April 23, 2014

Riding Shotgun with the Pistol

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Wolf Pack rolls out during the first half of the game against the Missouri Tigers on September 13, 2008 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Colin Kaepernick. The Pistol Offense has made him an exciting, prolific quarterback and star at Nevada for the Wolfpack. Two years ago, I listed him as one of the Top Returning quarterbacks, and he did not disappoint. In the past two years, Kaepernick has passed for 4,901 yards and rushed for 2,313 more. He passed for 42 touchdowns and rushed for 33, a mind-boggling 75 touchdowns in two years. Don’t forget the touchdown reception he had. . . make that 76 touchdowns.

What do we make of this offense? The Pistol is an offense where the quarterback lines up four yards behind the center, not as far as a shotgun, and the running back lines up behind the quarterback. It is the best of a shotgun and an I-formation. The results are quite extraordinary in terms of being prolific.

Kaepernick is the ultimate athlete to play the position. He stands at 6-foot-6 and is only 215 pounds and is as quick and fast as any QB in the country. He is also fairly accurate making him a good dual-threat quarterback.

However, the fact remains that the Pistol has become more than a fascination. The Chris Ault developed offense is now being used by other teams. As the influences spread, so will uses of the offense. For instance, former Wolfpack Offensive Coordinator Chris Klenakis moved to Arkansas to be the Offensive Line coach. In the Spring, Klenakis installed the Pistol formation for the Razorbacks.

UCLA has also become a new user of the Pistol.  I guess Rick Neuheisel has decided he needs some extra help, and Norm Chow is one of the great innovators of college football offenses.

Indiana installed the Pistol a year ago to help lead them to one of their best seasons in a while.  Will any other teams install the Pistol in either a formation role or as their bread-and-butter? Time remains to be seen, but according to the Wikipedia article, there are several that have experimented or use it already including some teams in the NFL.

One can definitely debate whether or not the offense is a formation or a base-offense , but one thing remains, with Kaepernick running the offense, it can be very explosive.

What do you think?  Are there any teams you would like to see give the Pistol a try?