Kaepernick’s reads aren’t right

This is my Thursday column on Colin Kaepernick.

When Colin Kaepernick says he sees pass coverages, does he really see pass coverages?

It is the essential question about him as an NFL quarterback.

The question might have seemed impertinent before Sunday night. But, at his postgame press conference, Kaepernick kept bringing up the Bears’ coverages without being asked about them. He was coverage-obsessed. This after he had thrown three interceptions.

A reporter asked Kaepernick if he felt he was in control of his game. Kaepernick’s response: “I’m not going to say I felt good about the game or what I did but as far as my decisions, I mean, I saw the coverages. I went where I wanted to with the ball.”

Right. He’s supposed to see the coverages. But did he see what he thought he saw?

Later in the press conference, a reporter asked Kaepernick what he saw on the incomplete pass to Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-9 from the Bears’ 17, the play that ended the game for San Francisco.

Without anyone prompting him or pressing him, Kaepernick said, “They had Cover 3, we got the look we wanted, we just have to make that play.”

Coverages again. He didn’t need to go there. And he shouldn’t have, because he was wrong, dead wrong. The Bears were playing Cover 1.

I’ll explain the difference in simple terms. Cover 1 is man coverage – defensive players chase specific offensive players around the field. Cover 3 is zone coverage – defensive players defend specific areas of the field. Simple as that.

If the Bears were playing Cover 3 – a zone – Crabtree would have been the correct read and the 49ers probably would have scored the touchdown. Crabtree ran a route across the goal line and would have been wide open in an empty area of the field between three deep zone defenders and four underneath zone defenders. That’s if the Bears were playing Cover 3.

But the Bears were not playing Cover 3. They were playing Cover 1. So, Crabtree was not wide open. He was smothered by the Bears’ No. 1 cornerback, Tim Jennings. And that means Crabtree was the wrong read, just wrong against Cover 1.

Was there a right read?

Yes. Anquan Boldin was the right read. He was matched against a rookie fourth-round-pick safety, Brock Vereen. No one ever heard of Vereen. Vereen can’t cover Boldin, not in his dreams. And Boldin beat him easily, faked him out with a double move. Boldin raised his right arm to show Kaepernick he was open, that he had beaten Cover 1 man coverage. Boldin raised his arm as he entered the end zone with Vereen hopelessly behind him. The raised arm meant, “Throw me the ball.”

Kaepernick didn’t see the arm go up. Kaepernick didn’t see Boldin. Kaepernick never even looked for Boldin. Kaepernick thought he saw Cover 3, so he made up his mind he was throwing to Crabtree all the way.

It gets worse. Even if Kaepernick had seen Boldin, Kaepernick wasn’t in a position to throw to him. He scrambled as soon as he dropped back, reacting to pressure that had not arrived. HE dropped his hands and turned his feet to the left, parallel to the line of scrimmage. He was physically incapable of throwing back to his right where Boldin was.

Kaepernick threw over the middle to Crabtree, the pass was high and late, Crabtree dove to catch it and the ball flew through his hands. It would have been a miracle catch if Crabtree had held onto the ball. No miracle for Crab and Kap.

Let’s recap what Kaepernick did:

1. Misdiagnosed the Bears’ coverage during the play.

2. Never looked for Boldin, the 49ers’ best receiver.

3. Dropped his hands and turned his body away from Boldin. Couldn’t throw to him even if he saw him.

4. Unprompted, announced the wrong coverage with confidence at his press conference and indicted himself. Yes, he indicted himself.

It’s one thing to misread coverage – every quarterback does that, I’m sure. It’s another thing not to realize he misread the coverage more than 30 minutes after the game, after he’d had time to think it over, after he spoke to Boldin and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Kaepernick still was in the dark.

I’m not saying Kaepernick can’t read coverages. The final play may have been the only coverage he misread all game.

But it’s troubling he misread the coverage on the crucial play, down eight points – the crisis moment. Kaepernick never has passed or run for a game-winning or game-tying touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter. Count the times. None. He failed at the end of the Super Bowl, he failed at the end of the NFC championship game last season and he failed at the end of the Bears game. That’s 0 for 3.

Most of the time, Kaepernick is an excellent quarterback when he’s winning. Last season, his passer rating was 101 when he had a lead. But when he was losing, his passer rating was 72. And in the fourth quarter, his passer rating was 61. Do you notice a trend?

We ask: Is Kaepernick a frontrunner? Can he handle the pressure at the end of a close game when he’s losing?

Kaepernick is emotional. He may not have a quarterback’s temperament. Quarterbacks are supposed to be detached. Joe Montana was detached. He was Joe Cool. He’s the guy who spotted John Candy in the stands and pointed him out in the huddle before leading the drive and throwing the touchdown pass that won the Super Bowl.

You think Kaepernick could do something like that? Not on your life.

He is a hothead. He let the Bears get under his skin.

After his second interception of the Bears’ game – his first pass of the fourth quarter – Lamarr Houston walked over to Kaepernick on the field, patted him on the chest and seemed to say, “Nice pass.” Mocking Kaepernick.

What Houston did probably wouldn’t have bothered a detached quarterback. It bothered Kaepernick. He pushed Houston and seemed to shout something in his face. The official flagged Kaepernick for using inappropriate language and the NFL fined him more than $11,000. Kaepernick says he didn’t say anything.

Even if he didn’t say anything, the push showed the Bears and the rest of the NFL how to get to Kaepernick, how to bother him. Just condescend to him. Treat him like the little kid on the playground. No league rule against that.

After that final incompletion to Crabtree, Bears’ defensive end Willie Young put his hand on Kaepernick’s shoulder and patronizingly left it there, as if to say, “Don’t cry – it’s just a game.”

Kaepernick angrily pulled away his shoulder like Young’s hand was made of fire. Young got to Kaepernick. A lot of things get to Kaepernick. Maybe he was upset about Lamarr Houston and Willie Young after the game. How else do you explain Kaepernick not knowing the difference between Cover 3 and Cover 1?

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.

 

This article has 252 Comments

    1. Well, here’s another reason to put it him down. If what is being reported about Kaepernick’s words that led to the penalty are true, then he’s going to owe the gay community a huge apology. Words it’s now being suggested he used are just not appropriate under any circumstances. Perhaps Kap can visit the same counselor that Culliver did.

      1. He didn’t say any gay remarks….He said “Back the F&$k up” 49er cam posted it on instagram in slow motion…does that remark deserve a 15 yard penalty??

      2. The player in question has said Kaep didn’t say anything to him. If, as Cam Inman’s posted video seems to show, he actually said, “Back the f*** up,” I can see why neither Kaep nor that player considers that “saying anything.” I suspect far worse things are screamed on virtually every snap in the NFL.

  1. you’re obsessed with one play and you’ve now spent two blog posts patting yourself on the back for understanding football 101 covrages…it’s like when you learn new football words like”launch point”. and i’m still not convinced it wasn’t cover 3 since they were playing it all game. the defenders in middle zone could just as easily jumped all over Crabtree. Or it could have been a hybrid Cover 3 with some man (on the slot?). One thing I saw on some other plays when the Bears did run cover 3 it was played to bait the QB; meaning they were dropping their linebackers and up safety slightly out of their normal zones with the intention of protecting the seams…like they were waiting for Kaepernick to go there.

    One thing I will agree with is that Kaepernick (as he often does) makes up his mind ahead of time where he’s going with the ball regardless of the coverage or circumstances.

    1. ThankyouAllforfunnplay, grant is under the delusional impression that there is only one cover 3 and one cover 1 ever played thats like saying there is only one west coast offense!! Defense evolve there own coverages to there strengths. Like you said clearly the bears run a different cover3 thats suits they way they play. Grant you obviously dont understand coverages even days after the game hahaha

    2. “One thing I will agree with is that Kaepernick (as he often does) makes up his mind ahead of time where he’s going with the ball regardless of the coverage or circumstances.”

      That statement of yours says it all. Looks like you and Grant agree.

  2. Grant, nice piece. You’re getting better. Q was the right read, it’s true. Your only glaring misstep is to say that Kaep’s pass to Crab was errant in any way. It wasn’t, it was perfectly placed for Crab, had Crab not broken off his route, and then fallen down; also, Tim Jennings was not “smothering” Crab.

    So, on those points, just be open. The truth is that Kaep has the physical tools to make even the wrong throws successful, but that’s beside the point. Kaep is a 37 Wonderlic; he studied his first season under another smart QB; he has had 3 full seasons under Harbaugh: by now, Kaep should NEVER make the wrong read, not unless he’s seeing something for the very first time.

