Kaepernick’s slide continues, and he offers no explanation for it

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As the 49ers fade from postseason contention for the first time since Jim Harbaugh became head coach, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has become increasingly sullen in his dealings with the media.  While still responsive to questions from reporters, his body language suggests no interest in talking about why he and the team aren’t thriving.

Here’s the latest example of Kaepernick choosing not to elaborate on what’s gone wrong with a team that had made three straight trips to the NFC title game, and that nearly won a Super Bowl in the same season Kaepernick became the starter.

Q:  “You in particular don’t seem to be playing at your usual level the last several games.  Do you understand why aside from not executing?

A:  “I have to play better.”

Q:  “I understand that.  Do you understand why you’re not playing better?”

A:  “I haven’t been playing well.”

He hasn’t been playing well on a consistent basis for a while.  For the year, he has accounted for 16 touchdowns and 14 turnovers.  Over the last two games, Kaepernick has one touchdown pass and four interceptions.  Against the Raiders, his first throw of the game was picked off.

While Kaepernick has no answers for the media about why he’s struggling, he’ll need to have some answers for the team, especially if/when there’s a new head coach.  Thanks to a team-friendly contract that gives the 49ers until April 1 of 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 to decide whether to move on, a new head coach may not want Kaepernick right out of the gates.  Or a new head coach may decide after a year that he doesn’t want Kaepernick.  Or after two year.

Regardless, the team has ample flexibility in each league year to move on from Kaepernick because his injury-only guarantees don’t become full guarantees until more than two weeks after the annual period arrives for signing free agents and making trades.

It was still smart for Kaepernick to do the deal.  If he played like he’s currently playing in what would have been a contract year, Kaepernick would have had a hard time getting a $12 million signing bonus from the 49ers, or from anyone else.

66 responses to “Kaepernick’s slide continues, and he offers no explanation for it

  1. It’s time to re-think Kapernicks future with the team..Can the Harbaugh theories..Is Kapernick the future no matter who the coach maybe.

  2. Kaep needs to worry more about being a qb rather than sporting a goofy looking haircut and posing for magazines. There’s no way he should be slumping with that offense. Some of it is on Greg Roman, because he’s a terrible OC, but a lot has to do with Kaep and his inability to read defenses. I was a big believer in Kaep, and really thought that this year he’d break out and lead this team, but the more I watch of him, the less I can defend him. We won’t get rid of him and we would be silly to do that, but he needs to really learn to play to his strengths, and the coaches need to utilize his strengths as well. No excuses, the Niners were a disappointment this year.

  3. He’s a lot like Cam Newton. Both are dangerous runners, but they can’t read defenses, get confused easily and then sulk.

  4. There’s just no way that Colin Kapernick scored a 38 on the Wonderlic. Just no way.

  5. Not sure if the 49er’s are trying to make him into a pocket passer. He plays better when the plays allow him to run and string the defense out.

    He’s looked lost lately in the pocket.

  6. The guy has never impressed me he’s always reminded me of Vick who has never been a good QB either.
    He’s a product of ESPN he’ll give you a couple wow plays for highlights and everyone forgets about the other plays when you went wth is this guy doing ????

  7. Kaepernick is not a pocket passer. It’s excruciating watching him try to think through the progressions. Just let him do what comes naturally (i.e. run and gun) whether that lasts a couple of seasons or just 8 games.
    At least it’ll be fun.
    If Harbaugh/Roman/Baalke/York wanted a pocket passer/game manager they should have just kept Smith.

  8. Two issues…

    1 – The really good QBs have one thing in common – they’re gym rats. They study and work at their games endlessly. They love the competition. Kraperpick is not that. He wants the glory but not the work. He’ll never be good unless he changes his approach.

    2 – The team has given up on Harbaugh. The reports of locker room issues looks like it may have been spot on. Certainly now anyway.

    Could get ugly in Seattle.

  9. Uncle Eddie…HELP!!! you got the team when you were my age and everyone loved you…My dad said I wouldn’t have to make any decisions…This toy is broke can I get a different one?…Please uncle Eddie answer your phone….

  10. Derek Carr and Kaeps stats are very very similar…one is QB on a 2-10 team with 2-10 offensive weapons and the other is probably the reason a team with 12-4 talent is struggling to win 9 games.

    If the Raiders could land an Amari Cooper and grab a solid TE in the free agency or the draft….all of a sudden this offense could be really good. The line is more solid than given credit if they ran anything other then dead up the middle…

    Harbaugh’s motivation is sorely needed and he needs a change of space with a good young QB…it makes so much sense it can’t happen.

