The San Francisco 49ers got a steal in the second round a few years back in the likeness of one Colin Kaepernick. When he got his chance, he quickly became the favored child of the news media and of fans everywhere—just look at his jersey sales. Nevertheless, the quarterback scouts once raved over for his potential—and still do, as a matter of fact—now looks hopelessly lost trying to lead an ineffective offense. What happened?
With most any quarterback of great potential, there is also a great potential for failure—again, and again, and again. How many horrible passes did Brett Favre throw? His career ended on an interception—twice! Think about some of the many quarterbacks drafted on the basis of potential: JaMarcuss Russell (sorry other side of the Bay) and Ryan Leaf quickly come to mind. They fell flat, did they not? Now, think about some of the quarterbacks chosen based solely on who they were, not who they could become: Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck (ok, neither of these guys is really fair). Another guy is good old Alex Smith, who was never seen as a big arm guy, but rather a smart decision maker. He has been that throughout his career, despite his many ups and downs with different coaching staffs. By the way, Joe Montana and Tom Brady never had the biggest arms either.
Steve Young had a solid arm, however. He also went through many failures before taking off in his Hall-of-Fame career. Perhaps Kaepernick will pick it up at some point, too. For now, 49ers fans need to expect the downs with the ups and the failures with the successes until he can figure out a way to become more consistent.