Colin Kaepernick needs to pick up the pace

This is my Thursday column.

This is not a criticism of Colin Kaepernick.

Yes, he has completed only five passes so far in the preseason. No, he hasn’t played well. But just about every time he drops back to pass he gets swarmed. The offensive line has been bad. The Niners have tried three different players at right guard already and there’s still more than a week before the regular season.

The pass protection probably won’t be good any time soon, so Kaepernick probably won’t have much time to throw. We understand his struggles. But he is not a helpless victim. There’s something he can do, something he must do to survive and succeed as a pocket passer.

Kaepernick must get rid of the ball fast. I’m talking one Mississippi, two Mississippi, throw. That’s how the best quarterbacks make up for shaky offensive lines.

Take Peyton Manning. He plays behind a shaky offensive line. So last season he got rid of the ball in 2.22 seconds on average. Sacked only 17 times. Tom Brady took 2.34 seconds to throw on average in 2014. Sacked only 21 times. Ben Roethlisberger — 2.43 seconds. Sacked 33 times.

Colin Kaepernick — 2.68 seconds. Sacked 52 times. He tends to hold the ball a beat too long, then tries to make up for waiting by throwing hard. Sometimes waiting leads to sacks that shouldn’t happen.

This preseason, Kaepernick has been holding the ball more than a few beats too long. On average, he has taken 3.34 seconds to throw, slowest in the NFL — even slower than Tim Tebow, who’s taking 3.17 seconds to throw on average. You could count how long Kaepernick holds the ball in elephant years.

Here’s what’s ironic: New offensive coordinator Geep Chryst designed the new passing game to feature quick throws. It’s all about giving the quarterback a fast, easy solution to pressure.

Watch backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert operate Chryst’s system. Gabbert has been throwing on time and in rhythm, taking an average of 2.30 seconds to get rid of the ball. And he has completed 23 of 28 passes. And his passer rating is 108.8. Kaepernick’s is 47.0.

I’m not saying Gabbert is better than Kaepernick — I’m saying Gabbert has the right idea for this scheme and this offensive line.

And Kaepernick is still wrestling with the idea. During plays you can see him hesitate. Instead of throwing with anticipation, he’s waiting for receivers to get open, but he no longer has time to do that. So he ends up scrambling, throwing the ball away or getting sacked when he should already have completed a pass.

I’ll give you a couple examples. First, from the first series of the first preseason game against the Houston Texans. It was third-and-7. Kaepernick was in the shotgun. The center snapped the ball, and Kaepernick took a quick three-step drop.

He was staring at Anquan Boldin, who broke to the inside on a slant route just as Kaepernick reached the top of his drop. If Kaepernick had thrown the ball to Boldin in rhythm and on time, the pass would have been an easy completion, an easy first down.

But Kaepernick started scrambling to his left. Why? There was no pressure. Then he scrambled back to his right and threw the ball away after holding it for eight-and-a-half seconds.

Second example, from the second series of the second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. It was second-and-6. Kaepernick was in the shotgun. The center snapped the ball, and Kaepernick took a quick three-step drop.

He was staring at Quinton Patton, who broke to the inside on a curl route just as Kaepernick reached the top of his drop. If Kaepernick had thrown the ball to Patton in rhythm and on time, the pass probably would have been complete.

But Kaepernick pump-faked instead of throwing. Then he got sacked by Randy Gregory.

Third example, from the fifth series of the second preseason game against the Denver Broncos. It was first-and-5. Kaepernick was in the shotgun. The center snapped the ball, and this time Kaepernick took a five-step drop.

He was staring at Boldin, who was running a curl route near the left hashes and was covered. Down the left sideline, Vernon Davis was running a wheel route and was not covered — he was wide open. Kaepernick probably saw him out of his peripheral vision, and if he didn’t see him he probably knew he was open based on the coverage. He should have known.

Kaepernick didn’t throw to Davis. Kaepernick didn’t throw to anyone. He scrambled and gained 34 yards.

Which was good, but if he had thrown the ball to Davis in rhythm and on time he probably would have scored a touchdown. It is better to be a throwing quarterback than a running quarterback. Ask Steve Young.

Kaepernick always has been reinforced to hold the ball in the pocket. Holding the ball allows him to use his legs and keep dead plays alive.

But the 49ers offensive line won’t let him to play like that anymore. He’ll get killed if he keeps playing like that. He must play more like Gabbert. And isn’t that ironic?

Grant Cohn writes sports column and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

This article has 309 Comments

  1. I would love to see Kaepernick be the first to throw for three grand through the air and another grand on the ground….

      1. No he does not have the abilities for that…he could make the rushing…maybe…but never make that many passing yards, ridiculous. He was a JH experiment that did not work, think it would take two seasons to fix his passing.

        1. Chris, Kaepernick could never make that many passing yards? 3 thousand? Kaepernick threw for over 3,000 yards already this past season…. and the season before that too.

          You are trying to be a hater so hard….

        2. Ummm…haven’t he thrown for over 3000 yards for each of the last TWO years? The hate on this site is unbearable…smdh

        3. “……but never make that many passing yards, ridiculous.”
          What do you form your opinions on, how handsome that guy in the mirror is? Why in the world would you make that assertion without having any clue of what he’s already done and might be capable of?
          ‘Ridiculous’ indeed.

          1. Yes, I really did stick my foot my mouth on this, one. Dead wrong on that… Reacted without thinking. All true, except I’m not a hater…just a serious doubter.

            I don’t think he will ever be better than an average QB with all his ability. New system yes…but I don’t see being able to consistently read the field and make smart accurate throws with touch…his athletic abilities bail him out…he’s hot or cold and I don’t think he will ever rise to the top third…hope I’m wrong though. Again not a hater, just a doubter. Apologies for having the stats wrong….

            1. Why not just watch how Kaepernick’s career unfolds instead of jumping on the “he can’t do it” bandwagon with the other six riders?

              1. There’s a lot more than that. It’s not a bandwagon… That is a playground argument. Have watched this team since the 70s…have watched Collin since drafted…would it surprise you that I was a Smith supporter? But no…that’s not the reason I’m not a big fan of CK. He has not…and I believe will not live up to expectations. His physical talent bails him out….but it will not carry him for a career. I would really like for him to succeed.

        4. As the others have said, he has done it (pass for more than 3K in the last two years. The problem is when they get going he gets sacked, we get penalized, or some dropped ball. If the niners can reduce that by half then, then drives won’t stall and either more field goals or TD’s will result.

          Do you actually watch the game, if you say yes, then do you really understand the game?

    1. If wishes were horses….then dreamers would ride. I agree but unless CK has a dramatic turn around, it won’t happen, too bad for him this major team rebuilding.

    2. Oops…computer error…

      If wishes were horses….then dreamers would ride. I agree but unless CK has a dramatic turn around, it won’t happen, too bad for him this major team rebuilding.

    3. Kap was pretty close those stats last season. In fact, he threw and ran for more than 4000 yards total. I think you should revise your hopes to 4000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing.

      This article does some things well and others lazily. Kap was locked in to the plays he was assigned. We don’t know if that included ignoring the plays he didn’t make, which sounds crazy except for the fact that Tomsula suggested as much in saying Kap was limited by not being able to make audibles. Should he have thrown those guys open? Undoubtedly yes. But I think there is a bigger picture here and Kap haters should take a shower.

    4. And until the Season actually starts we won’t know if Kaep has improved in the Off-season or not.

      So I hold Judgment until then.

      But I have to admit Jr. brings up some informative examples. I hope that’s not the case, we’ll see.

    5. The quick throwing West Coast offense takes 1 year to learn, 3 to become proficient at.
      Kap’s pushing the bad side of 30…If a QB can’t go through progressions quickly (meaning even after the reads being accurate & hitting your 2nd or 3rd option in stride for YAK yards-which is how Rice and Taylor got large chunks of yardage & ideally the way WCO works) then it’s a waste of time teaching it…Hire M. Shannahan, and Mike Holmgren as Assistants to the President/Consultants to assess our needs and compile a list of bright, young college coaches (Univ. of Wash.) or other West Coast minded experts…An article of what a knowledgeable coach can bring in:

    6. Kaep has has this problem of not being able to visualize the field in seconds and not minutes, this has been the same problem since the superbowl run. His brain can’t go any faster. If he was as good a batter as he was a pitcher then he would have promise at higher processing speeds, he just doesn’t have that in him. All his hard work cant make his brain faster. He probably needs to try a better brain diet and stay off the sugars.

  2. Yep, agree with this. Its been a bugbear for him since he became the starter. Needs to see the guy open rather than anticipate the guy getting open. He misses what should be fairly easy completions as a result, and makes life harder on his OL than it needs to be.

  3. He can’t see anybody because he’s Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman.

    Seriously. This was KAEP from last year. That one beat is what throws everything off. And if you don’t believe one beat can mess things up, go watch the movie WHIPLASH that was nominated for an Oscar that last year.
    Maybe that’s what KAEP needs to do — instead of seeing Kurt Warner he needs that actor JK Simmons to be the meanest SOB ever and get him to throw and read in rhythmn.

    Blaine Gabbert is going to start at some point. Just watch, and that’s not an endorsement of Blaine but a condemnation of KAEP.

    But hey KAEP, go prove us wrong, not by running for 40 yards on another broken play, but by making the throw and read.

