This simple pistol spread package is dangerous

Your running back won’t tip your hand to the defense and they’ll set their run strength wrong because you’ll just call a play the other way. 

Now, this is just a simple pistol spread package. 

This is something that you’ll be able to whip out in the middle of a game.

Your players will know what to do and the defense won’t.

Sounds good?

Okay, here we go. 

1. The Formation

We’re going to keep it simple with the simple pistol spread and go with Trips here. 

The defense has to adjust to the Trips side and they won’t be able to adjust to the run strength because we aren’t showing one. 

They’ll probably man up the backside receiver and we’ll have plenty of space to run to that side.

2. The Run Game

Just pick one run concept for th simple pistol spread. 

Last year, I chose counter because it’s simple to learn for players if they’re not used to Inside Zone. 

It worked wonders for us. 

Take a look.

We’re going to make it easy for the offensive line

We will ALWAYS run the play at the 3 technique. 


Because the downblock on the 1 technique rather than the 3 technique is easier for your center.

AND you’ll get a nice double team on the 3 technique. 

Your running back will take one step laterally backside and then just follow the pulling guard’s backside until he passes him and hits his head on the goal post. 

Coaching Point: It’s super important to teach your running back to trust the guard. 

If the guard goes inside, you go inside. 

If he takes you outside, go outside. 

Now for the quarterback

He’s going to read the end just like on any zone read you’ve ever seen.

If the end crashes, he keeps. 

If the end stays, he gives. 

Super Simple. 

3. The Pass

Once again, we’re going to keep this really simple.

First, we’re going to run Y-Stick

simple pistol spread stick concept

And we’re going to read that Sam backer I have circled. 

The Read: 

  • If the Sam goes with the flat, throw the stick.
  • If the Sam sits with the stick, throw the flat. 

Easy. Your quarterback will love this play because the completions just rack up. 

I’m also going to give you a nice little tag we like to do that helps protect this play. 

Let’s call it…. F-Stick.

What’s the difference between the picture here and the one for Y-Stick?

Notice the Sam backer. 

Now he’s widened over the Y and we’re not crazy about running a stick route right at the guy. 

So, if this is what you see…

Just call F-Stick and throw inside. 

If you really want to dive into this play, check out this video and this video

Now, let’s talk about the other pass play you need. 


You will notice that we’re attacking the same three spaces on the field as Y-Stick. 

For your quarterback, his eyes will be looking at the same places and he’ll be making the same read. 

For the defense, it’s another play they must prepare for. 

The Read:

  • If the Sam flies out to the flat, hit the snag. 
  • If the Sam sits on the snag, fire to the flat. 

Easy install. Easy read. Easy yards. 

4. Pass Protection

Keep this part super simple. 

We’re only doing quick game, so just do what you usually do. 

I like half sliding away from the first read. 

It’s proven well for me in the past and I’ll keep doing it until it doesn’t. 

If you really want to think about it, check this video out here.

Bur don’t overthink it. Half Slide and move on. 

5. The Screen

When you just want to get the ball to a good wide receiver quickly…

Run the Tunnel Screen. 

You really can tag any three of those wide receivers and just have the other two block. 

It’s that simple. 

Your offensive line will just take off opposite the Trips side.

Your playside guard and tackle will then break off and run to the numbers knocking down anyone in their path. 

Your F and Y will get in front of R and block. 

Have your quarterback play fake if you want, but just rip that ball out to a great athlete and have some fun. 

6. Conclusion

I find that simple wrinkles like the pistol formation are great ways to mess with the defense. 

They are easy installs and you are able to do everything you usually do. 

The trick is to pick your bread and butter plays and then get really good at them.

And that’s it. 

Now you have a wrinkle that will help you Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun

Let me know if you do something similar or different down in the comments!

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