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49ers Preseason Opener: Colin Kaepernick's Performance

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Vincent's Note: This will be the final regular front page post that I will be writing for Niners Nation. I recently signed a contract with Bleacher Report to become a Featured National Columnist and Contributor. I really appreciate the opportunity that David gave me to be a writer/blogger for this website; without him, none of this would have been possible for me. That said, I have over 6000 comments on this community and my involvement here wont change that much. You can expect me to be a regular commentator here.

Now, onto the article.....

That was not the prettiest performance from our San Francisco 49ers, it was actually like watching water drip. However, isn't that something that we all expected? 

This morning I am going to focus on Colin Kaepernick and his first NFL game. He looked like a proven veteran on plays, and on others a rookie. This is what you expect from a 1st year NFL signal caller. 

Colin Kaepernick's Stats:     9/19- 119 Yards- 0 TD- 2 INT- 7 Sacks

The rookie quarterback impressed at times and really did show why he should have been a 1st round pick. He was dead on the money a couple different times, mostly on seams down the middle. Those are connections that are needed when you are running the west coast offense.

Kaepernick never really looked for a 2nd or 3rd read. Most of that had to do with the fact that he didn't have time to look for them. I really cannot judge Alex Smith or Kaepernick on the lack of pass protection from the 49ers offensive line. We can judge Kaepernick's performance by his ability to step up in the pocket and read the field.  When given the chance, he was somewhat solid in regards to that.

The two interceptions thrown by Kaepernick were all his fault, especially the last one. You cannot throw the ball into two deep coverage and not expect the linebacker to drop back and close the gap in the middle. This is something I learned in high school. He needs to have better recognition of the defensive scheme in order to succeed in the NFL. That said, he is rookie and those mistakes are expected. 

CK was extremely elusive in the pocket and stepped up into the pocket, away from the pressure, in order to complete some passes. Those are pure instincts and hard to teach; it is a good sign that he has those. He was able to read the defense and look off the initial target when he had time to pass the ball. 

CK also, recognized when the pocket was collapsing and ran for a couple first downs; this is recognition of the game that is extremely important. This is also something that Alex Smith has failed to show since joining the 49ers. 

I was really impressed by Kaepernicks play last night. He did make some mistakes, but those are to be expected. What he did show was poise in the pocket and the ability to make the play. 

If anyone thinks that Kaepernick is anywhere near game ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL they are sadly mistaken. He has a lot of work to do, and that is pretty obvious. We are looking at an extremely raw talent with ability through the roof, but let it play out a little bit before announcing him week one's starter. 

There are issue in regards to his defensive scheme recognition, reads after the first falls off and understanding the the pre-snap count. These are characteristics of a rookie quarterback not read to start. Additionally, they are things that Alex Smith understands in his sleep. 

If you want the 49ers to make the playoffs, Colin Kaepernick is not your starter in week one. If the 49ers fall out of contention, I say throw him in and see what happens. 

I think Kaepernick will end up being an all-pro quarterback in the NFL, but to expect him to be any better than Alex Smith in 2011 is foolhardy. 


Vincent's Final Note: I love you all and LEGGO 49ers.