This sunday a 25 year old Colin Kaepernick will take the field as the starting quarterback in the Super Bowl game. He joins the likes of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as second year quarterbacks to make the Super Bowl. All three of these quarterbacks won in there first trip to the big game. Maybe its a perceived lack of pressure or maybe its just beginner’s luck but it seems that young QB’s do not suffer a Super Bowl learning curve. Each of these QBs has their own story- from Brady stepping in for an injured Drew Bledsoe to Kurt Warner making his way from the Arena Football League to captain of the greatest show on turf or Ben Roethlisberger dropping in the draft and landing on a Super Bowl contending team. These stories were told in full but Kaepernick story seems to be lost in the mess of other Super Bowl stories like the tale of two Harbaughs, Ray Lewis’ final ride, Randy Moss as the greatest receiver ever, or Alex Smith watching from the side line.
It is my opinion that the San Francisco 49ers’ will win the Super Bowl and Colin Kaepernick will be named Super Bowl MVP; so, I wanted to take a minute to look at all the stars that had to align to put Colin Kaepernick in this unlikely situation.
Colin Kaepernick played sick:
Colin Kaepernick played baseball, basketball and football in high school. Although he was a tremendous athlete he was far from being a top recruit; in fact, Kaep was only offered a football scholarship by one school (Nevada). The scouts at Nevada followed him on tape but had never seen him play a football game before. When it came time to send out scholarship offers Nevada sent a scout to one of Kaepernick’s basketball games. Kaep was very sick but he decided to play anyway. The scout was amazed at how he fought through the sickness and dominated the game. It was only after seeing this performance that Nevada gave him a shot. Without that game Colin Kaepernick might have never played college football and never have been drafted by the 49ers and Alex Smith would be a happier man.
The 49ers’ wanted more than Alex Smith:
Alex Smith is a good quarterback- few people would question that. He had a slow start to his career but since the arrival of Jim Harbaugh he has been a very solid signal caller. This year his quarterback rating of 104 finished 3rd in the NFL only behind Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. That being said, the 49ers’ have always been looking for more. They proved this in the offseason when they decided to risk losing Alex Smith and instead went after Peyton Manning. As good as Alex Smith was the 49ers wanted better and they found that in Colin Kaepernick.
The game has changed to make room for a young, athletic QB:
Like it or not, the NFL has changed. The old guard of NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are not going anywhere just yet but the new wave of quarterbacks are here. They are having success at a younger age and they are running and throwing the ball with equal effectiveness. You can credit this to many things. Some point to the sophistication of the college game while others say its just a group of freak athletes while I tend to think lowered rookie contracts make coach’s more comfortable letting there QB’s get out and run a bit. However you look at it, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffen, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson have all found success both throwing and running the football. Jim Harbaugh’s decision to switch to Kaep was made a lot easier because of the success of these other quarterbacks. Anyone who questioned Jim Harbaugh’s decision could look around the league and see the success of all the other young athletic QB’s and feel a little better about Jim’s move. So maybe Kaepernick should send a little bit of New Orleans’ jambalaya to his young quarterback friends and fantasy football owners because if it wasn’t for them, Jim Harbaugh might not have had the guts to make the move.
These are just a few of the stars that fell in line to give Colin Kaepernick the chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL but the most important reason why Kaepernick got where he is today is because he is extremely talented. I expect him to follow in the foot steps of Kurt Warner, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger and lead his team to a victory sunday.
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