Kap’s off in the pocket

This is my Thursday column on Colin Kaepernick.

Late last season, Joe Montana told USA Today that Colin Kaepernick needed to improve as a pocket passer. Kaepernick disagreed.

“I think pocket passing is something that is overlooked as far as what I do,” Kaepernick told a local radio station. Suggesting Montana, the greatest quarterback ever, is not a discerning quarterback analyst.

“I think people see me run around, see me throw on the run, see me run downfield and say, ‘That’s just what he does.’ But, when you step up in the pocket and make a normal throw, it gets overlooked because you’re not running around. Yes, you want to get better at (pocket passing). I want to get better at throwing on the run. I want to get better at going through progressions quicker. You want to get better at everything, but I don’t think (pocket passing) is something that is specifically being addressed.”

Kaepernick is kidding himself. He thinks pocket passing is overrated. He’s wrong. He thinks he’s a good pocket passer. He isn’t.

Throwing from the pocket last season, Kaepernick threw 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and his passer rating was just 80.9. Dreadful numbers. Montana was absolutely right.

On the other hand, Kaepernick’s passing numbers outside of the pocket were phenomenal – 12 touchdowns, just one interception and 114.4 passer rating. This should be no surprise. His specialty is running and throwing on the run.

“In high school, Colin ran the Wing T offense, which is a lot of misdirection running plays and throwing on the run outside of the pocket,” Chris Ault told me in a phone interview. Ault was Kaepernick’s head coach at the University of Nevada, and currently is a consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs. “The system did not feature the quarterback. They were not a great throwing team. He was not a pure drop-back quarterback coming out of high school.”

Kaepernick has been a drop-back pocket passer for 29 NFL games – that’s it. At Nevada, he did not line up under center. He lined up a few yards behind center in the Pistol, and sometimes the Shotgun. And he ran the ball 600 times in four seasons.

“Nevada’s offense complemented him,” Ault said. “He was able to get on the field at a young age. If he went to a college where he had to drop back from under center, he would have spent a long time developing and wouldn’t have gotten on the field as quickly. But in a Pistol like we ran at Nevada or Shotgun offense where the quarterback is away from center, the quarterback has more time to look at the defense because he’s not dropping back, and there are more chances to get rid of the ball earlier.”

Kaepernick thrives when he can get rid of the ball quickly – that’s what he did in college. Last season when he threw the ball in fewer than 2.5 seconds, his completion percentage was 66.1 and his passer rating was 101.2. Elite numbers. But, when Kaepernick took longer than 2.5 seconds to throw, his completion percentage fell to 49.7, and his passer rating fell to 80.7.

When Kaepernick sees his first option open, he is terrific. But when the first option is covered, Kaepernick holds onto the ball too long because he does not anticipate openings downfield. Anticipation is a skill he did not have a chance to cultivate in high school and college.

He searches for openings during the play. He took 3.08 seconds on average to throw last season – fourth-longest in the NFL. Peyton Manning took just 2.36 seconds to throw – almost a full second faster than Kaepernick.

“I see Colin as a guy who wants to see the receiver open, then he wants to utilize his arm strength to make the throw,” said Jeff Garcia, the last 49ers quarterback who earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

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

Kaepernick’s rival – Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson – already has taken his game to the level Garcia describes. Some people perceive Wilson as a scrambler who struggles as a pocket passer. Misconception. Last season, his passer rating inside the pocket was 104.7.

Important, because Wilson throws three times as many passes from inside the pocket as he does from outside of it. Kaepernick, too. It’s nice to be a good outside-the-pocket passer, but that’s secondary. The 49ers aren’t going to eliminate all of their pocket-passing plays because Kaepernick struggles with them. No quarterback has won a Super Bowl just by scrambling around and throwing on the run. Quarterbacks win Super Bowls from the pocket.

It is not too late for Kaepernick to become a good pocket passer. He still is just 26 years old. Steve Young didn’t become a good pocket passer until he was 28. Kaepernick has more than enough talent to become a good pocket passer, but talent isn’t his issue. Honesty is.

Kaepernick needs to admit that pocket passing is his weakness. And then, Kaepernick needs to spend most of his time this offseason perfecting that craft.

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

This article has 241 Comments

  1. Yes I fully agree. I want Collin Kaepernick to call a press conference where he can stand on top of the podium, dressed in a tux, with his tatoos nicely covered, clean shavin and no ball cap and announce to all of us in a carefully and thoughtfully written statement that he has lied to all of us, his fans. I want him to be totally honest and admit that he, Collin Kaepernick, needs to work on his pocket passing. After this, I’m sure we fans will calm down and obviously Kaepernick will be better at hitting the deep out on his third read. Top notch Grant, top notch.

    1. Now that we know that Kaepernick’s underlying problem is dishonesty, I like your suggested honest solution.

    2. Thanks for all the work in putting up some interesting stats Grant. Some interesting food for thought. It would be interesting to see how this years stats compared with last years. That might give us a better insight as if other variables if any were involved in those numbers. For example there can be different interpretations for why his percentage was much higher when he got rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds or less. It might have something to do with his receivers not being able to get separation if they are not initially open. I think the stats you point out might be more enlightning when put into context with the the stats you supplied about the completion percentages in respect to length of attempts and area’s of the field. I would like to see some real objectivity in respect to Kaeps numbers and evaluations. It appears to me that a lot of peoples perspective is too colored by preconceptions. As to my perspective. I hold the suspicion that there are a lot of things that we are not privy to. I would rather hold off on laying too much blame on Kaep. Especially that he is not working on his Pocket passing. I suspect it is like when everyone was blaming the QB’s for those delay of games and it turned out to be the coaches fault. Lets just wait till this coming season and things will clear themselves up considerably.

  2. “Late last yr Joe Montana told USA Today that CK needed to be a better pocket passer” A few days ago Joe Montana was asked by Matt Miaocco if he was starting a team who would he pick to be his QB. He said CK over R. Wilson

    1. Joe’s a smart guy who needs to make sure those tickets get sold.

      He learned his leason during Super Bowl week, and though he softened his stance on the subject he didn’t completely back down from it.

      1. Jack i do’nt think Joe has backed away from his criticism, everyone knows CK needs to be a better pocket passer but that being said he would still choose CK over Wison to start a team. Now to be honest he did say it was very close and Wilson would be his second choice.

        1. Montana stated the obvious and he was right. He also thought Kap was good enough to lead the team to the SB the way he was playing right then. Of course Kap needs to improve in the pocket. If you have never done something and then have to do it at the highest level, it’s going to take time. The thing is, it hasn’t stopped him from success. He’s winning while learning how to play in the pocket. That is what is just glazed over in this nonsense. If the team was winning 8 games and Kap was struggling to play at the pro level then I’d understand all the hand wringing and focus on fundamentals and lack of pocket excellence, but that’s not the case. He’s playing phenomenally well while learning something he’s never done. He’s also got Grant and his old man putting words in his mouth and creating their own scenarios to paint him in a bad light. Give the guy a break already.

          1. “He’s winning while learning how to play in the pocket. That is what is just glazed over in this nonsense.”

            It’s not glazed over. Kaepernick certainly plays a role in the wins and losses, but so does the team that he is surrounded with. You’ll disagree, but I think this is a 9-10 win team with almost anyone at QB.

            1. Since we compare Kaep to Wilson. I think it need to be said, the Seahawks defense helps Wilson out A LOT.

              1. Of course they do. That doesn’t change the fact that Wilson is a more polished product when it comes to throwing from the pocket at this stage in their careers.

                Another thing to consider:

                Kaepernick took over a team that was a proven winner when he stepped into the lineup. Under Harbaugh the 49ers had gone 20-6 (76.9%) and were two muffed punts away from a trip to a Super Bowl. Since Kaepernick took over the 49ers are 21-8 (72.4%) with a Super Bowl loss and a Championship game loss.

                Wilson on the other hand took over a team that in Pete Carroll’s first two seasons was 15-19 (44.1%). Now in two seasons with Wilson under center the Seahawks have gone 27-9 (75%), won a Super Bowl and were seconds away from an NFC Championship game berth.

              2. Grant- If you think that Jack Hammers analysis based on the comparison between the record of the team under Harbaugh before and after Kaep took over as QB is a good way to look at it——-Then tell me honestly do you believe those teams were identical except for the difference in QB’s. You would have to in order for that win/loss percentage analogy to be valid. I am not attempting to argue who is better between Wilson and Kaep. I am just getting tired of Idiots ( thats right everybody who continues to try to use that lame comparison) who can not comprehend that team not only changes from year to year but also mid-season due to various circumstances.

