NFL morning after: The decline of Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field, a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society. That has been the subject of thousands of commentaries.

But it’s not the subject of this commentary. Instead, I want to talk about why I also consider Kaepernick the most fascinating NFL player off the field. And the reason for that is simple: He has rapidly declined from a very good quarterback to a terrible quarterback, at an age when most quarterbacks are still getting better.

It was less than four years ago that Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith in the middle of the 2012 season and putting an absolute beating on the Bears in his first NFL start. Do you remember how good Kaepernick was that year? The game that sticks with me is when he went to New England in just his fifth NFL start. Everyone said Bill Belichick would have the key to stopping this upstart young quarterback. Instead Kaepernick threw for four touchdown passes as the 49ers put up 41 points in a win over the Patriots. Quarterbacks making career start No. 5 aren’t supposed to shred Belichick’s defense. Kaepernick did.

That year Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, with a ridiculous 263-yard passing, 181-yard rushing playoff win over the Packers along the way. In the Super Bowl he threw for 302 yards, ran for 62 yards and came up just short of delivering the game-winning touchdown. If the 49ers had beaten the Ravens, Kaepernick would have been the Super Bowl MVP.

In his second year as a starter Kaepernick was just as good, again leading the 49ers to the playoffs and this time coming up just short in an NFC Championship Game loss to the Seahawks. That was the year when Ron Jaworski famously said, “I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.”

People enjoy needling Jaworski for that hyperbole, but here’s the thing: At the time, everyone was saying Kaepernick had the potential to be a Hall of Fame quarterback. It’s easy to find people who criticize Jaworski’s statement now; it’s hard to find people who disagreed with it on the merits at the time.

And then Kaepernick began to decline in 2014. In 2015, that decline reached such a depth that he was benched for Blaine Gabbert, of all people. This year Kaepernick. has finally taken the job back from Gabbert, but he isn’t very good: Yesterday he averaged a pathetic 4.2 yards per pass and completed less than 50 percent of his passes in an ugly loss to the Buccaneers.

So what happened to Kaepernick? I think it’s three things:

1. Jim Harbaugh left. Harbaugh is a singularly great coach, a coach who has proven everywhere he’s been that he can get the most out of his players. When 49ers owner Jed York and General Manager Trent Baalke foolishly decided they couldn’t get along with Harbaugh anymore, they lost a coach who could find ways to win with Kaepernick’s skill set.

2. Defenses figured him out. Kaepernick always had a strong arm, but he lacks touch on short passes. Defenses seem to be taking away the deep ball and forcing Kaepernick to throw short, and he just doesn’t do that very well. That’s why his average yards per pass has declined every season, from 8.3 in his first season as a starter, to 7.7 in his second year, 7.0 in his third year, 6.6 in his fourth year and now just 5.2 this year.

3. He doesn’t have a supporting cast. In Kaepernick’s first couple seasons, the 49ers were loaded. They’re now a worse team across the board: Worse receivers, worse offensive linemen, worse running backs and a worse defense, which means the 49ers’ offense often ends up having to throw more and run less.

4. He has physically declined. Just looking at Kaepernick, it’s obvious that he’s skinnier and less muscular than he used to be. He had three surgeries that severely limited his ability to work out this offseason, and he has also lost weight after radically changing his diet. He’s just not the big, imposing athlete he was three or four years ago.

Kaepernick may some day find himself playing with a better supporting cast, and it’s possible he’ll get bigger and stronger, but I’m skeptical that he’ll ever be the same player he once was. I don’t think he’s going to end up with another coach who understands his skill set as well as Harbaugh did, and I think the deficiencies opposing defenses have found in his game are going to follow him around. Far from becoming “one of the greatest quarterbacks ever,” I don’t think Kaepernick is even going to be an above-average starter ever again. He had two incredible years, but the Colin Kaepernick of old isn’t coming back.

Here are my other thoughts from Sunday:

Smart move, Doug Pederson. After the Eagles scored a touchdown in the second quarter, they kicked the extra point. But the Vikings were flagged for roughing the kicker, and that’s when Pederson did something smart: Instead of declining the penalty and taking the extra point, Pederson accepted the penalty and went for two, from the 1-yard line after the half-the-distance penalty. Carson Wentz ran the ball in from a yard out, and the Eagles got an additional point. It surprises me how scared NFL coaches are of going for two. Pederson showed some guts, and it paid off.

Tom Brady is as great as ever. After Sunday’s win over the Steelers, Brady is currently leading the league with a whopping 132.6 psaser rating, a number that no quarterback has ever sustained for a full season. He’s showing no sign of age at 39, and he’s showing no sign of rust after his four-game Deflategate suspension.

This is a different Raiders team. We’ve become accustomed in the last decade or so to view the Raiders as an incompetent franchise, and so I think some people haven’t yet caught on to just how good the Raiders are. In Derek Carr they have one of the league’s best young quarterbacks, and they’re keeping him upright. You may remember that Carr’s big brother David was sacked an NFL-record 76 times as a rookie. Carr has now been in the NFL for two and a half seasons, and he still hasn’t been sacked 76 times: Carr has now been sacked 62 times in 39 NFL starts. There’s every reason to believe the Raiders will compete for a playoff spot this year, and for many years to come, with Carr as their leader.

