Monday Morning Mailbag: More of the 'Wolf Pack'?


Monday Morning Mailbag: More of the 'Wolf Pack'?

Colin Kaepernick's performance in the 49ers' first exhibition game grabbed the attention of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.After Kaepernick had a 78-yard touchdown run in the 49ers' Aug. 10 exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings, Ryan had this to say:"Again, some people think the Wildcat has come and gone. No, it hasn't. If anything, it's just the opposite. I saw the kid from San Francisco, Kaepernick. He runs a 4.4 or something. I was really intrigued by him when he came out (of college). (The 49ers) drafted him before we could, but I was interested in him. He went for a 70-yard touchdown run the other day. You're seeing these guys and it's hard to defend some of that stuff. When you have the ability to throw, as well as run, it makes it tough."And with that, let's go to the 49ers' Monday Morning Mailbag . . .
Will they use the Wolf Pack more? (@WarriorSports)
Ah, yes, it's not the Wildcat. When Kaepernick, the former Nevada star, runs it, it's the Wolf Pack.The 49ers had the Kaepernick package in their game plans before, but this is the first time they've used it multiple times in the same game.In the past, it was something they employed under unique circumstance. The first time they ran the zone read option was just before the half against the Green Bay Packers, and Kaepernick gained 17 yards to help the 49ers get in position for David Akers' 63-yard field goal.No doubt, the opposition will now have to spend practice time and study time preparing for Kaepernick. And it only seems reasonable that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman will sprinkle it in from time to time.On Sunday, Kaepernick took four snaps in the first half. There was another play in which he lined up wide with Alex Smith at quarterback. The New York Jets were thoroughly unprepared for that, and they had to burn a timeout.RELATED: 49ers play time -- Kaepernick makes the most of opportunities
Why has Alex Smith been missing open WRs? It seems like they're running good routes and getting open. (@mgarc747)
Smith had his best NFL season a year ago, and he connected on 61.3 percent of his passing attempts. Through four games, Smith is completing 67.3 percent. So he is better than he's ever been in that regard.On Sunday, the 49ers attempted more lower-percentage passes than usual as they tried to get the ball down the field against the Jets' aggressive coverage.

Smith and the passing game was off. He completed just 12 of 21 attempts, and the 49ers averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt. That, simply, is not good enough.The worst part was when Smith took back-to-back sacks in the second quarter to turn a potential 46-yard field goal attempt into a 55-yarder that David Akers missed.Expect Brandon Jacobs next week? (@Turnesaurus)
He returned to limited practice last week after sustaining a left knee sprain Aug. 18 in an exhibition game against the Houston Texans. It should be close whether he'll be able to play on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.He does not play special teams, and he'll be the team's No. 3 running back behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. So the 49ers will have to figure out how he fits into the 46-player active list and who they can deactivate to suit him up.

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

Colin Kaepernick will remain as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement on Tuesday while coach Chip Kelly was in Maine for services for his father, E. Paul Kelly, who passed away on Friday.

Kaepernick has started the past seven games for the 49ers, during which time the club has gone winless. The 49ers (1-11) are on a franchise-long 11 game-losing streak.

Kaepernick went 1 of 5 on Sunday for just four yards in the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards before getting benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

“We had been playing good football on offense and the thing had been trending in the right direction,” Modkins said.

A week earlier against the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 113 yards as the 49ers rolled up 475 yards of total offense.

Kelly said the 49ers made the switch at quarterback early in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Bears in hopes Gabbert would provide a spark. Gabbert started the 49ers’ first five games of the season before Kaepernick replaced him.

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Frank Gore continues to move up the list of the top rushers in NFL history.

Gore, the 49ers’ all-time leading ground-gainer, picked up 79 yards on 20 rushing attempts Monday night in the Indianapolis Colts’ 41-10 victory over the New York Jets.

Gore moved past Tony Dorsett and into eighth place on the NFL’s all-time list with 12,789 yards. Next up is Eric Dickerson at No. 7 with 13,259 yards.

The only retired player in the top 11 all-time rushers who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is LaDainian Tomlinson. He is eligible for the induction for the first time in 2017. The only other running back in the top 15 who is not in the Hall of Fame is Edgerrin James at No. 12.

In 10 seasons with the 49ers, Gore gained a club-record 11,073 yards. In 28 games with the Colts, Gore has 1,716 yards.

After coming up just 33 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark in his first year in Indianapolis, Gore needs 251 yards in the final four games for the ninth 1,000-yard season of his 12-year career.