Jeff Garcia explains how Colin Kaepernick can take his game to the next level

I interviewed Jeff Garcia over the phone last week. Here’s what he said about Colin Kaepernick.

Q: How do you assess Colin Kaepernick as a pocket passer?

GARCIA: I think Colin has done a great job from a decision-making standpoint, in the sense that he doesn’t force a lot of throws. He’s generally getting pretty good matchups outside due to the fact that they’ve had a pretty successful run game with Frank Gore. They really haven’t had a deep threat on offense, a guy who can really stretch the field. I think teams feel like they can play the 49ers’ offense man-to-man, so Kaepernick gets optimal looks. He gets looks where he can find his best one-on-one matchup, and that guy just has to win.

I think where he would struggle more is if he saw more zone coverages and was forced to anticipate and throw to spots. I see Colin as a guy who wants to see the receiver open, then he wants to utilize his arm strength to make the throw and find success. And he’s able to do that and has been successful doing that. Granted, they haven’t been one of the most productive passing offenses in the NFL, but that hasn’t been required or asked out of him. If he were asked to run a spread-style offense, I’m sure he can do that because he did that at Nevada-Reno.

What I would like to see Colin progress to is not relying on his arm strength all of the time, being able to throw different-speed pitches out there, being able to anticipate openings, throw to spots, throw receivers open and get the ball out on time instead of hitching, hitching, and then finding a lane to run through. Being able to throw to get that ball out on time, being able to throw to spots, I think that will take his game to another level.

This article has 20 Comments

  1. since he is playing for an organization
    which has already won five Super Bowls,
    Colin must understand that “taking it to the next level”
    means one thing: bringing home Lombardi Trophy #6.

    Until he and Coach Harbaw reach that plateau,
    I will remain firmly affixed to both of their backsides;
    I am the Super Bowl monkey.

    1. Garcia took a flawed 49er team that was nowhere near as good as Young’s team into the second round of the playoffs. He made multiple playoff appearances, and was a four time probowler with two different teams. The local boy did well, especially in the light of the fact that he went undrafted.

  2. Last year they faced a lot of zone. Collin’s first year he did see zone sometimes. His first game against the Bears was all zone and he played awesome, anticipated receivers, made some great throws.

    1. That was a great breakout game. Hunter, Manningham and Williams were all healthy. Remember that hook rout where Manningham caught an underneath pass , faked the DB and ran for a long TD? A total zone killer.

      None of them returned to form last year. Hunter is still with us and I have high hopes.

  3. Its funny how time has a way of softening the edges. I guess we all forgot Garcia’s underthrown fade route which was tipped for a playoff game losing pick. And the happy feet. I guess if you look at the bright side, 10 years after Kap leaves we’ll wax poetic over his playoff failures too, right?

    1. Garcia is one of 10 QBs all time who have thrown 30 or more TD passes in back-to-back seasons. Montana and Young never did it.

    2. If Garcia had the 49ers defense of the last 3 years behind him we wouldn’t still be talking about a “Quest for Six.”

      1. The teams Garcia played on were reminiscent of the modern day Cowgirls. Could score 40 points but it didn’t matter because the defense would give up 45.

      2. If Hearst hadn’t broken his ankle on the first play in the Divisonal round against the Falcons in 98 we might already have six.

        1. The good old days when the NFC West consisted of 4 teams either on or east of the Mississippi and the 49ers.

    3. Agreed Sacto. Garcia was a great example of flawed fundamentals and was ripped unmercifully during his time here.

      I think Garcia was a gamer who got the absolute most out of what he had though. If the defences would have been better he just may have gotten them to a SB.

    4. Given the O line Garcia played behind, I’m amazed that anything about him was called “happy”. If he hadn’t been as elusive as he was, he’d probably be doing interviews from a wheelchair today.

  4. Kap just doesn’t have a smooth throwing motion,and he’s thrown a lot of ducks. Nothing can change that by now. He’s good,but not great. And being that he didn’t get the job done when he had the,scramble..make the pass, tells you something deep.

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