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Jim Hart

Georgia Tech and the Run and Shoot

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by , 12-11-2011 at 07:36 AM (21354 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by stylee View Post
So, I've done this before, but I figured it was time for a re-hash and update.
Back on this board after a long absence...I've been lurking here and TOS, but they won't approve me over there.

Two kind of contradictory points I see brought up are:

1) This offense is going to be be on fire when we implement the Run and Shoot part of Johnson's offense!
2) Our passing game is so bad because the Run and Shoot and the spread option are both so time-intensive that they can't be put together in an effective way!

I think both of these are wrong in their own way:

1) We've already put in quite a few of "the Run and Shoot" elements that Johnson runs. You're not going to see anything wildly different as far as what kinds of passing plays we run.

2) The coverage reads required for our mini-Shoot are not very difficult to make.

Run and Shoot plays:


Play breakdown:

X.................LT..LG..C..RG..RT............... ........Z
.................H..........Q............Y........ ..............
..............................B................... ..................

Let's say we're running Switch to the right side.

X: Fly
H: Seam
Y: Rail (read)
Z: Switch, Seam Read.

Y and Z are the fun part here.

Y will rail towards the sideline and read the coverage as he does so.
If the cornerback is sitting deep in a zone there - as he should be in a Cover 3 - the Y will stop and/or look quick for the ball. If the cornerback is staying at home close to the line of scrimmage OR running with Z (Cover 2 and Cover 1/"man", respectively), Y will continue running down the sideline.

Makes sense, right? If the short pass is open, the A-Back is looking for the ball short. If the defender is sitting on the short route, the

Z will "Switch" with Y - he will essentially start his route as the inverse of Y's rail. He's going to rail IN and take his place.
Then he makes a coverage read.

If the safeties are spreading apart and leaving the middle of the field open - as in a Cover 2 - he will break towards the post. If the safety - singular, now, as is likely in a Cover 3/Cover 1 - is sitting in the middle of the field, he will continue on a straight line down the seam.
Alternatively, if that one safety is dropping really deep, the Z will break his route down and stop.

The point of both? Run where they aint!
Very similar to the triple option, right?

Here's an example of it working to perfection:

Notice that both left and right are running the Switch; there's no "backside flys" in the way that I drew it up.

Coverages, complexity:

Does this sound really complicated?
Maybe at first glance, but keep in mind that there are essentially only 3 coverages we'll see - Covers 1, 2, or 3 (though on 3rd and long there's sometimes a Cover 4).
If, before the snap, you see only 1 safety in the middle of the field, it's not going to be Cover 2.
If the ball is snapped and you see two safeties sitting up can't be a Cover 3 or 1!

In the NFL and some of college football, there's a lot of talk about "disguising" coverages. An ostensibly "strong" safety like Troy P. from Pittsburgh might come closer to the line of scrimmage pre-snap...and then bail to a deep half right as the ball is snapped. Boom, Cover 2. (Easier to do when you have Troy P. than Kam Chancellor, obvs)

But teams almost categorically DONT do that to us.
It wouldn't do them much good! You might lose a run defender on what is overwhelmingly likely to be a run play.


Against Georgia, Tevin threw a pick on Switch. He tried to hit one of the A-Backs quickly. Defense was in a Cover 3.
The "flat defender" - SS/OLB, depending on the side - made a great play and got between the ball and the A-Back.
Though saying "we don't throw it enough in practice to allow Tevin to become an accurate passer" might have some soundness, the charge that the play is too complex does not. Good read...poor throw.