Quite simply, I truly believe the Ticats need to employ the Piston Formation much more in their offensive play calling.
The pistol offense is an American football formation and strategy partially developed by Chris Ault in 2005 while he was head coach at the University of Nevada. It is a hybrid of the traditional shotgun and single back offenses. In the pistol offense, also commonly referred to as the "pistol formation", the quarterback lines up four yards behind the center, which is much closer than the seven-yard setback in a traditional shotgun formation. The running back then lines up three yards directly behind the quarterback, which is in contrast to the shotgun, where they are beside each other. It is argued that the position of the quarterback in the pistol formation strikes an advantageous compromise: the quarterback is close enough to the line of scrimmage to be able to read the defense, as with run situation sets such as the I Formation, but far enough back to give him extra time and a better vision of the field for passing plays, as in the shotgun. The pistol formation is thus very versatile, particularly if the quarterback himself is a threat to run the ball, which makes it difficult for the defense to correctly anticipate the play. This flexibility is enhanced by the Read Option, where the quarterback reacts to the response of the defensive players to the snap, and makes a rapid decision whether to hand off the ball to the running back, keep it and complete a pass to a downfield receiver, or keep it and run himself.There are a few reasons why I believe the TiCats should employ & emphasize this formation & play-calling set, some of which I've mentioned before in various threads. But I will re-iterate in order to get others' feedback but more importantly, and hopefully, convince current football operations management. (remotely unlikely I realize)
So many times, I see the quarterback handing the ball off while the running back is flat footed. He has no chance. He's flat footed, trying to read the blocking, trying to find the hole, yet he's on his heels only a couple yards from the line of scrimmage. He's dead in the water before it starts.
This formation gives both the running back and the offensive line a decent chance. It allows the running back to receive the ball a little deeper in the backfield allowing him to read the blocks, set up the blocks, and most importantly, hit the hole with momentum and at full speed.
The Pistol or Shotgun I gives you so many options. The quarterback deliver a deep handoff that gives the running back a wide choice of running holes/lanes depending upon blocking. The OLine can execute traps and/or pulls. Or the QB can pitch quickly to the running back for an off tackle run play. He can run an option-pitch play off of it. And once you establish some running off of it, you can execute play action very effectively. Pull the deep handoff and hit the receiver over top of the creeping LB's or the deep pattern because the safety/DB has closed on run support. If and when you establish the pitch option, this will slow down the DE's & keep them from pinning their ears back in pass rush. Have the QB keep the ball off tackle a few times & that'll open up the pitch.
You can still run misdirection like the fly sweeps to Banks/McDuffie. It's a very flexible formation that you can still run a lot of options.
But most importantly to me, is that it allows the running back to receive the ball with his eyes up, momentum forward, reading blocks, and hitting the hole/lane hard and with vision. It lets your OLine set-up blocks. Let's you trap & pull. Let's you run counters.
It allows you to set up play action, which no one in the league respects at this time.
It also uses personnel to the best of their ability. Both CJ Gable & Mossis Madu are more accustomed to receiving the ball deep in the backfield and letting their athletic & football ability produced results. CJ comes from USC, a traditional I formation and shotgun I school. Same for Mossis at OU where they use a lot of traditional I formation & shotgun I & pistol.
This weekend is an excellent opportunity to watch the rest of the teams & see how much they use the pistol/shotgun I. It's the bread and butter of Calgary with Cornish. The Riders use it a lot. Same with Edmonton & BC. You will see all these teams line their QB up about 4 to 5 yards behind centre and the RB about 3-4 yards behind that quite a bit, especially on 1st down. Watch for it and see how successful it is and imagine if Hamilton used, ran & executed that formation more!?!?
And if you have the TiCats games on PVR ... Go back and look at any of the good running plays they've had ... You'll see it comes out of The Pistol many more times than not.
So please ... Please ... PLEASE ... Coach Austin & Condell ... Utilize The Pistol ... much, Much, MUCH More!