In a season of embarrassments, we experienced the lowest of all embarrassments as the San Francisco 49ers fell to the Oakland Raiders. The only missing piece from this masterpiece of a clunker was a tweet from 49ers CEO Jed York himself. While in full football depression mode, let’s recap with some things I think I know.
I was the lead dog in touting Colin Kaepernick’s potential greatness three years ago. He was a combination of rifle arm and powerful legs that I’d never seen before. Even amidst the prime year of RGIII, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson, it was Colin Kaepernick that stood out head and shoulders of the group.
I’ve played quarterback. I’ve coached quarterbacks. Along with Ron Jaworski, I thought Kaepernick was in line for great things. Right now, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I won’t jump off Kap’s bandwagon until I firmly see fit. I’m not there yet. But, Colin Kaepernick’s game stinks right now.
Colin Kaepernick is not a pocket passer. There’s a shot he never will be. He’s uneasy reading the field. He still hasn’t managed clock management. Indecision is hampering Kap’s development. He’s been beaten down and beaten up by a porous and injury riddled offensive line. It’s a combination that somehow and someway needs to change.
Pass rush takes the day off.
Derek Carr provided Oakland Raiders fans with the type of young promise that once surrounded Kaepernick. He had all day to read the field and make multiple deeps passes beyond 15 yards. He played the game from the pocket that all experts claim is easily the best place to exceed as quarterback in the NFL.
In reality though, it shouldn’t have been that hard. Carr was never consistently under any pressure. The duo of Aaron Lynch and Aldon Smith never met at the quarterback. Raiders offensive lineman played a game that Niners fans wished our front five would play. They picked up the occasional blitz with ease, and in turn, left Carr’s jersey squeaky clean.
Jim Harbaugh….the QB guru?
Jim Harbaugh has been labeled a quarterback guru. He’s known for having an eye for talent at the position. It was commonplace for Harbaugh to receive an erratic QB pupil and turning him into a reputable player of the game. Look no further than Alex Smith for proof of that.
Has Harbaugh lost his magic touch?
That’s open to interpretation.
What is evident is this. Kaepernick isn’t developing at the rate most (including me) would expect. No matter what support Harbaugh throws behind his signal caller, he hasn’t seemed to develop a system befitting of Colin Kaepernick’s skill set. Has he yet to push the right buttons? Is an organizational rift attributing to the team struggles? All are certain possibilities. Until something clicks, the QB guru’s system is going to struggle and struggle mightily.
I feel for Frank Gore.
Frank Gore is the epitome of a 49er. He’s been with us through thick and thin. There’s an innate spirit within Gore to will the 49ers to victory on a week to week basis. For reasons covered and clear to all, he’s not being used to his proper potential. It’s not something that needs to be delved into again.
At Gore’s age and with his contract, Gore’s numbers in red and gold appear to be numbered. Never have I hoped to be more wrong. Appreciate that man. He’s put his heart on the line for this organization for far to long to not fully support.
We are called Faithful for a reason.
This season is a wash. That’s as near to fact as can be. But, as fans of the 49ers we push through fair weather. This season hasn’t turned out like I thought. I didn’t foresee this happening in the slightest. But through good and bad, I read, listen, watch and support the 49ers. My criticism comes laced with support. My bitterness the same. It’s natural for all of us to want our team to succeed above and beyond the greatest of expectations. But as in life, we don’t always get what we want. There are three games left in the 2014 season. If you need to be, I challenge you to listen, watch, and follow the 49ers with utmost of your ability. Because, we are the Faithful.