The 49ers have unleashed a devastating “wildcat” option to their potent running game this season, featuring backup QB Colin Kaepernick, who has thrived in the role. The result? A new wave of Alex Smith bashing!?
If one hadn’t been around the 49er football world for many years, one might ask, “What the hell is wrong with these people?!”
But, ever since Joe Montana graced the 49er world, no quarterback afterward gets any acceptance without winning a Super Bowl. And even that isn’t quite enough. Steve Young, who entered the Hall of Fame a few years back, was dart board material his first three years on the job until finally winning the 1994 SB. Before he could even finish his champagne, though, he became dart board material again for losing to Green Bay in the playoffs for three straight years. He ended that jinx in 1998, but the following year he was crushed into retirement, and Jeff Garcia replaced him as the new dart board material for now being lesser than Steve Young.
Obviously, this incessant QB hating phenomenon is a mental disease, but it also is a fact of 49er life. Why it’s preferable to enjoying the week to week excellence of a great football team, especially after such a long and dreadful past decade, is certainly a puzzlement.
Hopefully, for those of us not planning to spend the entire season frothing over every nook and cranny of Smith’s weekly performances, we’ll attempt to wedge in some other team news. Last year, Harbaugh/Roman were a marvel at coming up with new plays and wrinkles on an almost weekly basis, and this year they are up to it again.
The Kaepernick TD run was a perfect example of the kind of creative goal line play call that was sorely lacking last year, when it was basically two Frank Gore runs, or even three, then a one shot end zone pass, followed all too often by a David Akers field goal. Greg Roman identified goal line situations as one of the areas they were unable to spend a lot of time on before the 2011 season, due to the lockout shortened training camp.
As pointed out by ESPN’s Gregg Easterbrook, on this play the Niners had 3 receivers split left and all of them were tight ends. At the snap, the TEs were joined by two pulling offensive linemen. That’s a lot of serious meat out on the edge bearing down on some DBs and LBs. Laughably easy touchdown.
Harbaugh also likes to get all his players involved in winning games. Sunday against the Jets, every single player who suited up for the game actually played in it. The backup D-linemen, the backup O-linemen, the backup everybodies. Forty-eight players participating in the win.
It’s fun to play for Jim Harbaugh. And for those of us without mental diseases, it’s fun to watch Harbaugh teams, too.
Here’s the one that got away, as mentioned in the comments by NJ49er, and captured in photo by NoFear49er. Kaepernick is unnoticed at the bottom of the screen and at the top Rex Ryan is running frantically toward the zebra to get a timeout.