49ers 31, Chargers 21: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 31-21 preseason win over the Chargers.

QUARTERBACKS: C. Colin Kaepernick played better than he played last week, as we expected. He passed the ball on time and accurately and led one touchdown drive. He also threw mostly short, one-read passes and forced two throws into double-coverage, both of which almost got intercepted. I give his performance a “C,” and I still think the 49ers will cut him this weekend. He didn’t do enough to win the starting job and he’s too expensive to be their backup.

Christian Ponder would be a much cheaper backup. Tonight he ran for two touchdowns and converted a third-and-15 with a 21-yard pass down the middle of the field to tight end Je’Ron Hamm. Ponder finished the preseason with a passer rating of 85.1. Kaepernick’s rating was 67.5.

Jeff Driskel was beyond awful tonight. He posted a passer rating of 0.0 which, I’ve heard, is as bad as it gets. In fact, it’s so bad the Niners probably can cut him and he’ll clear waivers.

RUNNING BACKS: B. Carlos Hyde and Shaun Draughn didn’t play, so Mike Davis was the best running back on the team. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry. The second-best running back was rookie sixth-round pick Kelvin Taylor, who averaged 6.2 per carry. He might make the team at the expense of veteran DuJuan Harris, who averaged just 3.1 yards per carry tonight.

WIDE RECEIVERS: C. Dres Anderson made a catch in traffic while taking a big hit. He might make the final roster. And new slot receiver Jeremy Kerley converted a third down in the first quarter. Other than those two plays, the Niners’ wide receivers hardly showed up. DeAndre Smelter didn’t play. Look for him to end up on the Injured Reserve List.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Bruce Miller made three catches for 19 yards early in the game, and Je’Ron Hamm made four catches for 65 yards late in the game. Hamm probably will make some team’s final roster if he doesn’t make the Niners. Blake Bell made a nice touchdown catch in the red zone which didn’t count because he was flagged for a ticky-tack pass interference penalty.

OFFENSIVE LINE: A. Gave up only one sack. Credit Assistant General Manager Tom Gamble for transforming the 49ers’ offensive line since returning from the Eagles.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B. Struggled stopping Kenneth Farrow, who averaged 9.0 yards per carry, but shut down the rest of San Diego’s backup running backs. Nose tackle Garrison Smith recorded one two tackles for loss and one QB hit. I think he’ll make the roster as the seventh defensive lineman.

LINEBACKERS: B. Inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite gave up a few catches early in the game. He looks slow. The 49ers should give his roster spot to Shayne Skov who looks much quicker and broke up two passes. Another player who should make the team is outside linebacker Marcus Rush. He recorded two sacks and an interception.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: C. Chargers’ starting quarterback Kellen Clemens picked on Niners’ nickel back Will Redmond. He was tentative in coverage. Does not seem ready to play in a regular-season game, as opposed to the other rookie cornerback, Rashard Robinson, who intercepted Chargers’ third-string quarterback Mike Bercovici.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Phil Dawson missed a 47-yard field goal, Bradley Pinion averaged only 41 yards per punt and DeAndrew White gained just six yards on one punt return.

This article has 163 Comments

    1. You really hate Colin don’t you?
      Cut him, one element that makes a good quarter back is his cool.
      Colin, who also was playing with less than the best team the 49ers can field, was not scared or rattled. It is something about fear that can really hurt Blain’s game.
      Have you every been in a football team huddle and seen the fear on someone’s face?

  1. LOL, Cohn, are you completely out of touch? Squidward’s salary is PAID for the year. They save nothing by cutting the clown in favor of Ponder. Outside of embarrassment I suppose.

    1. However what you are missing Robert, is that they risk a repeat of this year by keeping Colin on the roster. He get’s hurt and is unable to perform by April 1st 2017 the Niners are on the hook for even more money, over $14 million. And $14+ million is way, way too much to pay a back up.

      1. That’s a valid point 49reasons given the 49ers want out of Colin’s contract which they crowed about in 2014.

        Grant’s point was different and pointless poo.