  4. Dan Marino is the prototypical quick release QB. Its not just mechanics He sees how plays develop a tic sooner, and his brain wastes no time telling his arm to throw.

    And his feet are in the right place, so he doesn’t have to wait an extra tick to launch the ball. Montana had superb feet.

    Its not fair to ask Colin to be Dan Marino, but he is making progress. Compare CK’s college throwing motion to his throws today. There’s been alot of improvement. What’s less clear is his vision and ability to quickly diagnose the defense.

    Early in Montana’s career, BW designed plays so most of the progression reads were on the same side of the field, sometimes with an emergency check down to a back going to the other side of the field. This helped the young Montana become a progression QB without having to have his head on a swivel as he scanned his 2nd and 3rd options.

    Once Montana became a progression quarterback by force of habit, Walsh expanded progression patterns both sides of the field… and he was deadly.

    It might help if Chryst does the same thing. Roll Colin out, give him receiver options with all vertical progressions, with a COL (come open late) option on the opposite side.

    It wouldn’t be a panacea. Rolling out cuts the field in half, making life simple for the defense. But its a nice start.

    1. A silver lining to having a tall quarterback with a slow-ish release… DBs are so eager to read the quarterback’s motion, they tend to jump on designed pump fakes and shoulder feigns. The tall quarterback can “steer” defensive backs with his shoulders to create openings. Colin’s a long way from getting this down, but I’m a possibilities guy.

    2. Kaep can roll out, draw the defense to that side, then throw the ball back to the other side to a wide open RB for an explosion play.
      His arm is plenty strong enough to do it and he has done it several times in a game.

      1. Seb —

        Basically everything your write supports the fact that KAEP is not a pocket passer, when you have to do crazy gimmick plays to succeed. KAEP is not the first QB that was a great athlete. No team can be successful with a QB who can’t be coached into a system, because the other 11 players don’t know what he is going to do.

        He’s a slow to read and the throw. He has a big wind-up, he has to fire the pass to make up for it, which means he can’t make other passes. All that work with Kurt Warner in the offense will mean nothing because he’s already reverting to old habits of just running.

        1. He does not need to be only a pocket passer to succeed. He has also played in 2 NFCCGs and a Super Bowl, so it does not matter if he is labeled a pocket passer or not.

          1. He rode the back of Frank Gore and a stout defense in the first game against ATL.
            In the SEA game he throw a critical picks in the 4th quarter.

            BTW, Alex Smith got to the NFCCG too, and would have made it to the SB if Kyle Williams didn’t fumble twice. Do you think he’s good enough?

            The name of the game is to get better, improve. The league has already caught up to him. Running QBs don’t last in this league. Look at RG3.

            What makes Wilson dangerous is that he can be accurate and he throws the ball when he scrambles.

            1. Kap was 16/21 for 233 yards and a TD with a 127.7 Rating and a 94.8 QBR, but yeah he rode the back of Frank Gore and a defense that gave up 24 points. This revisionist history is typical of your pitiful debate skills Fan77.

              “BTW, Alex Smith got to the NFCCG too, and would have made it to the SB if Kyle Williams didn’t fumble twice.”

              No excuses for Kap right, but when It’s Alex Smith, it’s someone else’s fault.

              BTW your hero Russell Wilson threw 4 picks in the NFC Championship game.

              I don’t really want to be in this discussion having to defend Kap, but you spout so much BS it’s impossible to stay away.

              1. Spot on Grimey – it’s stunning the level of hate and ridicule, when Kaep has performed so well so often. Compare him over the last 3 years with regards to outcome against Manning, Brees, well, pick’em. Truth is because the 49ers have not built a team as strong as Seattle, the crybaby fan segment gets all whiny about mistakes that are simply part of the game.

                Can Kaep improve? HeII yes. Does the team have bigger problems? HeII yes.

                I like Tomsula, Geep seems to have a plan that they were smart to keep to themselves in the preseason, and with all the bluster about Arizona and St Louis, the 49ers, with far more new players look better than either of these divisional foes. Seattle? Well, a guy can always hope.

              2. In the 2nd quarter look at how many times they throw the ball. They ran it practically everytime for go ahead TD.

                Now I’m quoting Grant!

        2. JH forced Kaep to be only a pocket passer, and he was sacked 52 times. It is akin to putting an Abrams tank in a pit. What a waste of talent.

    3. Great thought. Had not heard about the progressions being on the same side of the field. But yes, roll him out and simplify it.

      In Bill Walsh “A Football Life” I was struck about the “footwork, footwork, footwork” and it being the key to all timing, especially which routes are timed to 3, 5,and 7 step drops.

      Loved Ronnie Lott’s story of BW calling him over to look at Joe’s feet as he dropped back and passed. Why? Because they were “beautiful” per BW.

      Fast forward to today. Kap’s foot work seems inconsistent at best, and I doubt he is timing anything using his feet. As a result, late throws made up for partially with arm strength.

      1. his footwork is always going to be geared to run, not pass. that’s just how it is.

        you can’t make a living rolling out in the NFL. NFL defenses are too good to only be playing half the field.

        and while Kaep’s success rate throwing across the field may be higher than most, it’s still a low % throw for him.

        Kaep should keep it simple, do what he does best, & run every chance he gets. if the defense is disciplined like the Rams, not much you can do. but if they are undisciplined like the Packers…

    4. This is a great point. One of the most under reported stories of the last few years is how poorly Kap has been coached.

      Everyone showered Harbaugh with praise as a QB guru but he and his staff did very little to develop Kap’s skills, and compared to Bill Walsh’s grooming of Montana, Kap was practically sabotaged by Harbaugh.

      Kap needs to get better, but his coaches need to help him get better, and the fact that after three years in the NFL he was still standing fully upright in the pocket without a proper base is just one example of how poorly coached he was.

  5. Spot on, Grant. People love to make excuses about the porous o-line and make no mistake, I’m well aware how putrid that right side looks right now. But as you mentioned, plenty of great QBs have played behind poor o-lines (Aaron Rodgers also comes to mind) and made it happen. You have to play with anticipation, quick release, and know where you’re going with the ball. It’s like Kaepernick knows the dogs are coming for him and still drops back as if the defense was only rushing 3. It’s baffling.

    What I’ve seen in the last two preseason games is exactly what I saw all last season.

    Grant, do you agree that between the skiddishness, inability to throw receivers open, etc. that Kaepernick is looking an awful lot like Alex Smith of 2005-2009? It’s almost eerie.

    1. Nonsense. Every QB in the league needs solid pass protection. The good ones need it to a lesser agree, but none of them play well with a bottom 5 OL. A couple years back, the Patriots OL started the season horribly, and if you all remember, Tom was off to one the worst starts of his career. It wasn’t until the OL started protecting better, around week 5-6, that Brady was back to playing well.

        1. Colin is obviously struggling because he is not comfortable wih his OL protection. He is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a gun shy QB right now and has been for the better part of a year. If the OL is as bad as I think it is, Kap should ask for a trade because we are watching a classic case of poor OL play ruining a QB’s confidence which is leading towards ruining his promising career. What a shame.

          1. No. Do not even think of it. The O line will improve with continuity and cohesion. Kaep will be fine.
            I want Kaep to earn at least 2 more rings and retire as a Niner. I want Kaep to be a life long Niner.

  6. Truth, he does hold the ball too long. Its a good insight that he has to see the reciever open. I think of all his great plays, he sees the reciever and then rockets the ball in there. And on the bad plays he sees the reciever open as does Sherman. Is this something he can fix? I wonder what the difference between what he’s doing and what other QB’s are doing? I used hope for improvement but it seems like I am finally seeing him for what he is. He’s great when plays break down but seeing the field quickly is tough for him. I actually think R Wilson isn’t much different.

    One question, how long did Manning hold the ball when he was sacked 3 times this game?

  7. I don’t know what people expect. He’s never going to be an elite pocket passer. Nobody has ever expected that from him except after the Super Bowl loss. Even as the biggest Colin Kaepernick fan I know he just doesn’t have the natural instincts and ability to be an elite pocket passer. However I am a firm believer that he is fully capable of being the quarterback on a Super Bowl winning team.

    Part of the biggest reason I am a Colin Kaepernick fan is because he is the best 49ers QB since HOF Steve Young. The bottom line is this guy gives us the best chance to win a super bowl. It’s ridiculous how much people complain about Kapernick! Niner faithful do you not remember the Tim Ratay’s and Shaun Hill’s we had! How about Alex Smith! He was more frustrating than Kaepernick will ever be.

    It’s just ridiculous to expect Kapernick to get to the level of Rodgers, Manning, Brady, or Luck he’s not that type of player never has been, never has wanted to be, and never will.

    1. Some will start throwing out names like Smith and Grants boy Jeff Garcia, but you’re right he does give us a chance with a few small changes and smart coaching. I think it drives me crazy when a mediocre QB like Dilfer talks so much trash about current QB’s.

      The great QB’s get the ball out really quick to nullify the pass rush even with bad lines. It takes more than 2 seconds to get a sack unless the coverage is completely blown and someone has a free lane. I am sure the coaching staff sees it, lets see what they do with it.

    2. people were expecting him to become semi-competent as a passing QB at the NFL level. but yes, a lot of this was given.

      almost every strong-arm qb’s has poor anticipation, touch, & ball placement, as they spend their entire lives rifling passes in at the last minute.

      almost every running qb has a poor throwing base & poor pocket mobility b/c their footwork is conditioned for running. b/c they can run, they aren’t forced to read defenses, instead they take the easy way out and run.

      garcia was probably a better version of what kaep is.

      and sure kaep can win a Super Bowl with a top 8 d, a top 8 run game, & a top 8 oline… but a lot of QB’s can win with those things. Trent Dilfer can win with that. Brad Johnson can win with that. even though he did nothing vs the Giants, if it wasn’t for Kyle Williams, even Alex Smith could have won with that.

      dude just misses way too many gimme NFL throws that most NFL passers can make.

      he’s way more frustrating than Smith, b/c he has at least 2x more talent than Smith & a team that should have won a Super Bowl given the talent on the team. all they needed was a slight upgrade over Smith & Kaep couldn’t even give them that.

  8. Good write up Grant.
    Kaep’ hesitation may eventually cost him his job. I know that is a bold and negative statement, but every NFL QB worth his weight in gold must anticipate where his WR’s are going to be a tick before they throw.

    The one silver-lining (if there is one) is that not every QB that excels at releasing the ball a tick early in anticipation wins Super Bowls.
    Dan Fouts (great anticipation) None.
    Payton Manning (top 2 QB in modern era) One ring.
    Dan Marino (probably fastest release ever) None.

    Guess I’m saying that great QB’s can vastly improve their teams hopes and individual stats, but it takes many great players on the team to contend for championships.
    As good as Brady was in the 2014 Super Bowl, he doesn’t win unless the defense makes a great play.

    I would love to see CK makes huge inroads this year, but even if his numbers far exceed those of last season – it will mean nothing if the rest of the team performs sub-par.
    Just ask Dan Fouts and Dan Marino.

  9. Kaep needs to turn his head 20 degrees and look out of the corner of his eyes so he can look off the safeties.
    He should practice more pump fakes and sleight of hand to deceive the defense.
    He should practice passing with a quick flick of his wrist with little arm action for short quick passes.
    I am glad he is improving his interview skills.

    1. You missed the point of the article. What you suggest makes him delaying the throw longer and taking more sacks and more broken plays. He has 2 seconds to throw, that’s it. Like on Cosell’s opinion of the 34yd run, a throw in 2 seconds should have been completed, but that’s not something you’re willing to admit. A 2 second throw will almost always beat the rush.

      He needs to throw the ball quicker not pump fake and as several have said anticipate the throw before the reciever is open.

      1. Hate to break it to you, but the Niners are going to throw the ball downfield. Relying on only short quick passes will result in 8 in the box because they will ignore the deep threat. Like last year.

        1. Seb, you’re not getting it. To throw the ball down field, time is required. So far that hasn’t been an option because the line can’t hold the pass rush off. Only 1 time did Kap get a throw downfield to Smith and everyone went crazy with Grant’s over estimation of his over throw. Everytime they try and throw deep he’s in troulbe. Throwing deep isn’t the only way to keep guys out of the box. If you put guys out on routes Safties and OLB’s have to cover those guys keeping them occupied. If throw to beat the rush or change the play to a run when they are rushing it keeps them guessing. They can try to throw long all they want but with out 3-5 seconds of pass protection it won’t work.

          1. It will help the offense to make the defense cover the whole field. last year, the WRs were slow and the plays were slow developing. That, coupled with a turnstile O line resulted in 52 sacks.
            They brought in Torrey for a reason, and hope VD is back to his 2013 form, so they will stretch the field.
            You cannot give up because the O line is struggling. They need to do more controlled roll outs to buy time and allow Kaep to use his mobility to avoid sacks.The O line needs to perform adequately and give Kaep the time to survey the field to see his third option. Abandoning a facet of the game will just mean the defense can key on a couple options and limit the offense. the Niners should have so many options, the defense cannot defend them all, and the Niners can pick them apart by exploiting weaknesses.

            1. Nobody talked about giving up on the long ball. Just because Smith and Davis are fast doesn’t mean he’ll have time to get the ball to them. You keep avoiding that fact. Every time in Denver they tried to go deep the pressure got to him before he could get the ball out. Think what you want, this is a very real issue. Are guys who run 4.5’s slow? Ellington, QP, S Johnson, Crabtree and even Lloyd run in the 4.5-4.6 range. The slowest receiver on the team caught the ball the most should say something to you. There’s another issue both last season and this season. Recognition and anticipation of the QB.

            2. Also you don’t need to throw the ball 50yds to keep the safeties out of the box. Passes of 10-15 yds can do that. Last year teams knew if they stopped Boldin and Gore they could beat us see Wright’s comments. A good short and intermediate passing game keeps all the secondary busy plus distributing the ball better. Kap seems to have improved on his throwing from Grants numbers at camp and the numbers of targets to other players. If he could consistently make throws of 7-15yds and hit the occassional long ball we’d be set with our running game as a large contributor.

              1. In the Art of War, SunTzu said to accentuate the strengths and disguise the weaknesses.
                Obviously, Kaep is weak in the pocket passing department, so why expose his weakness and not play to his strength? The O line is set, and I hope Devey can be decent.
                Granted, the short passing game should be resurrected a la the Bill Walsh West Coast offense, but they need to evolve and include more explosion plays. The greatest play I ever saw in person was The Catch, when Joe rolled right to buy time and let Dwight get open. I want to see Kaep do the same.

    2. Now you want Kaepernick’s head 20 degrees away from his receiver. Just a few days ago it was 15 degrees. At this rate he’ll be looking in the stands by October.

  10. No argument from me. This has been a problem for Kaep since the day he started. He has improved in the area in increments, but it may not be enough with the shabby right side of the OL consistently giving up pressure. This could be a very bad season for Kaep.

  11. Grant, any practice notes from this week? No one seems to really be posting anything. Is that because its a garbage with for the final roster spots?

  12. I am glad he went to Warner for help. Warner said that during his Arena league career, he would anticipate getting quick pressure so he would get the pass off with less than 2 seconds to avoid sacks. Sometimes it would be 1.5 seconds. Kaep should add a quick slant pass to his repertoire.

  13. As a fan of Kaepernick, I hate to admit it to myself, but I think the evidence is mounting that he will not be growing into an elite NFL QB It appears that his arm will always be the ultimate tease and that his game will always be primarily his legs. I even wonder if he will grow into a reliable game manager. This season, if we enter a long losing streak, it’s reasonable to predict he’ll be yanked for Gabbert.

    1. As a Niner fan, I do not want to even think about losing streaks. I want winning streaks.
      If you anticipate long losing streaks, they tend to become self fulfilling prophecies.

      1. To be a self fulfilling prophecy, wouldn’t it need to be something George actually has control over…? You are crediting George with a lot of power if you believe his thinking of the team losing can make it so…

        1. So dont bring it up if you do not want it to happen.
          Who knows, Georges’ middle name may be Nostradamus.;p

      2. Based on this new theory, you will be sure to drive the 49er wagon to a Superbowl win every year. After all that’s what you want.

    2. George:

      Let’s wait until at least the first few games of the season have been played. In the preseason Kaep was forced to go with the play called, no audibles. In addition, plays were called regardless of what the defense was doing. I’m going to wait until the season starts before I decide whether or not Kaep is benefitting from the new coaching staff or his time with Warner.

      1. it’s a sss, but what we’re seeing in the preseason is that he’s still missing gimme NFL throws/reads. it’s time to end this debacle & let Kaep do what he does at an elite NFL level. run.

        trying to have him read defenses, make anticipation throws, & work from the pocket is a sure-fire way to a 20-30% success rate.

        treat him like a rookie when it comes to passing. both rg3 & kaep were successful when they designed everything off their ability to run & watered down the passing game to the point where it was simple throw & catch.

        in terms of development, focus on his game management & hard count. wait until next offseason for the passing stuff & test again next preseason.

  14. While in principle some of the things in respect to Colins play are valid, there are certain aspects that focusing on time of release does not address. Statistics can give us patterns which might be useful, but only if we are aware that variable circumstances create variable meanings as well. I would like to put in some circumstances that are being ignored.

    For one there is a difference between releasing the ball in two seconds when that is the timing of the play and releasing the ball in two seconds when you are forced too before the play develops.

    The fact that the Niner’s, in the seasons that impacted Kaeps states, have not incorporated check downs to RB’s and have run long developing routes would most certainly impact and increase his time of release.

    The fact that because he can also buy time with his legs they run more planned roll outs than say Brady, Manning, or other QB’s that are pure pocket passers with little mobility. While there might be mobile QB’s like Rodgers who also have a quicker release time, it is not logical to lump all the QB’s together statistically as an example to be use against a single player. Which is what is being done with these stats.

    To bring Gabbert in as an example of someone who releases quicker is also absurd. As I stated before the time of release by itself is deceptive. When you are doing a seven or five step drop your time of release will be longer than someone doing a three step drop. There were questions as to why they didn’t run the same plays for Kaep as they did for Gabbert. Gabbert also wasn’t facing the Rush of Ware and Miller. Well I believe the team made adjustments at half time which they never made last season.

    I could continue to point out irrationalities being used but I am not a writer and there are just too many factor that are illogical.

