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The Colin Compromise

Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

By Michael Andrews

I know there is a lot going on at 49ers HQ right now, but I choose to focus on what and who I know for will be around next season. My man Colin Kaepernick!

Since he took over for Alex Smith, even in last year’s NFC Title Game I still hear murmurs about him not being ready to run this team. I think he has played very well for someone with only 23 regular season starts under his belt.

Since taking over people complain that he does make all the reads or go through his progressions the way some veteran QBs do. I did some thinking and I think it’s because we have to accept the compromise that comes with Colin.

I think most would agree that when Colin breaks the pocket and strides down the field, it’s something very special to see!

It’s absolutely mesmerizing and breathtaking to see him pick apart opponents and keep them guessing as to what his next move is. But has anyone ever thought that maybe the very thing we love is the same reason why he may never fully go through his progressions?

“Experts” say that most QBs have a 4 second clock in their heads that lets them know to make a decision or risk a very bad play.

I have seen the likes of Brady, Brees and Manning (Peyton) use those 4 seconds to make some miraculous things happen.

But I have seen Colin do the same in his own way. 2nd & 11 during the second drive of the NFC Championship game, see what happens and how long it takes. 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter is another example (and trust me there are PLENTY more)!

Colin is pretty good at looking at option 1 then option 2… but after that, his time is up and he has a decision to make.

The top two target aren’t exactly what I’d call “burners.” I don’t think any of us are expecting Anquan Boldin or Michael Crabtree to have 2+ yards of separation again a defender in 4 seconds.

So the problem is a tough decision for the young QB to make, especially knowing his own ability. Perhaps if we ran more screens or… nah, I’ll save that for another time, but I’m sure you get my point. Until we get someone with a better burst off the line, what’s a guy to do?

But what if Colin didn’t run? Would we still be asking “why didn’t we just keep Alex?” Would we see more than 8 picks last season; or how about the number of sacks or fumbles? Is it necessary for him to take off after 4 seconds standing behind arguably the best O-line in the NFL?

Or would Colin become one of the most explosive passers we’ve seen since Young here in San Francisco? Who knows? But one thing I do know is that I don’t mind watching Colin compromise running for waiting! I’ll enjoy watching him grow and mature in the NFL.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mark

    February 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    You have to remember what defenses we are playing against. Peyton Manning didn’t look too good in the Super Bowl. If Colin played against AFC East or NFC East we may be talking a different story line.

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