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49ers: Defenses will have to prepare for Kaepernick running plays


Even if Alex Smith is the favorite to start for the 49ers to open the season, opponents may have to prepare for a different quarterback in certain situations on the field.

“Who’s to say we’re not going to have him in ‘The Pistol,'” G.M. Trent Baalke said on Thursday via Matt Maiocco of  “Coming out of the Pistol offense, it’s also going to be a little bit of an advantage for us to have some quarterback-driven runs in our offense that teams are going to have to prepare for,” Baalke said.

In the Pistol offense, a quarterback lines up a yard or two closer to the line of scrimmage while in a shotgun formation.  It’s got a cool name, so expect to hear about it plenty if the 49ers use it.  (Chan Gailey used it quite a bit with Tyler Thigpen in Kansas City.)

Baalke was talking generally about Kaepernick’s skill set, but we think he’s foreshadowing some situational play from the Nevada prospect. Even if the lockout drags on, the 49ers could prepare a short-yardage and red zone package for Kaepernick early in the year, along the lines of how Josh McDaniels occasionally used Tim Tebow.

We’d guess Kaepernick won’t have to wait until the last three games of the season to get a start like Tebow did.

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11 Responses to “49ers: Defenses will have to prepare for Kaepernick running plays”
  1. profootballwalk says: May 13, 2011 4:24 PM

    Another running QB? Yeah, that will work.

  2. hobartbaker says: May 13, 2011 4:26 PM

    Kaepernick just giggled when he heard the comments.

    “He just said ‘pistol’, nrk, nrk, nrk.”.

  3. mondzy805 says: May 13, 2011 4:27 PM

    Interesting. I hope they bring him along slowly, we don’t want another Alex Smith, but in Trent and Jim I trust.

  4. nineroutsider says: May 13, 2011 4:35 PM

    With a 4.5 40, and the fact that Alex Smith can run the spread as well (which is similar to the pistol in some aspects), I hope they use all sorts of formations to really make defenses prepare for the Niners. They have been far too predictable the last 10 years on O.

    Go Niners! Go Sharks!

  5. p4hbiz says: May 13, 2011 5:13 PM

    Another 8-8 season..


  6. buffaloniner says: May 13, 2011 5:46 PM

    I would normally be very excited about this. When the Niners landed Harbaugh I was thrilled and the possibility of him developing Kaepernick into a great QB could be the resurrection of the 49ers offense. It’s just very unfortunate that these changes are coming the year that football was killed. The longer this labor dispute lingers on, the more disgusted I get with both sides. Incredibly angered and very sad to say that I won’t be watching my beloved Niners this year even if we do have a season. The sport I love has been killed by money hungry fools and I hope the league, the owners and the players feel the effects of their greed. Well anyway, go Niners.

  7. EJ says: May 13, 2011 6:31 PM

    (Chan Gailey used it quite a bit with Tyler Thigpen in Kansas City.)

    This is why I am confused about the fact that Buffalo passed on Kaepernick.
    He would of been a perfect fit in Chan Gailey’s World. Also, Kaepernick would of learned from a real smart QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    San Fran Fans->> I am sure that your QB problems will be resolved with this kid coming to your city, he was the best QB in this draft, hands down.

  8. kinggw says: May 13, 2011 6:52 PM

    Hilarious. I hope Niners fans temper their expectations. Harbaugh having a great season in down Pac-10 doesnt guarantee success on the professional level.

  9. medialovesthecowboys says: May 13, 2011 10:39 PM

    This guy is going to be a gamer. Class act, has gone through a lot in his life, and just wins games. I’ve long hated the Niners, but I’m a Kaepernick fan.

  10. meatloaf025 says: May 13, 2011 11:48 PM

    Running? Where is Nate Davis?

  11. marcsasharc says: May 14, 2011 8:56 PM

    still in love with this draft pick. my number 1 rated QB falls to round 2 and my team moves up to nab him. i thought i was dreaming. he has a learning curve but the kid has great QB intangibles, something Alex Smith doesnt have. the kid can play, and he will show it sooner than later.

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