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Friday, September 20, 2013
Colts prepare to face 49ers' read-option

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two weeks ago, the Colts faced Terrelle Pryor, who is a running quarterback but more in the improvising kind of way.

On Sunday, they are set to face a real read-option quarterback: the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick.

“You’ve got to be disciplined,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “You’ve got to be focused. You’ve got to be on the same page. You’ve got to communicate. Guys got to be in the right spots.”

Kaepernick is a better passer than Pryor, who threw for 217 yards to go with 112 rushing yards against the Colts. Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers; he averaged 6.6 yards per rush last season.

Kaepernick struggled last week against Seattle, throwing for only 127 yards on 13-of-28 passing, with three interceptions, in the loss.

“Just make sure he’s not comfortable,” defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, a teammate of Kaepernick’s last season in San Francisco, said of Indianapolis' approach. “Make sure you get him off his point. If you let him stay on his point, as you can see with the Green Bay game, he can get to rolling. Then if you let him add his legs, you know he’s got the most ridiculous stride, almost like he’s Usain Bolt running.”

That’s the right strategy to have, but it’ll be difficult for the Colts to pull off if they’re missing key defensive players.

Starting linebacker Pat Angerer (knee) and safeties Antoine Bethea (toe) and LaRon Landry (ankle) didn’t practice Thursday. Landry already has two touchdown-saving tackles this season. He leads the league in tackles with 26. Bethea is tied for 15th with 18.

“All 11 guys have to be on the same page, and all 11 guys got to be doing their job,” Pagano said. “You can go back to when I was playing -- it was wishbone; you take care of the dive, then you take care of the quarterback, then you take care of the pitch. You don’t see as much of the pitch, obviously, in pro football right now with the read-option. But you got to have guys in place, and sometimes more than just one assigned to any aspect of the option.”