San Francisco 49ers: 3 Ways Colin Kaepernick Can Be Elite


This post was written by guest writer, William Walker.

Colin Kaepernick is one of the most promising young talents of Sun Francisco 49ers. The quarterback has been the most effective signal-callers in the last two seasons. However, in order to place himself with the greatest quarter backs ever, he needs to work on some of his skills.

More from Colin Kaepernick

Decision Making Based on Game Situations

Even before the center snaps the ball, Kaepernick probably makes up his mind – to whom he’s going to throw this time. As a result, he faces some serious issues inside the 10-yard line of the opponent team. After all, a passer rating of 54.2 is not exactly exciting, is it? In many games last season, it seemed that Kaepernick did not see receivers who were wide open, sprinting deep. He clearly doesn’t seem to see the entire field during the play. He also probably is not comfortable making decisions while the game is on. These two things are probably the greatest features of a great quarterback.

He needs to work on his decision making skill on field based on the situation to make the most out of the game.

Kaepernick does not throw a ball that is easy to catch, does not throw with touch. As a result each of the passes he makes goes like a rocket. This also contributes to his inaccuracy as well as his pitiable passing numbers near the goal line of the opponent.

Accurate Throw

During the regular season, Kaepernick’s completion percentage was 58.4, which happens to be the fourth-worst percentage. Among the 28 quarterbacks who played over 600 snaps, Eli Manning, Terrelle Pryor and Geno Smith were the only 3 quarterbacks less accurate than him. During the playoffs, Kaepernick’s completion percentage came down to 54.9 – the lowest of all 12 QBs playing in the playoffs. If he couldn’t throw to big receivers like Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, What would be his completion percentage in case he had to throw to small receivers?

Pocket Footwork

One of the reasons behind his poor completion percentage and accuracy is his footwork. Especially his pocket footwork is worse than any starting quarterback in the NFL. If a pass rusher comes near him, Kaepernick throws off his back foot — and we’ve already seen that on the ultimate game against the Seahawks at NFC Championship. When his first option is not open, Kaepernick lets all technique go and relies more on his speed and his arm-strength to bail him out. Only once in a blue moon, Kaepernick syncs his lower body with his upper body, and he does not re-set his feet and scan the field like other quarterbacks.

As a matter of fact, according to great passer Steve Young and 49er great Joe Montana, Kaepernick should Learn to stop relying so much on his running ability, and become a pocket passer. Though, Kaepernick often makes great plays with his legs, relying too much on them will never make him a good passer. Kaepernick needs to read through his progressions and acquire the footwork and the skills of a pocket passer.

Kaepernick has every mark and build of a great QB, he only needs to harness some of his skills like pocket passing and decision making. If he can master these skills and learn from the advices bestowed upon him, Kaepernick will become one of the greatest quarterbacks and the MVP of the season.