Colin Kaepernick tasted the spotlight last season and now he thirsts for more. He told ESPN the Magazine in an interview that he only took one week off after the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl defeat and began to train. That kind of drive is only a part of what makes him a special quarterback.
Here is a list of five reasons why Kaepernick will continue to thrive next season and beyond:
Reason 1: Talent
Kaepernick’s tools are real. Although he can use his legs to gain an advantage over the defense, he prefers to throw the ball, and throw the ball he can. He has elite-level arm strength. Last season, he averaged 13.3 yards per completion. Although the sample size is small, that is higher than Drew Brees has posted in any season. His ability to read defenses and to be more comfortable with his own offense will only increase as time goes on.
Reason 2: Anquan Boldin
Boldin’s ability to catch passes while covered was on full display against the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. That ability will be a huge asset to Kaepernick just as it was to Joe Flacco. With the loss of Michael Crabtree for at least the early part of the season Boldin will be pivotal for his quarterback to move the ball on third downs.
Reason 3: Balanced offense
Although Kaepernick has helped take the 49ers offense to new heights, the offense is still run-first. Frank Gore continues to pound the football at an elite level. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season. Gore along with one of the best offensive lines in football help to keep the pressure off of their quarterback to have to do everything. Keeping any quarterback out of third-and-long constantly can only help his production.
Reason 4: Eric Mangini
Rather quietly this offseason, the 49ers signed Mangini as a special consultant. His job is to relay to the offense how teams will attempt to attack them and take away their best options. While he may he not have had tremendous success as a head coach, he is a good defensive coach. Having him on staff could help the offense operate at an even more efficient level than before.
Reason 5: Payday
Nothing motivates a player like money. Look how Joe Flacco performed when he knew his contract was on the line. How much a player is paid tends to show where said player ranks amongst his peers. As it stands right now Blaine Gabbert makes more than Kaepernick does. The probably will change after this season. If he plays the way he played last season, he will be one of the higher paid quarterbacks in the league. Every player wants to be the highest paid at his position. If the team has the success it had last season or wins the Super Bowl this time around, he may end up the highest paid quarterback in the league at some point.
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