Alex Smith runs pistol at Kansas City Chiefs workouts


Alex Smith can leave the San Francisco 49ers, but he can't get away from the pistol.

Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star reported Monday that the former 49ers quarterback was spotted running a handful of plays out of the trendy formation during Kansas City Chiefs workouts on Thursday.

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The Chiefs recently hired former Nevada coach Chris Ault, the pistol's creator, to help their offense run -- and their defense stop -- plays out of the formation.

The 49ers traded Smith away after Colin Kaepernick rose to prominence as a double-threat signal-caller who -- like Robert Griffin III -- killed defenses out of the pistol. Smith is no Kaepernick when it comes to scampering free, but he's shown he can take off with the ball, and that might happen more than expected.

The Chiefs made a head-scratching move when they recently named Brad Childress their "Spread Game Analyst." The Ault hire is more of a coup and suggests that Andy Reid is willing to step outside his beloved West Coast offense to help grow the attack. If Smith can make it work, running an offense the 49ers deemed him ill-suited for would make for a juicy subplot in 2013.

Still, too much talk of the pistol focuses on the quarterback: The real winner here is running back Jamaal Charles.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.