The Chiefs added another offensive specialist to their coaching staff, hiring former University of Nevada coach Chris Ault as a consultant.
Ault is known as a guru of the pistol offensive formation, which features option plays. Colin Kaepernick was among the quarterbacks who played for Ault at Nevada.
Kaepernick eventually replaced Alex Smith at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Smith was traded to the Chiefs over the winter and though he hasn’t been used much as a runner in the NFL, Smith was a dual-threat quarterback in college at Utah.
Ault’s exact duties are unclear but he will be a consultant, which would seem to indicate Ault won’t be a regular at Chiefs headquarters or at practice. But coach Andy Reid has assembled an interesting collection of offensive minds who together should offer the Chiefs some versatility.
“I told Coach Reid, ‘Whatever I can do to help you win a Super Bowl, I’ll do it,’” Ault told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Monday.
“I’m excited to have an opportunity like this. It’s an opportunity to get a feel for the NFL. (Reid has) hired an experienced staff. The timing is exciting. I’m going to learn an awful lot about the NFL.”
Reid’s teams in Philadelphia, many with Reid calling the plays, were often among the highest scoring teams in the NFL. The Chiefs hired one of Reid’s former coordinators with the Eagles, Brad Childress, who has the unusual title of spread game analyst. Childress does work daily at the Chiefs’ facility and attends practice.
Doug Pederson is the rookie offensive coordinator. Reid will call the plays but some NFL observers believe Pederson, a longtime NFL quarterback, will someday be a head coach.
Now the Chiefs have Ault, in some capacity. The 66-year-old Ault was head coach at Nevada for 28 seasons before retiring at the end of last season.
The Chiefs used the pistol out of necessity in 2008, when injuries to other players forced them to use Tyler Thigpen at quarterback. Thigpen showed in his first few starts that he was uncomfortable in a conventional offense.
Chan Gailey, then the offensive coordinator, reworked the offense in the middle of the season, switching to a version of the pistol. Thigpen thrived in the system.