Friday, July 11, 2014





Falcons defense ready for unique QB


March 17. 2013 2:59AM
CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer

Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Michael Turner's trademark high-pitched laugh filled the Falcons' locker room.


Asked about San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Turner grinned Thursday and said I'm glad I'm not on defense.


Turner, the big running back, and the Falcons' offense want to hold the ball and limit Kaepernick's time on the field in Sunday's NFC championship game.


The Falcons have seen enough in Kaepernick's eight starts to respect the versatile quarterback with the long stride and strong right arm.


Kaepernick comes to Atlanta after running for 181 yards — an NFL record for a quarterback — with two touchdowns in last week's win over Green Bay. Kaepernick also threw for 263 yards with two touchdowns. He became only the third quarterback, after Otto Graham and Jay Cutler, to run and throw for at least two touchdowns in a postseason game.


It's little wonder the Falcons are impressed, even after facing such other dual-threat quarterbacks as Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson this season.


Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon says the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Kaepernick is unique.


I think he's just a different guy altogether, Weatherspoon said. He's a taller guy, obviously. He broke the record last week, so that makes him special and different. I think he has a lot more speed. Russell is more of a quick guy. Colin is a faster guy.


Wilson and Griffin are scramblers. Kaepernick looks more like a 200-meter sprinter with his unusually long stride.


That's the thing, Weatherspoon said. You look at him and you think long striders are not fast, but then you look and he's covering a lot of ground and passing a lot of people. You can tell he can run. Speed won't be a surprise to us. We've watched the tape. We'll be ready to go.


The 49ers don't have to be told they'll bring an unusually gifted quarterback to the Georgia Dome. In only half of a season, Kaepernick has given the San Francisco offense a facelift.


He's super-fast, athletic and he can throw the ball, said 49ers running back LaMichael James. Once he breaks the pocket he's always looking downfield. He's looking to throw the ball more than run the ball. But once he takes off, he's faster than a lot of running backs and linebackers. He's an incredible athlete.


Kaepernick has avoided the big hits that have made it difficult for such other running quarterbacks as Griffin and Michael Vick to avoid injuries.


He said his strategy is Run where they're not.


You want to run away from where the defensive players are, Kaepernick said. When they get close, get down.


The Falcons' defense has reason to worry about the matchup. Atlanta survived its 30-28 divisional playoff win over Seattle last week despite Wilson's fourth-quarter dominance. The Falcons led 27-7 at the start of the quarter but trailed 28-27 before winning on Matt Bryant's late 49-yard field goal.


Wilson passed for 385 yards with two touchdowns and led Seattle with 60 yards rushing and a touchdown.


Falcons coach Mike Smith said he is preparing for the 49ers' traditional offense that we're used to seeing as well as the pistol formation with read-option plays that Kaepernick ran in college at Nevada.




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds