Run and Shoot “Go” Concept

The Run and Shoot is one of my favorite offenses, and I’ve long believed that it still has a lot to teach us, even if it was supposedly “discredited” or is defunct. It’s foundational play was and remains the “Go” concept, which I’ve previously described:

[“Go”] is a “trips” formation play — in the ‘shoot, the concepts are typically designed around whether you are in “doubles” (two receivers to each side) or trips, three to one side and a single receiver on the other. The routes are fairly simple. The outside man to the trips side runs a mandatory “go” or “streak” — he releases outside and takes his man deep. It’s important that the receiver take a “mandatory outside release” — i.e. if the corner is rolled up and tries to force the receiver inside, he still must do all he can to release outside and get up the sideline. This is imperative for many reasons, among them to keep the near safety stretched and to widen the defenders to open the flat route.)

The middle slot runs the seam read, outlined above. The inside receiver runs a quick flat or “sweep” route: he takes a jab step upfield and then rolls his route to five yards in the flat. An important coaching point is that this player must come right off the seam reader’s hip; you’re looking for a rub against man to man.

On the backside, the receiver runs a streak but if he cannot beat the defender deep, he will stop at 15-16 yards and come back down the line of his route to the outside. The runningback is usually in the protection, but if not needed, he will leak out to the weakside.

The quarterback’s read begins with the near safety: where is he? Tied up in this is what kind of coverage are they playing on the outside receiver? If there is no safety help on him, he can throw the ball to that guy one on one deep. But that’s considered a “peek” or “alert” (in Bill Walsh’s terminology): it’s a deep route you will throw if it is there but otherwise immediately eliminate it and work with the normal progression.

The quarterback’s key of the near safety tells him what he’s looking for. If he plays up he’s throwing off him: if he takes the seam receiver, he throws the flat, if he takes the flat, he throws the seam. In any event, you usually tell the QB: “throw the seam, unless . . .”

Understandingthetrickeration has a good new post on the “Go,” along with the above video cut-ups of the classic concept.

And, after the jump, June Jones also explains the “Go” concept.

Read the full run and shoot series here. Finally, check out this great clip of the Jim Kelly/Jack Pardee/Mouse Davis/John Jenkins USFL Houston Gamblers:

  • Pierce Lively

    I really respect the work you do here and just want to let you know I appreciate that you have been linking to my blog lately (Understanding the Trickeration).  My blog is just a side project during college so it means a lot to me to have it be linked by such a knowledgeable an successful writer.

  • Andy Mack

    I love run and shoot stuff! That and west coast passing, its all about making people wrong rather than being bigger, faster, stronger.

  • Oiler

    When Mouse Davis was last a coordinator with Jerry Glanville and Portland State, in their first year there they had one game where they lost 73-68. As has been noted on Smart Football before that Portland State team was as close to a “pure” R&S with the half rolls and so forth. 

    Hawaii last year did the pistol, but the running game looked an awful lot like the old Oiler, Falcon, Lion R&S. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m kind of lukewarm on the pistol for teams not named Nevada, but I think it makes a lot of sense for the Run and Shoot and is a real weapon for them and lets them get back to basics on some things.

  • Oiler

    As for R&S teams, I have not been impressed with evolution of June Jones’ operation at SMU. It seems more conventional and to quote Jones from a clinic he did in Abilene at McMurry University and Hal Mumme in 2010:
     “He said his idea was 33 percent run-and-shoot, which the Gamblers made famous; 33 percent Bills offensive coordinator Ted Marchibroda’s 3 wides and a tight end; and 33 percent Bill Walsh’s trend-setting West Coast offensive scheme.” I don’t think this evolution has served him well. They are less explosive than his Hawaii teams though you could see them trending this way at Hawaii. Admittedly, his quarterbacks, especially Padron, have been inconsistent, and more damning, slow to make decisions. When Moon, George, Klingler, Ware, and Brennan were really throwing it, they made quick decisions.  

  • Anonymous

    I tend to agree, though I also think a lot of it is June dealing with the QB he has. When he got there he tried to throw his way through it and his first quarterback literally could not stop throwing interceptions.

    Those Marchibroda/Bills teams were great though. The run game was lots of gun/inside zone (Thurman Thomas had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage for several seasons there), while the pass game was R&S concepts and/or packaged “beaters” to each side based on the coverage. They were one of the first teams that I know of that really focused on that.

  • Dwpagliari

    Can anyone tell me when mouse davis and jerry glanville actually met and became friends??

  • Paul Meisel

    I don’t know, but it seems logical to me that during the late 80s and early 90s when both were NFL assistant coaches they would have run across each other sometime.  They weren’t on the Falcons staff at the same time, though, Jerry was there 90-93 and Mouse was there 94-95.

  • Dwpagliari

    Im wondering if they met thru mutual friend June Jones.  After the Houston Gamblers, Glanville brought Jones to his Oilers then to the Falcons.  

    Or was Glanville brought to Jones by Mouse?