  2. those were not mostly short one read passes. they were short passes but that’s what the defense mostly gave him. most of the “read” is done pre-snap so that his decision making is narrowed down to one or two reads post snap.

    and you have to give Kaepernick an “A” for that awesome afro!

    1. Yeah, at least Kap looked semi-competent with the one-read passes. Gotta walk before he can run, I guess. Thought he should have looked for Whalen running out of the slot for that goal line pass. But he stared down his first read and was almost intercepted.
      However, I don’t see Kap being cut. Niners will cut Ponder and stash Driskel in PS.

          1. After losing Bridgewater, they are so desperate, they are looking at Sanchez, and Ponder is ten times better than the Butt Fumbler.

      1. jesus ffing…Christ…most of the passes were NOT one read passes. that’s not how the pre and post snap reads and subsequent progressions work.

  3. Feels right. The Gamble mention begs the question, where do you see Baalke now?

    Were you at the post-game presser? What do you think about how Chip phrased the commentary about his process for watching film, grading the players, and then getting together with “Trent and his guys”?

  4. about Driskel and his passer rating….you can take one snap and throw it into the ground for something like a 37.0 passer rating (obviously if you keep doing that it’s going to go down).

  5. Think the LBs gave up too many runs, so they should probably get a harsher grade and the ST did not play that poorly to earn a D.

    Kaep earned a B, Driskel an F and Ponder an A, so they probably deserve a B-.

              1. Kaep did well. He talked to Boyer, a military man, and had a good conversation. He compromised by kneeling instead of sitting, and applauded at the appropriate times.

                Kaep mentioned he was going to donate a million bucks to help organizations fight for justice and improve the community. That sounds like he is putting money where his mouth is.

                Heck, he even helped up a camera man after he knocked him down along the side lines.

                Eric Reid showed leadership and courage to kneel next to Kaep.

                Kaep played well enough to still be in the competition to start. I hope hat either QB, if told that he would not start, would accept his role gracefully, pledge to help the starter as much as he can, and work hard to help his team win.

              2. Lebron James donated $41 million to send 1100 kids to college…and he did it without a protest, presser, or prodding.

            1. He looked more effective and explosive than Gabbert has at any time this preseason. Also, Chip said in his presser that it was good to see the offense finally doing something to start a game, that that was an area he was pleased with.

      1. Because who besides someone who don’t wanna be completely wrong….again…use passer rating? This was his 2nd preseason game, coming off of surgery and the tired arm issue that made him miss valuable practice time. He looked much better in his 2nd outing than Plain Blain did in his. Kap isn’t getting cut…Sorry…wrong again..

      2. Well, our QB’s were playing behind a backup OL with backup RB’s, TE’s and WR’s. Doesn’t that balance out Grant?

      3. However, I agree with most of your grades. Little confused how you mentioned Harris could lead the team in rushing if Hyde get’s hurt, and then later state he could be cut?

        By the way, Willhoite is absolutely the weakest link on the entire defense. If he beats out Skov, something is wrong!

        1. I like Harris, but it seems Taylor beat him out with his fourth-quarter performance. Didn’t expect that. Davis was the best running back on the team tonight.

          1. Kelvin Taylor is a nice mix of LaMike and Frank Gore, more explosive than Frank, but similar running style, with a quick burst a la James. And apparently he never fumbles. Oh and he has good hands and an elusive first step once he touches the ball.

          2. I have to strongly disagree. Harris has quick hips, and Taylor did OK against the third string. Harris could also be used as a returner. I wanted him and White to be returners so Ellington could be spared to play only WR and have less chance to get injured, but no, and now they need a replacement for Ellington now.

            If anything, maybe Draughn is cut. He is used to that.

            Taylor, by running out of bounds, may be a good candidate for the PS.

          3. So Kap’s performance against backups is to be diminished, resulting in no better than a C grade, but a guy who did next to nothing in preseason wins a roster spot because of his performance in the last quarter of the last preseason game against virtually nobody who will play a minute of NFL football this season. Ok.

