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49ers Offense -- The Pistol portion -- Explained by Chris Ault on NFLN

  • fryet
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,900
Originally posted by MortimerC:
The Rams did this pretty successfully. We adapted and started looping the fullback to take care of the safety and just letting the DE crash and take himself out of the play. Another counter is to pass as somebody has said before. It's definitely a better defense than what the Packers and Falcons were doing.

Yes, I can see offensive counters like what you suggest. But the more offensive players you have running in that direction, the easier it is to have defenders run in the same direction. It just seems that encouraging the QB keeper is better than having a DE take himself out of the play.
Just curious:

I've been reading the Ravens board and one thing that stand out is the fact that they think the offensive schemes we run is a "gimmick" offense and that it won't succeed in the long run.

Two questions:

  1. Would you call our offensive schemes a gimmick offense? If you say yes, (see #2)
  2. If we win the SB, would you consider that a success?

- 98
Originally posted by DelCed2486:
I can buy that if we were talking the pitch option, where the QB is running mostly laterally with the ball, waiting until that very last split-second to make the decision to keep or pitch, which often means a DE or LB is bearing down on him. So yeah, if that DE or LB has been designated as the QB killer regardless if there's a pitch, he's right there to make the hit.

But look at the Read Option as the 49ers have been running it from the Pistol...Kaepernick is making that decision to let the RB keep it or run it himself based on the first 1 or 2 or steps of the DE...very rarely is there someone "right there" ready to lay a lick on Kaepernick when he does give it to the RB. So that would mean a DE will have to, 1) be disciplined enough to not chase the RB that now has the ball and is trying to go around him, and, 2) take a couple extra steps to reach Kaepernick in order to hit him. In this day and age of football, do you think that just might draw a yellow hanky? And remember, it's the PISTOL, so the QB is getting the snap ~4 yds behind the LOS, which, again, is adding space between him and DE/LB.

I'm not saying the Ravens or some future team won't take this approach, but I do think it's easier said than done considering the formation itself and the rules of today's NFL.

I meant in a general sense, most of the time the DE's haven't been getting very close and that would be an easy roughing the passer call for the ref if someone were to just deck the quarterback after he handed the ball off. For a read option, for the Run and Shoot and several other "gimmick" types of plays and offenses, it has come down to basically headhunting the quarterback to put a stop to it, however with the way the NFL is currently, QB's are more protected than ever before and that is one reason why I think the Pistol and the read option are more than just passing fad's. Additionally the QB's are better, the quarterbacks coming out of college seem to be more well-prepared than at anytime in the past and you're getting guys who are phenomenal athletes, but are quarterbacks first and foremost, able to do damage with their arms and their legs.
Originally posted by MortimerC:
Originally posted by fryet:
Not knowing much about football, I would think that the pistol read option would be easy to defend. Here is how I would do it:

1. Always have the DE bite on the running back, i.e. give the QB the read to keep the ball. This basically let's the defense call the play in the huddle.
2. Now that you know that the QB is going to run with the ball, you now need a defender to cover the space that the DE vacated, whether that be a LB, Safety, or CB.
3. If neither side changes, you now get to hit the QB 20 times in a game.
4. Presumably, the QB will stop reading the DE, and now look to see if someone is filling in the space for the DE. But they don't have much time to read the defense, and it won't be the same player filling in the spot each time.
5. Presumably, the QB will stop trusting their read, and even some times when there is a vacant spot behind the DE, the QB will hand off to the RB anyway.

One other way I would defend the pistol read/49er version. Blitz to the left side of the line. They seem to usually run to the defense's left when they run the option.

The Rams did this pretty successfully. We adapted and started looping the fullback to take care of the safety and just letting the DE crash and take himself out of the play. Another counter is to pass as somebody has said before. It's definitely a better defense than what the Packers and Falcons were doing.

Yeah, that's what we started to do. The defense commits a S, CB or LB, then we can even pull a guard to stuff that player.

Now, do you, as a DC, REALLY want a Guard lead blocking on a LB, CB, or FS? Kaep would have easy runs. Or you can just move the FB to block the extra rusher and have Kaep pass. The Defense is unmatched because now they are blitzing and we know EXACTLY where that blitz is coming from so Kaep throwing the ball vs man coverage...deadly.
Originally posted by kidash98:
Just curious:

I've been reading the Ravens board and one thing that stand out is the fact that they think the offensive schemes we run is a "gimmick" offense and that it won't succeed in the long run.

Two questions:

  1. Would you call our offensive schemes a gimmick offense? If you say yes, (see #2)
  2. If we win the SB, would you consider that a success?
- 98

1. No...doesn't mean it's the end-all, or that it can't be stopped. But it's not a gimmick. Snapping the ball to a RB who 99.9% of the time is only going to run it and is no threat of passing: THAT is a gimmick.

