Inventive offensive coordinator Greg Roman has de-emphasized the zone read this season, but receiver Anquan Boldin credited the uptick of those play calls Sunday for his five catch, 74-yard outing.
We tend to believe the 49ers have avoided running Kaepernick because the team is completely unsold on backup Colt McCoy. Unlike last season, with Alex Smith in the shadows, there's no evidence McCoy or anyone else on the roster could engineer the offense if Kap were hurt. Still, you have to balance that risk with the dynamic fire Kaepernick brings to the ground game.
"He brings a different skill set as a quarterback," Boldin said. "He does a lot of different things quarterbacks can't do. I don't think he gets a lot of credit for how good of a quarterback he is. He can throw it with the best of them. He can make any throw on the field. And when things break down, that's when you can really see how special he is."
San Francisco has its groove back on offense, but the base formula hasn't changed. The 49ers click when the ground game channels through Frank Gore. Adding Kaepernick to the mix flips the switch because he forces defenses to burn that extra split-second accounting for the possibility of the quarterback taking off. It certainly was a factor against the Titans.