              1. To be fair, he was coming off rehab which in turn contributed to a sore arm that cost him valuable reps. C’mon, Grant!

              2. maybe if you were hurt. had 3 surgeries to 3 bodyparts, didnt lift, didnt run and was inactive for all the spring and summer camp and played a half of preseason games you would be rusty and command a 67 qb rating also. Your writing is jibberish dude. Play the sport as most of us have and quit the journalistic bullcrap. Please-:))

            1. So your game grade was cumulative for all preseason games? Seems to me that you were minimizing Kap’s grade for the San Diego game based on the level of competition, while simultaneously ignoring the level of competition for a RB in the same game while saying that his performance in only that game warranted a roster spot in spite of poor or non-performance in the previous games. Maybe I misread.

      4. We get it you don’t like Kaep who was a Harbaugh pick that you pawned off as being a Baalke pick whom you don’t like cause he doesn’t pick people you favor and feel butt hurt.

        Then you credit the OL as being a Gamble doing which was actually a Baalke doing. Everything bad is Baalke doing, everything good will be a Gamble doing. Hahahahaha-through Rose colored glasses thou art lives in.

  6. Interesting Tom Gamble notation. What was his role with the O-line? Being part of AD returning? Signing Beadles? Grabbing Garnett, Theus, Cooper?

      1. I forgot Gamble was hired before the 2015 draft. Could very well be a heavy influence on personnel decisions.

      2. Gamble was promoted the same day AD came back, and I think he had a lot of influence in getting rid of Devey and Pears.

        1. No, B2W, you got the Gamble making Baalke look good part right, but there’s no way that Baalke has ever made anyone look good. Get it right, would you, please?

      3. So that’s what it is? Baalke had nothing to do with any of it?

        I’m not saying that Gamble didn’t have something to do with the improvement in the team’s personnel, but, um, I think that’s his job, isn’t it?

        If you want to give Gamble some of the credit, no problem. If you’re going to say that Baalke had nothing to do with it, then your being silly.

      4. Where’s your proof please, that would go a long way in making your statement justifiable. Let me guess cause my sources informed me…right and my sources say BS

        1. You’re asking for proof from someone who wrote an entire article based on “reading between the lines” of the niners coaches and management. It’s like his bosses said ” hey Grant… We need 1200 words or more of pure conjecture today… And we need it by 5 p.m.”

  7. the thing to remember about evaluating young players is to beware of the “flash”. often the younger players have more physical talent. but on defense and on the offensive line; it’s avoiding the mental mistakes become the most important. because a linebacker, d-lineman can be beaten one on one. sure they get driven back or out of the hole for a 5 yard gain. or a receiver beats a defensive back for a completion. all because they were simply physically beaten. but when you’re of position because you don’t know what’s going on and what your responsibility is…then you give up 10+ yard runs and big receptions because you left a gaping hole in the defense. it’s how a journeyman talent like Tony Jerrod-Eddie stays on the roster while players like Dial, Purcell and Armstead over the last few years and maybe even this year. How a guy like Willhoite who gives ground and is slow to cover passes sticks around while a guy like Skov appears to be mashing it up inside and stuffing the run but will at times still be out of position.

  8. Kap cut by this wkend??? Must u insert a ridiculous sentence or two into each of ur stories? I keep reading tho, ur welcome sir. Not in sd? Wrote this article from ur couch? Atta boy.

  9. Interesting the 49ers web site has no videos of Kaeps passes or runs. In the past with other players this gave insite to what the front office is thinking.

    1. Watch the game and record it yourself. Unless you are implying that Kaep will get cut or traded since no video of him running into the endzone.

      Ponder played 3rd and 4th stringers while Kaep played 2nd stringers, would like to see him play the 2nd stringers before saying he is playing better. Have people forgotten all the people who shinned in the 3rd and 4th during preseason but failed to do anything in our history?

      Need some perspective here. SMH

  10. The problem is how to evaluate performances in games like this.
    These are all bubble players on two bad teams, guys who will barely make a roster or be out of the league. In these situations often performance isn’t as important to coaches as it is to fans.
    For Qb’s they want to know did he go through his progressions correctly, make the right read, get the ball out on time and most importantly protect the football?
    Olinemen did they make the correct block, create movement etc.
    Dline – did they maintain gap integrity and hold the POA. Trust me when I say… making a great play will mean little in a game like this, if a coach sees a gaping hole left by the defender.
    And on and on… without knowing what exactly the coaches are looking for… we don’t know just how well these players graded.

  11. C is a good grade for Kaepernick. He completed mostly short throws and missed on the deeper ones. Anderson made a heck of a grab on one, and he was lucky the DB dropped a ball that hit him in the hands on the goal line right before half.

    For the most part the Kaep we saw tonight was the same average to below average player we saw last season.

    1. “For the most part the Kaep we saw tonight was the same average to below average player we see every season.”

      Fixed it.

  12. Wouldn’t Christian Ponder be a very expensive QB since the 49ers have to pay Colin? That point seems to be a weak argument Grant. I can’t argue with any of the other logical reasons.

    I think the off season suggestion that his locker room was against him was shown to be false in the San Diego game tonight.

    Will Kelly have any say about it? That’s as interesting as the the fate of Colin.

    1. I think his argument is more regarding the risk of having him as backup.
      Should CK be injured throughout the year the niners would then be on the hook for his salary again next year should he not be medically cleared by April first per my understanding.
      And if the niners find Ponder and CK to be close in their evaluations he may not be worth the risk. Especially if they believe he is a backup qb… the last thing teams want is a backup qb that causes a distraction… see Tim Tebow.

      1. Only if he’s injured and not healed by April 1st (?).

        The only certain cost to keeping CK this year is $2M in game day roster bonuses.

  13. From a civil right point of view I think it’s significant that Colin didn’t sit alone. He was on one knee with Eric Reid kneeling beside him, and other team mates crowding around him.

    Oh, the story that he would commit a NFL uniform violation by scrapping the American flag off his helmet was hot air from anonymous.

  14. Cut Kaep. He has become too much of a distraction. It’s like going to a concert and hearing the main attraction talk politics instead of playing and singing. You get to a point where you want to scream, “Shut up already and play!”

    Both Gabbert and Ponder are serviceable, and both have wheels. Good choices. And I really like that Jeff Driskell kid. He didn’t play well against SD, but he is raw with lots of upside. It could still be a very interesting season :)

  15. That report from anonymous that Colin would commit a NFL uniform violation turned out to be hot air.

    I think it’s significant that Colin didn’t sit alone on the bench, but was on one knee with team mates packed around him, and Eric Reid on one knee beside him. There were a lot of hugs tonight too for a fourth preseason game. Could it be that they like him, and that they expect him to be cut and black balled?

    1. Sorry for the duplicate. The web site or my browser eat the first one, I rewrote it, and then the first one was regurgitated.

  16. Grant… Credit Tom Gamble? Im sorry but in my opinion, that is completely false. Those were all Balkee picks. The one thing he has been doing since hes been here is building the two lines. And when its a success, you try to give the credit elsewhere. Thats a slap in the face. Iknow you don’t like the man but c’om on man. In that case it was Balkee who was running the draft when scott was here. Unbelievable.

    1. Considering Baalke re-signed Devey., I truly believe that Baalke got slapped down and the draft process was more by consensus.

      I think the first 2 picks were Chip Kelly picks, and the next 2 were Baalke all the way. Gamble could easily have had a hand in that bucket, too.

      1. Hey seb, hows it going… I see how you can feel that way because of the way you feel about balkee. But there is no way gamble was single-handedly responsible for those picks. He might have signed devey and pears, but he also singed, and/or drafted everyone else on both lines.. Just because gamble in in the house doesn’t give people the right to assume they were his responsibility, just because the picks look good.

