Photo credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
Blaine Gabbert emerged as the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback last season for a reason. That reason was mainly because Gabbert is a much more talented traditional passer, which essentially fit coach Jim Tomsula’s offense better than Colin Kaepernick did. Now with Chip Kelly being the new coach of the Niners one has to wonder if the odds are tilted in Kaepernick’s favor? While it’s easy to see that Kaepernick would be a good fit for Chip Kelly’s system, don’t go thinking he will beat out Gabbert for the starting job. Even though Kaepernick’s running skills mesh well with the zone read playbook. It will be Gabbert who seizes the job again in San Francisco. At the end of the day Gabbert is a much more talented passer than Kaepernick is. So the running aspect of Kaepernick’s game won’t be enough to surpass Gabbert because a quarterback must be able to pass the football first and foremost. Kaepernick was so poor passing the football in 2015 that instead of trying to negotiate his trade out of the Bay area. He should of been doing everything he can to work on his mechanics, establish his footwork, and become a much more proficient passer. Kaepernick only had a 59% completion percentage in 2015 and he had trouble developing rhythm and timing with his wide receivers. On the other hand Blaine Gabbert completed 63% of his passes and had a respectable 86.2 passer rating. Chip Kelly might respect Kaepernick’s skill set but he will ultimately choose the player who gives him the best chance to win in San Francisco. That choice is clearly Blaine Gabbert and don’t be surprised when Gabbert retains his role as the team’s starting quarterback. There just is too much at stake to trust on Colin Kaepernick’s shoulders and Kelly isn’t gong to risk striking out on a guy who struggles to make the NFL level throws. On top of that is seems like Gabbert also handles being a professional better than Kaepernick so this decision will be easy for the new 49ers head coach.
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