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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Charlie Weis - Run and Shooter?

Obviously Charlie Weis is not a run and shoot coach, and, having studied some of his New England stuff it does not really resemble much of the run and shoot packages. The more likely theory that his offense is sort of an amalgamation of common and traditional NFL tactics. Do it simple; do it well. Coach Mountjoy has pointed out some of the evolution in his offense that began when Weis coached with current Carolina coordinator Dan Henning, but I am not an expert.

Anyway, though, this quote was interesting from a recent press conference:

Q. Coach, after watching Saturday, this question begs to be asked: Did your career path ever intersect with Mouse Davis?

COACH WEIS: I did visit with Mouse Davis back in South Carolina when we had the run and shoot. We talked to Mouse Davis, we talked to John Jenkins not Father John Jenkins, by the way Mouse Davis, John Jenkins, those run and shoot guys. Yes, we went from the veer to the run and shoot at South Carolina. We spent some time with all of those run and shoot guys.

Q. Was influences of that evident on Saturday?

COACH WEIS: No. What you saw Saturday [ND did a lot of 5 wide stuff and quick three step passes], first of all, run and shoot always has a back in the backfield. It's either a two by two or three by one, which trips are spread; okay, that's number one. And you always have a run element, so empty (backfield) really doesn't come into play.

If you talk about the look passes [the one step hitch] and swings that we throw in the game, that's just an evolvement from check with me(s) that we've been running over the years.


I would not have thought that Weis had been involved with "the shoot," but it isn't susprising that he is well versed in lots of football offense. While studying the Run and shoot won't give you much insight into what Weis is doing now, it's still a sophisticated offense and an understanding of the run and shoot, why it worked so well and for so long, and some of the defensive reactions and reasons why it isn't as popular anymore (though most of the diehard shooters will tell you it is simply from a lack of commitment) is as good an introduction into the passing game and modern football as you're going to get.

Further, the first time I coached on a pass-first team was with a run and shoot squad: I coached receivers, slotbacks, and defensive ends (outside linebackers) on a small squad.

The best run and shoot resources are Al Black's book, listed on the right side of the menu. The chucknduck site has diagrams of the 6 main packages vs. the relevant defenses. Tommy Browder has a website with diagrams and explanations of the tradition R&S pass protection, screen game, etc (note the midi that plays when you go to it, I think that website is or is getting close to 10 years old).

Footnote: the "go" with its "middle read route" has become, in various forms, a staple of nearly every offense, and "the switch" is still maybe one of the most explosive pass plays you can put in. Ironically, the most vivid recent memory I have of "the switch" is that in the Super Bowl that the Rams lost to the Patriots, the Rams' TD that put them ahead to set up Brady (and Weis's) game winning field goal drive was a touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl on, you guessed it, the switch.

1 comment:

Ted C is Me said...

Chris: It will not surprise you to hear that everyone I communicate with about my Wild Bunch offense tells me that the part of the offense that never gets stopped, only sometimes slowed down, is the R&S portion -- Go, Switch, Draw off Go, all the classics.