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Last week, ESPN featured a piece that used ESPN Stats & Information to take a look at the five best and the five worst quarterbacks of 2015 against the blitz. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the latter.
The other quarterbacks at the bottom of the list included Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, Eli Manning, and Joe Flacco. The top five on the list were Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, and Brock Osweiler.
The following is what ESPN's Sheil Kapadia had to say about Kaepernick.
"He was the only quarterback in the NFL to complete fewer than 50 percent of his attempts (48.1) against the blitz last season. Kaepernick's legs weren't much of a weapon against pressure either. He averaged 4.89 yards per dropback when blitzed, fourth worst. Interestingly enough, Blaine Gabbert averaged 8.24, second best."
In 2015, Kaepernick was pressured nearly 40-percent of the time behind that offensive line while Gabbert was pressured nearly 38-percent of the time. Most of that was due to poor offensive line play. According to Football Outsiders, when it comes to pass protection, the 49ers offensive line ranked second-to-last among the 32 NFL teams, ahead of just the Tennessee Titans. They allowed the quarterback to be sacked 53 times last season with Kaepernick going down 28 times and Gabbert accounting for the other 25.
Under pressure, Gabbert took a sack 20.2-percent of the time while Kaepernick's number was 24.1-percent. Gabbert's completion percentage under pressure was still 51.8-percent while Kaepernick's nose dived to 35.2-percent. Gabbert also had a better accuracy percentage under pressure, a Pro Football Focus statistic that throws out things like throwaways, spikes, batted balls, and other factors.
Kaepernick: 35.2% completion, 46.8% accuracy
Gabbert: 51.8% completion, 61% accuracy
The two quarterbacks will be involved in a battle for the starting job when the 49ers open training camp in late-July. Up until now, Gabbert has been getting most of the reps in the 49ers' offseason program, but Kaepernick was finally able to start practicing last week during a three-day mandatory minicamp. While he took part in individual and 7-on-7 drills, he sat out 11-on-11 drills during practices.
Last Thursday, Kaepernick spoke to the media for the first time since the end of the 2015 season and for the first time since the offseason drama involving surgeries and trade requests. "At this point, everything is football. I'm a 49er. Once again, excited to work with Chip and this coaching staff," said Kaepernick, who expects to be ready to go for training camp.