Why play Shady? Playing LeSean McCoy yesterday may turn out to be a huge, season-altering mistake by the Bills. McCoy suffered a hamstring injury in practice last week, and there were conflicting reports about whether he could play. McCoy ended up playing in the loss to the Dolphins but left the game early after another hamstring injury. If this hamstring becomes a chronic problem for McCoy, it would seriously damage the Bills’ offense. The 4-3 Bills are fighting for playoff position, and they can’t afford to be at less than full strength.

An ugly game for Sam Bradford. When the Vikings traded a first-round draft pick and a fourth-round draft pick for Bradford, my immediate reaction was that they overpaid. In his first four starts for the Vikings, Bradford played very well, and rewarded the Vikings’ faith in him. But yesterday’s performance in Philadelphia was awful: Bradford was sacked six times, fumbled four times and threw an interception. The Vikings are using the washed-up offensive tackle Jake Long because they don’t have anybody healthy to play the position, and Bradford looked incredibly uncomfortable behind a patchwork offensive line. The Vikings’ trade for Bradford only makes sense if he can lead them to the playoffs, and he can’t do that if he keeps playing Kaepernick-like games the way he did on Sunday.

151 responses to “NFL morning after: The decline of Colin Kaepernick

  1. Colin isn’t going to be playing in the NFL much longer, enjoy the Vegan lifestyle and chewing lawn.

  2. Kaepernick became a vegan, which must horrify the team nutritionist, and he made his politics a priority over his job. There’s no other way you can honestly spin it.

  3. Kaepernick has basically taken over Johnny Manziel’s old role since Manziel is no longer in the league (Manziel in turn inherited his role from Michael Vick). Basically that role is that of a bad QB who stays in the news by his moronic behavior off-the-field.

  4. Jim Harbaugh made Kaep who he was, there’s no question about it. When Harbaugh and Jed Dork weren’t getting along, it was the beginning of the end. When Harbaugh left Kaep was done. Harbaugh is the key to all of this. All the players left, retired, etc. as soon as he was getting let go. Dork and Baalke wanted Harbaugh gone, and when he left, the players stopped performing. Dork and Baalke blew this team up and are laughing to the bank, they don’t care. They have that pathetic stadium, which no Niner fan even feels like is a home stadium. They have 63 million in cap space, and didn’t spend any of it. I believe that they are holding that money until this year when they fire Baalke and promote Tom Gamble to GM. Kaeps supporting cast is a joke. Tomsula’s team last year won more games than this years team has. Yes, Kaep hasn’t been as good as he was, but not even Tom Brady could lead this franchise to more than 3 wins. Baalke is an idiot and hopefully will get fired sometime soon, and Jed York is the biggest tool, and has no clue how to run a franchise except running a franchise into the dirt. This team is on pace to give up 3,000 rushing yards this year. That’s garbage. The Niners are the worst team in the league. The Browns would beat us 9 out of 10 times. If you want to blame Kaep, that’s fine, but the real problem is Jed Dork, Baalke and Chip Kelly is a college coach.

  5. When he gets cut, maybe he can focus his energy on fixing those “social injustices” that have been keeping him relevant this year.

  6. Good point about Buffalo. I am really curious to know who in the organization was responsible for pushing McCoy to play on a bad hammy. Very short-sighted and foolish.

  7. I do not see how one can get enough protein to be an NFL player on a vegan diet. You can’t even take supplements because of the rules of veganism

  8. Just don’t tell me you quit watching the NFL because of anthem protest but had no problem watching it when Greg hardy, ray rice, and josh brown beat their wives.

  9. “There’s every reason to believe the Raiders will compete for a playoff spot this year, and for many years to come, with Carr as their leader.”

    I wonder we’ll all remember this statement years from now, or maybe a few weeks from now…

  10. So is it a decline or is it where he simply played uncharacteristically well back then?

    Return to mean….

  11. Kap was never as good as the media made him out to be. From time to time they latch on to an unconventional qb and try to make a star out of him, but it never works.

  12. BTW, anyone have a link to the website where he is supposed to be showing where his charity donations are going? Thought he said he was going to do that.

  13. a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society.
    ==============================

    Has it? I thought it just to a lot of people pissed off and not watching the NFL.

  14. of course Bradford had a rough game, he was pressured, hit or sacked 50% of his throws behind the worst NFL oline. The vikings made the trade at a time when A.P was healthy, and both tackles were healthy, now all three are done for the year, so bradford is a sitting duck behind the oline, not to mention turners play calling does bradford no favors and is just plain awful

  15. “I do not see how one can get enough protein to be an NFL player on a vegan diet. You can’t even take supplements because of the rules of veganism”

    Whey protein. Its commonly available

  16. It’s more than obvious his heart is not truly in it. Make fun of his lifestyle (most of you cat call anything you don’t understand) but like Ricky Williams, he is a young man who since the age of 7 or 8, has been groomed to be a star athlete. One day he had an awakening, thought “wait, I want a say in my life” and chose differently, yet still stuck around, the reasons vary. Yes, he is living a dream every boy who has ever played backyard, pee wee, pop warner, high school football–but the dream does not make sense for him. To me, its very obvious his heart is not in it anymore, this does not make him an idiot, bad guy, loser.

  17. “Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field, a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society.”