            2. Actually I don’t disagree and didn’t when you suggested this before. It’s a good team, but to win games the way they have in the playoffs, they needed more than almost anyone. To win a SB with this team, they will need more than just anyone.

            3. This isn’t a 9-10 win team with just anybody.
              Kap’s numbers make him a top 10 to top 15 QB.
              I understand he needs work, but pretending he isn’t in the top 15 QBs is entirely too reductive.

              1. Kaeps numbers are no where in the top 15 for a starting QB in this league, his were 20-25. For all the Alex Smith hate, Smith had more TDs, less Ints, more Yardage, a better completion percentage and all while playing in only 15 games vs Kaeps 16 games. And who would you rather have as your wr/te group, Vernon/McDonald & Crab/Boldin/Williams/Manningham vs McGrath/Fasano(mostly injured) & Bowe/Avery/McCluster/Hemmingway??

                So yes, this is a 9-10 win team with any of the top 20 to 25 qbs in the league, because of that defense, run game, and the coaching staff would not put them in a place to lose or make catastrophic mistakes.

              2. MJ,

                You are incorrect. Kap was rated top ten in passer rating, QBR and by PFF and Football Outsiders. It’s not about yardage and TD’s when you are one of the lowest passing teams in the league. If the Niners threw more he’d have more of both. The ranking is based on effectiveness as a QB and he’s top ten in every conceivable ranking service.

              3. Which tells me the team is winning in spite of his play. If he could pass like a Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers, or even Wilson, they’d be a much more diverse offense and the running game would probably be a bit more productive. QBRs and all those numbers are equations that can be and have been showed to be flawed and if you use them to say he’s a top 10 qb, your argument is equally as flawed.

            4. Jack speaking of glazed over nonsense. I believe there are 15 to 18 QB’s in the NFL that could win 9 to 10 games with last years roster but ALMOST ANYONE i hope you were’nt counting Colt McCoy or Mcleod Bethel-Thompson.

          2. The 49ers had the best team in football the last 2 years, yet failed to win the Super Bowl. The weak link has been the offense, not the defense. Guess who runs the offense? The damn QB that refuses to listen and learn! Typical of this worthless generation: they think they know everything! CK SUCKS as a passer QB. It’s a fact and the stats show it. The Seahawks have exposed that. Stop being a moron Kaep and accept your weaknesses and WORK on it instead of your tats and photo ops.

            1. GSM,
              they were NOT the best team in football. The best team in football had a better defense and a better running game. Hate to say it but they also had better situational coaching. That is why the best team in football won the superbowl…..

              1. Agreed! The Niners were not the best team…just look at the starting wide receivers at the beginning of the year Boldin, Williams, and Moore! We went 1-2 in those first 3 games, which costed us 1st place and home field advantage in the playoffs…its hard for a QB in or out of the pocket to throw to those wide outs. Russel Wilson has been put on a great team as well! Stud running game and top D for the past 2 years! All Wilson has had to do is not turn the ball over. He wasn’t taking any games over, but just making sure not to cause any turn overs.

                That being said we need a speedy WR in the draft to open the field up, no more 8 in the box and help give Davis miss matches! One reason Kap played better in his Super Bowl year was because of Moss! D’s respected his speed and size.

              2. Forget the turnovers, forget the defensive breakdowns. Without Kaep’s 130 yards on the ground, picking up key gainers – essentially a one man offense against the squawks – it *wouldn’t* have been a close game in the 4th quarter. 21 total yards by ball carriers not named Kaepernick? There’s your disgrace right there.

            2. GSM- That Damn Payton Manning sucks as a passer but he refuses to admit it and learn even after the Seattle Seahawks exposed that.

            3. It’s hard for some people to accept that KAEP was the reason the Niners are not holding up the Lombardi trophy these past two years. Some people can’t admit that the NIners were a very very very good team last year, and were winning in the NFCCG. They would like to blame everyone else but the QB, who have 3 TOs in the 4th quarter. Talk about imploding and denial!!!!!

              Russell Wilson is only 5’11 and is better in the pocket then the 6’4 CK. What is up with that?
              The reason why CK is better out of the pocket is because that’s when the play is broken down. Since he can’t read defenses past his one read, so he rather scramble out of the pocket, play playground ball or gain yards on the ground. Not all the teams are the Packers though.
              Niners have the talent to be the best team, they just didn’t play like it all year.

              1. We gotcha Fan..Everything is Kap’s fault..draft,player acquisitions,special teams,defensive laps,play calls,the cheerleaders,the water on the sidelines,headsetsbeing used..making russell Wilson convert fourth and seven..How dare Kap let marshawn bust through the line like that for a td..Kap was out of his mind especially when it came to special teams.. 

              2. If he didn’t throw have those turnovers, if he didn’t have the ball at the end of the game, then you can make the argument the lost was not his fault.
                But both games ended with an ill advised pass by KAEP. Please explain how he’s not at least responsible for the NON-WIN?????
                It seems like all the pro KAEP anti Smith group is perfectly happy to blame Smith for the lost in the Giants game, how he was for 1 for 13 on third downs, and completely overlook the two fumbles by Williams.
                Ummmmm………… yeah.

              3. So the other three quarters didnt happened? Doesn’t exist? It’s a four quarter game fan..He’s not the whole reason we lost..everybody played a part in it..From conservative coaching..to defensive lapses..to special teams failures..kap turnovers..and refs while we’re at it..The Giants game..conservative coaching,bad special teams..Coughlin was smart..told his guy to catch it and fall down..or get away from it..ours kept kyle in..but alex missed some plays out there too but that’s water under the bridge..the superbowl’s last pass he had to let it go sooner than expected..all out blitz

              4. Sure it’s a 4 quarter game. But kickers and QBs are expected to come through when the game is on the line. They have ball on their hands or foot. Players get paid to make plays and KAEP didn’t do it when he had the chance. Sorry….

            4. one wr.one rb.on off.watdo u expect wait till this year uno ck.will work his tats off this year.GONINERS.

      2. I would tend to agree with you on this. It seemed he must have gotten some negative feedback from some source so he was doing damage control. He stated emphatically that he was quoted out of context which might be true. There was a drastic change in his vocal timber and considerable cracking when he was speaking about this subject. That type of vocal reaction reflects that this was a very stressful issue for him. Some kind of Shiit hit the fan on that. I don’t necessarily believe it had anything to do with backing down. My take was that he just was sorry he ever made that statement. but for what reasons I wouldn’t know.

        1. The previous statement was in response to Jack Hammers May 1 2:21pm statement. How it ended up down here is a mystery.

    2. I would agree with Joe. Long term, there’s more to work with with Colin.

  3. Grants off behind the keyboard……
    Montana himself said that when he was asked this question, that only snippets of what he said were played. If they would have played the entire sequence, they would have seen that what he said was not meant to be negative.


    right around the 5:25 mark. Want the balanced truth guess we have to go to CSN Bay Area….

  4. He has now taken the dead horse and transubstantiated it into Elmer’s Glue…..

    1. He’s laying the groundwork for his Instructional Series for 49ers Mgt on the Roll Out Pass. But really, is Colin even still on the team? His stats ain’t so great.

    2. He beat the horse to death….then he brought it back to life as a zombie only to beat it even more and kill it again,,,then he transubstantiated it into glue.

      Dang you Roger Goodell!!!

      This is what happens when you move back the draft!!!

    3. Razor,

      You win post of the day for using the word “transubstantiated” in a comment about football! Nice!

    1. Go ahead and hate your quarterback
      Go ahead and beat your horse
      Do it in the name of journalism
      Get the Sigma Delta Chi Award
      There’ll won’t be anymore interviews
      Come Super Bowl day
      On the bloody morning after,
      One Trick Pony Rides Again….

  5. uhm…did I miss something in the interview?

    Kaepernick is kidding himself. He thinks pocket passing is overrated. He’s wrong. He thinks he’s a good pocket passer. He isn’t.

    at what point did Kaepernick say pocket passing was overrated? and at what point did he say he’s a good pocket passer? by your own stats, his pocket passer rating is 80.9. that’s okay…decent but not horrible.

    your constant comparisons to Russell Wilson are bizarre. Is simply a case of inflammatory writing?

