The hiring of assistants in the NFL rarely moves the meter for me, but, that changed today when it was announced that the Kansas City Chiefs hired former University of Nevada head coach Chris Ault as a “consultant”. Head coach Andy Reid is pulling out all the stops, and the hiring of Ault really highlights he and the Chiefs’ organizations commitment to winning.
The real question is, what will his role be?
On the surface, it would seem that Ault would be coming in to implement and coach some form of his pistol offense that he made so popular during his 28 years as a head coach at Nevada. The Chiefs made the move to bring in quarterback Alex Smith, who has experience in a similar offense in college and has underrated athleticism, and a primary running back in Jamaal Charles who ran out of similar formations in college as well.
It would stand to reason that a football savant like Ault could come in and put in some packages that would mimic the kinds of things the San Francisco 49ers did last season. And to be candid, it would probably work.
But there could be another motive. When Ault’s agent reported that several teams had contacted Ault who would not be running the read option in any form, I started to wonder if maybe I was thinking about the wrong side of the football.
Who better to coach a defense to stop the read option than the man who perfected it?
Understanding how to beat most versions of the pistol in the run game is all about gaps and assignments. Ault could have been brought in to study tape and devise schemes for the Chiefs to stop other teams who might try and run the read option.
Both scenarios make sense, but I would think they would want to make the most of Ault’s time, and focus his attention on one or the other.
Regardless of what Ault’s role is with the Chiefs, you can bet that it will be a positive one. He is one of the great football minds, and the Chiefs have the talent to make excellent use of all that knowledge.