49ers need Kap insurance

This is my column for Wednesday.

The 49ers need a new quarterback.

This is not to say the 49ers should give up on Colin Kaepernick — with the right coaching he may still have a future. But they shouldn’t go all in with him, either. The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter like Joe Montana took over from Steve DeBerg. They should draft someone in the third or fourth round. Create competition.

I have someone in mind, but before I get to him, let me tell you why the Niners need a new quarterback.

First, Kaepernick has not improved as a pocket passer.

Every Super-Bowl-winning quarterback has won it from the pocket. Check it out. Kaepernick will be 27 next season and he still is raw talent — has speed and arm strength. His three years in the NFL, he has not improved his accuracy, footwork or ability to see the whole field from the pocket. That reflects poorly on him and the 49ers’ offensive coaches — Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst.

Second, Kaepernick chokes under pressure.

He choked at the end of the Super Bowl, forced three straight passes to Michael Crabtree at the goal line and hoped he caught one of them. Matt McGloin could do that.

Since losing the Super Bowl, Kaepernick has gotten worse under pressure. This season, his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 61 and his passer rating while losing was 72. Alarming.

Just a few days ago in the NFC championship game against the Seahawks, Kaepernick produced one of the worst individual fourth-quarter performances in playoff history. The 49ers had three possessions in the fourth quarter. They ended with a fumble by Kaepernick and two interceptions. If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, Kaepernick’s last interception of the game — the one Richard Sherman tapped to Malcolm Smith in the end zone — will go down as an iconic moment in Seahawks franchise history, what “The Catch” by Dwight Clark means to the 49ers.

And Kaepernick is responsible. He handed that moment to the Seahawks, the division rival.

The 49ers should not draft another Kaepernick, another runner/thrower. They already have one of those. They need something different.

Montana wasn’t a runner/thrower. He was an accurate passer who could move his feet brilliantly in the pocket, something Kaepernick has not learned to do. Montana had no cannon. Accuracy was his best quality, accuracy and poise under pressure. Not running. And Steve Young did not become a great quarterback until he learned to pass form the pocket. Running was not enough. He’s the classic case of runner turning into passer.

The 49ers didn’t run Kaepernick much this season, anyway. Just one or two read-options per game. Nine times out of 10, they asked him to be a traditional, drop-back quarterback, like Montana. Something Kaepernick is not.

The 49ers need a traditional quarterback. They need a pocket passer first, a runner second. And I know which one.

He plays in the 49ers’ back yard. One of the most accurate quarterbacks in college football. In 2009, he was Kaepernick’s backup at the University of Nevada before transferring to Monterey Peninsula College in 2010, and then to San Jose State two years later.

The envelope, please.

From Salinas. David Fales.

“He can knock a bird off a fence,” said quarterback guru Terry Shea over the phone. Shea trained Fales in Phoenix over the summer and last week. Shea also trained Robert Griffin III and Sam Bradford before they got drafted. Shea has been a quarterbacks coach for the Chiefs, Dolphins and Rams, and an offensive coordinator for the Bears. Shea was Bill Walsh’s offensive coordinator at Stanford in the early 1990s. Before that, Shea was the head coach at San Jose State. When Shea speaks, he’s talking Quarterback Gospel.

“I think a lot of Fales,” Shea said. “He has to get in with a coaching staff that doesn’t change every year, but he might be the best pure passer in the draft.”

Can he become an elite quarterback in the NFL?

“I think so,” said Shea. “Over the summer, Fales and a few other quarterbacks — Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Tajh Boyd — were counselors at the Elite 11 high school football camp. The counselors had a throwing competition, and Fales won it.

“When you talk about Fales, you have to start with his exceptional accuracy. He can make the ball end up exactly where it needs to end up. He can coordinate the alignment between his hip, feet and shoulder, plus he has that extra something to be able to place the ball one foot in front of the numbers of the receiver.

“He has strengthened his arm, too. He can throw the 25-yard post route just where it needs to be placed. He ropes it. And he throws the deep ball with air under it. He has nice touch when he needs it.”

Other than roping the post route, none of those compliments applies to Kaepernick.

Fales excels where Kaepernick fails. He is the anti-Kaepernick.

But what if Fales is not available in the third round? What if a team, say, the Raiders, falls in love with him and drafts him in the first or second round?

In that case, there are four other good quarterback prospects the 49ers could draft after the second round — the 49ers have too many needs to draft one before the third round. The candidates are: Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois, Brett Smith from Wyoming, Zach Mettenberger from LSU and Jeff Mathews from Cornell. Accurate, poised, mobile, experienced pocket passers — like Fales.

The 49ers must draft one of those guys. Do not anoint Kaepernick just yet. He hasn’t earned it.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. I think you are a tad harsh on Kaepernick – he’s not proven to be a choker as he made some clutch plays in back-to-back weeks leading up to the Seahawks game. He’s willing to take risks with the game on the line, and nothing wrong with that. But I agree with hedging their bets. Bringing in another good young QB is just smart business.

    1. He also had some very lucky dropped INTs that would have sent them home early. I really just don’t think he’s as good as everyone feels he is, I truly believe with that defense and supporting cast that you could put 15 other qbs from this league and they would be just as, if not more, successful.

    2. I love Kaepernick and hope they stick with him. I think he will be great. It is weird to go from the Alex situation, where he was given years and years and chance after chance to improve, to judging Kaepernick so severely after less than 2 years worth of starts. Alex with time and coaching has gotten better and better and I expect the same or better from Colin.

      Also in the NFC championship game, one QB faced a strong defense but one in which his running back had significant success against. That defense also had a good but not elite secondary. That QB had two turnovers and needed his defense to come up with a huge play in the last seconds of the game in order to win. That QB is being praised.

      The other QB was his team’s entire offense, running and passing. He made mistakes and had 3 turnovers, but went up against the NFL’s best defense and a secondary that is being considered one of the strongest ever. That QB had zero running game support. He threw a pass at the end of the game that his OC called for and the elite defender covering made an incredible play to prevent the winning touchdown. That QB is being called a loser.

      None of that makes any sense to me.

      1. Incomplete comparision. The first was in his first year with the system the second in his third. First qb had no proved receivers 2nd had at least 3 playoff s or sb experience. That said, past is past, but I really thought#7 was the answer. Now not so sure. Maybe I am still too much hurt from the loss

      2. Italian niner:
        Hello! Russell Wilson is in his second year as the Seahawks QB and has started more games than Kaepernick. Also Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate aren’t bad. They seem to get open pretty well against the niners secondary.

  2. Finally someone said it. I really see Kaep as being the next Mike Vick, and for as talented as Vick was, he has not, and probably never will, win it all or be a consistent QB in this league.

    Fales is an interesting take. I’d be fine with that. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a friends fam too.

  3. Will all those draft picks this year a backup QB and possible future starter is paramount.
    What’s funny is that people were doing that CK anointing after the Bears game two years ago. Now after 3 years, he has become indecisive, choker, and replaceable.

  4. According to Trent Dilfer this morning on the Game, Kaep has greatly improved the last 1/2 of the season, he has improved his footwork and his progressions. He has only played 1 1/2 seasons, not bad for a Super Bowl appearance and the NFC championship game. He also says most QB’s take a few years to improve and get their game in order. I do agree we need a second string QB, because Colt McCoy is not the real McCoy.

    1. I agree. It’s time for the Niners to shore up the QB depth chart. I would not write off Kaepernick. The guy who they picked up who’d been in camp last year. Bethel-Thompson? I don’t remember him the last time around. Maybe he’s a viable backup. If not, I have no problem with picking up Fales or someone else who could legitimately quarterback in the NFL.

      I think that sports columnists are a lot like drama queens. It may be necessary to generate an interesting column.

  5. Very nice. Fales would be a great fit. Smith is training for the combine down in San Diego under the tutelage of Jeff Garcia.

  6. We need a good backup regardless. If Kaepernick got hurt early in the season, I don’t think we would have made the playoffs with Colt McCoy. We need to sign a proven, veteran backup much like we did with Ty Detmer when we had Young. I still am praying we go hard after Josh Freeman this offseason. I’m still a believer. The guy just turned 26 and has over 60 starts to his credit. He’s exactly the type of QB that could flourish with the right coaching staff.

    I also think we should draft a QB to compete with the veteran for the backup role. Win win situation.

  7. Wow Grant,
    You did a 180 on Kaep. We’re going from a #1 bust in Alex Smith, who turned out to be a lot better when he went to play for Andy Reid, to Colin Wild Card Kaepernick, to now a new QB in the draft.
    That’s crazy.
    But you have a point. The league figure out Kaep pretty fast, especially the team in our division that will be rivals until Russell Wilson falls apart from all those hits.

    While he can make big plays, overall he hasn’t proven he can make a throw to save his life.
    Look at the wins, and in the late moments, when he is called upon to make a pass in a tight window, he chokes.
    The Carolina home game. The Saints road game. The Rams games from last year. And oh lord the SB and the NFCCG.
    I also thinks it’s karma. The switch from Alex has not provided the desired result of winning it all.
    While Kaep has made exciting plays, if I want exciting plays I’d go get Michael Vick who will be free next year.

  8. I was watching the senior bowl practices and all these QBs look terrible throwing with NO defense on the field… Fales looks horrible… The worst one other then Boyd from Clemson… Collin kaepernick won’t just be a top 3 qb for years to come, he will be considered one of the best players in all of football… Remember that Steve young did not develop in the pocket until the age of 29… Kaep is far ahead of young in that regard… As far as you mentioning fales as this great qb prospect, he is very comparable to Tyler Wilson who I believe you grant predicted in being the best qb prospect in that draft… What a steal by the raiders right? You are a good writer but once again lack any knowledge of player evaluation… Keep the comedy up with your predictions there priceless!

      1. This article was stupid! I also want address your comment. All quarterback have a learning curve. It took Peyton Manning how many years before he won a playoff game. Steve young leading the 49ers his first year didn’t make the playoffs. Roger Staubauch just like Steve Young was a run first quarterback before he became a hall of fame pocket quarterback. Kaepernick is the best player on the team. Also remember Montana and Young had far better receiver to throw to. Further more, last year was his first full season as a starting quarterback. It is just that he has had so much success at so early that we almost feel he should be further along in his progress than he is.

  9. Primetime, mj, did you two ever play football ? Grant you bring up Montana ? Let me tell you who the 2013 Montana was , red headed Bengal quarterback …. Kaep needs work but he has all the physical tools needed to be a great Quarterback, he carried the Niners on his back the first half of the Seattle game, do you guys realize the 49ers have zero speed ? Vernon Davis runs terrible routes so even though the guy runs a 4.4 , defenses see his routes from a mile away, the Niners runs game was terrible , the Seahawks weren’t biting on play action they were crashing and coming after Kaep . I’m more surprised you guys aren’t bitching at Trent Balke since J.H wanted Josh Gordon and Balke wouldn’t give the 2 picks up, Gordon would have stretched the field, the next season isn’t promised you play for right now. If you guys are gonna complain ….complain about why Carlos Rogers gets picked on all year , complain about Hitner who can’t cover a bed, didn’t all you guys cheer for Dennis Erickson ?

    1. Are you seriously comparing Andy Dalton to Joe Montana? When it comes to stepping up in a big moment, Dalton is nearly as bad as Romo.

    2. Yes actually I did…and I’ve followed it long enough and am no longer such a fanatic that I let my emotions control my thoughts. Thanks for the concern though

    3. Dalton is limited physically and self destructs in big games. There is no comparison to be made with Montana. He’s more Jeff Garcia if you really want to compare him to a former Niner QB. Garcia didn’t collapse like Dalton in playoff games though.

    4. The biggest mistake Baalke has made was not trading for Josh Gordon when he had the opportunity. His presence would have transformed the 49er’s offense. I truly believe that if Baalke would have pulled the trigger on the trade that the 49ers would have beat Seattle last Sunday and would easily beat Denver in the SB. Guys like Gordon don’t come along very often. There is no one like him in the draft. He is exactly what the 49ers offense and CK needs.

      1. Yep, big mistake. We need somebody that can stretch the field and Gordon was that guy. Unfortunately, we have too find a guy like that in the draft(marquise lee, please). We also need an offensive coordinator that won’t stubbornly stick to running up the middle on first down. Kap was amazing considering he was constantly facing 2nd and 11 and expected to succeed . I’m amazed at the negativity expressed toward Kap on this board. Give the guy some time.

      2. Grant:

        Shame on you for poking the fanboys like that. You know they aren’t ready to consider the possibility that Kaepernick may not be what they think he is. Dealing with another painful playoff loss is bad enough; don’t add to that by questioning their idol.

        To be fair, we’re all understandably depressed over the NFCCG loss. Watching your team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is deflating, and it’s going to take a while to get over it. Moreover, the fact that each of the last three seasons has ended with the 49ers losing a game they were in a position to win only makes it that much worse. This year is particularly difficult because it represents a step backward. At least after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, we could take some comfort from the fact that the team had taken a step forward. We can’t do that this year. No one’s going to feel good about this season for a while.

        And while I disagree with the “the 49ers must get rid of [insert name of chosen scapegoat here]!” sentiment that so many commenters have expressed, I understand where it comes from. Fortunately for the fans, the people running the team are rational people not prone to making rash decisions.

      1. it is all conjecture and rumour that josh gordon was ever available in trade

        Exactly. But some people will nevertheless accept it as established fact.

        What I’m trying to understand is how Josh Gordon would have changed the outcome of the NFCCG. I don’t think you can pin the loss on Crabtree and Boldin.

      2. No point in getting another WR when Kaep barely uses 1 as it is. This season he was 70% Boldin, 23% Davis and then everyone else, until Crabs came back, and then it became Boldin 48, Crabs 48, and anyone else was lucky to get a throw. With Boldin Crabs and Davis as 3 receiving options, and whatever rb in the backfield, any qb would have a field day with that, spreading the ball all over the field, 5 to 8 catches each.

  10. If Jimmy Garoppolo keeps impressing theres no way he makes it to the third, as far as Brett Smith goes…

    Matt Miller ‏@nfldraftscout
    Spoke to few teams about Wyoming prospects. All have mentioned Brett Smith w/o prompting as “terrible”, “overrated” and more colorful words

    I’m not a big fan of Mettenberger either. Fales would be a pretty good pickup in the 3rd-4th though, his arm is definitely a bit underrated.

    1. Garoppolo is a guy I’ve had my eye on.Check him out fellas if you haven’t already.Presently he is projected as a third rounder,however tkamB is correct he could be moving up in the ranks.

      1. Rocket you used to have a spine and a worthwhile comment or two.

        Young lost more games than Kaep in the playoffs and played an ultra-conservative game once he finally got handed Montana’s job. It took him forever to win and he only won 1 stinking SB, after getting taught by Walsh and Montana. Peyton is the losingest playoff QB of all time; hopefully he wins #2 next Sunday.

    1. E,
      Yep, and the HOF is a complete farce.
      I think you made your feelings regarding SY quit clear last Summer.
      Nothing revealing here bud.

    2. E, your hatred of #8 grows old. Heaven forbid, your beloved Montana was traded and your life declined. Joe didn’t bring the Chiefs a Super Bowl.

      1. Joe maybe didn’t bring the Chiefs a ring but he brought you guys 4 of your 5 rings, in the “80′s”,that you love to brag about….took your team over 30 years to get that first ring…..Glory Days…

    3. Very Lame E. You can say what you want but Manning and Young are top 10 QB’s of all time, and even if you disagree, they are no less at then the top 15 of all time., anyone with any logical football logic will agree.

  11. First off I think you went a little bi-polar with this post. You were loving on Kaep a few weeks ago and now he stinks. Kaep sucked it up in the 4th Q but he was the reason why the game was that close. He didn’t have too many open receivers that game, he also didn’t have that much time to throw. He saved that game by pure athletic ability alone.

    With that being said, I agree with your conclusion that the 49ers need a security blanket. We all know that they will draft a QB it’s just a matter of when. I would rather see their first 5 picks be on 2 WRs (one big dude and one super fast dude), 2 CBs, and a safety but who knows, they might go QB somewhere in there. I hope they don’t jump the gun and give Kaep $20 million. Everywhere I read it says that he will get what he wants. I say if he wants more that $15 Mil then let him play it out. Meanwhile if Harbaugh truly is a QB whisperer then the young pup they draft will be the heir. Besides, this young QB will most likely be 5 yrs younger than Kaep.

    Basically I hope the 49ers don’t go all in Flaco-like with Kaep. He isn’t worth $20 Mil. Not when he throws for 3200 yards. He can be great but he isn’t great yet so don’t pay him great money. That money can go elsewhere.

    1. Grant changes course quite often.

      While I agree with the premise that we need to draft a young QB, I couldn’t disagree more with the description of Kap and what his future holds.

      This was a QB who played in nothing even close to the system he plays in now with the exception of when they go to the pistol formation which was less featured as the season wore on. He was raw coming into the league yet was starting half way through year two and has gone to the SB and NFCCG in a year and a half of being a starting NFL QB. It’s unbelievable to me how impatient and reactionary people can get over small examples of data while ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

      Kap isn’t an idiot, he’s actually quite intelligent, and has the best physical traits for his position in the game this side of Newton. He will learn and improve on his play in the pocket the more he does it. The expectations increase when you burst on the scene the way he did last year, but now they have completely gotten out of hand and unrealistic.

      David Fales in the 5th round? No problem, but as a possible replacement for Kap? Not even remotely likely. Kap is winning while learning how to play. When he gets it, he could literally be unstoppable. There was a reason Jaws was talking about him as a candidate to become the best ever.

    2. True Jack, but what we’ve seen in growth and impact doesn’t support that theory. He’s gone from raw with great physical skill, to starting NFL QB leading his team to SB and NFCCG appearances in back to back years. He’s started 29 games and won 21 of them.

      To be talking about possibly replacing this guy is absurd.

      1. Yes. It’s a lot of money but he’s shown enough to warrant the long term deal that somebody is going to give him if the Niners don’t. If Cutler can command that kind of money, then Kap certainly can.

      2. The money is only going to go up from here anyway. If he plays well next year and reaches FA they either have to tag him or give him even more on a long term deal so better to do it now.

      3. Right now, I would be willing to give Kaep the exact same contract Alex Smith received after the 2011 season, with some hefty incentives for winning the chamiponship.

      4. The Niners have shown they can win with a game manager and with an athlete. Why put a gun to your head an spend that kind of money on a guy you are not sure can lead you to a title?

      5. “So because the Bears are willing to jump off that bridge the Niners should too?”
        Oh no you didn’t! LOL! Jack, you resorted to the “Mom Argument”? Ha! And JPN didn’t challenge you?
        You know; “Just because Johnny did it…” : >)
        I think we all get your point, I just had to laugh.

      6. The Bears did what they had to. You need a QB to win in this league. To let Kap play out his deal would be a huge mistake and cost them more in the long run. It’s not easy to find a QB, that’s why the good ones are so expensive.

      7. Prime,

        They won with good QB play from both Smith and Kap. After seeing what Kap has done so far as a starter, I don’t think they have any doubt they can win a SB with him.

        It’s amazing how quickly people have forgotten the near decade of futility we saw out of this team and how high the expectations are now. We do not want to start testing the theory of anybody can play QB for this team, trust me.

      8. The fact that Harbaugh could get this team to an NFC Championship game with Smith is all the more reason to keep all of the options open.


        I agree. An Alex Smith type deal would be perfect for the team. Just not sure Kaepernick would go for something like that.

      9. I’m not saying anyone can play QB, I’m saying a long term deal for a guy getting labelled as can’t win the big one is real. Labels although unfair, are real in the NFL. It just so happens CK’s failure in the SB and NFC championship have caused concern.
        I think a 12-14 million dollar deal long term right now might be premature for a guy like CK. Potential is there but I don’t think potential means much after what happened this past playoff.
        I’m of the belief you let him ride out his contract and see what he does in 2014 before a commitment long term is made.

      10. Prime,

        He’s already won 3 playoff games on the road including last year’s NFCCG. You can’t just look at the end result of the past two years and base your opinion on that.

        I’d love to see the Niners sign him to a lower money deal. I’d also like to be dating Kate Upton. Unfortunately neither is going to happen. With what Kap has on his resume already combined with the fact he is just entering his prime, he’s going to get a huge contract. If it’s not from the Niners, it’ll be from somebody else.

      11. I do not know if he would either, Jack. But as of right now, I would not pay him more. And I do not think the Niners will either, at least not until they see how the 2014 season plays out.

        And Brotha, while Jack is using the “would you jump off a bridge because your friends did” argument, he is still correct that it is foolish to jump off the bridge after witnessing the consequences to others.

      12. I don’t believe in Kaep enough just yet to give him a 5-6 year, $100+ million type of contract, and that may well be what he’s after.

        If he’s not after really big money, get the deal done. If he is, let him play for it next year. They can always use the franchise tag if they need to (and have the cap room).

      13. Rocket, Why can’t you look at the end result of the past two playoff games? You have to look at it all. The wins and loses, it’s all encompassing. When the 49ers and CK’s agent sit flown to negotiate you bet your azz they bring up those two games and his inability to win in Seattle. Cruel, unfair, unwarranted, yes but we are talking about millions of dollars. There is no well, potential, crystal balling in contract talks.

  12. I’ve made it no secret that I like Mettenberger but I’ve also never had any illusions he’ll still be around by the time we’re ready to draft another QB.

  13. But what if Fales is not available in the third round? What if a team, say, the Raiders, falls in love with him and drafts him in the first or second round?
    Because if he’s half as good as you think he is the Raiders will have no interest in him.

  14. Grant I believe you neglected to mention about the cost/wisdom of re-signing Kaep as he approaches the end of his rookie contract – clearly you have a strategy and/or a reasonable cost in mind, knowing as you must that if Kaep has a great year next year he will put himself in the $17-20mm category and be a real cap buster.

    SB-capable QBs don’t exactly grow on trees or routinely show up in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft – the Montana/Brady picks are the rare exceptions. In fact, they’re pretty darn hard to find anyway, even if you use a 1st round pick.

