Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports



This isn't about throwing mechanics or making reads or knowing when to keep your eyes down field on a given play, this is about a young man's confidence and how none of the skills necessary to doing his job are available to him when that confidence is shaken. What we're seeing on game days out of the 49ers' quarterback position is an example of what happens when a talented individual over-thinks his role, presses too hard, and starts to work his way out of a job. What's worse, the individual in question, his drive, and his personality are making the situation much harder than it ought to be.

Let's be honest here, is there anyone outside of the 49ers organization that doesn't think Colin Kaepernick is having a mental breakdown right now? We know he has the physical gifts to do the job – he's shown us – but none of those are doing him any good so long as his brain is as convoluted as it is. The sacks he takes, the throws he misses, and his general panicky nature, like a deer in a six-lane freeway, are all clear indicators that he's trying too hard and he's mentally overmatched for the task right now.

Simply put, he's not doing himself or any of his teammates any favors by continuing to be trotted out as the starter and then frantically trying to make things happen for 60 minutes. He, and the team, would be better served for him to sit and get his mind right. It's obvious by his play and his demeanor on the sideline that he's desperately trying not to lose the game and in case you didn't get your assigned copy of Sports Clichés to Live By, playing not to lose isn't the mantra Bradshaw, Brady, and Montana built their resume's on.

Jim Tomsula, playing his best version of the character "Head Coach" for this soap opera, is carrying the predictable message of sticking with his quarterback and telling us he's never, ever, wavered in his support and belief in Colin Kaepernick, not even after that 4 interception dumpster-fire in Arizona. Thanks Jim, but I could care less about how much you or anybody else likes and supports Colin Kaepernick, the only question on my mind is could Blaine Gabbert really be much worse?

Sunday's game against Green Bay looked as if Colin Kaepernick no longer believes he belongs on the same field with the likes of the Aaron Rodgers's of the world (he certainly didn't on that day). He might not even think he belongs on the field with guys like Nick Foles either, but it's clear the expectations have proven too much for a man still pretty new to the spotlight. Of course, you'll never hear this from Kaepernick himself, and he has no other instinct but to keep pressing harder and adding more pressure, trying to work through and further worsening the situation.

All that being said, Kaepernick's talent is undeniable and his past results are hard to forget, but Colin is on his way to being the strangest of busts in recent quarterback history. He needs to sit, to learn from watching, help someone else prepare, and to have all the pressure that presently surrounds him gradually dissipate. Perhaps watching Gabbert succeed could drive him to be better, Kapernick is a fierce competitor and hard worker after all. Or maybe watching Gabbert fail would embolden him to re-tap in to those limitless talents of his and remind him of what made him almost-great in the first place.

One thing is for sure, they just can't keep doing the same things and hope it gets better. This version of Kaepernick and this version of the 49ers are going to lose plenty of games this season. Whether he does that from the bench or while getting his butt handed to him on the football field could make all the difference for what happens next, for both him and for the team.

Additionally, this situation right here is where we'll see if Tomsula really has any business being the head coach for an NFL team. The message he's selling right now, "We just have to work our way through this" isn't helping his case. The 49ers, still a talented team, need decisive and intuitive leadership right now, while staying the course in this situation exhibits neither. It would be one thing if Tomsula was an established quantity, a rock of proven success to latch on to when things get stormy, but his words of encouragement ring hollow because nobody's sure if this guy knows what he's doing or not. The talent that remains from the past several years is increasingly showing frustration and Tomsula risks losing them all if he doesn't exhibit some courage necessary to make a hard decision in attempts to turn a team back from the brink of absolute irrelevancy.

So, it's this writer's opinion that Kaepernick should sit. For how long? I don't know. A lot of this could be blamed on the gentleman ("gentle" being the operative word) manning the rightmost side of the offensive line, but no matter what the root cause of Kaepernick's failure, it definitely won't help him in his career by going out there without confidence. Right now he's reacting his way from one mistake to the next and shattering what is already a fractured psyche. If he stays this course and continues to fail, he's likely hitting the reset button on his career elsewhere, his contract would lead us to believe anyway. The best outcome for the 49ers is that he does that reset process with them and not another team considering the investment they've already put forth.

(P.S. I'm sparing my vitriol for Trent Baalke and Jed York in this column, but stay tuned for that in the near future. These men's egos have pretty much ruined my Sundays. I JUST GOT THE NFL SUNDAY TICKET FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER and now all I get the pleasure of seeing is Clay Matthews punking our quarterback and kissing his biceps at Levi's. Disgusting.)