Will Colin Kaepernick bring success back to San Francisco?
A new NFL season is around the corner and the San Francisco 49ers, who haven’t been in the playoffs since 2002, want to get back to postseason football. The question fans and experts ask themselves is: who should be the starting QB for the Niners?
No. 1-overall pick Alex Smith, who has not done anything so far other than play below his potential, or rookie Colin Kaepernick, who was selected 36th overall in this year's draft.
The final decision lies with new 49ers’ Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, but the following five reasons explain why Kaepernick might be the better choice to realize the teams goals.
Alex Smith is heading into his 7th season with the 49ers
Many people believe there will be no happy end to the fairy tale of Alex Smith. Dealing with injuries and changing offensive coordinators, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick has never been able to show his real potential.
Over the course of six seasons he has managed to play a couple of promising games, halves and quarters. He has thrown two more interceptions than touchdowns to this date in his career. So why should anybody believe that this season will be any different.
Kaepernick on the other hand has the opportunity to make the 49ers faithful forget about a wasted No. 1 pick if he can bring back glory to the red and gold.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh works with rookie QB Colin Kaepernick
Jim Harbaugh joined the 49ers organization on January 7, 2011. He is the franchise’s fifth head coach since 2003, and after his tremendous work at Stanford University comparisons with the great Bill Walsh are inevitable.
In only four seasons he turned a losing football program into a title contender. The Cardinal went from a 4-8 record in 2007 to a 12-1 record in 2010. He crowned his four years in Palo Alto with an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Harbaugh brings back Bill Walsh’s “West Coach offense” to its birthplace, and this could be Kaepernick’s—who played at the University of Nevada in a so-called pistol offense—chance to show how much Joe Montana or Steve Young is in him.
Another argument in favor of Colin Kaepernick is the fact that he has nothing to lose.
It is his rookie season, with a rookie head coach and team that has not had a winning season since 2002. The organization will give him the time he needs to make himself familiar with a new system and a new environment.
Nevertheless, if Alex Smith continues to struggle Kaepernick will get his opportunity faster than he thinks.
A three-sport athlete during his high school years, Kaepernick received all-state honors in baseball, basketball and football during his senior year at Pitman High School in Turlock, Calif.
He received numerous offers from college baseball programs around the country, but ultimately decided to join the University of Nevada's football program.
With Nevada, Kaepernick was the only quarterback to rush for over 4,000 yards and pass for over 10,000. This ability to scramble and create plays out of nowhere could be very helpful behind an offensive line that was unable protect its quarterback last season.
He is also blessed with a powerful arm.
Niners' fans are hopeful that Kaepernick will turn the franchise around
The San Francisco 49ers were the first major professional sports team based in San Francisco, and they have a deep and passionate fanbase. To see the NFL's poster child struggling like the Niners have been over the last decade is a loss for the whole league.
The team needs a new stadium and consistency to get back to where it belongs, which is the top. If Kaepernick turns out to be the next Steve Young—he is too athletic to be the next Joe Montana—the organization is on the way to becoming, once again, the number one sports franchise in the Bay Area.
San Francisco needs a successful 49ers team, and Kaepernick has the potential to provide that success.