49ers can run through Falcons

Atlanta has struggled this season against mobile quarterbacks like Kaepernick

Originally Published: January 18, 2013
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Colin KaepernickCary Edmondson/USA TODAY SportsColin Kaepernick has flourished in San Francisco's read-option offense.

We are in a fascinating period of gifted young NFL quarterbacks who have big arms and natural skills for the position. But we have never seen a group of players with the ability to make so many plays with their feet, whether via a scramble or off the read-option. Once defensive coaches in this league have an offseason to break down the read-option, they will likely figure out a way to slow it down. But for now, it's a scheme that is both effective and fun to watch.

And no one has run it better in the playoffs than the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick.

On Sunday, he'll face an Atlanta Falcons defense that has really struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season. Let's take a deeper look at Kaepernick's plan of attack against the Falcons and how they will try to stop him.

No team in the NFL uses more varied personnel groupings than San Francisco. It loves to use "heavy" formations with multiple tight ends, unbalanced looks and even defensive linemen as blockers to set up the run game. That is when Kaepernick becomes most dangerous thanks to his ability to run, either off designed scrambles or with the pistol/read-option.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.