    As for your final point, you’re 100% right; it almost seems like you read my posts about Kaep being more like the agitated Steve Young than the Ice Cold Joe Montana, and simply transcribed the part about Kaep not being like Joe Cool.

    Anyone who watched Sunday’s game watched it with a sense of foreboding; I gotta tell everyone: 1) when Michael Jordan’s Bulls were down by 20 with 8 minutes to go, everyone on earth knew they would win; and 2) when Joe Montana’s 49ers were down by 21 with 9:30 remaining, not a single Niner fan had any doubt that the game was in the bag.

    Anyone who says Kaep inspires that type of confidence is completely disingenuous; in fact, the only QBs in the NFL today who resemble Montana in that way are Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson.

    Kaep either doesn’t have the feel required to innately know his role, which if true, means he’ll never win more than a single SB (a la Peyton and Steve Young), or he has yet to realize how stunningly explosive his own talent is, and lacks the confidence in himself to progress, in which case he’ll never win a single SB, or, and this is the saddest possibility, while he might work very hard (1st in/out), he might not work very smart (too much time in the gym, not enough time analyzing Kyle Fuller).

    1. You must mean that fans always had hope, with nine minutes to go and down by 21, that Montana would win the game — by himself of course.

      One and out in the playoffs three years in a row is one example.

      1985 NYG 17-3
      1986 NYG 49-3 (Montana was carted off so that doesn’t count.)
      1987 Vikings 36-24

      Later he did come back 21 points against Washington to tie, but too defensive players gave the zebras a chance to make bad calls, and they lost 24-21.

      Montana was great with a great supporting cast. There was almost always hope, but never certainty.

      1. Montana also threw three interceptions in the famous ” The Catch” playoff game against Dallas. Look it up. Everyone seems to not remember that when it comes to their selective memories concerning Joe’s career. Joe never won a game all by himself despite what some people seem to remember. He had a very deep and talented team of players who stepped up in critical moments. Joe also had games when he was less than stellar and either his subpar game was compensated for by other players or the team lost. Grant you are not even old enough to remember those years.

        1. Obviously Joe wasn’t infallible, and it’s ludicrous to say otherwise, but he was the coolest pressure QB of all-time, and I still assert that even if his teams didn’t win, there was never the sense of impending doom that accompanies the 4th quarter of games QBd by Kaep. I hate to say it, because I have been Kaep’s biggest fan, but his career trajectory at this point is closer to Romo/Peyton/Young than it is to Montana; expect the late interception to seal the loss, not the TD to secure the victory.

        2. He had a very deep and talented team

          You might want to look at the roster, particularly on offense, for the 1981 team. It wasn’t deep and talented. What Montana and Walsh accomplished that season was amazing.

          1. Claude is right about the offense, but we should not short change that defense. In 1981, the 49ers had the second best defense in terms of yards and points allowed, and the third best defense in terms of turn overs. The offense, while good, was seventh best in terms of points scored and thirteenth best in terms of yards (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/sfo/1981.htm).

            Because of Joe’s heroics, and the later success of the offense, people tend to forget how incredible that defense was, and how the then young QB was able to rely on having a dominating defense.

            1. JPN:

              I worded that poorly. I did not mean to slight the defense. That said, the offensive talent was ordinary. I give Montana and Walsh all the credit for what the offense accomplished that year.

          2. Cr*p! Do I have to specify every little thing. The 81 game was used as an example of Joe throwing 3 interceptions but the team still winning. The comment about the team depth was in respect to his career with the Niners. I am fully aware of the dynamics of the team during his early years. I have always stated that Joe was a far more responsible for their success his first few years than the ones that followed. After he had his back injury he was more reliant on the strength of the team because he was far less mobile. Guy was very mobile before his injury.

            I for one told my friends once the Niner’s acquired Dean and Hacksaw that they were a Superbowl contender. It was the defense that made the difference and that 3 interception game was an example Put in context of my post to show that when Joe had an off day someone else picked up the slack. It takes a solid team to consistently win. No one player will always have their A game. It seems that when Kaep doesn’t have his A game he becomes a convenient and simplistic goat for every loss. This last loss was a total team effort in stinking it up.

            Just a last comment. It is the opinion of many posters on this site that Kaep can not read defenses. Well it is my opinion that a lot of posters on this site can not read well enough to put statements into their proper context. What they read is what they project rather than what was actually stated.

            1. Did I misquote you? No, I didn’t. Perhaps, instead of blasting my reading comprehension skills, you ought to work on your writing skills.

      2. Montana was great (period). I used to be a Rams fan when they were in L.A.. Nobody frustrated me more. Certainly not Steve Young. Not Bradshaw. Not Staubach. They were good but not not special like he was. Montana may have had a good supporting cast but he was the brains behind it when the ball was snapped. If you had to win a game, Montana was your quarterback and I’ve seen them all. All time greatest.

    2. Andrew Luck???You mean the guy who threw 7 INTs in 2 playoff games last year? Or Wilson who couldn’t play Joe Montana on Sunday against the Chargers. Get real no one talks about the 16 flags called on the D that killed 3rd down stop after 3rd down stop or the phantom holding call on Boldin? How about if Lynch just falls on the ball instead of trying to pick up? Face it the whole team lost the game no just Kap…

  3. IMO Grant is keeping it real. What has he said that isnt true? Maybe his opinion on CK’s
    hot head” analogy is off. But the fact that he does get rattled after being down is true. He obviously struggles with his reads still. Grant got bashed for calling out A Smiths flaws. And he will get the same with CK’s. I agreed with his comments on Smith, and I agree with these. Truth hurts sometimes, but I wont deny it. If you take your personal feelings you may have for Grant, and look at the facts. It might be a little easier to swallow.Our QB is nowhere near elite yet, and he’s making that type of money. How long will we wait before the AlexSmith drum starts all over again? To be honest. This is MY make or break year. And so far Ive seen the potential and Ive seen the same bad pocket qb. Its only two games, but the step he took forward vs Dallas, was erased with two steps backwards last Sunday.

      1. I don’t know which is worse, team cheerleaders who don’t like discussing issues that might lead to the team improving or people who profess to hate a columnist’s work yet, almost in a display of self-flagellation, still come back over and over to belittle him and other posters with snarky remarks? Do you know?

        1. You know what’s worse? Emotionally stunted fans whose sense of gratification is so out of whack they ignore the team’s and it’s player’s recent accomplishments and success (success that fans of at least 28 to 30 other teams would easily KILL for), that it leads to moronic WE WANT CARR chants.

          md is supposedly a season ticket holder. WE WANT GABBERT, eh md?

          1. Another year of stunted growth it seems Ribico. Sad
            Emotions go hand and hand with real fans. I know it’s still hard for you to swallow and escape this forums box, but whether you want to buy it or not, MOST fans wanted smith out. Your minority group at the time thought and apparently still thinks they’re right over 1000’s of other fans.
            You have no answer for the facts about ck. Instead you go back to the insults, which shows you have no ground to stand on.
            Without turnovers from the qb, do we beat Seattle? Do we beat Chicago? See ribico I’ve given the 49ers plenty of support and recognize the recent success, but I can also recognize their short comings also. And this is odd coming from a guy who bashed ck at the start because he took over the job.
            Take that garbage you’re talking somewhere else. Nobody is screaming for a new qb, nobody is screaming it’s over and we will never win with ck. Some have different expectations. Nice try! You aren’t putting me in the ck hater bus, like you once drove. Not happening. Seems some come on here just to start trouble. And can’t grasp the truth. Must suck!

          1. >>Without turnovers from the qb, do we beat Seattle?

            Without 130 yards rushing from Kaep (to offset the miserable 30 combined from Gore and Hunter) do we THINK about even being in the game with Seattle? Let alone beating them? Try to see the bigger picture, real fan.

            I’m on record as saying the Chicago game was Kaep’s low point as a starter. I’m not making excuses for him. But it was ONE game. And here’s news for you, real fan – he’s going to have more bad games. All QBs do. The same weekend Keap threw those game killing picks, 2x SB champion Eli Manning threw just as many. Come back at me when he’s done this 3 games in a row.

            As far as rebutting anything Grant writes, I’m past that, I rarely read Grant’s columns.

            1. An you’re right about that. But again where did I say I’m giving up on him this year? Where did i say he’s a bust?
              The big picture is this. He can’t beat Seattle up there because he turns the ball over. Yeah he ran and kept us in the game, but you’re talkin big picture… Where would they be without the turnovers? You’re tellin me they’re not the main reason they lost? Funny how you dodge the question again. Lol

              And if you don’t read his posts why are you on here? To start trash talking?
              Now I get why you made up your mind about my outlook. You didn’t read as to what I was commenting about. Go figure.
              Oh btw. A real fan doesn’t have a Seahak fan following them in support. Now what would make Mary follow you? Maybe it’s because you talk more trash to niner fans than a Seahawk fan does.
              Signed “Real fan”

        1. Since 1946 I’ve felt a sense of doom for the 49ers many many times. There have even been times when Montana was able to play that a sense of doom came over me. Of course there have been many many more times when, given two minutes and less than eight points down, that I’ve had high expectations. Enjoy.

    1. MD,

      Can’t agree more. Let’s face it guys, Kap isn’t polished yet. The question is will he ever actually be polished? If last year and two games in this year isn’t enough then let’s see it play out the rest of the season. If this year is similar to last year I think we really should ask ourselves…is it time to move on because he’ll never be the guy we’re looking for. So, I see what you’re saying about your make or break year. I’m kind of there with you. Still holding out hope, anxiously waiting to see him take the next level; but, I recognize that he isn’t there yet.

    2. >>To be honest. This is MY make or break year.

      So can we expect an announcement from you, ala bay, that you are done with the Niners if it breaks not to your satisfaction? That would be keeping it real. lol.

      1. Hey ribico… Remember the last make or break year we discussed on here? You’re 0for1 homie. Now your boy is losing games in KC and isn’t worth the money they just paid him. That’s from most KC fans as of right now on their blogs. But I guess they are “haters” too. My man get out there and see the world. This isn’t the end all be all blog. There are 1000’s of fans out there who don’t post about their team.

        You’d think a real fan is tired of just getting there an not winning it all. And wants to voice their opinion on some of the problems. But when you’re on the east coast and don’t spend the bread to support your team it’s different. Dude you will never know what’s it’s like in bigger 49er circles. I’m glad you rep the Niners out there, but you’re a minority in this bizz.
        Take a back seat to the real faithful. We keep it real and don’t sugarcoat things. Root when were up, root when were down. If you don’t have what it takes to match the greats before you, then you get called out for it. What part of this faithful Fanhood don’t you get? And again you’ve supplied ZERO argument on how Grant and others are wrong. Saawwwwiiiing and a miss. I can talk trash all day, can you talk football with truth? Tbd!

        1. WTF dude. I haven’t mentioned smith in months.

          >>real faithful.

          If the “real faithful” are like the whiners and drama queens such as bay and yourself, then the east coast isn’t nearly far enough away from them.

          But lets hear it. If the Niners strick to Kaep and his performance doesn’t meet your approval, are you going to flounce and take your piddling jersey buying money with you?

          1. Does 3 ints and 5 turnovers vs Seattle sit well with you?
            What because I said it’s MY personal make or break year with ck it means I want him gone? There’s still a whole season left. I’ve never once said I wanted him gone. I’m saying I would like to see improvement. What you don’t?
            And give me a reason besides the Alex smith drama from the past as to why you feel it necessary to attack my opinion on our qb play. The one grudge you seem to have with me is that we didn’t agree on smith and I was one of the folks who called his end. You have nothing but a personal vendetta due to Smith. You also wasn’t a fan of the switch when it happened. So tell me where is your beef. Is it with the fact I have my opinion on a qb who’s paid elite money and has single handedly cost us two superbowls due to turnovers, or is it he fact you can’t get over the Alex smith garbage?
            Because I have yet to see you debate where Grant and others are wrong about ck. All you have is some kind of bent up aggression towards others. Particularly the ones who wanted ck over smith.
            I see trolls on here who claim to be Seahawk fans and others who despise this team and coach, and yet you get your hate out on other 49er fans? I dodged an argument with you two days ago, because it’s useless and old. If I even mention Alex smith and not Ina negative way it’s all about my hatred for a guy who doesn’t play here anymore. You and some others need to get over it. Defending him even in times where nothing bad was said about him, shows what your agenda is.
            Talk some football. Debate with me on where my opinion may be warped with some facts or points with substance. Debates are won with intellect, not dodging the subject with insults.

        2. Ninermd:

          You do realize, don’t you, that in that last make or break year, Smith actually met the standard that you had set out for him prior to the season?

          You also might want to lay off the “You’re not a real fan like me” stuff. We’re all fans, or we wouldn’t be here talking about the 49ers. Let’s beat up on Mary instead of each other.

          1. I agree Claude…. But why the attack by ribico? Again I’m just asking for folks to debate my opinion with facts and other outlooks, instead of insults because of old hurt feelings. That’s all.
            Im not going to go all rogue and say ck sucks and he needs to go. I don’t think that at all for the record. Being concerned and sick of turnovers in big games is absolutly acceptable from a fan IMO…

            And about the make or break year.. Yes I did say that prior to the 12 season, and he came through. But I also stated the things I thought he could improve on the next season to become elite and got hammered by some for that, kind of like ribico is trying to do again. And I stated if he didn’t fix those problems he would be gone. That I was right about. So yes you are correct to a point, but that’s not what ribico is holding in. I guess.
            Is what it is. It’s old and it would be nice to put your opinion out there on a whole new qb and subject without the “old feelings” coming out again. And lastly the “real fan” stuff wasn’t started by me. I guess I’m a supposed season ticket holder and other nonsense. Brotha gotta defend his Fanhood sometimes. Lol and I’m always game for a little trash talk. Ask Mary… She’s my trash talk garbage can!

            1. Ninermd:

              I don’t want to speak for ribico, but it looks like he is defending his team’s QB against what he believes are unfair attacks. Plus, you two clearly have irreconcilable views on the propriety of booing the team’s players.

              Also, you and ribico have a negative history, and I suspect that history is going to continue to infect your interactions until you find some sort of common ground (other than you both being 49ers fans, because that clearly isn’t enough). You may never get along. I am fairly confident that bay and I won’t.

              But enough of this drama, let’s go tell Mary how much of a troll he/she is.

            2. You do realize how easy it is taking potshots at pompous blowhards who decree themselves “true fans” don’t you, true fan? True fans who are so self-important, with a straight face, they lay down ultimatums in the team’s direction from an internet sporting forum? lol. it’s like shooting ducks in a barrel.

              So when are you going to answer the question? What exactly is this true fan going to to do if this “make or break” year doesn’t break in his direction?

              1. Again… You are defending the qb from what???
                A little truth on his qb problems? So if nobody calls him perfect you better be on them. You’ve got about 20 other fans on here. Get started.

                You brought up this real fan stuff. By saying I’m a supposed season ticket holder. You admit you’re a troll that doesn’t even read the column. Again. Where is your answer to the point? Ck has issues in his young career. He’s being paid elite money, shouldn’t he be playing at an elite level? Tell me ribico where am I wrong in your outlook? Dude you have nothing but hyperbol. There’s nothing to defend. I’m a ck fan. Now what?
                Can’t call out J Martin, horrible secondary play? No pass rush? So you tell me ribico king of fans… How long do fans have to continue to like the issues with the team and players? Since you’re the line setter.
                Get real dude. You’re bitter from the past, get on here and make up your own theory’s about other fans, all whole not even reading the post and the retorts to the post. That alone says it all.
                Get over it dude.
                It’s old bra. You can join onelame in your held in anger and take your pop shots when I post. And I’ll invite your Seahawk buddy too.
                Done!

              2. dude, leave the psychology to those qualified. you need to stick to… what is it you are qualified for again? other than area 51-esque tinfoil hattery?

                Why should I be bitter? My team has been in the final 4 the last 3 years running. I’ve followed this team and sports long enough to be sanguine enough to accept that there might be a better team, or a team that got better breaks, that prevented them from taking the final prize. I’m not in that category of fans that thinks failure is directly due to an individual player or one specific play. The last play of last year’s NFCCG didn’t lose the game. Nor did the interceptions. They contributed but to fixate on them to the exclusion of other factors, the defensive breakdowns, etc, is beyond pointless. That’s why this whole fixation of Grant’s on Kaep misreading the coverage on one play is amusing to me in no end. Amusing to the point I have no need to comment on or try to refute it, it is a compete non-starter for me. Grant does this much too often, and THAT is why I read very little of his columns – when he does this he brings nothing to the table.

                Now, as everyone has been clamoring for, let’s get on to the next game. 5 days of navel gazing over one play is enough. We agree on *that*, don’t we?