    This team will have a lot of holes to fill as we already have a number of mid-late career veterans and some free agents. While we have 13 (?) picks this year, the hit rate is such that you can’t expect to find players with a long term (2-3 yrs) ability to start at anything more than a 33% (good) or 50% ( McVay/Walsh peak production) probability. The list of positions requiring an upgrade, starting with WR, has been well documented by others here. Using a 2nd or even a 3rd on a qb seems low priority. Using a 2nd round pick right after, or as we consider, resigning Kaep for a cap-busting contract seems self-contradictory.

    The question is, do Baalke/Harbaugh et al think Kaep is capable of playing at a SB-winning level. Last year they clearly answered “YES” to this, and in fact got within 5 yards and a missed pass of proving themselves right. I’d bet heavily – and prohibitively so – against your contention that they’re going to change their mind as we head into the draft a year later.

    1. Kap is their guy and nothing he’s done should give them reason to change their mind. It’s always good to have a young QB to develop for possible trade later on, so I can see them taking somebody later in the draft for that purpose.

    2. Kaepernick has now completed his 3rd full season on the team so the 49ers are now able to offer him a new contract…. It is my belief that they will be able to sign him to an incentive laden contract hat will benefit the team & him…. If they can’t get him to sign such a contract now then they will have to see what he does as far as improving or declining during the remainder of his rookie contract… & then if he declines too far either release him or have better leverage to sign him for less… If he improves it could cost them more, but, if he improves then we are looking at the potential of multiple SBs & that would be worth paying him the big contract…

  15. In game situations he has just a little over a year in experience not 3 years. He has the tools we all know that but he needs is a QB whisperer enter Tom House.

  16. Grant,
    Check out Adam Kennedy from Arkansas St. He is also a local kid from Elk Grove. 6’5″ and 225 lbs. Currently he is working with Jeff Garcia in San Diego along with Manziel and Teddy.

    1. The only think I know about Kennedy is that he was benched in their bowl game. I looked up his stats for the year…not impressive.

      1. He had a dislocated knee cap three weeks prior and a bursa sac rupture during the first half of the game. He wasn’t benched.

  17. I 100% concur that they need to draft a quality QB in the draft. I also concur that, as much as I love what he brings, Kap isn’t there yet.

    I don’t care what Kap or Harbaugh says in public forum, that last pass to Crabtree was not the right read. The film says it all.

    I’m sure that we all hope for and expect Kap to improve in the offseason (mentally). Will it be enough though? Will he learn true pocket mobility and pocket presence that will allow him to go through progressions? The coaching staff won’t really find that out until OTAs start. By that time it’s too late to scavenge for a backup QB they could potentially switch to if the mental game still isn’t there.

    1. Justdareal,

      The read was correct. They had Crabtree one on one on the right, and zone on the left side with both safeties leaning that way as well. The read takes you to the one on one. The issue was the placement of the throw; not the decision to throw it there.

      1. Same misplacement of the fade he threw to Crabtree in last years SB.
        Look it’s too early to give up on CK but when you get to championship moments and the guy you have invested in so deeply fails to perform in the winning moment, that is burdensome. Maybe competition helps CK, maybe he just does not have it. I have no idea but what I do know, the window to win in the NFL closes real fast for teams.

  18. Before the playoffs started, I started a thread about ranking the QBs. I know I had Alex Smith and Kaepernick tied for last. Okay, Hhere’s how I would rank the QBs now.

    I know he lost, but he show me why I’m always scared of what he can do when he has the ball.
    That offense looks unstoppable, and he’s the only one that can make it the machine that it is.
    3. ANDY LUCK
    I know he throw a bunch of picks, but he did the most with the least. Chiefs just forgot to guard TY Hilton.
    4. TOM BRADY
    Give him a good WR. Just one.
    Give him a good running game, and the passing game opens up.
    He’s too dependent on the Superdome. A good QB should be good in all conditions
    He played lights up. He stepped up when Charles went down. Even threw to AJ Jenkins on a crucial down. Where was that guy when he was the Niners QB? I know it’s one game, but given the circumstances – maybe he’s just scratching the surface, this after 8 seasons in the league.
    He made some sick throws in the 1st half. But it’s a 60 min game. The raw talent is there.
    He does chuck it out there, but where would he be without that D?
    Got lucky when the Packer DB dropped a pick six. Got lucky again when the Panthers DB dropped a pick six. Then it all came back to roost in the 4th Quarter. Which is too bad because he can run like the wind. That pass to immortalize Richard Sherman did not help. Doesn’t seem like he will figure out what it means to stay in the pocket.
    11. NICK FOLES
    He had a great year, but it just feels like a one year wonder, much like COLIN above him.
    No Ginger love here.

    1. Smith threw for like 3300 yards in a pass whacky Andy Reid offense. I would not put him 7th. I’m not bashing the guy but he isn’t that good. I would put him behind Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford, Romo, and Roethlisberger. I would say he is even with Tannehill, Flacco, and Carson Palmer

    2. Why do you think Nick Foles is a one-year wonder. I personally think he is going to be great for years. He has all the physical tools, brains, and intangibles.

      Watch out. The next great QBs in this league are Luck and Foles! If I were Baalke, I’d see what the Eagles want for him in the draft, just in case Chip Kelly really wants a running QB (in that case, TRADE KAEP!)

      1. As long as you are trading Kaep, throw Crabtree into the deal for Foles and a first rounder in 2014 and conditional 2015. If the price is right, sign FAs Vick and Maclin. This way you solve salary cap problems and build for the future. Harbaugh can make Foles even better and Vick is better than McCoy. Maclin can stretch the field better than Crab. Use the 2014 first round pick from Philly to trade up and get a tall WR.

        Kaep and Crab can continue their bromance in Philly.

  19. What if Balke/Harbaugh realize that their QB isn’t the most imortant piece (for now) of the puzzle for their team. The team won with Smith and they won with Kaepernick, two fairly different QBs. What if they keep drafting replacement QBs with the idea of developing them into decent QBs and saving 15-20 million/year by not busting the bank on your “franchise QB.” I’m not saying this is a good idea but it would be cool to see how it would play out. Every three years spend a 2nd or 3rd rounder on a QB and not end up paying big bucks for a QB. Somebody try this please.

    1. Dude, I’m with you on not breaking the bank for the QB but I also believe that’s a key position of stability for the team. The team will go as the QB takes them. Painfully, we saw this in our loss to Seattle.

  20. QB is the one position that you should reach for. If the 49ers brass decides Fales is worth investing in as the successor to Kaep, then reach in the 2nd round and get the guy! I don’t care what the other needs are. Without a QB, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

    And besides, we have the draft capital to trade up. What we don’t need are a bunch of late picks that won’t make the team. Package them and trade up. Give a 3rd with a few late picks to move up to the 2nd. Get this Fales guy, or AJ McArron. Or whoever. Let’s have a guy that can take over mid-year and be an upgrade, or at the very least push Kaep to develop as a passer. There is no need so great we can’t reach a little in the 2nd round for the QB that we need.

  21. I agree that we should draft another QB and that we shouldn’t anoint Kaepernick yet (good teams don’t anoint anyone they are always looking for someone better to promote competition at every position). But can we please drop the Joe Montanna and Bill Walsh references already. I love these guys as much as the rest but my God, they haven’t been involved with the 49ers for a quarter century. There will never be another Joe Montanna or Bill Walsh……you and your old man gotta just let the past go and focus on the current era

    1. Average arm, plays out of the shotgun, not too athletic, locks on to his receivers, not impressive for a high pick. I’d say 5th Rd on. .. There are too many college qbs that look like this. He’s a dime a dozen.

    1. It really is amazing to read some of the stuff that gets said around here. Kap is a year and a half into a starting career and it’s SB or bust. That clip of Montana is timely because it should show everybody that the all time greats were human too. Not every throw was a thing of beauty. Montana lost games and was owned by the Giants during his career in SF for a few years. He threw 3 interceptions in the game immortalized by the Catch. Steve Young struggled for years before becoming the guy who eventually made the HOF.

      Kap has struggled in Seattle, meanwhile he’s winning more than 2 3rds of his games, and came within one play of leading the team to it’s second consecutive SB appearance with him as the starter, in his first full season as a starter. You have to give these guys time before deciding their future.

      1. I hear you rocket. I don’t know if CK is the answer but to not give any more time to prove himself is crazy, especially he took this team to the Super bowl last year and the championship game this year. All in his first two year as a starter. Man, Steve wouldn’t survive this crowd either. Didn’t he lose to Aikman on back to back NFCCGs? How about Peyton’s playoff record?

      2. “He threw 3 interceptions in the game immortalized by the Catch.”

        Yep, but Montana made the game winning throw. Kaepernick, who is at roughly the same stage in his career that Montana was at the time of “The Catch”, threw an interception.

        Two chances, two failures.

      3. ricardo,

        Young was a bust who Walsh got for a 2nd and 4th round picks from Tampa. He was nowhere near what he became in the second half of his career. He was hated by a lot of Niner fans when Montana was traded for exactly what you just described; unrealistic expectations. Much like Kap is dealing with right now. Thing is Kap is so much more talented physically than Young and is playing at a higher level at a younger age than Young ever did.

        It’s simply a case of wanting your cake now and ignoring the fact it takes time to bake.

      4. It’s yeAr 3 Rocket, what else do you need to see? It’s not like he does have a great defense and more than enough weapons, and a great coaching staff.

      5. I want to see him given time to develop Prime. He’s led them to a SB and NFCCG appearance while learning on the job. I want to see what the finished product can do personally.

      6. Joe Montana, the legend (who never lost THE big game), is a construct of our memories. Joe Monatana, the quarterback, made mistakes, threw over ten interceptions per season for eight of his fifteen years, lost some big games, and was not without detractors. Every 49er’s QB since Montana has been, from early on in their careers, compared not to Joe Montana the quarterback, but to Joe Montana the legend. However, none of them can compare to the legend. Even young Joe Montana, the quarterback, could not have measured up to the legend he became.

      7. Prime, I don’t think you can equate all 3 yrs of quarterbacking experience the same. Also, we have to remember that CK ran the pistol offense in college and he’s just learning to play in the pocket. On top of that, he’s in an offense that is run heavy. If Steve took even longer to become a proficient QB with Walsh and in a west cost offense, I’m sure we could give CK a little more time, right?

      8. Agreed, Jack. But that legend came as a result of his cumulative performances over a career. He made plenty of mistakes, especially early on in his career, and that first Super Bowl included quite a bit of luck and a great defense. Third year Joe Montana, even with a Super Bowl win under his belt, could not have compared to the legend, so we should not be too quick to compare others to the legend when they have not yet had the chance to build the entire body of work Montana did.

      9. JPN,

        I get what you’re saying. Kaepernick has had opportunities to create that type of legacy hasn’t worked out. Do you see where I’m coming from?

      10. …”Montana made the game winning throw…” Yes he did, and Eric Wright made the game saving tackle following the ‘catch’ cementing Montana’s legend. Team game gentlemen.

      11. This may be the most thoughtful and well-reasoned subthread I have read on this site in the past 6 months. Congratulations.

      12. >>It really is amazing to read some of the stuff that gets said around here. Kap is a year and a half into a starting career and it’s SB or bust.

        Indeed rocket. Some perspective.

        Couldn’t win the big one:

        John Elway – 2-3 in Super Bowls until finally winning his first 16 years in. Those Broncos – a patient bunch, right?
        Brett Favre – 1-1 in Super Bowls – took him 5 years to win.
        Payton Manning 1-1 in Super Bowls – took him 8 years.
        Steve Young – I’ll leave it to E to tell us how long it took to get that monkey off his back.
        Dan Marino, Fran Tarkington, Jim Kelly – couldn’t win the big one.
        Dan Fouts, Warren Moon – couldn’t win the next big one to get to the big one. HOFers all.

        I swear to god, it must be the internet generation instant gratification syndrome that’s responsible for some of the nonsense here.

      13. >> Kaepernick has had opportunities to create that type of legacy hasn’t worked out. Do you see where I’m coming from?


        Montana, over the course of his career, was in the playoffs 11 years. He ultimately failed in 7 of those years. Why are we even comparing Kaep’s success rate to Montana when he so far has had 1/5 of the opportunities? This is just as silly as those here who were calling him “The Franchise” after 3 games in the 2012 season. Both camps will have egg on their face before it’s all said and done.

    2. If that interception had been made, right between the numbers, the 49ers wouldn’t have scored on the next play and would have had a much bigger hill to climb to win Walsh’s last Super Bowl.

      People also forget that Montana was intercepted deep in his own territory on the first drive of his first Super Bowl. Then Anderson was intercepted at the 49er goal line and the Bengals didn’t score.

      Maybe that’s why they play the games instead of awarding victory to those with the best statistics.

      Another forgotten moment was the game the Young won with his legs instead of taking a sack at midfield very late in the forth quarter
      against the Vikings. That play made getting into the playoffs possible for Montana and Walsh.

    3. Kaepernick did that in all three playoff games this season. Mycah Hyde dropped it. Quintin Mikell dropped it. Kam Chancellor caught it.

      1. Grant,

        You and others talk about the two INT’s that weren’t as if they were gimmees. That is hardly the case.

        Hyde was at the apex of his jump, fully extended and barely got his finger tips on the ball. I doubt he would pull that ball in better than three out of ten times, if that. And had he pulled the ball in, there was no guarantee he would’ve been able to hold on to the ball upon contacting the ground. On top of that, there was no way that was going to be a pick six. Hyde was going to the ground no matter what and he would’ve been down by contact before he would’ve been able to get up.

        As for the Mikel potential INT, that ball was a bullet and was through his arms before he was even thinking of catching it. He basically had no real chance of catching it. Of course, had he caught it, it would’ve been a pick six, but if you rewatch that play you’ll see that Mikell had no real chance of making that play.

        That’s not to say that either of those passes weren’t ill advised, they were, very much so, but they shouldn’t be spoken about as huge dodged bullets. If either play had been made, it would’ve required a substantial amount of luck, in addition the skill exhibited by both DB’s in question.

  22. Kaepernick still has a ton of potential and there are a any teams that would love to have him. That being said, I have said many times that they need to draft a QB to compete with him. You need to have redundancy at the position. Not in terms of the same type of QB, but you have to have two good QB’s. Until a player has proven himself as a top tier player, his feet should be held to the fire. Kaep doesn’t have any competition on the roster whatsoever. I know he works extremely hard, but he is never going to maximize his abilities without the fear of losing the starting job. Next year should provide a fairly accurate assessment of Kaepernick’s long term viability as a starter, one way or the other. Drafting a guy now would be a savvy investment. I’d like the QB Whisperer to do a little more whispering.

      1. Jack,
        I have looked at the top prospects but I haven’t had a chance to really look at the second tier of QB’s yet. I’m a draft junky but my three and seven year old create a fierce pass rush. What say you? Gimme a few names and I’ll research them tonight. The draft will help me burn off the last bits of season ending agony.

      2. Do you remember the 87 playoff game against the Vikings? The niners were being hailed as one of the all time great teams. Joe was completely ineffective and got pulled for Steve Young. Do you remember the 49-3 game against the giants? My point is even joe had bad games. Kap has been the starter for 1 1/2 years. He is an incredible talent. Does he make mistakes. Yes. They all do. I suggest all you Kap detractors get off his back.

      3. Tyrant,
        The 87′ team was outstanding and that loss was shocking. I was 10 at the time, but I remember every agonizing moment. Yes, Joe had bad moments. He also had Steve Young to push him later in his career. I love Kaep and think he has a bright future, but I have enough questions about him that I would draft a talented QB to push him and eventually be a starter if he doesn’t develop as planned. It would be an organizational failure not to.

    1. BigP,

      I agree with that. Competition is always good and developing QB’s even if it’s just to trade them later on is always a good strategy.

      Personally, I’d like to see what Harbaugh could do with Stephen Morris.

      1. Morris is the type of guy they can get late in the draft and develop which is what I think they are looking for. Lots of talent, but needs a lot of work and Coaching.

  23. Garoppolo and Fales look about the same to me based on a small sample. At the right place in draft I could live with either.
    I don’t know about Carr; skills, but he worries me, especially as high as he’ll likely go.
    Mettenberger probably high 2nd round? A little steep.
    The other guys I haven’t seen.

  24. The problem is not kap. It’s roman!!!! It’s the Offensive philosophy and the lack of a real backup qb. They Babied him because they had no security blanket.
    Get him some reliable speed ( not Lockette) and a young rb and it’ll be different.
    I still feel that the west coast offense under kubiac would be awesome. A MACHINE like system that makes the reads easy. Pre – reads are fine to see what the defensive is doing, in fact sometimes you want to motion a player to try to get a key after the read to see what they’re really thinking. Timing routes help the progression too. 1,2,3 back peddling done with my initial read, the second and avoiding pressure, the third is open or I run. He needs this system that turns average qbs like Garcia, McNab, Smith, grbac, schaub and others into pro bowlers. Concentrate on that and he can be the next fare but a lot more athletic. P.s, look what Reid did for Smith. He made him look like a real Qb, something he never was here.

    1. Roman does not throw into ill advised coverage. Roman is not responsible for getting seperation and winning his one on one battles. At those points in the game, the players have to execute.

      1. The system makes the players better with proper spacing and different formation with real timing routes. that’s what I meant.

      2. You think timing matters late in the 4th Q in a hostile environment? No execution and intelligence and mental toughness is what separates winners from losers.
        A system does not make the players better, the players make the system work. At the end of the day, the players decide the outcome. Not the coaches.

      3. Yes it does. A hostile environment needs preparation and cool headedness. Steve young was just on kobe talking about ck needing a system to follow and how a four yard pass to Rathman was better than a 20 yard scramble. Point is he needs to learn progression and the west coast offense gives him that opportunity.

      4. Progression is a result if studying, being confident in your decisions. A west coast offense does not make you a smarter player.
        A player makes the system functional, not the other way around.

  25. Montana was in the NFL 3 years before he won a Super Bowl. That team was laced with Hall of Famers. From the front office down.
    Steve Young was in the NFL 10 years before starting and winning a Super Bowl. Let’s talk about this “QB Guru”. Sam Bradford has done nothing in the NFL. RG III, we see how his season turned out. Kaepernick has been in the league 1.5 years and y’all are already talking about having a back up plan. Essentially you’re saying let’s blow up the whole team. You don’t waste draft picks on back ups, that’s how we got Kap. I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, MOST OF YOU NEVER PLAYED SPORTS PASSED HIGH SCHOOL, it shows. You don’t go from college to the pros and just win superbowls. Kap led us to the NFC Championship game and we looked terrible at the beginning of the year. Most young QB’s will tank under that pressure. The NFL is an extremely faced pace game. A lot faster than college football. Where many of you think a guy from a small college is going to come in and actually compete for a position. The speed between a Division I football and DII are considerably different. Y’all sound crazy. I hope Kaps does work on everything he needs to work on, and that doesn’t include hitting the weights. But to think he is not the guy, as Stephen A. Would say is, asinine. Every QB has flaws. If it wasn’t for Kaps amazing running abilities we wouldn’t have even been in the game last Sunday. If we would have won, we would be singing his praises. I think we need to slow down on criticizing a guy who has been to the Superbowl & NFCCG(2).

    1. Peyton Manning was in the NFL how many years before he won it? What about Tom Brady? What about Drew Bree’s? Ask San Diego how they feel now. Oh and let’s not forget Aaron Rodgers. Top 4 QB’s in the NFL and we expect Kap to be perfect already. Let’s get real. I live in KY. I’m a UK basketball fan. Many of you sound like the obnoxious UK fans the everyone in America hates. We have to be real here. Kap sat behind Alex Smith. How many years did it take for that guy to get it? I’ll wait

      1. None of those guys had the greatest of defensies, either. Everybody seems to forget that there are 3 aspects to a game – offense, defense and the kicking game.

        Last I saw, those QBs don’t pl;ay defense and don’t kick or cover kicks.

        It requires a team (together everybody accomplishes more) to win a SB.

      2. That’s what I’m thinking. I know Kap threw the game losing interception but we forgot about the DB’s not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch, the DB’s also letting the WR get behind them, and the entire front seven giving up on the play where Wilson throws a bomb and our DB’s give up another big play. I’m okay with blaming Kap but GEEZ draft anothe QB. We don’t have time to develope two QB’s.

      3. You’re missing the most important thing: in two games, kaep had the ball in his and a chance to make a play to win the game and he failed twice.
        On the same okay.
        That’s what quarterbacks do, not defenses, not lineman, but the quarterback.
        It’s up to him to make the smart decision, read, pass whatever. Kaep failed. Twice.
        He’s really done it where he had to make pass to save his life,

      4. How many picks do we have in this draft? Did Coach Walsh hesitate having two great QB’s on his squad?If our QB who I fully support and consider our guy gets dinged on one of his outstanding runs,wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a fresh young prospect in the wings?

    2. KY:

      Montana was in the NFL 3 years before he won a Super Bowl. That team was laced with Hall of Famers.

      No, it wasn’t. That team had 3 Hall of Famers on it, and one of them was Montana. The other two were Ronnie Lott and Fred Dean. Four 49ers made the Pro Bowl that season: Montana, Lott, Dwight Clark, and Dwight Hicks.


      Montana’s first Super Bowl team was not nearly as talented as this year’s team, last year’s team, or even the 2011 team. What Montana and Walsh accomplished that season was amazing.

      That said, your larger point is not without merit. Although his late game performances thus far are not what we want them to be, it’s still too early to reach a determinative conclusion on Kaepernick.

  26. I love Fales, but I think he goes in the second round. Another quarterback that would be a great bargain is Keith Price of Washington. San Fran could grab him between rounds 5-7. I do think we need to be patient with Kaepernick. Montana didn’t have great numbers until the Niners’ first Super Bowl campaign. Kaepernick’s growth is tied to the playcalling and the WR talent around him. Both of those areas need to improve so that he can.

    1. Price’s senior season was a nightmare with respect to his passing performances and his skill set definitely is not the answer.

  27. Well this all makes too much sense, so of course the 49ers won’t do it. I think Kaerernick is cursed with a strong arm, and the mentality that comes with it. He, like too many others, believes that he can make any and every pass. Those two interceptions against Seattle were textbook examples. The first one especially, as he threw to a receiver that was completely covered. Both interceptions would require a perfectly thrown ball, and even then it would only be about a 50/50 proposition to complete the pass. It is really past time for Roman and the rest of the offensive coaches (mostly) to go. They are the ones with a remedial passing game, and clearly none of them can coach Kaepernick to the next level. I just hope Kaepernick isn’t what I think he is, which is a runner pretending to play QB. Kaepernick only has good quarters, or maybe a good half, but I really don’t remember him having many good complete games besides the opener against a ghastly GB defense. Clearly that was an aberration. We also need some work in the running game, out vaunted OL rarely opens up any running lanes or gets any down field push. I think the OL is way overrated.

  28. Quick update. my mom is out of surgery and sleeping well. so far so good. I appreciate all the prayers and good vibes put out there.
    God bless.

  29. Just to chime in- If the niners can sign Kap to a contract that pays him 10 mil a year- he is good enough, the extra savings can go into an extra star. At 18-20 million, the guy is just not worth it.

    Even worse- I just don’t like Kap as a person. The press conference act has worn really really thin. I don’t care about tats, or how the dude looks- but the one word answer act is annoying and childish. I want to see Alex Smith win a super bowl, I want to see frank gore win a SB, same with Willis, Bowman, v davis, cowboy- but Kap winning doesnt get me excited, probably would make his head even bigger.

    1. How is his head big? And who do you suggested we get that can accomplish the same things he’s done in his first three years.

      1. first of the 3 years was AS QBing the team a double special teams fumble from the super bowl…2nd year AS had the 6-2 record with his last game being a concussion perfect QB rating….

  30. Grant,

    Blah Blah Blah about Shea being a QB guru. “Shea speaks he’s talking the Quarterback Gospel.”

    The greatest coach of all time who your Dad constantly compares Harbaugh too once said. After observing Rick Mirer at Notre Dame, Bill Walsh called him the second-coming of Joe Montana. Mirer wasn’t even the second coming of Joe Pisarcik.
    Anybody can be wrong Grant, even you occasionally.

      1. Thanks Ricardo,

        The guy has played a 1 1/2 seasons and we are ready to boot him out that he is a bust and he chokes under pressure, I guess you could say that about John Elway too,loses 3 Super Bowls and then he win two in a row.

      2. Like I mentioned to rocket, Young wouldn’t survive this crowd either. And you’re right, you could add Elway in the conversation too.

      1. Brees was injured and the Chargers already had their insurance plan. They went 14-2 the first season after Brees left.

      2. Great point. Brees has thrived in New Orleans ever since he arrived. Why? Because they built an offense suited to his strengths, something I thought the Niners would continue to do after the end of the 2012 season, but then they went back to “Conservoball.” I blamed Greg Roman a lot this season, but I wonder if Harbaugh isn’t also to blame. He seems to want to just overpower people instead of relying a bit more on speed and misdirection. If anything, the Niner offense needs more “change-ups”; it’s one thing for a pitcher to have a great fastball, but he’s got to mix in a different pitch or else he gets lit up. If Harbaugh wants to ground and pound, fine, but at least come up with other types of plays to keep the defense honest, other than just 5 step drops and slow deep routes.

      3. What have the Charges done since? We’re talking about pretty much preparing to consider Kap a bust because he “Choked”. If Kap has choked I don’t know what you call what Matt Ryan is doing in Atlanta. They aren’t trying to hedge there bets down there. Kaps beat the Falcons twice. Tony Romo, he has some of the best QB stats since he first became the QB for the Cowboys – he’s done worse than Kap. We have to give the kid some time. I highly doubt we find someone like him. It makes no sense.

      4. They went 11-5 the following season as well.

        Atlanta should have taken out an insurance policy too. Kaepernick may be the next great thing, but the 49ers should hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

      5. it is smart business to draft qurterbacks–look how the packers used to stack their roster by getting picks for qbs they drafted and made look good to qb needy teams…brunell, brooks, and hassselback all brought packes good draft picks–ron wolf was smart

  31. Just go out and draft the next Steve Young or Joe Montana in the 3rd or 4th round. Why didn’t anyone else think of that?

    Seriously, this is a ridiculous post (the part about Kap). You’re doing what all the other haters do when assessing him. You forget that he quarterbacked his team to within 5 yards of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and instead focus on his failure to get those 5 yards. Now, you put aside the 2nd best rushing performance in playoff history by a QB, and the fact that he SINGLEHANDEDLY kept the Niners in game (from an offensive standpoint) against the best D in the league in the hardest stadium to win a game in.

    How long has it been since Tom Brady won a Super Bowl? How about Peyton? It’s hard. Damn hard.

    In your haste to criticize a guy who has had more playoff success than most NFL QBs (and three times as many road playoff wins as the great Montana and Young combined), you ignore that he has been a starting QB for a year and a half, and the fact that he probably played against the most difficult competition of any QB in history this year. Of their 19 games, 8 were against the top 4 other defenses in the entire league (Seattle, Arizona, Carolina, N.O.). He played without Crabtree for half the season, where his best receiver was a 33 year old, slow possession receiver.

    Is he perfect? Far from it. Is he the Niners QB of the future? Unquestionably.

    1. Very well said! This kind of reaction puts into question the knowledge of several people on this blog… First and foremost the writer…

      1. We’re still trying to groom Kap. We can’t groom
        Both. Someone will always get more reps. It just makes no sense. Next you have Kap feeling insecure. Nothing was worse than Alex Smith playing knowing his replacement was sitting on the bench. I loved when Kap came into the game but HATED that they would take Alex out. It screws up a QB’s brain.

      2. No you can coach up as many players as you want. But you and I both know, just as most broadcasters say, the guy whose with the first team is getting most of the reps. Why spend time trying to groom multiple QB’s when we have one who we know can get the job done. With a little bit of polishing he will get us there

      3. “Why spend time trying to groom multiple QB’s when we have one who we know can get the job done.”

        That’s what good teams do. Walsh was great at this.

      4. No I have to play devils advocate. Joe Flacco wasn’t groomed, Drew Brees wasn’t groomed, Brett Farve wasn’t groomed, and who groomed Kurt Warner? I understand what everyone is saying. But I’m sold on Kap being our guy. If at his worse we make it to the NFC Championship game and superbowl, I’ll take my chances when he gets the QB position down.

      5. Brees, Favre and Warner didn’t start their first year out of college. They either sat, or played in a developmental league.

        As for Flacco, is that the standard Kaepernick needs to live up to for you?

      6. KY,
        “Next you have Kap feeling insecure. Nothing was worse than Alex Smith playing knowing his replacement was sitting on the bench.”

        He had his two best seasons as a 49er with Kaepernick behind him. It motivated him, just like Young motivated Montana. If the guy can’t handle the pressure of competition, how is he going to be able to handle the pressure of being a franchise QB?

      7. Kap didn’t start his first year either. Flacco has a superbowl ring. That’s what all this talk is about. How Kap may not be the guy to get us the 6th ring.

        He didn’t have his two best season because Kaepernick was sitting behind him. He had his two best seasons because he had coaches who created an offense that he could excel in. He also never had that same OC for two years straight. I believe the offense we are running now is also part of the problem. They allowed Alex to make quick reads and get the ball out of his hands. They want Kap to hold on to it when it’s obvious that’s not his strong point.

      8. He didn’t excel in the offense, he played well in a system that didn’t asked him to do too much. Smith didn’t feel comfortable pushing throws downfield so he was asked to play conservatively. It’s not that different now with Kaep except Kaep likes to throw the ball downfield. He’s very good at it and that’s what Harbaugh wanted. Not surprisingly, the mental part of his game is not as advanced as the physical aspect of it. You expect to see that big jump next season, but if you don’t, the reality sets in that you have a soon to be 28 year old QB that is failing to show marked improvement. Like Jack said earlier, “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

        Best case scenario: Kaep shows significant improvement and solidifies his standing as the franchise QB. The drafted rookie shows a lot of promise and is eventually traded for high draft picks.

        Worst case scenario: Kaep stays flat or regresses. He continues to make poor decisions at critical times. The drafted rookie has a year under his belt at this point and it’s an open competition.

        It’s a win-win. I don’t even understand the opposition to the thought process. Nobody is looking to get rid of Kaep, they want him to maximize his potential. There comes a point where the allure of potential is overshadowed by the reality of development. If he can’t take that step, the other 55 guys on the roster suffer. This is a Super Bowl caliber roster, that would be unacceptable.

      1. We can harp on the negatives. I blame majority of the loss on Kap. But name someone whose done what he’s done in his first three years. I’ll wait.

      2. K,
        The flip side to that is they aren’t in the game without him. I believe he accounted for 92% of their offensive output against the Seahawks. He lost a game that they wouldn’t have been in without him. He made some bad mistakes, but he also did some very good things. If he can refine his game he has a chance to be a great QB.

      3. “I blame majority of the loss on Kap. But name someone whose done what he’s done in his first three years. I’ll wait.”

        Ben Roethlisberger

      4. Jack,
        Maybe CK should go hop on a street bike without a helmet and eat sh#% over the hood of a car, it worked for Roethlisberger.

      5. KY49ER,

        Maybe Roethlisberger was a bad example. He won his first Super Bowl.

        Russell Wilson hasn’t been too far off either.

      6. Their stats are almost as close as you can get. RW threw for only 160yds more in the regular season. 5 more TD’s. And Russell Wilson had one more INT than Kap. I highly doubt the Seahawk fans are talking about hedging their bets just in case he fails them next in the NFCCG

      7. But I’m not understanding why we would draft someone who has the same issue as Kap. Everyone here has sad him not going through his professions is an issue. At least Kap can escape the pocket and create. What’s this guy going to do when his two best targets are double and the box is stacked?

      8. Wrong thread.
        I just think it’s dumb to give up on a young QB only after starting 1.5 seasons. It makes no sense to have a QB carousel like Alex Smith went through

      9. Who is giving up on him? It’s a backup plan. You get insurance to cover you if needed but hope it never comes to that.

        I don’t see what is so hard to understand about the concept or why so many are against it.

  32. Is the question should the Niners draft a QB? I’d say Yes. Improving on McCoy is a good idea.
    Is the phrase: “he (CK) might have a future.” hyperbolic. I’d say Yes, yes it is.
    Next question then: why is it a good idea to draft Grant’s boy Fales when they could save the choice by signing Grant’s boy Tyler Wilson? Just asking.

    1. He looks pretty sharp…he seems a little “happy feet” in the pocket, but he makes quick decisions, that’s what we need…that’s what Crabtree needs, the ball in his hands fast..

  33. Let’s look at teams who have drafted multiple QB’s. Titans, Browns, Raiders, Jets, etc. What do they have in common, they are struggling. We do not need another QB.

  34. Tyrant
    Yeah I remember that playoff game against the Vikes in 87. Thanks for the memory, NOT. I hosted a party for that disaster. What a bummer. At the end I found a piñata in the garage and put it in the driveway so everybody had something to kick on their way to their cars. Nothin’ left of that sucka!

    1. Brotha

      Sorry to bring up that ugly memory. I’m an old fart. If you remember the name Preston Riley you know what real pain is.

  35. Vince Young filed for bankruptcy today, he still wants to get back into the NFL, has plenty of starter experience and has matured a lot and understands this is one of those last chances.

    You know how much Pete Carroll never wants to play against or scheme a defense to stop Vince, after ripping his heart out in the BCS Championship game. His skill set matches Kap’s and if nothing else, can compete with MBT and a draft pick for the backup job.

    I’m not 100% serious but worth a look … I’d like to see the Bengals dump Josh Johnson as another veteran option, speaking of Josh’s, I wouldn’t mind having Josh McCown.

      1. I saw Vince Young play 1/4 of a pre-season game a year or two for the Bills, who were desperate at the time, it was the wort qb display I’ve ever seen in professional football, cfl included! He was promptly released, and will never see an NFL field again.
        And, I might be wrong, but didn’t McCown resign with the Bears already?

      2. angusincanada:
        Vince got picked up by GB after his stint with the Bills and cut again. Agreed, if a team takes a look at him, he needs some work to get back to being a credible QB in the NFL (something Harbaugh might be able to help him with as he did Alex Smith) … but I’m not really suggesting this is a great idea but maybe a cheap alternative that could pay off with a vet backup.

        McCown had a couple of options at the end of the year. I think he was hoping the Bears wouldn’t resign Cutler to that huge contract – so now if he stays, he’s definitely the backup. He was considering retiring but after his great run filing in for Cutler, he’s decided to see what free agency has to offer. The smart thing is staying with the Bears if they offer him reasonable money. He would definitely be a great fit for an inexpensive vet backup who is ok with that role (wouldn’t want to pay him much more than vet min and tempt him with weather & chance to make the SB).

  36. Kaep is a raw, physical talent. Makes you wonder if he has enough smarts and field vision? They need more speed all over the field on offense. The fat, o-line got blown off the ball. Please, somebody hire Greg Roman away!

  37. Grant:
    “The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter like Joe Montana took over from Steve DeBerg. They should draft someone in the third or fourth round. Create competition.”

    Your article was actually pretty good until you used the CK/DeBerg statement.
    So, are you implying that there is a Montana in the draft who could eventually replace Kaep (DeBerg comparision)?
    If you could put up playoff stats from Steve DeBerg that are comparable to Kaep perhaps your statement could have a modicum of credibility.
    If you can’t, than your CK/DeBerg comparison is laughable at best.

    Things are starting to wind down around here so I suppose it makes good business sense to stir the pot for hits.

  38. Whether you choose to believe it or not, Kap is the future of the Niners. And will be a Super Bowl MVP. That I believe. Did he choke when he brough us back in last years NFCC? How about the consecutive game winning drives vs AZ to get the 5 seed, then against GB.
    Personally I don’t blame Kap for all those turnovers. The fumble really didn’t matter. That play had no chance, it was fourth and Davis got beat badly. The first int was a blind bad throw, 100% Kaps fault. And the last play, Kap took a shot vs Sherman. He read man with no safety help and tried the fade but Sherman made a hell of a play. Time was running out, I don’t fault Kap for that. He’ll continue to grow and improve. Relax.

    1. Adam,

      The fumble was on 3rd down and was his second in 3 possessions. The first interception wasn’t a blind throw. Kaepernick said he saw Chancellor and thought he could get it over him. On the second interception it was actually quarters coverage not man. That’s why the linebacker was so deep. They were giving up the underneath throw.

      1. It was single coverage. The linebacker was in the flat with running back responsability. Once Kaep committed he trailed the play.

      2. Nah. It was zone. The linebacker had curl to flat responsibility. If he was in man on the RB he wouldn’t have started dropping at the snap. He would have been forced to wait for the RB.

        I do agree that he turned and ran when the throw started, but he wouldn’t have been so deep if he was in man.

  39. The comeback win against Atlanta on the road in last years NFC game dispels any notion that Kap is a choker. The Niners have problems with the red zone offense that is a result of poor coaching.

    Think about it, they came up 5 yards short in last years big game. Do over scenarios should have been haunting both Harbaugh & Roman during the offseason. Well, they were almost in the same exact scenario, and made the same mistake again. Kap executed the play poorly, but the Niners should have been better prepared for such a scenario.

    For example, it should have been Boldin in isolation against Sherman, as it’s his forte to jump up & fight for passes. They should of ran a fade route, odds are good that Boldin would of either caught it or would have drawn a pass interference penalty against the defender ala’ the Carolina game. The only choker on the Niners is Roman.

    1. Youmake far too much sense. It’s tiring reading blog articles that reek of sensationalism. I guess the goal is always to create controversy for blog hits.
      I keep hearing that this team was ready to win now. REALLY? because I saw a defense that got outplayed and made big mistakes. I saw special teams that also made mistakes. And hey coaching staff that also made mistakes. And yes a quarterback that also made mistakes. basically I saw a team that needs to improve in all three phases if they want to win a Superbowl. This article might satisfy some ultimately it makes the writer look like he doesn’t comprehend the sport He’s covering.

  40. Grant, you are no talent evaluator, no scout, no coach, no GM, no coordinator, no QB coach, period. You have no inside information on game plans or schemes. In short, what is the difference between you and the average fan following the team? You go to the media interviews, you see the players stretch before practice, you see games in person? In short, not much. This isn’t to say that you’re evaluation of CK’s 1.5 years of starting experience isn’t spot on, nor your draft profile of David Fales. If Roman does get a HC job in the near future, you should be on Harbaugh’s short list to replace him. In a trolling fantasy world where David Fales at some point takes CK’s job, anything is possible. BTW, how is your Cowboys SB pick looking?

  41. Question for those that voted not to draft a QB in the poll:

    How do you go about filling the slots behind Kaepernick?

    1. Those that voted no don’t understand the importance of having a strong backup. Montana continued to be great because Young pushed him to be great. He wanted his job.
      You also need insurance at that position.

      1. Bay,

        Above you accuse the author of writing an article that reeks of sensationalism to get blog hits, and now you are agreeing that having a strong backup and competition is best for the team which is what he stated.

        Which is it?

      2. Trying to do too much with no run support behind a porous line. He failed. The entire team failed.
        Jack you don’t think experiencing these types of failures make you better?
        Montana won a superbowl and then lost his next NFC CHAMPIONSHIP game. Made him better the next year.

      3. Montana lost the next championship game only after tying the game up from 21 down, and 2 bad calls leading to a FG for Washington as time expired and he was on the bench.

        Kaepernick had 3 shots to help his team win the game and coughed the ball up each time. Saying he choked is about the same as you saying he failed.

      4. There were no bad calls that hurt the 49ers in the 4th quarter. The only one that was close was the Bowman play, and even that turned out in the 49ers favor when Sherman fumbled the ball. Instead of having it on the 1 they got it on the 15.

        Three possessions, three straight turnovers. Call it whatever you want, choking or failure. Same thing.

      5. Ok. So what’s your point? Not a good 4th quarter.
        Kaep had a huge 4th down conversion and a bit throw to Davis to the 18 yard line. On that last drive. Think his coaching staff could have put him in a better position to succeed?

      6. Bay,

        This thread started with my asking how you can both say the author reeks of sensationalism for blog hits while still agreeing with him.

        Your response was that he didn’t have to be disparaging toward Kaepernick.

        I brought up the 3 turnovers and asked how you would describe it since you didn’t like choking.

        You said he failed.

        Saying he choked is about the same thing as saying he failed.

        I agree with Grant that in the 4th quarter Kaepernick choked/failed. You can blame the line for the fumble but you can’t blame the interceptions on anyone else. Those were poor decisions in which the execution was even worse.

        I also agree that it would be smart to draft a backup that can push Kaepernick and be insurance should things not work out for the best.

        My take on this is nothing new, I stated the same thing several times throughout the regular season. Don’t give him a new deal this offseason. Make him earn it in 2014, and be prepared to move on should he fall on his face.

      7. Jack,

        Grant is not just saying Kap choked in this game, he’s saying he chokes under pressure period, which is Grant once again ignoring evidence to the contrary and using passer rating to try and prove the point which is ridiculous considering it’s considerable flaws that don’t take game situations into account.

        Kap brought this team back on the road in the NFCCG last year in Atlanta, and again in the SB. The focus is on the final 5 yards he didn’t get, but the fact they were in that position after falling behind so far gets overlooked. In the first two playoff games this year he brought the Niners back in the second half immediately after the defense gave up the lead.

        There’s a difference between not being choking and falling short, a big difference in fact. Kap is a young QB who puts the onus on himself to make a play. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t, but to accuse this guy of choking is lazy analysis and incorrect.

        1. Kaepernick attempted three passes in the fourth quarter against the Falcons in the NFC championship. Kaepernick did his best work in the second quarter of that game.

      8. I voted no. A good backup is obviously of great importance. A rookie with zero NFL starting experience does not fit that job description.

      9. Rib,

        You said, “A good backup is obviously of great importance. A rookie with zero NFL starting experience does not fit that job description.”

        In 2011 the 49ers backup QB was a rookie with zero NFL starting experience.

      10. >>In 2011 the 49ers backup QB was a rookie with zero NFL starting experience.

        And the Niners dodged a bullet by not having to call on him. Do you remember how gawd-awful he looked in his rookie pre-season? (Well, probably according to Grant, he looked better then than in his 4th quarters as a starter)

    2. They are filled. Develope them. Pick up QB’s that are already in the league. We have some big needs. Our first couple of picks need to be either/or but it needs to go to a Big WR or Solid DB’s. I’m not against drafting a QB but “hedging” our bets will not work for us. Everyone keeps bringing up Montana/Young – two hall of game QB’s. One groomed by the other. The starter groomed by a hall of fame coach. They both had hall of fame recievers. Kap has none of that.

      1. I say we pick up a free agent. Or trade some draft picks for someone with NFL experience. We do not need to waste a third round draft pick on a backup QB. We need DB’s who can stay in their lanes on kickoff & punt who can tackle. There are glaring similarities in our losses. Can’t score in the redzone, kickoffs and punts being returned in crucial situations, DB’s giving up big plays, let’s sure that up. A quality backup QB is not getting us to a Super Bowl.

    3. Jack,

      You’re right rocket. Turning the ball over on all 3 4th quarter possession isn’t choking at all.

      No it isn’t in this situation. Choking is not being able to perform in big games Jack. It’s about not being able to overcome nerves and play like you normally can. That wasn’t and never has been the case with Kap. If you want to rip him for throwing a bad ball, feel free because that is accurate, but to say he choked when he was the only reason they were even in the game at that point is ridiculous.

