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Jim Harbaugh expects a “breakout year” from Colin Kaepernick


Colin Kaepernick clearly has some holes in his game, but he’s already pretty good.

But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh expects his quarterback to take another step this season, which would set him up for well more than $6 million.

I really expect a real breakout year for Colin,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of “Athletically, he looks bionic. If you all remember the ‘Six Million Dollar Man,’ that’s what he looks like to me.

“He’s very gifted and he always has been. He has the look and feel of a guy who’s really going to break out – even more so than he already has. I’m really excited about everything about his game right now.”

Kaepernick has been efficient enough in the passing game to make his running skills (and those of Frank Gore) more valuable, but the 49ers have made a concerted effort to surround him with more targets this offseason.

With Michael Crabtree healthy again and Stevie Johnson added to the mix with Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Brandon Lloyd and some young players, there’s a chance they might actually be able to diversify their offense this year.

“It’s something that coach has mentioned to me that you need to be able to do what we do within our system,” Kaepernick said. “And as long as my footwork is good and I’m delivering the ball quickly and precisely, he’s happy with what I’m doing.”

If he can improve as a passer, the decision to give him the massive contract he’s in line for will be easier to justify, even though $6 million might only buy them about five games’ worth.

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57 Responses to “Jim Harbaugh expects a “breakout year” from Colin Kaepernick”
  1. barsfordays says: May 29, 2014 11:53 AM

    With the WR group he has: Crabtree, boldin, johnson, B Lloyd, Vernon… anything less than 5000 yards passing is unacceptable

  2. aceakking says: May 29, 2014 12:00 PM

    Kaepernick really duped Harbaugh into thinking he’s a better QB than Alex Smith. It’s good for Kaepernick, but bad for Harbaugh and the 49ers fans because Kaepernick sucks as a QB.

  3. In Teddy We Trust says: May 29, 2014 12:01 PM

    I guess that makes Jim Harbaugh Oscar Goldman.

  4. aceakking says: May 29, 2014 12:02 PM

    Besides, isn’t Kaepernick going to prison?

  5. slbasegame257 says: May 29, 2014 12:02 PM

    The difference between the 49ers and the Seahawks? The 49ers acquire names while the Seahawks acquire talent and grit. GO HAWKS

  6. tqaztec says: May 29, 2014 12:03 PM

    Just don’t butt-fumble.

  7. boisestatewhodat says: May 29, 2014 12:04 PM

    Prediction: his season is over due to injury suffered during week 1.

  8. ctiggs says: May 29, 2014 12:04 PM


  9. dagon27 says: May 29, 2014 12:05 PM

    Not as good as advertised. A great QB can make those around him better. With a subpar receiving core during 2013, it’s a miracle they won as many games they did (a stellar run game and top 5 defense certainly help). He’ll look better with better receivers around him in 2014, but he’s barely a top 10 QB.

  10. blabidibla says: May 29, 2014 12:06 PM

    This article has been up for over 10 minutes and no SEA fans have chimed in about how overrated Kaep is yet.


  11. ctiggs says: May 29, 2014 12:06 PM

    #bestTE #bestcoach #bestLBs #top3QB #NoONEhasitbetter

  12. chargerdillon says: May 29, 2014 12:15 PM

    He’s going to have a breakout year as a runningback?

    The dude is without question the worst passer in the league as far as starting quarterbacks go.

    And if you want to argue that….LOOK AT HIS NUMBERS.

  13. andrewluck12 says: May 29, 2014 12:19 PM

    I’d take Colin ever rg3-13. Dudes still progressing and I think he’ll figure it out this year. He’s got a great coach behind him and one of the leagues best defenses. Can’t wait to watch him toast the packers as usual

  14. kamthechancellor says: May 29, 2014 12:20 PM

    Haven’t you figured it out yet, Slick Jimmy? Kaepernick is who he is. Elite athlete. Sub par quarterback. Let’s move on.

  15. ravenswhat says: May 29, 2014 12:20 PM

    Just like you had 5 number 1 receivers last year right coach? lol.

  16. threefeetaway says: May 29, 2014 12:21 PM

    It doesn’t matter if he has 8 great receivers, he only reads the first one so all the others become irrelevant…

  17. squirrelthomas says: May 29, 2014 12:22 PM

    So kap looks like a 39 year old Lee Majors?

  18. goldrush36 says: May 29, 2014 12:24 PM

    Difference in the 49ers and Seahawks?

    Seahawks “fans” are absolutely obsessed over Niners articles.

