49ers putting footwork back in Kaepernick’s game

This is my Friday column.

Forty-Niners offensive coordinator Geep Chryst thinks of Colin Kaepernick in terms of Stephen Curry.

“If you were to say the reason why Curry is a great 3-point shooter is because his feet are exactly 8 inches apart when he shoots the ball, that may be true in a lot of cases,” Chryst philosophized Thursday afternoon. He was sitting at a circular conference table toward the back of the 501 club in Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve also seen what makes Curry great is his body might not be perfectly balanced, his feet might not be exactly 8 inches apart, but he has a great knack for playing with a flow.

“And I think that’s the same with Kaep. Kaep is a fluid rhythm athlete. When we’ve seen him at his best, he’s in rhythm and fluid.”

And when is Kaepernick in rhythm and fluid? Easy, when he’s running. He might be the most natural, most fluid passer on the run in NFL history. He’s accurate, he can fit passes into tight spaces and he doesn’t need to set his feet when he’s running, just as Curry doesn’t need to set his feet when he shoots a basketball.

But Kaepernick isn’t fluid when he drops straight back in the pocket. He’s mechanical, like a dancer counting steps: “One and two, and step and throw, act na-tur-al…”

Kaepernick is better on the move. He doesn’t have to do mental gymnastics about mechanics, progressions and reads while standing uncomfortably in the pocket. The action happens faster for him when he rolls out, and he has less time to overthink the process.

Jim Harbaugh never embraced this part of Kaepernick’s game. Harbaugh was intent on turning Kaepernick into a pocket passer. He made Kaepernick drop straight back about 90 percent of the time. It was as if Harbaugh wanted Kaepernick to play like Carson Palmer — a statue who throws deep.

The new coaching staff embraces Colin Kaepernick’s unique rhythm and fluidity. From what I can tell, the offense practiced rollouts and bootlegs during OTAs and minicamp much more often than they ever did the past few years.

“I think you’re right, Grant,” said Chryst, responding to my observation. “You’ve seen enough to know that that plays to Kaep’s advantage. He always has been good throwing both to his left and to his right. We’re trying to play to Kaep’s strengths.”

There are other ways to play to Kaep’s strengths, too. Like bringing back the read option. The Niners used that play frequently when Kaepernick first became the starter in 2012. But they pretty much gave up on it after the first few games of 2013, choosing instead to focus on Frank Gore and the under-center, I-formation running game, which was effective. That was Gore’s background. He was uncomfortable running the read option.

Now he’s gone, and Carlos Hyde is the starting running back. And his background is the read-option. That’s what he ran at Ohio State. That’s what Kaepernick ran at Nevada, too.

Now the read option has become one of the main running plays the Niners practice.

“(The read option) is a part of football now — it just is,” said Chryst. “Kaep having run it at Nevada … he has a great knack at it. We’ve got to figure out how to keep Kaep being Kaep.”

They’ve also got to figure out how often to use the play. Will they use it liberally, or will they save it for key situations late in games?

“We aren’t there yet,” said Chryst. “We need to get the pads on and see where it’s at. Obviously, it’s part of Kaepernick’s background. For him, it’s like ordering breakfast. He knows what he wants to eat for breakfast.

“As you mature, whether it’s Randall Cunningham or Donovan McNabb, a lot of times they used their feet to solve problems early in their careers. Look at Michael Jordan in basketball. He was a runner and a dunker early, and then he found a shot later because he had to.”

Let’s be real clear about what Chyst said: He expects Kaepernick to master pocket passing eventually, when he slows down later in his career. But he isn’t slowing down any time soon. So the Niners will accentuate what he already does well — run.

And they’ll let him run his plate, too — breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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. Based on the idea of playing more to Kaep’s strengths, do you see Chryst and the new offensive staff as a step in the right direction from the previous offensive staff? I realise its too early to know, but just interested in your (and others) opinion.

        1. It was a request by Tomsula that Chryst and the offensive staff rebuild the offensive scheme from scratch Cubus.

    1. It seems like common sense to play to Kaep’s strengths, especially since we may have some field stretching receivers and Reggie Bush, Mr. Screen pass.

      Roman didn’t impress me.

