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What if the read option is a great big fake?

San Francisco has created diversion, schematic advantage


David from Racine, WI

The 49ers ran the read option a total of 41 times last year. I think we're all exaggerating how reliant the 49ers are on a particular scheme.

It's a great diversionary tactic. It disguises what the 49ers really want to do: Run Frank Gore down your throat. Colin Kaepernick's success running the read option in the playoff game last January has given the 49ers a sensational schematic advantage without even running the read option. Every team on the 49ers' schedule is panicky to stop Kaepernick from running. What if he doesn't run but a few times a game? What if the read option is a great big fake?

Ray from Antigo, WI

Vic, I just read your response to Alan's question regarding our offensive line. By you saying "help is not on the way," does this mean you agree that our offensive line isn't where it needs to be in order to create those running lanes for our backs, and can they really keep our $130 million QB safe?

It means I went out back and looked at the quality offensive linemen tree and they were all gone. It means it is what it is and the solution to the problem Alan perceives isn't replacement, it's improvement. We are past the replacement part of the year; that's mostly a function of the offseason. This is the season now, and it's about taking what you have and making it work. I like this offensive line. It has two young tackles that are going to grow into the demands they face, and I believe that by late in the season we're going to be praising the play of the offensive line.

John from Sugar Land, TX

If there was ever a week when you'd like your defense to get in some good work against the scout team, this would be it, yet, with the backup QB getting scrambled in the last few days, how can our coaches show them anything remotely resembling Kaepernick and Gore?

Where are all the people that believed the Packers signed Vince Young so he could help prepare the Packers defense for Colin Kaepernick? Look, the best practice the Packers had for what they'll see on Sunday is the playoff game last January. You can't recreate in practice the speed and intensity you'll face on Sunday. If a guy could play like Kaepernick, why would he be on a scout team?

Steve from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, I just saw Hayward is officially out for the 49ers game. How do you think this will impact Capers' game plan on defense?

It probably means Micah Hyde will be the Packers' nickel back, and that makes Hyde a very important player in just his first game as a pro.

Andy from Lake Nebagamon, WI

After listening to the Colin Kaepernick's conference call, I lost even more respect for him. With every response I found myself more annoyed by him. Do you feel the same way?

I do not. In fact, I gained respect for him with one simple answer to one very direct question. I asked him if he stood by the comments he made a few months ago about the Packers appearing to be confused in their defensive huddle. He said, "yes." I like that. He didn't dance around and try to put a spin on an answer that would soften his position without changing it. He just simply said he stands by what he said. I was impressed.

Jamie from Butte, MT

Heisenberg was all about electrons and not atoms and, yes, you should want to care because it's the electrons that give you electricity and the ability to send e-mails, heat your home, etc. Don't take those things for granted like a lot of America has. This country was built on electrons.

There are reports of electrons having helped Jim Thorpe catch is own punt and run with it for a touchdown.

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