The Pistol offense has invaded the NFL, and now its creator -- retired Nevada coach Chris Ault -- is joining the league, too.
Ault was hired as a consultant by the Kansas City Chiefs, his agent, Bob LaMonte, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. LaMonte also represents head coach Andy Reid, whose roots are decidely deep in the West Coast offensive scheme.
Ault's most famous pupil is Colin Kaepernick, the former teammate of Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith. Kapernick unseated Smith for the starting job with the San Francisco 49ers last season and, following a runner-up finish that culminated in losing Super Bowl XLVII, the 49ers dealt Smith to the Chiefs for a multiple draft picks.
Ault, 66, devised the offensive scheme, he said in February, with between-the-tackles running in mind. The formation is a variation of the traditional shotgun. The quarterback takes the snap four yards behind the center and a running back is typically aligned two or three yards behind the quarterback. Some teams have modified the Pistol scheme to implement multiple running backs, motion with the fullback or tight end as a lead blocker and flexing receivers into the backfield.
"It's versatile," Ault explained. "Whatever you believe in as a coach, you can use it. If you're a power coach, you can run it. If you want to adapt something, you can -- and you don't have to change the formation."
Kaepernick was the first NCAA player to gain 4,000 yards rushing and 10,0000 passing as the centerpiece of Ault's offense from 2007 to 2010.
Smith is agile and ran a spread offense as a run-first quarterback at Utah before surviving a revolving door of offensive coordinators in San Francisco to achieve instant success upon matching up with Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
How the Chiefs define and implement Ault's role into their heirarchy isn't certain. He retired on Dec. 28 after 28 seasons at Nevada.
One of Reid's former associates dating to their time together in Green Bay, Jon Gruden, recommended all NFL coaches take a closer look at their personnel and how it might mesh with the evolving Pistol approach.