The San Francisco 49ers offense could do next to nothing on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, and Chip Kelly decided to make a quarterback change in the fourth quarter. Colin Kaepernick was sent to the bench, and Blaine Gabbert was brought in to try and spark the offense.
After Kaepernick had five passing attempts, five sacks, two scrambles, and two passes reversed because of turnovers, Gabbert completed 4-of-10 passes (one scramble, one sack) for 35 yards. There was no spark, and the 49ers still lost 26-6. After the game, Chip Kelly would not name a starter for Week 14, and so we wait for his next press conference to get some idea of what is next at the position.
Following the game, Gabbert discussed the weather issues, staying warm, and making the unexpected return to action.
On challenges of the weather:
I think you just gotta be able to handle the elements. And that applies to all 11 guys on offense. It’s not a single guy that it affects. And when you’ve got a game like today where it’s snowing, sleeting, in adverse situations, you’ve gotta do your individual best to control things that you can control, and still try and play your game.
On how he stayed warm on the sideline for the first three quarters:
I was fine. I was into the game. It was a little chillier today than normal. But anytime you’re in a position where you’re one play away from playing, you always gotta stay ready, stay warm, stay stretched out, and keep your arm warm. I tried to do my best today doing that.
On thinking about a comeback when he came in:
You know, we just broke the sideline saying, we gotta get the first first down. Somebody’s gotta make a play. So we got that play rolling, and we couldn’t capitalize on it. We got a first down right away, and kind of went backwards from there. And that was kinda of the way it went today. We could never get things rolling like we have in some past weeks, and it definitely showed.
On a scramble:
Yea, and they were matching some stuff underneath. And when they’re running games up front like that, there’s a lot of running lanes for the quarterbacks. Especially when they’re rushing 5 and playing man coverage. So, I tried my best to not take sacks, to not take negative plays when I was in there, and I saw a lane there and just went with it.
On issues passing in the weather (couldn’t fully hear question):
I definitely don’t think vision had anything to do with it. But like I alluded to earlier, anytime you’re playing in a game where there’s snow and sleet and rain, the conditions are kinda working against you, you just have to do the best that you can do as an individual to control the elements, really focus on the details of your job, and when you can do that, and all 11 guys are doing that, you can execute. But we just had breakdowns here and there all day long and it definitely showed.
On who told him he was going in:
Coach Day was on the sideline. He said, “Get warm,” and just started throwing the ball around.
On what it’s like coming off the bench in a game like that:
You just gotta stay ready. It was a little colder than normal, so you gotta do a little extra, a little more to stay warm, stay stretched out, keep your arm warm, but I was ready to go, and when they told me I was going in, just tried execute the plays that were called, and try and provide a little spark for this offense.
On if he was surprised Kaepernick was benched given recent performances:
You know, it was just one of those days. It’s not on any single guy’s shoulders for why we didn’t win this game, and why we didn’t execute as an offense. Football’s the greatest team sport in the world, and the beauty of that is it takes 11 guys doing their job on every single play to execute. It’s not like a golfer, who’s the only guy out there, and that’s it. When you have 11 guys on the football field, there’s a lot of moving parts. And we just gotta find ways to do our job on every play and execute at a higher level.
On impact of preparing for game in Orlando and warm weather:
No, not at all. That’s got nothing to do with it. We’re professionals. Rain, sleet, sun, cloudy weather, freezing cold, 90 degrees, that has no effect on how we approach and how we get ready to play a football game. It just so happened to be a cold and snowy day today, but we were definitely prepared. The conditions that we practiced in had no effect on how we played today.