    No. It led to discussions/controversy whether or not it was just take a knee.

  18. Kaep’s best game of his football career was the four-overtime thriller when UNR visited Boise State in 2007. He had 400 yards of total offense in that game. It was his first-ever start at Reno.

    I stumbled on that game by accident and sat mesmerized at what I was seeing from this kid. His coach was Chris Ault, architect of the “pistol” offense. If there is one guy out there to ressurect Kap, it is him. If an NFL team hired Ault as Colin’s QB coach, it might work. Then again, maybe not.

  19. Come on Man, Your telling me he is the most significant player off the field ? Give me a break, alot of these players are conducting excellent charity work. Steve Smith Sr with battered women, Drew Brees with Cancer, the list goes on and on…This guy is just a douche bag promoting a false rhetoric. Turn off the camera and it all goes away. I also would like to know exactly where he donated his much publicized million dollars too. I haven’t heard about that.

  20. So what happened to Kaepernick? I think it’s three things:

    But then you listed four…

    However you missed the most important one, his state of mind…he is so wrapped up in his vegan & activist attitudes that he is not leaving space in his head to improve his game.
    Kaep was the hot hand, he was new, he did things that defenses hadn’t seen before. But defenses adjusted and he has not attempted to get better.

  21. Unlike the Jaguars, the Raiders went out and got Carr a great O-line and WR’s.

    It helped that Carr was a 2nd round pick, leaving more room under the cap.

  22. Haven’t watched more than 20 minutes TOTAL of the NFL games this year and couldn’t be happier. Used to be a diehard fan, but because if this chump Kap and his prima donna followers, I stopped paying attention and it was the best decision regarding sports, in my life. Don’t even miss it and suggest others do the same.

  23. For the Vikings it was one game. But as a realistic Vikings fan. I know that if they don’t get that O-line shored up, it will be more than one game.

    No injury excuses. You have 53 players on your team and they need to step up.

    And the special teams didn’t have a great game either. That I think is just a fluke. But that O line isn’t.

  24. Agree Kapernick has regressed, but maybe he is just smarter than the rest of us.

    Ask Jim McMahon if putting football above all else is a good idea…

  25. Like you just woke up and noticed this.

    Dude has sucked the better part of 3 seasons. The difference? He had Gore, #1 oline and D, Harbaugh and he could get by being a one read pony.

    He never could make reads under any kind of pressure, he has not regressed. He has been exposed. His kryptonite is pressure. 3rd down and redzone choker.

  26. edukator4 says:
    Oct 24, 2016 8:50 AM

    I do not see how one can get enough protein to be an NFL player on a vegan diet. You can’t even take supplements because of the rules of veganism
    ————————–

    What rules would those be?

  27. Seriously guys. What else were the Vikings supposed to do after Teddy went down. Roll with Shaun Hill? Think people.

  28. Kaepernick is awful. TB12, on the other hand, seems be getting along just fine with these regulation PSI footballs.

  29. a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society.
    _______________________________________

    All we do for 8 years is have “Discussion” about race. Solves nothing but does divide the nation and is more about winning elections by any means than anything.

    Things are worse at the end of the lectures we get 24/7. I’m not bad and I don’t have racism in me. Sick of being lectured to. Stop. Religion used to be the thing keeping people in line, now they are trying to use pc leftist bull. Which is worse? Nation divided by race hucksters.

  30. ed to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society??????????????????????
    most of the conversations about Kaepernick are about how terrible a player he is and how stupid he is

  31. Jim Harbaugh is my teams coach and we are #2 in the Nation. Before him we were a joke under Hoke, and Rich Rod. Now we have one of the most elite defenses college has seen in a while. Thank you Jed York. You are THE MAN!!!

  32. That bleeding heart QB is getting his just rewards
    Hopefully, he is out of football and can join his ultra leftist
    buddies.
    Go become a “main street media”loser

  33. give me the name of one person who ever got better at their job once they started playing “the victim”. Lebron James was ripped for not diving into the BLM movement and not playing the victim but guess what he takes personal responsibility for maintaining greatness.
    humans always take the easy way and once you feel you have the victim card at your disposal, you use it.

  34. The decline of Colin Karpernick can be atttibured to
    The decline of the personnel around him. When Kap was balling he had an all pro O Line combined with Frank Gore, Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss(later Boldin), Delanie Walker, and Vernon Davis.

    Normally the personnel around a QB improves throughout his career. The personnel around Kap has declined steeply.

    Just look at Derek Carr. He gets better each year, and so does the personnel around him. His WRs improves, the O Line improved, and the Raiders have better RBs…Not vice versa like Kap.

  35. ErinAndrewsStopCallingMe says:
    Oct 24, 2016 9:36 AM

    Haven’t watched more than 20 minutes TOTAL of the NFL games this year and couldn’t be happier. Used to be a diehard fan, but because if this chump Kap and his prima donna followers, I stopped paying attention and it was the best decision regarding sports, in my life. Don’t even miss it and suggest others do the same.
    ———————–

    You NFL boycotting bozos are far worse than Kaepernick. There’s nothing more un-American than not watching NFL football.

    If you don’t like America, go to some dictator run country and watch soccer.

  36. I think Kap is man child and Harbaugh figured that out early and found a way to connect (and control) Kap in order to tap into the talent.

