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Wed Apr 5 04:23:24 UTC 2006
What does OED have for "shotgun"?
Red Hickey, Who Introduced Shotgun to the N.F.L., Dies at 89
By _RICHARD GOLDSTEIN_
Published: April 3, 2006
Red Hickey, who introduced the spread offense known as the shotgun to the
National Football League while coaching the _San Francisco 49ers_
rs/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in the early 1960's, died Thursday at a
hospice in Aptos, Calif. He was 89.
His death was announced by his son Jeffrey.
Coaching the 49ers from 1959 to early in the 1963 season, Hickey never made
the playoffs, but he left a lasting imprint on strategy.
The 49ers, with a 4-4 record, were practicing at Georgetown University for
their game against the two-time defending champion Baltimore Colts on Nov. 27,
1960, when Hickey called a meeting.
"I asked my players if any of them thought we could beat Baltimore with our
regular offense, and not one hand went up," Hickey told The San Francisco
Chronicle in 2001.
Hoping to cope with a _Colts_
rush led by linemen Art Donovan, Gino Marchetti and Big Daddy Lipscomb, Hickey
scrapped the T formation.
He had his quarterback stand about 5 yards behind the line instead of taking
the snap while under center, and he spread his backs to the sides. That
alignment, drawing on the double wing and short punt formations previously used
in college football, gave the offense an extra second or two to develop a play.
The quarterback could run, hand off to a crisscrossing back or throw.
Their No. 3 quarterback, the rookie Bob Waters, engineered the winning
touchdown on a late pass followed by a lateral after he replaced the injured John
Brodie and Y. A. Tittle. The 49ers upset the Colts, 30-22.
In the locker room, Hickey told reporters that his offense was simply "spread
right and spread left."
But moments later, as he related it to The Chronicle in 2001, he came up with
something more sprightly. "Well, I'm an old country boy, and I used to go
hunting with a shotgun," he said. "How about we call it the shotgun?"
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