  6. Grant you should have just named this “The Strawman” by Grant Cohn. You’ve completely made up a scenario by assuming you can see through what is being said. Kaepernick said nothing about Pocket passing being overrated, clearly stated he needed to improve it along with everything else, and you tied an opinion to Montana without outlining the entire context of the article it was quoted in or his current feelings on the subject. Smh.

  7. Grant’s over-analyzing of Kap is robbing him of energy that could be better focused on things that are more worthy of his attention.

    1. Crab,

      Grant is stubborn and likes to argue. Simple as that. He’s also trying to be like his dad in criticizing for the sake of criticism. When he took over this blog a few years ago he’d write endlessly about how bad Alex Smith was and how the team needed to bench him in favor of Kap. Now Smith is gone and he’s waxing poetic about Smith’s time here in previous entries, knocking Kaps fundamentals and pocket presence and anything negative that can be found about the guy, while comparing him to the QB of the hated rival who has played in a pro style offense longer and had more help from the running game and defense to win a title.

      1. Rocket – Hey bro, I been blogging in here long before Grant came along. I even remember Maiocco’s 2009 mock draft in here. Matt predicted Raiders would select Crabtree with the 7th pick and Niners would take DE Tyson Jackson from LSU with the 10th pick.
        “The Grant” does a hell of a job in here but I’m not McLovin his constant Kap criticism and the over-analyzing. I know he has to sell tickets but it’s getting out of hand.
        I would love to see “the Grant” get some inside info on Harbaugh’s plan for the three-headed-monster of Gore/Hunter/Lattimore. That’s more intriguing than how Kap puts his pants on each morning. :-)

        1. I should mention, I had a different screen name back then. Can’t remember it though….damn……getting old.

        2. Yeah this place was better with maiocco ran this…much better then than now. This got maiocco a better gig and if you havent noticed grant cant get a better gig. Haha

          1. “The Grant” is much better at interacting with posters than Maiocco was. I’ll give him that. Matt would reply to only 1-2 posts per story. Grant puts in way more time and effort than Matt did but Grant’s topics are sometimes just to stir up trouble in here and increase traffic.

              1. Just havin a little bbq at home with some cold IPA’s, with a Niner buddy. I’d rather be in in Niners press trailer, I’m jealous.
                You know I agree with you 75% of the time in here, I gotta take a shot at you once or twice a year or it’s too boring for me. :-)
                TGIF …..UCLA football may go the distance next season!

              2. That’s where they make us watch it.
                They being the PD? Are you working while in there?

        3. Crab,

          Oh I know you’ve been here a long time man. I was just stating what had happened, not saying you didn’t see it first hand. At the end of the day no matter how riled up anybody gets it’s Football, not life.

  8. Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick presented differing (and somewhat unusual) formulas for winning.

    Smith won games with an sterling TD to turnover ratio in 2011-2012. “Small hands” were a thing of the past.

    Kaepernick won games with a high Yards Per Attempt…especially before Manningham, Hunter and Williams got hurt.

    If Colin makes even moderate pocket improvement it be huge. He pressures defenses like no one else.

  9. Garcia’s comments are spot on. Colin’s passing issues are in his head in both understanding the offense and attitude. People talk about Colin and his reads and progressions. I’m pretty sure he knows them; Harbaugh wouldn’t trot Kaepernick out there if he didn’t. But….and this is my theory…his time in Nevada’s offense had him in a mostly single read passing offense. It’s been ingrained into Kaepernick to focusing on the primary receiver (actually I think Kaep can read both the TE and Flanker passing concept route combos). And because of that he still doesn’t see the whole field once the ball is snapped. In college and to a large extend in the Pros, when the pocket broke down, Kaepernick took off with his feet.

    Kaepernick played his entire college career out of the pistol, which will hinder his ability to immediately play quarterback in an NFL offense. Too often, he relied on his feet to make plays even before the pocket broke down and doesn’t give his receivers time to make something happen. He usually isn’t willing to stand in the pocket and take a hit in order to make a good throw. He doesn’t force too many unnecessary throws and will hold the ball before forcing a pass, evidenced by his low interception total (never threw more than 8 in a full season). When his first and second options can’t get open, he does a good job of checking down to third and fourth receiving options. When on the run, he uses his elusiveness and athleticism to avoid big hits and doesn’t put his body at risk if it’s not necessary.

    Colin Kaepernick Scouting Report

    The other problem, I think is attitude. Not a bad attitude. But more of a machismo, I’m going to go with the ball where I think it should go attitude. Not that Kaep forces many balls, but he has on multiple occasions stated that his intent was to get the ball to a certain receiver (usually Crabtree, sometimes Davis or Boldin). Remember early in his career when Tom Brady was asked who his favorite receiver is and he said “the one that’s open”. That is almost always the correct answer and not a predetermined desire to get the ball to any particular receiver.

    1. The thing is Wilson plays in the same type of system. If you watch Wilson, it’s one or two reads and the ball is gone or he’s out of the pocket, just like Kap. The difference is Wilson throws more short passes. It’s not that scientific, but if Kap takes some short options or the Niners start calling more slants like Hawks, his numbers in the pocket will improve a great deal. The playcalling has a lot to do with the Pocket numbers.

        1. Wilson is also throwing slants when there are 8 men in the box. People are scared of gore but not like they are scared of lynch. Lynch is that game changing player that makes the game managing wilson good.

        2. Since when did the 49ers have check downs in romans offense? So glad roman is gone

      1. I think you’re right, and I have to believe it’s a function of the playbook. Roman has limited experience as an OC. He had some success at Stanford, but I’m sure Andrew Luck was part of that. His idea of converting a 3rd and 2 against a stout front 7 is to run against them — not around them at the edge but straight into them. Short passes? Apparently not manly enough. Of course some guys in the booth refer to him as a genius. We once had a genius directing our offense, and Roman’s no genius. I swear, if we had an average to good OC, Kap’s production would soar.

    2. Kaepernick cheers his primary receiver open. Just stares him down, waits for him to get open and then tries to muscle the pass in before the db breaks on it. Kaepernick needs to improve his anticipation. All elite quarterbacks throw with anticipation. Brett Favre — who many people compare Kaepernick to — had great anticipation.

      1. Iggy is correct here.
        He DOES stare his 1st option down.
        Not too difficult for Safeties to get a read on where the ball is going on the medium to deep routes.

      2. Yep he does stare receivers down too often. It’s something common with young QB’s never mind ones learning how to play the position in a pro style offense. The more he plays the more he’ll improve that facet of his game. As Robert said, if this is the floor, or as I’ve described it, learning on the job, then the ceiling is unlimited for this guy.

      3. “Kaepernick cheers his primary receiver open”. Love the turn of phrase. True too.

      4. Grant be honest, why do you hate the 49ers and their players so much? This might help understand you better when your always writing negative things about them? Why? Even if they played a perfectly mistake free game where every play went for a td on offense and every defensive play they shut out the opposing offense, a perfect mistake free game. You would still write and talk about the 49ers and their players as if they were thee worst ever to take a sports field. So tell me why you hate them so much

    3. Lots of insight. Makes a good deal of sense. Thanks for putting it together.

  10. The only advantage of the draft being delayed is that it’s spared us two weeks of name calling and pissing matches about why Baalke has pulled a 2012 draft again or why every pick is a future pro bowler and how we’ll steamroll to the SB which we’ll win 200-0.

  11. A 898 word column by Grant on quarterbacking without the mention of David Fales, now that’s an impressive demonstration in exercising self restraint.

    The ending could have been better though, shouldn’t Kaepernick also admit that he is a mistake repeater and a shake down artist?

  12. Anyone else just watch the Kelvin Benjamin interview on NFL Network? I’ve been vocal that I don’t like him as a prospect but it is good to see him talk about his biggest weakness, getting off press coverage, openly. Encouraging that he is conscious of it and trying to get better.

  13. One thing is for sure…he does need to be able to anticipate routes and throw his WRs open.
    That elongated throwing motion always concerned me too.
    Lucky thing though–he’s got Harbaugh to tutor him.
    I’d say he’s in a pretty good place right now though.
    I mean, if this is his floor, imagine his ceiling!

    1. Harbaugh didn’t throw with anticipation when he was a QB, for what it’s worth.

      1. The greateset coaches (in any sport) weren’t necessarily the greatest players.
        Some were never players.
        Just saying…

  14. Grant…how much of Kap’s troubles would you put on the fact he didn’t have more than two receivers he trusted for most of the year?