              3. Ribico… We can agree on that.
                But in my defense. I never fully blamed it on ck. I do have my gripes from other aspects or players on the team from time to time. But let’s keep it really real. We beat the Seahawks last year if ck doesn’t turn the ball over so much. The team played their arses off to get that win. Not saying ck didn’t but he screwed up in crunch time and he’s done it before. As far as grants take on the last play. I don’t agree with what he saw. I actually stated Crabtree was the right throw, and why everyone gets mad because he goes to crabs at the end of games.
                Now hopefully we can move on and disagree with some comments that don’t have hate, idiot, Alex smith, bitter, super fan, not super fan, in it. I would like I agree to disagree with some validity and respect for one another in the future. After all we are 49er fans.

            1. Mary:

              You’ll have to put the link in context because I don’t see how it pertains to me or the comment to which you replied. Whom have I blamed for my shortcomings?

    3. We’re actually on the same page. I want CK to do well but I have my doubts, which takes the form of super harsh criticism. Because the Niners are so close, and how he was given he the starter role, I don’t give him any slack. I was never a Smith lover, but a Smith optimist. He has a lot of fault in his game too. It seemed liked he was putting it together, but then was shown the door.
      This is the make or break year for Colin, Harbaugh and Roman. Baalke takes some heat too for that 2012 draft, but it’s hard to fault him where most people would say the Niners have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They just need their QB to play up to his potential, and not make the same mistakes over and over.
      Grant’s right — teams know how to get under Kaep’s skin.

      1. I hear you fan…. I’ve thought you critiqued ck in the past to harshly in favor of Smith. Is what it is.its your opinion It was known I was not a big smith fan, but when he improved I had his back. Nothing wrong with wanting the best for your team. Guys like ribico have a strong hatred for the ones who guessed smith would be gone. It’s the past and yet he is still angry about it. Smh. Now I’m a ck hater too, because I agreed with Grant and think the money he’s being paid is way to much for the product he’s given us. That’s Super Bowl money, elite money, pro bowl money. That hurts the team whether it’s a team friendly deal or not, it’s a lot of money. And he’s got to step it up, ESPECIALLY in big money games. It’s not just mine but a lot of niner fans make or break year with ck. And the money only made it a shorter window. Kid has potential,skills and the brains. Most elite qb’s don’t take over 2 years to make their mark. By the third year they are in the elite class. Plain and simple

        1. >>Guys like ribico have a strong hatred for the ones who guessed smith would be gone. It’s the past and yet he is still angry about it

          I defended Smith from haters, he was our QB. The team was winning. Now I’m defending Kaep from haters, he is our QB. The team is winning.

          See the constant there, md? The only constant I see from you is whining and maybe a WE WANT (insert backup QB here) chant. real fan indeed.

            1. And somehow you managed to bring up sex once again when it’s not related to anything in the thread.

              Do you ever tire of being the monkey that repeatedly sneaks into the lion’s cage? No matter how many times he gets bitten, he just keeps going back inside even though his arm is down to bleeding stub. Hard to explain that kind of behavior as normal — even for a monkey.

              1. The monkey said pretty much the same thing after telling the lion, “I’m just here to have fun. Why are you always such a bully and biting me?”

                To which the lion replied, “I’m just doing what is in my nature to do. I really don’t care for you chattering monkeys — especially when they come into my cage to disturb me.”

            2. Mary, two things.

              1. md’s and my history on this board go back well before you ever turned up. I know him, he knows me, we’ve been at this for a looooong time.

              2. Any disagreement I have with another Niners fan pales to insignificance compared with what I have for a hated rival team’s fan. You and I could see eye to eye on every other issue but you being a squaks fan, we have nothing to talk about here. Capiche?

              1. Ribico: ” Any disagreement I have with another Niners fan pales to insignificance compared with what I have for a hated rival team’s fan.”

                That’s your problem, not mine. Capiche

          1. Ribico what’s hateful about seeing the truth in our qb’s flaws? Where did I once say I hate ck? Again you refuse to argue where Grant is wrong with ck’s issues. Look at this constant. I called out smiths flaws that were obvious and hoped he could fix them. He fixed some of them, I was happy. Ck has some flaws is like to see changed and I’m keeping it real with them like I did with smith. I admitted before I got caught up in the smith trash and was out of character. But I also rooted for smith when he became a halfway decent qb. I’m still Rollin with ck. Not once have I said he needs to go. But because you think it it’s true?
            That’s like your little friend Mary the Seahawk alien DS thinking McDonald is already guilty. Like I stated above. You have no answer to Grants take or mine about ck’s flaws. When are you going to sell those perfect world glasses and start telling the truth?

            Mary…. What I say to my wife when were getting busy is none of your concern. Where in the heck did that come from? You pervert.Youre a lonely lonely little troll.
            But hey Ribico… You got Mary. She’s got your back. Lmao

        2. I was never a big fan of Smith, but I want him to do well. I can’t believe we took him over Rodgers. I wasn’t a fan of the switch not because I love Smith, although it would have been nice to see him finish what he started.
          I have been pretty clear that I’m harsh on CK not because I love Smith, but because of how he came into the position, he had better deliver.
          It’s all in the past now. It is what it is.
          I was happy he showed such big signs of improvement from the Dallas game, but it’s disheartening to see how he crumbled under his first test.
          There’s no way to sugar coat it. I don’t think CK choked, I don’t think the moment is too big for him, it’s just that when the going gets tough, he reverts to all his bad habits.
          Clearly he was having a bad game and was not seeing the field at all.
          So what happens the next time a team confuses him, or gets under his skin?

  4. Nice article Grant. You make a lot of good points. Kap obviously has room for improvement. Let’s hope he sorts his problems out and eventually learns from his mistakes. He’s choked a few times in his career, but it doesn’t mean he’ll always choke. Not everyone gets across the line first time, or even the second or third.

  5. I can’t figure out why it’s not Boldin either. How many more failed passes to Crabtree does Roman need with the game on the line to continue to prove his point? Is it stubbornness, letting the D dictate or just incompetence?

    1. Boldin wasn’t an option because Kaepernick broke down in the pocket.

      Even if he stays in there, Crabtree was the right throw. He was open, and the easiest throw to make.

      If we want to dissect it, Crabtree is as much at fault for the play not working. His strange depth step after the break threw it off.

      1. Well, yeah, Jack, but to acknowledge that would be to be candid. We know Grant has problems with candor and integrity when he’s trying to be shocking.

  6. This article speaks to my most deep seated concerns about Kaep. Is he capable of truly diagnosing and beating coverages in pressure moments? Is he capable of mastering his emotions at critical points of a game?

    The game against the Bears would suggest no on both accounts. Lets hope he can grow from that game, and become the QB we hope he can be.

    1. 5 fourth quarter comebacks, 6 game-winning drives and Kaepernick does not have the capability to deliver the goods at critical points in the game?

      I remember several 4th quarter comebacks when he was running with the Pack, including the one against an undefeated Boise St…..

        1. Style points will come as the project progresses, and make no mistake, Colin Kaepernick was a huge undertaking when he was drafted. Has the project suffered a few setbacks, disappointments? Of course, but what project hasn’t?

        2. Jack, let’s be real and stay away from agendas. Isn’t the real issues for the 49ers’ struggles lie within both sides of their lines? Offensively they’re not giving the young gunslinger the time to go through his progressions, and in his overconfidence, hurries his throw to his detriment. Defensively there’s almost zero pressure, and Cutler had all day long to throw? The line play from both games is the 49ers glaring issue to me….

          1. Razor, how much time does he need? I saw several times where he had 3 seconds in the pocket to throw the ball. The ball has to come out. I agree, the line needs to be shored up but we can’t put it all on them. Kaepernick rolls out too often IMO…whether that’s to the left or right. It cuts off half the field each time he does it.

            1. Both lines are the glaring weaknesses of the 49ers right now, not the quarterback. I’m not blaming anyone, as the coach said, everyone’s fingerprints are on this one. Kaepernick was horrible and had a meltdown to be sure, but I think he’ll play better this week. My burning question is, will the lines?

            2. He was getting killed on the right side in the 4th qr…they should have been running the ball with a lead in the 4th qr, 2 of his INTs came on 1st down!

          2. Razor:

            Let’s not overstate the problem with the offensive line. It had issues in the second half, but Kaepernick contributed to at least two of the sacks. Also, he paradoxically has issues both with holding onto the ball too long and with prematurely bolting from the pocket. It’s an odd mix.

            Also, you might want to refrain from accusing anyone else of bringing an agenda to the table when it comes to Kaepernick. It’s not a good look for you.

            1. Deputy Balls, I haven’t accused anyone of an agenda, but yours seems to be trying to get a rise out of others on here. I made my position clear…..