    Grant- News reporters/writers used to give at least the appearance of objectivity. But since the sixties it is common place for those in the news media to think they are all editorial writers. No matter how hard you try to disguise it, you are biased in respect to Kaep. You actions and intent are that of a prosecutor trying for a conviction. They do not even try to consider both sides of an issue or fairness. It’s like in debate you argue your case at all costs. Continuing to promote one side of the issue till the end. No one ever concedes anything in debate. You constantly argue your case, and that continues through season after season. I bet you thought you were a good debater. Debate is the mother and nurturer of ego’s, and that is what is keeping your agenda alive long after it should have been put to rest.

    But you see Grant- These forums are not really suited to debate, because the rules are not enforceable. Also the advantage goes to those able to articulate in writing as opposed to speech so any reinforcement of ego is in reality shallow. Ego- That’s what it’s all about isn’t it.

    There is clearly a double standard for Kaep as there is for other QB’s by certain posters on this and a lot of sites. Kaep is not the only QB who this has happened to and he won’t be the last. I remember when he same kind of BS was directed at Steve Young for a lot of the same reasons. To bring up time of release stats after it was obvious during preseason that kaep had relatively little time? What is the point other than to imply that the lack of pass protection that he had in preseason did not influence his production. Sure lets just say that the defense being in his face before he even finished didn’t matter because stats say he holds the ball too long. That’s a debate trick to change the point of focus from something that doesn’t support your agenda to something that will.

    I never cared for debate, because it promotes win at any cost using any means available, including deception/prevarication and misdirection, An exercise where the process becomes the ends.

    1. One factor that I failed to add was that a QB backpeddling with defenders in his face cutting off his passing lanes would be forced to hold the ball while a player who is not facing those same circumstances is able to release the ball earlier. Each plays circumstance is different. Thats why the eye test will always be more important than stats. This interjection of stats seems to be a ploy to get people to forget what they actually saw in the Denver game. Nice try.

      1. Grant, you tend to ruffle the feathers. It is formulaic, and Will wants you to evolve into a better writer. As do I. Remember, the end does not justify the means.

      2. Willtalk,
        why do I get the feeling you printed that comment out and posted it on your fridge to look at 5 times a day. This isn’t creative writing 400, just because a comment goes on about 50 sentences too long doesn’t mean there are more valid points. That was a bunch of nonsense. Grant wrote a great article here. I live and die with the 9ers, I’m a faithful, however I’m nervous. A blind man could see the regression in Kap. He does not find open WRs. He doesn’t throw on time. I’m happy Grant brought up the point bout the scramble. Everyone loved the big scramble, I started wondering, am I the only one that saw Vernon Davis, who’s supposed to be a primary target in this offense, running WIDE OPEN down the sideline?? While Kap was running in that direction btw. How can you argue the stats? Kap is getting the ball out a full second after everyone else. You can argue drops, pressure, this and that but at the end of the day that is strictly a Kap problem. I completely agree with Grant, he needs to start hitting throws at the top of his drop. It’s really just THAT simple. If he doesn’t start firing on time, it’s going to be a long season which is a shame cuz I really think this is an incredibly undervalued team with more than enough talent to make the playoffs but not if Kap holds the ball for 3 and a half seconds per drop.

        1. The bottom line is the offensive line sucks at pass protecting obviously (no debate about that correct) so he needs to get the ball out faster and hit receivers out of their breaks which he obviously isn’t doing stated by such examples above. I thought this was a very intelligent article by Grant and I just don’t understand why the coaches are not sitting with Kap during film and saying, dude fire the F-ing ball, what are you doing here??

          1. He is a lot better than last year. Kaep is getting to the line quickly and he threw away the ball rather than get sacked. People cannot expect the O line to suck so bad they do not want them to pass long. The O line will get better (because it could not get worse), and Hopefully, Kaep will have time to survey the field and find that open receiver.
            Of course VD was wide open. The defense was reading his eyes and concentrated on the WRs deep in the middle of the field. Kaep did not have time to find VD, so he took what they gave him and ran untouched for a first down and big gain.
            People should calm down and accept a big gain, and stop nit picking the play.

    2. The elements that is hurting CK’ progress is his inability to read defenses, being impatient in the pocket, and holding to ball too long before passing.

      These are aspects of his game that have clearly impeded his progress imo.
      Now I am a huge Kaep fan after watching him play in high school at Pittman High in Turlock and following his career (at a distance) at Nevada Reno. But if he can’t get these elements in his game corrected (and soon) he will become one of the biggest hit and miss players in 49ers lore.

      As much as I love CK (after following him so long), I love my 49ers team even more and want to see them win year in and year out. CK has the keys in his hand to help with this at the moment but if he can’t deliver because of mechanical issues he can’t overcome then we must seek another direction.
      Love ya Kaep, but we brought you here to become a QB that understands the nuances of the game thereby giving your fanbase and all the 49ers faithful reason to believe in you.
      So far, that belief has been sketchy at best.

      1. Good post. He just might not have it. It’s still too early to cut bait and, unless Gabbert is becoming the better QB, he’ll have this season and the next to prove himself, unless in the next draft they find someone who’s NFL-ready and beats him in TC.

        1. That should be easy. One NFL ready QB coming up. I suppose the 49ers would need to have the first choice in the draft to increase there chances.

          1. Hello, Yoda. I didn’t say that. I said unless they find one. Likely they won’t and the guy they draft will need at least a year of training, which means unless Gabbert takes over, Kaep will be with us at least two more years.

            1. Kaepernick is probably here for at least two years unless they get the first choice in the next draft, or just get pissed off. That could have worked the last time we had the first choice. Of course no one knew Brady was Brady or that Rogers was Rogers when they were picked. We may need some black magic.

  15. Grant, I have vigorously defended you, but this time I will give a little criticism. Please do not state your post is not a criticism of Kaep, then proceed to criticize. Maybe you should have started by saying it is constructive criticism, unlike the usual hateful criticism many trolls indulge in.
    Then you bring up the Cosell criticism. I do not want to rehash that hullabaloo, but my feeling is that it was unwarranted and persnickety.
    Other than that, you brought up some good points and enlarged upon an area of concern. You back up your arguments with concrete plays as examples to bolster your arguments.
    I see a lot of potential in your writing, but expect better. Hope I have not been too harsh.

    1. Seb,

      That’s right Seb. It’s a hard realism to face that before your very eyes (and all of Niner Nation’s) you’ve become aware that your QB is just a running back with QB numbers…So why not blame Grant???…Fans are catching on to your strategy of lies and deceit.

  16. You all just don’t get it kaep will never make it in the NFL he has no idea how to be a NFL QB he has no touch on his passes he can only throw one way and that is as hard as he can he can’t read a defence you all need to remember that he went to Reno – Nevada because no one else would have him the 9ers need to cut there loses now and look to the future the best they will do with kaep this year is 6-10 and that’s being nice good luck niners you will need it.

    1. Yep. It only took Kaep 10 games to make it into a Super Bowl. He has set the most and second most QB rushing yards in a playoff game in the history of the game. Kaep has a 4-2 road playoff record. He can also run 99 yards untouched in a game. Sure sounds like an NFL QB to me.

  17. I too had these exact same concerns! And his remarks about not being worried made it even worse. So I went back and watched last season’s first game against Dallas and he was getting rid of the ball a lot quicker and throwing when he hit his back foot on a drop. It made me feel a lot better knowing that he has the ability to do it, so I’m slightly more optimistic now.

  18. My biggest concern for this year is our coaches putting faith in a guard and tackle that statistically were two of the worst lineman in football. Even if our coaches are the best teachers in the world, I feel the def. of insanity will come true! I am no professional coach but put in players with upside, brown and Thomas and let them jell.move Boone back to right guard

    1. I used to want that, but I can see the logic to put the 2 best players in to protect his blind side. I am going to trust the coaches and root for Devey and Pears.

    2. Our scoring may come from Special Teams and hopefully from the defense this season. These two facets of the team may become our most important commodity.

      The moment I begin to see opposing defenses stacking the box will the moment I need to come to grips with the fact that CK is not causing much concern to the opposition.
      If Kap can’t get it going by the 4th game then by all means let’s give Gabbert a chance to drive the car.

  19. Anyone concerned that T Brock can’t stay healthy? I think we have some other players who do really well but he seems to get nicked up a lot.

      1. They’re averaging 5 yards a carry. From the 3 yard line, a run would put them in for the score….

        1. I was referring to the safety at Denver where play action did nothing to the pass rush.

          From the other 3 play action should be a gimme TD.

        2. Wrong side of the field. Maybe a running play out of the end zone would have negated the possibility of a safety.

          1. I would have called the same play they called for Garrison Hearst in overtime when they had similar field position and he ran 98 yards for the score….

  20. Since this is a post about Kaep getting better I wish to reiterate my comment about the Sundance Kid. In the movie, the foreman directed the Sundance Kid to shoot a rock by holding his arm out and shooting.while standing. The Kid missed, and the foreman turns away in disgust. The Kid asks if he an move, and once the foreman give an OK, the Sundance Kid moves like lightening and blasts the rock to bits.
    Kaep is the same way. He needs to move. To analogize, Kaep does not need to stand still in the pocket because his passes are not pinpoint. He needs to move like lightening by being mobile so he can be deadly accurate.
    I want to see the Sundance Kaep.

    1. Not as bad as he could have. This is likely more a bloody nose and a black eye rather than a knockout.

    2. I wouldn’t be so sure. The league was able to drag the Pats and Brady through the mud throughout the process which is probably all they really were trying to accomplish anyway.

  21. There’s no debating the point that Kap needs to improve, and that getting the ball out faster is key to this. But it’s totally unreasonable to say that what Kap has faced is typical of other QBs, much less the Bradys, Mannings, and Rodgers of the league. Kap’s receivers and system the first two years were a QB-unfriendly as any in the NFL. The fastest WR he had until this year was a totally washed up Randy Moss. This preseason Kap has faced pressure on a greater percentage of his drop backs than any other QB in the league per PFF, and the pressure is usually the worst kind–up the middle.

    Fair to criticize Kap, but unfair to not present the full picture which includes terrible coaching of his QB skills, old and slow receivers who can’t get open quickly, virtually no use of a 4 WR set to spread the field (a formation that those other guys use all the time to help them get guys open quickly), and awful interior pass blocking.

      1. Leo,



        Why is it you’re an apologist for Grant’s continual distortion, and partial presentation of, facts? “…I hope I wasn’t too harsh…” Oh, brother.

        1. Sorry, but EVERYONE tends to cherry pick the facts to drive the narrative. Some do it more than others.
          The harsh comment is because I am trying to turn over a new leaf. You know, kinder gentler teddy bear me.

            1. And a columnist and a blogger…and he’s SOMEBODY, But that could be debated too.
              I just like that he cuts the crap and SAYS something. I know when I have been rosily scenarioed, or horribly offended by swill and dont like it.

  22. So what’s new? Name a qb who won a bs from a scrambling open offense. ( Wilson?) mike Vick , gr3 cam newton etc? Everyone knows you have break them down and start to teach them pro quarter backing. In college your in the gun , you see the d , you throw to the open war or run. In the pro game you have the best defenses and athletes in football history facing you. Harbaugh called the plays because he knew kap at that stage couldn’t. It took Walsh and holmgren to make Steve young. Mooch and holmgren to form farve. Think tomsulas going to make a silk purse? Don’t tell our lil emperor York that, he’s delusional if he doesn’t know people laugh at his dumb azz.

  23. Hey Grant,

    Barrows points out that different play calling is being used for Gabbert and Kaepernick. How much effect is the play calling having on Kap’s release time? Is he holding the ball because he’s waiting for longer routes to develop? And do you really think Gabbert is throwing with anticipation? One of the knocks on him is he doesn’t.

    It would be really cool if you could include pics or Gifs with your articles. Otherwise, nice analysis.

    1. No, it means you have to prove something before you can punish somebody and you can’t supersede the CBA. Goodell is going to have to give up some punishment power or the NFL is going to see a lot more cases go to court. I know he supposedly has the support of the owners but his biggest supporter was Kraft and I doubt that support is still there.

      1. “This has never been about doing what was fair and just. I was wrong to put my faith in the league”- Robert Kraft

      2. No, it means that they can cheat all they want, and even if caught, NFL incompetence and bungling will let them off the hook.

      3. “No, it means you have to prove something before you can punish somebody and you can’t supersede the CBA.”

        Not quite. The ruling is that the CBA and other controlling documents did not give adequate notice that Brady could face a suspension. It does not at all touch on burden of proof as that was out of the purvey of the court.

        1. Interesting. That aspect of adequate notice didn’t seem to be touched on that much in the analysis during the hearings. Or maybe I got so tired of this dominating the news that I stopped paying attention;)

          1. Notice both with respect to the offenses alleged and the discipline incurred by such offenses is the major factor in the decision. It was a factor in oral arguments, but analysis was mainly focused on questions about the Wells Report, which likely was never more than an attempt to get the NFL to settle.

    2. The ruling held that the discipline meted out in the instant case was wrongful as the subject player did not have adequate notice he could be disciplined for the cited infractions and/or in the manner in which he was disciplined. It has not impact on whether the NFL can discipline for cheating – only that it must discipline within the scope of reasonable notice that the acts in question will be susceptible to discipline and reasonable notice as to the type of discipline.

      The ruling also touches on due process/discovery rights that someone contesting discipline has with respect to requesting to interview parties involved in the investigation and initial determination of culpability.

      The ruling does not touch on the power of the commissioner to be final arbiter, as the suspension was negated on other grounds. So, even though it is a loss for the NFL, it is not the loss they likely most feared.

      1. Question JPN:
        While I appreciate you are translating for my lack of legal perspective what the Judge ruled on I just want to understand a point. Should not every NFL player understand it would be improper to tamper with a ball and that there might be consequences? Is it then necessary for the rule against every possible offense be delineated and a punishment standard established? That seems strange to my layman’ mind.
        My wife is a banker and I almost gagged years ago when she told me that the bank was required to have new hire tellers sign a statement acknowledging that they’d been informed that it is never OK to take cash from the till for their own use.

        1. As the judge wrote, it is a basic concept under collective bargaining, as well as in the law in general, that notice is adequate so that a person knows what is prohibited and how it can be punished. We can look at the criminal law as a guide for this. Modern penal codes provide both the elements that constitute a crime and the range of possible punishment. In this sense, we are all on notice that speeding is an infraction that (usually) will only result in a fine whereas armed robbery will result in imprisonment. Even if we never read the code, we have received ‘constructive notice’ through the publication of the penal code.

          In a CBA environment, it is similar. Now, I read the NFL CBA and supporting documents as allowing more discretion on discipline rather than less. The Court focused on “rules of shop”, which is more on how things were done in the past. In that respect, how similar infractions were handled in the past gives notice as to how they will be handled in the future.

          1. Thank you, JPN. That gets me in the neighborhood of getting it. With your help even I can see how in a CBA environment that yes, it all should be laid out.

            1. Well, the CBA itself gives the commissioner nearly unlimited discretion (with certain specified exceptions) with respect to discipline. However, the course of practice (how it has meted out discipline in the past) serves to give notice how it will likely proceed in the future. Had there been no other points of reference, the NFL’s PED analogy may have been more persuasive. However, as prior equipment related offenses did exist, and had been handled with fines of non-players, those instances provided notice as to how similar infractions would be treated in the future.

              Tomorrow, the NFL could issue a policy indicating that player involved tampering with equipment would result in suspension. Under the CBA, it is likely only owner approval would be needed as player involved equipment violations are not one of specific infractions for which limited and structured discipline was negotiated. Thus, any future offending player would be on notice of the possibility of a suspension.

              The NFL has lost on similar grounds in a couple of other instances lately, most notably with the arbitrator’s decision to reduce Greg Hardy’s suspension given that the NFL’s new DV rules were promulgated after Hardy’s offense. The NFL dropped Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension before it was challenged in court, or the result may have been the same.

            2. It seems to me that the case involving a Jets punter and the preparation of the “punt” balls is an example of lack of notice. When the Jets ball guy was found to have improperly prepared the balls used for punting, the punter was never investigated, interviewed or punished.

              That punter was part of the union delegation on Monday and his case was described for the judge. It seems to me that the NFL has to treat similar cases in a similar way or it constitutes a lack of notice. Additionally there is no record that the NFL has ever seen the air pressure in a football to be a competitive issue. That would explain their total lack of knowledge or concern for the effects of weather on air pressure in a football.

    3. A key point seems to be how similar infractions were handled prior to this one. Judge Berman referenced the Jets K ball incident in his ruling, and I think that is a major issue here. The punishment didn’t fit what was handed out for similar transgressions in the past. There has to be consistency when discipline is handed down. I don’t necessarily agree that Brady should get to walk away unpunished, but it was obvious early on that the Judge found discrepancies in how this was handled and that the punishment was excessive.

      1. Correct – the prior infractions did not give notice that players would be subject to suspension for equipment tampering. It is not so important that the discipline be consistent as it is that the player have notice that it is possible.

        The court also found that the PED policy does not provide notice that other infractions that may give a competitive advantage will be punished the same as PED infractions.

        Further, the court found that one of the documents on which the NFL relied was not supplied to players and thus could not give notice as to discipline of a player.

        The legal, due process issue on which the opinion rests is notice. Consistency is not a due process requirement.

  24. This is going to be a rant, so you are forewarned and free to ignore it.

    I’m truly fascinated how quickly group mentality can permeate a topic discussion. Psychology students should really come to a message board and study how quickly things can turn irrational.

    We started the week with concern over the fact the right side of the OL was a disaster and Kaepernick didn’t have a chance if they continued to be that poor in pass protection, to now questioning whether Kap has a future as an NFL QB and when he will be replaced by Blaine Gabbert. Where is the middle ground here?

    Since he came into the league, Kap has been a QB who needed to be taught the nuances of the NFL game, and how to play the QB position a completely different way from how he had played it all of his life. That’s why he wasn’t a first round pick, and why it was thought he would be a backup for at least two full seasons before they would let him compete for a starting position. That plan was derailed because he showed he could play within in the Harbaugh/Roman system at a high level, and win games while he was continuing to learn. During that first year and a half he led the team to a SB and an NFCCG, proving that anybody saying he can’t play at this level is completely delusional or has no understanding of the game.

    Last season was a step back; no doubt about it. By the second half of the season he looked confused, frustrated, lacking confidence, and he played the worst game of his career on Thanksgiving night against the Seahawks. Ever since then, the narrative has been he can’t do this or he can’t do that, and it’s remarkable how ignorant that kind of analysis is. For a good part of last season he had lousy protection and still fought through it to put together a decent first half where the team remained in contention for a Playoff spot. Then Seattle happened and the wheels came off.

