I just listed three things Alex Smith does better than Colin Kaepernick. To read that blog, click here.
Now, I’ll do the exercise the other way around.
THREE THINGS KAEPERNICK DOES BETTER THAN SMITH
- Arm strength: Colin Kaepernick has one of the strongest arms in the league and he trusts it. He has no problem and no hesitation throwing intermediate and deep passes. Also, he’s a very good passer when he’s running both to his left and to his right. Alex Smith has a good arm, but his passes don’t have nearly the zip that Kaepernick’s do. Also, Smith often tends to prefer throwing shorter, safer passes, so he rarely shows the extent of his arm strength.
- Running: Kaepernick already seems like one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s as fast as a wide receiver. He’s 6-4, 230 pounds, so he can take hits. And he can break tackles – on Sunday he avoided a sack by stiff-arming the Rams 264-pound defensive end, Robert Quinn, to the ground. Alex Smith is a pretty good runner for a quarterback, but he can’t consistently outrun linebackers like Kaepernick.
- Extending the play: Kaepernick has quick feet and good instincts in the pocket – he feels when it’s collapsing and he can squirt or muscle his way out of it. Once he’s out, he’s a threat to run or pass. Kaepernick’s strength right now is adlibbing outside the pocket. Smith is not a great ad-libber. He’s a plant-and-throw quarterback – he wants to get the ball out quickly and accurately before the pocket collapses. If it does collapse, he’s not great at escaping the rush and extending the play. He tends to go conservative and take the sack or throw the ball away.
Being partly facetious, maybe the best arrangement would be for Alex Smith to play quarterback pre-snap and Colin Kaepernick to play it post-snap, if the NFL would allow it.