        1. You guys post so much with feeling about the people you dont like. You refuse to look at whats actually going on. If u guys dont like a person, like balkee or kaep, they get all your negatives, but rarely your positives. Case in point, you bring up devey! Grannt brings up the line being a positive and shoots that credit to gamble. It’s biased thinking. But hey they are you guy’s thoughts. I just don’t agree

          1. Steele, fine TY, hope you are getting excited about this upcoming season. Looks like Chip has fixed the offensive malaise.

            I said that it went from Baalke being the gorilla in the room to it becoming a process of consensus. Gamble had his say, but Chip did too.

            In other posts, I mentioned Harris, Skov and Garrison Smith. I loved how Rush made plays, even though he let the RB escape contain for a 44 yard run.

            I try to stay positive, but like in the newspapers, bad news sells. I am just happy that Kaep is still on the team, but according to Grant, not for long.

            Hope to see more of your posts, and GO NINERS!!!!!!

    2. Look at the OL Baalke drafted when Gamble was in Philly. Marcus Martin. Brandon Thomas. Baalke was lost without Gamble.

      1. But look at the line he already has. Kilgore, staley, davis, trent, tiller. He wasn’t lost, he just missed. All, and might i say it again, ALL GM’s miss.

              1. You mentioned martin and Thomas. Thomas was a flyer,martin is 20, thrust into the wrong position because of injury. Im not sold that hes a bust yet.

              2. Baalke acquired zero good OL when Gamble was in Philly. He didn’t scout the position well, nor did he prioritize it. Gamble built it up as soon as he returned to SF.

          1. So to put the win only on gamble is irresponsible. Im not saying they didn’t collaborate, but you are. Your giving the credit to gamble, wich is undeserving.

              1. Trent deserves it. Just like you scold him for all the wrongs, he gets the praise for the rights. Because if my memory serves me correctly, that man quoted, “I run the draft room”. So unless you were in there and heard gamble say pick these certain guys, your giving credit to the wrong person. But hey its your opinion.

              2. Gamble has the eye for OL, not Baalke.

                Gamble eyes offense, Baalke has eyes for defense. Could be a good combo if you can’t find a GM that can do both….

              3. Gamble has eyes for both. He also built up the Niners DL as soon as he returned to the organization.

              4. Just one question, what did gamble do so special in philly? What did his line look like there? Serious question because I have no idea

              5. What’s ridiculous is giving Baalke credit for a position he can’t scout and doesn’t prioritize.

              6. Gamble has eyes for both.

                Remind me again why they need Baalke? He’s a goner, sooner rather later….

              7. The niners dline was already built, and he kept adding to that dline. Gamble gets 0 credit for that. In my opinion

              8. It was not built at all. It had Quinton Dial and Glenn Dorsey. Gamble came back and made Baalke spend back-to-back first-round picks on DL.

              9. He has built this team from both lines on out. How can you open your mouth to say a man that got his chops in scouting not scout his favorite two spots.

              10. Gamble built this team from both lines out. Baalke neglected the lines when Gamble was in Philly.

              11. “Gamble made balke draft them”.. Once again it was Balkee who stated, “i run the draft room”. Your selling dreams grant. Gamble hasn’t made balkee do anything.

              12. All you have to do is look at the players Baalke drafted when Gamble wasn’t here to see Gamble’s effect. Baalke was lost without him. Watch who officially will be running this team in a few months.

              13. It had Quinton Dial and Glenn Dorey…… Justin Smith, mcdonald, aldon, ian Williams, tje, mike purcell, Arik, Buckner… He has built this line. Dorsey was his lone free agent pick up. So unless gamble was calling him from philly, then once again give credit to the non gm, or the guy not running the draft room

              14. Gamble was with the organization when they got Williams, Smith, McDonald and TJE. Baalke let Smith and McDonald get old and didn’t have replacements ready.

              15. Balkee didn’t neglect the line….. The lines were considered the strength until last year. The front 7 was the best and the oline was top 5. So what did he do? Started addressing the real problem areas, the secondary and the skill positions. He didn’t neglect either line. If gamble wanted to help, he should have given input on the said skill positions. Then you might have a point

              16. Grant,

                I see where you’re going and you’re right. Why do you credit Gamble for Davis coming back?

