Former University of Nevada head coach Chris Ault, who was current San Francisco 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick’s coach with the Wolfpack, says the pistol formation isn’t just designed for running quarterbacks. He says a slow-moving quarterback like New York Giants’ QB Eli Manning can run the offense to perfection.
“They could run the pistol formation. They don’t need to run the read part of it,” Ault told the NFL Network on the NFL AM show. “When we first put the pistol in, we did not run the read at that time.” Ault is also trying to point out that Kaepernick is successful in the pistol because he’s able to throw the football.
Ault has an excellent point in bringing up the offense he created. The Giants sporadically lined up in the pistol formation, but it didn’t appear they gave it much thought to use more frequently. When the Wildcat package was wildly popular, after the Miami Dolphins completely confused Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, many teams created a Wildcat package of their own. Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin and the offensive staff didn’t bother.
The pistol formation is basically an I-formation in the shotgun. Not only can the formation give the quarterback more time and space to deliver a perfect pass, it also gives the running back more space and time to find the hole. Ault also brought up the disadvantage for the linebackers, saying they struggle to figure out what the running back is doing behind the quarterback in the formation.
I highly doubt the Giants will go to the pistol formation anymore than they did before. However, it’ll be very interesting to see if teams with slow-moving quarterbacks go to it a little more. They’ll be the first examples proving the pistol formation is a formation that is here to stay in the NFL.