    I have no doubt he has raw talent, but masking that are some serious mental issues. He got lucky Harbaugh was willing to be patient with him but unless another coach comes along that is willing to make that connection, we will never see THAT Kap again.

    Get him help or get him gone. Choice seems simple to me.

  37. Ray rice is OUT of the league, blackballed, and he is doing way more to speak out on violence against woman than anything kapertwerp has done to help others.

  38. Who cares about Kaepernick? I hope he keeps on declining right out of the league and we never hear from him again.
    You missed a couple of reasons for his decline, though.
    1. He’s a moron.
    2. His hair weighs more than his body.
    3. He keeps hitting his nose with the football because it sticks so far out of his helmet.
    4. His teammates don’t want to block for him.
    5. All he was was another Michael Vick anyway. He could run, but he could never throw accurately.

  39. The most important person in the NFL off the football field? That is giving him WAY too much credit and a disservice to all the players that actually do things in their community.

    The conversation you sat Kaepernick started was going on well before he decided to kneel.

  40. This guy prioritized politics over football. My cousin died defending people’s rights. Now this POS can’t stand to recognize others sacrifice. I for one will tell him what I think if I ever have the misfortune of seeing his sorry ass.

  41. Oct 24, 2016 8:50 AM
    I do not see how one can get enough protein to be an NFL player on a vegan diet. You can’t even take supplements because of the rules of veganism

    —————————————————————-
    My brothers adult kids are all vegans and they take a ton of pills daily. Scary. Vegans know they cant get the vitamins and protein they need from the food they eat so that is a big part of their regimen.
    They go to these Vegan Camps to learn about supplements, etc.

  42. Lots of overreactions. Last week the Raiders got trucked at home by the Chiefs, this week they’re world-beaters. Two days ago, the Vikings were the last undefeated team, today they’re totally doomed because of O-line struggles. I think the writers and commenters on this site all have bipolar disorder.

  43. Kapernick and the whole 49ers team is evidence that coaching really does matter, like a lot. So for those people who say Tom Brady, Joe Montana, or this guy might not have succeeded anywhere else, this is your best argument for it. The 49er defense went from top 3 in the league 2 years ago into a mess that a mediocre offense like Tampa’s can put up 500+ yards on it on the road.

  44. This isn’t the first game Bradford has played behind that terrible offensive line, but it’s the first bad game he’s played. I’d say he’s more likely to play like he played in the other four games most of the time.

  45. “he can’t do that if he keeps playing Kaepernick-like games the way he did on Sunday”

    It was a bad day for Bradford, but he still threw for 40 more yards than Kaepernick has in a game this season.

  46. Going for two from the 1 yard line is significantly easier than going for it from the 2.

  47. Kapernick is a phony. He didn’t get political until he got bad. Clever strategy. Make firing him for performance about race not about merit. Our CiC did the same thing.

  48. Vegans are insufferable when you meet them. Throw in divisive racist politics epitomized by BLM and you can’t help but want him to fail — not because he is a bad guy necessarily, but because success of such an insufferable, divisive, ill-informed individual would be bad for Society (though good for George Soros and Hillary).

  49. It’s amazing how little the posters above understand the game of football. Kaep doesn’t suck because of his diet or political stance, he sucks because he got injured and never committed to getting himself back into football shape.

    Now some can claim its lack of heart, or lack of interest but since I can’t get inside his head, let’s just settle on saying its a lack of commitment and given the money he is being paid whether he sucks or not, the next move on the 49ers to get rid of the salary and his sideshow antics.

  50. IMO, as an athlete CK is lazy, he doesn’t have that drive to be great. The relationship between talent, skill and achieving greatness is will and character.

    CK does not have either, not even a little. He never did. As soon as he got paid… he stopped caring about winning.

    He’ll be out of football next season or the one after, and become a mere footnote in SF Niners history.

  51. the nfl doesn’t care about politics, all they care about is are you good enough to play in the nfl. if tom brady were to take the same stance, do you think this would effect his career?

  52. If Bradford wasn’t an above average quarterback, that game would have been 41-10.

    Bradford did what he could, provided the time given.

    Eagles not allowing a sack, catching a break on a kickoff return and taking advantage of a mishmash offensive line made them the better team on Sunday.

    Bradford will take blame cause of his position.

  53. Kaepernick has not been able to become a true pocket quarterback. Even Joe Montana said this. He spent his development just taking off when a play broke down and he has never been able to move past that. Once defenses figured that out and planned for it, he was cooked,

  54. Harbaugh is a good NFL coach, not a great one. The roster was loaded with talent, and needed a spark, which he provided. But, with the best roster in the league three seasons in a row, and in a position to do so, they were unable to win any titles, with coaching decisions being a significant factor in that.

    Kaepernick’s biggest weakness is not a lack of touch, it’s inability to read defenses as quickly as is needed.

    Next biggest weakness is that he doesn’t move well in the pocket. He is not quick/elusive; he needs time to build up his speed, so he isn’t especially good at avoiding the rush.

  55. “a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society.”

    We’re not discussing any of that. The conversation is 100% about how angry or how supportive we are of the act. This is blatantly obvious to anybody who is paying attention. There is no Conversation on Race (TM).