              1. Razor:

                Deputy Balls, I haven’t accused anyone of an agenda

                Silly me, I must have misunderstood you when you wrote:

                Jack, let’s be real and stay away from agendas.

                You also misinterpret my “agenda.” I’m not trying to get a rise out of anyone, but I do like to call b/s when I see it.

              2. HIPAA doesn’t prevent you from giving out your own information, but I respect you not wanting to give out that information, especially on this site.

          3. Razor,

            When did I blame it on Kaepernick? My comment was based on Grant’s twitter battle with BASG a couple days ago.

            I think the 49ers real issue is penalties. It’s killed them.

            1. Jack, I was not insinuating you were, and yet I wouldn’t blame anyone who did. I was merely stating my opinion and honestly wanted your take on what was once the 49ers strength, and what I believe to now be their glaring weakness. The penalties I agree with, however the common theme in both games seemed to be the play of both lines….

          4. Razor thanks for keeping it real. Not to mention that their fastest WR hasn’t seen the field. Safeties can sit back and jump routes on Kaep with no fear of the top being taken off the defense. No deep shots to Vernon. Can I get an Ellington sighting. Seems like Sean Payton wasted no time inserting Brandon Cook.
            Once Martin and Looney hit the bench the offense will improve.

              1. Iupati was showing signs of regression before getting injured. My point is that there are problems across the line and not just on the right side.

      1. I think the best examples of Kaep being able to pull it together in pressure games/ moments have been the Falcons NFCCG, and the drive against the Pats after they had let a huge lead evaporate.

        In the Falcons NFCCG, you can argue the success of the running game was the main reason the team was able to come back, but I think that doesn’t do Kaep justice. He was also a big part of that comeback.

        You can also use the Superbowl loss as an example of playing well in pressure games, however, he didn’t start that well (the whole team didn’t actually, so hard to blame Kaep for that), but he got the team moving very well at the end of the first half and in the second half. He’ll be remembered for that final series though, where he wasn’t able to make the play when needed.

    2. The first playoff game against the Packers would suggest yes, however. Pick-6 on first possession, then a record-setting, near-perfect performance.

  7. Grant,
    I saw the game. CK was (as put it) terrible. You got plenty of mileage (431 responses) on your “Kaepernick misread Bears coverage on the final play” entry.

    Continuing to harp on CK’ bad game is now sounding like a jilted lover who can’t stop bemoaning their loss.

    C’mon Grant, get over it, time to move on.
    There’s a lot of football left to be played.

    I didn’t to a shot at predicting last week’s game, but I’ll be the first to predict the score for Sunday:
    49ers 36 – 13

  8. I find it funny someone compared Kaep’s killer instincts to Jordan and Montana, REALLY? It’s his 3rd yr, 2nd as a starter. Do you guys REALLY expect him to be that good right now. It’s asinine to do that. I get it we all want to win but to expect a kid who ran the pistol formation to be like Montana who ran a traditional offense is crazy. What’s even more crazy is comparing him to Jordan who was in the league almost 10yrs before reaching that level. It takes time.

    1. Yeah? you mean Kaep isn’t the equivalent of the two ALL-TIME best players in history of their sports? What’s wrong with that mediocrity?

      WE WANT GABBERT.

        1. Asinine? Tell me you didn’t have a sinking feeling watching him in that game.

          Montana won his first SB at age 25. If you think Kaep doesn’t have a physically superior makeup to every QB in history, you’re insane. He also has more talent on this team than the 1981 Niners. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe Kaep will win a SB; it’s just that he’d be working on #3 this year if he had Ice in his veins.

          Should we ask for anything less?

    1. I think that Cosell mlakes my point that we are not so much seeing Kap’s failings but it is a poorly designed passing offense we are seeing. No matter what, we continuously hear that it is this receiver or that receiver or Kap or whoever that failed on the play and not the coaching staff. Therein the problem lies!

        1. And just as many people want to blame Kaepernick’s flaws on the offensive system.

          The fact that Harbaugh and Roman have won with other QBs suggests that the system isn’t the problem.

    2. KY

      Perhaps instead of calling out and insulting other commenters, you should do more research such as this. Most casual observers already knew this.

  9. I remember some of the comments about Kaep after last weeks game against Dallas. Even his usual detractors were saying he had taken another step. He was going through progressions and making reads. True he make some difficult plays but that game didn’t change my overall perception of him just like this last one game didn’t either. As a whole he was not as accurate as usual but he wasn’t overall that terrible either. He overthrew Boldin early and that sort of signaled what kind of game he was going to have. One game will not and should not change anyone’ perception of a player. It it does it is a sure sign that they are only looking for something to validate and already made up mind.

    If you are going to criticize use legitimate examples to do so, not monday morning should have-could haves. On the last pass even the announcers acknowledged that it was Crabs stutter interruption of his route that put that pass out of his reach. Or that Carrier’s running his man to close to the other Niner receiver that put his man in the position to make an interception. Or that it was a helmet on ball hit from an angle that would always result in a fumble and not Kaeps lack of ball security that caused that fumble. Plus some very good defensive plays by the CB’s. The worst pass he threw was the one in front of Crabs that allowed the defender to take it out of his hands. It was off target but could have still been caught by Crabs who had his hands on the ball first but allowed himself to be stripped by a corner back who wanted it more. Kaep did not have a good game that was clear but it was not as bad as the stats 3 interceptions and one fumble might imply.

    Those four turnovers are just very convenient stat to jump on to promote your agenda Grant. You like at other times use prevarication to spin events to reflect the argument you wish to promote. Like your unique interpretation of the overthrow of Crabs. It does work with people who are of like mind in agenda or people who have very bad memories. Spin a story and they forget what actually happened. Your version of the Crabs over throw was blatant BS. That’s what prevarication is. To leave out part of the truth ( interrupted route) to create a distortion of fact Kaep overthrew him/bad pass). In other words a lie. And that my friend is a reflection on your ethical intent.

    1. There are often mitigating circumstances that should be factored in plays. For example a dropped interception by a defender was a bad play by the QB that never shows up in the stats. While a deflection in the hands of an intended receiver shows up as an interception. Gore’s TD run as well as well as Lloyd’s reception negated by bad ref calls. A blown defensive assignment that results in an easy touchdown counts the same one that required a great effort by an offensive player. It works both ways. To truly evaluate or grade a players actual effort mitigating circumstances should be considered. If a player has his best efforts called back due to penalties could you say he had a bad game. Or conversely if he gets lucky and benefits from someone else blatant mistake does it mean he had a good game? My point is that mitigating circumstances should be considered when handing out a final grade.

        1. PrimeTime–Probably not if you are the one who decides which games constitutes when those chips are down, because you will only pick the ones that resulted in a loss. There are many key games during the season, but for sure every playoff win is a game when the chips are down. You lose and your out. You can not have it more chips are down than that. Oh did Kaep ever win any playoff games then.

          Prime– Don’t bring something as weak as that into the conversation.

    2. Kaep still needs to accept the checkdown. There’s footage on NFL Rewind of Harbaugh yelling “throw it away” in an exasperated voice on the second of Fuller’s INTs.

      1. I spent the day yelling, “Throw it away!” Kaepernick should get better at knowing when to give up on a play, but Sunday wasn’t that day.

        1. I yell even louder when Kaepernick takes a tackle or steps out of bounds short of the line of scrimmage. Colin, “Throw it away like Joe!”

    3. Maybe CK’ so-called 1 read issue, isn’t that big of deal.
      On a couple of Cutler’ TD passes to Marshall he never looked at anything other than him.

      Fickle fans expect perfection on every play. The newest one is a recent post above that states that although Kaep will eventually win a SB, he should have won 3 by now.
      So even if Kaep wins a SB, looks like some won’t forgive him for not winning before that.

  10. Nice article Grant. The hip hop hooray fan does not want to hear or admit that the 49ers QB is flawed. CK lacks the fundamentals at the position. No poise or intelligence under pressure. He lacks the essential footwork and alignment after a 3,5, or 7 step drop when hurried in the pocket. And like as Grant said, gets rattled when opposing players taunt him.
    This rescue ideology that some fans bring to the table is ridiculous. “He has been successful, he’s been to 2 NFC championship games and a Super Bowl”. Winning matters. What type of QB would he be without a defense? Who has he made a better player? No one has those answers.
    After three years you have to believe he would have grown as a leader, and be a sharper more fundamentally sound QB.
    If people want to look to the past as his success and ignore the areas he has regressed in that’s fantasy football.
    Yeah there is many more games, don’t panic, they will win games. But looking at the most important position on the field, it’s looking like you better get this a guy lead. Otherwise how can you trust his decision making and demeanour when it’s go time!

    1. Prime

      It’s not the fundamentals. They are important for people who don’t have the gifts he has. It’s about his awareness and his confidence.

      1. E:

        The footwork issues would seem to be a problem that can’t consistently be overcome by his gifts.

        When you say it’s about his confidence, are you talking about a lack of confidence or about overconfidence? I don’t see the former.

        1. Claude

          I see his bravado as a front that looks like overconfidence. I think in truth he has supreme confidence in his physical abilities, arm, legs, height, strength, etcetera, but lacks confidence in his QB skills, which he’s still developing.

          I would liken him to Mike Tyson, who was a consummate knockout artist, but who, whenever he faced a superior boxing technician, would do something inexplicable, like bite an ear. I’m not saying Kaep is going to bite anyone’s ear off, but he’s already shown a tendency to lose composure under pressure.

    2. And I’m getting crap for saying he’s getting paid big money and after two and a half years he’s not playing equal to that money.
      Man I should have never said this is my make or break year with him. What was I thinking. Most elites are shredding defenses by now and not struggling with one of the worst defenses in the game. But hey. I guess I’m a ck hater. Smh

  11. It is true that Kaepernick does get rattled by being behind in a game, especially in the fourth quarter when the game depends heavily upon him. He also gets rattled when he gets intercepted. Hence the multiple interception games.
    When he has a low rated team he comes out all fired up and does well; until adversity strikes.
    All of that is the mark of a young man who is still growing into his career. We kind of idolized him because of his outstanding college record and his interesting personal story, as well as his physique. We need to calm down and evaluate based on his actual performance, not our unrealistic expectation of him.

    I have no quarrel with the writer here. I think he is pointing out a fly in the soup when we would prefer to ignore it and eat it all up.

    I will note that he does seem to attract more than his share of ire, primarily by familiar commenters who appear article after article after article to complain about him.
    Suggestions?
    If you do not like the writer, don’t read his stuff. Otherwise you are no better than an evil troll or a stalker.

    It is not the play calling that is causing 49ers problems, it is the choices made by the field Marshall, the quarterback. He does tighten up and get edgy when behind and when flustered by opposing teams’ comments.
    Whether he can or will grow out of that is unknown, and predicting one way or the other would be counter-productive.
    All we can do is watch and wait. Wait and watch.

    1. Well said. The issue regardless of the age, the talent, the physique is you cannot teach intelligence or decision making.
      80% of playing the QB position in the NFL requires a thought process of less than 3 seconds to make the right read and deliver. That has been a fundamental error in CK’s game.
      You can watch all the film in the world. Study a defense 5 years running. But at the end of the day it’s about making the right decision in a pressure packed moment. This is what is most concerning with CK.

      1. Prime–The same could be stated for coming to a rational conclusion. You can watch all the football in the world and be savy to the right terminology but that doesn’t mean your mind would come to a rational conclusion in respect to your perspective. All you have stated is purely your subjective opinion. As pretty much all these posts are unless they are quantified by rational.

        1. Will is CK fundamentally flawed QB that relies on his athleticism? Can a QB with the inability to make the right read in crucial times win a championship?
          That’s not subjective opinion that’s facts based on the last three years of play. The guy simply cannot read a defense and make a critical decision,the right decision in a pressure packed moment.
          He’s won a lot of games some very big games. I’ll give him that but at the end of the day it’s the critical moments where you have to make the right decision that gets your team to the championship moment, he has not done that!

          1. Prime
            To answer your second question: Yes. He just did last year his name is Russel Wilson. If he is not throwing a 3 step drop slant he scrambles for 8 seconds until he uncorks a “hail mary” type pass 50 yards downfield hoping that tate or kearse make a big play (which im sad to say they seem to do quite often)

            Your first question is a bit trickier. Does Kaep have flawed fundamentals? yes (but sometimes his superior athleticism allows him to overcome poor footwork and funky arm delivery) But is he “fundamentaly flawed” as in a “fatal flaw” that cant ever be corected no matter how hard you work? that is still left to be decided.
            The issue that i have is how i precieve (my interpretation for sure and im not an armchair psychiatrist) his attitude towards his “flaws”. He was asked last offseason if he was planning to work with a “qb guru” a la whitfield, house, martinez specificaly on his footwork. His reply “no”. Its as if (and im projecting here) he is even reluctant to admit out loud that he might have a footwork problem. Hopefuly privatly he and Whitfield have been working on that behind the scenes now that GW is an “intern” for the 9ers. But if CK trully believes that he does not need extra work on one of those fundamentals when pro bowlers such as brady brees etc seek it year after year I have a problem with that.

            The first step on the way to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. CK has not done so publicly. I hope he has privatly and is working on fixing it as we speak.

            As for Grant writing negative articles about him. Hey nothing drives internet trafic like QB talk

    2. His first evaluations of the game were more honest. What I object to is his use of prevarication to make his point. He didn’t have to do that and should be called on it. The example being the pass to Crabs. That was on Crabs not Kaep. If he runs his route like he is supposed to it’s a TD. Grant even made the comment initially ( Crabs interrupting his route) when he wrote about it and now he pretends it didn’t happen because he is Kaep hunting. Distorting the perception of truth by leaving out a fact. Keith because you believe something does not make it true. It’s purely your opinion based on your chosen perspective. He was not rattled on that last drive. That’s just what Grant wanted this article to portray. And you bought into it.

  12. Well, the most emotional QB in all of football led his team to a win over Seattle last Sunday, so there goes that theory. The QB section of the Hall of Fame is filled with intense and emotional guys.

    1. How dare you distort their argument by bringing up facts. Does anyone not remember that the turning point in Young’s career and his teams championship season came after he became super emotional in the Philly game when he was bloodied and removed from the game. That turned the season around. People are clueless if they think Montana was not emotional. He just didn’t show it outwardly. Emotion is what drives the will to win.

      1. exgolfer:

        I agree that Manning tends to get overrated because of the way he beats up on average and below average defenses.

  13. Oh I know is that when we r looking for the final play we r always looking to Crabtree. Why? I would think Boldin would be our number one target. That’s what pisses me off. The red zone plays. I’m think Boldin is our number one and Crabtree number two. Boldin, I think, knows how to get open in the end zone better than Crabtree.

    1. He goes to Crabtree bc that’s his “safety blanket”. He’s comfortable going there. All QB’s have a go to. Cutler went to Marshall 3x in a row. He probably would have thrown it there had he been double or triple teamed. It’s just what QB’s do

      1. Well when Kaep took over Crabs was his go to guy. Alex Smith went to Vernon. Many people questioned the relationship between Davis and Kaep. I don’t think anything was wrong between them just Kaep felt comfortable with Crabtree. Crabtree breakout yr was Kaep first yr starting.

  14. “a reporter asked Kaepernick what he saw on the incomplete pass to Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-9 from the Bears’ 17, the play that ended the game for San Francisco.

    Without anyone prompting him or pressing him, Kaepernick said, “They had Cover 3, we got the look we wanted, we just have to make that play.”

    How in the world does this make sense to you? A reporter asked Kaepernick what he saw on the final play and CK stated he saw Cover 3. He was prompted to answer a question by a reporter. How can you possibly write that he wasn’t prompted? What am I missing here?

    1. Grant needs to think out his statements better. His perspectives often reflect too many holes. Sometimes he does use solid reasoning so we can see he is capable of it. He just betrays himself when he is tempted and drawn into promoting one of his past faulty perspectives that he refuses to let go. We all need to know the difference between fact and theory. Someone once said we should hold our theories lightly and let them go willingly when the facts prove otherwise.

      1. Well said. Your comments sound like they could also apply to why Kaepernick has a problem giving up on a play and just throwing the ball away.

        1. As I stated it applies to everyone ( including myself ). It is harder to give up an existing belief than it is to form an objective new one. Usually we must first recognize the hidden motive of why we are hanging on to the old one before we allow ourselves to let it go. It’s usually agenda driven. Agenda’s are not always bad rather only when we are not honest with others and ourselves about their existence.

  15. Grant,

    Perhaps your next column should be on why the 49er CB can’t catch errant Jay Cutler passes? They had their hands on at least three balls that should have been caught.

    And Gore’s long TD run called back for holding…that was absurd. A lot went wrong on Sunday.

  16. I’m with the move on people. Let’s discuss Sundays game. Here’s a question; are we going to leave Ward Man on man with Larry Fitzgerald and Floyd this week? We obviously did not make an adjustment to help him on Marshall. Will there be changes or much of the same.

      1. A key will be inside pressure, and at least on paper, the Cards improved their OL.
        My guess this past summer was that SF would have some inconsistency early in the season and then (hopefully) settle down for a playoff run. TBD.

        1. I can’t remember who made the comment but leave him on Marshall by himself can be a confidence killer. They need to figure that out.

          1. They have to have pressure on the quarterback. It’s the prime directive of good NFL defense in today’s game. It’s exactly what Chicago had against Kaepernick.

    1. Yes sir.

      I live in southern cali so Arizona’s a lot closer. The wife and I are making an anniversary weekend out of it. I’m looking forward to it.

      1. Good deal, Leo ! … and ..
        happy anniversary ! ….

        Hey … here’s a thought …
        make up a sign.. and we’ll all look for ya
        on the tube !

    1. Bray, that’s not quite correct. Grant was referring specifically to the last offensive play run by the 49ers. The linked all-22 breakdown shows the coverages on the interception plays, not the play to which Grant referred.

  17. That being said, this also shows what may of us already know, and Grant touched on, that Kap does not read defense’s well. Nor does he show consistent ball placement on the opposite side of the defender.

  18. I would love to see a different game this weekend. A lot of things went wrong with the Bears game. Flow is important in a game. The Niners never seemed to get a good flow in either the Dallas or Bears game. It’s been an issue for some time. Would love to hear what everyone here thinks on this.

  19. I have not gone back and re-watched the play. But I recall during one of the replays during the original telecast Cris Collinsworth saying that if Crabtree had kept running across the field, instead of fading the route at the end, the ball would have hit him in the chest for a touchdown. Seems to me that was more crucial to the play than what coverage the Bears were in. I think Collinsworth comment backs up your point that he would have been open had it been cover 3. Now if your argument is that Crabtree faded the route because he recognized it as cover 1 then that would be something to ask him about…

    1. The point you brought up was not a secret but a fact that a lot of posters ( including Grant ) chose to ignore to promote their anti Kaep agenda. Crabs not running his route as he was supposed to was the reason the pass was long. This is an example of a mitigating circumstance that is never considered by those that have a vested interest in making Kaep appear to be as bad as possible. It’s called spinning information. Creating a lie while leaving your self a non accountable out.

  20. Ok, let’s beat this dead horse till somebody acknowledges Grant’s superiority with everything football. Jeez, what a crybaby, week in, and week out.

  21. That is not a Cover 1 D.

    Pre-snap, there are two safeties deep; in a Cover 1 there is only one. The corners are playing off the LOS, have their rear ends pointed towards the sidelines and they are looking at the QB — a strong indication they are playing zone. Like someone mentioned above it could be a hybrid and/or disgused coverage. But it’s not a straight Cover 1.

    Now can we move on to the Cards?

    1. Are you new to the site?

      Its never that easy with Grant……don’t expect this topic to just go away. I can see this being Grant’s theme of the year

      1. Hi Leo. I’m fairly new — sort of a refugee from Barrows’ blog since the Bee implemented draconian commenting policies. Still read it for actual information, though.

        I do like the commenters here; many are very knowledgeable and fun to read. And I’m fully aware of Grant’s penchant for making it all about himself, adjusting facts to support his take (e.g., “take away Gore’s four runs of over 20 yards…”). Having strong opinions is not the same as being the literary equivalent of a gnat.

    2. You can also object to the title of the article: “Kaepernick’s reads aren’t right” (emphasis added).

      The title suggests that Kaepernick has a habit of misreading coverages, but Grant provides only a single example of Kaepernick allegedly misreading the coverage.

      1. Its amazing how much he can write from one minute bit of detail…

        I actually did something very similar to this in high school. When I was too lazy to read the assigned book for the book report due the next day I could just read the back cover of the book and maybe a few pages at the end and I could BS my way through about 7-10 pages….and on top of that get a B+. Didn’t work so much in college.

        I think this is the same skill-set Grant has evolved from. Read the whole book Grant, your only hurting yourself. (and everyone else that reads this stuff)

    3. Why would you not accept the fact that maybe they disguised their Cover 1 Free scheme with a two-deep shell and bail technique by the corners? Also, with a F/S in the hole (deep middle) the corner backs will play outside technique because they have help into the post with the presence of the deep free safety.

      Also, everybody has failed to mention that with the down and distance and ball position, why did the Niners have to throw the ball into the end zone rathrer than just gain the yardage needed for the first down and then have naother set of 4 downs to matriculate the balance of the red zone for the TD?

      1. No kidding ! ..

        They don’t call him “The Rino” for nothing ! … but hey ..
        if they keep changing the rules .. just maybe
        Montana will come back.. and they can all play
        flag football !

    1. I’m fine with rule changes as long as there is clarity. The biggest change…

      Officials used to call penalties only when they saw them. The last two years, officials call penalties when they think something probably happened.

      The “flag only what you see” restriction vanished. Last Sunday’s game was almost unwatchable.

    2. I finally read that and agree 100% with everything he said. Football is for savages. I do believe it is the modern day gladiator sport. It’s been 8yrs since I last played and I miss every single bit of it daily. Football can be summed up into two words, Controlled Recklessness

    3. CC and FI Penalties

      Type CC is Clear Cut – Pre-snap penalties, stepping out of bounds, forward pass beyond line of scrimmage, motion, off sides etc.

      Type FI is Fuzzy Interpretive – Pass interference, defensive holding, “defenseless”, etc.

      Historically non eastern establishment teams are victimized more by FI penalties. The 81 NFCCG vs Dallas (made “the catch” necessary), the NFCCG vs Washington, Seattle’s Super Bowl vs Pittsburgh are prime examples.

      The increased FI penalties are wrecking the game. They have little to do with keeping players safe… and much to do with revenue… and helping pocket passing quarterbacks.

      The NFL is piggy backing the safety issues with rule changes designed to favor establishment teams and jack up offense… and it stinks.

      1. Well said Brodie…This has been apparent for years now, but it’s sadly getting worse. This past Sunday night game was a JOKE, I can’t recall seeing another game that had that many fuzzy “FI” flags…

    4. F’ING EPIIIIIIC! I love it. I just might go get me a Boone jersey.
      I was mad at him before, but now he’s my favorite 49er right now. Tell Boone. We want FOOTBALL back and all of its barbaric pieces with it!
      Aaahhh oooot oooot ooooot!!!

        1. You got that right. Wondering if a suspension is in the works, or a fine.
          I’m positive the latter is more likely, but with the wounded Rambo in charge. Who knows.
          I can here the words being uttered now..
          NOTHING IS OVER!!!!

      1. Now you understand what Boone brought to the offensive line. Aggressiveness, something Kaepernick said they needed to show more of before he returned….

    5. My only question is who is Boone directing his rant towards.
      The commissioner or the players who filed lawsuits against the nfl because of their injuries. Let’s remember this was just another problem the nfl folded to because of pressure. And look at where the league is now. And some wonder why others are for the due process argument. Set a trend and it always goes overboard.

  22. Wow Grant were you the know it all in school the other kids picked on? “Its just that simple,” no its f***ing not. I stopped playing the have you ever played the game card along time ago it just became redundant. Now that you are going to lecture all of us as well as the players as if you are an expert of some sort you are going to start hearing it again. Defenses in the NFL do a great job at disguising. I am willing to bet 90% of the QB’s in the league would misidentify defensive sets in post game interviews. Thats what film work is for. So i know you ca’nt turn back the clock and play high school or college football [I wonder why you chose not to play when you had the chance] but you can start learning the game by attending 5 or 6 coaching clinics a year also you could take a couple football coaching theory classes at a local JC or college. Lastly i recomend you ask a local college or high quality high school coach if you could monitor there practice. You can learn this game w\o playing but you have to learn it from coaches in the classroom and on the field.

    1. Old Coach… nice rant in pointing out Grant’s biggest flaw(s). I have asked myself the question of whether he was the kid that always got his butt kicked as a (and this is where I will correct your statement) person who came off as thinking he was a know it all.

      And, now it is known why he never gets called on in the press conferences or is afraid to admit he was the one everyone asks who asked that stupid question.

      Remember the apple does not fall far from the tree

    2. Coach, not a bad idea, but I’d pay to see a high school team put a non-contact jersey on Grant at QB and let him run a few pass plays to see how well he makes reads during some scrimmages.

