Alex Smith was seen running plays from the pistol formation during Kansas City Chiefs OTAs on Thursday, according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. The pistol formation will allow Smith to use his leg speed as well as his arm strength in Kansas City.
The Chiefs hired pistol formation creator Chris Ault as a consultant this offseason after he retired from the University of Nevada, so it is not a complete surprise to see Smith practicing out of the pistol this offseason. The use of the pistol is a deviation from new coach Andy Reid's typical West Coast, pass-happy offense, but not an unexpected one given it's recent success in the NFL.
The pistol formation became very popular in 2012 with the success Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, among others. In fact, it was Kaepernick's success running the pistol offense that led to Smith's departure from San Francisco. While Smith is not as fast as Kaepernick, he has good speed and ran frequently while playing under Urban Meyer in college at Utah.