That's the only emotion I can muster. I'm not angry. I'm not surprised. I'm not filled with hate or rage, because I knew it was going to happen. It's sort of a mild disappointment, like when that super hot 10 from the bar that I've been buying drinks for all night excuses herself for "just a moment" so she can powder her nose, and then is never seen again. I knew that was going to happen, and shame on me for thinking otherwise.
No, I'm not talking about the Niners loss. Or the playcalling. Or replay challenges. Or our O-Lines sudden inability to block decent D-Lines. Or our WR problem, or any other problem that gets talked about so much on this site. There's no stat for this problem, no in depth number crunching that can be done to justify or vilify it. In fact, most of us forgot the play 2 seconds after it happened. The play I'm referring to was this one. Late in the first half, Niners ball. Kap gets to line, reads the defense, changes the play, checks to make sure everyone is one the same page, looks at the play clock, realizes he doesn't have enough time to get the play off and tries to call a T.O. He then realizes we don't have one, so everyone just stands and watches as a flag is thrown for the delay of game.
This is what troubles me about this 49er team. As a fan, I can't remember the last time the Niners ran an offense play and my attention wasn't focused on the play clock winding down. It seems every single play I'm thinking, "get to line. HURRY! 6 seconds! Please don't change the play! 3 Seconds! HIKE THE BALL ALREADY!! 1 Second! (Covering my eyes) Did he get it off? Was there a flag? No?! (exhale deeply)" Then repeat that sequence 50-60 times.
I think JH and staff are trying to hard to make CK into something he's not. As nice as it would be for him to be the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, that's not his strength. I'm not saying couldn't become that one day, but that's not who he is with roughly one season of games under his belt.
I think Harbaugh holds on to the memory of Andrew Luck. I think Harbaugh thinks that "If I can make Luck who he is, then I can do that to anyone!" Andrew Luck is unique, like Peyton or Brady before him. And yes, I do think Harbaugh had an incredible influence on Luck's development. But CK is not Andrew Luck.
CK's struggles isn't about defenses "figuring him out". It's not about the WR's, or lack there of. It's also not about "getting the ground game going". CK's struggles are internal. What made him magical last year was his ability to forget the last play, to forget the score and the opponent. He could just go out and make a play! Not as many pre-snap reads, far less multiple shifts and complex schemes. Last year, when he knew Alex Smith was ready to go right behind him, he had a "Brett Farve-ness" to his game. The ability to adjust on the fly and make a play, consequence's be damned.
NFL defenses haven't stopped Kap. Our coaching staff has. As I watch other games around the NFL, the read option isn't dead. Taking snaps from the shotgun position isn't dead. The PIstol isn't dead. I watched the Eagles game this week. Every play (except 1!) came from the shotgun. And even though I understand Chip Kelly's offense is more dynamic than this, it seemed like every play went through this progression; Foles gets ball. Looks at the box. Less than 8 in there, handoff to McCoy. More than 8, or unsure, keep it. Look Slant. (if not open) Look deep. (if not open) come back quickly to McCoy, then either dump off short of run for a few yards. Try and gain positive yardage, then get back to the line as quickly as possible and do that all again until you catch the defense sleeping somewhere. This is football world that Kap grew up in, that he excelled at while in Nevada, what took us to the Super Bowl last year. Hike the ball, then make something happen.
Please Please please, Harbaugh and Roman! Lighten up over there, loosen up over there. Stop giving CK so many things to think about. Slow down on the pre-snap shifts and audible calls! Get that boy back in the shotgun with playmakers around him. Let him get the ball in his hands. Let him throw INT's, not because he's trying to avoid a sack, but because he see's a 8 inch window and thinks to himself, "Yeah, I can make that throw!" That's what made him magical last year, and that's the guy I want to root for going forward.
He's not Andrew Luck, and that's OK