Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly-Kaepernick Administration Making Case For Second Term

Anwar Jamison
Nov 28, 2016 at 7:58 AM

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NOTE: If you're a person who believes that we should only discuss negative points about the 49ers because they are coming off yet another loss, then I'll warn you ahead of time: this article might not be for you.

The 49ers have the worst group of wide receivers in the league. Isn't that what most people agreed on prior to the season? I hesitate to speak in such absolute terms about matters that involve opinion, but by any measure, if they are not the worst, they are certainly the least accomplished. Also, 8% of the passes attempted by 49ers' quarterbacks this year have been dropped by receivers. Not 8% of the incompletions, but 8% of the attempts. That's a staggering amount of dropped passes. The league average is 5%.

Yet, here we are, six games into Colin Kaepernick's tenure as starting quarterback under Chip Kelly, and the offense is looking, dare I say, pretty good. In the four games since the bye week, Kaepernick has completed just under 60% of his passes, averaging 278 yards per game, with 8 TD's against 2 INT's, for a QB rating of 96.0. He's also averaging 7.69 yards per carry, giving Kelly the dynamic runner at quarterback that he hasn't had since his days at Oregon. Most importantly, Kaepernick has gotten better week after week, which means the best may be yet to come.

On Sunday, against the Miami Dolphins #7 ranked defense, Kaepernick played his best game yet. He completed 63% of his passes, going 29-of-46 for 296 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, which was actually a drop by Torrey Smith. He added 113 yards on 10 carries on the ground.

Now, even if you're one of the many people who hate Chip Kelly and/or Colin Kaepernick and want to see them gone more than anything in life, doesn't that make you wonder what this offense might look like with legitimate, dynamic threats at the wide receiver and tight end positions? At least a little bit?

Available free agent wide receivers for the 2017 season include Alshon Jeffery, Terrelle Pryor, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson (unlikely, I know), Kenny Britt, Michael Floyd, and several others who would provide an immediate upgrade at the position. How about the NFL Draft and a big, explosive wide receiver like Mike Williams of Clemson or one of the other intriguing prospects?

Tight Ends who will be available in free agency include Jordan Cameron, Martellus Bennett, Jermaine Gresham and Jared Cook. The 49ers have more salary cap room than any team besides the Cleveland Browns. Whether or not they will use it is another matter.

Coaches don't get fired after one season in the NFL very often. The fact that it happened in San Francisco last year probably makes it more unlikely to see it happen twice in a row. However, if General Manager Trent Baalke is fired, anything would be possible with a new regime.

Assuming Chip Kelly is back next season, where can he get a quarterback that will perform better than Kaepernick currently is in his system? The best available free agent quarterbacks next season are Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Think about that for a minute. Take away Kirk Cousins, because the Redskins are not letting him get out of the building, even if it means using the franchise tag again. Are you ready for 16 games of Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Are you ready to spend a number one pick on the suddenly-hot prospect Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina? Do you spend it on Clemson's Deshaun Watson, who was expected to be the #1 overall prospect, but has cooled off in the eyes of many scouts? Or DeShone Kizer, who has led Notre Dame to a 4-8 season? Even if you draft one of those players, or another quarterback in a later round, do you trust them as a day one starter in the NFL? Are you ready for the uncertainty that comes with that? Wouldn't it make sense to retain Kaepernick, who's already under contract for next year, while the next quarterback gets ready if you're still not convinced he's the long-term solution?

There are 5 games left in what has been a dismal season, and even though the season has long been over as far as wins and losses, the evaluation process does not stop. Whether you like him or not, Chip Kelly's offense has shown from the beginning of the year that it can get less than stellar receivers open in space. Now that those receivers are being hit with more consistency, we are starting to see what the potential for this offense could be. Although it has not translated into wins, the combination of Chip Kelly and Colin Kaepernick are showing that they may just be the best option for the 49ers to build around for next season.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • robert ethan
    Ya, Squid making a great case all right. On the bench where he belongs.
    Dec 4, 2016 at 9:06 PM
  • AJ Dembroski
    I'm one of those anti-Kaep/Kelly guys, but continuity is important in football and so I'm hoping they hang around another year with the steps they've taken.
    Dec 3, 2016 at 2:39 PM
  • JACK
    Good article A.J. If they boys upstairs keep Chip Kelly, Kaep. will stay, however, if they fire Chip, Kaep. will be through with this " unstable organization ". In Kaep's interview, he stated he believes QB who stay in the same system, with the same coaching are successful. That goves us a hint of what he wants. Who can blame Kaep if he doesn't trust the 49ers upper staff. Keep Kaep. get a dependable RB that can stay healthy, and attacks the hole, not dance around in the backfield. A tall big possession receiver, who fights for the ball. And we need some DT,ILB. The 49ers should make a run with Kelly.
    Nov 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM
  • 49erFaithful4Ever
    I think a lot of casual fans talk from emotion instead of football knowledge. I wasn't sure about Kap the last couple years, but the front office lied to him a lot. They convinced him to take less money and they would keep talent around him. He took the pay cut and they let everyone walk in free agency. He has really looked like the guy we remember from the glory days. Maybe it's because he actually has a decent O line finally or maybe it's because actually has a real NFL caliber play caller. I wish he'd stay, but I have a feeling he's just playing his heart out so he can go to NY and be with his girlfriend. Kap did something yesterday that no NFL QB had done until 2014! (300 passing and 100 rushing). Who are the only 2 other QBs in history to do it? Russell Wilson and Cam Newton! You want to get rid of a guy who holds the single game record for most yards rushing by a QB in history? Let's not forget that Kaep got the 300/100 with a bunch of journeymen who were going to get cut and guys literally off the street? Imagine if he had a big tight end like Gronk or Graham, or a big receiver like Mike Evans or Julio! For that to happen Baalke has to go! Please Santa!!!!!
    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:59 PM
  • MT9ER
    Only thing I would offer is that TE wouldn't be that high on my list of priorities, especially considering the available group you mentioned. I think VMac is actually looking like a legit TE. He's always been a beast as a blocker, but now his hands/concentration seem to be improving, and showing what a tough match up he can be for a D. I would like to see how he does if/as Kaep continues to progress, and especially if they can add a couple legit threats on the outside.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:05 PM
  • Eweasy
    Kaep is playing like he did when he first won the job back in 2012, like it or not.. all you kaep haters he is our best option at the moment. And unless you get a tom brady in the building lets not get out of focus. What we need to do is trade that 2nd overall for a bunch of picks and load up on D and WR's.. if we can get WR's from free agency and a good prospect int he draft and then just get LB's and Pass rushers in the draft in the first 3 rounds.. We could have something next year. We also need a new DC, Jim Oniel is not a good DC and that was known before he step foot on the 49ers building. Ask any browns fans their feelings for the guy before this year and they will tell you the same thing its happening here, HIS D CANNOT STOP THE RUN! .. With that being said, lets hope this FO figures it out, because if an 1diot like me can see what's wrong in this team, I sure hope these ppl making millions to do it can figure it out too.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:07 PM
  • Dallas Niner Fan
    Problem is that the guy (Kap) can't win a ball game and the General manager has no idea how to draft wide receiver talent.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:52 PM
  • RishikeshA
    Thanks Anwar, Kap looks like the QB that took us far into the postseason. Against some good defenses he's dictating the action. How long would it take a new QB to get to that stage? He's getting better with each start and was made for Chip's offense. I was one of many who wanted to move him ASAP due to his play and other things. Looking a bit deeper, 2014 was Harbaugh's lame duck year and it showed on the field, 2015 he was banged up more than we knew. I never thought I'd say this but sign the man.
    Nov 28, 2016 at 9:01 AM

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