For the last few years the 49ers have been known as team with an elite defense and an average offense. The 49ers’ offense has even been described as anemic at some points. In 2013, Colin Kaepernick had a stretch of games where he struggled mightily passing the ball. The common excuse for this was that he had no weapons at his disposal. For most of the season it was a valid excuse as Kaepernick only had one or two weapons on the offense. However, with the offensive personnel the 49ers will have going into 2014, Kaepernick won’t have any more excuses to make.
It’s no mystery why Kaepernick struggled last year. For most of the season he only had Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis as weapons, and even then, Davis missed a couple games. When Michael Crabtree returned late in the season, Kaepernick had more success throwing the ball. This year, Kaepernick should have a healthy Crabtree along with Boldin, Davis and newly acquired Steve Johnson.
Before Colin Kaepernick took over the starting role the 49ers had not had a 1000 yard receiver since 2003 when Terrell Owens did it with Jeff Garcia throwing him the ball. In the year and a half that Kaepernick has been the starter, the 49ers have already had two 1000 yard receivers, so Kaepernick is definitely capable of using his weapons. When Crabtree was healthy in 2013, Kaepernick helped him show the league that he was a top receiver. Kaepernick also helped Boldin show that he was still capable of being a dominant receiver after everyone had written him off and claimed his best years were behind him.
People might point to the fact that for most of the season, Bruce Miller was the 49ers’ third leading receiver. They might even use that fact to prove that Colin Kaepernick can’t spread the ball around and locks onto one target. But, what they conveniently forget is that behind Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis there was no one else to catch the ball. Kaepernick has proven that he will use what he has, so it makes sense that when he had no one besides Boldin and Davis, he mostly used Boldin and Davis. This year, he won’t have that excuse anymore.
Colin Kaepernick will have at least four quality targets this season. It will be interesting to see how much he progresses as a passer this year with a plethora of weapons at his disposal. He is constantly criticized for not going through his reads and locking onto one target. With four very good receivers to catch the ball, the only complaint should be that there’s only one ball to go around.