I want to play the “what if” game. In my lasts blog I wrote about the 2012 season being the time when QB Alex Smith needs to play at a pro bowl level due to all the newly acquired offensive weapons. But I also mentioned that current backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick is waiting in the wings. Kaepernick will likely be inserted into the offense if Alex is playing poorly, forcing a change at quarterback. What if the case happens to be an injury? What if in week three Alex Smith goes down with a season ending injury and Kaepernick is forced to step in? Will the season become lost or will we see something similar to what happen to the New England Patriots? QB Tom Brady became the Patriots starter after Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury and the rest as we all know is history. Now I do not wish injury upon anybody, but it is those kinds of situations in the NFL where opportunity arises for certain players and legends are born.
Kaepernick was an early second round pick for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft and I am sure that the Niner organization has high hopes for him. He was able to sit and watch for the entire 2011 season as the Niners had a spectacular year. Now in year two he going to have an entire offseason to continue to learn and get better. Kaepernick is being brought up the old school way, meaning he is going to keep working hard as he watches and learns how to run the playbook through the practices and from watching on the sidelines during games.
If the learning process is cut short due to an injury to Alex Smith, will he be ready to step up? My answer is yes. In college he had numbers that mirrored Robert Griffin III. Last time I checked RG3 was the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Also Kaepernick has Jim Harbaugh for a head coach. Harbaugh has a great track record with quarterbacks, a big reason being he was a former quarterback in his playing days. He helped groomed Andrew Luck into the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and got Alex Smith’s career back on track. It is safe to say that Kaepernick is in good hands.
There’s no secret in what Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke are doing with the Niners franchise, they are building a championship contender for many years to come. The Niners have a young defense for the exception of CB Carlos Rodgers and DE Justin Smith (even though Justin keeps getting better with age) and we are also building a young offense that could one day be led by Kaepernick. Whether it is Smith or Kaepernick the Niners have two quarterbacks that know the system and are motivated. Smith is motivated to prove critics wrong and Kaepernick is motivated to become star in the league. It will be interesting who will be under center towards the end of the season. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!