  56. With all due respect to the criticism of Bradford, his play yesterday was severely hampered by that awful performance by the offensive line. It’s a little early to start branding him with the “Kaepernick” label, especially when he got hit on more than half of his drop-backs yesterday.

    The Viking OL looked like the Eagles OL from last week.

    As for Kaepernick himself, well, he was benched for a reason. All the distractions he’s caused with non-football related issues hasn’t helped his performance, or that of his team. He’s a textbook reason why successful NFL teams keep social issues out of their locker rooms.

  57. A high school QB can look good playing in the Patriots system. Just compare Garoppolo’s performance against the Cardinals defense to that of Russell Wilson’s. Can anyone seriously argue Garoppolo is a better QB? No, he just has a better system.

  58. That was the year when Ron Jaworski famously said, “I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.”

    People enjoy needling Jaworski for that hyperbole, but here’s the thing: At the time, everyone was saying Kaepernick had the potential to be a Hall of Fame quarterback.
    ——————————————————————

    With any project, you want to identify lessons learned so you don’t repeat them in future projects. So, can we do that here? Can the media?

    If a young QB looks good and maybe even breaking some records. Can we just say “yeah, he’s looking great, nice game” as opposed to anointing him as the second coming of Johnny Unitas? Give it 8-10 years or maybe several Super Bowl wins before saying “wow, he might be the best ever”.

  59. But..but..he is doing his community service, when he went to Castlemont HIGH SCHOOL, in Oakland CA, to help the football team of the HIGH SCHOOL, to support BLM…Karma is a witch………..

  60. richndc says:
    Oct 24, 2016 9:11 AM

    It’s more than obvious his heart is not truly in it. Make fun of his lifestyle (most of you cat call anything you don’t understand) but like Ricky Williams, he is a young man who since the age of 7 or 8, has been groomed to be a star athlete. One day he had an awakening, thought “wait, I want a say in my life” and chose differently, yet still stuck around, the reasons vary. Yes, he is living a dream every boy who has ever played backyard, pee wee, pop warner, high school football–but the dream does not make sense for him. To me, its very obvious his heart is not in it anymore, this does not make him an idiot, bad guy, loser.
    ———————————————————-
    So you’re saying his heart is not in it but he decided to stick around? Maybe it’s the millions he’s being paid. I’ve had employees like him in the past – just collecting a paycheck. I can’t wait until the 49’ers wake up and fire his ass. He’s nothing more than a common thief at this point of his “career”.

  61. @araidersfan says:
    Oct 24, 2016 8:41 AM

    Kaepernick has basically taken over Johnny Manziel’s old role since Manziel is no longer in the league (Manziel in turn inherited his role from Michael Vick). Basically that role is that of a bad QB who stays in the news by his moronic behavior off-the-field.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Comparing him to Manziel is an insult. Manziel never accomplished a freaking thing as an NFL player and he’s been arrested, been to rehab and his life is in a downward spiral. Kapernick led his team to a SB game and 2 NFC championship games. If you’re mad about the protest, that’s ok. But comparing him to Manziel and Vick is not OK.

  62. Geez my team’s O-line sucks. Then again, after watching Sunday night’s game, I think I’m not the only fan that can say that.

  63. maybe blm people followed him because they thought he was as good as he thought he was…
    only now they (blm people) realizes that kapernick 5uks, that’s really messing up the blm people and its movement hahaha

  64. Couldn’t happen to a better deviant.

    Hope someone breaks his jaw ON and OFF of the field.
    What a mis-directed, low-life malcontent.

    He can only blame himself and the left who use soft, useful idiots for their own purpose.

  65. It has NOT led to discussions about the topic. It has only led to discussions about his not standing for the Anthem.

  66. brendafortheboyz says:
    Oct 24, 2016 12:08 PM

    But..but..he is doing his community service, when he went to Castlemont HIGH SCHOOL, in Oakland CA, to help the football team of the HIGH SCHOOL, to support BLM…Karma is a witch………..
    ——————————————————————–

    Is that the high school team he got to lay down during the anthem?

  67. “came up just short of delivering the game-winning touchdown”

    Actually, there would have been 1:50 left after such a score, the Ravens would have needed only a FG to win, and their offense was playing well with one of the best kickers in the league.

    Ah, the good old days. Neither QB has done much since that game.

  68. Is that the high school team he got to lay down during the anthem?

    Yes…they laid with their hands up in the air and he kneeled……smh….just kids..

  69. bondlake says:
    Oct 24, 2016 8:52 AM
    Kaepernick reminds me of a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel.

    Except he can’t hit anyone!

  70. edavidberg says:
    Oct 24, 2016 8:49 AM
    Good point about Buffalo. I am really curious to know who in the organization was responsible for pushing McCoy to play on a bad hammy. Very short-sighted and foolish.
    ===================================
    I just did my daily Kaep, but this issue pertaining to one of the top running backs of the present time is just not getting enough attention. I am not a Bills’s fan, but somebody is responsible for probably ruining McCoy’s season and most likely any chance the Bills had of making the playoffs. If I was the Bills owner, super genius Rexxy would have been in my office last night explaining.

  71. He’s too busy pretending to be Martin Luther King Jr. And doing a terrible job at that too.

    Poor fella.