  19. jwcarlson says: May 29, 2014 12:26 PM

    He’s good at everything except what a QB does. Other than that he’s great.

    And thank goodness his body looks good. Same line we always heard about Tebow. Hopefully he put on about 60 pounds in the legs/ankles or he’ll be laying on the turf before the bye week.

  20. kamthechancellor says: May 29, 2014 12:29 PM

    Put a mirror on the goalpost and Kaepernick would score on every drive. (Bicep kiss)

  21. spittabeatz says: May 29, 2014 12:32 PM

    Here come the haters! Yea he has some holes in his game but he was drafted as a 2-3 year project..he is right on pace, and seeing how the 49ers are a running team he will never have the crazy stats..they run and drain the clock..alot of teams would love to have him as qb.

  22. faepernick says: May 29, 2014 12:36 PM

    So many haters on here, it was Kaep’s first full season as a starter and he took the 49ers to a 12-4 record with Boldin as the 49ers #1 receiver.

  23. sisqsage says: May 29, 2014 12:42 PM

    Definitely has to work on his feet alignment, and throwing from a balanced set, while in the pocket. His worst throws last year, and picks, initiated from really bad throwing fundamentals.

    Overall, a lot of people forget this will be only his second full season as a starter. He wants to be great and works harder than anybody. He’ll get there.

    That much improved receiving corps will help a lot too, and free up some looks for Vernon.
    I think Patton has the most potential, but will likely have to give up some catches to all of those veterans that have been brought in. Patton’s time will come when Boldin and Llloyd retire in a year or two.

  24. citynative says: May 29, 2014 12:42 PM

    Jim Harbaugh speaks at a press conference and PFT knows it can get tens if not a hundred lemmings commenting on what he said and thousands of clicks. He does not talk more than other coaches. In fact he probably says the least. It is just that he gets the most reaction when he does speak, especially from the obsessed fan base in the pacific northwest.

  25. i thumbs down your comment says: May 29, 2014 12:48 PM

    Seahawk fans have 49er angst. It’s funny really…

    Let’s see how the Hawks perform with a target on their backs this year.

  26. tennesseeoilers says: May 29, 2014 12:53 PM

    I’m not a Seattle fan, Rams fan, or a Cardinals fan … I live 3,000 miles away and I love dual threat quarterbacks from J.C. Watts and Joe Theismann in the ’70s to Steve McNair to an aspiring Jake Locker. However, like Locker, Kaepernick has not proved he’s a true dual threat. They can both run like nobody’s business, but through the air they don’t intimidate anyone … at least, yet.

    If I had to put my money on one of the two proving true, I’d take Jake Locker all day. Unlike Kap, he’s a focused student of the game who leads by example on and off the field.

  27. juliusanonymous says: May 29, 2014 12:54 PM

    Harbaugh may not ever have won a championship at any level of the game as a coach OR a player… but at least he’s entertaining. Perpetual second-place runner-up, true, but entertaining nonetheless.

    Hope you all get a chance to come up to the Emerald City this season and watch Kaepernick get beat up again. You can stick around after the game and see what a Lombardi won this century looks like.

    Maybe Santa Clara can get one after you fire that clown and rebuild.



  28. fyreandnice says: May 29, 2014 12:56 PM

    I’m a 49ers fan but Kaepernick is totally overrated. From week 2 until Crabtree came back last year he was worse than average. All the talk about receivers not getting open was a poor excuse and not entirely true. The talk about him struggling to get through progressions however was fair. Kaep and OC Greg Roman need to raise their games this year or they will never get past Seattle or even the other dangerous teams like Packers, Saints, Bears.

    Open the offense up already!

  29. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 29, 2014 12:59 PM

    i love the haters and there opinions about kaep. you know the niners are doing well when 80% of the comments are hate mail. its awesome. 5 playoff wins in 2 years. come again haters, you welcome back anytime.

  30. bhlobos says: May 29, 2014 1:00 PM

    In two years as a starter, he’s been to the Superbowl and to the NFC Championship game… and was potentially within one play from winning both. How much more “breakout” does he need to be?

    As for his stats, like Russell, they’re a running team, so his numbers won’t be huge… so you can’t just his play based on stats. I’ll be more interested to see if he can work thru his progressions this year… that’s been his biggest weakness in his passing game.

    BTW, Seahawks fan… hate the niners, but respect them all the same…

  31. shayeezy says: May 29, 2014 1:04 PM

    he literally said the same thing last year.

