Before Cam Newton Craziness broke out all over the NFL Combine today, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, another quarterback with freakish skills but a significantly lower profile, addressed the media.
Speaking before, oh, 17,000 fewer tape recorders than Newton, the rifled-armed Kaepernick, a former pitcher with a 94-mile-per-hour fastball, said he really hasn’t unleashed his heater on a football field since his sophomore season.
“Going into my junior, senior year I really started to develop the idea of throwing the ball so our receivers could make plays after they catch it,” the 6-5, 225-pound Kaepernick said. “So if I give them an easier ball to catch, they can catch it, get down the field and make plays. As opposed to, in the past, I just threw it as hard as I could and tried to put it on the spot where they might have to fight the ball a little bit to catch it.”
The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock believes Kaepernick is a second-round prospect after his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl. Like others, however, Mayock cautioned during a national conference call last week that the ultra-talented Kaepernick is a project NFL teams won’t be able to rush on the field.
The engaging Kaepernick, who sported a perma-grin at the podium, didn’t agree with that assessment today. But he did so very politely.
“I think during the Senior Bowl week I really showed how quickly I could pick up an NFL offense,” he said. “Drop back. Read coverage. Do all the things an NFL team will ask of me. But if it comes down to it and that’s what a team drafts me for (develop as a backup), I’ll be more than happy to do that for them.”
Kaepernick acknowledged that he’s trying to shorten his delivery – his long windup is one reason he’s earned the project label. But, with a 79 ½-inch wing span, he said there’s only so much shortening he can do.
“I’m definitely trying to quicken it up a little bit,” Kaepernick said. “At the same time, part of that comes from my wing span. I have very long arms.”
• My wife would be horrified, but Texas A&M’s Von Miller seemed pleased by the fact that he’s gained nine pounds since his weigh-in at the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24.
Today, Miller, all 246 pounds of him, credited his recent weight gain to working out and eating well.
Had NFL teams advised him to put on some pounds?
Miller didn’t really answer the question, but he did offer a nice quote.
“I just want to be the best football player I can be,” Miller said. “I want to get bigger, stronger and faster. And I guess I got a little bit bigger.”