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 CSNBayArea.com. ”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.