Reid won't ditch his cherished West Coast offense, but the early signs suggest he'll turn to the pistol as an occasional curveball to throw at defensive coordinators.
Schein Nine: Breakout candidates
Who will become the next household name in the NFL? Adam Schein identifies nine players who are primed to make the leap. More ...
The pistol quarterback lines up four yards behind the line of scrimmage in a shorter shotgun with a running back behind him or even sidesaddle, as the Washington Redskins did with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. It enables the quarterback to take advantage of the read-option and play-action while also allowing for downhill power runs, counters and gaps from the tailback.
Harrison: Post-draft Power Rankings
After the 2013 NFL Draft, Elliot Harrison updates his Power Rankings, with plenty of teams moving up and down the board. More ...
What's interesting, though, is that Reid is implementing the change with a quarterback who was kept in a straitjacket by 49ers coaches. It wasn't until Colin Kaepernick sent Smith to the bench that the 49ers began to revolutionize their offense. If the tea leaves are correct, Smith will have a chance to shed the "game manager" label for the first time in his eight-year NFL career.