Pistol formation in Six-Man

we have run it with mixed success. Some modifications will need to be made for us to run it successfully in the future
So I'll bite on how to adapt the pistol to 6-man?

At camp last summer we were taught a dead ball snap that is perfect for this kind of offense. Real easy to teach and doesn't take alot of skill just practice.

I keep wondering if the full back should be off-set to the weak side or directly behind the QB? Seems to be some advantages to both.

I'm having a tough time figuring how to make an outside bubble screen work without pulling a lineman to block for the back thats split out. Any ideas? I keep thinking about having the center pull when we are up against a 2-3. Normally wouldn't even consider having the center pull for fear of mucking up the snap, but these are a slow developing play. That center might just be able to get out and block that Outside linebacker or safety while the QB is faking to the full back who will fill for the center. A quick short pass and we have a ball carrier outside the permitter of the defense with a blocker...?

Just rambling mostly, but the field has a foot of snow on it and the boys are gone for a round ball game tonight.
in regards to the bubble screen you could split out a player and keep him on the line of scrimmage then have a true slot receiver to run the bubble keeps you from having to pull someone, and if you go the play fake route the RB would after the fake just fill in the whole where there used to be a lineman.

I THINK the pistol could work if like anything else you fully commit to it. I think instead of having a fullback next to or near the QB having him closer to the line of scrimmage somewhat like a wingback formation that way you could motion him in and out of the formation as a receiver or to strengthen the power on a running play but just some thoughts
We ran a fair amount of pistol offence this year. Most of our success came lining up the FB as a wingback, we could run a straight dive or treat the FB like a pulling guard and run power to our weak side. Thats how we set up our bubble screen, the FB would pull like he's going to lead the power, bubble out, the end would take the OLB/Safety and the RB would fake receiving the handoff and pick up the DE, our fullback was a great athlete and getting him in space with a blocker was a lights out play for us all year.
Hot Springs High School in Montana has an excellent Pistol Offense. They won the State Championship this year 77-0 and easily dominated competition all season (reference MaxPreps for scores). They used to be co-oped with a neighboring town that was bigger and they used the Pistol formation as an 11 man offense. After they split off two years ago their coach modified it to fit the 6 man game. It helps to have a lot of good athletes but they never used a true fullback. They always had two lineman, the so called fullback would be slot to the same side as the tight end and the opposite end would be split out so as to spread the defense and utilize their speed. There is infinite options for plays out of it. If anyone would like to see film on it just let me know and I can send it down. Like the earlier comment, I think you have to commit to using it 90% of the time for it to be successful, like Hot Springs did.
I'm in the same conference as Hot Springs and have coached against this "pistol" offense the past 2 yrs ( I always refered to it at the Hot Springs spread, but it might actually be closer to the pistol now that you mention it). This offense has given all of us fits and the coach up there has done some awesome things with it. They will run with it as often as throwing, and with Mike Grey as their running back if he got into the open field it was going to go for 6. If you rush them hard the tight end (David Cross) just pops out to a pass pattern and the QB drops a quick pass to him.

It is a good offense, but Hot Springs has had 2 college level players (Cross and Mike Grey)the last couple of years to make it work as well. As good as their offense is their defense is even tougher. David Cross was a monster at end. He could rush a spreadback as single rusher, defeat a blocker or even 2, and get to the passer before your QB had chance to get set. The most effective offense I saw against them actually ran sweep right at Cross with the end and fullback instructed to double-team Cross. One of the Grey boys (yep, there are 2 of them) usually played OLB opposite of Cross.
How can I get a hold of the Coach from Hot Springs? I'd love to talk about this pistol with him 6-man style. I just started 6-man this past year and have ran the pistol in 11-man prior too and have had a few things that I was able to do but would love to see and talk to him about it.
C.W. Williams ran a wing spread years ago that was very difficult to defend.

Not exactly the Pistol. He ran it at Zephyr for a number of years and was at Covington with Blue Willis as the Pitch Back.

He had two variations. First, was with two split ends a wing back (really a slot back) a short QB at 4-5 yards and a Pitch Back 3-4 yards behind the QB and offset behind the wing back.

The second variation brought the ends in tight, but, with the same wing back, QB and pitch back set.

His concepts could be adapted and used in a Pistol formation, with a Split end, Center, Tight End, Wing Back and Tail Back. The Pistol would add the dive to his already very effective offense. Here is one of my favorite plays, Pitch, 2, 7, cross block, line. Pitch to the Pitch Back, 2 and 7 was an in route by the LE and Post by the RE. The Cross block was by the wing back, who would hit the rushing DE and run a line toward the sideline. The Pitch back would read wing backs route and if covered had the option to run or hit any of the other receivers. for this play the Center had the option to find any open area down the middle and was often left open.

I learned the entire offense directly from him and plan to use it when I return to coaching sixman FB in 2018 when I retire from the Army and will incorporate this pistol option with the dive, etc.

I currently live just SE of Dallas in Combine, Tx and C.W. lives in Walnut Springs if any coaches new to Sixman FB in the area are interested in learning his Xs and Os.
@ shootthrees: Could you send that to me drawn up by chance. Still fairly new and trying to understand your terminology. Thank you.
I imagine it would look something like this in a base set.


You could place that receiver next to the center or on the other side as well that diagram is strictly an idea
I tried to share three different file formats by PM, if anyone, including mgutoski, wants copies of C.W. William's Wing Spread Offense as I recreate it in excel from my memory at Covington and his '94 Zephyr Playbook, email me at shootthrees at yahoo dot com
The pistol can be used in any number of ways. In a power set, having the QB, and H, wing being to his side either right or left. You can fake the FB dive, and run lead. Run a toss to either side with 2 lead blockers, the FB, and the QB if he is quick enough. Not to mention the lead option, screens, or a roll option. You could have an entire offense based out of the pistol if you take the time to draw it up. A team that has speed will give a DC nightmares trying to find a way to match up.
The last two years I was at Summit Christian Academy we ran quite a bit out of the pistol. I spent time studying Gus Malzahn plus other six-man offenses and came up with an offense that fit our personnel and we had a great deal of success.




This is a main formation for us but we would also move the SB to align behind the WB or offset away from the QB.

I am interested in seeing what Hot Springs did with this set.....You said you had video.....I would like to see some or maybe even a playbook if you have it.....Let me know here on the board or by email [email protected] or phone 254-413-1888 call or text....Thanks

Coach Davis
Moran ISD