    1. His pocket-passing numbers did not improve when Crabtree came back. His passer rating in the pocket was 75 from Week 13 to the NFC Championship.

        1. You have to consider that it took Crabs a bit of time to get back into playing form. Shouldn’t just count his first appearance’s as him being totally back.

  15. Kaepernick:
    “Yes, you want to get better at (pocket passing). I want to get better at throwing on the run. I want to get better at going through progressions quicker. You want to get better at everything, but I don’t think (pocket passing) is something that is specifically being addressed.”

    Is it just me, or does anyone else get a sense that Kaep’ (above) comment, specifically the latter part of his statement implies that he is not solely responsible for throwing more out of the pocket.

    Grant, seems like you’ve spent quite a bit of time compiling these numbers. But if your purpose is to make someone like myself discredit Kaep’ body of work, well sorry, it’s not working.
    But if it makes you happy here it is:
    CK is a waste of a player/QB, he is by far the poorest excuse of an NFL QB that should be ashamed to don a 49er uniform. Drafting him was the worse mistake in 49er history. The Faithful should run this hack out of town!

    There, feel better Grant? (lol)

    1. AES-You picked up something in his statements that I have also noticed. Harbaugh also has made statements that mirrored those. That is why I keep telling people that there are other factors involved that we don’t know about. He is doing what they want him to do. Why they are doing that is another matter. I keep telling people that he is taking the rap for other peoples decisions. Sure he can improve but I seriously doubt that he is incapable of throw check down passes. I do question why they are allowing him to get the heat for those decisions. Of course how long did it take for them to fess up about their being responsible for the delay of penalties.

    1. “Grant has become Taco Bell.”

      Yep. And you’re upset that he isn’t Burger King so you can have it your way.

  16. Alright. Where should I start? Kaep went to a small school. If I read that last blog right, Nevada did what they had to – to win. I don’t see the fault in this. Kaep was the leader, running or passing, he got the job done. THATS ALL THAT MATTERS.

    Now Grant you can blame Kaep, which I believe he takes some blame but no even close to 50%. His favorite wide reciever was hurt(if it wasn’t for Kap, Crabtree wouldn’t be able to demand the type of money he will eventually ask for.) No other recievers stepped up, and our opponents took full advantage. We only had 2 WR’s, 1 TE, and 1 RB. Every team, whether they could get away with it or not either double team and/or bracketed our WR’s or TE, and stacked the box. NOT ONCE, did any coach, make any adjustments. Players can only do so much, at some point the coaches have to begin playing the game of chess. OURS DID NOT. And THATS wear a lot of the blame should fall. Right at the coaches feet.

    Alex Smith played in a gimmick offense at UTAH. Urban Meyer should thank him for getting him to where he is now. But they were a small school doing what they needed to do to win. How many other QB’s has Urban Meyer put in the NFL that has succeeded. We waited 8-9 yrs before we saw Alex smith blossom. You’re already putting a lot of blame on Kaep and he’s only started 2 yrs and did more than Alex Amith. CAN THE MAN GET MORE TIME TO DEVELOPE.

    Completion %:
    Wilson 63
    Kaep 58

    Total Yards
    Wilson 3357
    Kaep 3197

    Avg Yards per game
    Wilson 209
    Kaep 199

    Both had 2 300+ yd games

    Wilson 26/9
    Kaep 21/8

    Grant by the way you talk Wilson is leaps and bounds ahead of Kaep but the numbers don’t prove it. Yes Kaep needs to improve in the pocket but heck according to you Wilson in deep poop bc Kaep plays terrible and still puts up identical numbers. Imagine what happens when it clicks

    1. Kaepernick’s passer rating in the pocket was 75 from Week 13 to the NFC Championship when he had Crabtree, Boldin and Davis. Having lots of options doesn’t help if you’re staring down your primary receiver and not anticipating openings.

      1. But everyone has came to the conclusion that more than likely that’s what he’s being COACHED. Are you telling him to go AGAINST what he’s being told to do? I’m sure I can pull stats from certain games to prove my point. But over the course of the TOTAL season, Wilson was barely better than Kaep.

  17. It’s pretty disturbing to read about Kap disagreeing with Joe Montana (who has 4 more Super Bowl rings than Kap, and is also enshrined in Canton), about needing to improve his skills as a pocket passer. Meanwhile, Russell WIlson has picked up his game significantly since being drafted and now has 1 Super Bowl ring. Doubt that Wilson did that by thinking he knows better than those more experienced than him in football – in fact, the word on Wilson is that he is hungry to learn and has a phenomenal work ethic. Kap may just want to listen to Montana and several other former NFL QBs who have made similar comments about Kap’s pocket-passing – hopefully Kap won’t end up agreeing 15 years from now when he’s retired from the NFL and has no rings.

    1. The problem I have with people saying Kaep should take their advice is; what good is that advice when it’s passed through media outlets. Montana, Young, and Garcia; if they want to help and truly see him succeed, how about going to Santa Clara and talking to him like a man. How about getting his phone number and calling him? If they want to help, go directly to him. Don’t pass messages through the media. And I don’t think Kaep was blatently disagreeing with them. But if Kaep was to say, yeah I suck in the pocket, then we’re talking about his lack of confidence. He said he wanted to improve his all around game. When has Kaep EVER given a straight up answer to the media. Last but no least, EVERYONE says Kaep has the same work ethic. So who cares about the hearsay.

    2. B.j. go troll on the cards or rams board you pathetic seadderall cheathawk fan.wilson better than kap, thats hilarious. We will see. Who are the seahawk receivers for this upcoming season as of right now? Baldwin, o cant name any one else. Tate is gone, sid rice unsigned free agent, who are their other receivers.

  18. “Quarterback David Fales said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told him they are going to select a QB in the draft.” ~ John Devine, Monterey Herald

  19. Why does he need to admit this again?

    And since when is 80 QB Rating dreadful? Keep on trolling daddy’s boy.

    1. “And since when is 80 QB Rating dreadful?”

      um… an 80.7 rating would make him 26th among starting QB’s for 2013.

  20. Data cropping leads to any number of different statistical results. Usually at least one of those results match the preconceived notions of the one doing the selective cropping.


  21. Grant is often right, as is his old man. The truth often hurts. Schembechler….I mean Harbaugh, had his best shot with the defense, running game, and the Kaep/ pistol in NFL novelty in 2012. It didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Seattle is younger with a smarter, more capable pocket passer. Niners D now has old age, injuries, and idiots at key positions. Schembechler (Harbaugh) better get somebody in the pipeline who can make smart reads from the pocket if Kaep is too dumb to figure it out. The D oriented attack likely missed its window.

    1. Yawn, seems a Seattle troll found this site and decided to post some favorite hawk fan talking points to convince themselves the 49ers aren’t a sb caliber team. I swear fieldgulls.com and Dave softy Mahler do all of the programming (thinking) for the clones up there.

  22. I read where Sam Wyche wants an NFL job. Don’t think the 49ers have a place for him on this staff but he would be one coach who could have a real impact. I know I’d want him as QB coach on my team.

  23. Wow a professional athlete not being honest with media…whats new? Why would they do that? So people like grant, his father and other journalis or media can ridicule, bash, trash, and talk smack about him? You journalist think you know it all, you think you automatically gain a athletes trust, when all you do is talk trash about them. You expect them to be honest with someone like grant. All grant has done is bash kap and the 49ers along with his father (grants dad). I don’t understand journalist thinking they have the right for any athletes trust especially when all they do is bash them and hate the team that they play for. I bet if kap was on the raiders, all you would see is articles about how great kap is by grant and his father. Great work grant, kindergarten journalism at its best.

  24. Marked improvement from Week #13 on and I find it interesting that this objective piece makes no mention of the the troubles with the WR corp or interior line as causal factors.

    1. Kaepernicks’s passer rating in the pocket was 75 after Crabtree came back. Having lots of options on the field doesn’t help if the quarterback consistently stares down the first option and has no anticipation.

      1. Grant, the O-line was lousy at pass protection. In fact the O-line is over hyped in general. Colin — and I think the guy is a jerk but what the hey — had very little time to set up and fling. That’s was obvious watching the games…

        1. It usually takes the media and subsequently the fans a few years to catch up with the reality of each teams actual situation. They usually regurgitate the same old stuff long after the situation has long changed. One of those was hyping the SF offensive line. Any one watching the game will recognize the constant pass protection breakdowns.