    2. Great conversation article…But remember folks, football still is based on blocking, tackling, good defense, Quarterbacking….Miss any of the Big Four and your season is over…Baalke has proven he can only draft road graders without pass blocking skills, WR’s who threaten nobody, and knew Harbaugh’s offense was a run based WCO before he hired him, so gave his stamp of approval to draft a running QB (Kap)…Nothing goes down in the building w/o Baalke’s Ok…So don’t be upset with me when the 49ers set another record for sacks given up by a 49er team this year.

      1. And thanks for the informative Bleacher Report Article…I did not know how dangerously inept our situation appears this season at DB.

    3. You have to use all your assets to be successful in the NFL. You can not alter your approach to minimize risk Let Kap use all his abilities to Win games. The ultra conservative approach does not work in football nor politics

      1. All the assets are not being used when you have a QB without reading skills (or is slow at them), can’t go to his second option accrurately when option one is covered, has no touch so constantly breaks his assets fingers (See Randy Moss and RB Mike Davis)

      1. Alex Smith holds the 49ers record for most attempts without an interception at 249. On the way to that record, Smith broke Young’s previous record of 184 attempts without and interception.

        Query, Mr. D – if the record was 184 attempts without an interception prior to Alex Smith breaking it in 2012, how could it be accurate to state, “Steve Young and Joe Montana would consistently get into streaks where the did not throw interceptions in over 200 throws”?

        By the way, Montana’s record was 154 attempts without an interception (http://blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers/2012/09/13/smith-literally-passes-montana-young-with-49ers-best-interception-free-streak/).

        I have another question for you as well. Can you guess which of these four young quarterbacks has the lowest percentage of interceptions per attempts?


        The answer is…

        Colin Kapernick, whose percentage of interceptions to attempts is 1.88% (21 INTs to 1117 Attempts).

        Wilson is second at 2.08% (26/1252), Luck is third at 2.37% (43/1813), and Newton is last at 2.81% (54/1923).

        For some perspective, Alex Smith is at 2.41% (76/3149), Brees 2.60% (184/7458), Brady 1.995% (143/7168) and P. Manning 2.59% (234/9049). Joe Montana (139/5391) and Steve Young (107/4149) were both at 2.58% (in fact, we must compute their percentages out to the ten thousandths (2.5784 v. 2.5789) to find the difference between them). John Elway was 3.12% (226/7520) and Brett Favre was 3.30% (336/10169). Of course, Young, Montana, Elway and Favre played under rules much more favorable to the defense than today’s rules, so the correlation is less meaningful, but it is still illustrative.

        Kaepernick certainly has things to work on to become a more effective and consistent QB, but the narrative that he is an interception machine is a narrative in search of supporting facts.

        1. Thank you for your research. I was just overemphsizing the fact that Montana and Young consistently were in those streaks. Although not 200, I was only 46 passes off…and not just one time either…You might even call them zones…Still though, JPN001, you have to admit that constantly being involved with those streaks shows something doesnt’ it????

  2. A couple of fallacies in this:
    1. Jim Harbaugh never embraced this part of Kaepernick’s game.
    That’s not even close to being true because his ability to make throws on the run was one of the things that Harbaugh loved about Kaep.

    2. Like bringing back the read option. The Niners used that play frequently when Kaepernick first became the starter in 2012. But they pretty much gave up on it after the first few games of 2013, choosing instead to focus on Frank Gore and the under-center, I-formation running game, which was effective. That was Gore’s background. He was uncomfortable running the read option.
    Reality check time. Gore did well in the read option but the team had to abandon it after the opposing defenses had shown that they had done their homework in negating the advantages of the read option.

      1. Is this observation about what Harbaugh embraced Chryst’s or yours?

        Increasing Kaepernick’s opportunities to be fluid sounds great. I’ll be watching for it during the first eight games this year — no sarcasm intended.

      2. That statement is accurate if you base it solely on the 2014 season where injuries on the OL, defenses figuring out that Kaep could be stopped if he was kept in the pocket, and an attempted effort to emphasize the passing game over the running game all played a part in getting away from Kaeps’ strengths. However, the 2012 and 2013 seasons showed that Harbaugh could adjust his scheme to suit the strengths of the QB behind center.

        1. I agree Mid. The results speak for themselves in regards to what Harbaugh/Roman were able to get out of Smith and then Kap. Smith was reborn in the offense they brought in. Kap should have been at least a 2 year project before playing, and yet he was on the field and playing well in year two.

