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Is the Option/Pistol going to be shredded in the NFL or have sustainability?

There should be a one time requirement to post on this board that you can demonstrate a basic understanding of the difference between the read option and pistol formation. It's surprising that so many fans of other teams don't understand the difference, and downright startling that some fans of the 49ers don't.
  • fryet
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,854
Some random thoughts on this:

The Ravens defense in the Super Bowl is going to limit the effectiveness of the read option out of the pistol formation. No one will want their QB hit on every single running play. So to minimize the risk of the hit, they have the QB back pedal. Hopefully that will avoid the hits, but it also takes the QB out as a fake. In the past, we could have CK pretend to keep the ball, and hope to deceive the defenders. Now if he does that, he risks getting hit.

Two, the current defense of the play doesn't sound like something that the NFL should permit. They should be protecting the QB, not allowing the defense to hit him because they don't like the play. Sure, let the defender grab the QB until they can confirm that the player does not have the ball, but a "hit" should not be allowed.
  • Antix
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 4,308
Originally posted by fryet:
Some random thoughts on this:

The Ravens defense in the Super Bowl is going to limit the effectiveness of the read option out of the pistol formation. No one will want their QB hit on every single running play. So to minimize the risk of the hit, they have the QB back pedal. Hopefully that will avoid the hits, but it also takes the QB out as a fake. In the past, we could have CK pretend to keep the ball, and hope to deceive the defenders. Now if he does that, he risks getting hit.

Two, the current defense of the play doesn't sound like something that the NFL should permit. They should be protecting the QB, not allowing the defense to hit him because they don't like the play. Sure, let the defender grab the QB until they can confirm that the player does not have the ball, but a "hit" should not be allowed.

Could not disagree more with this. QBs get enough protection as it is. If D's wanna hit the QB because he faked being a runner, so be it. I know our QB runs the read option and could be hurt with this tactic, but QBs are over protected as it is. It would just be another unfair defensive disadvantage to not allow the D to hit the QB.

I'm guessing they probably will still throw flags if the D hits him too hard, but I don't think it should be written in the rules. I'm all for the QB getting the same treatment as any other player if he's running or pretending to run the ball.
The read option is a play

The pistol is a formation

Get to know the difference cause this thread's original premise is all fail
I'm tired of hearing these so called "expert" analyst talking about the pistol formation and read option offense. The pistol formation is just shotgun with the RB lined up behind the QB, at the end of the day it still comes down to football fundamentals. As far as read option goes it's just another form of play action, not a gimmick at all in my opinion. Through 10 games we were efficent with this offense, I don't see teams being able to "shut this down" when most can't even stop a plain spread attack like the Packers and Pats run.
(made dumb comment ... *Remove*)
[ Edited by OldJoe on Aug 30, 2013 at 3:38 PM ]
S/N: After a few QBs up with the ball and passes it and a defender STILL hits him after the point and get 15 tacked on to the end of the play coaches will stop this "crush the qb" mentality of the read option.
Originally posted by OldJoe:
Originally posted by dj43:

Why we play with semantics. You both could be wrong.

Ault (now with role of Chiefs) invented the Pistol. He named it ... soley his. Initially no one else used it. UCLA adopted one year then threw away with coaching staff.
(It was always called a non-Pro offense, gimmicky was is most common reference.)
Ault never used it without the Read Option. UCLA ran with the option (and they didn't run it that much).

Ault just might say without the option aspect you have to call it something else. Derringer perhaps (less effective than pistol given no option)

Who ever you are quoting or coming up with this definition could be wrong. Pistol without the option is not really the Pistol ala Ault ... I question your definition.
I don't think coach ault always ran it with the read option. I think it was 06 before kap started, not sure. I have some tapes from that year i will see if i can can find it. im sure your probably right. I will see if i can get some video up from its inception. Its interesting none the less.
  • fryet
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,854
Originally posted by Antix:
Originally posted by fryet:
Some random thoughts on this:

The Ravens defense in the Super Bowl is going to limit the effectiveness of the read option out of the pistol formation. No one will want their QB hit on every single running play. So to minimize the risk of the hit, they have the QB back pedal. Hopefully that will avoid the hits, but it also takes the QB out as a fake. In the past, we could have CK pretend to keep the ball, and hope to deceive the defenders. Now if he does that, he risks getting hit.

Two, the current defense of the play doesn't sound like something that the NFL should permit. They should be protecting the QB, not allowing the defense to hit him because they don't like the play. Sure, let the defender grab the QB until they can confirm that the player does not have the ball, but a "hit" should not be allowed.

Could not disagree more with this. QBs get enough protection as it is. If D's wanna hit the QB because he faked being a runner, so be it. I know our QB runs the read option and could be hurt with this tactic, but QBs are over protected as it is. It would just be another unfair defensive disadvantage to not allow the D to hit the QB.

I'm guessing they probably will still throw flags if the D hits him too hard, but I don't think it should be written in the rules. I'm all for the QB getting the same treatment as any other player if he's running or pretending to run the ball.
The issue I have is that it isn't like the defender doesn't know that the QB does not have the ball - he is just looking for a free hit on the QB. Sort of like having 10 guys block the QB on an interception return (also illegal). The defense is basically saying that they can't defend the option, but they will try and knock the QB out of the game if he runs it frequently.
Originally posted by 5280High:
The read option is a play

The pistol is a formation

Get to know the difference cause this thread's original premise is all fail

I was under the impression that the Pistol is more of a philosophy and it can be run out of many different formations. Shotgun, single back, double TE, regular formations with 2 WRs and 2 RBs, etc. I mean, I've seen Kaepernick run "read-option" plays from both under center and in shotgun and always felt that was the difference between the pistol and Washington's read-option playbooks
Originally posted by outside4949:
I don't think coach ault always ran it with the read option. I think it was 06 before kap started, not sure. I have some tapes from that year i will see if i can can find it. im sure your probably right. I will see if i can get some video up from its inception. Its interesting none the less.

Yes, Ault first ran the pistol in 2006 with QB Jeff Rowe. There was no read option. Rowe was a good athlete, but nowhere near the runner Kap was. Still, Rowe looked pretty good running from the newly invented pistol, even without the read option. And he ended up getting drafted to the NFL in round 5 to Cincinnati. But he got cut his second year to Carson Palmer's brother, Jordon.

In Kap's freshman year, there was still no read option. His first ever start was against Boise State who had a solid defense. Still Kap shredded them for 177 yards rushing (2 TDs) and 243 yards passing (3 TDs). Well, the stats were inflated a bit since that game had 4 overtimes (Boise eventually winning 69-67). Still, Kap's rushing was great considering there were no read option plays, plus it was his first start ever as a freshman. So Kap was still a great runner even without the read option, and he wasn't nearly as fast back then as is his now.

So far as injuries go with the pistol formation or read option, all I can say is that every single offensive play in Kap's career at Nevada was from the pistol formation (maybe just a couple of exceptions). And Nevada ran the read option with Kap from his sophomore to senior year. With all of that, Kap only had a serious injury once, and that was in a bowl game in 2008 where he injured his ankle in the first half. He still played the whole game with the injury, though, and was voted co-MVP. Had it not been the last game of the season, I think Kap would of missed some games and he may of had surgery on the ankle too, but I don't recall. Then again, I don't recall if the injury had anything to do with the read option.

Yes, you can say Nevada didn't face strong defenses in the WAC, but they also played strong teams outside the league games. Plus Boise State always had a very strong defense. And Kap held up pretty well and put up incredible rushing yards, especially considering the WAC teams saw him and the pistol every year and knew what to prepare for.
[ Edited by PineNut on Aug 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM ]
Originally posted by OldJoe:
(made dumb comment ... *Remove*)

lol. Well that makes me curious to know what the comment was.
[ Edited by Imfasterthanur on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:34 PM ]
Originally posted by 24plus25er:
S/N: After a few QBs up with the ball and passes it and a defender STILL hits him after the point and get 15 tacked on to the end of the play coaches will stop this "crush the qb" mentality of the read option.

This......as a response to this tactic, QB's are going to throw their hands up in the air after having handed the ball off, any contact afterwards is going to be a personal foul and will be blatantly obvious. I can see guys like Kaepernick and Wilson setting defenders up for it the same way QB's try to get teams to jump off sides. There's certainly going to be a little....acting involved....but defenses will have no choice but to back off a bit.
Originally posted by fryet:
The issue I have is that it isn't like the defender doesn't know that the QB does not have the ball - he is just looking for a free hit on the QB. Sort of like having 10 guys block the QB on an interception return (also illegal). The defense is basically saying that they can't defend the option, but they will try and knock the QB out of the game if he runs it frequently.

It's an old tactic, it worked well against the Run and Shoot back in the early 90s where the only way to slow those high-flying offenses down was to beat the hell out of both the receivers and the quarterback. However due to various rule changes since then, it isn't going to be nearly as effective and as QB's adjust, the strategy will be markedly less effective, there aren't going to be QB's dropping left and right the way some imagine there might be.
Originally posted by fryet:
Some random thoughts on this:

The Ravens defense in the Super Bowl is going to limit the effectiveness of the read option out of the pistol formation. No one will want their QB hit on every single running play. So to minimize the risk of the hit, they have the QB back pedal. Hopefully that will avoid the hits, but it also takes the QB out as a fake. In the past, we could have CK pretend to keep the ball, and hope to deceive the defenders. Now if he does that, he risks getting hit.

Two, the current defense of the play doesn't sound like something that the NFL should permit. They should be protecting the QB, not allowing the defense to hit him because they don't like the play. Sure, let the defender grab the QB until they can confirm that the player does not have the ball, but a "hit" should not be allowed.



To do what the Ravens did in the Superbow, you need the personnel the Ravens had, not just every defense will have the capability to attack the read option the same way Baltimore did.

As far as back-pedaling, I agree completely, but you're still going to have situations where the QB has handed the ball off but the DE can't stop in time and gets flagged, have that happen a few times and defenses will become tentative, not wanting to draw anymore 15 yard flags as a result of being over-aggressive.