  11. He’s in over his head. He can’t read defenses. He doesn’t check down and throws into coverage too many times. The 9er’s got rid of the wrong QB.

  12. Who has it better than 49ers? The Rams! The defense is becoming beastly. If they find a long term answer at QB, they become the new challenger to Seattle.

  13. Colin Kaepernick is a one read QB that doesn’t see the field. Sure it doesn’t help his offensive can’t pass protect but when he is under pressure he hits the panic button fast.

    Throw in the fact defenses now know how to contain a mobile QB where they struggled 2 years ago, we are seeing all the deficiencies in his game. Sure he has a cannon but bad footwork, inaccuracy and poor leadership. Even 49er fans are calling for him to get cut.

  14. As far as the niners go, this slide is awful. Not many other teams are lucky enough to get the schedule they have as far as travel goes. Thier final six games if the year – home, home, Oakland (basically home), Seattle (short flight), home, home.

    after Seattle demolishes them next week they will be .500 and this short-lived rivalry will be over after Seattle once again proves to be superior.

  15. I think its just the play calling…our game past few yrs has been run to set up the pass…now were passing more our line is a run blocking line not pass blocking…he should be relied on to manage the game…thats when we were at our best..I think that is a reason hes regressed along with the offense

  16. With Harbaugh leaving, the new regime will not be impressed, look for the 9ers to draft a QB with their first pick and move on from the Kaepernick era.
    Maybe he can go play TE in KC and catch 5 yard passes from Smith. Now wouldn’t that work all the talking heads into a frenzy?

  17. As a 49ers fan, after watching Alex Smith for years and waiting for him to play to his potential, when he finally did, we traded him away to start a second round project player? I have spent my Sundays fishing rather then watch kap ruin the end of Frank Gore’s career. Thanks raiders for getting rid of ra ra harbaugh and his college quarterback.

  18. It’s REALLY REALLY hard to sympathize with sullen jerks. Especially when they’re getting paid millions of dollars. I know plenty of people who are working crappy jobs for low pay who don’t go through life as sullen jerks.

  19. That’s because Kaepernick, second only to Tom Brady, is the most overrated QB in the league.

  20. Kaepernick and RG3 are not quick/rhythm West Coast Offense QBs. They need to be in power running/vertical passing offense. Like all strong armed QBs. Only strong arm QB to succeed in the West Coast Offense was Brett Favre, but Favre didn’t listen to his coaches and basically winged it on gameday. Drove Holmgren crazy.

  21. I really feel like I’m missing something. I never really liked Kaepernick but he was phenomenal in his first two seasons. This isn’t like Mark Sanchez where he totally sucked and it took a few years to really find out how much. What was the obsession with trying to make a pocket passer out of him?

  22. He’s just another in a long line of overhyped young QBs that defenses eventually figured out. The over-saturation of NFL media coverage constantly puts guys on a pedestal too fast and acts surprised when they struggle having never faced real adversity before.

  23. Harbaugh is trying to get fired and thus paid for remaining years.

    There is simply no explanation why they would stick Kap in a vanilla offense as a dropback QB. Hes’ not one and never will be. He flourished as a read option QB. He’s not bright enough read defenses.

    All Niner fans know Greg Roman is a joke and wants to get fired with Harbaugh.

  24. The guy is struggling on the field and doesn’t want to feed the media vultures while his most recent struggles and team loss are still completely fresh. Shocking. Just unbelievable.
    If the team’s new coach doesn’t want to work with and nurture this obviously talented young QB to reach his potential, I’m sure some other team would love to. Of course that’s not even a real point of discussion. Just a media member trying to create a story.

  25. I have a sneaking suspicion the 49er’s could very well be in last place after this upcoming weeks games.

  26. Remember 3-4 years ago when Cam, Kap, and RGIII were all the rage as read option QB’s? Look at all of them now.

    This league is about pure pocket passers, always has been, always will be. Read option QB’s are coach killers and Franchise stranglers.

  27. Danny Snyder will trade you two number 1’s to take on ‘ol Kappy and his team friendly contract. Never underestimate the Washington teams ability to devastate their future.

  28. The explanation is simple. He can’t read a defense. When his one throw isn’t there, he wants to run. When that’s taken away, he has nothing else to offer. Huge mistake giving this guy top 10 money. I’m wouldn’t pay him more than Sanchez is getting. As a matter of fact, that was a low blow to Mark.

  29. It’s not about your ability to read a defense. It’s about trusting what you see in the offense. The West Coast offense is counter intuitive for Kaepernick, and all QBs with elite arms. It’s for game managers.

  30. That was the classic, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything approach. What do you want him to say, “our team is distracted, the offensive line can’t pass block, my receivers aren’t open because they get no seperation?” Kaep could accurately state all these things, but instead he’s internalized and shut down with his responses to the media.

