News Archives

Chris Ault: New York Giants, Eli Manning Could Run Pistol Offense

January 23rd, 2013 at 2:30 PM
By Dan Benton

'Eli Manning' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: The NFL is a copycat league, and as was the case only a few short years ago, gimmick offenses are all the rage. First it was the wildcat, and now it's the pistol offense that's the "in thing" due to recent success by both the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. And while NFL defenses will undoubtedly catch-up and adjust to these fleet-footed quarterbacks and the schemes that go along with them, everyone wants to believe their team is capable of running such a successful offense.

Alas, not every team could run the pistol offense due to personnel … or could they? Chris Ault, inventor of the pistol formation, believes even the slower quarterbacks could pull it off if done properly. Case in point: Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

"[The Giants] could run the pistol formation," Ault said Tuesday on NFL AM. "They don't need to run the read part of it. When we first put the pistol in, in 2005 and 2006 (at Nevada), that's all we ran. We ran the power, the gaps, the counters, the zones, the outside stuff. We did not run the read at that time. So, the pistol offense, the most important thing there, is you can run any offense you've been running. And this is how we created it, and then we advanced the pistol run game — the read part of it — two years later."

Ault pointed out the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Atlanta Falcons as proof that a non-mobile quarterback could be successful in the pistol offense. Not because Colin Kaepernick is slow – quite the opposite, obviously – but because the Falcons were able to hold him to only 21-yards on the ground, but couldn't stop the power running of Frank Gore. He also points to that as a reason NFL defenses may not be able to adjust to this new-found fad.

Still, when you have a quarterback like Eli Manning who's literally no threat to run, it takes an entire dimension out of the pistol offense. Couple that will Tom Coughlin's old school coaching method, and it's not even a realistic thought to occur in New York. At least not in blue. You can almost guarantee the New York Jets will sign a fleet-of-foot quarterback and give it a try.


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Frank Gore, New York, New York Giants, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers, Tom Coughlin, Washington, Washington Redskins

12 Responses to “Chris Ault: New York Giants, Eli Manning Could Run Pistol Offense”

  1. Giants did run a few plays out of the pistol this year. It might be able to enhance play action game because Manning can look downfield while he fakes the handoff.

    They tried it against washington and got exactly what they wanted with Nicks down the left sideline but it fell incomplete when the defender rapidly closed the gap on a lumbering Nicks.

    I think if Eli likes the looks he is seeing out of the formation, he will get more plays out of it. It’s his offense.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    The base of the Pistol is just a modified shotgun snap. The read option is something that can be attached to the pistol but they are not one in the same. Eli can run the Pistol just like Brady or Peyton could as well. The advantage is that the RB can stand at his same depth he has under center so he can see his running lanes better along with having more running play options.

  3.  rlhjr says:

    Would like to see what Eli running the Pistol would look like. I’ll keep an open mind on the subject……………….

    Just like dealing with head coaches and coordinators. Ask yourself who out there is better than what you have? In most cases the answer is no one.

    Same is true of free agents. And if you want a super star, you’ll pay super star money. And then teach him your system, or change your system to suit him.
    The Giants would not do the latter. they’er interested in a good fit and minimum risk. That is a good thing in the long run.

    Blue is better off building via draft picks. And for an organization not prone to rushing into anything without careful consideration, I can’t see them blowing any additional cash on anything except home grown I.E. drafted talent.
    There may be FA’s, but only stop gap. The Giants will not make a FA “splash” until there are enough funds to do so safely.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree that will be the majority of where our additions do come from. But I do think a free agent addition like Canty, Boley or Rolle is possible. That’s why I’m focused on a CB like Keenan Lewis or a DT like Sammie Hill because they are both only 4 year vets. We can add someone in their prime but that isn’t the big name that can really help our football team. An addition at LB like Dannell Ellerbe would also be along the same lines though he might be pricing himself out of our range with their SB run. I’m not looking for a splash but mearly a good player who can be with us for 4-5 years and still be good.

    •  sonnymooks says:

      I don’t think you’ll see the Giants use the pistol formation more then a handful of times this year at all, its not in Gilbrides DNA, and its not something he is used to. That said, he should, personally, I think its superior to the traditional shotgun as passing formation, with how the running back is positioned.

      The traditional shotgun, limits the runs you can do, while the pistol opens them up (I am NOT talking about the QB running, I mean the runs that the tailback can do).

      You do need to run the ball, and I am a big believer in a ground based attack, I still think that the best Giants team was the year burress shot himself, when we had 2 guys rushing for a 1,000 yards.

      However, people saying the position is devalued or that RBs grow on trees, isn’t an imaginary sentiment, its economics. There happens to be more quality RBs then there are quality QBs (you could even argue there are more quality RBs who can get a 1,000 yards rushing then there are WRs who can get 1,000 yards receiving). THAT pushes down the value of running backs, its supply and demand.

      I can find a 1,000 yard running back a hell of lot easier then I can find a DE that can get 10 sacks, or a stud left tackle.

      I’m not even big on the timing aspect, I do believe in a rushing attack, I think the entire offense operates best when you go ground first and establish that running game, I’d rather have the RBs pile up yards then the QB, I’d love to have FBs that can rush for a 1,000 yards in additon to the HBs. My perfect team would have both the HB and the FB getting a 1,000 yards rushing.

      That doesn’t mean that you can’t make the passing attack more efficient, a pistol formation allows for more running plays and better play actions fakes as opposed to the traditional shotgun formation. I wish the Giants would work on it and practise it, they sure as hell are going to be seeing alot of it on defense. You don’t need a running QB to use it anymore then you need a pass catching HB to use the traditional shotgun. I just like the idea of having more options to attack with, and a stronger and credible diverse running attack, along with a more credible play action passing game.

  4.  shmitty013 says:

    Matt Miller ?@nfldraftscout
    Seeing Lane Johnson mentioned as a RT. Can’t see him having strength to do that. He’s purely a left tackle.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Didn’t he shift to LT from RT? So it’s not like he’s never played there. And of course he’d get stronger once he starts using the NFL’s strength and conditioning program.

      •  shmitty013 says:

        You mean needles? lol. But seriously, I happen to agree with you. I think he can play both, but he’s definitely better suited to the left side and I’m sure he would prefer it too since it would come with a larger contract once his rookie contract ends.

  5.  Samardzija says:

    Not going to pretend like Ive watched a lot of college ball this year as Ive only watched the Irish. But this Dobbs fella from Marshall intrigues me. Thoughts on him?

  6.  G-MenFan says:

    Get ready for the 3rd down Pistol-draw to Bradshaw.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Login with: