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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Is Kap the Problem?

I'm not a huge Colin Kaepernick fan, but as one of the 49er faithful, I've always hoped he'd play well. That clearly isn't happening this season. Some argue that his skills have declined, and that is the likely explanation, but it's also possible that the rest of the league simply adjusted for his strengths, and he hasn't readjusted his game. In other words, if teams were defending him like they did four years ago, he might still be putting up the numbers he did when he first became the Niners' starting quarterback.

If you've been paying attention to the news, you may have heard the rumors that Kap has lost the locker room (i.e., no one respects him anymore), that he's a loner, an island, someone who keeps to himself, wears headphones, and doesn't interact with his teammates. It's unclear the origin of these rumors (both players and coaches insist that they aren't true), but as Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News pointed out few days ago ("The 49ers’ obvious, unnecessary and repeated contradictions as they move to point all blame to Colin Kaepernick"), the whispering campaign against Kap is eerily similar to that of the one waged last year against then 49er head coach, Jim Harbaugh (he too had lost the locker room, or so we were told). All of which makes you wonder whether the ultimate source of the rumors are 49er owner Jed York and/or 49er general manager Trent Baalke. Kawakami believes that York and Baalke are simply looking for another scapegoat on whom to blame the 49ers woes rather than take responsibility themselves. It's time, as Mark Purdy notes ("49ers headquarters just a big junior high of rumors and gossip"), for York and Baalke to grow up and start acting like adults.

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