This offseason I asked Packers head coach Mike McCarthy at the NFL Combine point blank if he regretted not preparing more for the read-option last season even when practicing for an opponent that hadn't previously shown to use it.
Predictably, McCarthy wasn't about admit to such a claim in front of an audience that included the national football media.
“I don’t regret anything about the last season,” said McCarthy back in February. “That’s really what this time of year is for. Regret is something I think is an excuse. I don’t really live in that mindset.”
But if actions speak louder than words, the Packers clearly are concerned about the read-option and reportedly made an offer to hire former Nevada football coach Chris Ault as a consultant, according to Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Chirs Ault's agent, Bob LaMonte, said Packers, Ravens and Vikings also stepped up with offers, but Chiefs was the best one for Ault.
— Dan Hinxman (@danhinxmanRGJ) May 13, 2013
Ault is widely regarded as the inventor of the pistol offense, and while the pistol formation and the read-option are not necessarily one and the same, they are closely linked.
In the pistol formation, the quarterback typically takes a shorter shotgun snap from the center than usual with a running back lined up directly behind him.
Ault coached Colin Kaepernick in college at Nevada, the same quarterback that set an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game with 181 against the Packers in the division round of the playoffs last season. His 49ers accumulated 579 yards of total offense the same game.
Hinxman reported earlier in the day that the Kansas City Chiefs had hired Chris Ault, the team now ran by Packers executive John Dorsey as general manager and former Packers assistant Andy Reid as head coach.
It could safely be assumed that Ault's responsibilities will include more than just sharing his knowledge of the pistol formation and read-option offense.