Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers have been a mild disappointment this year. They’re 7-5, but in a face a steep climb to make it into the playoffs.
As they have struggled, Kaepernick has taken more blame than ever before. If the stories are to be believed, it appears that people around the NFL are starting to sour on the quarterback who took the league by storm two years ago.
The anti-Kaepernick buzz peaked after he threw for 121 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 19-3 loss to the Seahawks on Thanksgiving night.
Gil Brandt, former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, told SI’s Peter King that he believes the NFL is going back to pocket-passer quarterbacks. In the same article, former Colts president and ESPN analyst Bill Polian said he thinks the the era of running quarterbacks, like Kaepernick, is dying.
TheSidelineReview’s John Middlekauff asked NFL executives and scouts if they’d rather have Kaepernick or Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and surprisingly, all of them picked Carr. The belief is that Carr has lasting and growing skills as a pocket passer while Kaepernick’s inconsistency as a thrower is a permanent problem.
After the Seahawks game, Glenn Dickey of the San Francisco Examiner claimed Kaepernick’s lack of development has hurt the 49ers.
Kaepernick still hasn’t learned [to stay in the pocket]. I doubt he ever will because he’s basically playing the same way he did when he was first made a starter with the 49ers. It worked better that first year because nobody in the league knew him. Now, they do.
… He’ll abandon the pocket at the first sign of a hard rush and, unlike [Russell] Wilson, he doesn’t look downfield. Usually what he’ll do is run off to the right, which reduces his targets for a pass, and then takes off running. Sometimes, he succeeds only in holding the ball long enough to get sacked.
This negative press may or may not mean anything, but it’s a steep drop-off from when Ron Jaworski suggested Kaepernick could be one of the all-time great quarterbacks last year.
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