Well, it’s Tuesday, which means it must be time for another story about why Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job.
Today’s offering comes to us from new 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, who was asked by reporters whether or not NFL teams thought they had to change their offenses in order to accommodate Kaepernick’s style of play.
Shanahan said, “Yeah.” Then got up and walked away.
No, he didn’t. After saying “Yeah,” Shanahan then elaborated on how teams look for specific quarterback fits for specific offenses:
You don’t just run stuff and think you’re going to be good at it right away. You’ve got to commit to it and work at it year round, and it’s all the positions. When all your quarterbacks have different ways to be successful, which I’ve been in situations like that and you try to prepare them best, it does take a toll on your offense. What are you trying to get good at? You can’t practice everything. You can’t be great at everything. You’ve kind of got to commit to something and do it over and over and over again and once the type of running game or drop-back game, you’re going to commit to one quarterback is completely different than the other, then that does affect your team. That’s why I think it can be harder when those type of guys are going through competitions and stuff and like that because even though you’re trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks you’re also being unfair to a team. You don’t really know what direction you’re going. So, if you have your pick of the best world, you’d like those guys to be somewhat similar, not just because that’s how you want the quarterbacks, just because of the work you’re doing for the rest of the guys on the roster.
While it’s no secret that Kaepernick possesses a very unique skill set, chiefly due to his athleticism and unorthodox throwing mechanics, Kaepernick has had coaches such as Chip Kelly, who know how to accommodate their offenses to mobile quarterbacks, and have still failed to make the most of Kaepernick’s abilities.
So, what’s the real issue?
What’s more than likely the reason, or at least the most likely football reason for why teams might be concerned over Kaepernick’s system fit, has nothing to do with adjusting their offenses to fit Kaepernick and everything to do with opposing teams adjusting their defenses to fit Kaepernick.
When the anthem-protesting 49ers QB first took the scene, he had great success. In his first 23 starts, Kaepernick threw for over 5,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. In his next 32 starts, Kaepernick would get held to 4,984 yards of passing and 25 touchdowns.
So, despite playing in nine additional games, Kaepernick actually performed worse in his third and fourth year as a starter, statistically, than he did in his first year and a half. That tells us that the NFL adjusted to Colin Kaepernick. However, Colin Kaepernick didn’t adjust to the NFL.
The problem is a serious one, because physical and athletic skill sets decline over time. Therefore, a quarterback who relies on his athleticism instead of film room study and growing the mental aspect of his game will eventually become a less valuable commodity to prospective teams as they age.
Throw in the fact that the guy is an anti-American, anthem-protesting, cop hating, jerk. And, you pretty much get why no one’s beating down his door.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn