Could Aaron Rodgers run the read-option and would Mike McCarthy even employ the offense into his system? Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Could Packers install a ‘pistol’ of their own?


“Pistol” offense creator Chris Ault. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Chris Ault isn’t exactly an every day household name when it comes to the NFL.

Lately, however, he’s about as popular as all of this read-option buzz that’s suddenly taken the league by storm. Ault is known to be the innovator behind college football’s “pistol” offense which involves much read-option play from the quaterback and running back.

For a great example, recall last year’s Green Bay Packers‘ Playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Ault was recently hired as a consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs but news has recently broke that the Minnesota Vikings and our beloved Packers were considering bringing Ault on board as well.

This would have been an interesting move indeed. Instead of trying to prevent this offense, bring its creator aboard and try to defend it from the inside out. While we’ll obviously never know if such a move could have ultimately helped the Packers defend such an offense, it does at least beg a few questions as to whether or not the Packers could possibly install such an offense and just how long this type of scheme will last in today’s NFL.

The league as a whole is like anything else in regards to what’s trending and it is constantly evolving. Before last year, a pass-heavy offense seemed to rule the league in order to set up the run.

For a while, the league was more of a run-first offense to set up the pass. Each team will always have an identity regardless of these comings and goings. Yet at the same time, this is an interesting concept from a fan’s point of view.

So much has been bantered about as to how the Packers should defend this offense. But could they actually be able to pull it off on the offensive side of the ball? For as athletic as he is, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t exactly strike me as a read-option type of quarterback. But with new backfield weapons Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, it at least makes one wonder a bit what Mike McCarthy has in mind for the upcoming season.

So what do you think Packers Nation? Could the Packers be able to effectively execute a pistol offense with the current personnel on the roster?

Is this type of offense even here to stay?

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Chris Ault Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Johnathan Franklin Pistol Offense Read-option

  • Taryn Miller

    I know many a fan believe Rodgers can do all but this is a no-can do and should never be uttered as a thought.

    Rodgers I believe has said he doesn’t intend to play past 35-36 years of age..this will certainly guarantee that timeline or move it up expeditiously much to our and his dismay….YIKES!

  • PackLife24

    I think we need to remember 1 thing the pistol formation was created as a pass an run formation, the read option came awhile later, those are Aults words from an interview on NFL AM. So McCarthy could install the Pistol an not run the read option there are benefits to the Pistol besides running the read option, actually when Ault did the interview he said he never intentionally created the Pistol so they could run the read option, The Pistol is designed to give the defense trouble since they cant see the RB behind the QB. So I dont see a problem w/ using the Pistol for running the ball an passing but no read option Rodgers is wayyy to valuable hes not just a good QB he is the best in the league an possible 1 of the best of all time, an look what happened to RGIII its too risky

  • Klausen

    The pistol itself doesn’t include the read-option.. the pistol is just a formation, a mix between the I-formation and the Shotgun.. the QB is lining basically like in the shotgun, just a little closer to the Center, while the RB is actually lining up behind the QB, as he would in the I-formation.. it gives the advantage, that both pass and run plays are equally dangerous out of this formation, and the QB is able to read the defense better, while the RB can get up to speed before hitting the hole better.. it basically combines that advantages of both the Shotgun and I..

    As that, I think the Packers should implement it, because lining up like that does not have to mean that the QB will run or any kind of read option plays will be implemented..

  • JWest

    I don’t see the Packers using the Pistol with Aaron, with Cobb maybe????!!!!

  • Bo

    When Aaron Rodgers is on your team you don’t need to run the ball that much, as long as you get some quality carries from the RB’s to keep the defense honest, Rodgers will pick apart the defense. Also the pistol can make the QB more vulnerable to getting hit and since our offensive line gave up the 2nd most sacks last season I don’t see the pistol being effective with the personnel that the Packers have.

  • JaKa

    There’s no question to what kind of offense Mike McCarthy is going to run, in my mind anyway. First off, the formation isn’t that much of a factor in todays game. Some plays might demand or lean towards one or two backs, but with the protection factor, at least on back to pick up that unexpected blitz nobody saw coming will be there more often than not. Being a direct Deciple coming out of S.F., you can’t imagine McCarthy going to the Forest Gregg running offense. When Gregg held the rungs in Green Bay, the word got out around the league, run, run, pass. First, second and third downs were predictable most of the time. Mike the Man McCarthy will just have some tools to come up with his own scheme, and you can count on one thing, a high-powered offense, with the passing game the dominating factor.

    I’ve been waiting for the team to fall into a couple good backs for the last few years, and especially this last year, seeing the 100million+dollar man get whacked around like never before in McCarthy’s offenses. Never has McCarthy fielded a team that got to the quarterback like last year goiong all the way back to the rookie year for Favre, when McCarthy coached the quarterbacks.

    It’s a passing scheme and it’s going to stay that way. This coming year, if the rookies match up to the hype, the team is going all the way undefeated. The funny thing about saying this is, I mean it, and it could very well happen. Take into account what Green Bay did the last two years. One game short of an undefeated season, and next, a really good season with a drive half way to Super day. Mike’s still hungry even more than he is regretful to take that other half of the drive to the Superbowl, and want’s to prove he can some day be seen along with Vince as the Guru of the magic town of legends. He’s sitting in the seat with a mile to go yet to get there, even though he has gone beyond Lombardi on some stats, and at his age he can stick around for another two decades almost, if he wants it. And, when in the hell is McCarthy going to get some recognition as a coach? I’ll give him my own coach of the year award if he doesn’t get it one of these years.

    What he’s going to do with these two backs is break them in first off, and depend on his passing game just as much as he did last year. Only when things begin to click after a few games will the running game change. He will be able to come out and run 5 -6 plays straight in a row, because the runs are taking off into a new perspective in today’s NFL. Backs are averaging twice what they did in Lombardi’s era. Can Mike see the yards per carry average near 6 yards a play? With these two kid-studs and a beefed up line, as it appears to be coming to be, any Sunday he could. And with the option to fake the run, draw in coverage people, only to put an extra man open in the pass field. Defenses will not be able to Que on the quarterback as they were last year. Watch Rodgers first two steps after the snap to see if it’s a pass or run adds a new dimension to it. If you know he’s going to pass or a 3-man rush can still stop the runner, you can send a couple kamikazes in for the sack. If you have two backs capable of burning you for 24 yards on any down, you cannot afford to send players in like that. It’s a balanced attack now, because defenses must take this new aspect of the Packers offense into account. Watch out for the run, they’ll get you on it.

    It was run to daylight back in “66, and when the D adjusted there core to the run, burn them with a pass. Bart Starr on 3rd and 3 would pass for 15 and another 15 or more on the run after catch. In Favre’s day, it changed too the pass setting up for a run of 20 – 30 yards because they were putting players way back, to stop the pass receivers and nobody was around to watch for the run. Back then, Mike M would run for 80 90 yards in the 4th quarter alone many times, when up by 17 points, handing off on most downs. Things will never go back to how they were in the “60s, but the running back can now be a good weapon used in the air or on the ground. The player of the year (in the NFL as far as I saw last year) Cobb is a prime example of what can go down with players now. When players get hot, use them, but do not burn them out. This new offense will have so many weapons, it will look like the US armed forces did in Iraq, week after week. In the air or on the ground, advances were quick and lethal, so will go the Green Bay Packers, in the 2013 season. What will we see of this new dimension. Around 100 to 150 yards a game running and the same 300 to 350 yards passing, only with better averages for each running plays, like 6 -7 yards per carry.