          Now last year a case can be made that they went away from had worked previously, but we have to keep in mind that the Oline was in a state of flux which caused inconsistency in both the run and pass blocking. That was a huge factor that many seem to dismiss out of hand. Then there was the lack of a TE presence either due to injury or other, but it was a problem that greatly affected the offense as a whole.

          There is absolutely no doubt however that they ran an offense that maximized Kaps strengths in 2012 and 2013.

    1. MWDynasty

      What are you talking about?!!! Gore is on record as saying he doesn’t like running in a read-option offense, and when Hyde was drafted, a major point of emphasis among local media was his strength in the read-option.

      Add to that just you simply opening your eyes. Harbaugh/Roman clearly wanted Kaep to be a pocket passer, even once it was obvious that there would be no pocket behind a decimated OL. This factor alone should have caused Roman to move the pocket (never mind Kaep’s obvious talent throwing on the run), yet Roman never adapted. This ultimately falls on Harbaugh, who, may I remind you, has never won a championship at any level.

      1. What are you talking about?!!! Gore is on record as saying he doesn’t like running in a read-option offense, and when Hyde was drafted, a major point of emphasis among local media was his strength in the read-option.

        Not liking something and doing well in that same thing are two separate areas of conversation.

        Add to that just you simply opening your eyes. Harbaugh/Roman clearly wanted Kaep to be a pocket passer, even once it was obvious that there would be no pocket behind a decimated OL. This factor alone should have caused Roman to move the pocket (never mind Kaep’s obvious talent throwing on the run), yet Roman never adapted.
        Really? I thought they wanted him to be a guppy.
        Seriously though, what should we expect Kaep to be? A RB? And if you look the current projection for our OL, you’ll note that the same line decimated with injuries has the same players that were called on to their shoes last year still on the team.
        Moving the pocket wouldn’t have mattered one bit last year because the pass protection was bad all around. It also wouldn’t have made a difference in the areas that Kaep struggled in.

        This ultimately falls on Harbaugh, who, may I remind you, has never won a championship at any level.

        No, it falls on him for not being able to adjust and Baalke for not having the right personnel in order for the offense to adjust.

        1. Gore wasn’t an effective runner in read-option. He didn’t like it and he wasn’t good at it.

          Ellington and Patton are both quick/fast guys who Harbaugh should have been playing from day 1. As far as the OL goes, Harbaugh was behind the pick up of JMart, who was the worst player in the NFL last season at RT.

          Baalke’s done a reasonably good job. Roman was horrendous. Harbaugh would have been a great coach if he had a clue about offense, as in if he had taken the raw material in Kaepernick and played to his strengths, or at the very least, applied any of the Walsh principles to the 49ers. Harbaugh is a Schembechler guy through and through, and his offenses were consistently pathetic in the passing game, no matter who was playing QB. He even held Luck back at Stanford.

          You remember who the only guy who ever slowed Michael Jordan was? Dean Smith. Because Smith had a system, and demanded his players fall in line. Well, Dean Smith won championships.

          Harbaugh, the further away he gets from the 49ers, the more I appreciate his numerous, deep deficiencies.

    2. Midwest: We should also remember the teams concern during the early 2013 season to protect Kaep because they had no real backup who was ready to step it. They put the chains on his running until the end of the season when every game was a make or break game. Remember some of the reasons they went away from the read option was because they would consider the QB a Rb and were not going to give him the protection of a pocket QB. That was part of not putting him in danger of injury.

      1. They also dropped the read option because opposing defenses were being able to stop them Will.

        Remember some of the reasons they went away from the read option was because they would consider the QB a Rb and were not going to give him the protection of a pocket QB.

        One thing that is being forgotten here is when the committee of east coast coaches ruled that a running QB wasn’t allowed the same type of protection as a pocket QB. Once the QB started to run, he was classified as fair game to all the defenders on the opposing team.

        1. Mid: If you notice I also included the consideration of the QB as a RB as a reason for them not running the read option. They could hit him even after he handed off. There was some confusion as to when he would be considered a QB and when he was a RB.

  3. Chryst thinks your right on your observation Grant, – yuppers!! Maybe you need to apply for an assistant position.

    1. Good article. I’d add the competition at WR behind Smith/Boldin and TE behind Davis as two other issues that need to be resolved.

    2. A few thoughts…

      – I wouldn’t cry if Ward and Dockett started the season on IR. Not that I’m wishing for it. I’d love to see both ready week one. But if they had to be on IR It would free scarce roster spots.

      – Shareece Wright seems all about experience. I think the coaching staff likes the athletic ability of the corners, but are scared to death of the miniscule number of games played.

      – How much of the offensive line problem was Anthony Davis being that good, and Jonathan Martin being that bad? If the issue was Martin, I feel alot better about the line prospects. I hope Tomsula’s not just yackin when he says Pears is in the best shape of his life.

        1. Tomsula: Is that a big pot belly? Pears: No. Its a genetically engineered yolk sack, similar to what tadpoles survive on. I’ll have plenty of energy stores late in the season.

    3. #6: Who the hell is our #3 receiver?

      #7: Who is our defensive line? Seems like there was almost a different front each day, I know I’m exaggerating but still did we come away from OTA’s with any semblance of who our front 7 might be?

      #8: Who is our #1 RB, do we have a #1 RB? Will it be a RB by committee or will one player get the share of carries?

    4. G

      You kind of left some out on the field on that one. For instance, what’s up with Sean Taylor’s cousin, Keith Reaser? And also, isn’t OL schematics (zone blocking) an important consideration as to post-OTA issues?

  4. roll outs or stationary Kap still will have to get more time than he had last year and that got more difficult with the retirement of A. Davis! Watching last year the roll out only ran into quick OLB or DB”s the eight men in the box can only be beat by a great offensive line or the niners are dust next year!

  5. Grant, I really like the article. You actually got a 49er staff member to reveal information.

    I liked the offense Chryst’s brother ran in Wisconsin. Now that the wraps have been removed, I’m excited to see what Jeep will install.

    There was a bit of a Hobson’s Choice the last three years. “Will CK ether pass or run?” Now its “Will CK pass, run to pass, run or throw a screen?”

  6. Grant, I noticed your comment on twitter about the 49ers cap space. My understanding is the current cap figure doesn’t fully account of Aldon’s entire cap hit this year due to the restructure he did earlier this year.

    As per the article I’ve linked, as his bonus was converted to non-guaranteed roster bonus, it is on a per game basis, and is charged against the cap based on his previous year’s performance. As he only played in 7 games last year, his salary cap cost is currently only 7/16 of the entire roster bonus he is due if he ends up playing all 16 games.


    The 49ers need to factor into any additions they make that around $5M of additional roster bonus not currently allocated against the cap that is likely to be earned and needs to be left available. At least that is how I understand it.

    1. I’ll bow to anyone who understand almost any cap analysis — especially Aldon’s. Even if you are not completely right I bow.

    2. I came away with the same understanding. So it sounds like your supporting a case where the 9ers don’t have enough cap space to sign Mathis.

      1. Well, they don’t have as much space as is being reported. I’m sure a contract could be worked out if they really wanted him, but it would likely have to have some back loading. For a 1-year deal I think they are out of the market unless they restructure other deals (or let someone go, like Ahmad Brooks).

        1. This ultimately falls on Harbaugh, who, may I remind you, has never won a championship at any level.

          Baalke has generally shown zero interest in paying large sums of money to any free agents on the market (Smith being the lone exception at the present) so I doubt he’d go after a guard who was unhappy about a 5 yr. $25 million deal.

        2. If Harold and Lemonier are able to convince the coaches they’re ready to play then I suppose like Grant suggested the team will try and move Brooks and could ultimately cut him if they can’t find a trade partner.

          1. Although with his dead cap hit for 2015 it makes more sense if they can’t trade him to keep him through this season and cut him after.

            1. If they trade him now its post June 1, would it work the same way as a post June 1 cut, where some of the dead money is rolled into next season’s cap?

              1. My understanding is that the amount that is listed as “dead cap” hits the year that he’s cut or traded.

              2. The “dead cap” amount listed on spotrac is the overall dead money left on the contract, but I’m not sure whether it all needs to be accounted against this year’s cap if they trade/ release. For instance, prior to June 1 they could’ve designated him a post June 1 release, which would have resulted in some of the dead money accruing against the cap in 2015, and the rest in 2016. Now we are post June 1, I’m not sure how it works if the trade or release him.

              3. Spotrac is listing the pre-June 1 dead cap.

                Brooks’ post-June 1 dead cap is $2,348,750 for 2015 with the other portion carrying over to the 2016 cap.

              4. Not 100% sure, but my guess is it would be like a post-June 1 cut if they take a hit.

  7. Tomsula said something like this several months ago…

    1) Draft players to fit a specific system and type.

