Shotgun or Under Center
So, we are sure you’ve noticed that uncomfortable situation in football where the quarterback gets all cozy with this center whose butt is up in the air, and the quarterback snuggles in behind like they are going to spoon for the night. But, then the quarterback gets even more familiar with the center and puts his hands up under ‘there’ and waits for the center to hike the ball to him. Dang! The only other sport we can think of where guys get that comfortable with each other in public is wrestling.
Well, it really is not as close as it seems and although funny to giggle about like a school girl, its just not that personal.
So, why does a quarterback sometimes position himself ‘under center’ and sometimes he stands back several yards in a ‘shotgun’? Well, the simplest of answers is that under center means the offense will more thank likely run the ball and in a shotgun they will more than likely pass the ball.
But that is REALLY oversimplifying things. To keep the defense guessing, they have to do all types of plays from both formations.
With the quarterback further away from the line of scrimmage, he can see the field better and should make a better decision on where to throw the ball. It also gives his offensive line more room to keep the defense away from him.
Sometimes, while in the shotgun you will see a running back (half back) lined up next to the quarter back as in the diagram below. But sometimes the running back is behind the quarterback. This is still a shotgun but is referred to as a Pistol Offense.