      There’s a difference between trying to make a play because you feel you can and wilting under the heat of the moment. Kap doesn’t wilt, but he does make a bad decision once in awhile. Comes with being young and inexperienced.


      Who cares how many passes the threw and when? He brought them back from a huge deficit in Atlanta and the SB.

  42. grant stop posting ridiculous quotes just for the shock factor. you may write stupid bs but you know we dont need a new qb. what happend to your writing

    1. Trolling is more profitable. Informed and insightful analysis takes too big of an investment these days for media companies to stomach. The short, quick, and ridiculous is what grabs peoples attention these days.

  43. I don’t get how you have a job doing this. Oh wait, your daddy.

    The best thing the 49ers could do this offseason is make sure you have no access to the team’s facilities or players.

    1. Already done. Teams have to throw media members a bone in form of interviews and the first 10 minutes of practice or so, but other than that these guys are barred.

  44. Grant,

    I thought CK was going to be great this year (esp. after the Green Bay game wk 1). Then I watched him all season, and came to a similar conclusion as you. I keep forgetting that he’s that old! 27…he needs to man up NOW (in every aspect of his profession).

    Colin Kaepernik has to get better in a lot of areas if he’s going to be the future! For a guy that keeps track of all of the negative comments people make about him, he sure seems to miss the constructive observations. There seems to be multiple things working together against him that make him a remedial passer when it counts most.

    A) When he was throwing lasers and rockets all over the field his throwing motion wasn’t an issue, but now that they’ve asked him to throw with greater “touch” and it has slowed down his passes dramatically. Therefore the time that it takes between him making a decision to throw and the ball leaving his hand is slightly too long. So when he locks onto a receiver (like he does so much), defenders have time to react and they know he’s gonna throw because he has a “broad windup” at the start of his throwing motion, so they step in and pick it off, break up the play, or blow up the receiver. This is straight on coach Harbaugh. When Colin was drafted, coach was asked “does he need to change his throwing motion” and JH said “NO. The speed of his passes makes up for the longer motion”….well that’s not the case anymore.

    B) Those passes to the left that keep getting picked or almost picked, he’s not failing to see the coverage, he’s simply not getting the ball out to his receiver quick enough or high/deep enough. Each time the receiver has came open long before he released the ball, by that time the defender had adjusted and was in position to make a play. I watched Manning make that same throw in the AFCCG. He got the ball out before his WR looked for it…when the WR turned around the ball was coming on him, COMPLETE. The other time he lead the WR up field because of the coverage and the receiver adjusted, COMPLETE 20+ yards. Kaep needs to know that he doesn’t need to see his receivers’ eyes before he throws them the ball. Trust them, there will be some growing pains, but it will work out. That will go a long way with speeding up the pace of our passing game too, which will open up the running game because play action will be that much more effective when you take away the reaction time for defenders in the passing game. Manning doesn’t get sacked much, but it’s not because Denver has a stellar OL, it’s because he throws the ball before the defender can react to the play after the snap.

    C) He’s not getting enough (or the right amount of) heat on his touch passes and they come up short and late to the spot. All season long his touch passes have been short, even the competitions…like Boldin’s 46yrd reception in divisional round @ CAR, Boldin had to wait for the pass despite having his receiver beat by nearly 10yrds, should’ve been a TD, instead he was caught pretty soon after the completion because the defender had time to catch up. The only deep pass that wasn’t short all year (that I can remember) was the TD to VD @ Bucs. That pass had a lot of heat on it, so CK wasn’t really going for “touch”. Any other time the ball is always late to the spot so the WR has to get in an unnecessary fight for the ball, or it hangs in the air too long and defenders have a better shot at making a play. Crabtree had Sherman beat…if Kaep zips that ball in (like he did for Boldin) we’re having a different conversation…but I guess making a decision like that in the moment is what we call “clutch”.

    D) He’s not throwing with good trajectory…it seems like he doesn’t know when to use various arcs on his passes. When Kaep throws a touch pass that has to get over a defender, the nose of the ball never turns down. Instead the ball just kind of lays flat. The ball is traveling to the receiver too low and therefore gets broken up or intercepted. This is a tough thing to do, but the greats do it well. A perfect example, remember the one handed grab that Brady threw to Moss in NE a few years back? That was a great catch but an equally beautiful pass! The nose of the ball turn down just at the right time so that it landed in Mosses hand perfectly, TD!

    E) Ball Security. Every time he runs or rolls out, I’m worried he’s going to get stripped because he holds the ball about 2 feet from his body. It’s just low hanging fruit for a hungry defense. NFCCG proved to be the case.

    F) Decisiveness! He got better once Crabs got back, but Colin often seems unsure of what he wants to do with ball once it’s snapped, especially if he’s not running. He doesn’t seem to know how to counter the defense once the play starts. That’s something that Peyton Manning is a master at…”If-this-then-that.” His understanding of that concept on the field makes his receivers that much better. Most people couldn’t even name a Denver WR before Manning got there, suddenly these guys are some of the best in the league? No coincidence. Colin was much better at pre-snap reads this year, but post snaps were terrible.

    The good thing is Kaep playing so badly gives us a chance to lock in other guys because we can get him cheap…until he earns it. I’m rooting big time for him. But this season really left a sour taste in my mouth. It truly was “Andy Dalton bad” in the 4th quarter.

    1. Yes,
      I can’t stand it when people try to excuse that unhinged selfish rant because he’s “intelligent”. Okay…. So he’s an intelligent a**.

      1. There’s all sorts of intelligence: Math aptitude. Rapid analysis. Intellectual smarts. Intuitive smarts. Street sense. Country sense. Communicative and collaborative talents.
        Mr. Sherman seems to lack Emotional Intelligence. Sometimes people of rare other talents seem to get a pass on their behavior from their admirers; Beiber, Sherman, Steve Jobs, T.Owens, Romanowski, etc.

      2. Saw that. An L.A. Judge would just pat him on the head and turn him loose; see Lohan, Lindsey. We’ll see if the Miami Courts have a spine.

  45. Author seems to make Kap a bust after starting for a year and half. That would suggest all the other QB selected before him are bust too. Why don’t all of them look for new QB. Lets just call Steve Young a choker too, he ran and learned to play from the pocket. How many big games did he win against Dal and GB? Not that many, but he won the SB. I’m giving Kap another year, if no improvement, then i might start drinking the cool aid. Kap needs mentoring, good QB coach and OC. Roman and that crew are useless. Should have fired him and went after Norv Turner. Veteran backup to help Kap, what can Colt McKoy help him with. Last year he had Alex Smith who without question knew X’s and O’s but couldn’t display it on the field. Kap has flaw, the biggest one’s are is OC and position Coach.

  46. alex smith and colin kaepernick’s seasons both essentially ended on pass plays…smith threaded a ball over the db and into d.bowe’s hands for what should have been a 1st down, and at least lead to a game winning chip shot field goal…kaepernick underthrew a pass he never should have thrown

    1. also, on his last game in seattle for niners, late in the 4th quarter, smith hit crabtree deep downfield for a pass setting up the winning field goal…i think one of the dbs crabtree caught the ball over was dick sherman

  47. Colin kills the dystopian standard (better then Drukenmiller)
    Colin fails the utopian standard (worse then Montana)
    Colin passes the comparative standard (well worth a high 2nd round pick and has more value then most 3rd year QBs).

    He improved his throwing motion. Its far more compact than his throw at Nevada (though still a little loopy by NFL standards).

    His top three weaknesses are:
    A) Presnap reads
    B) Pocket footwork, pocket mechanics
    C) Vision

    A and B should improve. To what degree we don’t know, but reads and footwork usually get better with QBs dedicated to improvement.

    C-Vision remains a big problem. Colin skips over wide open WRs to throw to covered WRs. He consistently fails to see underneath coverage, especially to his left. This goes back to his 2011 preseason.

    Montana excelled in high school basketball. He sees everything like a 180 degree fish-eye lens.

    Kaepernick was a great high school pitcher. I imagine he had to block everything out of his peripheral vision to focus on the strike zone, like a macro lens.

    Can hard work, film study and practice re-wire Colin’s brain from a macro to a fish-eye? He’s 26 already. There is a lot of cool new stuff about neuroplasticity, but the way he sees might be hard wired at this stage of his development.

    Can you coach vision? I recently viewed that video where Walsh coaches Montanta on 1, 3, 5, 7 step drops. He coordinates the QB’s eyes with specific steps in the dropback. Our passes to the left had a greatly different dropback (and eye movement) compared to the exact same pass pattern to the right. This might reduce the underneath picks.

    Colin is not the smooth Montana, but he’s a hard working mad bomber. We are lucky to have him.

    1. (“Out passes”, not “Our passes”)

      … and as good as Montana was, Walsh called a time out to specifically remind him to throw the ball away if no one was clearly open before the famous “Sprint, Right, Option” that changed everything. Its Harbaugh’s responsibility to know his QBs tendencies under pressure. He should have instructed Colin to spike the ball or call time out himself.

      Maybe this is a pattern…
      In the first NFCG Williams dropped a reverse and killed a promising drive, then dropped a punt. He stayed in the game.
      In the third NFCG Colin fumbled, then threw a pick on the next drive. There was no time out to calm him with 37 seconds left on the 18 with 2 time outs remaining.

    2. Brodie,
      I mostly agree; however, I think Kaep’s pre-snap reads are fine…it’s once the ball is snapped that he seems to have trouble reading the defense. It may be that he simply hasn’t seen enough defensive schemes (though he talks like he has), either way once the ball is snapped the play either works or it doesn’t…he’s not “out-scheming” defenses once the play starts. Now he can take off an run like hell when a play breaks down.

    3. Some very good points Brodie and the fact is he’s still a young QB who has only 30 starts under his belt. The comparisons to Montana that 49er fans feel compelled to do are pointless. There was one Montana and only one. He is thought of as one of the best ever for a reason. Comparing a kid like Kap to him at this stage of his career is ridiculous. The Niners didn’t win their first SB because of Montana being great, in fact they overcame numerous errors he made to even get to the SB. They won that with defense and timely plays on offense. As someone mentioned earlier, it’s unfair to compare anybody to the legend that Montana became because he wasn’t that guy until later in his career.

  48. Question for Jed York: what is your goal?
    If you are happy with 11-5… 12-4 in the regular season,
    and one or two wins, maybe three in the postseason,
    but no Super Bowl trophy for the next five or six years,
    then stand pat with Harbaugh and Kaepernick.

    If you are determined to “ring the bell” and bring home
    Lombardi trophy #6 in any short time frame, consider:
    Replace Jim Harbaugh immediately with either
    Darrell Bevell (Seattle OC) or Pete Carmichael, the
    New Orleans Offensive Coordinator. Both of them
    have significant experience directly with quarterbacks.

    I would also advise that you rock the Niner world by
    thinking about trading away Colin Kaerpernick.
    If there is any combination of ingredients which allows
    you to reel in Johnny Manziel…. do it.
    Maybe go after Kevin Sumlin as your new head coach.

    Tell the entire NFL universe that you are serious about
    winning a Super Bowl within the next 3 to 5 years. Period.

    1. Youre nuts if you think the issue is coaching. Harbaugh did something no other coach in the HISTORY of the NFL has done, taking a team to a Conf Championship 3 straight years in his first 3 years…and this was a team that had been below .500 for 8 seasons. The issue is the QB, not the coach. Getting rid of Harb would make the 49ers a laughing stock team and no coach worth their salt would ever…ever…sign up with Jed York.

      Troll…be gone

    2. Whoa buddy, pump the brakes on the “replace Jim Harbaugh” talk lol! And Darrell Bevell? Definitely not replacing JH, but I’m not sold on Bevell. The Seahawks play hard, but they’re not “out-scheming” defenses, which IS something you can say about JH & G-Ro. You can only lead a horse to water…, coaches can only coach, they can’t play. At some point, guys have to make a play! If people think a timeout should’ve been called, that could fall on the shoulders of Harbaugh AND Kaepernick. He sees the personnel and what the defense is showing, he should have good situational knowledge of the game (and his own abilities) to say “let’s pause for a moment and get the perfect play for this situation. In the end, it ain’t JH that’s the problem. He took a team that has dealt with major injuries to the starters all season long, and had them inches away from consecutive Super Bowls. That’s good coaching, now someone on the field has to make a play.

  49. Crabtree was held beyond five yards on that last play by Sherman. Sherman almost manhandles him into his hip pocket so he could run in stride with Crabtree on his route. Watch the SoundFX replay and tell me I’m lying or seeing things.

    1. I think it’s called the “Sherman Rule”…NFL Rule #1743 – Item 14; paragraph 6: It’s only pass interference if the player (i.e. Richard Sherman) draws blood more than 30yrds down field. Anything less than that and it’s just “physical Seattle football.”

  50. People are ridiculous. Alex Smith went through years of BS teams and when the 49ers finally drafted enough talent and brought in quality coaching, he thrived. The 49ers don’t need Kaepernick to win, they need the defense and a QB who can protect the football, make passes efficiently and is clutch in big moments. Alex was that, Kaepernick wasn’t. Kaep is what Harbaugh wishes he was in the NFL, and furthermore wishes was actually successful in the NFL as a prototype. That play dialed up at the end was just like the AFC Championship pass Jim threw and failed, but this time it was unnecessarily forced. Throwing into double coverage was stupid, especially against Sherman. Kaepernick lacks the ability to close the deal in big moments. Blame Alex all you want for the NFC Championship loss, but Kyle Williams lost that one. He does his one simple job and catch the ball, the 49ers win and likely win the Super Bowl. On top of that, give Alex the ball with 4 downs in the Super Bowl in the red zone and he wins. He did it at the Saints game. It’s rational. NFL fans are emotional and tribal. The changing demographics, with gangsters flashing their red Niner gear, love Keapernick and his tats and thuggish persona, but the fact remains that he’s not the man. He had one of the worst passing games in the league this year, with a fantastic receiver in Boldin and in Davis. When Crabtree was down… Smith had no one but Davis. Bottom line in my perfect universe, trade Kaepernick straight up for Brady, draft a QBOTF, and if Harbaugh doesn’t like it, fire him and promote Fangio or hire David Shaw. The defense is slowly losing its luster and the window is closing. Gore is getting old. The 49ers can’t afford to wait for Kaepernick to learn to be something he never was: a pocket NFL QB. Harbaugh screwed up in letting Smith go. Kaepernick could have been growing this entire time and Smith could have proven himself, and been the needed counterbalance to Harbaugh’s folly of an ideal. My bet is that, privately, he feels that QBs like Montana, Brady or even Wilson should not be so successful, and that the brash, already-arrived guys with no elite accomplishments should be the ones who succeed. That’s not how the real world is, and Jim gets to think about that as he irons his khakis this off season, as Kaepernick cries himself to sleep singing “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man” and telling everyone “you hear what you want to hear, and I heard we won!”

  51. Grant is a troll. He loves to hate the 49ers! Anything he says is designed to generate controversy, because his dad taught him to do that. The suggestion that Kap is a waste is ludicrous and absurd. But that is the yellow journalism in which Grant Cohn engages. ‘Nuff said.

    1. Or is it that you are just a biased fan who is blinded by the “love” of your team that you can’t see the major short comings of an overhyped player? Granted, Grant still says some ridiculous things, like Gores legs are shot, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is correct on this issue.

      Even though I hate the guy, Steven A Smith said it best…A dead clock is right twice a day.

      1. Here’s a point – it took 16 seasons in the playoffs to get those 5 SB wins. That’s less than 1 in 3. If Kaep doesn’t win it all the next time the Niners get in in the postseason, you *may* have a point.

  52. You obviously never saw Montana play QB. What separated Montana from the other QBs in the league is the fact he was a mobile QB. The Catch was not a pocket pass, in case that has escaped your highlight video review. It was a controlled roll out.

    That a QB is not a running QB does not make him a pocket passer.

    Montana as noted above. Bradshaw was a mobile QB. Staubach was a mobile QB. He didn’t earn the name Rodger the Dodger because he liked the baseball team. Theisman was was mobile. Elway’s most famous SB play was the helicopter run, and his game was all about mobility. Rothlesberger is another mobile QB.

    So let’s put that weak argument to rest.

    1. Big difference between Run First/Running Qb and a mobile QB. Those men you mentioned scrambled in the backfield, much like Fran T, and would then make a pass to an open..ish receiver. Kaep, much like vick (whom he’s becoming) would take one look and if its closed, they are off to the races. That may get you some yards now and then, but you can not win with it, you just can’t. If Kaep is ever to be truly successful at this game as a qb, he needs to learn how to read progressions and keep plays alive with his legs, not run when the going gets tough.

  53. Grant, if you knew going in that Kaepernick has not improved as a pocket passer and chokes under pressure, then why did you write before the Seattle game that you’d be shocked and appalled if the 49ers lost? Or was that comment a way of preparing ground for an attack an Kaepernick – and by extension, Harbaugh – if the 49ers lost? I wondered why Lowell waxed hyperbolic in his piece leading up to the Green Bay game, and again prior to the game in Seattle. I wonder no longer.

  54. Choke? Nah, far from it.
    I remember CK throwing an pick-six against the Pack in the playoffs and still came back to dismantle them. Many QB’ in the league would have wilted under those circumstances with only about ten games under his belt.

    CK led a resounding comeback victory over the Falcons at their park in the NFC Championship game after being down in the first half. Once again, this after only about 11 games under his belt.

    CK then proceeded to lead the 49ers back in the SB after the Ravens looked like they were working on a blow-out win (which many here not wanting to CK credit) blamed the power outage for the 49ers’ comeback attempt.

    I’m convinced that Kaep is not a choker in any shape, form or fashion. Also, trying to insinuate that at 26 going on 27 CK’ window may be closing is utter insanity.
    BTW, Payton is 37 and going to the SB. Interesting that his age is not a factor in the context of QB’ who have played in the SB over the age of 30.

    I will roll with Kaep until the Org is convinced that he is not the answer. All the naysayers can have their field day.
    Funny that although Alex is long gone many still bring him up at this time.
    Perhaps they will never get over the Transition form Alex to CK (ala Alex Smith’ (Mom) and continue to hold a grudge the way some people still do over the Joe Montana to Steve Young transition over 20 yrs ago.

    Stay the Kourse with Kaep!

  55. Grant:

    Shame on you for poking the fanboys like that. You know they aren’t ready to consider the possibility that Kaepernick may not be what they think he is. Dealing with another painful playoff loss is bad enough; don’t add to that by questioning their idol.

    To be fair, we’re all understandably depressed over the NFCCG loss. Watching your team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is deflating, and it’s going to take a while to get over it. Moreover, the fact that each of the last three seasons has ended with the 49ers losing a game they were in a position to win only makes it that much worse. This year is particularly difficult because it represents a step backward. At least after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, we could take some comfort from the fact that the team had taken a step forward. We can’t do that this year. No one’s going to feel good about this season for a while.

    And while I disagree with the “the 49ers must get rid of [insert name of chosen scapegoat here]!” sentiment that so many commenters have expressed, I understand where it comes from. Fortunately for the fans, the people running the team are rational people not prone to making rash decisions

    1. CB,

      I would never classify myself as a fanboy, but what Grant said above about Kap is mostly nonsense imo. He has once again labeled a player without acknowledging the overwhelmign evidence to the contrary.

      Kap isn’t above criticism, but the standards some on here are holding him too are unreasonable.

      1. rocket:

        I agree with you 100% about some people holding Kaepernick to a ridiculous standard. It’s far too soon to conclude that his current problems mean he will never develop as a QB.

        But it goes both ways. There are plenty of fanboys who have already concluded that he is a future Hall of Famer who will win multiple Super Bowl rings and dominates the NFL for years. It’s equally premature to reach that conclusion.

        Also, I think you may be reading too much into Grant’s article. I read it as an acknowledgment that Kaepernick has areas on which he needs to improve, that he hasn’t shown much improvement on those areas to date, that he may not be the future Hall of Famer we thought/hoped he would be, and that the 49ers should prepare for that possibility. That sounds reasonable to me. And while Grant may have gone overboard calling Kaepernick a “choker”, the facts are the facts with regard to his play late in big games.

      2. I’m not fanboy either. But Grant is doing the exact thing, except in a 180 degree mirror, of those who claimed CK was a hall of famer after last year’s Bears game.

        Instant gratification is not worn well on the fanboys or Grant either.

  56. The bigger problem is the offensive line coaching. As much praise as the offensive line has received, their pass protection really is not very good. I believe that is the root of Kaep not going through his progressions. He does not have time to throw and has to run sooner than he’d like to.

    1. The problem with the offensive line isn’t the coaching….it’s plain and simple, when you get physically handled and beaten to the point of attack, its manpower, not coaching….I don’t believe the issue with Kaepernick making his reads has a hell of alot to do with the o-line, it has more to do with inexperience. Kaepernick is a great athlete, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a great QB. Coaching and experience will help bring greatness….if there is greatness to be had.

    2. I think our team has many minor flaws. It always rears it’s head in crucial moments. As you said Pass blocking. Kaps inconsistencies. Coaches not creating plays to Kaps strengths. Not scoring TD’s in the red zone(probably the biggest), no rhythm in he offensive play calling, our DB’s give up big plays, our special teams kills us every year. Kyle Williams fumbles two returns, Jacoby Jones kickoff return, and then the Seahawks players punt return. All game changers in important parts of the games. We need to sure up these problem.

      1. You have to wonder about the offensive flow when we all know that the 49ers give their qb 2 plays per down and the QB is the one who kills one into the other. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen Kaep get up to the line and kill out of the first play, just to have it be a run to Gore where he is stuffed in the backfield because the defense was there before he was. It really calls into question Kaeps presnap reads, being able to recognize what the defense is doing, because it feels like he’s killing into a play that will be stuffed when he should just run the play that is called.

      2. I agree. Plays should feed off each other. The play action pass feeds off the run being successful. The run feeds off of some type of pass game. To me, call a play, get your presnap read, snap the football. During the drop back you should see the safeties rotating or coming down, CB turning their back to you, and you should be determining where to go at this point. If you’re first read isn’t there go to the second. BUT this goes back to WHAT ARE THE COACHES, COACHING. We can blame Kap but we don’t know what they are coaching him to do. If I see the same mistakes 3 years in a row, that’s a COACHING problem.

