by Ken Hurst, October 8, 2013
The San Francisco 49ers are being overly cautious this season. GM Trent Baalke may be getting into Coach Jim Harbaugh’s head too much. It seems that management wants to take the legs away from the 49er’s second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick became a rookie sensation last year running the “read-option” offense so spectacularly. But he has still started only 15 NFL games. He doesn’t have the experience to see the field clearly and find the open receiver. He is unable to be a top drop-back passer so he needs the freedom to leave the pocket and run if he sees an opportunity to do so. Nobody wants him to be a running back. Just take what is offered and then step out of bounds or slide to end the play.
I liked the 49ers draft. First round pick Eric Reid from LSU has already proven himself as a fine defensive safety this season. I liked their choice of Marcus Lattimore also out of LSU. He came with a blown out knee and won't play this year. It was like Frank Gore out of Miami a decade ago who couldn’t play for a year. It seems like Karma that Gore will mentor Lattimore next year.
I especially liked B. Daniels, a quarterback out of Southern Florida. He came from a college normally out of any gridiron limelight as did Kaepernick from University of Nevada. Daniels is also fast with a strong arm. And, like Kaepernick, he is charismatic. Daniels looked beautiful in the 49er practices and preseason games. He was awarded a roster position as third string quarterback. I remember in one of the late preseason games Coach Harbaugh (who is essentially a quarterback whisperer) wanted him to play a quarter against the other team’s #1s (first stringers) and again he looked beautiful. He easily rolled out away from pressure and threw a beautiful pass accurately and smoothly almost 50 yards in the air directly into the receiver’s hands without the receiver breaking stride. I thought, he’f be second string after that.
I had hoped the 49ers learned their lesson about height and quarterbacking in the NFL. Remember the 49ers passed on 5’11’’ Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saint’s quarterback to take the 6’4” Druckenmiller, a bust. Coach Bill Walsh had retired, but he pushed for Drew Brees to the iron-eared new management. Daniels also reminded me of the Seattle Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson who was 5’10”.
I would agree — if everything else was the same, the taller quarterback would be the tiebreaker. But, it never is the same. And, usually the difference involves the knack of playing the position — all the little things. If you are in the NFL, the big things are obvious.
But, Coach Harbaugh took Daniels off the 49er roster and put him on the practice squad. The Seattle Seahawks faster than immediately took Daniels off the 49er practice squad and put him on their playing roster.
Management said things like he (Daniels) looked great because he played against third strings. Or Harbaugh said, “I thought we could sign him after he got more practice on the practice squad.”
What!? With Pete Carroll still coaching and acting like he is hungry? And competing against you? What’s your deal?
Anyway, the 49ers are my team and Harbaugh is my coach, but don’t get all corporate and fat on us, 49er fans.
The 49ers are now 3 wins and 2 losses for the season. This is actually all we could expect from the 49ers with the brutal schedule they have faced in this early season playing excellent teams at quite irregular starting times. I expect they will win most of the rest of their games. And, they will be in the NFL playoffs this season because once again,they have discovered that running back Frank Gore is the Bell Cow of this team.
This Saturday afternoon, the AV High School Panthers football team goes to the Coast to play Mendocino High School’s Cardinals at Mendocino at 1pm. This is the most important game of the year so far, and it will probably define who is the League Champion. It is also Mendocino’s homecoming game. See ya there!