    What doesn’t get mentioned is he came back and played some good football after the Seattle and Oakland games. It wasn’t a free fall to the end of the season. His final stats were better across the board with the exception being two fewer TD passes and two more Ints. That was the difference between a top ten rating in 2013 and a late teens rating in 2014. Somehow that small difference has led some to believe he is regressing, has been figured out, can’t play at this level etc, and it is asinine. No other way to say it.

    To those who seemingly don’t understand how this game works, I want to tell you something that is very important to remember. A QB cannot perform at a reasonable level if he faces pressure before he reaches the last step of his drop, and/or pressure comes up the middle. There is not a QB in this league that performs well under those conditions. In order to have success in the passing game a QB has got to have time to set, look and throw. In the first 3 preseason games, Kap hasn’t had that opportunity on more than half of his dropbacks. That is why you see stats like 5-13 and a 47 rating, not because his brain has leaked out of his ear and he can’t do things he has done previously. Gabbert has looked better and you know why? Because he hasn’t been taking 5 step drops and seeing somebody in his face. They have focused on him taking 3 step drops and moving the pocket and it has allowed him to have clear reads and time. There is no mystery here and it’s frankly embarrassing to read so many clamoring for Gabbert based on him having better numbers against lesser competition in preseason games. That is neophyte analysis and lack of patience; not football savvy.

    What really got the Kap sucks train rolling this week was the Cosell interview that really wasn’t anti Kap at all, and the summary of James Brady on NN of a play that showed Kap taking his eyes off of downfield and running instead. That was great analysis and I agree with it completely. But here’s the thing: he still gained huge yards on the play and we truly don’t know what it is the Coaches are telling him to do in those situations. In the offseason both Tomsula and Chryst said they were going to run an offense that made the best use of Kaps talents. Could it be possible that have told him to run whenever he sees an opening? Could it be possible that while they want him to improve as a pocket passer, they also have given him the green light to make plays with his legs when he sees them available? I’m not saying he should do that instead of throwing the ball, but we don’t know what the Coaches thinking is on this, and whether they have seen how horrific the protection has been and given Kap the green light to take off when he sees fit.

    Kap is not a typical NFL QB as we all know. He is not comfortable dropping back and waiting while things are breaking down around him. It’s not an easy skill to learn and takes quite a bit of time. However you have to have some patience and allow the player to learn it or you wind up going through an array of QB’s hoping you hit on one eventually, and that is a bad strategy. Developing QB’s takes time, especially ones as raw as Kap was coming out of College. All of the elite QB’s in the game currently, took some time to get where they are now. You rarely see anybody come in and become a 30+ TD passer with a 100+ rating within the first 3 years. It has happened, but it’s very rare. Kap was a 90+ rated QB his first two years starting. I think the narrative has completely gone off the rails here because of one season where he really wasn’t that far off his previous year, but the team failed to meet expectations. It’s now snowballed into this topic thread because the pass offense hasn’t looked very good in the first 3 preseason games and the automatic reaction seems to be blaming the QB for it. That is short sighted and really fails to take everything responsible into account. Kap is not elite, he has pocket awareness issues, and he has a lot of refining left to do on his game, but that has not stopped him from winning games in the past. The formula this team and many others for that matter, have used to make the playoffs is: a strong running game, playaction passing, protecting the football and good defense. That’s what every other team that doesn’t have a Rodgers or Brady utilizes to contend for SB’s and the Niners need to do the same.

    They can’t put it all on Kaps shoulders. He isn’t capable of that, but he has proven to be capable when given solid protection and a running game to rely on. Everybody needs to relax and stop overreacting to partial information, and instead look at the whole picture and what it takes for an offense to be successful.

    My last suggestion to all of the anti Kap bloggers, is to look at the career trajectory of Joe Flacco and compare it to Kaepernick. You will be surprised at what you find.

    Rant over.

    1. Can bringing balance and nuance to an argument really be considered a rant? I know it was kinda long but…

    2. I would agree with one caveat – I agree with Steve Young that it is dangerous that a QB develop or maintain the attitude that he is the playmaker. If Kap is not comfortable in the passing offense, it may lead to him returning to a playmaker focus, which may in turn limit the offense.

      1. This is a lot of what Kurt Warner touches on when he talks about Kap. When to be an athlete and when to be a QB. Hopefully he evolves to doing more QB things, but it is a process.

          1. Yes, but calling quick passes, roll outs, and play action isn’t just to help Kap, it should also help the O-line. Quality game planning is my last hope for a solid season.

            1. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for quite some time. But so far, we haven’t seen anything on that front and won’t until the first game. Preseason can not be used as an indicator of game planning ability of the new 49er coaches, IMO.

              1. The coaches are smart. They will spring forth a brand new offense that will catch them off guard.
                With the Sundance Kaep, I hope they ask- Who ARE those guys?

    3. This is why i like this site. While lengthy, it says a lot and is spot on.
      Many posters on this site have good knowledge and use common sense. NN has degenerated into a pack of bloody wowsers.
      This site has not sunk to their level of outright insults and slander, with the simpering fools twittering amongst themselves and saying nothing. Their signature is a tome in itself and hides the 3 words that may be relevant. This site, on the other hand, sticks to football, with some pleasant asides and word play.
      Rocket, I am impressed with your analysis and you punctuate the salient points. I read every word, and give a thumbs up. Rant on.

      1. One addendum. BG is also going against the second and third stringers, so he does better against lesser talent. Kaep has been limited, and going against their first stringers. Its preseason, and not the time to fly off the handle.

      2. I like NN, and find lots of good football discussion and humor there. You like to generalize a lot.

        p.s. My sig is awesome!

        1. If you like germ, you are twisted. He makes jokes about cancer patients, says Tomsula is a back stabber and threatens JY.

              1. Over time I think almost any abhorrent statement you can think of has showed itself here; just not as often. But this room is better than others.
                It’s hard to avoid nasty commenters anywhere. The PD had an article today on the growth of electric vehicle owners in Sonoma County and California. I thought it was odd they lumping gas-electric and diesel-electric hybrids into that category, so I went to the comments section to see if anyone else questioned it. Nope, the comments were mostly about how Commies and progressives and liberals are ruining everything with electric cars and are going to drive up the price of electricity for everyone else. One guy managed to work immigration into it too, saying only people who employ illegal aliens are the ones that can afford a Tesla or a Leaf or a Prius.

              2. Ha!

                No I’m the same person on NN as here. Same avatar too.

                I do find the idea of someone being so mad at JY that they wish him violent diarrhea really funny. I mean, it’s just football. That being said JY was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he gets no quarter from me.

              3. I never go there. Id rather collect lint. The only thing more vacuous than their content is their intellect

              4. I find Maiocco and Monte Poole(Warriors) very informative. But the comments section is post apocalyptic.

        2. OK, I digress. NN does have decent posters, but a few tools ruin it for the rest of the posters. They are the doom and gloomers, the Debbie Downers who crow when the Niner lose and predict 0-16 seasons.

          1. Also the technical abilities of the NN site are leagues ahead of this one. A picture’s worth a thousand words.

      3. This is why i like this site. While lengthy, it says a lot and is spot on.
        Many posters on this site have good knowledge and use common sense.

        So what you’re saying is you like the commenters? Because Grant pretty much does not fit that bill.

          1. I’m sorry, rotate, not turn. If you turn your head sideways you wont be looking at the screen anymore. :)

    4. Rocket – this has all the similarities of the raging AS debate. Just different player and different critics. Most of us as with AS realize CK is not where he needs to be, but we also note that its a team game and players making mistakes has a lot to do with CKs performance. Also people are making conclusions using pre season as their chalk board. Ha! I say.

      1. Agree Under. It’s an on-going development process.
        Another similarity in the QB debate, which I find ironic, is the legitimate criticism against AS and CK for waiting for the sure thing, needing to see the guy open. Do you old hound dogs out there remember JR’s barely concealed frustration with Steve Young after Joe left?

      2. undercenter,

        I agree, this is essentially the AS debate all over again. I understand people who aren’t satisfied with where Kap is at and want to see more, I’m in this group as well, but I don’t get the attitude that he needs to go, or it’s time to see Gabbert etc. It makes no sense to me to get rid of somebody you’ve won with for the unknown. If you bring somebody in and he beats out the incumbent that’s a different story.

    5. At some point in his development, we have to look at back at whether or not there ws any regression. Where this is perhaps who he is. And the early success that KAEP were anomalies because he caught the league by surprise, along with the Read/Option.
      That his is not going to get much better and if we tailor an offense to suit his needs, then we will not have a very good offense. He missed alot of very easy throws when he had time that most average QBs would make. You can have a QB that can’t do the normal things in the position 99% of the time, so that you can enjoy the one rare spectacular run or throw. You can disagree with Cosell’s analysis all you want, but one thing is true is you can coach or scheme around random. Can’t.
      Teams are too good. That’s why they have practice and schemes. Grant’s article is obvious — Kaep needs to learn how to read defenses faster and develop a better throwing motion so he can release the ball quicker.
      That’s the path to success, not relying on his random running ability.

    6. Rocket,

      Well said.

      To all of you ripping CK, think about what your reaction would be if another skill position player had a similar trajectory of production over their first two and a half years starting? My bet is a lot of weight would be given to mitigating factors and an early career learning curve, rather than flaying the player in question.

