Eaaaaaasy there 49ers fans. Two weeks, and the Blaine Gabbert vs. Colin Kaepernick quarterback battle has no real clear-cut winner. Some reports indicate that Gabbert is coming into his own and it’s his job to lose. Especially when tweets like this come out:
My opinion: #49ers QB duel ended today— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 12, 2016
It's Blaine Gabbert's job/team
Doesn't help Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) he didn't pass vs Texans
Good point, but it’s only been two weeks and neither has seen game time. Perhaps one more week and another preseason game is in order before Kaepernick is in real trouble. Though, not throwing on Thursday or Friday certainly didn’t help his stock. Especially when he began this competition already playing catch-up due to his rehab. Gabbert may be emerging above Kaepernick, but that’s not going to make Chip Kelly forget about the guy. And let’s not forget that salary Kaepernick is due.
Plus, Chip Kelly says that it’s in an actual NFL game where you can get good idea of what you have. Those are the games where players don’t just bump into QBs, they try to take the signal caller’s head off. That’s where you see how good one or the other is. Hooray for preseason.
There are two things to really look at: How quickly is Kaepernick coming along having not had the head start Gabbert has (from the looks of things, he’s been having good and bad just like Gabbert, though the arrow is down). The next 2 preseason games will be the ones to watch on this one, maybe we’ll see him rise a bit more and show more improvement.
And the other thing: He may start in a few games when the regular season rolls around anyways.
Why? Easy. No NFL quarterback has played an entire 16-game regular season under Chip Kelly. The system may not be designed for the quarterback to take a pounding, but they still seem to get concussed, sidelined, etc. and we are treated to how a backup does. To be fair, you can’t predict injuries— but until it’s proven otherwise, Kap and Gabbert will both be under center, and maybe it won’t even be injury related. It’s definitely the best season to do this, since the 49ers have a lot of players to develop this year.
And if one goes down, it will help the 49ers front office decide if they need to go take a quarterback early next year. Well, that’s if Driskel doesn’t work out.
This may be Gabbert’s team to lose, but there’s still plenty of time for Kaepernick catch up. Maybe. Maybe the battle for a starting nod against the Rams is concluding, but with this team and this season’s expectations, the competition will be far from over at that point.
And if history is any indication, if Kaepernick starts at number 2, he may still get a chance to prove himself.