The NFL is often referred to as a copy cat league, and right now the Pistol offense is the concept quickly spreading through the league. By some estimates, around 40% of NFL offenses now include some facet of the Pistol and guys like Robert Griffin III and Colin Kapernick are bringing more and more attention to it.
For those watching & listenting to the Arizona vs. Nevada bowl game going on right now the Pistol is just about the only thing the announcers are talking about; and they just had Bob Davie in the booth and he added that most college and NFL teams either have or are implementing pieces of the Pistol.
Nevada head coach Chris Ault is well known to be the guy who introduced most of us to the Pistol; but for those that know him, or those that heard him speak at one of his pre-bowl game press conferences, Ault says there are really two guys who truly understand the Pistol inside and out, Ault and his former running backs coach Jim Mastro (now running backs coach with Mike Leach at Washington State).
We recently (including one 5 minutes ago) asked a few NFL coaches about how they study the Pistol and every single one referenced Ault or Mastro. Over the last five years or so both Ault and Mastro have openly shared with and hosted other staffs who brought their offensive staff up to learn the Pistol.
So, the question comes to mind, would an NFL team try to hire either Ault or Mastro? Well, for what it’s worth, Ault, who is 66, has been head coach at Nevada for over 35 years and isn’t looking for a new gig. Mastro, who was with Ault for a decade, is currently coaching with his good friend Mike Leach and we think he’s very happy where he is. Thus, hiring either guy away likely isn’t in the cards. However, in a fairly interesting twist, one NFL coach said to us, “Know what those two guys (Ault & Mastro) should do, they should begin consulting for NFL defenses. They’d be able to print money.” That’s an interesting idea. Clearly the guys who have had so much success running the offense must also know how to stop it.