K Gunning?

This email came into today from Brett at Midway Illustrated:

There was a  Chicago Bears related question recently in the Sun Times and how the Bears’ new offense is a variation of the Air Coryell offense, followed by a question about the Colts offense and what type of offense they have run under Tom Moore.  I did a google search on it and came up with the K-Gun offense as the primary type of offense the Colts run.
Just wanted to get some quick information from you guys on what type of offense the Colts run etc.
It occurred to me after reading this that I had never really heard anyone describe what kind of offense the Colts run in terms of other systems.  I’m going to admit that my own knowledge of historic NFL offensive systems is quite limited.  While there has never been an offense quite like the one the Colts run, I’m also smart enough to know that everything has roots in something else. In doing more research on the issue, I think it’s safe to say that the Colts offense is fundamentally different from anything run before, but you can see where the pieces were assembled from.
First, let’s describe the Colts offense:
  • Complete control by the quarterback to change any play
  • The ability to hurry up all the time.  However, the Colts don’t run a true hurry up, because they often use the entire play clock.  It’s a no huddle, but NOT a hurry up.
  • Little or no motion at the line
  • The ability to run every play out of one formation
  • Multiple option routes to be run based on coverage
  • A vertical orientation with horizontal elements
  • Zone blocking and stretch action for the run game to force the defense east and west
  • Play action to set up deep passing
  • Heavy use of the running back as a pass catching option
  • Now, the route option aspect is similar to the Run and Shoot.  The quarterback control is classic K-gun; the vertical option is sort of similar to Coryell offenses; the Colts use their running backs in a West Coast kind of way, ect.

    What makes the Colts’ offense different is the hybridization of all of them, with ultimate control placed in the hands of the quarterback who has freedom to operate without a huddle.  It’s safe to say that the Manning/Moore offense is a unique entry in the catalog of NFL offenses.  Whether it can ever be duplicated, I’m not sure.  It has been so uniquely fit to the talents and preferences of Peyton Manning that I doubt it will ever become heavily duplicated.

    So do the Colts run the K-Gun?  Only if by K-Gun you mean no huddle.

    They run the Manning/Moore offense.  There’s nothing else quite like it.