In his first career start, the second-year QB out of Nevada stepped into to relieve the concussed Alex Smith. In his time behind center, Kaepernick proved what he could do at this level. He took his opportunity on the national stage to showcase his ability as a passer.
Known as a running QB from Nevada's gimmicky pistol offense, many questioned whether Kaepernick could be a competent pocket passer. Well, versus the Bears defense, he changed the perception of him with his actions.
Ability As A Precision Passer
Although Kaepernick is widely known for the ability to make plays with his legs, it was his arm that made the difference on Monday night.
From start to finish, he took his chances, delivered the ball to covered receivers and made tight-window throws.
A former pitcher once drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009, Kaepernick displayed incredible velocity and accuracy on his throws for the duration of the game.
And with such a background, it makes sense that Kaepernick has such a firm understanding of ball placement and the importance of precision. Against the Bears, not only was Kaepernick connecting with his targets, but he was deadly accurate.
Kaepernick was throwing low and away, high—but always appropriate to the play design and always away from the defender. He threw his receivers open, giving them an opportunity to make a play after the catch.
San Francisco has one of the most athletically gifted and decorated receiving corps in the league. Kaepernick provided a spark that brought that group to life, allowing it to use its physical abilities before and after the catch.
And surprisingly, he displayed excellent touch on passes, given that it was a concern going in. More often than not, young inexperienced passers require real game reps to acclimate to the speed of the game. A lot of times you’ll see a young QB under- or overthrow a wide-open receiver.
In his first-ever NFL start, Kaepernick stepped in and showed he could make all the throws.
And although there was some concern regarding his unorthodox delivery, it did not seem to be an issue. He has a mighty powerful arm and it comes with a quick release. When Kaepernick identifies his target, he zips that ball out of there.
For someone who came from the pistol offense at Nevada, the second-year QB looked awfully good under center.
There was an aura about No. 7 right away, as he seized command of the offense almost instantly.
It did not take him long to start reading the defense and making pre-snap adjustments. Having been in the system for over a year now, Kaepernick was comfortable calling audibles and changing the play at the line.
On top of that, he communicated very well with his receivers and offensive line. The entire offensive unit was jelling, scoring on consecutive drives during the game. Kaep had his group in sync, executing Greg Roman’s game plan seamlessly.
Presence As A Dual-Threat
Kaepernick is a big, physical specimen with world-class athletic ability. At 6’4” 230, he is quarterback that runs a 4.5 40.
The great thing about Kaepernick is that threat of run is enough—he does not need to use his legs to beat you. Since defenses already know what he can do with his legs, it is enough to keep them on their heels.
As an incredible gifted athlete, Kaepernick has a presence as a dual-threat.
Because of that, he works extremely well with play-action, extending the play with his legs and freezing defenders by threat of run. The second-year QB will come out and win the game with his arm, but toy with defenses because they know he can gash them on the ground.
With San Francisco’s love of misdirection and sleight of hand, Kaepernick is the perfect fit.
Colin Kaepernick has shown he can make all the throws already. He displayed impeccable touch on the football in just his first career start. Kaep came into this league as a developmental player, but looks miles ahead of where he was when he was originally drafted.
Jim Harbaugh's ability as a QB guru seems to be in full effect.
This so-called project quarterback not only looks capable of handling the 49ers offense, but it looks like he could revolutionize it.