Colin Kaepernick's former coach in Nevada, Chris Ault, joined Papa & Dibs on 95.7 The Game today to talk about – among other things – his former quarterback.
Ault started by discussing Kaepernick's injured throwing shoulder, stating that once the quarterback was cleared to throw following his rehab on his non-throwing shoulder, he likely overdid it. "I think, knowing Kap like I did, when he was given the green light to start throwing, he probably threw and threw and threw and threw and of course, the arm couldn't take it at that time and I think that's what we're seeing now with the difficulties with him just having a little bit of a dead arm," said Ault. "He will respond to this thing."
Ault went on to say that Kaepernick has never had problems like this as a quarterback before and what San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is doing by letting his quarterback rest is the right call. Kaepernick has said that the injury is not dissimilar to what he has experienced as a high school baseball pitcher.
"Yeah, I've experienced that a couple times in my baseball career," said Kaepernick last week. "My arm's always snapped back quick, so not too concerned about it."
Ault was asked if he ever tried to tighten up Kaepernick's throwing motion and get the ball out quicker while at Nevada. Ault stated that not only did they try, but they did tighten him up. "His first two years here at Nevada, he was really a thrower," said Ault. "And then his last two years, we got the elbow extended. We got it up. He became a passer. His last two years here throwing the ball were exceptional. He threw it well.
"Prior to that, he had the old – I call it the 'baseball or side arm release' and that's where he threw it from," continued Ault. "And every once in a while when I look at the Niners, I see that thing – at least last year – come back a little bit." He would go on to state that during his junior and senior year at Nevada, as well as his first year with the 49ers, he thought Kaepernick was throwing the ball well. Ault felt good about Kaepernick's throwing mechanics when he left Nevada for the NFL.
Ault was then asked if Kaepernick can indeed thrive in Kelly's offense. "Oh absolutely," he answered. "I think with Chip coming to the Niners, the two philosophies with my pistol or his (are) very similar. You're going to set the pass up with the run. And the great thing about what I think Chip does – is what we did here at Nevada – is that your pass protection becomes much better simply because you throw an awful lot of play action passes."
He would go on to say that Kaepernick should fit really well into what Kelly likes to do in terms of throwing the ball. "I think the offense is really a great match for him," concluded Ault.
You can listen to the entire interview, including Ault's complete thoughts on Kelly's offense, at 95.7 The Game.
Ault is credited as being the creator of the "Pistol Offense," which he installed at Nevada in 2005. It was a system that the 49ers integrated within their offense with the emergence of Kaepernick early in his NFL career and when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach.