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Frank Gore initially was skeptical of 49ers' read-option

It doesn't take long to find skeptics of the numerous variations of the read-option offense that has hit the NFL. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one and compared it to the Wildcat fad that came and went.

The San Francisco 49ers have benefited from the scheme more than anyone as the switch to the Pistol and quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the franchise one victory from its first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. Kaepernick set an NFL quarterback record during the Packers blowout with 181 rushing yards.

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Niners running back Frank Gore, however, wasn't sold in the beginning.

"I felt that's not real football, at first," Gore said Thursday in The Oakland Tribune. "But it's helping us to where we want to go, and win it all."

The University of Miami ran a pro-style offense with Gore in the backfield. That was before his eight-year NFL career. Pro-style schemes are all he knew. Gore became a four-time Pro Bowl pick and the No. 3 active leader in career rushing yards in that system.

His reservations were understandable.

Kaepernick stepped into the starting lineup in Week 11, and the 49ers finished the stretch 5-2. The divisional round was Gore's first 100-yard rushing game since Week 11. He had three in the first nine games.

"Kap did a great job last week," Gore said. "He's big, strong, fast and they have to look out for them.

"Hopefully they keep looking out for him, then 21 (Gore's jersey number) keeps getting the ball and I do what he did last week."

Gore's numbers are down from averaging 83.7 yards in those first nine games to 72.5 in the last eight, but the offense is more dangerous than at any time during his career. He'll take the tradeoff -- if the 49ers win Sunday.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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