  72. I’ve gained a lot of respect for Kaepernick during the events of this season. Kaepernick is his own person, he is true to himself, and he has proved that he is so much bigger than the game of football. Even though Kaepernick has been critical of Hillary, I believe that Hillary, as President, will look to Kaepernick as a voice of reason and a presence of calm, and use his strong character to help guide the nation forward, while the difficult and ugly reality of racism and civil injustice continues to thrive. Kaepernick is one cool customer. Keep the peace!

  73. Love how the Vikings fans keep blaming Norv. So when Bradford won 4 games Norv knew what he was doing but now he doesn’t? It’s pretty simple Vikings fans, the Giants and the Broncos beat Brady by pressuring him. Bradford is no different. Give him time and he will still be better than Bridgewater. Your o-line as it is now stinks.

  74. “I do not see how one can get enough protein to be an NFL player on a vegan diet. You can’t even take supplements because of the rules of veganism”

    Whey protein. Its commonly available

    Whey protein gives Kaeperstink gas.

  75. That’s a pretty good diagnosis of Kaepernick. I also think part of the problem is psychological, too. Since 2014, besides the team being terrible, it doesn’t even look like his head is in the game.

  76. The author makes a good point about how does someone go from being nearly the Super Bowl MVP to being benched in such a short period of time. Along with QBs should be getting better as they get more experience(see terrible rookie V Testaverde vs fairly good old Testaverde)not worse. Kaepernick oddly goes against the grain of football logic. My guess is that Coach Harbaugh was probably good at kicking his behind and making him work hard at his craft while maximizing his strengths and minimizing his weaknesses. Without him there Kaepernick has become a coaster and enjoys the celebrity life more than the football job and there is no one there to give him the kick start and motivate him to care.It is all about motivation and putting in time to get better which your opponents are doing non stop to stop you.

  77. My issue with Kap is simple as a 49ers fan. He is concerned with everything but, being a good quarterback. Guys like Peyton, Brady, and even Alex Smith have their nose grinding in the play book. Studying film. And working out with teammates on perfecting their routes. You have to basically be obsessed with being a grinder to be a good quarterback. Probably even to the point of it being unhealthy. But, that is why is has regressed. And fact is. He wanted to be a good NFL player going vegan would not have been a huge priority…

  78. These comments about his vegan diet are ignorant. There is a long list of famous athletes that are vegetarians or vegans. Joe Namath, Mike Tyson, Tony Gonzalez, etc. The list goes on and on. Kaepernick lacked the desire to apply himself completely to the game. The idea that a vegan diet isn’t manly is grade school mentality.

  79. Kaepernick is as good now as he was ever. Missed that point. Basically, he was never good. The perfect scenario was part of his success. Bread D, great coaching and a system unadjusted to. So, like someone posted above, the media hyped him up as something special and the future of the position. Problem is, he is not a passer and to be successful as a passer, the player must be able to throw the ball.

  80. Good article, I think you hit on a lot of great points.

    As for Klapperdickle, he just doesn’t seem to be interested in football in my opinion. All I ever hear from him is how he is protesting police brutality, his vegan lifestyle and wishing his muslim friends wonderful holiday’s, etc… NOTHING about football!!
    To be honest, when I watch football I want to escape politics and just watch a good game, CK has taken that away from me so to be honest I won’t feel too badly when he is out of the NFL and I can go back to taking a break from the rest of the world and just enjoy a good game of football.

  81. In fairness to CK, he is just returning from an injury that has kept him sidelined for the better part of a year. But he was bad before that and in 2014, the year Harbaugh stated would be his ‘breakout season’. The loss of talent around him and a coach that could get the most from him, the injury, combined with defenses figuring out his limited capabilities has revealed who he really is, a player who is limited.

  82. Kaeperdick benefited from there not being a lot of info out there on him early in his career. Once a book was built he became a one trick pony and he can not read a defense to save his life. What’s happened to him is no different than what’s happened to RG3 or any of the other brash run first qbs. The only one that seemed to have any kind of shelf life was Michael Vick and he messed that up. His qbr has gone down steadily. I don’t know if he can reverse the trend. If you can’t adjust on the fly and make smart quick reads it is very difficult to be successful in that league. He can throw the ball threw a wall and a long way that doesn’t make you great. I laughed when Jaworski made his ridiculous statement. He also thought that this new generation of qbs was going to set the NFL on it’s ear. How’s that working out Ron? I don’t care how good you can run as Vince Young, Mike Vick, RG3, CK and Manziel have proven if you can’t read a defense and make the tough precision throws you ain’t gonna make it in the NFL.

  83. Along with all the reasons mentioned in the article for Kaepernick’s decline, perhaps the biggest reason is Kaepernick is no better at reading defenses that he was as a rookie. He also hasn’t been able to grasp an expanded playbook, which limits the number of offensive plays the 49ner’s can run. So to be blunt, he is either not bright enough to be an NFL QB, or isn’t putting in the time and effort needed to get better.

  84. Let’s be honest here the only conversation Kaepernick has brought to the forefront is entitled millionaire athletes disrespecting the country they live in, and those that died for their right to be POS’s.

    The other conversation is just how many viewers the NFL is losing because they’re tired of athletes disrespecting what they stand for, and the country they live in.

