Home Football Strategies Gun Bunch Formation Breakdown

Gun Bunch Formation Breakdown


What is the Gun Bunch formation? The Gun Bunch is a 3×1 formation that has a group of three receivers that are clustered tight on the same side of the field. There is one lone receiver that is lined up on the backside of the formation, who generally lines up out wide.

Note: the following breakdown is taken from the Gridiron Guide 13.

gun bunch wk Gun Bunch Formation Breakdown

The running back lines up to the left of the quarterback. The quarterback lines up about 5 yards off the line of scrimmage and behind the center. By grouping or bunching three receivers in one area, it forces an offensive overload.

Gun Bunch Advantages You Need To Know

There are plenty of advantages to run the Gun Bunch Attack. Below we list several of the key advantages.

Compressing the Formation

By compressing the formation, it creates spacing for the receivers to get open when running outside pass routes. For example, if the flanker was to run a quick out route while lined up wide, he wouldn’t have as much room to work once he makes a cut towards the side line. By having the flanker lined up tight, he has more room to run his quick out route once he breaks towards the side line.

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A good example of a play found in the Gun Bunch formation that allows the slot receiver more room to run his pass route is the Bunch Sail. Notice in the image above, the slot receiver runs a corner route. With him lining up tighter, he has more room to run his corner route towards the right sideline.

Creates Spacing on Outside Pass Routes

Another reason we like to run the Gun Bunch by compressing it is that it creates spacing for the receivers to get open when running outside pass routes. For example, there are several plays where the tight end runs a shoot (flat) route. By having the slot and flanker lined up tight, the tight end runs his route behind them. This allows him to get off the line of scrimmage without being jammed.

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The Gun Bunch – Stick has the tight end running a shoot route to the right. If bump-n-run man coverage is called, he won’t be jammed at the line of scrimmage.

Beats Man Coverage

There are several plays in the Gun Bunch formation that can be used to attack man coverage by creating natural picks and rubs.

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A good example would be the Gun Bunch – Inside Cross. The running back and flanker will cross each other at some point over the short middle of the field. This creates a  natural pick or run, allowing at least one of them to get open.

Another key to these types of plays being successful is that the receiver must have speed and acceleration to gain separation once the pick or rub happens.

Plenty of Zone Beaters

The Gun Bunch formation has a good amount of passing concepts that do an excellent job at attacking zone coverage and create 2 on 3 isolations. When we say 2 on 3 isolations, we mean there are 3 receivers in area with only two defenders.

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There are also plenty of high-low oncepts making it very easy to determine which receiver is open based on how the defender plays his zone coverage responsibility such as the Trail concept.

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The Gun Bunch formation has a few 3 level stretch plays to attack zone coverage at three different levels of the field. The Gun Bunch Trail is an excellent example of a 3 level stretch play found in the Gun Bunch formation.

Use of Motion

Several of the plays we show in the guide, send the flanker in motion.  The reason we do this get the flanker off the line of scrimmage, without being jammed at the line of scrimmage, if bump-n-run man coverage is called. We also do this as another way to tell if man or zone coverage is called. One last reason we do this is because there are few plays we like to run against zone coverage that helps create more spacing to either get the flanker receiver open or another receiver open.

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We like to send the flanker in motion to the outside such as shown in the image above. By doing this, we are able to make many of our plays look the same at create a high power offensive scheme out of the Gun Bunch formation.

Inside Motion

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We also like to motion the flanker inside and snap the ball when he gets behind the inside slot receiver.

Practice Makes For Perfection

Many top players lab hours at a time to master their craft. This is why many coaches drill for perfection. Coach Bill Walsh believed in practice and scripting plays. He felt that when you practice and script your plays, it gives you the advantage during the game. He used practice for every possible situation. He also had a list of plays for every situation. This way, during the game there was no stress at all. Scripting your plays allows for easier adjustments. Once the defense shows you how they intend on countering your plays, you can make adjustments when you use that play again. The benefits for using the Compression are endless and is great offensive scheme to use in Madden and other football games.