              17. Smith was old and dial was supposed to be the replacement, and McDonald was supposed to be beating women. He wasn’t old. Just stupid. And injuries did the rest. Without injuries and stupidity McDonald, Williams and Dial would be the starters. But because of injuries we got 2 bad as** And balkee was the orchestrator of that, not gamble

              18. Steele,

                Baalke’s draft picks on the oline were terrible when Gamble wasn’t in the building.

                My only question is how the heck did he let Baalke bring in Pears and Devey?

              19. Jack, how’s it going? You and Grant keep saying the same thing, so i concede… His oline picks were horrible. I just went to look. But in saying that, this team has good young talent and a big percentage goes to balkee.Grant, my bad you win this oline argument. Good job sir.

              20. Let’s not forget that there were some that just hated the Armstead pick, right, Grant?

                Now, you’re using that pick as proof that anything good happening is Gamble and has nothing to do with Baalke. OK, sure. Funny.

              21. Regardless of my draft grades, the effort to rebuild the lines clearly was initiated by Gamble.

              22. Steele,

                I agree that Baalke has done a better job than what many will give him credit for. It’s not an all or nothing scenario.

              23. I agree Hammer. Baalke gets too much blame for the 49ers downfall the past 3 years. The only blame I put on him is the drafting and free agent acquisitions at the WR & QB positions since 2010.

  17. Is there no trade value for Kaep? He seemed competent in the game yesterday. I’d think a team like the Vikings might want him or maybe Miami, New Orleans, or Atlanta might want him for insurance.

    1. Kaep has 0 trade value with his stance now. most GMs consider him poison and no fan base wants him. Obtaining Kaep would be a PR disaster for another team.

    2. Not with his civil rights causes and his contract. Who want’s to deal with meaningful civil rights and the April Fools day clause?

  18. Our QB in the first half didn’t let me down, in fact he qualified the biggest complaint I have with the guy. Mental. On the play he had to dive for the first down, he already had the first down and for some unknown reason ran back across the LOS and had to scramble and dive for the first down. On another play he handed off and as he jogged toward the sideline the play had broken down and it almost ran up his butt. He was unaware of that. He did nothing to gain the starting job maybe enough to stay.

    Driskel is very raw and it showed. Practice squad. Still like the potential.

    Ponder has made a case to stay or find a job elsewhere. I am beginning to like this guy. Not afraid to throw the ball down field and has the touch to throw the short pass and can run.

    Taylor played well – practice squad

    I wasn’t a big Mike Davis fan but he is quickly winning me over. Just hang on to the ball.

    Defense as a whole all preseason long seems to have a problem with getting off the field.

      1. I agree. Its sad because i still say the qb competition wasn’t fair. Kaep should have gotten to start with the 1’s in the 3rd game. The pack kept the ball so long he wasn’t able to fully get on the field. If he was afforded the time with the 1’s im pretty sure he would have done much better. He was hurt and it cost him. But he still should have gotten to start hame 3

    1. That play where he did not see the RB did not bother me at all. Kaep was thinking he was out of the play, and the last thing in the world that I wanted him to do was to start lead blocking in a preseason game.

      Kaep, when running sideways, was just trying to make more yards, and his second effort gave them the first down. If they had failed to convert, you would have a point, but Kaep made the first down, so your complaint falls on deaf ears.

      1. Stopped the clock by running out of bounds. Yes the Niners did take a timeout but only because the stripes missed the first down play and that gave time for a review.

      2. Seb it has nothing to do with him being a lead blocker, it has everything to do with having your mind on the play/game. I don’t want him blocking either, I just want his mind on the present.

        I believe you are wrong he already had the first down and he ran backwards and lost it, then had to making that diving leap to keep from looking like a bone head. Just because he makes the first down does not excuse the mistake.

  19. Grant, can you please explain the relevance of Ponder being cheaper? Kaepernick’s contract is guaranteed. Adding any other player in his place is an additional expense.