  23. Anyone care to make predictions on inactives and snap count changes? I am curious to see if Cook is in uniform. I think they will dress the same as last week, but am hoping that Davis dresses and that Lemonier/McDonald start to get fewer snaps. Will they look to swap Ward with Cook in the red zone? I doubt it……..

    I am looking for a nice bounce back win, 31-13.
    * I would have won my pool if I didn’t chicken out on the SD pick.

    1. 31-13??? Damn that’s a dn good feeling. Where can I get some of that? Lol

      In can’t see them making any changes either. I’m not sure ward was failing due to packages. I think he was just to small for the length chi and Arz will be bringing. Hes a true slot cover. And obviously lacking the coverage skills for bigger receivers. I would have liked to have seen him switched last week, but it’s the 49ers and their coaching staff. That spells stubbornness

  24. Man, I remember when Grant wrote an article about Kap being a top-5 QB in the NFL… and he wasn’t even a starter yet. Good stuff, man – rich.

    I love how Grant makes it seem like he knows what he is talking about…

    Cover 1 vs Cover 3 … “Simple as that” …

    In the NFL they rarely just drop to a zone or area of the field. Most of the time they are playing “pattern read” zone coverage, or “match-up zones” where they end up taking which ever WR comes to them.

    (ie, if #2 goes out, I look for #1 coming in; if #2 goes vertical over 10 yards, he is mine; if #2 crosses inside, look to help on #1; etc.)

    Someone also wrote a good post the other day in response to Grant’s initial reaction to the whole Cover 1/Cover 3 thing when he pointed out that a good corner is going to squeeze the route of the #1 WR until he gets a vertical threat in his deep third. A good point that the untrained eye may not pick up between true man or zone coverage.

    Then we have Grant playing OC when he says Boldin was the right “read” over Crabtree.

    Again, maybe in his Madden game he can get away with “reading” WRs. But, in the NFL they usually teach QBs to read defenders, not WRs.

    Next time you ask Kap about a “read” ask him if the middle was open or closed.. if it was open, did he get a strong side or weakside roll, or 2-high look, did the underneath defenders indicate man or zone.. did he throw off the flat, curl, or hook defender?

    If you want to sound like an expert, you better start asking better questions. Or, you can just keep playing Madden and winning the Super Bowl every season thinking you know better than everyone else because you can find the open receiver in the red zone.

    LD Out…

  25. This place and column is starting to sound like a Country song. All will be forgotten if we win on Sunday. Although this lost might haunt the team down the line.

  26. Get rid of arrogant crybaby Crabtree and Colin will be a much better QB. That way he will actually be forced to go through his reads in clutch situations.

  27. “As a professional law enforcement organization we try not to offer a personal opinion on incidents we are responsible for investigating,” officer Albert Morales told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “To that end, our investigators continue to diligently conduct follow up investigations on this case. At this time we are not at liberty to share any information that is directly related to this investigation.”

    I told someone yesterday that the police will not share any information on an ongoing investigation. Can we dead the McDonald and Kaep topic?

  28. Good article Grant would be a shame if you didn’t follow it up with some specific questions to Geep or Greg about Kaep not making the correct reads.

  29. I try not to make any judgments about the team until after game 4. Still to early to get a handle on the team.
    A couple of thoughts; Chill, there is lot of season left, this a good team.
    How about “not killing the messenger if you do not agree with the message” You just make yourself small by doing so.
    If you do not like the social aspect of the football world,the arrests etc. then do not comment and moderator will move on to something else.
    Go 9ers ,See ye later!

  30. Anybody have any news on whether dial or tank getting any snaps this week? I know some don’t think so, but this is a HUGE game already.

    Jack… You’ve got access to some top secret sites. Lol Any word?

  31. If the NFL wants to fix the league, it will do 2 things: (1) Hold a rookie symposium in which it informs all rookies of its Zero Tolerance for certain infraction; and (2) remove all padding and helmets.

    Problems solved.

  32. Grant, I’ve always been your biggest fan, but I think you’ve taken this one a bit too far. You have the benefit of instant replay from the comfort of your home, meanwhile Kap has to make decisions at the speed of the game, real time. He may do some of the things you’ve stated, but I think you are taking one singular sample point and extrapolating a world of assertions from it.

    All of that being said, I do think there is a body of information that does in fact indicate that Kap has a problem with read progressions, along with a habit of forcing the ball to Crabs at critical junctures when there are better options available.

    1. When the coaches agree with you Gabbert will replace Kaepernick who will be cut at the end of the season. How will that work?

      I like the idea of Grant presenting his ideas about that last play in the form of a question to the appropriate coach.

  33. An emotional quarterback coached by a very emotional coach, with other issues. He needs to have a mentor to settle him, there, at the game. ( A la Montana,Rice, Lott,Young, helping him.)
    When watching the games, you can see what’s going on in his eyes. I am certainly no prophet but I figured they would lose to the Bears by the middle of the third quarter. Where goes the quarterback, so goes the team. He needed to lead, he just became distraught and frustrated.
    The game had the feel of that terrible Seattle trouncing a couple years back,as well as some of other heart breaking losses. Kap had the same look in the eyes. He went back into the same patterns of calling run plays against a stacked line, telegraphing passes, taking too much time to start the plays, forcing, not reading. It looks like part of the brain turns off, much like when an over emotional teenager is during a frustrating situation; just feeling, not thinking. (Reminds me of… me, when I competed.) What the Niners need in him is a Stone Wall Jackson type of quarterback/leader. What they got right now is a sometimes over emotional “kid”. That’s part Kap’s personality, but that is very much on management not recognizing the issue and helping. (The coach may not recognize it because he has been much the same way.) He can change and still keep intensity. Come on Niners, help the guy. Kap has a great heart and loads of talent . He just needs some of the right coaching between the ears. Settle him and win.

  34. That was what? Kaepernicks 26th NFL game? Would love to read one of Cohns first 30 articles he ever wrote and do some critiquing. Because judging by the garbage he writes now, he must have been god awful back then.

    Kaepernick…. sky is the limit.

    Cohn…. we have seen his best and its terrible.

    1. Hey now Tim
      At least he didnt start this article with “Here is a link to an article my DAD wrote” Pathetic i cant believe that Grant got paid for linking his pop’s articles on a blog that HE was suposed to write for. At least now he writes your own trash instead of linking to his fathers holier that thou garbage
      And before anyone asks. I come here strictly for the commenters who are much more knowlegeble whether its law (big suede) or football (JPN and too many others to name)

  35. The hubris this cohn kid operates with is disgusting.

    He and Kawakami should move in together and be lovers. They would be perfect for each other.

  36. Kaepernick angrily pulled away his shoulder like Young’s hand was made of fire. Young got to Kaepernick. A lot of things get to Kaepernick. Maybe he was upset about Lamarr Houston and Willie Young after the game. How else do you explain Kaepernick not knowing the difference between Cover 3 and Cover 1?”

    Maybe Kaepernick just misspoke? Is that a possibility? Crabtree should have been able to have made that catch if you ask me, and I thought Kaepernick threw a nice pass. It seemed like Crabs studder step caused him to not be there at the perfect moment.

    Dumb article. Its a hit piece by a dumb little kid.

  37. Grant, your analysis of that one play is appreciated. But if I were you, I’d steer away from sideline psychoanalysis. You simply can’t come out of that sounding good.

  38. Sundays perfomance was poor from any angle you see it. To the Q about CK7, i have this to say; I would rather have him spend more time in the video room than in the gym. It is clear that he struglles when a game becomes tight, and i wonder why the 49 organisation dont hirer a QB that can teach CK7 these things, guys like Joe and Young is obvious and should be hired at once. When that is said, the thing that we in 2 drafts have avoided to get a big shutdowm CB is going to haunt us this season.

  39. Grant,

    I have to apologize for some of the responses from my fellow Niner fans. It is embarrassing and it only shows the IQ of the responder. I think your column has some merit. Kap seems to be obsessed with Crabtree. We know that they are buddies. And he has said in many occasions that he is taking that matchup if Crabtree has one on one coverage. He seems to want to go to his buddy on crucial situations. And it has failed every time. I think he needs to rethink his approach. But unfortunately I think pigs will fly before that happens. He is stubborn and he will continue to do as he pleases.

  40. Kaep’N is emotional so is tom Brady and Peyton along with Phillip rivers john easy and Dan Marino. Nothing wrong with that.

    The bigger problem was Jonathan Martin at right tackle and no Brock at cornerback. And no Vernon Davis. Reading coverages is one thing making throws is another.

    You do good a painting a rose colored article. More concerned with your self seconds bias and being a famous writer then breaking down a game. Back to sbnation I go.

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