On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers coordinators held press conferences at their facility in Santa Clara. Greg Roman and Vic Fangio took to the podium, with the topic of discussion mostly geared around the upcoming Week 5 match-up with the Buffalo Bills. However, things got sidetracked during Roman's segment where there was a popular topic of conversation.
The local media seemed to be quite interested in 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Niners' No. 2 QB has had a chance to hear his name called a few times. The labeled "understudy" or "apprentice" has got some field time and was particularly able to showoff his athletic ability. It began in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau.
With time winding down in the first half, the 49ers needed to dial up a potential chunk-yardage play and hopefully setup a David Akers field goal. Roman sent in Kaepernick who took a designed run up the middle for a big gain - just enough for Akers to hit his record-setting 63-yarder.
In Week 4, the Niners took on Gang Green at MetLife and really stuck it to them. Kaepernick out-Tebowed the New York Jets on their own turf; it was painfully embarrassing.
Roman on Kaepernick:
What were you thinking, up in the booth, when you looked down and saw QB Colin Kaepernick with nobody covering him on the sideline there? Were you hoping that snap would just get off?
"I don't know what play you're talking about."
It's on TV.
"We have ways to get rid of that [laughs]. Yeah, I think he was talking to the official about the previous play, next question."
Given how successful that was, is that Kaepernick package, is that something you can expand and grow as the season goes on?
"We've had something up every week. We just chose to use it last week. He's our backup quarterback. He's in an understudy role, an apprentice type of role and he's doing a nice job with it. So, it's just week-to-week, it's going to change week-to-week. He did a nice job with what we asked him to do last week. He's doing a great job at practice. The more guys we can get involved, the better."
A lot of us were expecting to see similar things last year from him around the goal line, just given what he did in college. How come as a rookie, he was never inserted in that position?
"It was just our decision. Right or wrong it was our decision. It's ancient history now."
How much do you think those trick plays and using QB Colin Kaepernick more, how much do you think that helped jump start the offense last week? It seems like it give the offense a lift.
"Again, they're not trick plays, they're just football plays. But, whatever those plays were, if they worked, any play that we ran that worked helped jumpstart us. And any play that we didn't, decidedly did not help start jump start us. No matter who's out there, or what the play is, run pass, it doesn't matter. We're always striving have successful plays or set something up for the future. Some of those plays gained a lot of yards, so they were great."
It's clear that Roman and the staff don't want to let on too much about their plans to use Kaepernick. They even refuse to admit he has his own package, even though it's obvious there are certain plays drawn up that Alex Smith probably won't ever use in a game situation. Kaepernick is far and away the better athlete.
But regardless, anything about Kaep has been kept in house. He is becoming their secret weapon on offense.
So far this season, Kaepernick has 6 attempts for 67 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 11.2 yards per carry in addition to having a long of 30. Not to mention, his mercy slide versus the Jets indicates he could have potentially 2 touchdowns on 6 carries.
What we've seen from Kaepernick has been efficiency and big-play talent. He is more of a threat to run because his ability to pass the ball.
Needless to say, it's started a bit of a buzz around the Bay - not a controversy, just a buzz. If the pistol-type plays are working for Kaepernick, why not incorporate him into the offense more often, especially in games like Minnesota when the Niners needed a spark.
San Francisco should give some thought to using him more often. But they might be concerned about the media backlash if Kaepernick starts completing deep balls and delivering high-velocity strikes.
Until next time, the Colin Kaepernick files remain classified.