and our 2 Back Zeer Read Bluff for Double Option. The fact that we can incorporate this theory in 1 Back and 2 Back is very important for me.  We want to be multiple yet simple on Offense while playing extremely fast. The Zeer theory allows us to run the scheme from virtually any formation which helps us avoid tendencies.

In the above diagram we are running Zeer to the right with a Bubble Screen by #2 to create a Triple Option principle. The oline will block gap down veer rules and we would like to get 2 double teams if possible.  The QB will ride and decide off the right C gap defender. If he gets a pull read he will then option the force player with the ability to keep or throw a bubble screen to #2.  I feel the bubble screen does a better job stretching the force player and not allowing him to slow play the QB. The TB will enter straight downhill on the playside leg of the center. His choices are Bang it or Bounce it. He will not have the option of cutback since this is a down block scheme and not a zone scheme.

The next diagram is the same theory out of a 3x1 formation. I like running this vs defenses that choose to play the backside safety as a #3 vertical player. Now we can block the corner and high safety while throwing the key screen off of the force player.

The last diagram is the Zeer Bluff theory. This is a Double Option concept so if the QB gets a pull read he now does not have the option to throw a screen. The H Back will block the force player to the side of the Zeer.  We like to bring him from the opposite side of the formation.  We will only run this theory vs. a 6 man box. If the team wants to play with a 7 man box or traditional 4-3 look you will not have enough bodies to block the play. We will bring in another Fullback vs. teams that like to leave 7 in the box so we now have 7 helmets to block.


Diamonds Are Forever
 The use of 3 backs in offensive formations has been around for over 100 years.  Whether it be the T Formation, Power I, Maryland I, Wing T, Wishbone, or Flexbone offensive coaches have always tried to incorporate 3 backs as part of their base run game. With the development of the athletic QB that is a viable option in the run game, the Diamond Formation now gives the Offensive Coordinator 4 potential ball carriers. This set gives you the ability to run downhill, attack the perimeter, stretch the field with play action, and make the defense accountable with option principles.
Big Boys Are Catching On

Today I am going to discuss the "Inverted Veer" play and play action passes off the same run action.  This formation is symmetrical which gives you the ability to run concepts to either side with no motions, shifts, or trades. When I say "Inverted" I mean the QB will actually become the dive player and the RB will become the perimeter player which is the opposite of traditional veer football. In the above diagram the 49ers are running the bluff version of the veer, which is a traditional veer concept with backs becoming lead blockers on the perimeter if the QB pulls the ball. This is a double option theory.

In the above diagram I have our Inverted Veer play with rules against a standard 8 man front.  The scheme is the same as our base veer play which we run from the Pistol set as well. One of the keys to adding things into your offense is the ability to keep things simple for your offensive line. We start on Day 1 teaching the Veer or Zeer(Zone/Veer) concept so when it comes time to add the Diamond package it is nothing new for our oline. I also like to keep things relatively simple for my QB so all my option reads are front side C Gap defender.

Now let's take a look at a Play Action Pass off the Inverted Veer. I think it is very important to have plays that protect your plays. This version of our play action is an attempt to attack Quarters or Robber teams with very active safeties and get our RB matched up with an OLB on the wheel route.  Even if you see a 1 high structure you should still get a favorable match up with the wheel route.  This also gives us a simple 7 man full slide protection which allows us to call the play with confidence. 


Jumping Out Of The Gate

I am new to the world of blogging, or in the gaming world I am a "NOOB".  I have been a Head High School Football coach for 13 years and before that a Graduate Assistant for 2 years. My intent is to create an informational resource for High School Football coaches that is "RELEVANT" not only to the game we love, but more importantly the game we see!
With the improvements in technology and the information that is available today at the touch of a button, I think its important that High School Football coaches gather the information that's out there and make a determination as to what it is they can actually use.   The off season is the time when coaches are exploring all different options to continue the development and growth of their program.  Unfortunately a lot of the clinics and webinars are done by College and NFL coaches.  Although these guys are extremely intelligent and at the top of their profession, there are a set of circumstances that make our jobs completely different. Have you ever attended a clinic with an NFL defensive coach and asked him how to defend the Wing T?
Here is a quick list of some of the major differences to consider when gathering information, and potential questions to ask yourself:

1)Size of Players-Will I be able to 2 gap with a 185 pound noseguard?
2)Speed of Players-Can I play man with 4.9 corners?
3)Hashmarks-Will a cover 2 corner be able to be a force player with HS hashes?
4)Talent-Would up tempo hurt me if I play 9 players both ways?
5)Schemes-Will this defense adjust to a different offense every week?
Long Story Short
Each week I will be posting valuable information regarding coaching strategy for all levels, with the focus on the direction of High School Football in Florida. My first few blogs will cover topics like Pistol Zone/Veer, Combining Power Read with Jet, Up Tempo Packages, Check With Me Coverages, and Combining the 425 with the 3-3.  I invite you contact me with any schemes or topics you would like discussed, and please feel free to comment.