  32. Robert says: May 29, 2014 1:04 PM

    Are they playing at Miami this season?

  33. mcallistersan says: May 29, 2014 1:05 PM

    For those who actually watch his games, he’s one of the few players in the league who can single handedly win a game. Like absolute annihilation against quality opponents. The bigger the game the bigger the play. Packers, Bears, Pats completely destroyed from the air and the ground.

    Those kind of players are rare. All the good teams have one. We have to keep ours around.

    Go Niners.

  34. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 29, 2014 1:06 PM

    Doesn’t he say this every year?

  35. rick359 says: May 29, 2014 1:09 PM

    He is just lucky he does not have to play the Seahawks until week 13!

    He is a 2-read QB now, he looks to his first receiver, if he is covered his second read in the the Player covering that receiver! lol

  36. singletrack74 says: May 29, 2014 1:11 PM

    I think he has the potential. Niners have the talent.
    The NFC is stacked big time. Especially the NFCW.
    I just don’t think you can beat the best of the best with him running around.
    It’s gonna be a fun season either way.


  37. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 29, 2014 1:22 PM

    oklahoma city seahawks

  38. radrntn says: May 29, 2014 1:25 PM

    well one could only expect being that it is his contract year that he will have his best year yet….

    if not with the niners first pick in the first rd. will be one of the following; winston, mariota, hundley, petty, miller, manion, hogan, etc….next year’s draft is pretty deep at qb.

    It would be ironic if they draft Fajardo to replace him.

  39. supermedic says: May 29, 2014 1:44 PM

    Does this mean Kappernick learned how to throw a forward pass?!

  40. dalcow4 says: May 29, 2014 1:44 PM

    This is the year which will show Kap’s future as a QB. He was mostly mediocre overall last year, an Niner fans and coaches should have some real questions after what was such a promising start to a career. He’s still better than Russ Wilson, though— but the Niner defense isn’t as good as Seattle, so…

  41. bubster47 says: May 29, 2014 1:53 PM

    It’s interesting all the hate Kaep gets. Also interesting how much everyone says he sucks as a QB. Let’s put some number in perspective.

    Comparing Kaep to Peyton Manning. Manning had 659 attempts, 68.3% completions, with 12.17 yards average per completion. Kaep had 416 attempts, 58.4% completions, with 13.15 yards average per completion. Manning had 5,477 yards for the year, Kaep had 3,197.

    Now lets give Kaep the same number of attempts, and assume the same completion percentage and yards per completion average. That would give him 385 completions, with 5,062 yards. Add the 500+ rushing yards and he had more yards than arguably the best QB in the league.

    Given those numbers he looks a little better doesn’t he. Also, Manning had 3 killer receivers and a great TE, Kaep had only Boldin for 3/4 of the year and a great TE. No he doesn’t have some of the numbers that a lot of other QB’s do, but those other teams don’t rush more than 50% of the time either.

  42. juliusanonymous says: May 29, 2014 1:55 PM

    Why should any Seahawks fan respect Kaepernick, Harbaugh or the Niners? They haven’t won anything. All they’ve done is talk trash, then lose and act like a bunch of whiny toddlers.

    Kaepernick throwing a pick to end their postseason in Seattle, then showing up at our Superbowl party to tell the world how it shoulda coulda woulda. Nobody wants to hear that noise. Go get your binky and take a time-out, Gonzo.

    Or Harbaugh acting like a 3 year old on the field, throwing tantrums and slapping other coaches, talking trash about “leaving no doubt” and being “above reproach” shortly before a string of felonies by his best players followed by losing to Seattle and watching them win a Lombardi.

    That whole team is a freaking clown show, from top to bottom. There’s nothing to respect. Keep giggling at Harbaugh’s little quips to the press, all that jive turkey gobble gobble. ‘Cuz that’s all you get, Santa Clara fans.

    Now kiss this ring and get out of my office.


  43. tap79 says: May 29, 2014 2:00 PM

    I hope Kap passes more. It will lead to more Hawk interceptions and more Hawk touchdowns!

  44. fabbeaux says: May 29, 2014 2:03 PM

    Come on, be honest. He can’t read a defense, and he does gallop off (like Manziel, by the way) consistently as his first option (he never seems to consider more than one option possible when he drops back) – he just doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb. He can play quarterback with reasonable efficiency, yes. And perhaps some fantastic break-out is waiting in the wings. But he isn’t really that good at it, and hasn’t exactly been improving by leaps and bounds up to now, so not sure what they intend to put in his off-season Kool-Aid.