  57. Great editorial critique Grant on Kaep and the need to draft a QB that can compete with him and potentially take over as starter in the case that he can’t develop into an effective pocket passer. That said, I don’t believe that David Fales would be the right choice. He lacks the the necessary measureables at the position and the intangibles, like a strong arm, needed to make up for it. Overall he reads like a weaker armed Kaepernick.
    From CBS Sports:
    STRENGTHS: Quick-footed in his drops with an excellent feel in the pocket to step up and maneuver while keeping his eyes downfield. smart pre-snap reads and understands exactly where he wants to go with the ball, using his above average peripheral vision.

    Good footwork and his bottom half always appears in sync with what’s going on above the waist. Quick eyes and sees the field well to work through his progressions and always know where his targets are supposed to be. Balanced passer with a quick set-up and a snap delivery. Good (not great) arm strength who understands touch, knowing when to add juice to his throws and when to take some off. Poised in the pocket with a fearless attitude and accurate sense of what’s going on around him. hangs tough and never gives up on plays.

    Adequate build with very good toughness, bouncing up after hits. Enough mobility to scramble and won’t avoid contact as a runner. Gutsy and not afraid to take chances. Terrific accuracy (72.5% completions in 2012) and gives his target a chance to make a play. Always appears calm, collected and in control of the offense. selfless personality with the preparation habits needed for the next level.

    Ambitious and coachable with a strong work ethic. Confident and persistent. versatile experience under center and in pistol and shotgun formations.

    WEAKNESSES: Athletic, but only average speed and can be caught from behind by defenders. Lacks elite arm strength and struggles to drive the ball on throws of 15+ yards. too many rainbows and not enough lasers, causing underthrown deep balls and allowing defenders to react and make a play on the ball.

    Bad habit of throwing off-balance, causing his ball placement to waver. Overconfident and too willing to throw into coverage and take chances, especially under duress. Only average height and lacks elite size for the position. Will predetermine passes at times and lock onto targets, even when covered. Room to improve his ball security when scrambling. plays rushed at times.

    Will have only two years of experience at the FBS-level.

    –Dane Brugler

    Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray seem to be better fits.
    Again from CBS Sports on Zach Mettenberger:
    STRENGTHS: Possesses a prototypical frame and arm for the position. Has shown steady improvement in reading defenses throughout his time at LSU, and drew praise over the 2013 summer for his quick pick-up of new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s scheme. He can drive the ball to the opposite hash, loft the ball over the seam or to the back in the flat and hit receivers streaking down the sideline. Does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield and steps up to avoid contact. Improved as a senior in keeping his eyes focused downfield when stepping up into the pocket.

    WEAKNESSES: Does not possess preferred athleticism to escape pressure. He has slow, heavy feet, and is confined to the pocket. Has a tendency to loft deep balls into coverage.


    And on Aaron Murray:
    STRENGTHS: As one might expect given his playing time, Murray does many of the little things well. He has a quick set-up and delivery. He throws a tight spiral and is creative in the pocket, showing the ability to slide and re-set, as well as deliver passes from a variety of arm slots. He throws deep passes with velocity and good trajectory and can attack down the seam with excellent touch, as well. He’s starred in a pro-style offense for three seasons against elite competition.

    WEAKNESSES: While there are plenty of positives to note when discussing Murray, one obvious concern is his lack of preferred size. The success of Drew Brees (and Russell Wilson last year) proves that shorter quarterbacks can be successful in the NFL, though extraordinary awareness is required to prove the exception to the rule. Murray, frankly, hasn’t yet shown this level of savvy. Too often, his passes are batted down at the line of scrimmage – or sneak through only to be dropped by pass-catchers who aren’t able to see the ball come out of Murray’s hand before it gets to them.

    Both QBs seem to be better of the pocket passers that will be available to us, but one thing to keep an eye on is if the team decides to fill this need in free agency. Josh Freeman, Colt McCoy, Josh McCown, and Matt Flynn are the best options to fill in behind Kaep.

      1. The fact he said the best back ups were McCoy, Freeman, McCown and Flynn basically calls into question his whole argument and reasoning. All of them failed in previous gigs, McCown I don’t think is getting away from the Bears, and I think the point that he missed is the Niners need to bring in a guy who can compete with and potentially be a starter, not a career backup.

      2. Jack:

        What about this part?

        Bad habit of throwing off-balance, causing his ball placement to waver. Overconfident and too willing to throw into coverage and take chances, especially under duress. … Will predetermine passes at times and lock onto targets, even when covered. Room to improve his ball security when scrambling. plays rushed at times.

      3. Claude,

        Bad habit of throwing off-balance doesn’t seem to go with, “Good footwork and his bottom half always appears in sync with what’s going on above the waist.”

      4. MidWest,

        He’s not off-balance if his “bottom half always appears in sync with what’s going on above the waist.”

      5. Jack:

        You are correct about the inherent inconsistency in the description. I was merely pointing out the part of the description that sounded like Kaepernick.

        The vast majority of the description did not sound like Kaepernick.

      6. Maybe not the Kaep from 2012-2013 but he has the same problems that Kaep had in 2013-2014 Claude.

        He is if he isn’t distributing his weight on his back leg properly Jack.

      7. MidWestDynasty:

        Sorry, I wasn’t being clear. What I meant was that, outside of the paragraph I quoted (one paragraph out of six), the description of Fales doesn’t sound like Kaepernick. The paragraph I quoted does sound like Kaepernick.

      8. MidWest,

        If the upper half is in sync with the lower half he is using a proper throwing motion and balanced. Nothing in the scouting report show he isn’t distributing his wait off his back foot properly.

      9. Sorry Jack. I was just taking a guess on that. I googled the problem this time and from what I gathered, a bad habit of throwing off balance is a result of him having the ball too far from his chest which tends to draw his upper body towards his toes. So he could have have a great stance and and the proper footwork, but he also has a habit of holding the ball too far from his chest at times.

    1. Overconfident and too willing to throw into coverage and take chances, especially under duress.
      Will predetermine passes at times and lock onto targets, even when covered.
      plays rushed at times.

    2. Those weaknesses they list for Fales are a bit ticky tack. Basically, he doesn’t have a cannon. Fales has superb ball placement, best in the draft. And he can rope 25 yard passes.

      I would pass on Aaron Murray.

      1. 01/21/2014 – 2014 Senior Bowl: 10 observations from Monday’s South practice…8. San Jose State quarterback David Fales is more of a gamer than a practice-guy but his lack of ideal arm-strength, unfortunately, stood out in comparison to Carr and, to a lesser-extent, Garoppolo. Fales telegraphed some throws (including a short pass over the middle that was intercepted by LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow) and his passes to the perimeter had too much air under them. – Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

        It will be interesting to see if these problems pop up at the Combine and his pro day.

      2. Fales will be a 3rd day pick for a reason. He has average athletic ability and arm strength along with playing against less than stellar competition most of the time. He’s a borderline NFL talent imo.

        1. Yeah, and iyo Stephen Morris is a good prospect.

          Give me accuracy over arm strength any day. Fales is athletic enough for the position. Plenty of good NFL QBs played at small schools.

      3. If one of his least impressive games comes when he completes 67% of his passes that isn’t too bad.

        “Fales, who led the nation with a 72.5 percent completion percentage last season, was his usual efficient self — making some “Sunday throws,” as Shaw put it — but his receivers struggled to get open deep as San Jose State’s eight-game winning streak ended.”

        1. Fales completed 69.4 percent of his passes the last seven games of 2013, throwing to Chandler Jones and nobodies. Give him Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, and Fales may complete 75 percent of his passes.

      4. You would also have a short passing game as well. Though I would be okay with that if it happened, I can only imagine how many fans would start complaining once again about how boring our offense is.

      5. I didn’t say that he was Grant, but fans want high octane offenses and usually a QB that can’t throw a bomb across the field is classified high octane. At least in the now.

      6. Grant,

        Way to put words in my mouth. I said I’d like to see what Harbaugh could do with Morris. I also said he’d be a late round prospect to develop. In other words I did not say what you just attributed to me.

        I think Morris has more athletic talent than Fales, but neither one is anywhere near being an NFL caliber player at this point which is why I said developmental QB.

        You’re already anointing Fales as this great prospect who exceeds Kaepernick in some some areas, when he’s going to be a 3rd day pick at best. Did you learn nothing from your Tyler Wilson pimping last year?

      7. Kaepernick has been accurate enough to win 21 games out of 29. He was also 10th in passer rating this season. I know that is important to you.

        I think Morris has a lot to work with but it’s going to take a lot of time and Coaching.

        1. JaMarcus Russell had a lot to work with, too.

          Kaepernick was 31st in completion percentage during the regular season. He doesn’t play defense or special teams. Even with Boldin, Crabtree and Vernon Davis, Kaepernick completed 54.9 percent of his passes in the postseason. That ranked 12 out of 12, worse than everyone, worse than Dalton.

          Kaepernick’s passer rating in the post season was 74.

      8. I still haven’t had much of a chance to look at the prospects in this draft, but overall from what I have seen of the QBs I am not that impressed. If they are looking at this QB crop as an answer I think they are in trouble.

        Fales might be a decent guy to bring in, he looks like a guy that can process the field well and is pretty accurate, but he doesn’t drive the ball in there on longer throws so he’s going to give defenders with NFL speed and anticipation a chance to make a play. I wouldn’t spend anything higher than as a mid rounder on him…

      9. He wins games Grant. That’s the bottom line. All the other stuff is fun to debate but Kap has been a winner in both regular and postseason while learning at the same time.

  58. Here are my big issues with the game. This team has had the label of “superbowl ready” for three years now.
    2011 truly was our best chance to get there with the most complete team. The biggest flaws were Kyle Williams mistakes.

    Since then, we are lacking in all phases of the game. Last year we ended the season as an offensive juggernaut. Unfortunately our defense was yielding more points than any other defense in the playoffs. Our field goal kicker was broken and so were our special teams.

    This year our running game was inconsistent. Our 2nd year starter went through growing pains. Our offensive line was inconsistent and our mix of WR’s didn’t tactically allow us to fulfill our vision of the passing offense.

    This year after going up 10-0, our special teams were the first to let us down by allowing a huge return. Then we once again were bitten by the refs for refusing to do their job on a roughing the kicker call. Our defense was the first to make a “mistake” by losing site of Baldwin deep. Mistake number two also came by our defense taking bad angles allowing Lynch to go for a 40 yard TD. Defensive mistake number three but not in this order came when Aldon was offsides letting the Smurf get a free throw into the end zone. Mistake number four was Carlos ( the game has passed me up ) Rogers whiffed on a ball that he should have made a play on.

    Up until this point, Kaepernick had been a hero. But all of a sudden he and the offense were pressed into a corner and asked to come from behind in the loudest stadium in the NFL versus the best pass defense in the NFL. Tough task.

    The reason we beat Seattle in SF, is that it was their safety that took the bad angle on Gore. They made the mistake. And Wilson was unable to bring them back against us. Well this time, it was the opposite. I am sure they had a minority portion of their fan base that idiotically called for Wilson’s head after that game in SF.

    Those that know football know we need to get better in all phases. Those that never played the sport will put it all on the QB. And those that are fans will be grateful that we have a good team and are opening up in a new stadium this next season.

    1. And the 3 turnovers…those had nothing to do with the outcome of the game? It was the defenses fault…and the special teams…and the refs…. Oh yeah, the QB is untouchable…he of the 3 turnover variety in a single quarter…he is not to blame. And anyone who disagrees is either “stupid” a “hater’ or predictably “a raider fan”.

      1. No he has a great point. The three turnovers most definitely affected the game. But if all those other issues didn’t happen, we would not have been in that position. I get it. If you can’t see how we lost that game in all phases I hate to say it but you might be the stupid one.

      2. Yes but the turnovers were the back breakers. The one thing the 49ers needed to avoid up in Seattle was turning the ball over. For the first three quarters they did that. They struggled in other facets but they still had the lead and were in the game.
        But after that CK coughed it up and gave Seattle what they needed. Hindsight is what it is but if at the end your QB makes bad decisions and turns it over, that’s the game.

      3. No realistically I knew that wasn’t going to happen. It’s not that they scored, it’s how they scored. I understand those picks are demoralizing but giving up big plays are the worse. Seattle could not methodically drive the football down the field on us. Every score was a big play. What’s more disappointing is our DB’s did not even try to tackle him. I believe Reid was trying to punch the ball out. Just tackle him and live to play another down. Yes, Kap ultimately blew the game. Let’s get that straight. But there were many things before that – that could have prevented that from happening.

      4. The loss was on all 3 phases of the Niners.

        The defense gave up long TD’s on the lynch run and a 4th down play.

        ST’s gave up a huge return right after the Niners had taken a lead to set up Seattle for a FG.

        Kap turned the ball over 3 times and the running game was non existent other than Kap himself.

        They lost because all three phases failed at different points in the game.

      1. It was still a game changer. It changes field position. Every year since Harbaugh has arrived we’ve given up big kickoff returns or fumbled in the case of Kyle Williams. In college we called it the hidden yardage game. Who ever had the less yards usually won because they had less ground to cover to score. And yes those picks played a huge part in that as well

      2. no one said the turnovers Werent a huge part of the game it just seems like thats all some people are focusing on

      3. KY the turnovers is what lost the game for the 49ers and everything before and in between that is just football.
        Turnovers change field position, demoralize a defense and the last one was a poor throw that sealed the game. So yes, it is what changed the game on so many levels.
        If CK didn’t lose the fumble, the Hawks do not have a short field for a FG. The one to Chancellor was just stupid and shifted momentum in a very emotional game and the last one, well nailed the coffin.
        Bottom line, we have QB concerns.

      4. So you’re going just going to ignore ALL the missed tackles on Marahawn Lynch’s run. Or our defense stopping after being ruled offsides and giving Wilson a free throw to the endzone. Last I check the defense is supposed to stop the other team from scoring. We can blame Kap but the Seahawks scored on big plays, given up by the defense.

      5. Prime:

        The fumble didn’t lead to a FG. It led to the officials blowing the call on Bowman’s interception and then to the defense stuffing the Seahawks on 4th down. It was the subsequent interception (to Chancellor) that led to the FG.

      6. KY you have the stones to blame the defense before the turnovers? Really? What changed the game? The turnovers or the missed tackles? Defenses are suppose to hold you in games, give your offense a chance to win it at the end. They did that for CK all game, especially at the end.

        Claude, the strip/tomahawk chop fumble by CK didn’t lead to a FG?

      7. Prime:

        Not directly. It almost led to a TD, and should have led to a FG, but Bowman and the rest of the defense stepped up big time. It was the subsequent interception led to the FG.

        Great, now I have the grisly image of Bowman’s injury running through in my head. Please excuse me while I go vomit.

      8. The team fell apart as a whole in the 2nd half. If you watch in the 3rd qtr, the d line was getting blown off the football. If you want to blame Kap for the defense giving up big plays, that’s cool. But if you read my comments the ultimate blame falls on Kap. He had the ball in his hands at the end of the game. But the defense and special teams each had a hand in that loss.

      9. And no I don’t believe the defense was going to hold them to zero points. But I did believe our defense would force Wilson to move the ball the entire length of the field

    2. Bay,

      Most of us said before the game that turners will determine whether or not we win this game. The team that wins the turnover battle will win this game. I want confident that we would win this game like I normally am. I just wanted us to win. I felt like Kap would turn it over too often and we would lose. That’s exactly what happened. Turnovers lose football games. Kap turned it over 3 times in 3 drivers in the 4th QUARTER! I can’t ride with you on this one bro . That last
      pass to Crabtree was inexcusable. Crabtree was NEVER open on that play. NEVER!

      1. You must not have seen the Montana interview when he said Kap would have to get use to throwing to covered recievers. The read was right, the throw was wrong. He should have thrown it earlier and led Crab or throw the ball to the back pylon.

      2. Agreed. And Kaep absolutely played a big part in the loss. But before the game, there were two big criteria to winning. Turnovers, and stopping Lynch.

        The teams wide spread failures put the offense in a position that favored the leagues top rated pass defense in the 4th quarter. We were so dominated up front that we couldn’t even run unless Kaep ran. That is why he accounted for 89% of the offense.

        He’ll get better cause he has to, otherwise they draft a qb and it’s next man up. But this loss for anyone that watched the game was on all phases including coaching and the umpire crew.

    3. Bay,
      Come on man, I like Kaep but tell it like it is. Everybody knew what type of game it was going to be, close and the fewest mistakes wins. Kaep had three turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter. Two were horrible throws and the fumble showed a complete lack of pocket awareness. They aren’t in that game without him, but he ultimately cost them the game.
      The sky isn’t falling though. He is still extremely talented and has a great work ethic. I expect a significant improvement from him next year but he made mistakes that a high schooler shouldn’t make. I don’t fault the pick as much as I lose my mind over the decision making process leading up to it. The first thing I did on that play was to identify where Sherman was because I expected it to go elsewhere. As soon as I saw the ball go up I freaked and yelled “Why the F#%€ are you throwing there?!?” Tip. Pick. Boom. What did Kaepernick really expect to happen?
      It’s either a lack of football chops or an abundance of ego that leads to decisions like that. Judging by his post game comments, it’s the latter. He needs to polish his game and show that he is a franchise QB next year. I believe he will, but he needs to own it. Come back humbled and hungry. No Dolphins hats to match his underwear or any other nonsense. No Twitter pics of new Polynesian warrior tattoos. Get to work and show everybody you are a champion.

  59. OK, I’m buying that the 49ers should draft a QB, but only in as much as they should because Steel sharpens Steel, competition is vital for a successful team.

    As far as his “failures” in big games go, I need to know, did he choose those play? the one read play to Crab? was that Colin’s choice? did he decide (before the play was even snapped?) despite what Jim or Greg wanted, to throw that ball to Crab? a ball that needed such a high degree of accuracy? I mean to nail that throw he had to put the ball on a dime from 60+ feet away. That seems unlikely, If he did then that really worries me, I mean it’s Madden football, why the hell would anyone do that if not for pure ego? i would think the best way to approach ANY play is snap the ball, assess the situation and THEN find the best option.

    I am English, I have only ever played football in the playground at my secondary school, yet even at age 12 I worked out that you snap the ball, THEN make the decision on who to throw to.

    I play Cricket, which I admit to most/all Americans seems a confusing and/or pointless sport, I mean what is the sense of a game that you play for five days then decide its a draw?! (for me cricket is a winner because any sport in which you get to sit down for a proper lunch halfway through the game gets my vote!) . But I digress, my point is that the first thing I was taught about cricket was that you play every ball on its merits, you see the ball bowled then decide where to hit it, or indeed whether it should be left. The same I assume rings true for baseball, and many other sports.

    This situation where both Kap and Harbaugh have said that the throw to Crabtree was premeditated before the snap set alarm bells ringing, red flags a waving! why would you ever do that?? especially when the stakes are so high??

    I don’t doubt the talent, Kaepernick is frighteningly talented, Harbaugh too, what worries me is the arrogance.

    P.S being English I feel obliged to apologise for the length of this post and indeed the possibility that it makes little sense.


    1. It’s not as alarming as it may seem. Most QB’s make pre snap reads. Peyton Manning may be the greatest to ever do it. That’s why he changes plays so much before the snap. Pre snap reads are all based on the coverages the safeties are giving you. If you see two deep pre snap it could be man cover 2, zone cover 2, etc. From what I’m reading it was Man 1. That means it was man coverage across the board with the 1 safety over the top. He drop and reads where the QB throws the ball. If a corner back turns his back to the QB you can almost guarantee it’s man coverage, Sherman did. Supposedly the safety cheated over to the 3 receiver side. That would make it easier for him to be over top of the trips side. If this is what Kap read, his pre snap read was dead one. Man to man coverage with no help over top is what you want. Ultimately Kap under threw the ball. Be also held on to it too long. He should have thrown it out in front of Crabtree so only Crabtree could make the play. Since he waited so long to throw it, the throw should have been made to then back pylon.

      1. Hmm, you make good sense. So tactically the read was correct, but like you said Kap held the ball for too long, But surely he must have seen that Sherman was with Crabs all the way, I would have hoped that he would have seen an open Patton for example and gone there instead. I think it does outline my concerns with Kap, cos every other aspect of his game is godd to outstanding.

      2. The has some issues but we can’t expect those to be fixed immediately. It’s going to take reps and in game experience for him to get comfortable. I don’t understand why they just didn’t call a timeout.

      3. I agree with your take KY49ER, and you explained it very well. Placing the ball at the corner would’ve been a safer throw; Crabs or out of bounds. Throwing sooner would’ve left more room to do that. The ball as thrown still had a chance, the hand stab got it. The pick was a fluke of the coverage and good hustle by the LB.
        Unfortunately, that play is burned into our minds permanently now. sigh.
        Crab15. Get back on the horse dude! ; >)

      4. Kap is going to be alright. He has to go through the fire just like everyone else. Now if we can just get the coaches to call roll outs & 3 step drops it may ease our wearyness.

  60. http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/what-49ers-biggest-offseason-priority
    Sorry Grant not only do you and your father sound like your reading from the same script but his reply is anything but objective when asked what the most pressing off season priority is and his answer is what they should do in the THIRD round!! Much of an agenda there Lowell with that answer? Are we really going to address our biggest off season priority in the third round? Jesus I hope if it’s really our biggest need we get to it a little sooner then the third.

    1. CFC,

      Lowell and Grant share most viewpoints that shouldn’t be a surprise. If you haven’t read Lowell’s shots at Harbaugh from last week check them out.

