Late last week, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down with Lee Hawkins of the Wall Street Journal for a wide-ranging 13-minute interview. Kap was in New York to promote his various endorsements, but it also gave him the opportunity to expand on a variety of topics.
This is important because during an interview on Bill Simmons' podcast, Kap made it clear why his off-season interviews are a bit more extensive. He explained that the reason he was less forthcoming during in-season interviews is because he does not want to say something that can be manipulated into a story heading into the 49ers next game. While offseason interviews can be manipulated, there is a lot more time for any subsequent stories to die down before the next season.
Kap was in town for Super Bowl week, but he said he was not sticking around the game. He is reportedly off to Miami already to begin his offseason workout program, looking to continue his progress as a quarterback. He has plenty to work on this offseason, but he is also developing a stronger base from which to build.
Since the 49ers lost to the Seahawks two weeks ago, much of the discussion has been around his ugly fourth quarter. It was not pretty, and in every interview Kap has acknowledged that the failures are on him. The problem with the quarterback position is that often, too much praise is heaped on the winning team's quarterback, and too much criticism is heaped on the losing team's quarterback. Kap deserves his share of criticism, and has plenty to work on, but you'd think he did absolutely nothing else for three quarters leading up to that fourth quarter.
24 hours removed from the Seahawks demolition of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, I'm feeling a little bit better about Kap's performance. Each game exists in a vacuum, so we can't make remotely exact comparisons between the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship Game. However, it does open the floor for some discussion about what Manning's struggles may or may not mean for Kap's own performance.
Manning actually set an NFL record for completions, completing 34 of 49 passes for 280 yards. However, his arm strength looked weak all night long, and the Seahawks pass rush had little trouble putting him on his butt. Even when he did complete passes, the Seahawks held the Broncos receivers to very limited yards after the catch.
The Seahawks athleticism allowed them to dominate the Broncos passing attack, and this is one way in which Kap's athleticism gives him an edge over Manning. Kap could move around in the pocket, buy time, and force defenders to commit one way or another. As he gains experience and hopefully becomes better at reading defenses, the sky will remain the limit for him.
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