Brett Kollman, a writer for Battle Red Blog, SB Nation’s site focusing on the Houston Texans, likes to study game film. He’s pretty confident in his abilities, too — tags on his recent article about Colin Kaepernick included, “brett kollman should probably be doing this for a living” and “brett kollman knows a thing or two about film.”
Kollman’s article was actually quite the entertaining read. I’ll never complain about a good Zoolander reference, even if some might find those jokes kind of dated (hey, you can only go to the Anchorman well so many times). And Kollman backed up his findings on Kaepernick with so many GIFs, photos and thoroughly described examples … I’m starting to wonder if a healthy Kaepernick is going to lose his job to John Skelton this season.
In actuality, that has as much of a chance at happening as LaMichael James replacing a healthy Frank Gore (obligatory State Farm reference). Or Tom Rathman replacing Gore.
Back to Kaepernick, whose bad habits Kollman critized in several ways.
— “He is not playing like a rookie – he’s playing worse.”
— “When Colin Kaepernick was asked to do anything besides “the gimme throws”, it got just plain ugly.”
— “If either Boldin or Vernon Davis were immediately covered off the snap, nobody else existed in Colin Kaepernick’s world. Kyle Williams should have had a gigantic night, but Kaepernick’s poor vision and panicked decision-making would only produce three points in the entire game.”
— “The decision to hand the ball to Colin Kaepernick would end up losing the game. More rushed reads, more bad throws, more panic, and a 48% – 150 yard – zero touchdown – one interception performance.”
— “Yeah, I said it. Colin Kaepernick is a game manager, albeit one that runs like a gazelle and has a rocket arm.”
— “So what exactly is wrong with this really, really, ridiculously good looking model/actor/quarterback? Well, for starters he can’t turn left and throw the football.”
— “He has a horrible habit of seeing ghosts in the pocket and inexplicably scrambling or taking his eyes off his receivers at the first whiff of pressure, even if that pressure is imaginary. It’s like he’s taking crazy pills.”
— “Kaepernick has a terrible tendency to only look in one direction if he likes his pre-snap read, regardless of how covered his target happens to be or how uncovered other receivers are in other parts of the field.”
— “In this Week Five contest against one of the best defenses in the league, with a blitz package of J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, and Brooks Reed that often comes from the right side of the line to flush the quarterback left, would you bet on Colin Kaepernick willing this team to a victory with his arm? I know I wouldn’t.”
Kollman didn’t crush Kap throughout the entire post, although he came close: “The physical tools are there, and once Michael Crabtree returns from his Achilles injury, Kaepernick will have yet another weapon that can actually get open against man coverage.”
Since the Texans have only allowed about 140 passing yards per game, the 49ers will probably depend on Frank Gore to lead the offense for the second consecutive week. But maybe it’s worth paying attention to things like Kaepernick’s ability to throw while moving to his left, locking in on his primary target without going through his full set of progressions, or vacating the pocket earlier than necessary.
Kaepernick has received the media attention and scrutiny of someone with much more experience, but after all the magazine covers, commercials and Jaworski-fueled hype, no one really feels bad for him. “It is easy to forget that a Super Bowl quarterback has barely a season’s worth of starts in his career, but at the same time I am compelled to think that a third year quarterback who has taken his team to the biggest stage of them all, fourteen starts or not, should be a little bit further along in his development than this,” Kollman writes.
Kaepernick can’t favorite SB Nation posts like they’re negative tweets, but this one gives us some good keys to pay attention to as we judge Kaepernick’s development. The Texans and their fans will stop caring about Kaepernick the second Sunday night’s game ends. They’ll go back to worrying about Matt Schaub’s pick-6 tendencies, and all of us will watch Kaepernick’s every move as long as he’s the 49ers’ starter.