    7. All good points, rocket.

      I think the main problem is that as soon as someone says something that paints part of Kaep’s game in a slightly negative light (e.g. he missed an open Davis, he often holds the ball a tick too long, he locks onto his primary receiver, etc), the anti-Kaep crowd take this as evidence that Kaep is c*%p. It is not. It is simply pointing out that there are still weaknesses in his game – areas it would be good if he improved in. But even with those weaknesses there are many positives he brings, and the Kaep package has been good enough to take the 49ers to a SB and 2 NFCCGs.

      1. Scooter,

        Yeah, and it seems like we see a lot of unfamiliar names making comments when the topic focuses on criticizing the QB.

    8. rocket,
      Don’t know if you included me in your rant, but if you did I stand accused.
      Actually, I’m not clamoring for Gabbert at the moment. I am saying that if there is no significant improvement in Kap’ mechanics after 4-5 games and the offense suffers because of it, then a change may be the best thing for the team and for Kap.

      I’m well aware of the O-line depression on the right side and a new offensive scheme, but this should interfere with CK’ ability to show signs of reading defenses, releasing his passes quicker, and telegraphing his WR’s by locking in on them.

      This is what I mean by “mechanics” in regards to Kap’ game. These are a few of the areas I would love to see him improve in. Even if the improvements are incremental it would be enough to give me and I’m sure the faithful hope for better days.
      So to be clear, I’m not asking for Kap to replaced at the moment. But I’ll certainly revisit this again if the need arises.

  25. You are misusing the term ‘random’. Random running would involve course and speed changes without respect to avoiding contact or other on field factors. Avoiding defenders while running is in fact the opposite of random – it is reactionary. What you mean to say is that improvisational running ability is not the path to success.

      1. The point of random is that when Kaep doesn’t go past his 2nd read, or flees the pocket, the play breaks down and now you have playground ball. This is actually what RW does all the time and it drive you crazy, but he’s a better passer and is more accurate, so he has a ring and we don’t.

        1. Russ would have 2 rings if he hadn’t thrown an interception at the goal line.

          And that’s after being bailed out when he threw 4 picks in the NFC Championship game.

        2. Fan,

          You’re missing JPN’s point. Something that is “random” happens at any given time, without respect to what else is happening. That’s pretty much the opposite of CK’s running, whether or not you agree with the timing and frequency with which he runs.

            1. The concept of sports where you’re supposed to run a play with 11 other players, unpredictable gets you random results, which gets you last’s offense.

              1. The results aren’t random. The results are unpredictable. You continue to misuse random, and merely restating it in different contexts does not mitigate its misuse.

              2. I believe JPN is correct on the term. A problem is that it’s common (street) useage has changed. It’s become popular as a non descriptive filler word. It has almost ( tho not yet ) become like “Dude”; which could probably be used in at least two dozen semantic applications depending upon inflection, facial expressions and body language of the speaker, and context within the conversation.
                “Oh, that’s so random.”
                “What is?”
                “Oh, everything, nothing, it’s all just random.”
                I gather that JPN is both a scientist and an attorney and can’t abide imprecise language. Precision in words and numbers allows full communication down to an intense level of detail.
                I got heated with an arrogant physician one time to the point that I said “Look dude (yeah I called him that to pxxx him off) you are NOT smarter than me. Your job is to educate me to your vocabulary as it pertains to my case. Then we can manage my health together.”
                He didn’t love me too good after that, but he checked his ego with me enough that the RNs and NAs commented to me.

              3. Hey BT,

                I was a linguist (and writing instructor) before I was an attorney (and now judicial educator). A linguist is kind of a poser scientist, I guess.

              4. Fair enough. His point was because Kaep abandons the play so early, you can’t really run a scheme or offensive philosophy. Everything that happens is either unpredictable, or the results are random.

                Everyone once in awhile I don’t mind if Kaep scrambles or improvised. The issue is that he’s supposed to grow as a pocket passer. The pre-season is way too small a sample, but so far he doesn’t look any better then last year. He looks uncomfortable for whatever reason.

              5. A result would only be random if it was obtained without influence by contextual events. An improvisational play, while unpredictable, is in reaction to contextual events. Or put another way, complex patterns emerge on the edge of chaos. :)

              6. In yet another diversion…..
                So using that criteria for random, is a Roulette Wheel drop a truly random event, or are the influences just too incalculable to be predictive?

              7. BT,

                1. Roulette is a sucker bet.
                2. it is a sucker bet because of the degree of randomness; sure, a person can hedge his/her bets by betting reducing the impact of the randomness, but the results of the drop are significantly random.
                3. While some theoretical physicists and complexity studies researchers will claim nothing is truly random, something like a roulette wheel is effectively random because the ball is not an intelligent actor (cannot react to conditions) and the variables are many and complex. A clean (not rigged) Roulette wheel is designed to maximize randomness (thus, it is a sucker bet).

              8. “While some theoretical physicists and complexity studies researchers will claim nothing is truly random”
                Hehe while others will claim that everything is random.

  26. Rocket,

    Crazy stuff concerning the concept that every rule infraction have a delinenated punishment. Glad my kids grew up in a world where they were held responceble for their actions, cheating is wrong!
    As for Kaep. For me it is not his percieved lack of skills. It is his lack of football awareness. Not seeing the open man,trying to force the ball into coverage,etc.You can teach skills ,you can not teach awareness.
    Athelets reveal themselves in pressure situtations.

  27. “Kap is not a typical NFL QB as we all know”

    Which is why I don’t use typical measuring stick, like completion percentage.

    2012 offense worked because of Yards Per Completion + good TD/INT ratio + Ball Control Running + Ball Security

    Many correctly point out that the initial success in that 2012 Bears blowout was due to Chicago’s lack of experience defending Colin. But that’s not the whole story… The 49ers had Hunter, Williams and Manningham. When they went down later in the season, a but chunk of team speed was lost.

    They never fully recovered that speed… until this year.

    Now they have Torrey Smith, a leaner, faster Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush… with the possibility of Vernon Davis and Hunter regaining form, Ellington rounding into a good #3, DeAndrew White and Jerome Simpson waiting in the wings.

    With speed, the unconventional (YPR+Pound the Rock) formula is back in business.

      1. I was mainly talking about Kaepernick and the offense. I think Hayne will be a special teams player this year, on the 49ers or some other team.

        Hayne could play a Reggie Bush role in spot plays, but Reggie Bush is playing the Reggie Bush role this season.

        1. I hope the give Hayne the rock at least once a game. It will drive the Aussies crazy with excitement.

    1. Here is my example of the “notice” that is required in the work place or under the law.

      Everyone knows that it’s bad to waste water during a prolonged drought. If you accidentally left a hose watering a plant in your front yard you might expect to be fined for your negligence. You were cheating as critics would say. You wouldn’t expect to spend the week end in jail. You were not given notice that such an act could put you in jail.

      That’s my uninformed opinion about what the judge ruled in the Brady case today. I don’t think the judge was concerned about what Brady knew and when Brady knew it. That was what the railroading investigation was supposed to clarify. Instead they mucked up the football data to the point where they should have said up front that there wasn’t any conclusive evidence to launch a multi million dollar investigation in the first place.

      1. Very nice example, HT. I wish I would have thought of it.

        The court did not have authority to do anything but accept the evidence as valid. It could only decide on the process, which is what the court did. I am not sure I agree completely with the conclusion, although the reasoning is sound. It did rely more on the course of practice rather than the plain language of the documents, which may be a philosophical difference between the court and me, but I cannot fault the validity of the finding.

        Despite the fact I think I could make a cogent argument as to why it would be possible to overturn the decision, I would not counsel the NFL to appeal. Prolonging this only keeps it in the news longer, which at this point serves as a reminder that the NFL lost. I would issue a press release indicating that I did not agree with the ruling but, given the approaching season, league resources are better used elsewhere.

          1. Without any research, my initial reaction is no. While this would not fall under the legal doctrine of Double Jeopardy, nonetheless there is a similar concept in labor/collective bargaining law that a final decision overturned by an arbitrator precludes post-arbitration discipline for the same offense. However, this is usually because the sides agree to be bound by the arbitration. Here, the Court overturned the finding of the arbitrator and vacated the suspension, which in effect substitutes the Court for the arbitrator (an unusual outcome, I may add). The parties are thus bound by the court order as they would have been by the decision of the arbitrator.

      2. htwaits,

        It was my contention at the beginning of Deflategate, that the league would intentionally screw the pooch. In that way , when the court found that the investication was F****up ,their golden boy ,Brady, would be clean. So important for the brand! The league can not have the paying public beleive that the most important game, the SB is tainted!
        And it worked!

        1. Hacksaw your capacity for finding complex and convoluted hidden agendas far exceeds mine.

          JPN every thing I understand about the ruling I got from your explanations. Thanks again for what you bring to this little gathering.

  28. My two cents on Brady (and I’m probably overcharging here)

    If I were Goodell, I would have stuck to penalizing the team by taking away draft picks. The deflated balls are more about reducing fumbles than throwing. Its hard to fathom systematically deflating balls without the OK of coaching staff.

    1. That’s basically what Tagliabue did when he overturned the player penalties in the “bounty” case.

    2. And it seems that it was OK to request your footballs be inflated to 12.5 psi inch in a warm room. The Colts requested 13 psi. Maybe the Patriots were cheating because they were the only one’s who knew what a cold day would do to the initial air pressure in those now famous footballs.

