Since the moment Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, he's been - in the most polite way - unaccepting of a backup role. And while he knows his place on the team, he's exceedingly confident and particularly eager to get his playing career going.
Kaepernick was a high-profile quarterback coming out of college, and a record-setter at the University of Nevada. At first, a lot of us thought Kaepernick would be challenging Alex Smith as a rookie but that's not how it panned out.
Entering his second year, Kaepernick has handled himself the proper way though. On game day, he has the approach of a starting quarterback and we never see him stray from either Alex Smith or Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick is relentlessly working to better himself and always be prepared for the unexpected.
"I'm going through the plays just like I was in the game: looking at the defense and seeing where I would be going with the ball," Kaepernick told the media Tuesday.
Kaepernick believes he is NFL ready and wants more people to know. When he was asked about his approach this preseason, Kaepernick had this to say:
To go and show that I can be a starter in this league. I want to go out and perform my best and show everybody what I'm capable of.
This was what really caught the attention of fans. Kaepernick has a lot of supporters already (typically the non-believers in Alex Smith), but there is broad group that believes he is really is the future of the 49ers. He was not a second-round pick for no reason, and San Francisco didn't trade up to get him if they did not potentially see him as a starter some day.
Additionally, the 49ers have just re-signed Alex Smith to a three-year deal -- only a three-year deal.
This could be indicative that Kaepernick will be ready, but just not right now. And when he finally is ready to lead this team, San Francisco does not want to be tied up in a long-term deal with Smith.
In the meantime, the Niners will go with Alex Smith in 2012 and we'll be able to gauge Kaepernick's progress in the exhibition. Kaepernick understands the situation he's in and should continue to be patient, but remain enthusiastic about his eventual role as a starter.
"It's football, that's what it is. At some point, you're going to have to wait your turn to get your opportunity out there on the field and you just have to be ready when your opportunity comes," said Kaepernick.