Are Chris Palmer and Tennessee Titans Looking to Revive the Run ‘N Shoot?
By Shawn Eagle
When Chris Palmer signed on to be the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans I had visions of the old Jacksonville Jaguars offense with Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, and Mark Brunell floating around in my head. Then, whilst thinking more on the subject, I had visions of the old Run N Shoot Houston Oilers offense bouncing around in my head. Oh the possibilities, the possibilities of an unshackled offense had me drooling. Please let me also say that I don’t expect to see a full on transition to the Run n Shoot. Just a disclaimer.
Let’s start with a little back ground, Chris Palmer was the quarterback’s coach for the above mentioned Run n Shoot Houston Oilers from 1990-92 where he was paired with Run n Shoot guru Kevin Gilbride. He would later work again with Kevin Gilbride as the quarterback’s coach with the New York Giants from 2007-09. Chris Palmer had studied and been involved with the Run n Shoot since it was created in the late 1950’s by Glenn ”Tiger” Ellison, and he really immersed himself in the Run n Shoot philosophies towards the passing game when he was paired with Kevin Gilbride in the early 90’s and a few years ago with the Giants.
Let me touch on a few unique aspects of the Run n Shoot offense that separate it from the Spread offense. First of all the Run n Shoot utilizes many more option routes than the spread offense employed by many teams of today. Many passing plays in a Run n Shoot based offense involve post snap reads by the QB and WR. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the defense and really makes the passing game multi-dimensional even if you’re running plays out of the same formation. The Run N Shoot offense normally employs 4 wide receivers in just a few offensive sets, mainly Doubles or a 2×2 set, 2 WRs on the wek side and two on the strong side and also sets up in a trips formation (3×1). These are all sets that figure prominently in Chris Palmer’s offense. The Run n Shoot traditionally doesn’t employ 5 wide, shotgun formations, or even bunch sets. To me, the beauty of the Run n Shoot has always been the simplicity in the formations but the complexity of the plays based solely on the reaction of the defense.
Now let’s get to why in the world I would even mention the Run n Shoot offense and the Tennessee Titans of 2012. When the Titans drafted Kendall Wright in the 1st round of the 2012 draft many people around Titans nation were shocked (I’ll say that I was a little….but in a good way). People, make no mistake about what this pick means for this offense. Kendall Wright was drafted to add another difference maker to the offense. He can immediately walk into the slot and bring a presence to the position that we haven’t had since the Run n Shoot. I know there were concerns about Wright running a 4.61 at the combine, but he bettered that at his pro day with a 4.45. And truth be told, if he only ran a 4.50, he plays a lot faster. The Titans have shifted philosophies, gone are the days of 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Playing tough defense and kicking a field goal at the end of the game to win it is about to be a very distant memory. With our receiving corp of Britt, Washington, Williams, Hawk, and now Wright we are getting set up to be a very explosive team. Throw in a resurgent CJ, and up and coming Jared Cook and this offense is ready to explode.
The passing game concepts of our offense now directly relate and are influenced by the Run n Shoot of yester year and now we have the skill position players to make it work. We are not a power running team, we have speed to burn at every skill position on offense and this is the season that we will really start to see the opening up of this offense. I simply can’t wait to see this offense in action, especially after a having a full off-season and training camp to get everyone up to speed.
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