Why Colin Kaepernick Is the NFL Player Tim Tebow Only Wishes He Could Be

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IOctober 1, 2012

Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Tim Tebow wishes he was the NFL player Colin Kaepernick is becoming for the San Francisco 49ers

The New York Jets quarterback/fullback/special-teams man has morphed into what many run-first quarterbacks dread when they come out of college: a non-quarterback. 

Mark Sanchez has been horrible so far to start the 2012 season. Just for giggles, let's take a quick look at Sanchez's numbers: He's completed 63-of-128 passes (less than 50 percent) for 813 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Sanchez also has lost one fumble.

If now isn't the time for a change, then I don't know if the Jets will ever do it. Tebow was incredible last season for the Denver Broncos, but he's not even being considered right now as a solution to the Jets' offensive woes. 

According to the New York Daily News, Ryan said:

I just know in my heart right now that this is not the time. I think Tim (Tebow) is an outstanding player. I think Mark is. Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win. I will always do, in my opinion, what’s in the best interest of this team.

This makes me wonder: If Mark Sanchez were to suddenly go down with an injury, would Tebow be the man to take his place, or would Greg McElroy be the player Rex Ryan calls into duty? 

If Alex Smith were to get injured, there's no doubt that Jim Harbaugh wouldn't think twice about putting Kaepernick, his second-year player, into the game. Furthermore, if Smith started stinking up the joint like Sanchez has been doing, Kaepernick would get his chance to lead the 49ers—of that I'm 100 percent positive. 

So, why is Kaepernick so much better than Tebow?

Superior Pocket Passer

To become a successful NFL quarterback, young players must learn to become a pocket passer, first and foremost. Quarterbacks who look to run when they're under the gun, such as Cam Newton, never develop the requisite discipline within the pocket to make the most of their talents in the passing game. 

Kaepernick rushed for more yards at the University of Nevada (4,112) than Tebow did at Florida (2,947), and he also passed for more yards (10,098 for Kaepernick and 9,285 for Tebow). Furthermore, he attempted almost 300 more passes and rushed the ball 92 fewer times during his career than Tebow did. 

Simply put, he is a better passer than Tebow, and since the two of them have hit the pros, Kaepernick's gotten significantly better in this department—and it's not even close. 

Just take a look at their numbers from the 2012 preseason:

Player Comp. Att. Pct. Yards TD Int
Kaepernick 25 39 64.1 297 2 0
Tebow 13 36 36.1 151 0 2

The two players are trending in opposite directions; Kaepernick is getting better, while Tebow is getting worse.

More Dynamic Runner

Tebow runs like a fullback. He isn't going to run away from many defenders, but his strength, power and agility have served him well around the goal line for years. Kaepernick, on the other hand, is an explosive runner who is a threat to take it to the house on any given play. 

Tebow ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, and Kaepernick ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. 

The evidence from both their college and NFL careers shows that Kaepernick's speed gives him a huge advantage over Tebow when it comes to running the ball. 

Here are their college rushing totals:

Player Att. Yards Avg. TD
Kaepernick 600 4,112 6.9 59
Tebow 692 2,947 4.3 57

Here are their NFL rushing totals, including preseason games:

Player Att.  Yards Avg. TD
Kaepernick 24 254 10.6 2
Tebow 199 1,095 5.5 11

It's clear that Kaepernick is the more explosive player, and in today's NFL where defenders are just as fast and dynamic as offensive players, that's what gets the job done. 


Ever since Josh McDaniels got fired in Denver, Tebow has been screwed. 

John Fox was happy to use him for a while, but the Broncos were never sold on Tebow as a starting quarterback—despite the fact that he took his team to the playoffs after they started out the 2011 season with a 1-4 record.

Kaepernick, on the other hand, was hand-picked by Jim Harbaugh to be the next franchise quarterback, whenever he's ready to overtake Smith on the depth chart. 

Harbaugh, being a former NFL quarterback, knows how to get the most out of his young talent. Kaepernick's development from his rookie season to this year has proven to be a tremendous step in the right direction under Harbaugh's tutelage, and the sky is the limit.

Tebow, on the other hand, was asked by the Jets brass to bulk up so he could play multiple positions (read: not quarterback; h/t ESPNNewYork.com). It's hard to develop into a starting-caliber NFL quarterback when you're practicing with the special teams unit. 

Kaepernick has the physical tools and proper coaching to become a legitimate and possibly elite NFL quarterback. Tebow doesn't have any of that going for him right now, and the poor guy can only dream that one day he might be lucky enough to find himself in a similar situation. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.


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