    Who gets cut when Aaron Lynch returns? I hope it is not any of the OLB you have listed.

  20. Overall a typical final preseason game featuring a bunch of players who will be forced to find a new career path in a couple of days.

    Kap looked better, but still not anything resembling a good starting QB. Anybody else notice that for the most of the half the offense wasn’t running with much tempo? It was the same when Kap entered last week. Things just seemed to slow down. I’m not sure if that is by design or if Kap isn’t able to get things rolling that quickly. Whatever the case I don’t see him getting cut, but Gabbert will be the starter.

    When he was drafted, I figured Driskel would wind up as PS player, and that appears to be the best place for him. He’s got talent but needs a lot of development. I can’t see anybody claiming him, but even if they did it would be no big loss considering how long it’s going to take until this kid is ready to play at a reasonably competent level.

    Slow the roll on Ponder. He’s had numerous chances and he’s the same guy he’s always been. I’d be very surprised if they keep him and I doubt he gets much action on the FA market. Maybe somebody will bring him in as a vet backup, but everybody knows what Ponder is capable of which is why he was sitting on the couch until the second week of TC.

    Some young players I’ve been really impressed with this preseason:

    Mike Davis – amazing turnaround from the sluggish overweight RB we saw last season
    Trent Brown – looks like one in the success ledger for Baalke
    Marcus Rush – Old Coach loved this guy and he’s had a great camp. Great story.
    Rashard Robinson – Has played aggressively and has a salty nature to his game.
    Dres Anderson – Not a lot of opportunities but has made the most of the ones he’s had.

  21. Grant, I’d love to see a piece (once the roster cuts across the league have been made) on who you think the 49ers should pick up, especially at WR. There should be some salary cap casualties that can really help us.

  22. Who they keep at QB will intimate where the FO invisions this team right now. If they keep Ponder and cut Kaepernick, it’s because they think they can win now and the rebuild is over. Gabbert will get the long extension unless his play this season underminds that approach.
    If the team keeps Kaepernick, the FO still is rebuilding and are doing so with a QB they feel can lead the young team in the future. Perhaps they see his protest as a step in the direction of maturity. He has found something he is passionate about and has stood in the face of adversity.
    The third option here is to bring in Sanchez, trade Ponder, and have a viable QB as a backup who already knows Chip’s system. The entire organization is a train wreck, but with the Broncos interested in shopping Sanchez and SF interested in shopping Kaepernick and Miller, I think you’ll see a trade before you see a cut.

  23. It’s an interesting take. A C for a QB who coming into yesterday’s game had 6 throws in the preseason. Hadn’t played in 9 months and was coming off of three surgeries.
    He came in and methodically drove them down the field. 85 yards for a score.

    Kaepernick completed short passes which he supposedly can’t do. A sensationalist that wants to create controversy for blog hits will diminish those accomplishments and describe those passes as, “one read passes”.

    Here is a more realistic assessment. Kaepernick was 4-4 converting 2nd downs into 1st downs. He was 6-7 on third down conversions. One of those coming on a 4th down. So in reality he was 5-7 3rd down conversions. He moved the chains. Until the last set of downs which almost resulted in a TD on a backshoulder pass had the receiver kept his feet inbounds. Kaep was 11-15 at that point.

    In case you can’t count, that’s 73%. And he was the leading rusher on the team.

    We know that doesn’t fit your agenda. Last night Kaep looked like the best QB on the team. While he did almost throw an INT, it was his overthrow of Blake Bell that I bet he wishes he had back. Had I think Kaep deserved a solid B. Had he hit Blake Bell for the score, he would have had a B+. That is more honest, but I guess if you write it up that way, it doesn’t create blog hits….

    1. Kaepernick almost threw two picks, not one. And his passer rating was 76. And he was playing against players who won’t be in the NFL tomorrow. What did he really prove?

      1. Enlighten us. Who were his offensive linemen and the star quality receivers he was throwing to? See it goes both ways. He looked good last night and quite honestly surprised everyone that watched him play including me.

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