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49ers may finally be ready to tap into draft class

LaMichael James, Cam Thomas AP

The 49ers haven’t had to rely or — or even dress — their rookie class much this year.

But with injuries and a shift in scheme with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick, there’s a chance second-round running back LaMichael James finally plays.

He hasn’t been active for a game yet, but coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke both said there was a chance of that changing soon.

“I’d say, it’s safe to say that LaMichael is going to start getting his opportunities,” Baalke said, via Mindi Bach of CSNBayArea.com. “And [I’m] confident that he’ll make the most of them when given the opportunity.”

The key will be whether they install more read-option plays with Kaepernick, something James should be familiar with from his days at Oregon.

Asked if that could happen, Harbaugh said “Yeah, there’s a possibility of that.”

Though it wasn’t used against the Rams, Harbaugh added: “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be, going forward.”

For his part, James has handled the situation well. Buried on the depth chart behind Frank Gore, the now-injured Kendall Hunter and even veteran Brandon Jacobs, chances were going to be few. He admits he gets tired of the questions, which may soon end.

“Yeah, it has. It’s really frustrating too,” he said. “I really don’t have time to be answering those questions or hearing about that any more. Obviously I’m here for a reason. I can play. I always feel like that. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.

“I’m young, I’m still learning. Whatever it takes, wherever it takes me that’s what I’m going to do to get on the field.”

It sounds like he’s about to.

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13 Responses to “49ers may finally be ready to tap into draft class”
  1. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Dec 5, 2012 9:13 AM

    Coach is a nut case. Creates a QB controversy out of thin air for no good reason, won’t even dress rookies, answers questions with “that’s gobble gobble turkey” – yeah, I’d say the honeymoon is just about over.

  2. modellforprez says: Dec 5, 2012 9:25 AM

    how much talent could a contender possibly have that by week 14 they are just getting to use picks. that’s pretty impressive. and they will not win the nfc look for the pack or giants to sneak back in both along with the steelers have won 5 of the past 7 big games… so it should be either afc pats steelers or broncos nfc packers giants or if atlanta can FINALLY put it together. personally I would steelers vs giants with big bum vs eli “I don’t wanna play for the team that picked me daddy”

  3. skeebo80 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:33 AM

    FINALLY change up the scheme. Kaepernick was excellent with that read option (pistol formation) at Nevada do with the addition of James this may help the offense out.

  4. sactown9er916 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:37 AM

    I agree with the basic reasoning, he was a little “raw” this past preaseason but I’m definately glad to hear (from Gore’s own words) he’s been progressing steadily. The effect Kendall’s absence had on the game was plain obvious as St. Louis played stout defense without having to adjust play-by-play to a different style running back.

  5. trollhammer20 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:48 AM

    Think they’re gonna run the triple option inside their own ten yard line again? I’m thinking no….

  6. sisqsage says: Dec 5, 2012 10:10 AM

    James will be their fastest running back, this much we know.
    The real issue in their lossess has been play calling. The pitch last week on the 14 yd line late in the fourth qtr was about as bad a call as you will see. The playcalling, along with Alex Smith, were big reasons for the losses to an average at best Vikings team and the Giants. Roman looks great calling plays one week and then pulls a headscratcher. Why no deep balls to Moss? They have to at least throw the thing a few times a game to loosen up the defense. Rams loaded up the box and we never made them pay for it.

  7. themackstrong says: Dec 5, 2012 11:06 AM

    The 49ers were already a deep team but it looks like they missed this years draft. I can’t even remember the name of the first round WR but he can’t beat out, Kyle Williams 11 receptions? Ginn? Or Randy Moss’s 280 yards and 2 TDs?

  8. billb49 says: Dec 5, 2012 11:54 AM

    Harbaugh hating is getting pretty tired. Yes, Harbaugh is a very interesting character, almost kind of weird in some ways. Yes, he’s gutsy and unorthodox. But really, haters, do you really think the “honeymoon is over” for a coach who took the team to the title game in his first year and is on the verge of returning to the playoffs in his second year – a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in eight or nine years? Really? Try to get your minds past the feelings you have for him and give him credit for being a damn good coach.

  9. stra15 says: Dec 5, 2012 12:29 PM

    Its frustrating that he sits James, Jenkins all year, and then at the very end of the season he decides to burn their redshirt. They’ll be kicking themselves in four years when those two are out of eligibility.

  10. phelbin says: Dec 5, 2012 1:54 PM

    All I get from this article is that they’re going to dumb down the offense to suit Kaepernick. It’ll make Harbaugh’s QB choice look better, but it won’t help the team in the long term. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m sure you will), read-option teams don’t win Super Bowls.

    Michael Vick and Cam Newton are exciting to watch, but I wouldn’t want either of them on my team. So I really hope they make Kaep develop into a passer and don’t let him rely on his athleticism…that never works at the NFL level.

  11. dieseldogusmcskull49 says: Dec 5, 2012 4:12 PM

    We all know what wins Super Bowls. Defense Wins The Súper Tazón. Let me tell you what… Niners are one of the BEST out there. Wouldn’t hurt having a B.A Offense to go along with that Deadly D. Jimbo has brought something to this team. You don’t get Coach of th Year just because. Love what his done.

  12. bestcoast7 says: Dec 5, 2012 4:34 PM

    teams that use the read option as their go to offense dont win. teams that sprinkle in the read option plays in their normal offense can definitely win. look at how hard its been for teams to stop RG3 and CK7 in those plays this year.

  13. realfann says: Dec 5, 2012 7:11 PM

    I’m old fashioned because I think if your 1st and 2nd round picks haven’t made the field yet, they were not very good picks.

    QB’s excepted.

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