  31. I have an explanation: contrary to genius Jaws belief he’s nowhere near the best ever nor is he a servicable QB. He went to Nevada where he excelled against inferior competition and probably wasn’t recruited by any real football programs. He’s a good athlete who should probably move to WR but he’d rather try to prove a point and fail rather than succeed as WR. We’ve seen this before with RGme and Kordell Stewart.

  32. Leave the poor guy alone. He honestly doesn’t know why he isn’t playing well. He isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed you know. At this point, continuing to ask him why he fails is a little like asking an elementary school kid how neurodevelopment works…it’s unfair.

  33. But does Jaws still think he’s the greatest QB of all-time? I’m sure that statement didn’t put any unnecessary pressure on him. Nope. Not at all.

  34. Guys that can’t show a maturity or get frustrated at media questions that are asked usually don’t have the maturity to be a top tier qb. It’s the same with Cam Newton. All of the physical attributes but none of the mental ones. They look for what the rest of the team is doing wrong instead of their own mechanics and figuring out what has changed from them until now. Also a good leader wouldn’t let the “coaching stress” be the undoing of the locker room. A leader would have a player only meeting and explain that no matter what coach or not, we are together.

  35. I remember last summer when Kaeper-pick was involved in that incident in Miami. Even though he didn’t really do anything wrong, I made the comment that just by being involved, it showed a total lack of maturity that I wouldn’t want in my “franchise” QB. The comment got pretty much all thumbs down. It’s starting to look like I was right in my line of thinking…

  36. Why not just move to WR and have highlight reel OT plays like Webb has done in Minnesota. I’m no Vikings fan, but it seems most logical if you are athletic but simply lack the mental ability to read a defense.

  37. Why was it that when this guy was good, the media was all about how awesome Harbut was such a great QB coach, just the number one master. But now that he is struggling, it is all on Kaepernick? Maybe, just maybe, it is that Harbut is really not so great as the media wants to believe? Or, maybe he is just an A-hole that is no longer doing his job on account of STD (Short-Timer’s Disease)

    Caution, teams considering hiring Harbut, as the saying goes, Beware of the guy who is in it only for himself, because at the end of the day, he is only in it for himself.

  38. Demise Started when they decide to bench Alex Smith after an injury and gave the job to a inexperience immature over rated fame and money seeking kid who relies on only his athletic skills and when the DC and Defenses of other teams caught up to the kid’s game and render his game 1 dimensional (forcing him to be competitive, win tough games and ultimately score point by passing) it was over.

    Those are the facts and the reasons why the Demise was inevitable… You heard it from me and been saying this since day one, benching and trading Alex Smith was premature just because they think THE CHOKE was better and cheaper was the wrong assumption and the mistake that ultimately cost this season and Harb’s chance to return as the coach if in fact he does not return next season.

  39. I still remember the year he came into the league and people got excited because he beat New England in Foxborough and tore up two teams in the playoffs with poor defenses. Little did people know he had the best defense in the league. Many saw this coming, he looked like a fraud in Seattle his first year.

  40. This guy needs to grow up. His past few press conferences have proven how immature he is. I’d be embarrassed if my teams quarterback acted like a pouty little crybaby like that. The 49ers would be better off keeping Harbaugh and dumping Kaepernick. The guy’s just not mentally or emotionally strong enough to carry the responsibility of being a franchise quarterback. He definitely doesn’t deserve to be paid what he’s being paid.

  41. While Kaep is part of the problem — he lacks maturity on and off the field — part of the problem with the team falls squarely on the shoulders of Baalke. I give him props for drafting outstanding players on the defensive side of the ball but his record is suspect as far as drafting on offense, particularly wide receiver. How many of those offensive players are still with the team? Baalke has not improved the offense since he became GM in 2011. Most glaringly, he selected AJ Jenkins and LeMichael James in 2012 and passed on Odell Beckham and Mike Evens this year when we had more draft picks than we had open positions. We got Hyde and Borland, good picks that paid immediate dividend. But we had enough picks to get into the top 10 and select a blue chip prospect or two at the wide out position. That’s why you collect all those extra picks, so you can make bold moves. And with Crabtree in a contract year, Beckham would have made it easy to say good by to Crab, who is in all honesty a number two receiver.

  42. RegisHawk says:
    Dec 8, 2014 9:18 AM
    I’d fine the SOB $250k for the insolence displayed in this interview…

    “yeah” – Marshawn Lynch

  43. Lost in all this was the weird factoid that the Raiders managed to beat both the old 49ers QB and the new 49ers QB.

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