The philosophy of the pistol offense can be summarized in five points:
- Spread the field by formation
- Stack the Running Back behind the Quarterback
- Use the Quarterback as a runner (Option)
- Make the defense defend both sides of the formation every play
- Use the quick passing game / screen game to keep defenders out of the box
1. Spread the field by formation
The pistol offense is a an evolution of the shotgun spread offense. The first goal should be to eliminate defenders in the box by spreading out three and four passing threats as tight ends or wide receivers. The defense must adjust to cover those receivers. This takes defenders out of the middle of the formation and makes it easier to run the football.