Cosell on Kaepernick

Greg Cosell from NFL Films came on KNBR tonight to chat with Tom Tolbert about the 49ers loss yesterday. He spoke in depth about what he saw on film from Colin Kaepernick:

"They've been able to survive with their running game and defense, and yesterday was a game where they needed to throw the ball to generate any consistent offense, and they really couldn't. Here's the question you have to ask: why do the 49ers play offense the way they do? They play offense the way they do with a fullback used more than any team in football and with tight formations because of the quarterback.

It's easy to say they don't have great receivers, but Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh are very creative guys, and if they felt their quarterback could go through reads, they would be a lot more creative with the pass game, because everybody wants explosive plays.

There are teams in this league that don't have great wideouts that still spread it out and throw the ball because the quarterback is capable of it. So you're dealing with a quarterback who is going through a major learning curve right now and is struggling.

Clearly, when he (Kaepernick) does not believe his primary read is there, he tends to drop the ball and look at the rush, and you can't play quarterback in the NFL doing that. Right now, my guess is he doesn't feel real comfortable throwing the football unless it's wide open, and that doesn't happen very often in the NFL.

Right now he's so impatient that he's not letting things develop. The ball is coming out really quick, so if he sees someone that's open, he's throwing the ball even if the route combination is supposed to develop down the field. So he's missing opportunities - leaving plays on the field by not throwing to the right receiver.

Right now you get the sense watching the film that the 49ers are trying to protect him and in some ways hide him. Right now it's a base formation offense with little pass game creativity and no real designed dimensions to the pass game. They're trying to play almost without a pass game and they've been able to get away with it because they're a very complete team. By the way, they almost got away with it yesterday.

I'm not sure he's (Kaepernick) real comfortable right now making anticipation throws. In the NFL, you're going to have throw the ball at times before the receiver is open, but for whatever reason, lack of confidence or uncertainty in what he's seeing, he's not doing that right now.

They will not beat the Saints unless Kaepernick makes some throws because they're playing in New Orleans and the Saints pretty much score against anybody in New Orleans. He's going to have to make some throws, and they may have to design some things for him to make it as easy as possible.

They have essentially won being a one-dimensional running team, and they've been really good at it. And they've been able to win against maybe some lesser offenses - Tennessee and Jacksonville - by running the football with just a few throws here and there.

I've always said this, when you have a flaw, it can come up to bite you any given week and that's what happened yesterday, so now it's a problem that needs to be addressed, because if they keep playing this way on offense, they will not beat really good teams, and we know what the goal is here. The goal is to get to the Super Bowl."

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