In the latest case of ESPN-on-ESPN crime, two of the four-letter network’s NFL analysts have vastly differing opinions regarding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Ron Jaworski thinks (or, perhaps more accurately, thought) that Kaepernick could be one of the best to ever play the game. Trent Dilfer thinks that Kaepernick struggles with his progression through the passing options.
“[H]e’s not in the building with us so what he’s saying really doesn’t affect me at all,” Kaepernick told reporters on Wednesday regarding Dilfer, via comments distributed by the team. “I’m worried about what this team thinks and what I’m doing in here with my teammates.”
But what of Dilfer’s criticism of Kaepernick’s struggles when it comes to looking for the second and third receivers?
“Well, I think you should ask him if he knows what my progression is first before he says that,” Kaepernick said.
On the surface, it’s a clever response, which speaks to the criticism of media efforts to grade players without knowing their specific assignments. But when it comes to studying a quarterback, it’s not all that hard to see a guy look one way and then become a little flustered and harried, before ultimately trying to run.
That’s the current knock on Kaepernick. He’s become, in many respects, a one-read-and-then-run-it quarterback who is struggling to throw or to run.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick doesn’t know why he’s being criticized despite the team’s accomplishments last year and its record this year.
“You’re going to have to ask them,” Kaepernick said. “I’m doing the same thing I was last year. Trying to prepare the same way. Making sure I’m ready to play.”
He may be doing the same thing, but he’s not generating the same results. His passing numbers are underwhelming. His rushing totals are underwhelming. While that may be good enough given the rest of the roster to win enough games to get back to the Super Bowl, it’s not enough to vindicate Jaworski’s over-the-top preseason assessment of Kaepernick.