The 49ers have their own version of Tim Tebow, only better. His name is Colin Kaepernick.
Two nights ago, Kaepernick bolted 78 yards for a touchdown on a simple Tebow-style shotgun read option. The former Nevada quarterback faked a handoff to LaMichael James, the defensive end crashed inside to clog the hole, and Kaepernick darted through the spot where the defensive end had been.
Just like Tebow.
On Sunday, Jets coach Rex Ryan danced dangerously close to the tampering line by making it known, in unsolicited fashion, that Ryan was interested in drafting Kaepernick in 2011.
“Again, some people think the Wildcat has come and gone. No, it hasn’t. If anything, it’s just the opposite. I saw the kid from San Francisco, Kaepernick,” Ryan said, via comments distributed by the team. “He runs a 4.4 or something. I was really intrigued by him when he came out because I thought we were going to lose Brad. [The 49ers] drafted him before we could, but I was interested in him. He went for a 70-yard touchdown run the other day. You’re seeing these guys and it’s hard to defend some of that stuff. When you have the ability to throw, as well as run, it makes it tough.”
It’s unclear whether Ryan was just riffing, or whether he was sending messages to one or more people.
To Mark Sanchez, possibly: “Don’t get too upset about the fact that we traded for Tebow. We thought about drafting last year a guy who runs faster and throws more accurately than him.”
To Tim Tebow, possibly: “It would be a good idea run faster and throw more accurately.”
To 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, possibly: “If you’re really all in with Alex Smith, why not give us a chance at taking Kaepernick off your hands?”
To Colin Kaepernick, possibly: “If you don’t like being stuck behind Smith, why not ask to be traded to the Jets?”
To the rest of the league, possibly: “Go ahead and assume that the Wildcat is dead.”
Regardless, chances are it wasn’t an accident that Rex publicly lamented the fact that the 49ers got Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft before the Jets could get a crack at him.
Especially since the Jets didn’t even have a second-round pick in 2011.