Thursday, April 15, 2010


I want to start my treatment of the Run-N-Shoot by discussing the offense's diachronic (read: historical) development. (Please pardon some of my jargon. Much of my academic research focuses on historical writing as a type of literary event, thus I loath how "history" as a term is conventionally used) Here, in Part I of this section, I will talk a bit about Tiger Ellison's version of the offense. My purpose in doing so is not to provide an in depth account of his offense, but rather to demonstrate why it is really no longer relevant to the Run-N-Shoot as it is currently employed at the major college level.

Without question, Tiger Ellison's Run-n-Shoot was an innovative and dynamic offensive system, especially for its time (although, in some ways, especially in terms of innovation, I would say that what Dutch Meyer did was perhaps even more so). Tiger's version of the offense is predicated upon a four hot environment. And yes, much like what Mouse would later do, Tiger's offense utilized option routes that he packaged into series that would in time provide a very rough template of sorts for Mouse's system. Tiger also used motion, but not really as a means of decoding coverage, but rather because so much of what he created derived from the Wing-T. In many ways, if we were today to compare Tiger's Shoot to one of Tubby Raymond's later Wing-T teams we would find the resemblances striking. The reason for this is that Tiger still wanted to run the football, just not into an 8 man front. He also wanted take full advantage of the misdirection potential that his double-wing formation afforded him, something that Mouse would use only as a way of controlling the edge and preventing a hard end from crashing his protection from the backside.

Tiger's version of the Run-N-Shoot is still an effective offense at certain levels. In this regard, his offense really is like the Wing-T, an offense that is still very effective at the high school and small college level, but whose trap and cross buck run game is no longer feasible at the higher levels due not only to increased speed, but schematic evolution as well.

Clearly, some Run-N-Shoot purists will not be happy with these comments; especially my equating Tiger's offense to the Wing T. But I wish to stress that these comments are not intended to be dismissive; rather, they are simply predicated upon a close analysis of the deep grammar of Tiger's system.

Tomorrow night I will discuss how Mouse modified Tiger's basic structures and how in so doing he laid the foundation for the modern Run-N-Shoot offense.


Dubber said...

I've been checking this blog 3 times a day to seen when Hemlock would get rolling on the run and shoot.

I'm pumped.

Most of the big plays in this version of the run and shoot (and I would add Stewart "Red" Faught brought a lot to the table) was the PAPing game.

That, is in direct difference to Mouse's version.

I agree they are different, enough to be consider seperate offenses....good stuff.

I can't wait until tomorrow night.

mick said...

The problem I see with this post(and many other posts on this site) is that you make a statement "...but whose trap and cross buck run game is no longer feasible at the higher levels due not only to increased speed, but schematic evolution as well." that we are asked to accept as a fact with no proof. The last I checked people in college and the NFL still run trap and other "wing t" plays.

Anonymous said...

It is still very rare to see a wing-t type trap at higher levels. Most of the traps left in the game use influence steps or other type of scheme changes. Also disagree other wing-t plays are in the NFL. Sweep, power, belly and other g schemes are not all plays invented by the wing-t. What makes it different is it is a system with other compliments and faking off it. Some teams use power from an I back set or sweep from I back... just doesn't have the same backfield action as a wing-t scheme. You simply do not see series football like the wing-t at the NFL level.

brophy said...

@mick - "The problem I see with this post(and many other posts on this site) is that you make a statement .... that we are asked to accept as a fact with no proof. "

I'm not sure what you're exactly referring to. Haven't you done the same thing (make a statement without evidence)?

Anonymous said...

Having never seen Tiger Ellison's R&S in action, I don't know how much it is like Mouse's version. I do know from running Red Faught's R&S in college that a lot of the principles are like Tiger's, but what Georgetown College ran was a combination of Faught's R&S, Tempo Wing-T, and the triple option. Faught's R&S is nothing like Mouse's. GC was run first, pap type team. That run was at it's most effective when we ran the triple option. 1991 team averaged 59.5 points a game for 14 games, most of those scores came on the ground or through play-action passes. We pretty much only had 3 passing plays, popcorn, squirrel, and gangster, out of the R&S formation and we pretty much just ran the triple-option. We got you to bite up on the triple and then threw it over your head. Out of the Wing-T there were more tosses, sweeps, powers, and play-action passes. There were entire games where we never got out of a tackle over wing-t formation. We ran everything out of a sugar huddle and tried to snap the ball every 8 seconds. Nobody was really doing the no-huddle thing back then.
I run the Tony Franklin System now, a lot of the idea is the same, hit them quick, spread them out. But with Tony's System I ran into trouble my first few years because I wanted to go down the field too much. I had to learn to keep throwing those fast screens and then start calling plays off it. The fast screens for TFS are like the triple option. They make you spread out and come up defensively to take away a 3-4 yard gain and then you can go over their heads with Hi-Lo.

Anonymous said...

All I really have to say about this, is let Hemlock do his thing.

The Run and Shoot Offense is a very small family of Coaches, many coaches do not have the slightest idea on what the R&S is, it's history or have even studied the offense to gain a COMPLETE understanding.

There is no wisdom without experience........

Not saying this to be rude, but many of you have no clue about the R&S.

To the statement below

"Faught's(Georgetown College)R&S is nothing like Mouse's"

Not True!
plays: Slide, Go, Choice, Switch

were all in that Offense, the names may have been slightly different, as a matter of fact, I think he got many of them from Tiger Ellison's Gangster series, in which Mouse did his thing with......

Hemlock I am sure will do much better explaining all of that.

Anonymous said...

Brophy...don't listen to the negative stuff. This is the best football blog/source of information I've come across. You do a great job. It's my first click in the morning to see whats new. A lot of us appreciate your work.

Anonymous said...

Something I always wanted know when Is using the 3 x 1 formation better than a 2 x 2

I know the advantages of both (as far as plays and I the ablility to cause problems by Isolating a stud to one side and trips to other)

However I don't fully undestand the rational of when to use 3 x 1 or 2x2 other than randomly.

Is this something we can cover on this piece on the rns.

Also maybe towards the end counters to the rns and what can give it problems.

Just suggestions on things I would like to see. I look forward to the rest of the piece on the rns.

Anonymous said...

What is going on? I was so pumped about the R&S.

brophy said...

I believe hemlock has been sidelined due to the recent events in Iceland. Please be patient

Anonymous said...

I am not going anywhere just excited. Hope all is well.