    Kaepernick himself is a terrible quarterback and has been for the last several years. His NFL career is over, and disrespect for the flag is the only thing he has to hang onto to bring attention to himself.

  85. Colin was never a ‘very good’ quarterback. He was a good quarterback who could run. What made him stand out was a great front line, a Hall of Fame caliber running back, great receivers and a great tight end. You may also recall that the 49ers defense was the best in the NFL the year they went to the Super Bowl.
    Jim Harbaugh is NOT a great coach. He inherited a great team and rode it to the Super Bowl…where he blew the game by calling the same pass play 3 times in a row to lose to his brother.
    As players left, Harbaugh brought in lower quality players, stuck with Kaepernick despite the fact that he couldn’t read defenses. Harbaugh was heading back to college football so he burnt the 49ers down around him.
    Now you have Colin, knowing that he is on the way out of the NFL. So he is taking a knee to grab some attention for himself; since he isn’t capable of grabbing any attention with his performance on the field.

  86. Don’t believe one person who says they have stopped watching because of the protests. I know you are unhappy, but I just don’t believe you.
    ——————————————
    I only watch one game a weekend now. I will continue until Bill Belichick retires then nothing. I only watch because I really enjoy him bringing down the NFL (who has to punish him with draft pick losses and player suspension game loses) because they can’t beat him on the field.

  87. So, here’s the deal. Kaepernick was a junk offense QB.

    In 2013, Peak Kaepernick, his QB rating from the pocket was 80.9 with 12 TDs and 10 INTs. Outside the pocket, if take out his throw-aways to avoid sacks, his QB rating was 130.5.

    That’s nearly 50 points different.

    The NFL figured that out. Even under Harbaugh he finished the second-half of 2014 with a 76.9 QB rating for the last 8 games. He had a 78.x QB rating under Tomsula last year. This year it’s 66.2 and he can’t even complete 50% of his passes.

    He was never the media/fan creation. He was a junk offense QB. And like so many other Junk Offense QBs, as the NFL kept taking away his ‘junk,’ he was left with nothing.

  88. The writer forgets that Kaepernick “took over” for an injured Alex Smith, who just happened to be the best quarterback in the NFL at the time. If Smith had come back as the starter they may not have won the Super Bowl, but Harbaugh would probably still be there and would probably have a subsequent Super Bowl win.
    But that’s not Harbaugh’s way. He’s a crybaby who always will eventually sabotage his own success.

  89. Kaepernick was never that good he took over a 7-0 team from another mediocre QB Alex Smith the truth is Pee Wee Herman could of got the 49ers to the superbowl that year. Kaepernick is a Turd stinking up the 49ers just like Ryan Leaf and Johnny Manziel did with their respective teams.

  90. RGIII was also amazing his first year. Injuries derailed his career fast as well as teams figuring players out. This happened to Kaepernick with his throwing. He is inaccurate as a professional qb can be. He still has his movement, but teams also game plan for that. I think overall his career has taken a second seat and he is now happy at being a middling bench warmer. I really don’t think the drive is their to be great. He’s only there to collect a pay check, wear overpriced garbage headphones as an endorsement, and now his priority is furthering the down trodden black man.

  91. Kaepernick is STUPID; rather, he’s NOT, dumb! He’s well aware that his playing days are basically over. By being militant/contentious/controversial/etc, he creates a way to stay in… not only the sports headlines but also in the current event headlines & news. To the BLIND[ED], mindless, bleeding-heart sheeple (seems like they comprise the overwhelming majority, these days!!)Kaeper-BUM is a ” fighter of sorts. But to the comparative, minimal-few of us who are SENSIBLE and in possession of (at a minimum) half-of-a-brain sensible, we can see through all of his s**t, and we COMPLETELY realuze that he’s the epitome of the words sham, phony,…and willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the game of professional football, even if it isn’t football-related. To close, Kaepernick hadn’t all. A big arm, a bright future, and the world at his hands. But he threw it all the way because he couldn’t handle the riggors of being a star NFL quarterback!

  92. “Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field…”

    Meaningless liberal drivel.

    Kaepernick is an NFL quarterback…. but in his case, NFL definitely stands for Not For Long.

    Kaepernick sucks, he has a right to protest, the rest of us have a right to think he’s an idiot.

  93. Well, honestly, is anyone surprised by Kaepernick’s performance or the lack thereof? And, I marvel at the attention he is getting for kneeling. I am of the opinion that the media caught him sitting on the bench during the playing of the anthem (because he was simply POUTING for losing his starting job), made an issue out of it and Kaepernick ran with it. Now players are kneeling.

    Carmelo Anything said it best. He said he prefers going into the communities and actually making a difference than just kneeling. That’s a legitimate point. SO, what, if anything, has Kaepernick done besides kneeling? Just curious, really.

    Yeah, yeah. I know he supposedly donated money. That
    was after a LOT of questions about his TRUE reasons for sitting, then kneeling, when the media made him THE
    COVER STORY.

    Anyway, anyone want to bet on how long it will take
    before Kaepernick is out of the NFL? And it WONT be due
    to his kneeling.

  94. He’s not really starting conversations across the country. Its really just the same one sided shouting match, with frustrated people on the other side.

  95. I disagree that his actions have “led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society.”

    Only the last 2 parts are true. Race and the police thing were already being talked about. He has added nothing there and has perhaps even been a distraction. Most of the conversation has been about his actions and those he’s influenced to show similar disrespect for our country’s flag. And how it may or may not be part of what’s souring people on pro football (per the ratings).

  96. Unfortunately, Colin is in his last year as an NFL quarterback. Unfortunate for him and for me as I hate the SF 49ers and was hoping they’d give him 10 years to see if he might get better.

  97. Kap’s ascension began when he was lucky enough to get adopted by a family that stressed good values, hard work, and the importance of an education. being able to afford the best football camps didn’t hurt either. he was a decent qb at nevada, but harbaugh is entirely the reason for his couple years of success in the nfl. he continued the teachings of dedication and hard work, as well as knowing how to play to kap’s strengths. once harbaugh left, kap was toast.

    he has lost his desire to work at his craft, now has a more important mission in his mind, and his football days are over. he needs to realize this, follow what his heart is telling him to do, and stop screwing up the niners with his poor play and anthem antics. oh, and yeah, someone oughta tell him social workers do not make 15 million a year.

  98. Kaepernick is an interesting study in terms of a perfect storm (great coach, great defense, great running game, dual threat intangibles the league had never seen) made for his entrance on to the stage.. And how personal confidence and team confidence can take an individual and a group of individuals to heights unimaginable for a short period but rarely sustainable without growth by the quarterback over time.. He rode the wave that carried he and the 49ers to within one play of a Super Bowl victory and one play to a return to the Super Bowl. From that point forward the league figured out his skill set, the Niner defense eroded, the brilliant head coach was let go and Kaepernick was unable to grow as a pocket passer made even worse by lack of protection or playmakers.. What we are left with is a guy with average progression capability who is not very accurate throwing to a less then stellar receiver group. His legs still gain a significant amount of yards but without any consistent passing game his legs rarely effect the outcome of a game any longer..

  99. there is no ‘decline’ in Kaepernick, stats are not the only way to weigh a qb…
    did he lead his team to the sb?
    was harbaughs style of coaching a manifest component?
    the same could be said of reeves/elway who lost 3 sb’s.
    reeves then tried to replace elway, if memory serves me right, and lost his job.
    this is the EXACT OPPOSITE.
    its simple, they fired a great coach; hired and fired a lousy one; and now have a rebound coach off of the philadelphia eagles… the eagles you nincompoop, the twenty-rungs-down-the-ladder-from-where-the-49ers-were-in-2012 eagles.
    there is nothing wrong with Colin Kaepernick its these armchair and media pundits.

  100. Maybe he should have gone with Jeff Garcia instead of Kurt Warner as his QB instructor! lol

  101. vikingsdefineaverage says:
    Oct 24, 2016 9:50 AM

    Don’t believe one person who says they have stopped watching because of the protests. I know you are unhappy, but I just don’t believe you.

    —————————————–

    I believe there is something behind it. I also don’t believe for a second it’s anyone taking the time to comment on an NFL related site. On a side note, Brandon Marshall and others have gone much further down the road to be far more significant off the field when it relates to the issues Kaep wants to address. So, I’m not buying the first paragraph.

  102. I find it interesting that Social Justice Warrior Kaep wants to address the horrific deaths by police against blacks-185 in 2015 but doesn’t say anything about whites – 485 in 2015. I guess we lighter shaded folks don’t “matter as much”. Well, if he wants to insult people who died for America; have at it. I can turn the tv off just like anyone else. I have to believe that the cops on 911 in the buildings were doing it for humanity and after they saw the first building go down new they might be up next. I don’t know about the rest of you ; but I intend to stand and salute these folks.

  103. @jamaltimore says:
    Oct 24, 2016 10:11 AM

    Ray rice is OUT of the league, blackballed, and he is doing way more to speak out on violence against woman than anything kapertwerp has done to help others.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    #1) Ray Rice suffered from diminishing skills just as we’re witnessing with Forsett.
    #2) Ray Rice was caught on video rag-dolling his wife in an elevator
    #3) Ray Rice and his wife needed mental help to get his life back together.
    #4) Ray Rice began speaking out because he thought it might get him back in the league.
    #5) Kapernick hasn’t assaulted anyone.
    #6) Get over your fake patriotism
    #7) Your post is rather ignorant and irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  104. When defenses get tape on these “running QBs”, they get figured out… Not too difficult!

  105. Kaepernick may have divided his locker room but he certainly united the country in their dislike of him and his disgusting protest based on a false narrative. When his time with the Santa Clara Niners is done after this year, his NFL career is done. No team is going to take on that kind of drama for a terrible player. Been a 49ers fan since the late 70’s but I will continue to root against the team any game Kaepernick plays in.

  106. jonwill57: So anyone who doesn’t like Colin Krapperstink and his obnoxious protest based on a false narrative is guilty of “fake patriotism”? Spare me your fake outrage

  107. Your comment is only unpopular because it speaks of the truth.

    ==============
    patsxsaintsfan says:

    Oct 24, 2016 8:53 AM
    Just don’t tell me you quit watching the NFL because of anthem protest but had no problem watching it when Greg hardy, ray rice, and josh brown beat their wives.

  108. Disrespectful turd. Glad to see him circling the toilet bowl, and get flushed out of the league.

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