Pistol Triple RPO Offense: A Complete Offensive Systemby Kyle Weisbrodt
The Short Pistol’s snap alignment is the “happy medium” between being under center and the traditional shotgun snap. The depths for the Short Pistol are critical to the success. The quarterback’s heels will be at three yards and the running back, in a three-point stance, will place his hand at five yards from the football. When moving to under center, the running back will move his hand to three yards. The Short Pistol allows the downhill option run game to still attack the line of scrimmage quickly, while also being able to get the football to the Perimeter by incorporating traditional shotgun spread principles.
The geometry created by the offensive line’s splits and the running back’s short pistol alignment creates a lot of stress for the Dive Key. Due to the angles created, the Dive Key has to very aggressive with his close on the running back. This prevents the Dive Key from being able to attack the mesh point and forces him to be very definitive in his intentions and angle of attack.
By using triple option runs and quick passing concepts as the base offense, the offense can easily transition to under center. Being under center helps “weather-proof” the offense and it provides a starting point for Grades 7-9. The “recruiting grades” can focus on the Base Schemes and then can transition to the Short Pistol if or when they are ready.
I have been an offensive coordinator in southwest Ohio for the past 10 years. At every stop, I have run some form of option football. I started with Inside Zone and Power Read, before morphing into the Short Pistol Veer the last four years. Inside and Outside Veer has been very effective. I helped take a 1-19 program to back-to-back conference titles in just two seasons. Veer is a create run scheme. It fits every type of personnel and player. The Short Pistol accomodation is an advantage over traditional option sets in the passing game. Veer allows the offense to be more "weather proof" than spread teams that rely soley on Inside and Outside Zone. Triple option teams can always go under center and not lose any of their offense.