San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly met with the media today and discussed what he is expecting out of his new starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
"We expect...we need to move the football offensively," Kelly said. "So that's why we made the decision to do what we were doing. So hopefully we can get a little bit more consistency on the offensive side of the ball and that's what I think we need. I think at times, we've looked really good on offense and things are humming and things are clicking, but we haven't been consistent enough in our drives – and really sustaining drives – to stay on the field. Critical things on third down I think have been the things that we've really tried to emphasize and work on as we get moving forward here. So that's what we're hoping for and that's why we made the move."
Kelly was asked if he has seen a difference with Kaepernick now receiving an elevated number of reps in practice. Kelly reminded the media that it has only been a couple of days since the quarterback switch was made. That's not a large enough sample size to see a difference.
The media pointed out that some coaches in the league might have waited to make an announcement of a quarterback switch in an effort to keep an opponent guessing at who they would face. "I think we live in a society, number one, that there are no secrets," Kelly said. "So if Colin took all of the reps with the ones on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, somebody's 'mole' would have told them who was taking all of the reps." And yes, Kelly did use air quotes when he said "mole."
"And I don't really care," Kelly continued. "We have two similar quarterbacks. Our offense doesn't change."
Kaepernick signed a restructured deal on Wednesday. The new deal could make him a free agent when new league year kicks off in March should he choose to void 2017, which is entirely likely regardless of the success he has in the upcoming games this season.
Kaepernick replaces an ineffective Blaine Gabbert. Against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, Gabbert had a passer rating of 56.1, which is the second time this season that it has dipped below 60. Against the blitz, his passer rating fell to a pitiful 12.0, which includes his two interceptions of the night.