49ers opting against read-option

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
8:00
AM ET
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Remember way back -- two weeks ago -- when all the Green Bay Packers could think about was how much the San Francisco 49ers were going to use the read-option offense?

Seems like a distant memory, doesn't it.

Thus far, the 49ers have done anything but rely on the read-option. They used it with success last season and quarterback Colin Kaepernick shredded the Packers on the ground in the playoffs. However, in Week 1 the 49ers barely used the offense against the Packers. It wasn't used much against Seattle, either.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 49ers have used the read-option 16 times this season, gaining just 26 yards. They have averaged 0.6 yards before first contact. Last season, San Francisco averaged 5.6 yards before contact using the read-option.

San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman acknowledged defenses are spending more time trying to stop the read-option. Still, the 49ers haven’t pressed it.

“We really haven’t placed a big emphasis on the read-option to this point in the season,” Roman said. “But that could change.”

The read-option seems to work best when it is not expected. The 49ers will continue to roll it out occasionally, when the fit is right. But as they have shown so far, the 49ers will not live and die by the read-option in 2013.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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