    2) The roster you wind up with won’t be an exact fit. Do a 180, and adapt the system to fit the players.

    When the assistant coaches were first assembled, instead of hitting the playbooks Tomsula had them study film of their own players. They designed the playbooks only after they became experts on their own players.

    I like the process. Feasibility first!

    1. Nope.Not at all. Tomsula is a dullard; a functional idiot; a buffoon. No way he could formulate a cogent plan like this. Seize an opportunity to devise a winning plan for the future? Ppffftttt! Fat chance! Nevah happen!
      You must be daft. You’re MAD!!!
      Oh. Never mind. It’s Baalke pulling the strings on every detail, every decision. Who plays where on which depth chart in MiniCamp Practice Sessions. My bad.

    2. This preseason I have seen and read enough about Tomsula to believe that if this team stumbles during the regular season, it won’t be his doing.

  8. Grant,

    Great piece. This is an example of you ordering your breakfast. Bear claw and a Sausage McMuffin with egg, please.

  9. Due to this blog’s loss of two conspicuous Oenophiles in Hofer and Clem, I’ll just send this out undirected:
    1/ The 2012 west coast Pinot Noirs had a superb vintage in all the AVAs from Williamette Valley to Santa Barbara County. Buy ‘em.
    2/ The 2013 California Pinot Noirs seem to be just as good or better from Anderson Valley to Santa Lucia Highlands. Buy ‘dem too.
    3/ 2008 Gloria Ferrer Merlot has substance, depth, and nuance. Found at Petaluma Market @$17.

    1. BT, I didn’t know you were a wine lover. If you drink chardonnay, I can recommend an inexpensive Washington State label sold at Trader Joes that will put a smile of satisfaction on your face.

      1. Hey George-
        Whatchya got? Trading tips is always good. I used to go back and forth with those guys I mentioned above. Grant and Lowell are both conversant on French wines. Crab15 & I have traded some banter on west coast craft beers too.
        Support your local vices. : >)

        1. Red Diamond. $7.00.

          I’ve blind taste-tested it against other labels. It beats Acacia and almost beats Rombauer.

          1. Sweet! I drink more Sauv Blanc than Chard, and tend to overspend when I drink Chard. I’ll get on over to BevMo.

              1. George: Have you tried La Crema chardonnay. Has a bit of a buttery flavor too it, which I like.

  10. Wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a response to a poster who suggested that Kaep was never going to turn into the pocket passer that I expected him to be. I said that I never had any expectations of what kind of pocket passer he would become. Rather that the point for being in a pocket for QB’s is to allow them to be able to set their feet in order to get the power and accuracy to make their throws. Well I mentioned that at present Kaep already has enough arm strength to make those throws without setting his feet so why is it necessary for him to develop the so called proper QB footwork at the expense of taking him out of sync. Thus I couldn’t understand their focus on his footwork.

    I also stated that the Kaep detractors were focusing on what his weaknesses are ( passing in the pocket) or isn’t doing ( setting his feet) without considering what he is capable of doing such as passing on the run. I stated that his accuracy problems have very little to do with improper footwork. Also that given time he will probably become more comfortable in the pocket.

    That was the same post and thread when I mentioned how football people tend to be un creative anal traditionalists who feel threatened by change. So they see a QB having to stay in the pocket and have their feet set to be able to make their throws. True some QB’s do. But not all Qb’s especially a freak like Kaep. While his longevity might depend on him developing those skill at this time it is not essential for him to be able to excel.

    The only short coming I see for throwing on the run is that it makes it harder to see all your receivers which would create some disadvantage to going though progressions. But everything has a trade off. The advantage is that it buys you the time to allow them to get open if they are covered which is what Wilson does well.

    What Chyst stated was pretty much what I and a few other posters have been saying for sometime. Listening to his presser he also appears to have a sense of humor which speaks well for his creativity as well.

    1. In college, you lack fundamentals (setting your feet to ensure accuracy) you can still win by physical superiority. In the NFL passing window/lanes close more quickly, so w/o accuracy a QB can break WR’s fingers, cause INT’s, etc., etc.

      1. Also, Remember, Kap broke Randy Moss’s finger a few years ago, injured RB Mike Davis’s thumb this year on rockets from a few yards away or being off timing, and the ball getting there before the WR can open his hands completely.
        Other injuries from Kap I’ve observed are making up for not throwing on the WR’s break in time so he rockets an inaccurate pass, high and behind a receiver running at full speed, forcing the receiver to stretch his body in the wrong direction and pulling muscles.

