Cardinals may use shotgun formation exclusively or close to it


The infiltration of the college offense into the pro game continues, and that likely will result in another franchise embracing shotgun formation, most if not all of the time.

As Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic explains it, the Cardinals are expected to rarely put quarterback Kyler Murray under center.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury initially was coy on the topic, but it became clear that he’s got no qualms about a shotgun-heavy approach.

Asked this week whether the team may spend 90 percent or more of its time with the center snapping the ball through the air to the quarterback, Kingsbury said, “I’m not sure.” He then elaborated in a way that suggested he is sure.

“That’s another thing we’re working through, to see what the best balance for us is,” Kingsbury said. “Last year, Kansas City was 80 percent-plus. They were decent on offense. Pretty good. So, we’ll see. Whatever fits our team best is what we’re going to do.”

What fits the team best is shotgun formation. It’s what Kingsbury used at Texas Tech, and it’s what Murray used at Oklahoma.

And it’s what Kingbury believes in. Here’s his answer when asked about the advantages and disadvantages of shotgun: “I’ve never seen disadvantages. Some people say there are. I don’t. . . . Some other people have theories about it, but I think you can do everything just as well from shotgun as you can under center.”

Kingsbury sees plenty of advantages to shotgun formation.

“It just eliminates having to get away from the center,” he said. “Those are big guys pushing back in your face right away. So you’re seeing a clearer picture sooner. Whereas when you’re under center, it takes a while to see the field and see that clear picture. To me, you’re able to see it clearer pre-snap and post-snap.”

To me, it’s becoming clearer that the Cardinals’ ratio of shotgun formation will be much higher than 80 percent.

38 responses to “Cardinals may use shotgun formation exclusively or close to it

  1. That tells me the Cards have no faith in the OL protecting – this will end badly for Murray & QB’s like him (L.Jackson) that are small & “mobile” – one big hit away from IR!

  2. I’d probably put him under center. That’s probably the only time he’ll have a clear view of the secondary, and he’ll be able to see where the safety goes as soon as the ball is snapped. From the shot-gun, your eyes are on the ball, and by the time he catches it, the linemen will be upright and his view will be blocked. He’s super quick, and can jump sideways to get a better view, but I’ve seen his receivers break open and he just couldn’t see it. In college he had more time to run around. In the NFL, they’re faster and they hit harder. Hey, maybe they can position the Jumbotron so that he can see the secondary.

  3. I remember when June Jones ran the chuck and duck in Atlanta. It was so successful Atlanta traded Brett Favre to Green bay. Atlanta won a Super Bowl and Jeff George went on to become a hall of fame QB. Wait…

  4. It’s not that crazy, that’s what these guys have been doing their entire life in most cases. The HS and college game doesn’t have many offenses that are traditional pro style.

  5. There’s no time for teaching in the pros. The quarterbacks coming out of school aren’t necessarily “pro ready” anymore, so teams have decided to just do what worked best for them in college.

  6. 4evrnyt says:

    Bill Walsh hated the shotgun formation.

    No he didn’t.

  7. Tom Landry dusted resurrected the shotgun and made it a passing formation.

  8. So Johnny come lately knows more than say a 100 years of football coaches. It can make you very 1 dimensional pretty quickly and what happens when you go to a loud stadium and you need to communicate it is much harder to communicate the protections to the offensive line.

  9. Can we just go ahead and fire the coach and GM now? This is going to be a train wreck…

  10. I get it the dude is barely 5’10.
    But that doesn’t mean HE HAS To take snaps from gun. Look at what Russell Wilson does. Same with Brees.
    Alot of bootleg and playaction heavy where he uses that athelticisim to his advantage.

  11. Do you remember when the Chargers told everyone they were going to use 7 defensive backs against the Patiots in the playoffs and they got steam rolled. This is kinda like that. People love to tell on themselves.

  12. That’s because they traded away their only real quarterback. They are essentially using a wildcat formation on every snap.

  13. You do know that the shotgun has been used in the NFL forever right? Not sure this is an infusion of college as much as adjusting to the speed of the D players. What is archaic is judging a QB based on an anachronistic idea of pocket QB.

  14. finfansince68 says:
    May 25, 2019 at 3:04 pm
    one big hit away from IR!
    Everyone is one hit away from IR..duh. Doesn’t matter how big, small, fast or strong you are. But trying to do logic for a dolfails fan must be hard.

  15. I mean it worked really well for him going up against those stacked Big12 defenses while at Texas Tech as his record there clearly shows. Should carry over well to the NFL with zero problems.

  16. Kind of limits their options. Murray, given that he’s inexperienced and the system he came from, is limited at presnap reads which is what being under center allows the QB to do. Peyton Manning ran so much of his offense under center specifically for that purpose. We see Brady do it all the time. It’s done so the QB can do his presnap adjustments before he gets into his drop so he can timing routes without the defense being able to read his eyes while goes through his progressions. Plus the linemen are all down of course so he can see better.

    Arizona is going to need some good possession receivers who can make contested catches if their QB is going to have to wait in the pocket for them to get open instead of using as many timing routes to beat the defense presnap. As a side note, someone pointed the Chargers giving away their gameplan last year-that was a little different because they had injuries at LB that forced them into that look. The league knew that going in, so they were giving much away by saying that, no matter who they played, so they didn’t have much choice. The point still stands that giving your formula away beforehand is still pretty dumb when you can avoid it.

    Really I wonder also how this affects their inside run game. Running from the shotgun can adversely affect a lot of backs who use that extra head of steam when the handoff comes from under center. I think that will really limit their offense, along with the timing routes.

  17. I’m in total shock, dis beleif that they would actually try to mirror what KC and other teams with mobile QB’s are doing. Gee I swear they drafted this new guy to be a drop back stand in the pocket guy to rifle the ball. NOT

  18. There are a few reasons that Walsh did not care for the shotgun formation:

    1. The drop back from center was an exercise in synchronizing the QB’s feet with the progression of the routes. I’ve heard Steve Young describe it as a metronome for timing. Without the steps int he drop back a QB can only rely on their experience and internal timing (which is okay if you’re a very experienced QB like Brady)…or you run simple routes combinations that do not require tightly coordinated timing.

    2. The Shotgun formation briefly forces the QB to take their eyes off of the defense because they have to see the ball go into their hands. One of the things a drop back QB does is “read the box” (the middle of the field linebackers and safeties) as they are dropping back.

    3. Shotgun formation generally gives the defense the intention of the offense to pass the ball. This is less of an issue these days if the offense runs typical running plays from a formation like the Pistol. In the old days most of the runs out of shotgun were draw plays. But if the formation in anyway tips off the defense, you give them an advantage.

  19. Overwhelmingly one dimensional, DCs are going to figure this out quick and the Cards will be picking first again next year….

  20. The shotgun formation changed the game after Y. A. Tittle used it for the first time playing for the 49ers in the 1950s. That team also introduced the “West Coast offense” in the 1980s coached by Bill Walsh. Eddie LaBarron was shorter than Kyler Murray and played successfully for years when pro football allowed mugging the QB. Height means something in basketball and even there shorter guys excell. Let’s watch first and then form opinions.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.