Chris Ault: The Pistol formation isn't going away
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 30, 2013
One of the quarterbacks in this Sunday's Super Bowl almost wasn't a quarterback.
Chris Ault has been around the media circle talking about the rise of Colin Kaepernick and his Pistol offensive in the NFL, but while on Fox Sports Radio, Ault said he was considering a position change when Kaepernick started out at Nevada.
"I thought to myself, 'If he can't play quarterback, he looks like he's a good enough athlete that he could play free safety or wide receiver,'" Ault said. "At that time, Kaep was maybe 6-foot-4, about 183 pounds, built like a fork. ... He could have been a great free safety, without question. And you know, his freshman redshirt year, guys, he was OK.
"There was nothing that told us he was a special athlete. He threw sidearm a little bit. He's a great pitcher and he had that little pitching motion from the sidearm. We had to try to push that thing up. And he ran the Wing-T in high school. He didn't run for a bunch of yardage. So he was just a really good athlete, but boy would he have been a heck of a free safety."
Ault's Pistol offense also has become a hot topic. On Tuesday, Balitmore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that the Pistol would go "extinct" from the NFL once the defensive coordinators started studying it more.
Ault disagrees, but considers its move to the NFL one of the highlights of his career.
"It's gotta be right up there because the NFL, it's been known as the copycat league," he said. "And of course the dropback passer, that's still the guy they want to feature and so on and so forth. But what we're seeing now are these gifted athletes that can drop back and run, and it puts a whole other dimension in your offense and a whole other idea which the defense has to defend.
"I don't think it's going to go away. I think the Pistol formation is gonna stay for a while. I think they can do different things with it. And when I say that there's no question there's a giant smile on my face, and when you see it with a guy like Kaep - your guy - running it, it is really special. One of those times in your life that may never come again."
You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org