Backside Threat

The Compression also allows you to have easier pre-snap reads and makes your progressions simpler. By having everyone on one side with a backside threat it allows you to make quick and easy reads. There are several of the plays we breakdown where we look to throw to the backside receiver by creating 1 on 1 situations to throw him the ball.

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Quick Passing Game

One of the key reasons we are a big fan of the Gun Bunch formation is the ability to run quick passing plays that are high percentage. Not only are they high percentage, but if our opponent likes to blitz, quick passes allows us to beat their over aggressiveness rather easily as long as the correct reads are made.

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For example if your opponent has been calling several Cover 3 blitz schemes, the flat area is generally exposed for a quick pass to the tight end running a shoot route.

Beating the Blitz

By placing the quarterback 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, it allows us more time to find the open receiver if our opponent calls a blitz. By running the Gun Bunch Attack, we are able to force the defense to adjust to us, rather than adjusting to them. On defense a form of applying pressure is using overloads. This forces the offense to have account for every defender coming in. The goal here is for the defense to get a defender in because someone wasn’t accounted for. While the defense can send more than we can block, we can use that same scheme on offense. We want them to have to account for everyone. When we run our overloads we’re working for an uncovered WR. This overload attacks zones, man, man/zone, and extreme heat (pressure from blitzing).

Many of the Same Gun Bunch Plays Can Be Found in the Singleback Bunch

For those of you who prefer the Singleback Bunch over the Gun Bunch formation, you will find that many of the same plays shown in the Gun Bunch Attack 12 guide can also be found in the Singleback Bunch. The only difference is the quarterback lines up behind center, and the runningback lines up behind the quarterback. The plays themselves can be run the same way under center as we show in the guide.

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For example, the played called Singleback Bunch – Spacing can run the exact same way as we show the Gun Bunch – Spacing be run in the Gun Bunch Attack 12 guide.

Audible Back and Fourth between the Gun Bunch and Singleback Bunch

Because these two formations use the same personal groupings and many of the same plays, it’s very easy to audible back and fourth between the two. This will keep your opponent off-balance. Plus there a few more run plays to be called while lined up in the Singleback Bunch formation.

Singleback Bunch

Gun Bunch

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What is Un-covered WR Theory?

It is very important that you hit any un-covered WR regardless of the gain. The purpose of this is because many people will freeze there defense or brings pressure and leave someone open. You want to throw to that opponent receiver and make make your opponent pay. The reason for this is that you want to them to account for every single person on the field. Many people laugh and say hitting the flats is for bums. Yeah okay. If you leave them open I will set you on fire. You must abuse them when they leave someone because it loosen up there defense. They can’t sit on one particular person because you’re spreading it out. When you start locking on to one guy you’re killing the offense and you game. Keep in mind, in the videos we don’t always throw to the first un-covered receiver because we want to show the other receiver that may also be open.

Gun Bunch Attack Disadvantages You Need To Know

When running any scheme/system you have some good points and some draw backs. The focus here is to understand that the Gun Bunch Attack isn’t a quick fix! When running any system you have to work on the weaknesses of your scheme to strengthen your system. The Gun Bunch Attack is no different as it does a have a few weaknesses.

Chance of a High Snap to the Quarterback

In this year’s game, there is a good chance of a high snap happening any time the quarterback lines up in any Gun formation. If a high snap happens, it can take away the quick pass or mess up the timing of the pass routes.

Limited Amount of Run Plays

For those players who like the run the ball, the Gun Bunch Attack may not be for you as there is a limited amount of run plays to call. In the Gun Bunch Attack Guide, we cover the ones we like to run. To keep the defense off-balanced, the offense must run the ball from the Gun Bunch formation, even if it means having little success. By running the ball, it at least make the defense respect the threat of the run.

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  1. Your headlining diagram is only showing 10 Players, missing the TE on the wing.

    The rest of the diagrams have it corrected, showing your Y shoot to the flat.

    Just thought I’d let you know.


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