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49ers Offense -- The Pistol portion -- Explained by Chris Ault on NFLN

During an interview this morning on NFL AM, Chris Ault explained the origins of his Pistol Formation/Offense.
What I found most interesting, was how certain tweaks, and the maturation of Kap made the The Pistol what
it has become.

Another point of interest for me -- when it was asked of Ault -- was if a QB with Kaepernick type athletics, was
needed for the Offense to be successful or not. Anyway, all-in-all (IMO) a good interview which for me provided
some unknown aspects/information about the Pistol I did not know.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-am/0ap2000000129615/Chris-Ault-on-Kaepernick
[ Edited by FlayvaMeister on Jan 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM ]
I think the QB definately needs to be a threat to run. I mean brady could never run it. Why devote the DE to him? You can run that guy down with a three yard head start. So you need a QB who is a threat to run. That being said Aaron Rogers could probably run it well.
Isn't this awesome, we run an offense that was specifically engineered for Kaepernick. We are not trying to put a QB who has similar skills into the system. Kaep literally has this system mastered. He doesn't just operated the system well, he IS the system.

What some don't understand is how difficult it is to make the smart read on that end or 2nd level LB and pull that ball or hand it off. A split second is the difference between scoring a 50+ yard TD or only gaining 5 yards.
Originally posted by VA49er:
... I mean brady could never run it ... That being said Aaron Rogers could probably run it well.

If I understood Ault correctly, it could be run with a QB in the Brady mode, just on a rudimentary level ...
As for Aaron Rogers, I think he would fair must better than Brady, and do quite well.

Originally posted by Joecool:
Isn't this awesome, we run an offense that was specifically engineered for Kaepernick. We are not trying to put a QB who has similar skills into the system. Kaep literally has this system mastered. He doesn't just operated the system well, he IS the system.

What some don't understand is how difficult it is to make the smart read on that end or 2nd level LB and pull that ball or hand it off. A split second is the difference between scoring a 50+ yard TD or only gaining 5 yards.

"He doesn't just operated the system well, he IS the system"
I came away from this interview, feeling the same ... actually more stoked for Kap and the 49ers, after I viewed this
  • pfizz
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People don't get what the heck the pistol is. It is a formation, NOT a style of football. Yes, Tom Brady could infact operate out of the pistol(honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them use it since they use so much shotgun) because using the read option is not mandatory. You can work out of the pistol the entire game and not use one single read option play.


Read option is NOT the pistol. The pistol is simply a shorter shotgun formation with the RB directly behind the Qb.
[ Edited by pfizz on Jan 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM ]
Originally posted by pfizz:
People don't get what the heck the pistol is. It is a formation, NOT a style of football. Yes, Tom Brady could infact operate out of the pistol(honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them use it since they use so much shotgun) because using the read option is not mandatory. You can work out of the pistol the entire game and not use one single read option play.


Read option is NOT the pistol. The pistol is simply a shorter shotgun formation with the RB directly behind the Qb.
Symantics, being what they are ...

"Chris Ault explained the origins of his Pistol Formation/Offense"

That's why I included the word (Formation) in the 1st sentence of my post. As Ault states during the interview,
that this -- bold of your post -- was the way it was used at Nevada, in the beginning of Kap' tenure.
you can see how the threat of Kap running on read/option plays affected their outside containment. We left Atlanta's DE or LB completely uncovered, and our OT went straight for the 2nd level. When Kap handed it to gore, the LB/DE would just stand there and watch Kap long after the ball was gone. He basically became a completely useless defender.

If you put 8 in the box, its really only 7 as long as Kap looks at the DE during the hand off. .
Originally posted by pfizz:
People don't get what the heck the pistol is. It is a formation, NOT a style of football. Yes, Tom Brady could infact operate out of the pistol(honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them use it since they use so much shotgun) because using the read option is not mandatory. You can work out of the pistol the entire game and not use one single read option play.


Read option is NOT the pistol. The pistol is simply a shorter shotgun formation with the RB directly behind the Qb.

there You go someone who understands what the pistol is. Any QB can run it. Of course its better if your QB can run.
Originally posted by 49erJim:
Originally posted by pfizz:
People don't get what the heck the pistol is. It is a formation, NOT a style of football. Yes, Tom Brady could infact operate out of the pistol(honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them use it since they use so much shotgun) because using the read option is not mandatory. You can work out of the pistol the entire game and not use one single read option play.


Read option is NOT the pistol. The pistol is simply a shorter shotgun formation with the RB directly behind the Qb.

there You go someone who understands what the pistol is. Any QB can run it. Of course its better if your QB can run.

I think its the combo of read option out of the pistol that is deadly for us. It allows for the RB to still go downhill and have time to read the hole. It gives the QB better ability to read the d and avoid pressure. AND you can run read option out of it.
Mangini and and Mike from Mike and Mike provided an interesting way to stop it. You know how a few times the DE was standing there staring at Kaep after the handoff? Well, Mangini said you don't have the DE make a read. You have him go full speed at the QB and hit him as hard as you can and completely ignore the hand-off to the RB.

You do that a few times and that QB's head coach will call it less in order to not put his QB in a position to get injured.

Mangini is right, that is a free hit on the QB and it would be legal considering the threat of the QB running.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Mangini and and Mike from Mike and Mike provided an interesting way to stop it. You know how a few times the DE was standing there staring at Kaep after the handoff? Well, Mangini said you don't have the DE make a read. You have him go full speed at the QB and hit him as hard as you can and completely ignore the hand-off to the RB.

You do that a few times and that QB's head coach will call it less in order to not put his QB in a position to get injured.

Mangini is right, that is a free hit on the QB and it would be legal considering the threat of the QB running.

That assuming the DE can Tackle Kap in the open field. If he comes straight at kap, don't you think Kap could escape around him.

Maybe willis or bowman could get him, not many other DE/LBs
  • Jcool
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Originally posted by Joecool:
Mangini and and Mike from Mike and Mike provided an interesting way to stop it. You know how a few times the DE was standing there staring at Kaep after the handoff? Well, Mangini said you don't have the DE make a read. You have him go full speed at the QB and hit him as hard as you can and completely ignore the hand-off to the RB.

You do that a few times and that QB's head coach will call it less in order to not put his QB in a position to get injured.

Mangini is right, that is a free hit on the QB and it would be legal considering the threat of the QB running.

So Mangini big way to stop the pistol is to sack the QB... He really is a genius!
Originally posted by 49erJim:
Originally posted by pfizz:
People don't get what the heck the pistol is. It is a formation, NOT a style of football. Yes, Tom Brady could infact operate out of the pistol(honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them use it since they use so much shotgun) because using the read option is not mandatory. You can work out of the pistol the entire game and not use one single read option play.


Read option is NOT the pistol. The pistol is simply a shorter shotgun formation with the RB directly behind the Qb.

there You go someone who understands what the pistol is. Any QB can run it. Of course its better if your QB can run.

You guys are technically right: the pistol is just an alignment, not a playcall. And of course any QB can run it. But saying that kind of misses the larger point: it's an alignment designed for QB option runs. The QB gets the ball at the perfect depth for the QB/RB mesh point right at the start of the play. His eyes can immediately go to the read man without worrying about getting in the right spot for the mesh first. It's a small advantage to the QB right off the bat. That's really the pistol's only schematic advantage.

So the pistol might be just an alignment, but it's one that designed to work off of the read-option as its offensive staple. Tom Brady running the pistol would be rather pointless, since it doesn't really give non option-based offenses an edge on "standard" plays.
Originally posted by notsoempty86:
That assuming the DE can Tackle Kap in the open field. If he comes straight at kap, don't you think Kap could escape around him.

Maybe willis or bowman could get him, not many other DE/LBs

Lmj and frank will score 5 tds a game if they do that. Coach ault started the pistol before he had kap and it worked. Its here to stay.
Originally posted by johnnyredneat:
You guys are technically right: the pistol is just an alignment, not a playcall. And of course any QB can run it. But saying that kind of misses the larger point: it's an alignment designed for QB option runs. The QB gets the ball at the perfect depth for the QB/RB mesh point right at the start of the play. His eyes can immediately go to the read man without worrying about getting in the right spot for the mesh first. It's a small advantage to the QB right off the bat. That's really the pistol's only schematic advantage.

So the pistol might be just an alignment, but it's one that designed to work off of the read-option as its offensive staple. Tom Brady running the pistol would be rather pointless, since it doesn't really give non option-based offenses an edge on "standard" plays.

Its still a viable formation. Like coach said the defense has a harder time seeing the running back and keying in on whats happening.you can still do all the same stuff power, playaction or the read option.