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Credence for Steve Young's Comments

One of the things making the loss so tough to deal with for me is the fear that teams will adjust and adapt to the Pistol formation and greatly limit its effectiveness, counterracting one of our greatest advantages.

Steve Young recently made comments to that end, stating that one could make the argument that the Niners really had to get it done this year because the league evolves and adjusts, and next year, teams will be ready for the Pistol. We already saw that to some degree in the CG and SB, as ATL and BAL played Kaep on the read-option and forced him to hand it off on nearly every play.

Now, let me state that I fully believe Kaep is the real deal and elite QB in the making; everyone, from commentators to opponents like Suggs, are raving about CK7, and I couldn't be happier that he is our QB of the future or with his spectacular run this year. He is, quite simply, a revelation. I also understand that the Pistol is less and offense and more a scheme or formation that allows for all types of runs and passes to be called. You have to believe that, just as Ds will adapt to the Pistol, Harbaugh and Kaep will continue to innovate and improve as well.

But what do you guys think. Is it a relevant concern going forward or a non-issue?
What don't people understand? The pistol is just one formation that kap can use. That's not his limitation. He threw for over 300 yards after the ravens took the run away from him. He can evolve into a great drop back qb if necessary.
Pistol/Read is a change up, the WCO and run heavy will be staple plays throughout the season. If a defense cant handle the Pistol then give them the quick death.
Originally posted by ace49ers:
Pistol/Read is a change up, the WCO and run heavy will be staple plays throughout the season. If a defense cant handle the Pistol then give them the quick death.

I'm honestly not worried at all. With talents like Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, and the emergence of LeMichael James, that along is enough to give defenses matchup problems all over the field. Now if we can add another receiver to the mix that can beat the one on one coverage they are likely to receive, not to mention the returns of Kendall Hunter, Mario Manningham, and Kyle Williams, we have a team where defenses will simply have to pick their poision. The pistol formation and read option is only one of of the many things that we can do with our offense.
Teams can start adjusting to what we did last year while we're working on what to do this year!
meh, not worried. CK has the ability to beat teams with his arm. Just need some threats downfield.
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
meh, not worried. CK has the ability to beat teams with his arm. Just need some threats downfield.

+1
I'd be a lot more concerned about my QB if I were a Redskins fan.

CK has/will have it all.

He's going to be like Steve Young, a great QB who can run.

Not a "running QB"
  • fryet
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The pistol really wasn't that effective after the GB game, at least from the perspective of the QB running from it. But the defense spends so much time preparing for it, that it leaves less time for them to prepare for a more conventional attack. And if a defense doesn't prepare for it, like GB, then they get punished for that lack of preparation. The bigger issue for CK running is two-fold for a defense, imo.

1. He can rush for big yardage on passing plays where a defense tries to play man coverage. It forces defenses to play zone or pay the consequence of him running for first downs and more.
2. Defenses are more concerned with keeping him in the pocket than sacking him. This results in more time in the pocket to pass, plus fewer sacks.
Agreed, this isn't a gimmick offense. Its just a formation that gives defenses headaches and slows down the edge rush. It's like having another two OT's out there blocking for you. That said, this is the first year (10 games really) where we started to install more of it. It TOO will evolve, Gore/Hunter/James will continue to get better at the timing of runs out of it and it gives the OL another second to open up holes b/c the RB's line up next to and/or behind the QB. Guys with tremendous vision like Gore/Hunter should be able to exploit defenses. Also, even if you go back to the GB game, we didn't have many "designed" runs. We saw a few up the middle, a couple outside, etc. but most were as a result of the QB starting in shot gun, being able to see the whole field and wide open lanes opening up for him giving the option to pass or run (often times he passed). As smart as CK is, he will be continued to be a throwing QB first, scramble as needed sprinkled in with a few designed running plays. He will continue to run out of bounds early and slide well before contact. He'll need to learn to take less hits AFTER he hands the ball off though. The Q formation, in theory should also open up more options in the RZ but clearly, this is and has been our weakness.

You'd expect even more of an evolution next year of Q formations BUT the focus should remain as a shotgun QB with continued emphasis on the passing game IMHO.
I don't think it will be easily adjusted to like the wildcat was because there is a real major threat of the deep ball at any moment. It's not as easy as shifting your defense. There is just more to account for in the pistol.
Not worried at all. Kaep has the ability to throw for 350+ every game if he had another solid deep threat. This offense is the real deal and will continue to evolve. Like others said too he could just sit back in shotgun and pick teams apart also while averaging 60 yards rushing. Kaepernick = Nemesis muahahahaha

At the same time defending it requires people to stay in position. You can't judge the league as a whole based on a couple of games in the play offs. Teams that deep in the post season I would expect would have the personnel who can maintain assignments and make the plays. Sure adjustments will be made just like there were adjustments made to counter the WCO. It's how the game evolves. But to say this was our only chance is just being shortsighted.
Originally posted by JoseCortez:
What don't people understand? The pistol is just one formation that kap can use. That's not his limitation. He threw for over 300 yards after the ravens took the run away from him. He can evolve into a great drop back qb if necessary.


+1. Just look at Kap after only 10 NFL starts...he has great arm strength, has good & improving accuracy, he's an incredible athlete & runner, is highly intelligent, is ultra competitive, and is already starting to become a team leader. Now, as he gets more experience reading defenses, making reads/going through progressions, developing a little more touch on certain passes...once these things happen & with Harbaugh coaching him up, the sky's the limit. I'm already looking forward to next season and beyond...
If we abandon the Pistol, it's not going to make or break Kaep's future. What's more important is the growth and development of his read progressions. If his first option isn't open, can he find his second and third guys? Sometimes he seems fixated on one option -- the classic tale of a quarterback deciding where he's going with the ball before the snap. I'm confident he will grow in this regard, especially under the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh.