I wasn’t in support of replacing Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick when Smith went out with a concussion. Smith was having a career year at that point, with a completion percentage over 70%. Even after Kaepernicks great performance in his first game on Monday night against the Bears, I still wasn’t for the change. But after Kaepernick continued to show just how explosive he could be, I bought in.
Kaepernick went on to lead the Niners through the playoffs and in his 10th career start was playing in the Super Bowl. In 2 seasons, Kaepernick has led the Niners to a Super Bowl and NFC Championship game. Both games lost on the last play with passes to the right corner of the end zone to Michael Crabtree, both coming up short.READ MORE: Yastrzemski's Bat, Glove Help Giants Hold Off Tigers 4-3
But now in his 3rd year as a starter, I haven’t seen much growth. In fact, it seems as if Kaepernick is regressing. And I hate this, because I had become a Kaepernick apologist. But now I’m done. Do I believe he has what it takes to become an elite quarterback, absolutely. But he is far from being there and I’m done making excuses for him.
I know Kaepernick puts the work in. And I believe he thinks he’s taking the steps in improving his game, but it’s not showing. Kaepernick has all the physical attributes a person could wish for. A cannon for an arm with the ability to get outside the pocket and run all in the body of linebacker. He has everything it takes to be great, physically.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe he has learned what it takes to be an elite QB, and I’m not sure he ever will. With all his physical gifts, I don’t believe he has the maturity to become the leader the Niners need to finally win the big game. Yesterday is another perfect example of this. In a 3 minute media scrum, Kaepernick was asked 32 questions. 32 questions, 3 minutes! Nothing but 1, 2 word answers. What QB does that? Seriously, this is the Niners leader giving 1 word answers like an upset 12 year old. If you missed it, here it is.
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I’ve heard so many argue what his problem is. He’s a target QB. He’ll never be a pocket QB. He needs to get back to running more. Greg Roman isn’t the right offensive coordinator for Kaepernicks game. So many opinions. Here’s mine. Until Kaepernick is ready to mature and truly be the leader the Niners need, he will never be an elite QB, regardless of his athletic gifts. I’m just not sure he’ll be able to do this.
It seems that the window may be closing. The rumors about Jim Harbaugh’s future with the team. The concerns about the offensive line, most likely not resigning Mike Iupati. Frank Gore, another year older. It appears that Trent Baalke has done a great job of getting guys who are ready to go when their number is called, but it all starts with the quarterback, and I’m starting to believe that Kaepernick might not be the guy.
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