I've also read their boards and been listening to a couple Balt sports stations...and just about every one of them, including "informed" hosts, say it's a gimmick. But of course when they talk about it, they put it in the context of "Pistol = read option". I will go out on a limb and say the Ravens defensive coaching staff isn't quite as ignorant.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Yeah, that's what we started to do. The defense commits a S, CB or LB, then we can even pull a guard to stuff that player.

Now, do you, as a DC, REALLY want a Guard lead blocking on a LB, CB, or FS? Kaep would have easy runs. Or you can just move the FB to block the extra rusher and have Kaep pass. The Defense is unmatched because now they are blitzing and we know EXACTLY where that blitz is coming from so Kaep throwing the ball vs man coverage...deadly.

If they start pulling in defensive backs, whether it be a cornerback or a safety, have the TE's go find the weak spots in the zone and keep passing it on them like they did against the Falcons. No matter how the defense reacts, you'll get a mismatch as a result if you have the proper personnel. I only wish the 49ers had a TE like a Brent Jones or a Jason Witten type that goes exactly where the defense isn't to make some big plays downfield.
Originally posted by DelCed2486:
Originally posted by kidash98:
Just curious:

I've been reading the Ravens board and one thing that stand out is the fact that they think the offensive schemes we run is a "gimmick" offense and that it won't succeed in the long run.

Two questions:

  1. Would you call our offensive schemes a gimmick offense? If you say yes, (see #2)
  2. If we win the SB, would you consider that a success?
- 98

1. No...doesn't mean it's the end-all, or that it can't be stopped. But it's not a gimmick. Snapping the ball to a RB who 99.9% of the time is only going to run it and is no threat of passing: THAT is a gimmick.

I've also read their boards and been listening to a couple Balt sports stations...and just about every one of them, including "informed" hosts, say it's a gimmick. But of course when they talk about it, they put it in the context of "Pistol = read option". I will go out on a limb and say the Ravens defensive coaching staff isn't quite as ignorant.

The biggest factor in all of this is that we don't have a gimmick QB.
this thread is hilarious.
While technically anyone can run it, the same can be said of any formation or system, the difference is you want someone who not only can run it but make it work. Not getting 20 or more yard runs and getting only 5 to 10 yards is fine, because not evryone can crash on the running back, they may bottle him up (the RB or QB), but they will get gashed enough. However, you have to also be able to make throws for when they try to sneak in the box or blitz to throw it. Cam N might be able to run it successfully, but Kaep has the better arm and is still learning to read the D. Cam doesn't the pitchers arm that Kaep has.

So other may emulate it to a degree of success, but none will match Kaeps proficiency.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
If they start pulling in defensive backs, whether it be a cornerback or a safety, have the TE's go find the weak spots in the zone and keep passing it on them like they did against the Falcons. No matter how the defense reacts, you'll get a mismatch as a result if you have the proper personnel. I only wish the 49ers had a TE like a Brent Jones or a Jason Witten type that goes exactly where the defense isn't to make some big plays downfield.

If they put in the dime package, just run them over. when they get flatlined, they will be so worn from getting beat up that VD or Crab will be even more open.
Originally posted by Furlow:
Formation? It's our base offense. What happened to a return to the WCO? I want to see another 49ers HOF quarterback. That's not going to happen with this offense.

I want to see the 49ers win football games.
Originally posted by WildBill:
If they put in the dime package, just run them over. when they get flatlined, they will be so worn from getting beat up that VD or Crab will be even more open.

This. Gotta have good coaching and a smart quarterback and you can really hammer teams. The only thing this offense is lacking is a legit #2 WR opposite Crabtree, get a guy with good quickness that can cause matchup problems and they'll be straight cramming the ball down the opposing teams throat.
Originally posted by TheWooLick:
Originally posted by Furlow:
Formation? It's our base offense. What happened to a return to the WCO? I want to see another 49ers HOF quarterback. That's not going to happen with this offense.

I want to see the 49ers win football games.


Even at the expense of our QB's health and longevity?
Originally posted by kidash98:
Just curious:

I've been reading the Ravens board and one thing that stand out is the fact that they think the offensive schemes we run is a "gimmick" offense and that it won't succeed in the long run.

Two questions:

  1. Would you call our offensive schemes a gimmick offense? If you say yes, (see #2)
  2. If we win the SB, would you consider that a success?
- 98

1. It's not a gimmick. The pistol is just how the QB lines up...it has nothing to do with the style of offense the team is running. The read-option could be called a "gimmick," though. However, I honestly feel like if you have a good offensive line and a QB who is familiar with the system who knows how to presnap read the D (like CK), it's almost impossible to stop. So they can call the read-option a gimmick all they want, but I could care less if it wins us a SB.
Originally posted by Furlow:
Even at the expense of our QB's health and longevity?

Winning is first
Health and longevity are second
HOF is third at best

I don't think the Pistol formation is in itself harmful to a QB's health and longevity.
Dumbing down an offense to suit the backup is poor way to build a winning offense.