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Credence for Steve Young's Comments

Not worried in the least.

The "pistol" is NOT Kap's ceiling.

He's a spectacular athlete who got better as the season progressed. He developed a nice soft touch throw, can rifle in tight spots, can pass WAYYY down field, can throw very good lead passes.

So, in the long run opposing D's will have to worry about it and plan for it BUT we don't have to use it.
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
meh, not worried. CK has the ability to beat teams with his arm. Just need some threats downfield.

Is it me or is this THE most overlooked aspect of CK's game? If Colin Kaepernick sat in the pocket all day and just passed the ball, I'd be completely comfortable. I honestly hope CK is viewed as simply a running QB with a gimmick offense. If we get more receiving threats that can take advantage of that canon arm, we are going to be lighting up the scoreboard.
Originally posted by BubbaParisMVP:
The corollary of Young's remark is that Kaep and the offense are near the peak of their development curves. I find that hard to believe, especially when you consider that Kaep came in mid-season and it took the better part of the remainder of the season to get the offense up to speed. Indeed, it continued to suffer from inconsistency throughout the season. As amazing as the offense was at times, it was equally woeful at other times. So it seems kinda silly to me to talk about the rest of the league adjusting to us without considering the adjustments and refinements that we'll be putting into place during Kaep's first off season program.

I think the world of Young, but I think he's guilty of the widespread notion that the Niners' season was a normal season. That's hogwash. Whenever you swap QBs mid-season, you're in a transition year. Particularly when you swap QBs with such different skill sets. Next year's defenses may be more prepared for the read option, but I think it's foolish to suggest that our offense isn't going to be a much better, more prepared, and more smoothly running machine. Once the rough edges from this season have been sanded off and the necessary polish (that only an off season can provide) has been implemented, this offense has the potential to be a real juggernaut.

The key to understanding Kaep is that defenses can do either of two things well against him...but they can't do both. In that regard, then, the advantage is going to remain firmly with the offense.

I agree and think this offense is on an upswing. If anyone recalls, Kaep looked great against the Bears in his first start, but then the next several games, the offense really didn't do much more than what could've been expected from Alex Smith (the Saints game and Dolphins game for examples). We saw some of the potential for what it could be in the New England game as well as the playoffs. Honestly, it seems the only consistent and settled game we got was the Green Bay game. I'm not expect a performance like that in terms of numbers, but I do believe things like taking too long to get the play in and our issues with discipline on offense, as well as slow starts can easily be corrected and we will be closer to the team that played Green Bay at the 'Stick as opposed to this multiple personality offense we have currently.

And that bolded part needs to be understood by football fans in general. You cannot defend everything at the same time, unless you are going to stack your roster with All-Pros. Leaving a spy in to keep the QB from running with ball, stacking the box to stop the run, doubling Vernon Davis, and giving adequate coverage to guys like Michael Crabtree and Delanie Walker (should he be resigned) cannot all happen at the same time. Teams will have to pick their poision, ESPECIALLY when this offense is truly in sync.
Man by the comments I'm reading in here there is no stoping us next year. Should be a breeze and a Superbowl win for sure.

We're a bunch of homers and can't see anything but what we desire. If we don't think it will make a difference that teams now have film and an offeason to prepare for us we are kidding ourselfs.

Nothing in the NFL is as easy as some seem to think. Look at Cam and his rookie year and then last year. Its very hard to keep the D in the dark for very long.

Jim will adjust as well but I think we all saw how teams are gonna attack the read option and or pistol. They are gonna have a lb or ss take Kaep and hit him no matter what everytime we run that. They may or may not be big hits but they will be hits on our qb and they will add up in the long run. I don't like the idea of our qb taking hits so I hope we don't run that O very often (maybe just redzone).

So another words, opposing D's will have to pick their poision but so will we if we want a healthy qb for the long run.
Once again, the pistol is a formation, out of which you can run a multitude of plays. It's one thing to say "will defenses adjust to the read option?" because that's one particular play that is run out of the pistol. But to say that defenses will adjust to the pistol is like saying they will adjust to the shotgun, or they will adjust to the i formation. The 49ers will not be running exclusively out of the pistol. It is simply one formation they use which utilizes Kap's strengths. Remember that that offenses also adjust to what defenses throw at them. Bill Walsh's WCO wasn't figured out until Buddy Ryan's 46 defense, which basically said "you go ahead and throw your short passes as long as you don't mind your QB getting crushed." Then the 49ers offense adjusted again to beat the 46 defense. So all in all it's the same cycle in the NFL that will continue. I'm not all that worried about it. Besides, the 49ers have run the pistol in very few games this year, and still have a boat load of plays out of that formation which teams haven't seen. I don't think one year is really enough time for defenses to figure out a particular style of offense, especially when you have special, gifted players running it like Kap.

Regarding Steve Young, I don't think we need to be suspicious of his intentions. He's simply expressing a genuine concern. He has been very impressed with Kap and thinks he will continue to improve and develop. When he said he was "jealous" of the pistol, he wasn't doing it in a bitter manner, as some may have taken it. He was simply admiring the pistol formation and was saying how he wished he could have had that style of offense to help him develop as a younger QB because it fit his skill set. Let's not get defensive and assume people have nefarious agendas everytime they express concerns about this team.
Originally posted by fryet:
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.


