TB in pistol or offset in Shotgun?

Here is an email that I replied to:

On 2015-11-06 05:07, Kevin Schelb wrote:
Coach Stewart,

This past year our QB was one of our most dynamic players and we really made some efforts to feature him running the ball by getting into the gun. We ran we QB Belly, QB Down, QB Bucksweep, and a QB Counter after Bucksweep fake (riding it in front). This was all with his toes at 4 yards with the TB off-set beside him.

He is one of our two most explosive players so we are tinkering with the idea of removing him from center full time to always present the threat of him running the ball. I know one you’ve talked about one of the advantages of the pistol is being able to run option concepts but that isn’t something that we want to get too far into (he’s a great athlete but asking him to read things is not always the most advantageous action for us). If we have his toes at 3 yards will have have the room to be able to run those plays we ran this year or will they not time up very well because of how close he is to the LOS?

I’ve also thought about keeping his toes at 4 yards and the TB at 5.5 and see if there is anything with that?

Thanks coach.

Kevin Schelb
Allen East HS
Sophomore & 8th Grade History
OC & OL Coach.


I am a firm believer that your TB has to be behind the QB in a Pistol alignment to take away defensive strength calls. From the pistol you can literally run EVERY play, but with him offset….there plays that get eliminated.

Many of my client’s QB’s have drifted to 4 yards with not noticeable difference. My reasoning for trying to keep him at 3 is TIME and ERROR. Obviously the ball gets in his hands quicker at 3 so now the play can hit faster as well as the QB can start hiding the ball. Also, by putting him at 3, the wings do not have to adjust because the 4 yd landmark that they use for motions is still valid.

In regards to error, it is simple mathematics. The closer the QB is to the center, the less chance you have of bad snaps.

In regards to not letting him make post-snap reads, you could still run these plays and let your pressbox guy make the read for you….but I am convinced that if you let him make a few reads that he will suprise you. I have been flown in to over 30 schools and NOT ONE QB has struggled with making the read. It is suprisingly easy…and I only have 2 days to teach it

I am assuming you are just direct snapping and he follows the TB into the b-gap. So there is no deception or putting defense in conflict. If you put the TB in Pistol, let your QB ride the belly fake and then do 1 of 2 things: pull it and follow the TB into the hole (Espanola HS in New Mexico is leading the state in rushing with a QB doing this). Pull it and run belly option with the motion man.

If you don’t want to pitch it, change your motion to flat Jet motion. The motion man becomes a lead blocker if the QB pulls it and decides to run around the edge.

Same thoughts as Belly.

Couple of thoughts here: Run this with flat Jet motion one way, then bucksweep in opposite direction. TB can run guard trap fake up middle or become a lead blocker. Could also fake buck to the split end flank (wing+both guards pull right) and QB reads the backside 3-tech. if 3-tech chases pulling guard, QB follows TB & LT up into the 5 hole. TE drives End up field and outside.

Same concept as QB Buck. Fake Jet to wing in motion. Pulling tackle kicks out. QB follows pulling TE and TB up into the hole. I would not always want to follow the TB up into the hole since this draws a crowd…so I would mix in the TB faking the lead block for the Jet motion guy. Or pull nobody…Just fake Jet one way and only the TB lead blocks for the QB in the backside hole.


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