The Harbaugh-Era San Francisco 49ers have used defense and execution as the cornerstone for their success over the past two seasons. Not exactly the most imaginative blueprint for success, but no one asked the incoming coach to reinvent the wheel.
However, the midseason promotion of Colin Kaepernick has opened up the playbook quite a bit for the San Francisco 49ers and allowed a creative Harbaugh coaching staff to push the boundaries of possibility, when it comes to what we know and accept about offense in the NFL.
Most of it has to do with an extremely athletic, durable and resilient-minded play caller in Kaepernick, but you have to credit Harbaugh and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman for trusting their budding star and being open-minded enough to buck NFL tradition.
The terms “read-option” and “pistol” will be common household knowledge by the end of Super Bowl Sunday night, and it is surely expected that Harbaugh and Roman will conjure up a little trickery of their own in the play-calling Sunday.
Whether it is a double-reverse, a fake punt or going for it on fourth down; you can expect the unexpected.
But here are five plays you will surely NOT see on Super Sunday:
1. Double-Reverse to David Akers: I want to see this so bad. And for my money, this might be one of the few on-field remedies to shake the wavering kicker of his recent confidence issues. Even if it went for no yards, wouldn’t it be great to see a smiling Akers pop up and be loose and ready to go for crunch time?
2. Statue of Liberty Play to Alex Smith: Picture it, Alex Smith stands on the sidelines watching the offense in its huddle. Someone in the huddle waves him to come into the game. He puts his helmet on, runs in and Kaepernick stands up and shoes him away and the everyone in the huddle dies in laughter, as if they were all in on the cruel joke. The dejected backup runs back to the sideline, leaving his helmet on in shame. Except he’s still on the field, and the 49ers snap the ball and Alex, unnoticed and uncovered, streaks down the sideline and plucks the pass from Kaepernick that they’d been practicing all week, into his bread basket and into the endzone. What a great way for Alex Smith to contribute as the former starter in the team’s biggest moment. I’d love him for that forever.
3. Frank Gore, Wildcat Formation: Does this even happen anymore in the NFL? And if the 49ers gave it a whirl, wouldn't it be LaMichael? The answer is no, and no. The answer we were looking for was Colin Kaepernick.
4. Fake Field Goal: If the 49ers try this at any point I firmly believe they will not set up for a three-point try for the entirety of the game. The lack of confidence David Akers has in himself is so permeating that anything to shake his delicate mental psyche might lead to an Artest-level breakdown. Speaking of which, someone get Ron-Ron’s therapist on the phone right now. If he can help that guy, I feel like he might be the Oracle or something.
5. Anything to Brandon Jacobs: Wow, I just realized that there is a possibility that this guy gets a ring if the 49ers reach the promised land. Just, wow.