Last weekend, Albert Breer posted his conference championship weekend notebook, which featured a mix of analysis, speculation and rumors. It included one section on the San Francisco 49ers hiring of Chip Kelly, and specifically what it might mean for Colin Kaepernick. And some defensive coordinators think there is potential for it to be scary.
"The fact that Kap can make guys miss and get in the open field, they didn't have that last year at all in Philly," said one defensive coordinator from a rival team. "We treated [Sam] Bradford like he was under center. There was zero threat of him running the ball. We told our guys, 'Don't treat him like he's in the shotgun, he's never gonna pull the ball.' "
Kap can make guys miss, but there are still some issues to factor into whether this will work out. HIs accuracy remains something he needs to work on. He can make some throws on a dime, but then he can wildly overthrow some of the easiest passes. He needs to find consistency to return to anything remotely resembling the highs of his career. But I do think at some point he can find something. Bill Barnwell's column back when Kelly was first hired is worth a read.
That being said, the potential does make this year that much more fascinating. As many have pointed out, the 49ers have so much cap space that bringing Kap back for another year on his current salary is really not that big a deal. There are concerns about Kap's relationship with the 49ers brass, but he's always proven to be a professional. I don't see him raising a stink unless the 49ers push for him to take a pay cut. That will be something to follow the next two months.
All that being said, defensive coordinators see high upside in a Kap/Kelly combination. Here are two more "rival" defensive coaches quotations from Breer's notebook:
"Awesome -- could be scary. You get the run threat back to keep the ball on zone read. ... And Kap can throw it deep. Chip stretched the field with [Nick] Foles vertically, and not as much with Bradford. ... And Kap did a good job with simple reads and progressions early in San Francisco. Chip's intermediate pass game in Philly had those features."
"I think [Kaepernick] is a good enough passer, but obviously what'll be a nightmare is his ability to run. That offense is straight 'Freddy Krueger' when you have a quarterback that can pull the ball and run at any given time."