  29. Trey Wingo on ESPN: “And now for a final word on Deflategate.”
    Liar!!!! It will never go away.

    1. Sebnynah is right. If the Washington Post is involved there has to be a “… gate” hiding in the bushes somewhere.

      1. Now you’re wrong. They are obsessing with their team and their owner which goes way beyond the 49ers and Jed York,

        1. I feel bad for Washington fans – all they have is the soap opera. At least we have a glimmer of hope that things may be better than they seem.

        2. You have mistaken my inference. The public is focused, the team wants to deflect attention.
          RGIII and Kaep are very different. Kaep has the locker room. RGIII, not so much. Kaep has the confidence of the HC. RGIII was publicly chastised by the Native HC. Kaep is the starter, RGIII is sitting on the bench. Kaep ran for 34 yards untouched. RGIII was bludgeoned in his first game.

  30. Judge Berman’s ruling means Brady is free to play Opening Day. What else can be drawn from that news?
    Did it change my mind about Goodell and his administration at NFL HQ?
    Did it change my mind about Billichek, the Patriots, and their ways in general?
    Would it change my habits as an opposing coach to sweep the Visitors’ Locker Room at Foxboro for ‘bugs’ or closely scrutinize every single member of the Pats’ entourage when they visited my stadium?
    Did it change my guess about the liklihood of Brady’s guilt or proxy guilt?
    Did it change my mind about Brady or his legacy?
    No. No. No. No. No.

      1. Didn’t need it. I know all about gas. I love Mexican food, and eat plenty of broccoli too.

          1. I was gonna make a joke about Tuna giving us a “general knowledge of acts of deflation”, but “earthy and personal” just killed it. Combined with the Yoda avatar?! Too good!

      2. No one did – even the people who were incorrectly and superficially applying it in support of non-intentional deflation mischaracterized it as simple physics when it is in fact complex particle physics. It is simple chemistry.

        1. It’s dangerous to leave such matters of science in the hands of the NFL’s Pope and his Cardinals.

          1. That is funny – I almost suggested below that he borrow the Popemobile to go to games this year.

  31. So glad you brought up the missed opportunity to Davis. Everyone wants to talk about Kap’s scrambling on that play, but there was a bigger play to be made and he missed it. Hopin’ this doesn’t carry into the regular season.

        1. No way. He should totally act like a wrestling heel. Walk out to the 50, pick up a mic, and taunt the crowd with some bad clam chowder jokes. Then Goodell can talk a bunch of trash about how he and his legal team are gonna kick Brady’s @$$ in… Deflate Gate III- The Appeal(ticketsavailable@ticketmaster).

      1. I can hear Kraft now:
        Yo Rogah, Bob heah. Ya know youse is welcome at The Opener, but, uh, I’m not so sure I can guarantee your safety. Da natives are restless if youse catch mah drift. Of course we’d do everything we can but youse nevah know…. …..knowwhatImean?

        1. It’s Duracell night and sommah dose fans got wicked-strong ahms… but sure Rogah, come on ovah.

          1. Duracell Night. JFC! LMAO.
            Giselle and the kids would be out front passing out Ninja stars and slingshots.

  32. Not much to add to Rocket’s rant, but I was reading this following column on NFP

    It seems to me that Kap has good “football character”, with regard to work ethic, passion for the game and ability to be coached. Probably needs to show a little more leadership. But not every young QB can be Luck. To my mind, Kap has worked hard on remedying his weaknesses and has shown steady progress. If the right side of the O line can hold up the pocket reasonably, I think that Kap can have a very good season with a pretty good cast of offensive players around him.

    1. Additionally his coaches will turn him loose to make plays.
      Cant wait, especially with Hayne as a wild card.

  33. I hope this is my final word on the Cosell play. They fault Kaep for missing a sure TD. My take on the situation is that there were 2 options. Both were good. One had the possibility of injury by staying in a collapsing pocket to deliver the ball. The other was a wide open gift run where they are in man so their backs are to the ball, and there could be a big gain with little risk.
    The best option would be the one they took, and Kaep used his mobility to elude the rush and make a big gain.
    If he was sacked for a 7 yard loss, I could see the obsession over this play, and he should have thrown the pass. However, he made 34 yards. He was untouched , gained a first down and stopped the clock. All positives. Cosell should not fault such a good play. Fault plays like the safety. Why did he pick that play? Because it fits his narrative that Kaep ran and did not stay in the pocket to be a classic pocket passer. Therefore, Cosell concludes he is not a good QB.
    That is my opinion, and is subject to critique.

    1. I think it is time for you to let this go, Seb. Your opinion has been critiqued over and over. You’ve said this (or a variant of this) a number of times already… why repeat it again? Some people agree with you. Most don’t. And that is ok.

  34. The option that Kaep took tells us what we need to know about the kind of QB he’s going to be, which is run first. I’m going to use my legs to my plays and not my arm.

    Better not have any Niners WR on your fantasy draft teams.

    1. Wow!!!! You are the definition of the word …….. HATA. You know if Russel Wilson made that same play, you would have been saying how good of instincts he has as a qb. How bout this, when it comes to kaep, get off his di**! The man is not a perfect qb by any stretch, but the way u wail at the tounge, you would swear he was Akili Smith. Yes I did say Akili!! But hey its your opinion. Way to stick by it

      1. But he’s been a “fan” since 77. I’m sure he knows a thing or two about football. I’m going to guess he gets his info from the know it all genius Canadian who studies Madden video games as his tool of knowledge. (And yes Prime slime actually said this) smh. Bitterness never dies!

        1. Ninermd please get help with your infatuation with me. You cannot post an entry without mentioning my name. Sorry bro, I’m not interested!
          BTW, say hi to your boys Bay and 23 J for me!

      2. Russell Wilson still have a lot to prove too. But you know what? He won a ring. He played liked crap in the NFCCG against the Packers and still made an amazing throw to win game.

        Maybe Kaep could make a throw, book on him says he can’t. He still has a lot to prove, which is the point, which is why, in an exhibition game, he should have made the pass. He’s only made, what -13 passes in 3 games? What about one more? Wouldn’t you feel better if he showed his improvement?

        You can whine all you want. I said these things last year, in the middle of the season, and all you Kaepologists were making all kinds of excuses for him and it turns out he was what I said he was — a limited QB with a slow release and a peanut brain.

  35. Well jeez. I didn’t know anybody could just become P Manning. Where do I sign up? It’s funny. Montanas o-line struggled against NY and CHi in the past. Didn’t see him looking like super bowl Montana. Steve young either when facing Carolina or Green Bay. But I guess Marino and manning qb’s with natural quick releases is the way to go. Not a good blocking o-line. With 1 super bowl combined with the two. Who could argue.

  36. Big Ben makes a lot of his plays improvising, so improvising isn’t the problem in and of itself. Joe Montana extended plays to get opportunities. Rogers is superb in the pocket but makes a lot of his big plays from outside. Those three have/had good accuracy. Colin needs to improve there; yup.
    I’m puzzled though because in that Chicago game for his first start I think I recall that he was quite accurate deep, in startling contrast to Alex’s deep balls. If long ball accuracy continues to suffer this year, should they look back and compare? Has he over-tinkered? Does he just need more reps under pressure working with TS and others?

    1. Kaep’s best play by far was the first half of the game on the road against the Pats.

      There he anticipated receivers coming open (in tight windows no less) and zipped the ball in there.

      I guess it was just a fluke because I haven’t seen him come close to that again.

        1. In that case, I recommend you don’t click the link. We’ll see if anyone is paying attention.

    2. Brother Tuna,

      When he first burst on the scene, IMO, Kap played loose, confident, and as Harbaugh would say “with gravel in his belly”…a certain swagger. While he had some better games than others, this stretch continued to the 2013 home opener win against the Packers.

      Then what followed were two bad losses: @SEA and vs INDY. To me, Kap has never looked the same after that. Yes, there have been other issues: missing Crabtree in 2013, and all the stuff that went on last season.
      Does Kap trust himself, his arm to make clutch throws now? Can Tomsula/Logan and Chryst help rebuild his confidence?

      1. Skeptic
        Interesting take on Colin. I suppose confidence is a huge part of it; you have to believe it’s going where you want it to. Basketball shooting is a bit like that, pistol shooting too.

    1. “We have to turn the camera off in case Maiocco’s running around with his shirt off doing situps”

  37. Brett Hundley has looked good throughout the preseason. I’d dare say that between Hundley, Petty and Grayson, Hundley has looked the best so far.

  38. We’re those Alex smith fat head faces in the Utah crowd? If so that is hilarious. Already a burnt timeout for harbaughs offense. I’m not going to miss those

    1. Yeah they’re in the crowd. It’s kind of a sad face, which seems like it’s trolling AS a little.

      Certainly a slow start to the game.

      1. LOL NN just posted rules about their site. Seems like they realized that they were behaving like spoiled brats, slinging insults and driving away posters with their cliquey condescending screeds. This site is so much better because people actually talk football instead of egotistical juvenile twittering.
        I was even mentioned, and they admitted I was banned because I just stated that real fans do not want their team to lose. How innocuous of a statement could that be? I really must frighten them and dominate their psyche to have them keep talking about me in such hushed tones.

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