I was talking to Iggy this morning before he drove down to Santa Clara to the Niners. I said the Raiders sure weren’t prepared with a backup quarterback after Jason Campbell went down. Poor Kyle Boller was not up to the task and, that being the case, the Raiders should have had a better backup.

Then I said, “The Niners are in the same fix with Kaepernick.”

Iggy fixed me with a stare.

“You don’t know that for a fact,” he said. “Kaepernick didn’t look good in preseason, but he’s been working with Harbaugh. We don’t know what he’s learned or how good he is.”

So, I stand corrected. Kaepernick may indeed be a suitable backup on his way to being a starter some day. He remains a bit of a mystery and I’m sure Jim Harbaugh wants it that way.

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  1. captveg

    The sample size was extremely small and it was mop up duty, but Kaepernick did look generally better against the Bucs than he did in pre-season.

    October 25th, 2011 11:05 am

  2. Neal

    Actually the third string guy looks pretty good when he was in San Diego.

    October 25th, 2011 11:29 am

  3. The Seth

    I remember him making a pretty good throw in the Bucs game. I think it was a 10-15 yard curl route. Seemed like a pretty decent effort. I wonder how many reps Tolzien is getting in practice.

    October 25th, 2011 12:13 pm

  4. KauaiRobert

    Wow. So funny you brought this up today Lowell.
    This was my comment on TK’s blog just this morning.
    Fits here too.
    Man, if Alex can play at this level under Harbaugh’s tutelage, can you imagine what Colin is gojng to turn out like?!
    He can sit and learn for however long Smith can handle things.
    A big part of Aaron Rogers’ success stems from the fact that he sat and learned before they cut him loose.
    Granted, Alex is no Favre…but the point is, Colin will definately benefit from holding the clipboard for a year or two.
    I love the holidays–but remember how awesome the holidays used to be when our Niners were pereNnial playoff conenders?!

    October 25th, 2011 12:16 pm

  5. eb

    So a rookie with no real experience, an awkward delivery and poor play during the pre-season would preform better than a seven year veteran? I think in this league, it’s almost guaranteed that if your back up is in, things will usually go badly. There just aren’t many good qbs in the league.

    October 25th, 2011 12:22 pm

  6. RC

    Iggy is spot on, are you still calling him Iggy? He is big time now, please address him as Grant moving forward.


    October 25th, 2011 12:41 pm

  7. Teddy

    I see your point but how many NFL teams have a quality backup QBs? It is hard enough in the NFL to find a good starting QB yet alone a backup as well.

    October 25th, 2011 12:41 pm

  8. Stan

    I think it was a consensus that Singletary made a terrible decision to cut Hill and Davis to show his confidence in Alex Smith. Of course,it turned out Singletary was the source of Smiths nightmares..not fellow QB competing for the job. When Smith’s psyche caved,there was no Hill there to let Singletary flow off his back.
    Hue,I think had that same “I give it all to Jason” when he let Gradkowski go..and some others who ALL would have been better back-ups,hence competition to Campbell.
    Hue should have went free enterprise… wait,did I SAY THAT? I must be getting repub in my old age…hee.

    October 25th, 2011 12:44 pm

  9. Joe H.

    Not all back ups are named Steve Young.

    October 25th, 2011 1:04 pm

  10. Gopal

    What about Tolzien? What is he, chopped liver?

    October 25th, 2011 1:13 pm

  11. Tom

    The entire offense looked terrible in preseason (and only a little better in the first 3.5 regular season games) so you can’t judge Kaepernick by that. Also consider that Kaepernick is Harbaugh’s hand-picked QB of the future and probably getting a lot of attention from coaches in practice, whereas Hue probably prayed that Boller would never, ever have to play a meaningful down for the Raiders.

    October 25th, 2011 3:39 pm

  12. Stan

    I couldn’t stand to hear Eric Davis defend JaMarcus Rusell-for all the WRONG reasons. Eric like Russell did in the S.I. imterview said nothing about his addictions,why he couldnt keep his weight down..and the apnea excuse is just more of what an addict does..MAKE EXCUSES..they do that to justify their addictions when they are not interested in curing them.
    And it sounds like Russell has burned through much of that money…again,no mention of his gambling problems and drug use..both expensive habits. The jet airplane isnt cheap to keep either.
    Russell is the direct cause of the Raiders trading the cow for beans and a QB..
    The man has real problems..instead of bashing Oakland he should see that for 40 million he had no excuse. The help was there.All the help anybody could ask for. Russell chose to keep codeine over career.

