John Madden on the Pistol and Read Zone Offense: "I think they're here to stay."

Scott Halleran

With many media "experts" proclaiming the Pistol offense to be the next Wildcat, John Madden gives solid reasoning why it's here to stay.

SB Nation's own, Ryan Van Bibber, had the chance to talk with John Madden who gave a great interview on concussions, the Pistol and read zone schemes, and some insight on keeping his video game fresh. Check out the full article for Madden 2013, but here's the part that relates to the Redskins and their scheme:

There's still an element out there that sees the read option, sees the pistol as a gimmick akin to the wildcat. Do feel like this is more than a gimmick? Is this a part of the NFL going forward?

Madden: Yeah, I think this is part of the NFL going forward. If you look at it, that's why young quarterbacks can play today. Remember years ago you couldn't play in the NFL and win until you'd been in the league at least five years. That's because pro football was different football. Everything was drop-back pass, three-step, five-step, seven-step, seven-step with a hitch. That took a long time to learn and then ball handling, play-action pass; that's what a pro football quarterback was. That was different from a high school quarterback who was probably running wing-t, and a college quarterback who was probably running some kind of different run offense.

Anyway, the thing is now, everyone is playing the same football. They play the pistol, shotgun, read option in high school, they play it college and they play it in the NFL. So these guys are coming in now, they're rookies, but they're doing the same thing in football that they've been doing for four years of high school, four years of college. They've been doing this for eight or nine years. We're bringing in these young quarterbacks now, we're also bringing in these schemes with them, so I think they're here to stay.

The pistol, I think, is a great thing because it's just a shotgun with the backs behind you so you can still have a running game. I know that that's going to stay. How much running quarterback you use, that'll be the question. Is that here to stay or not? There may be some time when they go after your quarterback and you just say ‘the heck with it.'

It's also annoying to hear how this type of offensive scheme is more dangerous for the Quarterback. All of RGIII's injuries were non-read zone related. Anyway...

Do you think there's a greater risk for injury for quarterbacks that play that style?

They get banged up pretty good in the pocket too. The end of the run is so damn violent. It's not running the ball. It's not even a single hit in the boundary, but when you run and you stay inside and three or four of those guys hit you, that's a pretty violent play.

I think if you can get the guy to the boundary, like Kaepernick did a couple times last week, get on that boundary and just step out of bounds. If you run inside, you better run all the way and make a touchdown, which he did some of that too.

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