    2. Willtalk

      I think that you believe that if you keep posting the same old stuff, that it makes you correct….That you keep regurgitating the same ‘tripe’ does not in any way validate any of your premises…only that you are a dyed in the wool Kaep fan.. Traditional QB’s are a product of the history of the game and the successes and failures of every attempt to come up with ‘something new’. We’ve had running/passing QB’s before in the early 60’s we had Billy Kilmer and others. Saying that footwork isn’t necessary is like betting that the sun will rise in the North tomorrow. Try this scenario…Kap has the whole playbook built around him, and gets clocked in the 2nd or 3rd game of the season….how do we replace his abilities for the rest of the season ? He is unique…his abilities are unique…you just can’t find a Kaep on every corner…well, I guess we’ll see, huh?

      1. That’s the conundrum; it’s too early to compare Kap to any QB without proper footwork, but in pushing the 30 year old barrier, Kap has reached the age where these things should have been learned and by now, second nature.

  11. Good article, Grant. Harbaugh and Roman handcuffed Kap and this will be the first time we see him in his prime with an offense geared toward his exceptional skills. Really looking forward to it.

  12. Grant, very interesting article. I look forward to reading your analysis of the Roman offense vs. what the early indications from Chryst’s offense show.

    I’m sure your article will focus heavily on the ways the offense and coaching had mediocre results in 2014, but would you perhaps analyze what the coaches were up to in the first 4 weeks of the 2013 season? Recall that Kap dropped 400 yards in a passing clinic on Green Bay, then proceeded to look pretty poor in two straight losses to Seattle and Indianapolis with the game plan clearly focused on passing. Then the coaches changed the offense to run the ball first with Gore and throw off of playaction against the Rams and we generally kept this philosophy in place in a run to the NFC CG in Seattle.

    Do we analyze the first 3 games of 2013 as a foreshadowing of 2014’s uneven results? Was that the first hint that completely throwing Kap into a passing centric, drop-back offense wasn’t the way to go? And, what will this season’s “new offense” look like compared to the power running first, playaction second offense Roman returned to in week 4 of 2013 that was so successful?

  13. I enjoyed watching the interviews with Mangini, Chryst, and the other assts. As expected, there is a lot of experience on staff. Just because we hadn’t heard of some of them certainly doesn’t disqualify them. Scooter has been banging that drum since January.
    I don’t paint Chryst as a perpetuation of the Harbaugh-Roman school just because he worked for them. Of course all that angst directed at Roman was whizzing right over the head of JH who was calling the shots and designing the offense. We complain now that Kap was stifled by being held in the pocket, but I seem t remember many voices calling for just that so that Colin would be forced to develop that part of his game. Steve Young, Dilfer, Jaworski, Cosell, many of the talking heads, and many on this blog were selling that line, and I among others was buying it.
    JH & Greg & Vic got some good results; let’s see what the new crew can get out of their roster with a different approach.
    Here’s something we haven’t heard in a while: Go Niners!

    1. I don’t think Chryst and Logan disagree with the overall point Young/Dilfer/Cosell/Jaws are making. Kap has to learn the nuances of playing from the pocket to have a long-time NFL career. I think Chryst and Logan disagree with the implementation timeframe. Kap has unique athletic gifts that permit him to make throws on the run (buying time or stressing the defense), and using his legs to shred a defense. These need to be used as part of the package (but certainly not the whole package which is why Kap is working on his fundamentals in the offseason).

      The pocket training and repetitions continue to happen but the pocket play is more gradually integrated as time goes on as opposed to just throwing Kap into the pocket and undergoing a baptism by fire as in 2014. This is probably the best way to maximize Colin’s gifts now, while preparing him for the day when his speed is average and he must be more of a pure pocket passer. That’s why Grant quoted Chryst’s analogy of Michael Jordan starting off as a runner and dunker and when he started slowing down, he transitioned into a very good shooter.

      Thankfully, Colin has seemed very willing to work on things. He won’t fail for lack of effort and work on his part.

    2. “Let’s meet again, same time, same place, right after the eighth game. We’ll have some meat to chew on by then.” … me

      1. If we’re 5-3 or better, I’d say that has to be a resounding success for the first leg of the Tomsula inaugural season.

