Gabbert seen as better fit than Kaepernick in Kelly’s offense

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The Blaine Gabbert-Colin Kaepernick quarterback competition has an early leader, and it’s the guy who was once viewed as a draft bust, not the guy who was once viewed as a future superstar.

That’s the word from ESPN, which reports that Gabbert has picked up new coach Chip Kelly’s offense, is seen inside the organization as a better fit than Kaepernick, and has the edge heading into training camp.

Although Kelly and 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke have said publicly that they like Kaepernick and still think he can succeed, virtually all the talk coming out of San Francisco this offseason has indicated that Gabbert is leading in the quarterback competition. In fact, it’s fair to wonder if the only reason Kaepernick is even on the roster is that the 49ers misjudged the trade market and thought when they picked up his guaranteed $11.9 million salary this season that they’d be able to unload him for a draft pick.

When Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season and to the NFC Championship Game after the 2013 season, he was widely viewed as one of the league’s up-and-coming stars. At the same time, Gabbert was struggling mightily in Jacksonville as a No. 10 overall pick who appeared to be a massive mistake in the draft. At the time, it would have been unthinkable that Gabbert and Kaepernick could compete for a job and Gabbert would win. But from all indications, that’s what’s expected to happen in San Francisco this summer.

54 responses to “Gabbert seen as better fit than Kaepernick in Kelly’s offense

  1. As a Jags fan, I watched Gabbert’s entire career in Jacksonville, every play, and while a lot of Jags fans will disagree with me, I would say that Gabbert’s struggles in Jax were caused by lack of experience, and lack of decent players around him. He had lousy pass protection, and lousy receivers. Really bad. I didn’t think it was a fair test of his ability. A lot of fans accused him of being scared in the pocket, but the truth is, he was a rookie getting beaten to death out there.

    You just can’t draft a QB and throw him out there with no help. That’s a formula for failure. We all thought our GM was a genius for getting a 6th round pick for him, but now it looks like the 9ers made a pretty good trade.

  2. I have to give gabbert credit; he may be a draft bust but he has still cobbled together a pretty decent career for himself all things considered.

  3. haha “that’s the early word from bored NFL reporters that can’t really justify their paychecks in July”

  4. Gabbert was thrown to the wolves in Jville. I watched the whole thing happen.

    Absolutely pathetic roster…pathetic oline…and a young qb’s friend should be the running game…tight end…and defense.

    Gabbert had a hurt/breaking down MJD…ZERO receivers…PATHETIC O LINE…and TE Marcedes Lewis was an absolute STIFF – dropping passed on 3d down and in end zone with noone around him.

    Every snap was a jailbreak from the second the ball was snapped because opposing D had ZERO respect for our offense – and they shouldn’t have.

    Gabbert eventually got gun shy and they ran him out of town – but dude was on a pathetic roster and was thrown to the wolves too early.

    I hope he succeeds.

  5. Some players take a little bit longer to develop.
    I remember, back in the 70’s, Jim Plunkett playing poorly for New England & SF, then sat out the 1978 season as no team wanted him.
    Oakland signed him a year later. All Plunkett did after that was lead the Raiders to two Super Bowl victories.

    I’m not saying Gabbert will do the same, only that the NFL game is complex, and
    maybe Gabbert needed a little more time to develop.

  6. You know you suck when Blaine Gabbert beats you out.

    Better keep kissing your biceps, Kap.

  7. As a Jags fan, I agree with the other posters. Gabbert was thrown into a horrible position on a horrible team with one of the worst GMs in history (Gene Smith). In 3 years he had 3 Head coaches and when new GM David Caldwell and HC Gus Bradley were hired, Gabbert was beat up and gun shy on a terrible team that had to have the reset button pushed. A change of teams is just what Gabbert needed and I and many Jags fans wish him luck except for when he is playing us.

  8. Both are garbage, as is the GM,owner and the coach, does anybody actually expect this to succeed?

  9. This is music to Kaepernick’s ears. Like most players that have in been S.F. for a while, he can’t wait to move on and join the mass exodus.

  10. Yes, when you are competing against nobody, you are bound to be the starting qb.

  11. This is what happens when you have a player who thinks he is already good enough at 23. They don’t work on their craft and get better, their weaknesses are exposed and it’s all downhill from there

  12. Makes you wonder whether it would have been worth giving up $5 million to avoid getting beat out by Blaine Gabbert. Of course, getting beat out by Sanchez might not be much better.

  13. Jets will trade a 7th round pick in 2045 for Kaep. Baalke, the genius, now considers

  14. HEY 700levelvet!!! Wrong post! Get back to your ever-so-tired “…most mediocre franchise…” page. Sheesh! What, did you read a book or something last week?

  15. Wait! No way can this be true. Didn’t Jaworski rank Kap as one of the all time greats? Everything about ESPN sucks.

  16. Not sure that Kap was ever ‘widely viewed as one of the league’s up-and-coming stars’ by anyone other than the liberal media. I think most people realized he was another Tim Tebow who doesn’t have an NFL skill set and is far more concerned about being famous than being a good player.

  17. If you compare stats, Gabbert played just a little bit better than Kap last year, that’s it. That’s mainly because, Kap was playing hurt and the offensive line didn’t start gelling until Gabbert started. Gabbert may be the starting QB right now, but it’s ridiculous to assume Gabbert has any lead in a quarterback competition, when there hasn’t even been a competition yet. Kap is just starting to get healthy and training camp hasn’t even started. So what this writer is really saying, is that Gabbert looks better in shorts as Kaepernick rehabbed on the sidelines during the off-season… Well, that’s just brilliant!

    Kaepernick will be the starter, book it!

  18. Being a better fit for Chip Kelly’s system doesn’t necessarily mean you are the better QB. Kelly, and his system, are yet to take the NFL by storm as so many predicted.

  19. Kaepernick needs to join a new team. It is obvious to everyone that SF just see him as a backup behind a player of inferior natural talent.

  20. Kelly values decision making over athleticism. He’s been telling anyone that will listen this since he entered the league but every year it seems people don’t believe him. Chip Kelly lies when it’s convenient, but not about this.

  21. imcornholious says:
    Jul 23, 2016 10:53 AM
    Hasn’t Kap been recovering from surgeries and unable to practice?
    I think the gist of the article is that Gabbert has spent his time with his nose in the playbook while Kap has spent his time looking in a mirror.

    That was always the big knock on Kaepernick-he got by on his scrambling ability and then when that was taken away, has not been able to develop as a passer.

    Gabbert is no HOF QB, but I wish him well. Always good to see a bit of a redemption story for a guy who is willing to put in the work.

  22. kcchefs58 says:
    Jul 23, 2016 9:18 AM
    This further confirms Kelly’s racism.
    No, it confirms that you’re a racist.

  23. Isn’t it funny that just about everyone said ‘Kaepnerick fits better’ with Kelly’s offense, because he’s so fast.

    I said no. It’s all about being able to make quick and accurate reads… which is NOT what Kaepernick is known for. Quite the opposite.

    Physically speaking, Kaepernick’s skills would put him above Gabbert. But ONLY if his brain can run the offense. Not learn it. Run it.

    Gabbert can. Kaepernick can’t.

    Kaepernick is not the better QB. Kaepernick is simply not an NFL starting QB.

    In the beginning, when he was completely protected by scheme, with his deficiencies not known, and defense coordinators hadn’t figured out how to contain and stop him…. coupled with a great defense… yes they could be a good team.

    But that didn’t make Kaepernick a good QB. He didn’t manage the game. Harbaugh managed the entire situation around him and got it to work.

    Those days are over. They aren’t coming back. Kaepernick has been figured out, and he simply can’t adujst.

    He now doesn’t have a coach willing to bend everything and coddle him.

    He now doesn’t have a defense anywhere close to what the 49ers once were (even on their bad days).

    People are wondering why did the 49ers allow the Kaepernick to try to broker a trade, or even visit the Broncos? Because simply put, he isn’t any good. They’ve finally come around to reality. He’s not growing or adjusting. He just is… and what he is, has been figured out.

    Now even Kelly doesn’t want to use him first, because Gabbert can clearly assimilate and RUN the offense better than Kaepernick despite Kaepernick being faster, stronger, more agile, and a harder thrower. All those traits that every GM and every coach would love to find someone having.

    People still can’t figure it out. With all the writing on the wall in perfect English, and perfectly legible. The problem is that people have blinders on.

    Kelly’s offense needs the thing Kaepernick can’t do. Harbaugh’s offense was the best thing for Kaep, but even he couldn’t hide him forever.

    Gabbert is the better QB, and he fits Kelly’s system far better.

    Now we’ll just have to see how it plays out in preseason. Against lower level scrubs, Kaep might even do decent, running around and such. Defenses and blitzes will be vanilla. All stuff we know.

    The key will be watching him run the offense and comparing him to Gabbert.

    How he runs the offense comparatively… and most importantly how he runs the offense under pressure (when actually there against scrubs). Is he still able to get to a 3rd read? Is he making the right choices? Is he pulling it and running when he shouldn’t?

    Just remember what Kaep is worst at, is the key trait needed in Chip’s offense. Quick, accurate reads.

  24. I am a tad surprised that people successfully propagated the idea that Kaepernick could thrive in Kelly’s system due to his mobility. The reality is accuracy and timing are more important and Kaepernick was always erratic at each……… best. Sometimes his accuracy was frightenly bad.

  25. Don’t laugh off the racism angle, Kaepernick is doing everything he can to turn it into a race issue. He’s re-invented himself as black survivor of the mean streets fighting against “the man”. Lots of black rights rhetoric and rocking Malcolm X duds. Rumors of a conversion to Islam. He’s settng himself up with an excuse if he does lose.

    In the same way he went to a private doctor who found all sort of injuries a couple weeks after he was benched and realized he wasn’t going to get the starter job back. It gave him an excuse. Then he delayed surgery until January so the 9ers couldn’t cut him before April 1. No wonder Trent Baalke won’t even talk to him

  26. No no no no no. Gabbert was thrown to the wolves in Jax, but he held the ball too long, focused on one receiver, never changed the play at the line of scrimmage when the defense shifted (immediate sack!), never took off running (after being sold on what a great runner he was!), had NO deep ball, and couldn’t throw a basic out pattern. He throws a nice fade and crossing/timing passes, but he’s a one trick pony. He wasn’t coachable in Jax and Blaimed (see what I did there?) everyone else.

    But the roster did suck out loud.

  27. So Gabbert was thrown into an awful situation in Jax. Now, history repeats itself – Santa Clara is a raging dumpster fire or an organization, with arguably the worst ownership/GM combo in the league, a joke of a roster, a college coach who just failed spectacularly, and an awful stadium with declining attendance. What could go wrong?

  28. torchsandaardvarks says:

    Jul 23, 2016 9:51 AM
    I called this year’s ago

    We need a new commish in my fantasy league this year. You available?

  29. If you were wondering. I know it’s only been 22 years but I’m counting the next four years because of what York, Baalke and Kaperchoke have done to your team.

  30. Alex Smith is still laughing and ever so thankful for the trade. And so are Chiefs fans.

  31. I think the fact that Gabbert is looking better than Kaepernick is telling of what Kaepernick has to offer, more than Gabbert being good. Kaepernick isn’t a quarterback.

  32. If you believe Kelly’s a better coach than Harbaugh then yeah, Gabbert’s a better fit.

  33. As a Cardinals fan I hope the 49ers start Gabbert as their starting QB LoL , via PFF he ranked as one of the worst starting QBs in the NFL, Via ESPN his QBR of just 42.6 ranked 30th of 33 starting QBs w/ a below AVG passer rating of 85 last season and just 14TDs….. He had just 10TDs to 7INTs last season.

    Gabbert also can handle Elite pass rushing front 7s, and AZ has both an Elite front 7 and Elite pass rush with arguably the best secondary in the NFL to capitalize on his mistakes and will have a top 3 defense next season. Gabbert is going to take an absolute beating.

  34. dadsource says:
    Jul 23, 2016 3:43 PM
    Ownership demolished a super bowl team.


    The brief window was already closed. That team was built around Gore and a historic defense. The QB was not asked to do alot. Wasn’t the team already turning in an 8-8 season with Kaep looking like a deer in headlights before Harbaugh was let go?

    Kaep’s strength was never his passing. Just like Michael Vick he could look good against undisciplined teamed but against disciplined defenses he went down in flames.

  35. officialgame says:
    Jul 23, 2016 3:16 PM
    Does it really matter? Kelly is a one trick pony and a fraud who will be exposed in a tough division.


    It all depends if he learned anything about his embarrassing final year with the Eagles.

    Yes, he was a one trick pony and his play calling was predictable, just called at a really fast pace but maybe he learned that he needs to be a little less predictable.

    At least he isn’t the 49ers GM so they do have that going for them.

  36. Kelly is a very bad offensive NFL coach if the QB is not named Foles.

    Vick – 5 TDs 3 picks 2-4 record
    Barkley – 0 TDs 4 picks 0-0 record
    Buttfumbler – 18 TDs 15 picks 4-6 record
    Bradford – 19 TDs 14 picks 7-7 record
    Total – 44 TDs 36 picks 13-17 record

    Foles – 40 TDs 12 picks 14-4 record

    26 TDs to 13 picks (2 to 1) is about NFL average for comparison.

  37. Kaepernick was brilliant for two years and rocked the league’s defences. Gabbert id a nice guy but a mediocre talent and he has been a struggler in the NFL since day one. San Francisco would be well advised to craft an offence around Kaepernick’s proven strengths.

  38. My Niners will – either go up and off like the Roman Candles of old – or – they will “Crash & Burn” with gusto before the season is half over. I would not put a whole lot of stock in the pre-season (well some, but not a lot) and little to none in the first 2 or 3 games. Now, come mid-season after say, five to six games, you will know it all.

    Why? well its simple. The entire “offensive side” of the ball is on notice as of right now, today. We’re talking CK7, Blaine AND especially Chip Kelly. If any two of the three is highly successful, good. They’ll have a very good season. But if two of the three (or heaven forbid – all three are bad- lookout).

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