With the success fleet-of-foot rookie quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson enjoyed this season, might we be entering a new era of professional football, one in which the zone-read option is as common as an audible?
Or is it simply things coming full circle as we've already seen this breed of QB before, from the likes of Fran Tarkenton to Randall Cunningham?
Green Bay has its chance to make an educated guess Saturday, when it faces the 49ers in an NFC divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. Will Colin Kaepernick show off his breathtaking speed, or his powerful arm? Is this the future at the game's most glamorous position?
"Everything in the league changes so rapidly, the cycles of what teams are doing, the size of players, the types of quarterbacks," Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said this week. "But maybe (it's changing), I don't know. Teams in the past have been reluctant to do it. They like having a dropback passer because (if) you're going to pay a guy $20 million a year, you don't want a runner out getting banged up.
"But when you have a guy who's as good an athlete as this guy (Kaepernick), yeah, of course, you'd be dumb not to run him a little bit."
Kaepernick has taken off and run the ball 63 times for 415 yards this season, a 6.6 yards-per-carry average.
"Makes you conscious of your rush lanes," said Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers, according to Packers.com. "He can eat up some ground in a hurry."
Kaepernick is also averaging 13.3 yards per completion in 13 games, seven starts, this season.
"He's got a 98 quarterback rating, which is awfully good for the number of games he's played," Capers added. "He hasn't made critical mistakes you see a young guy make."
So how do the Packers prepare for the dual threat that is Kaepernick?
"We need to find a way to build a wall up front and wrap a guy like Kaepernick up," Hawk said. "He does such a good job of making people miss. He's a long guy that can stiff-arm, can get to the edge very quickly. So we've got to find a way to take care of the angles and get him down and make sure you have 11 guys coming after him because it's tough for one guy to bring him down."