Coming into Sunday's season opener with the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers had heard a lot about players planning on getting physical with Colin Kaepernick in an attempt to slow down the 49ers rushing attack. We heard from Clay Matthews in particular earlier this week. He mentioned how the defense wanted to force offenses into more traditional pocket passing work.
Well, the 49ers settled for that, and I'd say it worked out OK. Kap had a few words about this after the game.
#49ers QB Colin Kaepernick: "If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one."— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) September 9, 2013
One of the recent criticisms of Colin Kaepernick is this notion that he is a running quarterback who needs to prove he can stand in the pocket and deliver passes. I've always found that to be rather amusing given that I think Kap has shown he can do a little bit of everything as a quarterback. He has to get more experience in the pocket, but to say he can't do it ignores some of the realities of last season.
As the 49ers prepare for their Week 2 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, and really for the rest of their schedule, teams will have to take Kap seriously as a pocket passer. He did great work throwing on the run today, but he was also able to make things happen from the pocket. He finished the day with a personal best 412 passing yards, and three touchdowns, with only 22 rushing yards.
I do think we'll see the 49ers unleash the beast on the ground, but for now, they'll take what defenses will give them. The Packers did a great job setting the edge and keeping Kap from escaping too frequently. They also paid the price over the top as the 49ers repeatedly found opportunities going at the Packers safeties. We'll see how the Seahawks adjust moving forward.
My biggest "concern" or at least thought about Colin Kaepernick's development was how he would adjust to the adjustments defenses made. We got our first taste of it today, and it wasn't too shabby.