  61. Great story and thank you for your unbiased opinion of Kapernick. I agree with you 100% he has not improved and is NOT clutch. In the span of 7 downs Kap lost Super Bowl and NFC Championship against our arch rivals the Seahawks. Its not fair to compare QB’s to each other especially to Montana because there is only ONE Montana. I watched Fales for 4 years at Palma High School and saw him make some incredibly accurate throws under severe pressure in CLUTCH situations. I would love it if the Niners drafted him and helped push Kap to higher levels and in the end if Fales was the better QB then so be it! I love Kap and what he brings to the table but I am also a realist and see that he has a way to go before he can ever bring back the Lombardi Trophy to where it belongs. Good Luck

    1. Please don’t compare throws a kid made in high school against high school defense to what he may do In the NFL. I don’t know the kid but I can guarantee he will struggle just as Kap has. And he also, more than likely, would not have been able to make the runs Kap did to keep the offense alive.

  62. Kap is not going anywhere. The Niners will sign him long term in the offseason and barring injury, Kap will be the starting QB here for the next 10+ years. Get used to it.

    I am prepared to bet that when all is said and done, Kap is going to have more wins overall, more playoff wins, and more championships, than Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers. All you naysayers will be forced to eat crow. Count on it.

      1. In 1-1/2 seasons as a starter Kap has 4 playoff wins as a starter. Compare that with Wilson (3), Newton (0), Dalton (0), Romo (1), Brees (6), Rivers (4), Rodgers (5). I am not that far off am I?

        Haters gonna hate. Logic and reasoning does not enter in the picture at all..

      2. While I’m not as defiant on the matter as Rick, I do believe Kap is the long term guy here and see no reason he shouldn’t be.

      3. Rick:

        Your original comment was nothing more than a defiant (hat tip to rocket) unqualified prediction of continued success and a promise of crow-eating, as if the question was definitively settled. While your second comment did at least provide one piece of statistical support, you still neglected to make any logical/rational connection between team victories and your prediction of continued future success. It’s hard to take seriously your suggestion that all nonconforming opinions are void of logic and reasoning.

        I’ve stated my position in multiple comments on this thread. In no way does it match the label you have tried to pin on me. Perhaps if you did a little more reading and practiced some of that logic and reasoning you claim to value, you wouldn’t have made that mistake.

      4. I am sorry if I unfairly pinned a label on you. I probably should have made it clearer that I was speaking in general terms and not specifically about any person.

        There are a certain percentage of people who want Kap to fail because he does not fit in with their idea of what the Quarter-back of the 49ers should look like. The tattoos, the headphones, the hip-hop persona, and (the elephant in the room!) Kap’s mixed race heritage are all reasons they don’t want to see him succeed as a long term 49er Quarterback.

        Luckily, such people are a minority demographic (and with each passing year becoming a bigger and bigger minority through attrition). As a father of two college age sons I know for a fact that young people today have far fewer hangups about race than people in my own (55-65) demographic.

        The majority of 49er fans, and more importantly the 49er brain trust know they have something special in Kap and nitpicking in blogs such as this is certainly not going to influence them in any way. And, that is a good thing.

        Go Niners.

    1. Rick i do’nt believe CK will sign during this off season. I believe he has far too much confidence in his abilities to leave all the money on the table that he might by signing early. If he has a great first half of the season in 14 he might call for renegotiation then but more than likely he will at least test the FA waters in the 15 off season.

      1. Old Coach,

        The Niners are very rigid with their salaries, they have a model in place and they will stick with it. I believe Kaep is going to be a hell of a QB, and will be with the Niners along time, but he should not be getting Drew Brees money.

      2. Nope does not deserve drew Brees money. He’s good but still has a ways to go. I would put incentives in his contract that may help him get there. Kap is special. And if it was that easy to draft and groom QB’s, Detroit, Dallas, Falcons, and Chicago would have already done it.

      3. Neal i agree with you regarding the 9ers cap discipline, thats why i believe that CK may be gone after next season. Being a 2nd rd pick under the first rookie cap means he has to cash in big in his second contract, it may be his last lucrative contract. There will be no “home town deals” in his second contract and if he makes the improvement he needs to make next year i have a strong feeling the 9ers will not bust the cap for him and he may be playing else where.

  63. If you only knew what you were talking about, with your writing skills, you would be brilliant.

    Our competition is Seattle. We need to build a team to beat Seattle, plain and simple. How well did Drew Brees do against Seattle? Let’s see if Peyton beats them. If Peyton wins, that would make you about less than half right. Peyton would need to beat them in Seattle before you made it to half right. If Peyton loses than that would make you completely wrong, because Seattle will have beaten two of the 3 best pocket passers in the league.

    There isn’t a rookie that will help the 49ers given that evidence.

    The 9ers needs to upgrade their secondary and they need a speed receiver to help them with their run game. It is hard to run when the defense doesn’t need to play off of the line.

    1. I agree. I think Kap and this offense compliment one another, but we need to continue to build up our run game. Gore can’t do it forever. I love Lattimore if he can get back to 100% but we also need some insurance behind him as well and I don’t know if Hunter can do that.

  64. This talk of Kap choking and being the cause of the Seahawk loss is ludicrous as is the discussion of preparing for his replacement. Responsibility for the loss is on Harbaugh. Kap was the reason the Niners were in it at the end. A time out should have been called with 30 seconds left. The focus on Kap is completely missplaced. Call time out, settle, call a play with some thought behind it and you likely get a different result. Blow up the team because Kap’s pass missed by inches?? What’s wrong with you people?

  65. Grant’s article mentions only one quality that Fales is great at – accuracy. What about the other necessities – pocket awareness, the ability to make the right reads, and the ability to go through progressions? Kap’s problem isn’t accuracy as much as decision making. Is Fales a great decision maker?

  66. kap choking or not isnt the question. we need another qb because we cant go into next season with another colt mcoy or some random waiver wire pickup as backup.one question what if kap gets hurt.we need to get or groom an able backup

    1. Yep strange hire to say the least. I’m thinking they weren’t getting a whole lot of interest from better candidates quite honestly. That’s what happens when you fire a HC you picked after one season.

  67. In the Seattle vs. Arizona game, Carson Palmer had 4 picks. He played awful. But the as held them in th game.
    And then in the closing minutes Carson made a beautiful pass on a fade route, and the receiver caught it and they won the game.
    Carson Palmer.
    He didn’t challenge Richard Sherman either.
    So what does that tell you?
    Kaep was stupid to throw it Sherman.s way. Flip the play to the left side, take on the 3rd string db, not the best corner in the game who is 3 inches taller the crabs.
    Boldin was the better target for the fade because he fights for balls better.
    If kaep and crabs stay it’s going to be the same thing next year. They are more interested in being divas then winning for the team.

    1. The Cardinal defense held Seattle to 10 points in that game fan. Palmer was terrible. Your take on Crabs and Kap being divas makes no sense either.

      1. Remind us again where Carson Palmer was for the NFCCG? Oh. Not throwing a fade, but getting faded on the golf course. Good call.

      2. Interesting. So you’re not only disregarding Kap’s offensive contributions to this game, but you’re also asserting Palmer, who’s regular season stats include 24 TDs to 21 INTs and an overall QB rating of 83.9, would’ve made the right decision and throw vs Kap, who’s regular season stats include 21 TDs to 8 INTs and an overall QB rating of 91.6? Methinks thou doth protest too hard.

        Also, shoulda, coulda, woulda is a fantastical, utterly baseless way of approaching this (or any) argument, imho.

      3. Fan77,

        I thought your complaint was about Kap. Now you’re saying that we should have kept Alex Smith. You’ve lost your mind now. We see what your agenda I’d now. I told these guys you were DS, now I’m positive of it.

      4. 23 Jordan,
        Kaep didn’t it done. The argument was the team couldn’t win Super Bowls with Kaep. We clearly did not win one with him last and he couldn’t even get there this year when he was the full time starter. His passing stats were medicore all year, and the argument was, oh just wait til he gets all his weapons. So he gets them back and at times he looks better, but the numbers are still the same. Why? Because he hasn’t learned how to throw from the pocket!
        You can hate Alex all you want, but the fact remains Kaep had 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter and that is THE reason the Niners are not going to the SB this year.
        He’s been up and down all year, and you can call it growing pains, immaturity, call it whatever you want. He never developed the skills necessary to win it all.
        I told you the entire year that these issues may come up to prevent the team from winning it all. He was close to proving everyone wrong, but close only counts for losers in sports.
        I didn’t say I hate Kaep or wish he was not the Niner QB. It is what it is. I wanted him to play better.
        Cry all you want — he lost. Looking back maybe Smith wasn’t as bad as you thought.
        Call me whatever you want. Nothing will change the fact that the Kaep failed. Twice.

      5. Fan there is no denying that CK did not perform well enough late in the 4th Q in the NFC championship game. He hasn’t gotten better from last year.
        But using Alex Smith and what could have been, well, is pointless. That ship sailed. Now the 49ers have to move forward with CK. They have to do everything they can to develop him into a more cerebral type of QB. They have to add a better surrounding cast around him.
        It may or may not work, maybe he is what we seen last Sunday and that’s it. Well soon see but using past players as an argument is weak cause we still will never have known.

  68. Found another report of David Fales on walterfooball.com.

    David Fales, QB, San Jose State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2014): 3-5.
    1/13/14: Fales had some disappointing outings early on against Sacramento State, Stanford and Utah State. After the slow start, he heated up against Colorado State (431 yards) and Wyoming (482 yards) with eight touchdowns and one interception in those games. In the regular-season finale, Fales had a prolific game completing 37-of-45 passes for 547 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions to beat Derek Carr and Fresno State by a score of 62-52.

    Fales completed 64 percent of his passes in 2013 for 4,189 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. San Jose State did not receive a bowl bid despite having six wins.

    8/3/13: Fales started out his collegiate career at Nevada in 2009. Things didn’t work out there, so he transfered to a community college. Fales excelled there before enrolling at San Jose State to become the team’s starter in 2012. He completed 72.5 percent of his passes for 4,193 yards with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    Fales dominated his weaker competition. His worst game of the year was the season opener against Stanford, his best opponent. He completed 24-of-35 passes for 217 yards with a touchdown and interception.

    Fales looks like he has a decent arm and some accuracy. His completion percentage is inflated by a lot of short, quick passing offense. While Fales isn’t a dual-threat quarterback, he has some mobility to move in the pocket. Fales needs to improve his field vision as he has a tendency to stare down his primary option. He also has to make improvements in his foot work.

    Personal: Psychology major. His backup quarterback is his younger brother, Austen Fales.

      1. That may be, but that becomes moot if he stares down his primary. Defenses would know where he was going with the pass.

        1. I don’t see that as an issue for Fales. He keeps his eyes and feet moving, doesn’t cheer for receivers to get open like Kaepernick does.

      2. Guess who else had a very inflated completion percentage in college because of a high amount of short pass completions….. Colt McCoy.

        1. McCoy can’t make all the throws. He is terrible.

          Fales’ completion percentage isn’t inflated from playing in a spread system because he doesn’t play in a spread system. He made NFL throws every week, unlike McCoy.

    1. I watched Fales play in Reno this past November when the Spartans lost to a mediocre Nevada team. He had a pretty good game, but I did not see anything really special there. He looked like a faster version of Scott Tolzien to me.

      Having said that, if he is available to the 49ers in the third round, I do not think it would be a bad pick.

      1. Tolzien threw 32 TDs in two seasons. Fales threw 66 TDs in two seasons.

        Tolzien never threw 6 TDs in a half like Fales did against Fresno State a few weeks ago.

      2. Grant how is this kid any different than Kap. You ALWAYS say he’s a one read guy. If it’s not there he forces it. Why draft someone with the same problem. This isn’t college. The NFL is 10x faster. It would be dumb to draft and QB and teach him how to go through progressions. When we have to work on getting our starter to do the same

      3. He threw one TD in the game I attended, and otherwise he looked ordinary against a Nevada defense that was horrible.

        It is also worth remembering that college stats are difficult to compare across conferences. The Spartans are in the Mountain West, where shootouts are common. Further, the Spartans are a passing team, so the QB has more opportunities for TD throws. The Badgers are in the Big Ten, which is still more of a grind it out conference. Shootouts are less common.

        1. That’s one game he won by 10 points. He was up 14-0 in the first quarter. He played very well twice against Stanford, and had an excellent career. Fales has a stronger arm than Tolzien.

        1. Oops, I was looking at the game against UNLV.

          Fales threw for 326 yards and completed 65 percent of his passes against UNR despite his running game producing just 1.9 yards per carry.

      4. Those stats mask his ineffectiveness in the second half. In the second half, the Spartans punted four (or maybe it was five) times and failed to convert on fourth down four times, including a series from Nevada’s five yardline that ended when the Spartans failed to score on fourth down. Yes, Fales made some nice passes, but most of those came in the first half. And I stick by what I wrote — he looked ordinary against one of the most porous defenses in the Mountain West.

  69. I have a question for those who don’t think Kap is the answer or who think they should have him play out his contract: What more do you expect from the kid?

    When he was drafted the majority of experts and fans believed he’d need to sit at minimum two years and learn before he’d be able to function in a pro offense. He exceeded those expectations spectacularly.

    How many first year starters have led a team to a SB appearance? How many QB’s have led their team to a SB appearance and then an NFCCG appearance the following year?

    I understand the apprehension over handing him a Joe Flacco type contract. That is not something any of us want to see and I don’t think Kap will be looking for that. However something in the 14-16 mill range is reasonable considering what other QB’s who have achieved less have gotten from their respective teams.

    I think the Niners will sign Kap long term this offseason because it’s beneficial to both parties. For the Niners, it keeps them from having to possibly franchise Kap next season where his cap hit would be near 20 million and cripple them under the cap, not to mention the long term deal would be much higher as well due to Kap having all the leverage. For Kaepernick himself it protects him against injury which could wipe out any chance he had at big money. It makes too much sense for both sides not to happen.

    I think the biggest factor people are overlooking from some of the entries I’m reading here, is that Kap isn’t a finished product. Far from it in fact. We are seeing him play and win with pure athleticism and skill. He’s an intelligent guy. He will learn the nuances of playing the position the more experience he gets and once combined with the athletic talent, he should be a top ten QB in this league. There is a chance this is as good as he’ll get, but that isn’t likely as players with Kap’s work ethic rarely reach their peak this quickly. He’s a motivated guy with incredible athletic talent. He is a leader and loved by his teammates. He has now been on the big stage and is not going to be intimidated by big games.

    In other words, we have an incredibly talented QB, who wants to be great, who has achieved more than most QB’s in this league ever have in a season and a half of starting, and is just entering his prime. Why in the world would you want to take a chance on losing that when it’s so hard to find good QB’s in this league? I’m all for drafting another QB for both development and competition, but I can’t for the life of me understand why any 49er fan wouldn’t be excited about the future this kid has with what we’ve seen in such a short period of time.

    1. Rocket,
      there was a small minority of guys that fought for Alex Smith in this room while he grew and matured as a QB. They fought for him year after year while he learned to go through progressions, while he dealt with accuracy issues, while he dealt with locking his eyes on the pass rush instead of receivers down field.

      The stuck with him for a multitude of reasons. But they stuck with him, while he was losing.

      We now have a raw talent who like Alex is working to get better. The team faced a multitude of issues in this Kaepernick’s second year. Kaepernick finished 10-1 once the team got Crabtree back.

      Kaepernick played 5 of his last 6 on the road and all playoff games on the road. Yet somehow the ones that were so patient with Alex during the time he was losing don’t seem to be as patient with Kaep while he’s winning….

      My gut tells me that they liked “humble” Alex and really either don’t care for Kaepernick the man.

      1. I am one who advocated for Alex. I still believe that Harbaugh used bad judgment in replacing Alex as an injured player. He gave up on alex at precisely the wrong time. Sends him to K.C. where he takes the Chiefs to the playoffs and is now on the All Pro team. But all of this is behind us now. We have Kap. The kid is a quality man, good character, and can throw it on a rope. He has no peer among QBs in running the ball. He is a talent, regardless of Grant’s lack of confidence in him. This has nothing to do with those liking Alex because he may have been humble. He clearly has talent. But Kap is our guy and I for one know that he can get us where we want to go. Harbaugh I am not so sure of.

    2. I have a question for those who don’t think Kap is the answer or who think they should have him play out his contract: What more do you expect from the kid?
      Simple, (but I do think he is the answer) win it all. That’s been the organizations mantra dating back to before the 5 SB wins. Someone said it yesterday, it’s unfair, almost too high of expectation but hey, that’s the 49er way.
      No matter who is the QB for the 49ers, that will always be the expectation. Right or wrong, that’s the way it is.

      1. It’s what we strive for, and it used to be the 49er way. But since it hasn’t happened in almost 20 years, it’s safe to say that until it happens again, it is not the 49er way.

      2. The Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots, Packers are all organizations that talk about winning championships yearly. It’s what drives them, their fans expect, the people in their building working for them expect it.
        It’s in their DNA and what makes them successful. You can’t win it every year but if you don’t expect it, or talk about it or use it a fuel, you then become the Buffalo Bills, Dolphins, cardinals, and Rams.

    3. rocket,

      A contract in the $14-$16 million range is actually higher than Flacco’s average cap number for the first 3 years of his new deal, and he got that deal after leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, 2 AFC Championship games and 2 trips to the Divisional round.

      1. Flacco’s average is over 20 million a year. The cap hit is lower at the start of the deal but will rise significantly. The Niners could structure Kap’s the same way so the base is higher in year 4 or 5 to keep the cap hit down. The bottom line is he will be earning quite a bit less than Flacco even though I think he’s going to be much better than Flacco.

        Flacco’s first two years starting also didn’t include a SB appearance and NFCCG the following year.

      2. Jack,

        I don’t know but what I do know is most players do not want to play out their contract for fear of injury. The team has as much leverage as they’re going to have right now. If they let Kap get to FA and he’s healthy, their leverage is gone and they are either crippling their cap with a huge hit on a franchise tag or are paying him even more due to being on the open market.

        As I said it makes sense for both sides to get this done now. Doesn’t mean it will happen, just that I think it should.

    4. Bay,

      I’m glad you brought that up because that is why I backed Smith when many were calling for his head. You have to give players a chance to develop and hone their game. With Smith it was a case of people being disappointed by his draft position and the lack of return in the investment, but the problem was he didn’t have much of a chance until Harbaugh was hired and he was given a chance to learn under ideal circumstances.

      Now I’m seeing more of the same with Kap. He burst onto the scene last year and all of a sudden everybody expects him to be a seasoned vet taking the team to a Championship, while forgetting that he’s not even two years into starting yet. The expectations are out of control.


      The 5 SB’s are in the rear view mirror. Different time, different league where FA didn’t tear a franchise apart to promote parity. We all want to win SB’s, but it’s never been harder to win one than it is right now. High standards are fine but basing a decision on whether to resign a great young QB on whether he’s won a SB is unrealistic.

      1. I never said anything about resigning. I think they should but not at 12-14 million!
        As for the SB expectation, maybe you have not been a fan for very long but winning championships has been the expectation for 49er football for over 2 decades. Even though we had terrible regimes, that has always been the expectation.

      2. When the Petaluma Little League team advanced in the LLWS tourney there was a lot of excitement here. Then they went to the finals and lost in a good tough game. We were all very proud of them, but there was one Troll in the comments section of the local papers who kept saying that they were losers because they lost their last game. Much indignant reaction but the guy persisted saying things like yeah, a silver medal in the Olympics was a loser too. He pretty much defined himself as ignorant and got more and more hostile and abusive with each post until he was banned. So good ridence.
        The current level of criticism of Colin reminds me somewhat of that; disproportionate to the facts. Get rid of him? PFfffft! I’m still gagging on the line “he may still have a future.” Ya think? Yeah, me too.

      3. Prime,

        I’m 45 and have been a fan since 78.

        Nothing wrong with expecting to win SB’s, but there is a problem when it affects judgement on a players future.


        Mind numbing is how I describe it. SMH isn’t strong enough.

  70. Whether or not Fales can play in the NFL will be answered in a large part at the combine. I have read a number of sources who question his arm strength, i’ve also read a number of sources who believe he has more than adequete arm strength. The combine will answer that question. Then the only question will be can he make the jump from a mediocre level of college football to the NFL and that can only be answered by playing in the NFL. Thats the biggest reason why drafting QB’s is such a crap shoot.

  71. Jack Hammer says:
    January 23, 2014 at 7:56 am
    “Those used to be called “Alexcuses” around here. Don’t mess with “The Chosen One.”

    Not necessarily Hammer.
    If I recall, many here insulated Alex Smith and blamed Crabtree in the Championship game loss against the Giants a few years.

    They put most of the blame on Crabtree for not being able to get open in that game.
    Then Crabtree got reamed for comments after the game saying he wished he had been giving more chances (throws) to make plays.

    In hindsight, I think we have all been witness that all Crabtree needs is a pass thrown his way for him to make a play/catch (even though closely covered).
    Well, CK made that type of throw to Crabtree last Sunday and this time it came up short.

    CK made a throw on Sunday that Smith would not have.
    I know its hypothetical, but I believe Favre, S.Young, and even Payton would take a shot at Crabtree in that situation.
    IMO, I would rather have a QB who is willing to take that shot then a QB who shrugs away (to safe) from throwing it.

    OABTW, CK may yet prove that he IS “the chosen one.”

    1. Great post AES. You are a Niner faithful…. Look forward to next year. I bet the players will feed off of the excitement of playing in their new stadium….

    2. AES,

      Many insulated Alex Smith after the championship game in the same way that many are insulating Kaepernick now.

      Regarding whether Young would make that throw or not I would suggest pulling up KNBR and listening to his interview from yesterday. And after that pull up Jeff Garcia’s interview from Monday.

      1. >>Many insulated Alex Smith after the championship game in the same way that many are insulating Kaepernick now.

        Guilty here of charges on both counts.

        Smith played well for the Niners in the Harbaugh era and I appreciated it. CK has as well and he is the team’s future. Grant can go on about his 4th quarter passing ratings, but this game is a blowout early, like recent previous Niners visits to Seattle, if not for his fearless early play.