  25. Wow! Where to start? First off. Great article. I completely agree with about 90% of it. I didn’t like this point…

    “Suggesting Montana, the greatest quarterback ever, is not a discerning quarterback analyst.”

    Seems to me this is a total cheap shot designed to play on the allegiances of your readers so as to align them with you by way of Montana instead of defending Kaep against you. Deceptively manipulative writing in my opinion.

    You then quote Chris Ault who said,

    “But in a Pistol like we ran at Nevada or Shotgun offense where the quarterback is away from center, the quarterback has more time to look at the defense because he’s not dropping back, and there are more chances to get rid of the ball earlier.”

    On this exact point, Joe Montana has been quoted many times as saying he hated the shotgun because it forced the QB to take his eyes off the defense in order to catch the snap and it slowed down his reading progressions. You did not include your own analysis stating Chris Ault was suggesting Montana was a poor QB analyst. If we are to discount CK’s opinions because they differ from Montana’s then we should also discount Ault’s opinions because they differ from Montana’s.

    The rest of the article was spot on. If Kaep thinks he’s a good pocket passer then he is doomed to repeating the same level of play which is average at best from the pocket. CK needs to spend every waking moment in the offseason attempting to get better at his footwork and reading defenses from the pocket. His quotes on this subject are quite disheartening in my opinion.

    1. Thanks. All Kaepernick had to say was something political, like, “I know better than to quibble with the greatest QB of all time.”

      Not, “A lot of people overlook my pocket passing ability,” like Montana is just another guy.

      1. I think you read way too much into it Grant. He didn’t disrespect Montana by standing up for himself and clearly stated he needed to work on everything; not just playing in the pocket. Thing is I don’t think playing in the pocket most of the time is ever going to be the case with him, at least until he is older. He offers way too much as a passer and runner outside the pocket to take it away. If he improves the Pocket accuracy to over 60% he will be a top 5 QB.

      2. Grant, so if a sports columnist like Rick Reilly gave you advice on how to write your columns that you didn’t agree with, you would simply say, “I know better than to quibble with one of the best sports writers of all time.” Just wondering what your response would be?

    2. Houston:

      It’s not just that Ault disagrees with Montana; it’s that his statement is contrary to reality. How can a QB who has to look at the ball to make sure he catches the snap have more time to look at the defense than a QB who never has to take his eyes off of the defense?

      1. CB Im willing to bet that 99.9% of QB’s in the shotgun are looking at the ball when it’s snapped and the .1% that don’t are the ones that end up chasing it and taking a loss or a turnover.

          1. Not easy to see the whole field while dropping back from under center.

            1. from what I’ve read, a QB under center can keep their eyes on the defense the entire time. Since Center snaps the ball directly into the QB’s hands the QB doesn’t have to think much about receiving the ball.

              but when the QB takes a snap from the shotgun, the QB has to take their eyes off of the defense for a half second to see the ball snapped, it’s trajectory and watch it go into their hands and then have to reset their eyes on the defense.

              also, for drop back passing, especially for the WCO, the steps are timed with their routes. So each step is almost like a metronome for timing for the QB on when to throw to certain receivers.

            2. Perhaps, but it’s not easy to see any of the field when focusing on the ball in flight back to you. Plus, the QB has to stare at the center’s butt immediately prior to the snap, so that’s additional time (admittedly not much, but still more than zero) the QB isn’t looking at the field.

          2. It shouldn’t mystify you Claude. There’s different schools of thought on this, and Ault just happens to be from the one that thinks the shotgun provides a little more time.

            1. Jack:

              Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but, except for play action passes, I don’t see how it’s possible for the shotgun QB to have more time to read the defense.

              1. The split second spent looking down is less than the time spent dropping back.

              2. Yes, but isn’t the under center QB reading the defense/scanning the field the entire time he is dropping back?

              3. Jack,

                Thats not the point and I’m fairly certain you know that. You say the split second looking down is less than the amount of time dropping back. In the NFL, the QB’s average anywhere from 2.49-3.14 seconds from snap to release. If the QB is focused on the center at the time of the snap and then fully concentrating on the snap before even looking at the defense then a huge % of his time available to read the defense is taken from him. It’s simple math. Time spent on watching snap under center is zero. Time spent on watching snap in shotgun is 0.50 seconds approximately. That’s around 17% of the QB’s time that he can’t look at a defense to make a read. Under center, it’s drop back and read defense simultaneously, plant and throw. In shotgun, its watch snap, catch snap, read defense, throw. I have to give Joe Montana some credit here. I agree with him.

              4. Claude,

                If you watch the QB/center exchange close up and in slow motion you’ll quite often see the QB’s eyes drop at the snap.

                As I believe I said in my initial comment, there’s 2 schools of thought on this. Ault believes in one, Montana in the other.

                There’s no definite answer.


                .5 seconds for a shotgun snap? This isn’t powder puffs.

              5. Jack,

                You’re seriously suggesting QB’s look down at the center when receiving direct snaps? This isn’t the Comedy Channel. At one time you had a shred of credibility. Not sure why.

              6. I know the do. It’s a very quick movement. Not like they are staring.

            2. a well trained QB shouldn’t look down at their center’s but to get a snap. think about it, you really shouldn’t have to. you’re taught to do it by feel.

            3. Jack,

              there’s also a difference in pre and POST snap reads. The ability of the QB to make POST snap reads is not effected by taking snaps under center since the ball is snapped directly into the hands of the QB. A shotgun QB must focus on where the ball is going and get it into his hands before he can make a POST snap read.

              Also the timing of routes is usually better marked by making a drop back from the Center. Routes are timed by the steps of the QB. A shotgun QB does not have the benefit of a built in metronome for route timing (yes a finely tuned QB like Brady and Manning have internal clocks that are synched with their receiver’s routes). Some offenses (and I do not know if it includes the Niners) have combo route/drops where half the field is split for a 3 step drop play and the other half is for a 5-7 step drop. The 3 step side is usually designed to beat blitzes, or certain coverages and the 5-7 for more vertical stretch type passing concepts. The QB then has the flexibility to read the coverage while dropping back and choose to go with a 3 step pass or a 5 or 7 step pass depending on what coverage he’s read.

              1. jack,

                fair enough. though from strictly a QB read snap/post snap point of view, I’d say Auldt is wrong. But from just giving the QB more time point of view, he may be write because the shotgun creates an instant distance at the snap between rushers and the QB which helps out the O-linemen too.

  26. Grant,
    Your limited knowledge of football comes back to haunt you again. Turning Kap into Alex Smith is not the answer. There are multiple reasons Kap has difficulty from the pocket:
    1 – His OC is a power running specialist who has never developed a pro passing scheme and his options and progressions are vanilla at best;
    2 – When Kap escapes the pocket the defense goes into panic mode and his ability to throw accurately on the run is classic, not something you want him to get away from, but something Bill Walsh would have cleverly designed plays to enhance;
    3 – Last season was a fluke. Kap was pretty new, there wasn’t an adequate backup QB, Crabtree was out and the receiver corps was a bad joke, and Kap was hiding a foot injury that concerned the staff.

    This season will be different. The WRs with Boldin, Crabtree, Lloyd or Patton, plus a draftee stud will give Kap options and progressions he can actually use and receivers will be getting open. We’ll see the emergence of Marcus Lattimore, and the swelling of the ranks on the defense as Fangio finally adopts Seifert’s defensive philosophy of using all of his players, not wearing out just a few.

    New season, Grant. Watch how suddenly Kap is making his progressions and improving in the pocket, but don’t expect him to stay there and take away his most dangerous threat to the defenses, the rollout. Go Niners.

  27. Steve deberg flung the ball around as was good enough to get you beat. Kap is no dummy, this is just his ego talking. He knows no shotgun qb has ever won a Super Bowl. Remember the Kelly gun offense. It took holmgren and Walsh and mooch to turn Steve young & farveinto sb qb. But how fast and strong is Brady , manning , Warner, Montana ? He can out run and out throw Wilson, but like Montana wilson knows where his players are. ( common 4 th and long he throws a td against our d!) if he improves he will be good even great. If he doesn’t and throws again to Crabtree whose double covered dump him and get someone else.

  28. Colin is another Vince Young. He can run and make plays, but he is terrible if his first receiver is covered. I watched him here at Nevada and he has not progressed since those days. If it were not for the defense, this team is near the .500 mark.

