49ers' success with read-option could transform NFL

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:33pm EST
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By Simon Evans

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers' success with athletic quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the read-option attack could lead other NFL teams to rethink their approach to the key position, according to the man who masterminded the scheme.

Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman has implemented an offensive gameplan that has confused defenses who do not know whether the quarterback is going to run, hand off or pass.

Roman suggests the success of Kaepernick, who set a record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in any game with 181 yards in playoff win over Green Bay three weeks ago, could open up opportunities to other fast and mobile quarterbacks.

"They are going to see who they have and it might tempt them to acquire an athletic quarterback that they like - it might encourage them to draft one or sign one and incorporate this into their offense," he said on Wednesday.

"People will be less apt to cross a guy off their docket in draft preparations. They will have discussions about whether they want to incorporate this into their system. Ultimately it will be exciting to see."

The man who has to work out a way to foil Roman's plans in Sunday's Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, certainly does not believe the approach is a fad.

"It will have staying power in the league, the pistol read option. The beauty of it is, and part of the genius of it is, it's such a simple idea," said Harbaugh.

"It's just a very versatile type offense and it forces you to defend a lot of different elements of the offensive attack."   Continued...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (L) throws a pass as head coach Jim Harbaugh (R) looks on during practice for the Super Bowl in New Orleans, January 30, 2013. Super Bowl XLVII will be played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens on February 3. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes