49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 3, 2013
Colt McCoy on the run: Think Alex Smith, not Colin Kaepernick


Colt McCoy says he has experience running the read option out of the shotgun, and he has the numbers to back him up. In four years at the University of Texas, McCoy rushed for 1,589 yards and scored 20 rushing touchdowns, and he finished second to Sam Bradford in Heisman Trophy voting in 2008.

Still, it's hard to imagine that McCoy (6-1, 220) would get the same play calls as Colin Kaepernick if he ever entered a game in Kaepernick's place. McCoy, who ran a very respectable 4.73-second 40-yard dash at the combine in 2010, hasn't had nearly the same success rushing in the NFL, albeit in offenses that didn't emphasize a rushing quarterback. He's run 93 times, averaging 3.9 yards and scoring one rushing touchdown. He's also fumbled 12 times, losing two of them.

Instead, the play calls likely would be similar to what Alex Smith received over the last two seasons. Smith also was a very good rusher in college - 1,072 yards, 15 rushing touchdowns in just two seasons - who wasn't nearly as prolific in the NFL. He has 761 rushing yards, four touchdowns and a 3.6-yard average over his career.

Said McCoy when asked about running with the 49ers: "The read option and the pistol - they've obviously done a great job with that with Colin (Kaepernick) and his skills, being able to run and pass, a dual threat. We did a lot of that when I was in in college. I feel capable of doing that. But, again, I need to spend some time in the playbook and get familiar with it first of all before we ever get out on the field."

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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