        CK patterns himself after Favre, the slinger, and we all know he made the bonehead throw from time to time. It took Favre time to win the big one, do we give that window to CK?

      2. My problem with that throw is that it is the kind of throw on which Sherman routinely makes plays. It might have been effective against a shorter DB, but the risk/reward calculus against Sherman should have resulted in a determination that the risks outweighed the rewards.

      3. >>Favre was a Pro Bowler by the time he was 23, and a first-team All Pro by the time he was 26.

        And that matters how when the name of the game is winning the big one?

      4. >>What success? Almost winning the big one?

        If the comparison is what the other 31 starting NFL QBs over that period accomplished then yes, damned successful.

        1. It’s a team game and, last I checked, quarterbacks don’t play defense or special teams.

          Kaepernick is lucky to play for such a stacked team. How would he fare if he had to throw to Golden Tate, Doug Balwdin and Zach Miller? How would Kaepernick do if he had to carry a bad defense for an entire season?

      5. >>Kaepernick choked away two opportunities to win the big one, so where does that place him?

        Well above the 31 other NFL starting QBs who didn’t perform well enough to have the opportunity to play, let alone choke, in the big one.

        Come on Grant, this crap about choking is just your passive aggression against your readerbase who have said the exact same thing about your chosen NFL champion, Tony Romo. Just admit it and get it out.

        1. Kaepernick had a 61 passer rating in the fourth quarter in the regular season and the postseason. Horrendous. Compare that to Romo’s fourth quarter passer rating.

      6. >>It’s a team game and, last I checked, quarterbacks don’t play defense or special teams.

        So I’m not hearing you saying Rogers “choked” on that TD pass coverage. Or the defense “choked” on Lynch’s 40 yard TD stroll through the backend. Or the SP “choked” on that 60 yard KO return to give Seattle the short field for their TD margin of victory.

        Instead, it’s all about the QB choking. I didn’t know Jordan23 circa Jan 2012 is ghost writing your column now.

        1. Three turnovers in a row in the fourth quarter, including the bone-headed throw at the end — testing Sherman when he didn’t have to — sets a new standard for choking. Choking may not even be harsh enough to desrcibe what Kaepernick did. He launched the Seahawks’ franchise, made Sherman an Ali-figure who transcends sports.

      7. Grant,

        If there is another 30 game starter who has gone to a SB and NFCCG in back to back seasons feel free to point him out because it sure wasn’t Favre. I’m not sure anyone else can make that claim.

        To answer your question, Kap would be doing the same thing in Seattle that he is here. The offensive systems are practically the same, the difference being receivers running wide open in Seattle periodically.

      8. Unless you can come up with Romo’s 2nd season 4th quarter stats, I guess we’ll have check in on Kaep’s 9th season 4th quarter stats to make that comparison, won’t we?

      9. Grant it’s become apparent that you don’t understand the term choking in the sports vernacular. The mistakes Kap made are due to confidence and a belief he can make a play, much like Favre played his entire career. A player who chokes cannot handle the big stage. Kap disproved your assertion last year by leading the team to a come from behind victory in Atlanta and coming within 5 yards of leading the biggest comeback in SB history.

      10. Romo has how many playoff wins?

        4th quarter passer rating means little without knowing the game situations it was accumulated under.

      11. Team game, absolutely but your leader, the face of your franchise, the guy you went all in with, did not come through in the clutch. TWICE!
        Everything about next year, patience with a 3rd year QB whose now 27, will get better is all rainbows and unicorns.
        The chances of even getting back to the playoffs is daunting in itself when you look at how everyone in the NFC is getting better.

      12. So many act like Kaepernick has done something amazing. Roethlisberger had been to a championship game and had a Super Bowl ring by the time he finished his second season.

        Wilson would have been in the championship game last year if not for his defense blowing it, and now he finds himself in the Super Bowl. If he wins that would be more significant than what Kaepernick has done.

        These are recent examples. In the Super Bowl Kaepernick had the chance to win it for his team and after 3 superb quarters on Sunday he fell apart in the 4th quarter. Call it a choke, or as Bay said, failure. Either way he didn’t get it done.

        Regardless of whatever else happened to put them in that position, he had the chance to make a play and couldn’t.

      13. >>102.5.

        Yay, Romo wins the 2 man 4th quarter stat trophy!

        I’m guessing, along with that is numerous trips to the Championship games and Superbowl, right?

      14. Jack,

        Big Ben played horribly in the SB but won it anyway. Wilson hasn’t done what Kap has so far but may do so next week. I’m not really sure what your point is.

      15. If we are acting like Kaep has done something special, then Jack you sound like winning a Superbowl by your second season is something usual and normal. Even if Wilson pulls it off (which I’m doubting without seattle’s noise advantage), how many other times in NFL history has something like this been accomplished?

      16. Sorry, but losing in the Super Bowl or Championship game doesn’t make you special.

        Great that you got there, don’t forget to pick up your parting gift on the way out the door.

      17. It’s an unreasonable standard rib. Roethlisberger was awful in his first AFCCG and the SB the following year but because his team won it’s ignored and he’s lauded for winning the big one.

        Kap has surpassed any reasonable persons expectations with what he’s done the past two seasons.

      18. Kaepernick took over a team favored to win the Super Bowl. It’s not like he all of a sudden made them a contender.

      19. Hammer,
        Steve Young languished around the league before finding his groove as a 49er.

        What Young should be saying is (if he didn’t in the interview you allude too) Kaep is far from a finished product and he is going to make mistakes along the way, but his high ceiling far exceeds the obvious flaws.

        That would have been a very fair and insightful analysis imo.

        Hey, I’m like CK and will roll with him as long as the Org does. And yes, he has lost in big games.
        But may I add, big games that this team has been bereft of for a very long time before the Harbaugh era.

        Young and Garcia had to play under the still very visible shadow of Joe Montana. Young eventually found success but Garcia struggled.
        My biggest qualm is that CK is 1.5 seasons in and still is not a finished product.

        To call him a ‘choker’ at this stage of his career or to make a subtle Steve DeBerg comparison (by Grant) has nothing to do with riling the ‘fanboys,’ or those who consider CK the ‘chosen one.’
        It just doesn’t fit into the body of work from CK since his first pro start against the Bears last season.

      20. Jack,

        Kaps performance in the playoffs last year was the single biggest reason they made it to the SB. The defense was not playing well, the kicking game was a disaster and they were down early in every game. He may not have turned them into a contender, but he was a big reason for them being one.

      21. Jack,

        He did a fabulous job of handing the ball off during the 4th quarter in Atlanta.

        Now I know you are just looking for reasons to knock the kid.

        Just to refresh your memory:

        The Niners had 3 possessions in the 4th quarter of that game.

        - one ended at the goal line with a crabtree fumble

        - the next ended with a TD run by Gore

        - the third was to run out the clock

        Nice try though.

      22. They had 4 possessions in the second half and started it down 24-14:

        First possession – Kap throws for 58 yards on a TD drive ended with a 5 yard run by Gore

        Second possession – Kap throws for 31 yards and sets up a FG attempt that is missed by Akers

        3rd possession – Kap throws for 37 yards and gets them to the one yard line where Crabtree fumbles the ball

        4th possession – it starts from the Atlanta 38 and ends with a nine yard TD run by Gore. Only pass Kap threw was a 9 yard completion for a 1st down before the TD run.

        5th possession – 3 runs to burn the clock.

        4 possessions and 4 scoring drives if they don’t fumble and miss a FG. This while being down 10 points on the road in his 9th career start. You and Grant truly don’t understand what choking means.

      23. He was hot in the second half Jack. He moved the ball on every possession they had and led them to a win. He was clutch, anti choke or whatever other term you can think of.

      24. He was hot in the second half Jack. He moved the ball on every possession they had (134 yards passing) and led them to a win. He was clutch, anti choke or whatever other term you can think of, and in only his 9th start. Pretty impressive and certainly doesn’t support your belief he chokes in big games.

      25. That’s not clutch Rocket. That is effectively managing from the pocket, which is something that Kaep rarely does well.

      26. Clutch is being the main component of a game winning drive Rocket. Throwing just one pass doesn’t constitute as being clutch.

      27. Fellas,

        That’s what puzzles the hell out of me. Yes, Kap played lights out last year in the playoffs. I would’ve bet my life that we were scoring on 1st and 10 from the 5 yards line. Kap made some great plays in the Super Bowl but he also made some really bad throws as well.

        In the Championship game this year, the same thing. The kid made some amazing plays in that Game, but he made some really bad plays as well. So clearly the issue here is some consistency and questionable decision making.

        When it was crunch time, he’s really made some bad plays 2 years in a row. There is no way around that. Yes, he propelled us in both games and he was the reason we were in them. Maybe that’s why I expected him to finish the job. What he had to to at the end of both games was clearly not as monumental as what he had to do to keep us in both games.

        I’ll say it again. I’ve watched the video of that last play vs Seattle and Kaepernick was a bonehead for attempting that throw against Sherman. Crabtree was NEVER open. Kaepernick tried to pair with Crabtree and show Sherman up. If Kaepernick was thinking success instead of hope, he never would’ve thrown that to Crabtree. That throw was stupid.

        1. Throwing at Sherman.
        2. It’s 1st down.
        3. We have 2 timeouts.
        4. We have other capable weapons on the field.
        5. We had stayed away from Sherman for the most part all day.
        6. Kap had some success against Maxwell during the game.
        7. Sherman has more picks against Kap than any player in the league.
        8. Crabtree got NO seperation on that play.
        9. Kap says he like throwing to Crabtree because he gets open. HE WAS NOT OPEN! Yet he chose to throw it up anyway.
        10. Did I say that CRABTREE WAS NOT OPEN DAMNIT!!!!’mm

    3. AES:

      I don’t remember anyone blaming Crabtree for the loss. I remember some people claiming that Smith’s inability to complete more than one pass to a WR was proof that he was responsible for the loss and some of us mentioning in response that the WRs weren’t open.

      And let’s face it, Crabtree was the only 49er WR of any worth on the field that day. He got a lot of attention from the Giants. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that they were able to take him out of the game.

      As for the last pass to Crabtree, the team was on the Seahawks 18 yard line with 30 seconds on the clock and two timeouts. It wasn’t like they only had time for one play and had to go to the end zone. There was no good reason to force a throw to Crabtree when he was so tightly covered by Sherman, especially when Patton was so wide open. Even if Patton only gains 5 yards (a conservative estimate), he gets out of bounds or the team calls an immediate timeout, and the 49ers have enough time to run 3 more plays. I’m not saying there aren’t other QBs who would have thrown to Crabtree, but it wasn’t a smart or wise decision.

      Hopefully, Kaepernick learns from this and becomes the QB we all want him to be. But, he’s not there yet.

      1. CB,
        Actually Crabtree did receive quite a bit of flak from many posters regarding his inability to get open in the Giants Championship game.

        The following days after that loss the trending topic was either about replacing Crabtree or scorn over his remarks after the game about how he would have liked to have had more opportunities to make plays.
        I may be wrong on the numbers, but I believe that there were only 5-7 total passes thrown to Crabtree during that game with just 2-3 catches.

        Regarding the R. Sherman play. I think that the person who is being forgotten in this play is the LB Smith who was in excellent position to make the INT.
        Sherman did knock the ball away (good play), but had Smith not been near the play the ball drops to the ground and we still have time-outs and more shots at a TD.

        Bang, bang play. Not the best decision by Kaep, but I do like his mettle in taking a shot.
        Great players make great plays. Sherman/Smith won this battle.
        There will be many more battles to come in which we will win our share as well.

  72. Hola Grant, and old pals!

    Decided to take the season to watch the games without checking in to see what was posted. Wanted to get a sense of things without the noise. Good noise and bad noise, etc.


    1) Have to login to see if George Mira’s helmet is still showing up next to my name.

    2) I absolutely hate how the NFL sets up the reffing in the post season. Basically fantasy football for refs: pick the allstars and put them together. How about picking the best team of refs. Choose the teams that made the least mistakes during the year, instead of throwing people together who may not have worked together before. The idea that you can’t tell the difference between the two types of roughing the punter is completely absurd to me. Kaepernick made too many bad gambles, but a correct roughing the punter (hitting the plant leg) would have been a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down – thus giving us a much-needed extra set of downs. May or may not have been the difference in the game. The Bowman fumble recovery was also pretty obvious to anyone who doesn’t have cataracts in both eyes.

    I don’t like the “loosen up” thing the refs do in the playoffs, in general. All the CBs grabbing and hand-checking is holding and interference the rest of the season, why is it loosened up in the playoffs?

    Let’s get this replay booth stuff sorted out. They can no longer support this idea that only “some” plays are reviewable. If your guy if flagged for a blow to the head but he’s actually only hit shoulder to shoulder, that should be allowed to be overturned.

    But the main thing is ref integrity, consistency in what they’re calling, etc. Judge the referee teams through the year, the ones with the most accurate calls go to the offseason as a team, not some BS Kobe Bryant dream team.

    3) Kaepernick. I like this kid but I took a season to watch him and I have concerns. I don’t count his 2011 three games for much, so maybe this is just a sophomore slump. The numbers aren’t off too much but he’s certainly gone backward a bit. Who knows what happened, maybe they’re trying to monkey with his mechanics, maybe they didn’t and he’s getting sloppy. He still doesn’t have much touch on the ball, still gunning it.

    Some of the Kaepernick thing may be that he’s been over-hyped and sold. I don’t blame him for taking the endorsement deals, rookie contracts are now kind of peanuts compared to what he might have made earlier, but the ad media propped him up pretty high.

    4) I wonder how far the Bill Walsh system goes. Are they scripting the first 15 plays to see what happens or are they scripting the entire game? Walsh used to script the first 15 to see what worked and then they’d build from there. Roman (and Chryst, Harbaugh) seems to call plays that seem completely illogical at times. I don’t get it but it could be a chess move I suppose. Almost seems like there’s a predetermined play that they’ll run even if the circumstances seem completely wrong. Doesn’t seem to flow right.

    Anyway, hello to all, it’s been a year!

    Looking forward to figuring out my draft scenario with you all like we always do :)

    1. Great to see you back Adam and hope you continue to voice your opinions. Your wisdom has been greatly missed around here.

    2. Adam,
      Nice to have you back in the fold.

      We are still waiting for a Hoferfan67 sighting on here. He’s taken a longer sabbatical than you (lol).

      BTW, good points as always.

    1. Jack, what’s been lost in all the talk about Kaepernick and Sherman on that INT is that Malcom Smith saw where Kaepernick was going with the throw and hustled to put himself in position to catch the tipped pass. If he hadn’t done that it’s an incomplete pass and the 49ers survive for another down. Who was the real hero on that play, Sherman or Smith?

    2. It just shows you how one play can change everything. If he completes that pass we are talking about Kaps future greatness today; not reading about a questionable future.

  73. I was shocked to hear that Kap is 27. And his demeanor as I have said a few times..isn’t like that of a winning NFL QB. Even Wilson puts him to shame as a silver tongued devil schmoozing with the media.

  74. Rogers will be gone in June and this will probably be Gore last season with us. Off the book will over 13 million to use towards the cap

  75. Grant,
    the other day one of our posters made mention that the players only speak to sports reporters because they have to. 10 minute obligation.

    I’ve thought about how difficult it is at times to attempt to get certain answers from these players only to walk away unfulfilled. We then get frustrated as fans because we don’t get to know the players on a more in depth basis. Some of us even begin to dislike the player because they fail to show us who they are.

    That made me wonder, when it comes to your job, your dads job, Ray Ratto’s job, what is the goal. Is the goal to develop a relationship with the player? To get them to lower their guard and give us more insight into what makes them tick? I’ve seen sports reporters take this approach. I’ve always preferred it as long as they could still be tough when they had to.

    Then there is your approach and what I am beginning to feel your goal is. I believe your goal is to write a story and the goal intended is exactly what you have written here. One that creates controversy. Back and forth with blog hits. It’s definitely not trying to build a relationship with players. Not when you call the star QB a choker. You know what that leads to? Post game sessions where you ask questions and you receive one word answers.

    Sort of like your dad last year when he called Harbaugh an 11 year old. Your dad wrote that out of frustration because IMO he couldn’t get the answers out of him that he wanted to during a press conference. So he attacked. My point is, if you wrote a little less for sensationalism and controversy and attempted to do the hard work which is building trust and a relationship, you would be rich for the real information that you could receive.

    Looking at Kaepernicks short career and his achievements so far which include a handful of NFL records, he could be described in many ways, but you chose to call him a choker.

    1. Until he wins the Super Bowl, Kaepernick’s career will be defined by blowing back-to-back Super Bowl seasons the same exact way. Same can be said for Harbaugh and Roman and Chryst and Morton and the rest of the offensive brain trust. What did Mangini improve?

      1. So in his first two years he goes to the superbowl and to the NFC Championship game. And since he lost both games, he’s a choker?
        See I would say he was a choker if all facets of the 49ers played flawlessly. Then you have what you call your weak link. But to see the multitudes of errors and weaknesses on the team and to call the QB a choker is lazy.
        As far as Mangini? Who knows what he improved? We truly didn’t get details of his full involvement because you didn’t do your job and get that information for us.
        Maybe just maybe coaches are reluctant to give you that type of information because you do things like calling the teams QB a choker less than a week removed from a painful loss. Comes back to my question, what’s your goal with your job?

        1. You make me laugh. Ha ha!

          Go back and read the things you wrote about Alex Smith after he lost the NFC championship. You’ve done a complete 180 now that Kaepernick is the quarterback. And I’m supposed to take you seriously?

          My goal is to be honest, not to curry favor.

      2. Grant I hear you and that’s fair. I was unfair to Smith because he had become the face of a losing franchise to me. I had written him off. I had 7 years of him and I was done.
        Kaepernick is brand new and has had more success than failure in one and a half seasons. Curry that….

      3. Alex Smith completed ONE PASS TO A WR in that game……..for 3 yards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was the worst performance by a QB that i ever saw………and unfortunately, it was in person!

      4. This team has talent, but for the system to fully work, it lacked a vertical threat wide receiver ( Moss ).
        I am sure everyone that Joe Foreman was going to beat Ali because as a fighter he was “loaded with talent”. Ali knocked his ass out because foreman didn’t have the tool that he needed in his gameplan to beat Ali. Speed.

      5. Then you must have seen a lot of 49er games this year. That “worst performance ever by a QB” passed for 196 yards in that game, just 4 yards less than this year’s QB averaged every game for the entire season.

        OK, back to my Kaep defending…

      6. Rib, dont be a fool! The whole essence of the QB position is to make the defense respect the WHOLE FIELD, otherwise they have a huge advantage by only playing a portion. Alex got all those yards off passes to Rb’s and Te’s. They stacked the box and didnt have to respect anything beyond 15 yards past the LOS or anything near the sideline. Its pissing me off even thinking about it!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine how fun/easy it would be playing safety or CB if you never had to worry about WR’s!!!???? its like having 4 extra men on defense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      7. Grant choke is such a mean word. The same exact point can be made without using the term choke. You can descibe a player as not coming through in the clutch and it means the same thing. Players are offended when they are called a choke by someone who has never competed at the same level as they do. I can guarentee you that you wo’nt get great access to players next year after calling their QB a choke but you could describe him as not coming through in the clutch and still get good access. imho

      8. Bayarea i think you mean George Foreman or maybe Joe Frazier but if you meant Foreman Ali did’nt win because of superior speed he won because of fight strategy [sse ropa dope] and because of extra loose ring ropes.

      9. Grant,
        Kaep choked last year and he choked this year. We don’t know if the team will get a chance to go back. Everyone will get older, other teams are getting better, so this was the best opportunity.
        So it may be awhile before he removes that choker label.
        Sherman was quick to make that distasteful choke symbol so there has to be something else going on. Kaep tried to challenge Sherman in the first game in week 2 and also under threw that pass to Davis.

        How many comebacks did Kaep have where he actually had to make a pass to win the game? I can’t recall any. I know he had big runs to set up field goals, but not any passes in the red zone in tight windows.

      10. Jack, dont be a clown. Teams stack the box against every QB depending on down/ distance etc. but with Alex, in that game especially, they did it constantly with no fear of anything going over there head.

        Your a #’s guy, how many completions does Kap have of 20+ yards over the last 2 seasons!? Where does he rank compared to the rest of the league in that category? Whats his completion % while attempting passes of 20+ yards? Where does that rank him league wide?

      11. jshaw,

        In that game the 49ers had one real WR, ONE WR!!! All we kept hearing about this season was how teams were stacking the box, and this was with The Chosen One.

        And thank you for calling me a clown, I’ll take that as a compliment. You know what they say about guys with big feet. Have you seen how big clown shoes are?

    2. The Lions are loaded as well. The Bears offense is loaded. The texans offense is loaded. None of those teams made the playoffs. I think we’re good

    3. Fan, your an idiot. Our D gave up 33 in the SB last year!! How many teams won a ring while giving up that many points!? When Seattle took the lead sunday, Kap lead them down for a td to take it back. Letting lynch take a dive up the middle, then break it for a long TD combined with an inexcusable 45 yard TD pass on 4th and 7 to go along with a 69 yard kick-off return THE PLAY AFTER Kap hit AB for that td to re-take the lead………well that WAS A CHOKE JOB…….by our DEFENSE and SPECIAL TEAMS!!!!!!!!!

      Kap, the least experienced starter on the team, is guilty of not leading the comebacks in those games. Hes guilty of not being GREAT!!!!!! Hes really gut good and really young. but not great!

      If your gonna accuse him of something…..then get it right you grumpy old son of a …….

      1. A winning quarterback has the ball in his hands to make a play to win the game and then failed. Twice.
        That’s an EPIC FAIL. That’s why those guys get paid 18-20 million a game.
        Spread the blame all you want, but the most important guy on the team failed at the most important moment.
        E-P-I-C F-A-I-L.
        As a long time fan, I expect more. Maybe if Kaep didn’t say that if he had that one on one matching, he would do it again, I would feel differently.