We've already seen this. There hasn't been near the pressure there was in the past with the pistol. DE's in particular are having to hesitate a second or so to see if the read option is coming at them. As Kap and the receivers get more on the same page and have that intuitive rapport that A Rodgers has with his guys in Green Bay we will see that no one will be able to stop our passing game. And, we will have a running game that will be top 5. This could shape up to be on of the best offenses in a very long time. Bet Harbaugh and Baalke have been working on that for the last two years and this year will be the icing on the cake...
Well if teams are going to adjust to our pistol formation, then I guess we'll counter by running the jumbo package on every down.
Glad that this interview is getting it's own thread. It was originally referenced elsewhere by a very astute and thought provoking poster, can't recall his name.

Most of the comments here seem to validate Young's observations while trying to criticize them. A lot of folks here are posting about how the Pistol is just a formation, Kaep is a quality pocket passer, and so on. In other words, so what if the pistol is a fad, Kap is way more than the pistol....

But what makes Kap Kap is the dual threat. This dude is built like a Mack truck 6'5" can see over his lineman has rocket arm AND runs like a freakin gazelle. Can we realistically exploit that?

Question: do we see any more designed runs besides the read option out of the Pistol for CK in the future? Or is this attack philosophy going the way of the dodo bird? That's the real question. As mentioned originally, both ATL & BAL had success keeping yards from designed runs to a minimum for CK. Our record against those teams is .500. Obviously we have to do better. A lot of people say we need another receiver, a deep threat, etc. True, but we can always whine about something. And we overlook the unusual luck SF enjoyed this year starting the same 5 offensive lineman every game. That happens about as often as an asteroid hits the earth.

A great staff knows how to make a winning stew from what's in the fridge. We had enough in the fridge for a SB this year. Didn't happen. Do we have what it takes to survive the Darwinian battle of strategy, counter, counter the counter, and so on that we can expect with every team having 10 games worth of tape to study on CK. I think that is what Young was apprehensive about. That's why he felt the pistol was a trendy thing, not of import in the long run.

I don't care about the Pistol so much. But what's important is if/how can we keep this kid running wild without taking a pounding. Not sure there is a real answer here.

We're already toning him down. In the Super Bowl, he had room to improvise to the outside on key plays and didn't do it. Not to our benefit, in the short run anyway.
Originally posted by rk1642:
Man by the comments I'm reading in here there is no stoping us next year. Should be a breeze and a Superbowl win for sure.

We're a bunch of homers and can't see anything but what we desire. If we don't think it will make a difference that teams now have film and an offeason to prepare for us we are kidding ourselfs.

Nothing in the NFL is as easy as some seem to think. Look at Cam and his rookie year and then last year. Its very hard to keep the D in the dark for very long.

Jim will adjust as well but I think we all saw how teams are gonna attack the read option and or pistol. They are gonna have a lb or ss take Kaep and hit him no matter what everytime we run that. They may or may not be big hits but they will be hits on our qb and they will add up in the long run. I don't like the idea of our qb taking hits so I hope we don't run that O very often (maybe just redzone).

So another words, opposing D's will have to pick their poision but so will we if we want a healthy qb for the long run.

So in other words, opposing defenses are smart enough to make the adjustment, but we aren't? I'm guessing you believe the 49ers are going to expose Kaep to getting hit like that constantly. That isn't what people are saying. Even the most optimistic person hasn't stated that from what I've read. You do realize you can pass out of that formation, because it is just that, a formation. And given CK's skillset, he's good enough to stay in the pocket and simply beat teams with his arm. To top it off, it's not like he's passing it to PJ Fleck and Bryan Gilmore for crying out loud.
kaep is a freak of nature with breakaway speed that defenses will always have to account for , theres no way around that.
He's more of a threat scrambling on broken pass plays than from the pistol. He's the type of player that if take one aspect from his game away, he will just beat you in another way. Pick your poison, really.
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.

exactly. people dont pay attention.
Member Milestone: This is post number 200 for brodiebluebanaszak.
Originally posted by SFTifoso:
He's more of a threat scrambling on broken pass plays than from the pistol. He's the type of player that if take one aspect from his game away, he will just beat you in another way. Pick your poison, really.

It's not about the pistol. It's about designed runs for CK. Do you see anything else besides the read option out of the pistol for CK? Because that's already been stopped.
[ Edited by brodiebluebanaszak on Feb 9, 2013 at 2:28 PM ]
Originally posted by defenderDX:
exactly. people dont pay attention.

It's not about the pistol. It's about designed runs for CK. Do you see anything else besides the read option out of the pistol for CK? Because that's already been stopped.
[ Edited by brodiebluebanaszak on Feb 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM ]
Originally posted by brodiebluebanaszak:
Originally posted by defenderDX:
exactly. people dont pay attention.

It's not about the pistol. It's about designed runs for CK. Do you see anything else besides the read option out of the pistol for CK? Because that's already been stopped.

does it matter? the dude can throw and his mentality isn't to be run first