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49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (center) expects to be better in 2013. His raw talent and dual-threat capability should certainly benefit from Super Bowl experience.
It is hard to put someone who became an overnight NFL star on this list and make the statement that he needs to improve.
All he did was throw for 1,814 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 415 yards and another five touchdowns during the regular season, including only seven starts (cbssports.com).
He backed that up with a more-than-impressive playoff push, torching the Green Bay Packers in the division playoff round and then leading the 49ers to a dramatic come-from-behind win against Atlanta in the NFC championship game.
Even though Kaepernick fell short in Super Bowl XLVII, he threw for over 300 yards with a touchdown against a determined Ravens defense as well as having rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown. That comeback, if it had happened, would have been one for the ages, and Kaepernick would have been the reason it was possible (examiner.com).
The comeback did not happen, though, and Kaepernick took responsibility for his shortcomings.
"I feel like I made too many mistakes for us to win," Kaepernick said. "I think that last drive when we got the ball and had time to go down and score a touchdown, we thought it was our game" (cbssports.com).
That statement says a lot about the second-year dual threat quarterback who has brought the new "pistol offense" to the NFL.
Fans and analysts alike have seen what the budding star can do so early in his career. Defenses have seen it, too. No one can doubt that Kaepernick's talents are dynamic. No one can doubt that the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl gave Kaepernick priceless experience.
Yet Kaepernick will need to showcase even more if San Francisco expects to return to the Super Bowl next season.
The new generation of dual-threat quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and Kaepernick have changed the way the NFL is played. Defenses are forced to learn new ways to contain such quarterbacks and eliminate one or more of their assets.
The 49ers' opponents will certainly make adjustments next season and Kaepernick will be forced to respond.
Fortunately, Kaepernick's full potential has yet to be reached, and fans are likely to see his best playing days in the future. True, Kaepernick needs to get better, but to start off a career like he has done thus far, such prospects are very bright indeed.