One question occasionally pops up is whether or not Chip Kelly might use Colin Kaepernick in some specifically designed packages off the bench. Blaine Gabbert will be the starter, but Kaepernick has his share of skills that hold some value. Chip Kelly will never say never, but when asked about the pros and cons of some Kap-specific packages, he offered this:
“Well, I think both of our quarterbacks have the same similar skills, so I think maybe if you had one quarterback that ran the 40 in 5.4 and then you have another quarterback that runs the 40 in 4.5, there’s a distinct difference between the two of them. But, one of the unique things about here is that both of our quarterbacks, and even all three of them because [QB] Christian [Ponder] can run, so all three of them have that aspect in them. All three of them have done it in the preseason. Christian pulled one in the Broncos game and scored a touchdown from 20-something out. So, I don’t think, I think sometimes teams do that when there’s a different between the athletic, or the run ability of one and two and three. So, that’s kind of where they get into some of the package aspects of things.”
Back in 2011 and early 2012 before Colin Kaepernick took over as starter, the San Francisco 49ers used him in some specifically designed packaged plays. They generally were run-specific. Blaine Gabbert is a little bit faster than Alex Smith (4.66 40 to 4.74 40), but both retain a certain level of athleticism. Of course, that was a different coaching staff.
Kelly could surprise us Monday or later this season, but I would be surprised to see Kaepernick used in packaged plays.