Of all the coaches in the NFL who didn’t directly work with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, few know Kaepernick’s game better than Cardinals coach Bruce Arians.
Arians has faced Kaepernick’s 49ers twice per year for each of the last four years. So Arians knows what Kaepernick can and can’t do. During a Wednesday appearance on PFT Live, Arians provided his assessment of Kaepernick’s current skills.
“He can play in the right system,” Arians said. “He’s proven that. When he was with [former 49ers offensive coordinator] Greg Roman, that system fit him perfectly. He’s a read-option, athletic guy. He can throw it down the field with the play-action passes. He struggled against us in the past out of the pocket. It’s just finding the right fit.”
Thus, from Arians’ perspective, Kaepernick’s lingering unemployment traces to football reasons only.
Of course, the question then becomes whether Kaepernick is good enough in a read-option system that includes play-action passes to justify making him your quarterback and incorporating a system that he can execute properly. To get there, a team may need to hire Roman, who currently is employed by the Ravens and John Harbaugh, the brother of the coach who got the most out of Kaepernick. But Baltimore still has Joe Flacco, and no apparent or immediate plans to make a change.
It could be that Kaepernick’s wait will continue until next year, when the annual game of musical chairs plays out and, ultimately, a guy who runs a system like Roman’s ends up in a position to bring a guy like Kaepernick to town.