  14. It’s funny to me that you give a $126 million contract to Kaepernick and we’re still talking about how to fix him.

    1. Kaepernick has a one year contract that can be extended at the teams option. Calling it a $126 million contract may satisfy your preconceptions but that’s all it does.

      1. I’d say in reality the contract looks like it’s a 2-3 year contract based on the signing bonus. He’s paid about $13M-$14M/year over that term. Cutting him would depend on the level of comfort the Niners would have at eating prorated portions of his $16M signing bonus for the salary cap.

  15. That’s a load of Hooey! 6’9″ 304lbs Sean Hooey played TE and OL, let the competitions begin. May the best man win….

  16. I’d like you to consider that it wasn’t Roman/Harbaugh that was philosophically handcuffing Kaepernick from rolling out of the pocket and scrambling.

    I think their 2012 and 2013 offenses ended up painting the offense and Kaepernick in a corner.

    Think about it from an opposing DC’s point of view. How would you defend Kaepernick? Do you really fear Kaepernick passing all over your defense from the pocket? Or passing all over you at all (as long as you blanket coverage all over Boldin)? Or do you fear Kaepernick running all over your defense for 200 yards and multiple touchdowns?

    It was the read option and Kaepernick’s scrambling on Green Bay in the playoffs a few years ago that put the league on notice. We know that opposing defenses were using scraping linebackers as almost spies that had containment responsibility to protect against the read option (which allowed the defensive end to crash down without worrying about containment). Containment was sitting there waiting for Kaepernick to get outside of the pocket…so roll outs were open season on him. Defenses were clamping down on the slow receivers and running game and daring the Niners to beat the deep from the pocket. That was the corner that the Niners put themselves in. Which led to Harbaugh and Roman having to get more out of Kaepernick from the pocket.

    1. Everyone things using Kap’s legs is the miracle cure….All it is is an Old West elixir–Like a snakeoil salesman from the 1880’s, the Run Kap Run crowd doesn’t remember a roll-out to either side eliminates One Half the field of play since the pass pattern is designed for the side of the field the QB is running toward…Also, 99 yard runs happen maybe once or twice a season and exposes the QB to late hits while hes laying on the ground…Defenders like Chris Matthews, GB will gladly accept a 15 yard ruffing call if they can put the QB out of action

      1. And if you remember your history, Bill Walsh loved running QB’s and game planned the 49er Dolphin Superbowl based on Montana’s ability to run….Also, in 1980 playoffs against the New York Giants, Montana put a move on Lawrence Taylor on the sideline, and ran for a 60 yard gain. Then there was the NFC Championship where Montana used his mobility throughout the contest to defeat Dallas..However, Walsh also knew, that exposing a QB to runs more than necessary means another chance at That Chris Matthews hit on Kap on the sideline.a few years ago…But yeah, Walsh always had starters with mobility as his plan (those younger remember Jeff Garcia),

      2. Tom, I want Kaep to roll to one side, draw all the defense to that side, then have Kaep throw back to the other side to a wide open RB with empty space in front of him.
        If you recall, Kaep did exactly that and Frank Gore scored a 55 yard TD.

  17. Kaep is elite.I cannot recall another QB who has put his foot on the 1 yard line, then run 99 yards untouched for a TD. Brady could never do that. PM would laugh if you said you wanted him to do that. Cam may be able to do that, but never has.
    Personally, I like my QB to be able to run for 181 yards in playoff games. Kaep as a runner, is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
    JH was arrogant, full of hubris. He was easily manipulated. When pundits intoned that Kaep had never learned to be a pocket passer, JH decided to make Kaep into a pocket passer even if it killed him. After 52 sacks, he almost was.
    Roman was pathetic. He never learned to be able to accentuate Kaeps’ strengths, but emphasized his weaknesses. I remember that Arizona game when the Niners started out with the hurry up offense and scored 2 TDs, then never did it for the rest of the season. the RO was banished. Roll outs and screens were left in his back pocket and stupifyingly predictable plays were pulled out of his rear end.
    Dwelling on pass percentage is obtuse. AS would rather take a sack than hurt his completion percentage, and received a concussion that benched him for Kaep. If no receiver is open, I would much rather have the QB throw the ball out of bounds before they can get to him. So what if his completion percentage suffers?
    This season, the Niners will sneak up on the league because all the pundits are declaring the Niners to be the bottom team in their division. After the first few games, I hope they take a line out of the Sting movie and ask; Who ARE these guys?

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