The Kansas City Chiefs only connection to the pistol offense comes through Tyler Thigpen, but that could soon be changing. According to a report, Andy Reid and the KC Chiefs have hired Chris Ault, former Nevada head coach, as a consultant.
Chris Ault's agent, Bob LaMonte, confirms Ault has agreed to a consultant position with the Chiefs. Details to come.— Dan Hinxman (@danhinxmanRGJ) May 13, 2013
Chirs Ault's agent, Bob LaMonte, said Packers, Ravens and Vikings also stepped up with offers, but Chiefs was the best one for Ault.— Dan Hinxman (@danhinxmanRGJ) May 13, 2013
If you're familiar with that name it's likely because of stories last year about Ault's former Nevada quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Ault is famous for the pistol offense, which is basically a tweak to the shotgun offense. Coincidentally (or not?), Alex Smith was with Kaepernick last year.
The Chiefs this offseason also hired Brad Childress as "spread game analyst". I barely know what that title means. Now the father of the pistol offense is hired as a consultant. What's going on at Arrowhead?
Ault said he doesn't know yet if Andy Reid wants him more to help run the Pistol offense or help his defense try to stop it.— Dan Hinxman (@danhinxmanRGJ) May 13, 2013
Remember that it's also possible that Childress and Ault have been hired to help figure out how to defend those types of offenses. It doesn't mean Alex Smith is now Colin Kaepernick.
SB Nation published an absolutely terrific article on Colin Kaepernick, RGIII and the pistol offense last year:
About three years ago, Greg Roman, then offensive coordinator at Stanford University, traveled to Reno, Nev., to visit with Nevada Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault to learn about his "Pistol Offense." Before the 2005 season, Ault, unhappy with his offense, presented his staff with a new idea - a shotgun formation with the running back aligned directly behind the quarterback. "They thought I'd lost my marbles," Ault recently recalled [source]. But with the "Pistol" Nevada went from near the bottom to the top of its conference in offensive production and over the next few years slowly added additional components to the attack to make it even more effective.
In the NFL, however, under the direction of head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and with Griffin at quarterback, the Redskins have made extensive use of Ault's creation. When Mike Shanahan was head coach of the Denver Broncos, he melded the West Coast offense he'd used to win a Super Bowl with the zone blocking schemes offensive line coach Alex Gibbs brought from the San Francisco 49ers [source].Those schemes remain the foundation of the Shanahan-Redskins attack today. The Shanahans, in search of some way to mesh Griffin's special talents with the zone blocking schemes they'd made famous nearly 20 years earlier, settled on the Pistol attack created by Ault as the centerpiece of their offense.
This is ... a unique hire.
Also, check out 49ers fans reactions to the Chiefs hiring Colin Kaepernick's college coach.
Oh, by the way, Alex Smith can run! See below for evidence. (H/T KCinAZ)
More articles about Ault:
Ault and the pistol offense (SF Chronicle)
Ault won't tutor NFL teams (SF Chronicle)
A college offense graduates to the pros (NY Times)
Slow quarterbacks can find success with pistol (NFL Network)
Chris Ault Q&A (Mercury News)