Jeremy Kerley: Colin Kaepernick “electrified” offense in 2016

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One of the false narratives that still lingers regarding Colin Kaepernick is that he’s not currently in the league because he stunk in 2016, as confirmed by the fact that he was benched for Blaine Gabbert. (Even if all of that is true, that shouldn’t result in Kaepernick going from being the starter to being ignored by all teams for even a backup job.)

First, he wasn’t benched for Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick wasn’t healthy at the start of the season, following three offseason surgeries. Indeed, the fact that he sat for the first two preseason games wasn’t noticed because he wasn’t healthy enough to be in uniform.

Once Kaepernick was healthy, the 49ers benched Gabbert. And Kaepernick threw 16 touchdown passes against four interceptions. Kaepernick also impacted the offense in a positive way.

“All the protest and the controversy aside, Kap was a ballplayer,” former 49ers receiver Jeremy Kerley told Matt Barrows of TheAthletic.com. “He’s a good ballplayer, you know what I mean? There’s a reason why San Fran paid him what they paid him. There’s a reason why they went to the Super Bowl.”

Kerley, who led the team in receiving that season, said that Kaepernick quickly made a difference.

“We were kind of missing [something] throughout the season,” Kerley said, “but when he came on, it’s like he kind of electrified the offense and got us going and stuff. It was unfortunate we couldn’t get more than one win out of it. But like I said, personally, my funnest time playing football was 2016.”

So why didn’t the 49ers win more than two games in 2016?

“Kap was playing with scout-team players,” linebacker Michael Wilhoite told Barrows. “He wasn’t playing with starters. All the starters had either been hurt by the end of the year or weren’t trying to play by the end of the year because of the record. And so he was out there playing with dudes who would normally be on the scout team or practice squad. . . . I think he was the best player on the team. I think by the end of the year, we were in games and won a game because of him.”

The false narratives are so firmly baked in for so many people that this kind of information won’t matter, even though it should. Still, to the extent that supposedly interested teams are talking to “friends and associates” of Kaepernick instead of Kaepernick and his agents, hopefully they’ll be talking to “friends and associates” like Kerley and Wilhoite.

41 responses to “Jeremy Kerley: Colin Kaepernick “electrified” offense in 2016

  1. Kaep had a horrendous first half against the bears where he had more sacks than completions. He was indeed benched for gabbert after that. Those are facts that you keep ignoring.

  2. Come on dude….I remember your articles about Kaep the last season he played. You repeatedly pointed out that the 49ers were up a creek, because he had that huge players option, and there was no way he was turning that down. Because he stunk, and was in no way shape or form getting that money anywhere else. You also wrote articles talking about how shocking it was AFTER he turned down his option, because of how bad he played the previous season. His numbers were atrocious, including YPC, fumbles, and just how bad the offense sputtered under him. You said this for years. Then you changed your tune, sudddenly. Come on man.

  3. The whole roster was sub par and so was the coaching staff but, Kaep was far from innocent. He still did the same things he always did. Stare down WR’s, not go through his progressions and also hold onto the ball way too long.

  4. “The false narratives are so firmly baked in for so many people that this kind of information won’t matter, even though it should.”

    This is kind of ironic. I completely agree with this. However, this is the new normal in America. People, especially those who have a platform, will tweet whatever furthers their personal interest. Whether it be sports related, or politics. Truth is not important. Facts are not important. Feelings, garnering support for your cause or position by any means necessary, is the only thing that matters. Politicians from both sides of the aisle, yes, even your beloved side of the aisle, will post anything to further their agenda. It is better to make up something that helps the cause, than it is to be factual. worst case is you delete your tweet with some lame “I apologize, my tweet missed the mark” after the fact. Because there are thousands that saw the original false message and ran with it, and only a small portion of them ever see the “sorry it wasnt true” tweet. So mission accomplished. The vast majority of political tweets these days fall into this category. Being factual is irrelevant. Saying and doing anything you need to do to further your interests, is the name of the game. The Kaepernick supports have no issue with this methodology when it helps, but are quick to complain about it when it hurts. Par for the course. Sucks when the opposition is able to use your tactics, effectively, against you

  5. If Patrick Mahomes joined some controversial issue and got blackballed from the league, many so-called fans from the opposite side of the issue would swear that he was actually a terrible QB. Kaepernick led the 49ers to the super bowl the first year he got on the field, and his team lost by a whisker. He took them right back to the NFC Championship game the following year, and lost that game by a whisker too. So Kaepernick was just a couple whiskers away from winning two super bowls his first two years as a player. Kind of like what Mahomes has done. Yeah, Mahomes sucks. Folks, if you have to lie that badly, you’ve got bigger issues to deal with. God bless you.

  6. I’m a Bears fan, and the 2016 Bears were god awful. An already bad roster decimated by injuries.

    And like the poster above noted, those Bears crushed Kap and the 49rs that year in a battle of the bottom feeders.

    The league figured out Kaepernick shortly after RGIII, and he was never having a starting job handed to him after that season. Give it a rest.

  7. False narrative….. As said above, give it a rest, he wants starter money, no one wants him as a starter. If he wanted to play he would be in the league now. Every time the nfl tried to engage he spins it another way. There have now been ten times the articles about him on here than all ACTIVE NFL QBs combined. As I have said before Malcolm Jenkins is just as vocal but he can ball so people sign him. He just took on the Saints greatest QB of all time. Did he get cut? No. Hell people are even going to give Antonio Brown another shot and he burns bridges faster than anyone known to man. Because his play is still worth the pain.

  8. Cam Newton is MORE accomplished than Kneelernick. While both have lost Super Bowls, Newton was the League MVP in 2015 and has been in the league just as long. He just signed for $7.5M and isn’t being handed the starter job, though he presumably WILL be the starter.

    When Kneelernick is willing to sign for less than $7.5M a year, then you have a case.

    Oh, and Cam doesn’t divide the fan base, so there’s that.

  9. I love reading comments from angry posters who use no tangible evidence to help support their anger towards a football player. The ones that do use someevidence only use the pieces to help control their opinions. Yes Gabbert came in during the Bears game but remainded second string for the rest of the season. Opinions are not facts and half truths do not tell a full story. Go back to shaking your fist in the air and telling your kids not to make eye contact with you at the dinner table.

  10. The condescending lecturing has to stop. When the likes of Winston and Mariota had ends to their contracts similar to what Kaepernick displayed, they were left having to take definite backup jobs for very limited pay. We have no idea whether Kaepernick was willing to take the same – if he wanted more money and/or at least a shot at competing for a starting role, it’s very possible that such a desire led to no teams being interested. PFT likes to gloss over the fact that there are indications that Kaepernick might have been selective this way…that is NOT the same as proof, and thus it isn’t fair to assume that he did this, but it’s even less fair to presume that he didn’t and thus that the lack of league interest had to have been due to a shunning and not due to other, reasonable factors.

    Also, can we not treat Mr. Kerley as some kind of authority here? His own words suggest that he should be ignored, when he pushes the notion that the 49ers were bad at the end of Kaepernick’s run while ignoring that the team was LOADED at the start of it. Kaepernick took the team to the Super Bowl? Great…and one year earlier the team had been even better with a different QB at the helm, and only missed the Super Bowl because a massive pile of flukes caused it to lose in overtime in the Conference Finals. Kaepernick was different than Alex Smith (and definitely more exciting), but he wasn’t actually better and very possibly was worse.

  11. Blaine Gabbert threw more interceptions in 5 starts than Kaepernick did in 11. Let’s not act like he came in and was an improvement. Carlos Hyde & Shaun Draughn were their top RBs, Jeremy Kerley & Quinton Patton were their top WRs, Vance McDonald & Garrett Celek were their top TEs, and Chip Kelly was their coach. That team was all around terrible, no one was going to elevate that group. The team was less talented than the previous year and he actually improved his Completion%, Y/A, TD%, INT%, QB rating, and QBR. I’m not saying he’s a starter but I’d say he’s definitely better than at least 20 of the backups in the league.