      2. Look the numbers up yourself. We both know the deep passes increased. That hasn’t stopped teams from stacking the box or led to a big increase in points scored.

      1. Lol. I didn’t hear the actual discussion. I just saw the caption that said Russell Wilson vs Ben Rothelsberger. I asked Jack to give me am example of someone who has done what Kap has. He said Big Ben. Of course the Steelers didn’t draft another QB until last year which makes 10yrs in the league without a back up. Then he said Russell Wilson. So he was pretty much dead on with the comparisons.

    1. I agree with a lot of what he said. I don’t agree with his pre-snap decision to eliminate option one, Sherman vs Mr. Crabs. Not only are you cutting your field options in half, but what if Sherman were to fall down? They’ve got a top secondary, so the other options are not much better. I still think Benjamin has the physical tools to create problems for Sherman and I think he’s tough enough to take a hit from Chancellor, VDs’ vaccine….

      1. I would be in Heaven if we drafted Benjamin or Evans. Just a big target. We’re going to need one for when we play the Seahawks. They signed those 3 DL for when they play us. It’s a chess match and it’s our move

      2. Banjamin from FSU right????? Thats my draft prayer/crush right now! Kid is like 6’5 but skinny ( fast?) cant wait to see his 40 time and vertical jump!!! I think Evans will go early 1st but i think Benjamin would be around mid-late 1st.

        Not only do we need some speed, but we desperately need height! How are they gonna beat the Hawks tall, lanky secondary!?

      3. That’s why we need him or one of them. Trade up to get him. We have the pics and need to capitalize on them. If we could draft a tall WR to stretch the field it opens up EVERYTHING underneath. Run and underneath routes. We have a bunch of great possession receivers and power run game. Team stuff the box and tell to run through them or try to go over top. A kelvin Benjamin will break that up.

    1. Neal …
      I think you just hit the nail on the head ..

      Romo worked very hard .. to
      earn the moniker … “Capt. Choke” ..
      (considering how many playoff gamed he
      “choked away”)

      I guess some here are in favor of Romo
      “passing that torch” …. to Kaep …

      a futile endeavor, indeed

      1. The difference is years in the league and actual playoff games won. Kaep has won in the playoffs and will continue to win.
        What has changed is that we had a very small window of opportunity with our 2011 defense. It played mistake free and took the ball away at record pace. Our defense today is good, but that defense of 2011 is long gone.

  76. No offense, but this is the dumbest column I’ve read since your daddy thought Joe Montana should be benched because he impregnated his wife.

  77. The whole team collapsed in the 2nd half!!!! Kap is guilty of not being able to lead us to a 4th Quarter come-back that would have went down in history as one of the greatest!

    The fact is: Kap IS NOT a legendary, all- time great! Not yet. But from what ive seen in a year and a half…….he could be. One day. Like every QB not named Manning or Brady, he has some things to work on. He has the talent and the mental toughness………..i dont see why he cant get better.

    1. jshaw,

      Love the passion. Every time I read a comment from you I can’t help but hear Chris Russo, “JUST ONE TIME, ONE STINKIN TIME!!!!”

  78. To me, you lost all credibility in evaluating Kaepernick back on September 9, 2013 when you said, “After just 11 starts, Colin Kaepernick probably is the best quarterback in the NFL.”

    Sometimes you tell us that Kap is the best, other times you tell us we’d better not get our hopes up. You’ve done the same thing with Gore: either he’s lost a step or he’s amazing. With both of these players, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and the future is unknown.

    Insurance is always a good thing, but you tend to change your opinion on what kind of insurance they need on a game-by-game basis.

  79. Harbaugh has gone all in on Kap and will back him up no matter how poorly he plays in critical final moments of playoff games. New President Paraag will not break the bank on Kap. Baalke will face-off against Harbaugh and Jim’s hubris will be the end of this team. The downfall will be as quick as the rise was.

    Expect Kap and Crabtree to play out their contract years and go into FA and take the highest dollar. Jerry Jones should make Kap (sic) room now to get both Kap and Crab in 2015. Baalke needs to think about 2015 because these two players will be gone by then.

  80. Dude, what’s your deal? You have been this perpetual source of negativity all season. It has come to a point where I can’t stand reading your blogs because you have decided to be perpetually contrary. You lack consistent analysis and seem to be driven by confirmation bias toward whichever argument you decide to take… I would guess that it is in an effort to set yourself apart from the other beat writers. Being consistently contrary does not make you seem more intelligent… being guided by a clear cut set of principles for your analysis would.

    Kap was one inch away from greatness. Greatness can only be obtained if you take risks. The Catch 1, 2, and 3 were all risky throws that could just have easily gone down as season ending failures.

  81. Grant Cohn said: Second, Kaepernick chokes under pressure. He choked at the end of the Super Bowl, forced three straight passes to Michael Crabtree at the goal line and hoped he caught one of them. Matt McGloin could do that.

    Dear Grant: I/we assume you’ve competed in some kind of higher level sports? Your use of the word ‘choke’ is actually disappointing because I think you are better than that. Any sport that has the same amount of opponents lined up or competing against “our” team and there is failure incurred doesn’t mean that an athlete has choked. I believe you need to use more generic words when our team doesn’t succeed. Those words will perhaps conjure up a thought of giving ones opponents some credit rather than think the good guy(s) choked. If Kap was sprinting unimpeded to the end-zone on the last play of the game – to WIN Sundays game and he did not carry the ball properly or professionally then I feel you could fall back on your favorite choice of the word choke but what happened last year and this year – No Kap did not choke, thus he is not a choker. Hopefully

      1. nerds that never played sports dont know the true definition of chocking.
        Not being able to comeback from a deficit is not chocking!!!! Its called not being able to achieve greatness.

        Chocking is:

        being wide open and dropping a perfect pass
        fumbling the ball with a lead late ( roger craig)
        throwing 3 picks to blow a huge lead late in a game
        2 outs, down 1, bases loaded in the 9th, 3-0 count, then striking out.

        Missing an easy field goal to win a game ( norwood)

        Making an error on an easy play that would have ended a game to send you to a world series ( red sox)

        got it non-sport playing dorks!!???

      2. I think you meant choke, not chock.

        What word would you use to describe turning the ball over on 3 straight possessions?

      3. Jack you ask what word i would use to describe turning the ball over on 3 straight possesions. I would’nt use one word i would say the player had failed in the clutch. The word choke carries so much more vitirol its just an ugly word.

      4. 3 turnovers while your frantically trying to come back, after leading the whole game is unfortunate. But the D and special teams did the “choking” in my opinion. They blew the lead. Not kaps turnovers.

        Lets be real: if Kap scored the td at the end and we beat them by one point in the final seconds…….its the one of the greatest games/wins/comebacks in history.

        The kid accounted for all but 25 yards of out total offense, overcoming that crowd with no help only to have the D and kickoff coverage fail him.

      5. jshaw says an example of choking is:

        2 outs, down 1, bases loaded in the 9th, 3-0 count, then striking out.

        How about the pitcher throws a wicked curve ball that looks like it’s going to be a ball to the batter so he lays off but it catches the corner of the plate for a strike? Is that a choke? No, he misjudged the pitch.

      6. yes it is space! not only did he go from 3-0 to 3-2…….but anyone who ever swung a bat knows you gotta protect the plate with 2 strikes!

      7. jshaw, what’s better: trying to make contact in that situation or taking the ball that gives you the walk-in run to tie the game?

      8. space, obviously the walk, but you better be damn sure its a ball! Better be in the dirt, over your head, so inside it almost hits you……you get the point.

      9. jshaw, I get your point, but my point is that it still comes down to judgement — or a coach giving you the green light or take sign.

  82. Kaepernick’s QB rating this season was 80.6 inside the opponents’ 19 yard line, and 54.2 inside the opponents’ 10 yard line. The only NFL QB who had a worse passer rating inside the opponents’ 10 yard line was Matt Cassel.

    1. Grant exactly what you are describing is someone who did’nt come through in the clutch. The term choke is just mean spirited.

    2. If you all want to see some of these stats, here are Kaepernick’s situational stats for 2013: http://www.nfl.com/player/colinkaepernick/2495186/situationalstats.

      The third quarter is his best, followed by the second. However, his fourth quarter stats bring down his second half stats to the point where he is better in the first half despite the third quarter being his statistical best quarter.

      Conversely, Kaepernick’s second half stats in 2012 were better than his first half states, with the third quarter his best and the fourth quarter his second best. In fact, in 2012 Kaepernick had a 111.2 rating and 71.4% completion rate in the 4th quarter when the game had a seven point or less differential.

  83. Matt McGloin had a better fourth quarter passer rating this season than Kaepernick. McGloin’s fourth quarter rating was 61.8, and he had much, much less talent around him than Kaepernick had.

    1. Good example of why QB rating is not a standard to measure effectiveness by Grant. You kill your own argument with examples like this. McGloin was never playing to win games just like a lot of other QB’s who may have had better 4th quarter passer ratings.

      Passer rating is severely affected by ints and TD’s. That’s why Tim Tebow could have a passer rating over 90 while completing 2 passes in 8 attempts for an entire game.

      Wins and losses man. That’s all that matters in the end.

  84. You guys,
    I asked Grant what his goal was when writing a blog article. These responses were his goal. Unfortunately a writeup like this ends up leaving real fans feeling slighted and defensive.

    1. I don’t feel slighted or defensive. It was a well written article and Grant did a good job of backing up his opinion by speaking with someone who knows quite a bit about the subject.

      1. Terry Shea spoke highly of Tyler Wilson too. He’s biased because he works with these kids. Doesn’t mean they are going to do anything on the next level and most don’t.

      2. >>Your taking exception with it is no surprise either.

        Anyone who follows our postings on the blog knows that bayareafanatic and I rarely see eye to eye. But I took exception as well. Grant is an equal-opportunity exception giver.

  85. Grant made several good points in this article. We can quibble over whether some of them include hyperbole to garner reader interest and blog discussion, but that does not negate the validity of his basic position.

    I make no secret I am a long time Colin Kaepernick fan. However, I have been a 49ers fan far longer. I want to see Kaep succeed, but I also want to see the 49ers do as well as possible. Those to interest currently coincide; however, if they cease to do so, I will have no qualms about the 49ers moving on.

    As I said in a different thread, this is pure speculation, but it seems to me Kaep has been different since the Super Bowl loss. When the 49ers drafted him, I worried his physical gifts might not translate to the NFL. I never worried about his confidence, his ability to learn and adapt, and his leadership skills. To my surprise, his physical gifts translated quite well (with some cleanup of his mechanics still needed), as I has his leadership skills (or so it appears to me), but his confidence and his ability to learn and adapt do not seem to have translated as well, at least not this year. He seems much more afraid of not making the big play than I have ever seen him.

    I do not think it is time yet to hold him up to the legend of Joe Montana, either in comparison or contrast, but I also think it is too early to know how, or if, his own legend will develop. If I were the 49ers, I would give him the option of $8 to $10 million per year for three years, with hefty incentives. If he does not bite, I would take my chances on having to pay much more after next season.

    I would also draft a project QB in the middle rounds, just in case. And while I am not as high on Fales as Grant, I think he would be a nice project to have.

    1. The adjustment from a gimmick offense in college to the NFL is not and will never be easy. There are many different reason for the difference. If you don’t believe me lets just ask our former QB Alex Smith. As I always say, “He was Tim Tebow before Tebow. He helped put Urban Meyer on the map.” So Kap will learn. If he doesn’t learn, blame the coaches. They should be making him do drills until his flaws are gone. Kap is the guy, will be the guy, you all who pretty much want him out need to be patient.

    2. JPN,

      The issue I have with the article is it’s an attempt to diminish Kaps achievements by using passer rating which in of itself is ridiculous, while also ignoring the fact he’s won most of the games he’s started including the playoffs.

      He also slanders the kid with a label of choking which doesn’t fit the resume he’s put together at all. It’s half truths which Grant uses quite often. Point out the mistake and ignore the evidence to the contrary such as the run to the SB last season and the two playoff games before Seattle.

      It’s the moving goal post syndrome with Grant. Last season nobody focused the majority of blame on Kap for the inability to score from the 5. The focus was on the play calling and the having to take a TO to avoid a delay of game, and rightfully so. Now Grant is rewriting history and saying that was an example of Kap choking. That is disingenuous and self serving to help him make a point a year later.

      The stuff about Fales is his opinion which is fine, but again he seizes the opportunity to knock the current guy by saying a College player who will be taken late in the draft, and has little chance of a starting career in the NFL, is further along or better at certain things than a current NFL QB who just played in the NFCCG. That in itself is nonsense, but neglecting to point out Fales played against low level competition most of the time just furthers the notion he has an agenda.

      There is a pattern to Grants articles and that is “forget what I said before, here is what I think now,” and it gets tiresome.

      1. He is ahead in some areas of where Kaepernick was coming out, and behind in some others. I think that in the proper situation he will be a steal.

      2. I have to disagree with you a bit, Jack, on the level of competition Fales faced. Even though many of the Mountain West teams are former WAC teams, and it is usually considered a step above what the WAC was, the defenses in the WAC when Kaep were playing were merely bad. The Mountain West is chock-a-block full of atrocious defenses, Nevada’s included. The 2009 and 2010 Wolf Pack teams would have rolled through what is the Mountain West today.

      3. I don’t know about that JPN. A non-conference slate including road games at Stanford and Minnesota sounds a bit tougher than a home game against Cal and a game against BYU.

      4. Jack,

        Non-conference games are less important to the level of competition discussion than conference games. Further, the Spartans lost both of those games. The 2010 Wolf Pack won their non-conference games.

      5. I know they lost JPN, they had a lot of injuries this season. (Excuse?). Conferences ebb and flow, who really know what would have happened. The point was the schools were mostly the same and SJSU had a tougher out of conference schedule. On the road at Stanford was a top 10 team, on the road at Minnesota who was in a bowl, home against Navy who was in a bowl.

        Stanford won almost as many games this year as the 2010 Cal and BYU teams combined.

        The weak competition level argument doesn’t hold too much water.

      6. If I had made such an argument, I would agree. What I wrote was that I do not think the Mountain West this year was as good as the WAC in 2010, and that I believe the 2010 Wolf Pack, and Boise State for that matter, would win against this year’s Mountain West teams. Both Boise State and Nevada ended 2010 year ranked nationally and won their bowl games. Further, several of the teams they both beat were in bowl games. The whole issue of the strength of the non-conference games is a red herring.

  86. My uncle who’s a die hard steelers fan agrees with me and everyone else. He thinks Kap is the guy to lead us to the 6th championship. Which amazingly many of you don’t. That surprises me. But he also thinks we need a back up, which I don’t. At least we don’t need to draft one. He thinks Michael Vick? I am but I’m not sold on it.

    1. Seriously, I think that was the best interview with Steve Young I have ever heard. That was great stuff, especially his explanation of why it is more difficult for players like Young and Kaep to learn to be a pocket passer than it is for a player like Peyton Manning. Players like Young and Kaep can rely on their physical gifts whereas Manning never had any choice but to be a pocket passer.

      1. Steve Young on Kaep learning to be a pocket passer: “That’s a process. It’s like going to law school – it’s not fun.”

        Speak for yourself, Steve. I thought law school was fun.

      2. JPN,

        I couldn’t agree with you more regarding Young’s interview. In most interviews with Young this year, one needs to wade through a lot of blather to get to any worthwhile info.

        Not in thisw interview. Excellent.

  87. Kaepernick’s red zone passing stats his past four playoff games (including the Super Bowl): 5-for-17, 30 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks, 34.7 passer rating.

    1. And yet his combined playoff QBR coming into Sunday’s game was an astounding 85.4. His first half of Sunday’s game was a nearly flawless 96.8. He came back down to earth against the NFL’s #1 defense in the 2nd half of the third quarter and on, as we’re all painfully aware, but if you can cherrypick stats to suit your argument, so can I.

      Also, if you continue to read the article I’ve posted below, you’ll see how the first-ballot HOF’er, the pocket-passing ninja, Peyton Manning, posted an 88.8 for his game against the Patriots. The Pats defense is NOT the Hawks defense by any measure and Manning’s only had what, 16 seasons to hone his craft?

      Give Kap and your shtick a break, Grant.


  88. Ah, semantics… CLUTCH is actually slang and the slang antonym for it I’d say is LAME. As in, based on the stats Grant is providing… “Kap is LAME in the 4th quarter of meaningful games such as the SB 47 and last week’s NFCC”.

    In pure English, a more innocuous term would be the antonym of PROFICIENT which is INEFFECTIVE.

    But since “CHOKE”, as it was used here is also slang, we won’t use pure English and just stick with “SUCKED”. As in, “Colin sucked in the fourth quarter. His fumble and two INTS are proof”. Arguing otherwise would indicate man-crush, homerism, applesauce, balderdash, baloney or blarney.

    1. The truly ironic, and amusing, aspect of your comment above is that the two terms you cite as “pure English” (an intellectually bankrupt concept) are in fact Latinate words.

      1. I was seeking to amuse as that seems to be the purpose of this intellectually bankrupt forum. Parva leves capiunt animas.

  89. So anyone on the west coast heard anything about Lawrence Okoye’s progress. Will he make it on to the field next year? The kid really is an Adonis. GEEZ I wonder if they worked with him on the basics. That’s like molding clay. No bad habits, nothing. You teach him exactly what you want him to know.

    1. I haven’t heard anything, but I don’t expect him to make any kind of contribution for at least couple of years.

      1. They have to let him get some reps in the preseason. It’s the only way he will learn. I would not let him walk and go to another team.

  90. I did not think it was right that CK took over the starting job after an injury. I always felt you win the job. I have seen it many times a backup has a string of good games and then he is pronounced as the next up and coming superstar. The rush to judge CK as incompetent is a little premature as was his superstar status was last year. CK needs to take this off season and work on his fundamentals. CK did not lose the Super Bowl or this past game. There were mistakes as a TEAM that led to the downfall in those games. I will reserve judgment until the end of next year on whether CK deserves top dollar. At this moment I would say no but I think that is a little premature. It took me a while to get on board with CK and now that I am on board I will say CK like Alex before him is taking undue blame for the losses.

    1. Well one of the greatest QB’s of this era got his start after an injury. Tom Brady was Kapernick. Sitting behind drew Bledsoe.

      1. Very true KY but I still do not agree with it. I understand it but too me it doesn’t make it right. Brady isn’t just a great QB of this era he is a great QB of any era.

    2. Maybe that’s the move that is haunting Harbaugh. I also dont believe Losing your job to injury is right but it worked out. I guess

      1. As we say in the south. Bless your heart man. You completely missed that analogy. You not everyone is a smart as the seem to be.

      2. KY actually, I didn’t missed your analogy. The truth is you’re wrong comparing Kaep to Brady who is probably the 2nd greatest QB ever to play the game to the great Joe Montana. I see your point in your comment and your sarcasm remark. Drew Bledsoe after two games got injured and didn’t come back in the 2001 season and Brady took over the Patriots QB position, went on to win the Super Bowl in February 03, 2002, and was the MVP in the SB. Kaepernick took over the 49ers because Harbaugh decided to give the job to Kaep even though that Alex Smith is healthy to come back as the 49ers starter.

        I believe If Alex Smith was the 49ers QB the past two seasons; the 49ers would’ve won two Super Bowl Championship. And I’d remember in 2012 NFCC game Kyle William’s two critical miscues with seven minutes left on the clock the 49ers were leading by 10 points Kyle’s two fumbles cause the 49ers to reach the SB and the 49ers would’ve probably beaten the Patriots as well in the SB..

        Yes, Kap have a lot of abilities, he can throw the football long with his strong arm and he has blazing speed for a QB, but he still lack the awareness in the pocket and the ability to manage games in critical time and he struggles finding which receivers to throw the football too.. Good Quarterbacks throws the football 70% more than running with the football. If Harbaugh and Roman wanted a runner, they should just draft a good running back instead of a QB. Mostly running Qb that always likes to run with the football in NFL have a shorter careers in the NFL because of injury and it only takes just one good hit to get injured even good LB get hurt badly with a freak injury.

  91. If the 49ers are serious about drafting a QB this year that could potentially compete with Kaep or take over in the future if he doesn’t progress they need to be drafting a guy in the first two rounds. Anything later than that is a project they hope may turn into something.

    Does anyone honestly see any of these mid-round guys being talked about as being a top-line starter in the NFL? Obviously Fales has some fans, including Grant, but I don’t see an top-line NFL starting QB there. Garoppolo might be the best bet outside of the obvious 1st rounders, but if he keeps his upward progress going he’ll be a 2nd rounder.

    1. I think Fales is the best value in the draft. I think he’s a better prospect than Derek Carr. Fales outperformed Carr head-to-head, and Fales had to learn four different offensive systems in college (Carr also played with better receivers). I’m intrigued to see how much better Fales can get when he has consistency from a coaching standpoint.

      1. Which QBs would you rank ahead of Fales and at what point would you draft him?

        I see him as a fine mid-round prospect, but as a mid-round prospect I see him more as a back-up prospect that may surprise. That’s the type of QB you take when you are comfy with what you’ve got starting. I am getting the impression you think he is better than a mid-round QB talent, and that he is flying under the radar…?

        1. Fales is my favorite. I’m not crazy about Bridgewater, Bortles, Manziel or Carr. I don’t see the value with those four.

      2. I think Fales will go somewhere between rounds 3 and 5. He has real good feet and pocket awareness. The biggest concern with him is arm strength. He makes up for that a bit by doing a good job of anticipating the receiver coming open, but you wouldn’t ask him to throw a 20 yard out.

        SJSU had a lot of injuries on offense this year so his production dipped a bit.

      3. That deep out is a tough throw for him.

        There are a lot of similarities between what he did in the SJSU offense and what the 49ers do.

      4. Well, I should get a chance to have a bit more of a look over the weekend and will have a more informed opinion after that.