Shane Steichen Staples: Passing Out of Pistol Formation

Shane Steichen Staples:
Passing Out of Gun Arrangement

Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen drew up a few curiously pass plays out of gun arrangement in 2023.

The Indianapolis Colts overachieved in 2023, as they barely missed the playoffs with a record of 9-8. A major reason for the Colts’ bounce back this past season was the authority, and the play-calling, of first-year Head Coach Shane Steichen.

Steichen had to bargain with a part of misfortune on offense this past season. His beginning hostile line begun and wrapped up fair two diversions together, he misplaced his youthful beginning quarterback for the year back in week five, and his genius playmaker at running back was restricted to fair 10 diversions played due to damage. Indeed with the consistent issues on offense, the Colts still overseen to score the 10th-most focuses within the NFL in 2023.

Steichen was able to overcome major impediments on offense due to his differences and his plan when calling plays. He may not be on the same level as coaches like Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan, but Steichen mixes in a number of wrinkles to keep protections fair at all times. One of those numerous wrinkles was the pistol arrangement.

Gun is fundamentally a college arrangement that Steichen once in a while utilized in his time with the Philadelphia Hawks and the San Diego Chargers. He joined a part more of it in 2023 (with the assistance of TE Coach Tom Keeping an eye on) due to Anthony Richardson’s nature with the arrangement at the college level. Indeed when Richardson went down with an harm in week five, the arrangement still remained a little portion of the Colts’ offense.

Gun is essentially a run-oriented arrangement but there’s a way to construct a play-action/RPO diversion off of it. The Colts called gun on 79 plays this past season, with 23 of them being pass plays. The group as it were found the middle value of 6.5 yards per endeavor on these plans, but they did have five of their 14 completions go for 15 or more yards. So, whereas gun pass plans weren’t add up to viable in 2023, there were a few chunk picks up to require note of with these play calls.

Play-Action Plans

The Colts cherished their split-zone run designs this past season and this to begin with play-action call nourishes off of that run staple. The Colts are in 11 work force with tight conclusion Drew Ogletree and recipient Josh Downs adjusted within the backfield as wing backs.

Downs plays the part of window dresser on this play, as his pre-snap movement is designed to move with the stream of the run activity to drag protectors out of the middle of the field. The most target is Michael Pittman Jr., who is separated to the posterior of the play fake on a speedy incline course.

The play-action inside opens up the center of the field as Pittman Jr. crosses his defender’s confront for the chunk pick up on first down:

Cheat motion got to be the foremost talked almost wrinkle within the NFL this season, as teams attempted to mimic the victory of the Miami Dolphins’ offense from the past two a long time. The Colts didn’t use this sort of movement all the time, but it about worked to awesome victory on this play-action call against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Colts are in a run-heavy 12 work force see in gun on this play. Recipient Isaiah McKenzie movements over the arrangement (as the deceive movement man) and runs a wheel up the sideline on the play fake. Alec Penetrate runs off the safety and space corner, making a wide open void on the exterior for McKenzie to sit down.

Richardson is somewhat late on this pass, causing it to cruise tall as the security closes in from his profound half. In the event that Richardson would have worked back to the exterior a small bit speedier on this play, this would have been a pleasant chunk play completed to McKenzie on to begin with down.

The foremost effective play-action plan out of gun for the Colts final year was this return screen to the running back. The Colts ran this play on three isolated events, with all three coming about in completions and a add up to of 34 yards picked up.

Running back Jonathan Taylor was the sponsor on two of this screen calls. The one appeared underneath came against the Tennessee Titans, as the ingenious running back is tossed the ball on the posterior of the play with a ton of green grass before him.

This play works due to the Colts’ overwhelming utilization of the run diversion out of gun arrangement. Continually barraging a defense with exterior zone runs from the same see opens up the opportunity for wide open passes like this on the posterior:

The ultimate play-action plan that the Colts hit on out of gun final season was bootleg. This call works the same as an beneath center boot call, fair with less steps for the quarterback to form after the run fake.

The Colts weren’t super successful on these calls final season (Gardner Minshew’s lack of versatility and arm quality harmed them a bit), but this play underneath was a decent completion to Pierce working over the field.

The Colts may certainly stand to expand their boot activity calls from gun going into another season with a more advanced and more athletic player in this spot than Minshew:

The term RPO got to be synonymous with the Colts in 2023, as Indy broke the record for most RPO calls per diversion within the NFL (since they begun following RPOs nearly a decade back). The Colts depended intensely on the RPO diversion to make life less demanding for Minshew this past season, so it makes sense that this call worked its way into gun as well.

This 3rd and one call against the Titans in week 13 was one of the biggest missed openings of the year for Indy. Steichen draws up an absolutely gorgeous RPO play to free up Puncture on the crease course, Minshew fair doesn’t drag the trigger on the wide open lay-up.

It’s difficult to say what went off-base on this play but from a play plan angle, it doesn’t get much better than this. The RPO call created a wide open play, the offense fair fizzled to capitalize on it:

This another RPO is a sweet plan to get a playmaker out in space. Rookie Josh Downs hit the rookie divider late within the season, so the Colts had to find inventive ways to urge the ball back into their playmaker’s hands. This RPO flat call is certainly one way to do that.

The Colts begin this play with Downs within the backfield next to Minshew earlier to the snap. Downs will ordinarily movement out of this see but he remains in there until the snap on this call. As the ball is snapped, Downs crosses the arrangement into the opposite level off of the RPO call.

Penetrate does an fabulous work of picking Downs’ guard, as Downs is able to consistently capture the flat throw and turn up field for a chunk pick up.

The Colts weren’t hyper efficient out of gun this past season, but there were a few passing concepts that hit huge out of these looks in 2023. With Anthony Richardson’s arm ability, and danger as a runner, returning to the offense, the Colts might see to grow upon what worked out of gun in 2024.

Shane Steichen Staples:
Passing Out of Pistol Arrangement

Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen drew up a few curiously pass plays out of gun arrangement in 2023.

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