It was a rough third season for Colin Kaepernick in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers didn’t make the playoffs, and individually he seemed to be taking a step backwards on his improvement graph as an NFL player, quarterback and especially passer.
The combination of Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh tried taking Kaepernick away from his biggest strength: His running. However, that exposed a lot of problems in his passing and especially his motion and ability to read the field, while his offensive line didn’t exactly help. Kaepernick rushed for 639 yards, but the plan was to make him carry the ball less than before.
Kaepernick posted a career low 86.4 passer rating, throwing just 19 touchdowns and also 10 interceptions. While his arm strength is one of the best and most impressive in the league, his throws do wander off target more than they should, not to mention his poor viewing and field surveying attributes, which were exposed more than once as he had to deal with more pass-rushing pressure than before.
Kaepernick has worked on it. The 49ers needed him to. He’s their franchise quarterback, as his contract, or the money stated in it, clearly says. Will it be enough to help a team that’s lost a significant amount of talent, especially on defense, to overcome these losses and at least make a run at a playoff spot, not to mention make the postseason? Maybe more depends on whether or not the coaching change also comes with offensive line improvement, and less on how Kaepernick’s technique has changed.