    An idea for discussion;
    Trade CK and pick 30 to the Raiders for their top 10 pick and take Johnny Football or Bortles. Let Harbaugh train one of them and save $18 million on CK.

    Kind of funny how Alex Smith succeeded in KC outside of the system, but our offensive coordinator is another Joe Biden.

    All 4 now.

      1. Who should we thank for giving you the word of the day calendar?

    1. Lol. You can not be serious. Drafting either of those guys is a major step back ESPECIALLY Manziel.

    1. Not tendering him would hurt the team and help Aldon not punish him.

      If Aldon got gets to free agency a year sooner he could cost the the team an additional 7 mil a year.

  29. I completely agree with Grant’s post. Never, ever thought I would write those words anywhere.

  30. Funny most of the good writers on this blog left for bigger things after a couple of years. We keep expecting Grant to write solid pieces but he doesn’t. Not because he can’t, but because he doesn’t want to. I have a feeling he’s out of here soon. All you have to do to see that he quit trying is read his pieces. Several folks have told him to quit beating a dead horse in regards to slamming Kaep. That motivated him do what? To slam Kaep some more haha.

    I would quit caring too if none of the big name Niners wanted to speak with me. After the pieces that the Cohn’s write, can you imagine them walking down the hallways of 4949 Centennial Blvd attempting to get a big name to interview with them? Can’t happen. Won’t happen. Which leaves one option open, write vindictive pieces : )

    Someone brought up a good suggestion the other day. Why not write a piece on the RB situation and touch on how the 49ers will distribute the carries this year.

    I’d like to know how they plan on utilizing VMac this year in the passing offense. Would like to know given VMac’s size that they didn’t utilize him more in the red zone last year.

    Lastly, I have a question for all the guys that are man crushing on Wilson. If Wilson had the 49ers running game down the stretch, would it have had an impact on his statistics? In the Seahawks final 4 games, Lynch averaged 96.25 yards per game and scored 5 td’s during that span.
    Gore over the last 4 games averaged 44 rushing yards per game and scored 1 TD over that span.
    Would Wilson have won a superbowl with Gore’s rushing totals? Look at the Arizona Cardinals games. The Cards held Lynch to under 4 yards per carry and kept him out of the end zone. Wilson only threw for 108 yards that game and had a 49 QB rating. Grant, by chance do you want to speak about Wilson’s stats from the pocket that game? I bet not.

    I also have a theory. I think Jack Hammer is a Grant alias. Jack’s writing used to stand on its own merit. Not Jack has turned into a cheap carbon copy of Grant. Just an observation.

    1. What happened to the guy who used to tell other commenters they should go to another blog if they didn’t like what Grant wrote?

        1. 1. You’re ducking the question. What has changed since the time you used to tell others to go somewhere else if they didn’t agree with Grant?

          2. So, I’m the puppet of a puppet? Is it your theory that Grant is manipulating Jack to manipulate me? That’s an interesting concept. Got any facts to back it up? Haha, who am I kidding? Of course you don’t. That’s not your thing.

          3. Is “puppet” your new “douche”?

          4. You’re ducking the question.

          1. Not ducking any questions. I used to have a bit more respect for what Grant wrote. He was less agenda based IMO back in the day. Maybe my eyes are a bit more open these days.
            These days I see Grant writing more for blog hits than for quality. But ultimately you are correct, if I don’t like it, I can leave…… Or we can bring back Bob Padecky lol.

            1. Or we can bring back Bob Padecky

              Not if Ken Stabler has anything to say about it.

            2. Of course you had more respect for Grant back when what he was writing agreed with your opinions.

  31. I don’t get your goal with this, Grant. What’s the point?
    Nearly everyone in the NFL with QB knowledge has said that Kap needs work on his footwork.
    Why are you dedicating so many articles to saying the same thing?

    1. Look at the responses compared to the topics related to other things. This is what gets the forum jumping. QB’s are lightning rods for opinions.


    I’m hearing talk on ESPN that the Rams might want Manziel or Bortles. On the chance they’re not happy with Bradford (and I understand he’s overpaid for what he’s done and he’s fragile), I would LOVE the 49ers to propose this trade:

    Kaepernick for Bradford plus their 13th pick in the first round. Then, with all these high picks, maybe we take a QB in R2 as insurance if Bradford fails. He could wind up being the backup we need if Bradford succeeds.

    Am I crazy, stupid, or a football svengali?

    1. Here’s my reaction to your idea… I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!

      CK has played in games for 2 years. In those 2 years he has taken his team to the Super Bowl and the NFCCG. He has deficiencies but he is a very talented QB. In Bradfords years in the NFL he has….. what? Been injured? Been on terrible teams? Not delivered in the crunch?

      Why in the world would anyone want Sam Bradford? He’s an IR player waiting to happen.

      1. I see Kap as the weak link on an otherwise dominant team that should not have only gone to the Superbowl once, but won at least one of the past 3.

        Pocket passers who read defenses well and utilize all their weapons win Superbowls. Kapernick is a freakish athlete who compensates for a lack of pocket passing ability with insane running talent. But he’s not the best we can do.

        Bradford is a real pocket passer. He’s accurate, reads defenses, throws with the right touch, and has some scrambling ability. At OU, I thought he reminded me of Montana. He’s got the right skill set. He has been on bad teams, so it’s hard to compare results with Kap, but the 49ers are loaded and half the QBs in the NFL would have taken the Niners this far in my opinion. Who’s the guy to get them the Lombardi? Not Kap in my opinion.

        We need to diversify our options at QB this year and for the next few years and my scenario allows that.

        1. Alan:
          “Pocket passers who read defenses well and utilize all their weapons win Superbowls.”

          Ok, pocket passers have won more often than not, but they haven’t won every time they have been to the super bowl: Just ask P.Manning and Tom Brady (perhaps the best QB’s of the last 10 yrs.

          Jumping off the Kaep ship at such an early stage in his career smacks of panic and desperation. Go ahead and jump all you want, but it seems silly since there’s no lifeboat (alternative QB) to cling to.
          I’m staying onboard until the Org decides they need another option at QB. And frankly, I won’t hold my breath on that being anytime soon.

        2. You see Kap as the weak link but you want to trade for Bradford or draft a rookie. WHAT HAS BRADFORD DONE? Are ANY of those rookies helping us win a SB. HECK NO

    2. I guess it’s not name calling if you asked the question. Your idea is so dumb that it doesn’t deserve a football response….

      1. Well let’s see your brilliant football IQ on display then. Humor me with a breakdown of why Bradford couldn’t be better than Kap with the 49ers (plus, we’d get the 13th pick of the draft in addition to Bradford).

        1. You have to give Kaep one more year. Don’t pay him 18 million. This next year is a transition year for the Niners because they lost so many players on Defense. Can Baalke replace them all? Also, will Lattimore step up? Not sure, but the O-Line may be changing too, They were dominant at times in run blocking, but so-so in pass blocking.
          If he only shows marginal improvement, then you toss him aside for the next dude.

        2. It’s not worth the breakdown Alan. It’s a dumb idea. Beyond dumb actually. But lets throw this out for starters, Kellen Clemens came in and put up basically the same numbers and same output as Bradford. If your $700K a year career backup can do just as well as your $12 million per (franchise) guy, then maybe your $12 million can be spent more wisely elsewhere.
          Bradford aint winning games and aint putting butts in the seats. He aint making his team better. Yet you want to give up a guy with Kaep ceiling in exchange for Bradford based on what? Bradford’s college stats?
          Go to the St. Louis blogs. I am sure they are filled with lots of folks that lack football knowledge just like you.

        3. Never mind what the 49ers think of Kaepernick’s upside. Your plan requires that the Rams think that Kaepernick is worth their 13th pick and their quarterback while you claim that it’s Kaepernick’s fault that we didn’t win the Superbowl the past two years. If you’re going to dream, why not go for the Ram’s 2nd pick?

    3. Alan,
      Let’s just say your idea is tantamount to trading Joe Montana (in his prime) for Steve DeBerg and leave it at that.

      1. So Kap is as good as Montana in his prime? Kap himself would laugh at you.

        1. Alan,
          No, Kaep is nowhere near Joe Montana. But your idea certainly stands in the same context.

          I’ll make it simple for you. I wouldn’t trade Kaep for P.Manning after witnessing the debacle he had in the SB against the hawks.

    4. Am I crazy, stupid, or a football svengali?

      None of the above. You’re obviously drunk.

    5. Alan,

      It’s a crazy idea. You want to trade a player ranked in the top ten at years end, who has won 20-29 starts and has led his team to back to back NFCCG’s and a SB appearance, for somebody who has done nothing and has trouble staying healthy. This is a good team and they could likely win a number of games with a lesser QB, but there is way too much undervaluing of Kaepernick going on here. Did you watch the playoffs? Did you see where they could not run the ball effectively in 2 out of the three games yet won 1 and had a chance in the second due to the pass and run abilities of Kap?

      I’d understand these kinds of ideas if the Niners weren’t very good, but holy smokes man look at what they’ve done the past 3 years. This is not the time to gamble on QB’s.

      1. I think there’s a notion that staying with your QB is the safe thing to do. When we have what we think is a Superbowl-ready team, and we equip that team with a QB that is lacking in the talents that all Superbowl winning QBs have, then I think we’re squandering the window of opportunity here.

        I agree that what I’m proposing is risky. I just don’t see Kap winning a Superbowl, and I want to take the chance. It’s not life or death.

        1. Alan……Is CK good enough to win a SB? I do not know but lets not act like he is miles away. He was 5 yards away 2 yrs ago and a one yard under throw away from beating the best team in football at their place this year. After what i saw in the SB he looks a whole hell of a lot closer to being ready than P. Manning.

  33. One more idea. Draft Carlos Hyde. We’ll finally have the dominant running game this line was built for. I’m sorry, but Gore isn’t the player he once was. Lattimore can’t be depended on with his injury problems, though there is great upside.

    We would have the most dominant ball control offense ever, and the defense would be fresh and more dominant. Hyde would make us the best team in the NFL.

    1. Alan,
      Now that makes better sense than your first attempt (lol).
      But I think Hyde could drop to us in the second and if he’s gone, there is his clone: Andre Williams who will likely be available in the late 2nd to mid- 3rd.

      Like you, I’m not hitching my wagon to Lattimore just yet.

  34. We have not won super bowl for three main reasons: kaepernick, roman and gore losing a step. If I were Niners id have Kaep work all summer on pocket passing, anticipation, touch on short and softer passes, footwork. and I would take away Romans and Morton’s passing play calling ability.
    UnfortunAtely the defenses window may be closing. And Vernon Davis’s window.

  35. For what it’s worth, Mel Kiper’s latest mock has Odell Beckham going to Lions at #10. I think Niners will trade up for the CB they covet anyways.

  36. Wait a minute i think theres been a rift in the space time continuum. I logged on Mon. morn and the same exact conversation thats taking place now was happening then. Wheres Albert Einstein when you need him?

    1. Coach – Remember this one? “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” ~Albert Einstein

  37. “In Bob McGinn’s breakdown of the 2014 quarterback class in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an unnamed scout gave Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo high praise for his passing inside the 20.

    Garoppolo, the scout told McGinn, was “(maybe) the best I’ve ever seen throwing fades,” calling Garoppolo “lethal in the red zone.”

    Here’s the plan; draft Garoppolo and only use him for the first season when we get inside the 20; at least we’ll have a QB that knows how to throw an end zone fade. Next year we let Colin go find his http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f257/4evrnyt/pd.jpg while Jimmy takes over in his second season already with a year of red zone snaps under his belt.

    QB problem, done.

    1. CFC – Now that’s a hilarious way to bash Kap…..Belly laugh.

      Go easy on Kap bro, “that’s our quarterback!” He’s gonna make you proud February 1, 2015.
      Coffee, remember…..ABC (always be closing)….you close or you hit the bricks! “It takes brass balls to sell real estate.”

      TGIF bro

      1. There are strategies, then there are strategies that only women could come up with on bunco night…. SMH at the redzone suggestion….

      2. Knew I could rely on you to not take it too seriously Crab. Wish others could lighten up a bit as well.

  38. Grant,

    I completely agree that Kaeprnick needs to improve his pocket passing skills dramatically. I wish he would spend the off season working less on his body and more on QB skills, or as Steve Young calls it, the artistry of quarterbacking. However I don’t think he is being dishonest. If he comes on the podium and announces to the whole world that he sucks as a pocket passer, don’t you think the opposition is going to key on that? He is a student of Harbaugh and that is exactly what Harbaugh does in his interviews. Some may call it dishonest but he is playing the game of not showing your hand.

    1. Niner-Fan,

      Some info for you to consider:

      A) The Niner Coaches don’t want him working on fundamentals until he arrives for the offseason program. This was clearly stated awhile ago.

      B) You have no clue what he works on or how much he works on it so don’t pretend you do.

      1. Thank you. I hate when people act like all this guy does is lift weights and act like Wilson is tutored by Montana and peyton.

      2. Hey rocket I hear you. Its funny to even think that all he does is work on his biceps. Who is he, Brady Quinn?

        Anyways when did Harbs state that he only wants him working on fundamentals until the offseason program?

  39. I found it funny the some said no shot gun QB has won the Super Bowl right after Wilson just won the Super Bowl.

  40. When discussing a QBs ability to see the field let’s remember it isn’t really about vision. A rookie probably has better vision than an “old” guy like P.Manning or Brady; they’re just not processing ALL the data correctly. The veterans know what they’ll see before they look in that direction. IMO, seeing the field is like playing high velocity chess; you have to account for your receivers, your blockers and their defenders in your mind while reading the coverages and deceptions with your eyes. A bit like being an Air Traffic Controller. There’s nothing wrong with Colin’s left eye, but he does occasionally miss underneath defenders to his left. I’d guess he’s just narrowing his focus too much and letting the edges of his radar screen get indistinct, losing track sometimes. His mental focus and disposition remind me of Tae Kwan Do. I’d like to see him mix in more Kung Fu to his game psyche.

    1. Well said BT. I also am not convinced that the system is setup for more than one or two reads most of the time. I say this because it hasn’t changed from when Smith was running it who was a vet, and there are many times when receivers are not looking for the ball and instead setting up to block downfield. This is why I caution people on here to think they have all the answers in regard to what Kap is or isn’t capable of. We don’t know exactly what is being asked of Kap so we certainly cannot say with confidence that we know he is not progressing or doing something wrong.

      Remember what Trent Dilfer said a few months ago:

      In retrospect, Dilfer said his criticisms had as much to do with the state of the 49ers’ offense on Nov. 11 as it did with Kaepernick. He labeled the 49ers “a circa 1970s passing game” which relies heavily on the run and with play-action designed to get only one or two receivers open.

      “They’re mad at me for saying that, but they don’t have a real complex passing game that has multiple progressions built-in, protection adjustments, a lot of layers to it,” Dilfer said.


      1. Agreed, especially to the broader concept that the QB position requires nuance that can go under-appreciated by Media, fans or the Anti-Fan ‘Analysts’. Most here fail to appreciate how much Colin does right; just like with Alex.
        Most players and coaches around the NFL have a higher opinion of CK’s play than a number of Regulars on this blog.

        1. Atta boy Tuna! …..Hey have you seen Big P in here lately, I hope he’s still around.

          1. Crab15
            Sipping a Dempsey’s Red Rooster Ale with my lunch. Likely a lazy afternoon ahead. : >)
            No Big P lately. Maybe he doesn’t enjoy kicking dead horses. Still no Clem either. Oh, and shouldn’t E be criticizing Grant’s writing? Maybe they’ll rally ’round for the draft.
            I should invite Roger Goodell to my house for the Draft. But I’d have to warn him that we’ll be upstairs watching in the bonus room cuz he scheduled the back end of the draft against Idol which The Duchess will be watching. In the old days shed just give me & friends the house for the weekend and go shopping. The Niners got draft choices, she got shoes and linens, everybody was happy!

            1. Tuna – I’ll have to put that Red Rooster Ale on my bucket list. I like the Alice In Chains song “Rooster”….
              My wife knows all about shoe shopping, the closet is stacked…..sickening bro!
              Hey if I admit I’ve been watching Idol since the get go, will my Man Card be revoked? What the hell man…. Here’s how I rank em: 1. Jena 2. Caleb 3. Jessie 4. Alex…..Jena is the next Amercan Idol.
              Now I must go take 2 shots of “Fireball” and ask for forgiveness.

