The Atlanta Falcons have already faced mobile quarterbacks like Cam Newton (twice), Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick this season, going 3-1 in the process. But when Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense invade the Georgia Dome for the NFC Championship on Sunday, the Falcons will be trying to contain a different beast.
Cornerback Dunta Robinson discussed Kaepernick’s skills as a runner and a passer, saying his raw speed is something that separates him from other quarterbacks in the league.
“The biggest difference between him and the all of the rest of the running quarterbacks we’ve seen, is the fact that he’s faster than those quarterbacks,” Robinson said on a nationwide conference call. “Which goes back to me saying how fundamentally sound (we have to play). If we give creases up, he can take a play that looks like a broken play, what looks like we have a play that’s covered up pretty well, and he can turn it into a 70-yard touchdown run.”
On Sunday, Robinson’s main responsibility will be to slow down the receiving corps, led by Kaepernick’s favorite target Michael Crabtree. Robinson complemented Crabtree and the rest of the wideouts, especially future Hall of Famer Randy Moss, whom he called, “one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game.”
“We respect their receivers,” Robinson said. “They have a good core of receivers. We know we are going to have our hands full. This is what you expect when you play in the NFC Championship game, you expect the best of the best. We’re definitely ready for the challenge.”
Robinson also spoke highly of his own quarterback Matt Ryan, who led the Falcons on a last-minute, game-winning drive to set up a field goal from Matt Bryant in last week’s 30-28 win against Seattle. It marked the first postseason victory of Ryan’s five-year career, but Robinson sees big things on the horizons for the smart signal-caller.
“I would love to see him hoist that trophy and be like the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings, the special quarterbacks in this league,” Robinson said. “I definitely think he has all the potential and he has all the gifts to be one of those quarterbacks.”
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