Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Kevin Ryan0
Is Kaepernick the Solution?
Kevin Ryan, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of sxc.hu.
Over the past two weeks, the San Francisco 49ers have been making headlines just about every day with their interesting quarterback controversy. I say “interesting” because both of the quarterbacks they have are very capable of winning games and leading the 49ers deep into the playoffs. But which quarterback gives them the ability to take that next step?
The Bears found out that Colin Kaepernick has the potential to lead the 49ers to the Superbowl when they traveled to the west coast and got embarrassed on national television during Monday Night Football. Even though their starting quarterback Alex Smith (who was the starter at the time) was sidelined with a concussion, this was when the controversy began.
Leading up to what was supposed to be one of the best games of the regular season, the talk was about who gave the 49ers the best chance to win. Was it the second year kid out of Nevada in Colin Kaepernick, or the eigth year veteran Alex Smith?
Jim Harbaugh has since answered these questions, but has been getting a lot of heat from the media. Some people believe a starter shouldn’t lose his job due to an injury, while others think coaches should put the best players out on the field no matter the circumstances.
“We got two quarterbacks we feel great about,” Harbaugh told the media when announcing Kaepernick would start his third consecutive game against the St. Louis Rams. “As a starting quarterback both have earned it, both deserve it. Colin we believe has the hot hand and we’ll go with Collin.”
Did Alex Smith do anything wrong to lose the starting spot? Not necessarily because he led San Francisco to a 6-2-1 record and threw for 1,731 yards with 13 touchdowns. But Smith is a traditional quarterback, meaning he’s a pocket passer who can’t run well but recently has been leading the 49ers to plenty of victories.
Kaepernick, on the other hand, runs well in open spaces and can sling the ball all over the field. He is fortunate to be a quarterback in the NFL at this time because the game is starting to turn to the faster and more mobile passers. He is a very young quarterback, and he has a lot to learn about the NFL, but he also has raw talent. Never in a million years did I think Kaepernick would do what he did to the Bears, and then repeat that performance the following week against the Saints going 16-25 with two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing) and 258 total yards. But I, and many others were wrong.
Another impressive thing is that the controversy isn’t dividing the 49ers. They all know the NFL is a business and sometimes it can be a brutal one.
“We’re all on the same team,” offensive linemen Alex Boone said. “We’re all here for the greater purpose of getting a ring, so to say it divides anybody I think that’s not really the case. We just got to go with it. Who’s ever back there we can win with them, so it’s a good problem to have.”
I’m not saying Kaepernick can keep this up as the 49ers have games remaining with Miami, New England, Seattle and Arizona, but the 25-year-old has a bright future ahead of him, and it seems that the 49ers have a good problem on their hands.