  12. How about some true narratives instead. Kap had an opportunity to play for the Broncos and declined. Kap also had a contract ready to be signed with the Ravens and had his GF blow it up on purpose. Regardless of whether or not he played well in 2016, he hasn’t exactly made himself super-employable since, but you never mention that. Or his asking price. In my mind those are bigger issues facing his continued unemployment than his play in 16.

  13. To paraphrase Rob Reiner’s mother in “When Harry Met Sally”.: I want the drugs he (the author) is taking!

  14. charliecharger says:
    June 30, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    If Patrick Mahomes joined some controversial issue and got blackballed from the league, many so-called fans from the opposite side of the issue would swear that he was actually a terrible QB.
    ____________

    You just inadvertently made the case for the Kaepernick detractors. The fact is Patrick Mahomes can do whatever he wants because he isn’t a terrible QB. He’s a great QB and every team would love to employ him because he would help them win a lot. He’s worth whatever controversy he brings. Kaepernick is not.

  15. charliecharger says:
    June 30, 2020 at 2:25 pm
    If Patrick Mahomes joined some controversial issue and got blackballed from the league, many so-called fans from the opposite side of the issue would swear that he was actually a terrible QB. Kaepernick led the 49ers to the super bowl the first year he got on the field, and his team lost by a whisker. He took them right back to the NFC Championship game the following year, and lost that game by a whisker too. So Kaepernick was just a couple whiskers away from winning two super bowls his first two years as a player. Kind of like what Mahomes has done. Yeah, Mahomes sucks. Folks, if you have to lie that badly, you’ve got bigger issues to deal with. God bless you.
    ================================

    There is the litter matter of the fact that Patrick Mahomes has had nearly Colin Kaepernick’s entire career worth of production in two seasons…

    Mahomes is in a different stratosphere than Kap ever was and it is completely insulting to Mahomes’ immense talent to try and compare the two to try and eek out a point.

    Not to mention that those wildly successful first 2 {really 1 and a half} Kap had came with him having an above average o-line, above average run game, and a top 3 Defense each season. Once that went away…we saw what happened.

  16. You also keep reminding us that the 49ers were going to cut him after 2016 if he didn’t opt out of his contract. Why would they want to cut such a good player?

  17. and the next year he was released because he didn’t fit the new coaches scheme.
    We can draw the following conclusions:
    1. He didn’t electrify the offense enough for Shanahan to change his scheme to fit the QB
    2. 31 other teams might feel he doesn’t fit their scheme either.

  18. charliecharger says:
    June 30, 2020 at 2:25 pm
    If Patrick Mahomes joined some controversial issue and got blackballed from the league, many so-called fans from the opposite side of the issue would swear that he was actually a terrible QB. Kaepernick led the 49ers to the super bowl the first year he got on the field, and his team lost by a whisker. He took them right back to the NFC Championship game the following year, and lost that game by a whisker too. So Kaepernick was just a couple whiskers away from winning two super bowls his first two years as a player. Kind of like what Mahomes has done. Yeah, Mahomes sucks. Folks, if you have to lie that badly, you’ve got bigger issues to deal with. God bless you.
    —————————-

    Thats a funny story man. But If we are doing hypotheticals….lets say Mahomes started kneeling tomorrow and took up every protest Kaep did. He would still have a job in the NFL. Kaep can take any stance he wants, he can go become a freakin conservative for all who cares. He still doesn’t belong on a team.

  19. I cant help but to notice there is a sudden surge of wound licking over Kaepernick today. Is that because a team picked Cam over Kaep yesterday? If anyone is feeling disappointed then their expectations were just not realistic. Sure Cam has some questions attached, but its kind of a no brainer you go after Newton over a lot of guys, not just Kaep. Especially the deal that got done. Cam was willing to bet pretty heavily on Cam when he agreed to that one. Meanwhile BB is betting next to nothing.

  20. The Quarterback’s number one job is to elevate the players around him. That’s why Brady, Brees, and Rodgers are future Hall of Famers. Kaepernick’s last season as a starter was 1-10. Kaep is a one-read QB, making it impossible to elevate others. That’s why he doesn’t deserve an NFL roster spot as a QB.

  21. Just couldnt go 24 hours without posting some tripe on the has been never was wannabee.

    Give it a rest, NOBODY wants him.

  22. Agreed, give it a rest. It only matters to certain people, it doesn’t matter to the rest of us, at all.

  23. Everybody need to stop apologizing for everything and move on with your life. It will never be enough.

    Let me play it out for everyone.
    1. You got to sign Kaepernick!
    He gets signed.

    2. He has to play!
    He plays

    3. He needs to get better weapons!
    Gets better weapons

    4. You need to protect him better!
    More linemen

    5. The current coach is not using him right!

    See how it goes?

  24. June 30, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I love reading comments from angry posters who use no tangible evidence to help support their anger towards a football player. The ones that do use someevidence only use the pieces to help control their opinions. Yes Gabbert came in during the Bears game but remainded second string for the rest of the season. Opinions are not facts and half truths do not tell a full story. Go back to shaking your fist in the air and telling your kids not to make eye contact with you at the dinner table.
    ———————————————
    Here’s some data for you. In his entire career, CK’s 49er passing attacks never ranked higher than 29th in the NFL. In his “electrifying” 2016 campaign, he ranked 30th in yards per game. His TD/INT ratio in his 2016 season is a sham. A team getting bombed in games should be throwing to try and come back, which would lead to more INTs but also give you a chance to win. He couldn’t muster more than the 29th yards/game though trailing in most games and going 1-11. He takes a tremendous amount of sacks. His body was broken down by 2016 and he wasn’t running like he used to. His new coach didn’t want him. The list goes on, and on, and on…

  25. “Many people believe”, “Some say”, you’re reporting is based on nothing. You repeatedly use language like “Many think that…” when you’re the only one. Pushing an agenda that does NOT have public support is worthless man. You love using only the stats that make your argument sound legit. You love saying he had 16 touchdowns – most of those came in garbage time when they were down 2 or more touchdowns. Not to mention, only 16 touchdowns isn’t much to brag about.

    There’s a huge difference between being blackballed and simply not being liked. Teams are paying guys who beat their girlfriends and kids, guys who get busted with illegal drugs or guns, guys openly affiliated with gangs or gang activity. This supports the narrative that NFL teams don’t care about the kneeling as much as you think they do. Owners will put up with just about anything IF the player’s skill set makes them worth it. Kaepernick doesn’t not have said skill set. Plain and simple.

  26. There’s a huge difference between being blackballed and simply not being liked. Teams are paying guys who beat their girlfriends and kids, guys who get busted with illegal drugs or guns, guys openly affiliated with gangs or gang activity. This supports the narrative that NFL teams don’t care about the kneeling as much as you think they do. Owners will put up with just about anything IF the player’s skill set makes them worth it. Kaepernick doesn’t not have said skill set. Plain and simple.
    —————————————–
    100% agree. People continue to misuse the word “blackballed.” The evidence overwhelmingly suggests it is more so exactly what you have said. Mike Vick was signed out of jail. Greg Hardy was signed as well. Teams will overlook anything if the pros outweigh the cons. He has a lot of “cons”, stop pretending he hasn’t contributed to his situation.

  27. OR teams figured out how to stop the RPO and guys like RGIII and Kaepernick quickly found themselves on the bench.

  28. Amazing how some can can hype a bunch of “alternative facts”into reality (in their own minds at least).
    Kap was “beat up from the feet up” all year long. On a team that been hollowed out by terrible management/front office feuds. Was coached by Chip Kelly – one of the worst coaches I’ve ever seen at any level. On and on…
    But you guys just want to run someone out of a job to make yourselves feel important.
    Guess what – he’s the one will have statues built for what he’s done – maybe even one at Canton.

  29. Ron Jull says:
    June 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm
    Just couldnt go 24 hours without posting some tripe on the has been never was wannabee.

    —————————
    Not never was. Briefly was. Ill give him that much.

  30. Here’s another false narrative – Colin Kaepernick apologized for wearing socks that depicted police as pigs. It’s a false narrative because he never did apologize – he spoke some words justifying him doing so.

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