  45. ghost26 says: May 29, 2014 2:11 PM

    Stop with the comparisons to Peyton. Totally different type of players. Peyton is one of the best pocket passers of all time. Kaepernick is an outstanding athlete BUT he is still very young & still learning to play the QB position. I fully expect him to improve as a passer this season but he’s not Aaron Rodgers & he’s never going to be. However he’s still is good enough to win a SB assuming the team continues to be stacked with good players on the O-line, a solid running game, & a physical Defense. See Joe Flacco & Russell Wilson.

    With that said I have no idea where all the hatred & criticism of Kaepernick comes from.

  46. kylehealy says: May 29, 2014 2:42 PM

    Probably the best QB and receiving core in the game, oh and o-line, and running back committee, front 7…I could keep going. Pay the man!

  47. mustang6984 says: May 29, 2014 2:49 PM

    LOL!!! Well…I guess having expectations is a good thing.

    So, my expectations for Kaep this year? he’ll be disappointing…AGAIN! But then…so will Harbaugh….so it’s all good!

    Go Seahawks!

  48. fanme57 says: May 29, 2014 2:53 PM

    Kaepernick has the potential to be a very good quarterback, but truthfully regressed last season.
    He threw more touchdowns, but his interception ratio went up.
    San Francisco is a run based team, with a great defense, IF Kaepernick can learn to read NFL defenses, and actually go through a progression, he’d be very tough to face…..but up till now, that simply hasn’t happened.
    To quote Greg Cosell: “The 49ers do not ask quarterback Colin Kaepernick to do a lot of progression reading. They scheme his success”

    The obvious question is WHY? Is Kaepernick unable, or does Harbaugh lack faith in him?

    For Kaepernick to become anything better than he has been will require he learn to work through his progressions.

  49. dragonfly99 says: May 29, 2014 3:17 PM

    If you REALLY believe that Jimmy, then pay the man.

  50. juliusanonymous says: May 29, 2014 3:33 PM

    Santa Clara fans crack me up. Comparing Kaepernick to Russell Wilson?

    Russell Wilson has won more games in his first two seasons than any QB in the history of the NFL, and tied Peyton Manning for most touchdowns ever thrown by a rookie QB. Not to mention that Lombardi on his mantel, of which Kaepernick has ZERO.

    Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick don’t even inhabit the same universe.

    Russell Wilson = winner and champion.
    Colin Kaepernick = bicep-kissing Gonzo clown.



  51. djshnooks says: May 29, 2014 4:38 PM

    That breakout happened 2 years ago.

    This is the downfall.

  52. dacktle49 says: May 29, 2014 6:04 PM

    Kap & the 9ers will be just fine.. I cannot wait for this offense to hit the field! And to all of these “born/diehard” Hawk fans you kids are not fooling anybody, I’m sure you guys are also diehard Heat and born Red Sox fans as well you clowns are phony.


  53. iamdinguskhan says: May 29, 2014 7:27 PM

    He’s been working so hard in Miami in the offseason on improving his game…..

  54. lscratchingthesurface says: May 29, 2014 7:32 PM

    I’m so glad we got the real 9’er QB in Alex Smith.

  55. donttestdauser says: May 29, 2014 8:19 PM

    This is Kaeps 2nd year as a starter, and he’s only improving. Give him some time. The poor guy was a rookie when they threw him under the bus in the middle of the season when Smith got injured. He took the 49ers to the plays offs and almost won a Superbowl in his rookie year, which would’ve have been outstanding; considering the fact that it took the best QB’s in the NFL at least 2-3 years to improve, and win a SB.

    Brady won his first superbowl in his 2nd year
    Big Ben took 2 year
    Brees took 9 years
    Eli Manning took 4 years
    Aaron Rodgers took 6 years
    Peyton Manning took 9 years
    SO to answer your question everyone except Brees won a superbowl faster than Peyton Manning.

  56. forever9ers says: May 29, 2014 10:23 PM

    Kapernick’s career numbers so far: 40 TD (31 passing + 9 rushing) 11 INT, QB rating 91.8.
    Only Aaron Rodgers & Russell Wilson have done better in their first 2 yr as starters in the last 20 yrs.

  57. norcalkush says: May 30, 2014 12:14 AM

    Kaep in 2014 60% 4,000 30-10. 600 rushing 5 TDs. Concrats Seahawks from going top 5 most pathetic franchise in hustory to a top 10 mediocre franchise.

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