Chris Ault on Kaepernick: 'He's united the state of Nevada'
San Leandro native Dennis Dixon has been imitating Colin Kaepernick in Ravens practices. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
NEW ORLEANS -- The 49ers hold their final walk-through practice at the Superdome on Saturday afternoon before Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens.
We're almost there.
But, first, let's go to the 49ers Mailbag to answer some Super Bowl Eve questions...
Who is 'playing' Kaepernick in Ravens practice? (@davekall)
The Ravens have a pretty convincing Colin Kaepernick impersonator on their practice squad. His name is Dennis Dixon. He's the San Leandro native who ran the read-option attack at Oregon from 2004 to '07.
Dixon will not be active for the Super Bowl. The Ravens' only reserve quarterback is Tyrod Taylor. Both Dixon and Taylor ran some 49ers plays against the Baltimore defense in the preparation for Sunday's game.
When talking about the read option, Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees said, "Tyrod is good. Dennis Dixon is great."
It's doubtful that either was able to replicate the speed and arm of Kaepernick, but the Ravens at least had some decent looks in practices.
You think the Niners will hire Chris Ault? (@zomg_its_ryan)
Ault, the founding father of the pistol formation, is in New Orleans. The former Nevada coach met up with Kaepernick on Friday evening. Ault reports, "He has not changed."
Ault said he has a few opportunities available after stepping down recently as Nevada coach. The 49ers, who've kind of been busy for a while, have not reached out to him to discuss the potential of a position on Jim Harbaugh's coaching staff. But, suffice it to say, Ault would jump at the chance to join the 49ers and re-connect with Kaepernick.
Considering the Ravens know Vic Fangio pretty well. Do you think he'll mix things up a bit? More blitzes? Double coverage? (@HarpMarc)
He'll mix things up, for sure. There will be a lot of different coverages and a few blitzes, but I can't fathom that Fangio would pull away from the recipe the 49ers have used for success over the past two seasons.
I fully expect the 49ers to use mostly four-man pressures, with a small mixture of five-man rushes and three-man rushes, too. The 49ers' defense is based on the ability to get pressure on the quarterback without weakening their pass defense.
Win or lose on Sunday, how big of a priority is signing Dashon Goldson (@thehawk38) to a long-term deal in the off season? (@elpablo619)
It's a priority, but it's only a priority at the right price. The 49ers still have the option of placing the franchise tender on Goldson at a one-year cost of $7.45 million. They'd like to get a long-term deal worked out, but it might not be at the $8 million-a-year salary that Goldson is said to be seeking.
Are you making any public appearances? (@pinesroadfinest)
There will be no public appearances, per se. But I will be spending a good deal of Saturday evening at Woldenberg Park, along with many of my colleagues, at the CSN Bay Area set on the banks of the Mississippi River.
When is the parade? (@LoCZ3225)
Team CEO Jed York was asked about that this week. His answer: "I haven’t thought about parades. I haven’t thought about anything past Sunday."
Let's face it, both the 49ers and Ravens, and the cities of San Francisco and Baltimore, have thought about it.
Numerous sources have told me that if the 49ers win, the parade would take place Tuesday on Market Street. There are currently no plans for a big Civic Center celebration, such as what was staged for the World Series-champion San Francisco Giants.