Of course, the funniest part about all this is that – yet again – this QB controversy is coming from the land of Alcatraz. Perhaps it’s the heavy fog; perhaps it IS the island that sits out there that used to house ‘evil’… who knows? But once again, the San Francisco 49ers are no longer in the headlines for being awesome – they are in the headlines because of a QB controversy brewing behind the scenes.
No…Montana and Young will never be forgotten. Joe Montana will always be that perfect ‘robot’ machine of a QB who seemed to place it right between the numbers no matter what player he was aiming at. And Steve Young will always be that ‘rock-and-roll’ QB who could see the open lane and run like a defensive back through his competitors in order to score his own touchdown if a player happened to be covered. Such as Jerry Rice, who was always surrounded by the entire defense because he could jump up in a crowd and catch literally every ball thrown at him.
This time around, Montana and Young are now analysts and long gone from the spotlight, and Coach Harbaugh is dealing with the flack over replacing Alex Smith – who is BEYOND a great QB – with the rookie they call Kap.
For those who are unaware of Colin Kaepernick, and you just might be considering that Alex Smith has done exceedingly well for the 49ers up until now, he is the young man who came in against a great Bears team and a basically good Saints defense to lead the 49ers to victories.
It was on April 29th, 2011 that the Niners traded up with the Broncos (who, of course, didn’t need a QB, considering the fact that Manning was in their future), for the 13th pick in the second round to select Colin Kaepernick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, even though ‘13’ is considered an unlucky number, it hasn’t been thus far for the Niners.
In 2011, Kap completed 24 of 50 passes for 257 yards BUT 5 interceptions, and spent the season as Alex Smith’s backup. He played his first game in Week 4 on the road against the Eagles. 2011 was a good year for the Niners, but not as great as what they hoped it would be. All in all they finished the season 13-3 but lost the championship game to the Giants who went on to win the Super Bowl.
Now, in 2012, Kap began as what you would call a ‘wildcat’ QB. He did score his first TD on an 8-yard run against the Jets (which isn’t exactly hard.) But very recently, on November 19th, he received his first start in a Monday Night game against the Bears. Alex Smith – the Niners ‘go to guy’ – had sustained a concussion the week before, so Kap stepped into the spotlight. On that night, the Bears were not the only ones surprised. Candlestick Park fans and the Niners offense surrounded Kap and supported him as he completed 16 of 23 for 246 yards; two touchdowns and no interceptions allowed him a banner game in the 32–7 win against a highly ranked defense.
Jim Harbaugh, the Coach of the Niners, praised him up hill and down for his performance AND offered the hesitation of whether or not Kap would start again if Alex Smith was still ill the next go around. Harbaugh simply remarked that he tended to go with ‘the guy who’s got the hot hand, and we’ve got two quarterbacks that have a hot hand.’
Well…the hot hand of Kap started once again this Sunday and beat the Saints in an extremely interesting and exciting game that showed him to be calm, composed and having a whole lot of fun leading his team. He also showed to reporters that he was definitely coachable. In essence, he gave a good ‘after-the-game’ speech and answered questions as if he was simply a guy who had a ‘lucky’ day. He was asked when he was told the news that he would start, and Kap replied that it was the night before around 10:00 pm, and continued to smile throughout the questions. Seriously! This guy looked like a brand new kid who had simply won the lotto – refreshing, in a way, considering the constant egos that come from certain QB’s in the NFL. Not naming any names, but let’s just say that some QB’s have no smile anymore – even when they win – which translates to low energy for the rest of their team.
When Coach Harbaugh came up to the microphones he simply remained as honest and forthright as he’s always been, insinuating that there was no QB controversy in the works. When asked if Kap would be the Niners QB going forward, Harbaugh simply replied, “Coin played well in a tough environment. He acquitted himself very well,” and added that he will address who will start as the Niners QB at a later date. In other words, reporters, you’ll find out when I decide – and no sooner than that.
In the end, for all Niners fans, they’re more than happy to have the ‘hot hand’ on the field in order to see their beloved team get back to where they rightfully belong – the Super Bowl! This is a dynasty that needs to start again!
This Moment in Sports is Brought to By: Be First Media Group
Until Next Time, Everybody,