              1. Yeah, I’ve got 2nd hand smoke from Idol too. Your list is good; I Like the farm boy too, but he won’t get the teenybopper votes needed. You know husbands/boyfriends across the land could change the whole voting dynamic; you put Kate Upton and Margot Robbie on there and doesn’t matter if they can’t sing, guys will vote!
                Red Rooster is very locally distributed, 10 mile radius, but their brewpub is only 20 yards from Taps Beer Bar and two miles from Lagunitas.

        2. BT I bow down to you brother. Realize that Grant understands the makeup of this room and writes controversial pieces to elicit certain responses. He has gone to the well enough times to understand the strategy…..

        3. Well said to both Tuna and Rocket. Mirrors my point that he does what they tell him to do, just with more detail.

      2. Trent’s analysis of the Niner’s offenses not entirely accurate.

        The backbone of the passing offense is based off of play action. That is true. But the backbone of the offense overall is a power run game. That may seem like 1970’s type of an offensive philosophy but it isn’t. Joe Gibbs and Norv Turner flipped “Air Coryell” into a ground and pound ground attack with a vertical passing game. Parcells and Bellicheck championed the Ehrandt-Perkins power run game too. The key is that both systems (Erhandt and Turner/Gibbs) have the ability to open up when necessary. Think about Turner’s offenses. They typically start out as extremely run heavy (Emmit Smith and Tomilson) but later expanded to more of a passing based attack (with the development of the QBs: Aikman and Rivers).

        The Niners sort of use a hybrid power run game tied to a play action vertical passing game and a west coast system. When the Niners are in obvious passing situations, they go to 3+ WR personnel packages and implement West Coast Passing Concepts. One of those concepts to help younger QBs, is to split the field so that one side has routes designed to beat man coverage and the other side designed to beat zone coverage. Harbaugh’s offensive mentor/coach Lindy Infante utilized this concept as well. It simplifies the decision making for the QB once the coverage is identified but it doesn’t allow the offense to fully stretch the field horizontally as a standard WCO would.

        One of the other things that makes the Niner’s offense simpler than many other NFL passing offenses is the lack of option routes that allows the offense to adjust to coverages post snap based on in synch reads by the QB and receivers.

        Some of these things can be changed to a certain degree based on Kaepernick’s continued development at making reads and learning his progerssions. He knows this.

        1. All 4 fun,
          understanding the offenses philosophy, don’t you think it’s difficult for an offense who’s reliant on play action to function correctly when the run game is significantly shut down?

          In my years of watching football I’ve also noticed that the best play action teams utilize the fast strike with the vertical passing game.

          How much do you think our play action offense was limited down the stretch by not only NOT having a strong run game, but also lacking a vertical outside threat? How effective would Kaep be with our play action if we had Lynch’s rushing output?

          I asked the question above and no one took a shot at answering it. Here it goes again. I bring it up because Grant is gushing over Wilson. ( To rile us up )

          In the Seahawks final 4 games, Lynch averaged 96.25 yards per game and scored 5 td’s during that span.
          Gore over the last 4 games averaged 44 rushing yards per game and scored 1 TD over that span.
          Would Wilson have won a superbowl with Gore’s rushing totals? Look at the Arizona Cardinals games. The Cards held Lynch to under 4 yards per carry and kept him out of the end zone. Wilson only threw for 108 yards that game and had a 49 QB rating. So it’s fair to say that Wilson struggles without a running game. So maybe it was pretty amazing what Kaep did with a 14 yard effort from Gore in the NFC Championship game huh?

          1. if you look at my previous comments about Grant’s posting of Wilson’s numbers, I said it was ridiculous to compare them; it’s not like when they play each other they take turns playing QB and DB against each other.

            But to your question and how in the context of the offensive philosophy; if you put Kaepernick in place of Wilson on those Seattle teams that played down the stretch last season, I think Kaepernick would have struggled more than Wilson. I have no problem calling Grant out on something I think he’s wrong about. But in this case, he isn’t wrong that Kaepernick locks on to his primary receiver (this isn’t a major revelation as Dilfer, Garcia, Young..etc….have all said the same thing…and the pass distribution stats and film verification support this). Wilson on the other hand does a better job of keeping pass plays alive and spreading the ball around.

            As to your first question about shutting down the run game and it’s effect on an offense reliant on the run? You’re absolutely right. And it’s imperative that the offense be able to respond. In the Niner’s case, they will at times try to lead with their pass game but it usually doesn’t work. Most defenses will stack the box and when they read pass, spy and go after the QB. The Niners should answer by either spreading the ball out or going deep with specific match up advantages against a run oriented defense. The Niner’s WCO element will try to stretch the defense on one side; usually with a crossing route and/or corner route combo…some sort of smash route or triangle passing concept. But since the defense is all bunched up near the line of scrimmage, the passing windows become smaller when when the offense tries to horizontally stretch the defense. Plus if it’s a half field read, then it passing windows shrink even more so. The other solution would be to go vertical against 8 men boxes geared to stop the run. The problem is that most of the Niner’s receivers aren’t geared to get deep very quickly without the help of play action and the Niner’s linemen aren’t great at pass blocking long enough for deep routes (they’re run blocking road graders). So the Niners have tried to mix in some things like the read option, fly sweeps etc… to beat those 8 men in the box defenes. But in order to be successful, the Niners will have to be able to lean on their passing game when the opponent is focused on shutting down the run game (AND is focused on taking away the primary receiver…usually the flanker).

        2. Thanks allforfun. I always appreciate you analytical breakdown. I really do hope Kap takes those developmental steps and earns the coaches trust more in order to open up that passing game.

          How do you expect our offense to look this season? Its pretty obvious that Gore has worn down quite a bit and Lattimore isn’t a sure bet. It would seem they areforced to open it up quite a bit more.

    1. Well let’s see the criticism this draws. “He wore a blazer but didn’t wear dress pants.” “If that was Russell Wilson he would have been in a suit with a tie.” On a serious note, glad he learned from that.

    2. When you say “sat”, do you mean he sat in the pocket or sat in a chair to deliver this?

    3. Jack – Thanks for the link, that pastor is pretty funny. I like that guy.

  41. Good news everyone

    Will Brinson ‏@WillBrinson 48s
    49ers exercise fifth year option on Aldon Smith per league source

  42. Will Brinson is reporting that the 49ers have decided to pick up the 5th year option on Aldon Smith.

    1. So there’s also talk of the 49ers being interested in Clowney. Talk is they’d trade their 1st plus Aldon for Clowney. Would you do it? Both teams perspective would be what?

        1. Wouldn’t Clowney come with a guaranteed 4 year deal, cheaper and without the headache of Aldon Smith. I just don’t see a team trading for a player who may get suspended for a year.

        2. I forget if I read it somewhere or I heard it on the radio. At this point in time, I’m on draft fumes….waiting for the day.

          1. Seems pricey. When someone said that SF was talking with Oakland (which I suspect is about moving up in the 2nd) I ran the numbers off the standard draft value chart and I couldn’t do it even for Watkins. #1 would cost even more.
            I don’t think anyone trades for Aldon until his legal stuff gets resolved and the NFL weighs in. Also, he doesn’t have that much time left on his rookie deal, someone would be renting. I can’t see that happening.

      1. There’s also “talk” of them trading Crabtree and our #1 to Houston so we can draft Watkins.

        I overheard two guys discussing it on Bart just the other day. Maybe it was you and Razor?

        1. That makes even less sense than the Aldon for Clowney trade. No way Crabs worth that at this point. Dude can barely stay healthy and Watkins has a much higher ceiling. I just don’t see it. Who’s saying this stuff?

  43. I don’t think picking up a “fifth” would be the ideal terminology to use in respect to Smith.

  44. Aldon Smith will be wearing #99 for the Niners and terrorizing quarterbacks as a Forty-Niner for many years. This is still only the beginning of a long and illustrious Hall of Fame career for Aldon Smith. His number will be retired someday in Levi Stadium and he’ll retire with several Super Bowl rings, all of them earned as a Forty Niner. GO NINERS!

  45. The reason Montana can say that is that while being in the pocket more and for longer periods, was able to ad lib in the pocket. He always had a receiver to through a short pass to…the reason there was because he knew where they were at all times. The 49er system doesn’t allow for that near as well and Kaep just depends on those medium and long routes and if one receiver isn’t open, he’s going Stage Right. It’s why the shorter, faster receivers have been busts, and the only way he’s going to stay longer in the pocket is if you get one of the tall WR’s in this year’s draft.

Comments are closed.