Late yesterday afternoon, ESPN's Mike Sando posted an article titled "Does Kaepernick's throwing motion matter?" The point of the post appears to basically be that Colin Kaepernick has a funky motion, but it's not so college Tebow-esque that it needs to be drastically overhauled. Sando spoke with Bill Williamson, who said:
"It's not like Tebow to me," Williamson said. "Tebow's delivery was a massive negative because the ball came down to his waist or below, and here it comes around. Or Leftwich, like a pitcher. Kaepernick's delivery is funky, but when he decides to throw, it comes out quickly, just unorthodox -- which is Philip Rivers."
They even used one of those ESPN Sport Science videos (embedded after the jump) to look at Kaepernick's throwing motion. There are some questions about how useful those really are, but it is at least something to add to the conversation. Give it as much or as little weight as you want.
Towards the end of that Sando article, there were some comments by Coach Harbaugh about the actual importance of processing information and getting the ball fired to his receiver:
"How long does it take to get the ball out from the time you see the target open or coming open until the ball gets to the receiver? He's very fast in processing that and the ball gets there fast. He's got the kind of arm strength to really power a ball through a defense."
A while back I mentioned a scouting report on Kaepernick I received from Dave-Te Thomas, the officialy biographer of the NFL and head of Scouting Services, Inc. Thomas is the guy who felt Kaepernick could be a taller version of Aaron Rodgers, and is thus very high on him. Given Harbaugh's comments and Sando's article, here is the complete portion of Thomas' Kaepernick scouting report as it relates to his throwing motion and release.
Kaepernick has worked hard to erase a bit of a wind-up that he sometimes had in the past when trying to fire the ball from a low angle. Summer camps (Manning) has seen him develop a highly effective and quick release (high), along with an ability to improvise on the run. He throws across the body effectively and even on the occasions where he will sidearm the ball, he puts good zip behind his tosses.
When he throws from overhead and not shoot from the hip, he is very capable of getting the ball out with outstanding velocity and touch. He has shown marked improvement in making his delivery more compact and when that ball comes off his fingers, you can actually hear the "buzz" behind his throws before it explodes into his target's chest.
Even when he fires with a "big circle," he gets the ball out quickly, thanks to his ability to anticipate his receivers on the route's progression. More patient coaching will help him to prevent dropping the ball in his motion, but you can see he has the mechanics for a smooth and compact delivery.
If he can continue to get that quick release going, it seems safe to say that his throwing motion should not be an issue going forward. I suppose we'll find out more when he gets out on the practice field, but I'd like to think this should make people a little more comfortable with the issues of throwing motion.