    October 25th, 2011 3:45 pm

  13. Dennis

    My take is that the 49ers would be better able to deal with losing Smith than the Raiders were in losing Campbell. Certainly the 49ers would not have made the trade for Palmer. Harbaugh would just coach around Kaepernick and Tolzien. I think the Niners are in for the long haul. If they win great, but they wouldn’t be giving up a bunch of draft picks just to get into the playoffs this year. They don’t have to.

    October 25th, 2011 5:07 pm

  14. Lisbonio

    Kap is gonna be a monster QB…

    October 25th, 2011 7:38 pm

  15. Zevi

    I agree with Dennis. Kaepernick would be very limited now but Harbaugh would put him in the best position possible.

    I recommend the Wall Street Journal article about Delanie Walker. It says that Harbaugh/Roman have lined up Walker 15 different ways this year: from receiver to fullback to left tackle. Walker caught the game-winner in Detroit because he was lined up wide; that meant Smith only had to throw a 3-yard pass and he just muscled the DB over the goal line.

    If Kaepernick comes in, the 49ers may go back to the Pistol offense he played at Nevada–and find new ways to hand off to Gore and Hunter.

    But I hope Smith stays healthy.

    October 25th, 2011 8:10 pm

  16. latopia

    It’s an interesting situation, which could beget an interesting dilemma.

    If Smith/the team continues apace and Smith re-signs for 2012 (and/or beyond), would any obligation — real or perceived — to Kaepernick be as urgent or necessary with Tolzien also onboard?

    More succinctly, if Harbaugh decides before 2012 TC (following OTAs, minicamps) that Kaepernick is a prodigal deadend, would he hesitate to cut his losses & start anew?

    October 25th, 2011 8:14 pm

  17. Bill

    I believe that two years from now the starting QBs will be Scott Tolzien for the Niners and Terrelle Pryor for the Raiders. Tolzien’s poise, pocket presence, quick release and accuracy (70% senior yr.) is perfect for Harbaugh’s WCO. Pryor’s playing style and physical ability compares favorably to that of Cam Newton.

    October 25th, 2011 11:34 pm

  18. blue collar guy

    You guys crack me up. You are judging Kaep by the preseason performances? When no one had a clue what they were doing on offense? Same geniuses who were jumping all over Harbaugh for the anemic offense after the first two weeks.

    Kaep and Tolzien are BOTH better than Boller. I saw Boller live a few years ago, and I could not believe how easy he made it for the defense. Hue Gego made a hue-ge mistake by keeping Boller. Obviously.

    October 26th, 2011 10:04 am

  19. Tiburon Dave

    It’s probably because I have six kids but I’m interested in watching Grant’s development…he’s fully immersed in 49er world while fighting off the urge to drink the kool-aide and retain his objectivity…a difficult task I’m sure…
    Boller has a track record such as it is…he’s a known quantity and is unlikely to get any better…Kaepernick is entirely on the come line…if you’re a member of the faithful, he’s Cam Newton in waiting…if you’re objective…you have no idea…

    October 26th, 2011 10:14 am

  20. harry

    With the other draft picks being excellent choices (Aldon Smith and Culliver), Kaepernick is going to be really good. They actually traded up to get this guy. Seems like everything Harbaugh touches, good things happen. Just look at Alex Smith.

    October 26th, 2011 10:25 am

  21. KauaiRobert

    I read that article too.

    October 26th, 2011 12:31 pm

  22. KauaiRobert

    I don’t know of you’ve seen Kaepernick play.
    The kid has loads of natural talent.
    Harbaugh will turn him into a star.

    October 26th, 2011 12:33 pm

  23. Tony

    I can’t believe you would take a career backup on the Raiders and say that he is better than a rookie 2nd round back up on the 49ers when the niner’s back up is being coached by a guy who coached the best number 1 draft prospect of all time. Also, Harbaugh has turned the 49ers into a Super Bowl contender over night by making Alex Smith a quality starting qb. NO Comparison!!

    October 26th, 2011 1:42 pm

  24. sledpunch

    The Raiders/9ers have two diverging philosophies going on here.

    Raiders are exactly where 9ers were when Trent Dilfer was playing. Boller is there for emergency only, but not something you’re planning any future whatsoever.

    49ers have two kids, Kaep n Tolzien who are absolutely projected as the future leader(s) of team. My cards are on Tolzien to win it out, just a bit more poise there. 49ers are getting lucky breaks, but wait to a real QB is behind center.

    Just bad luck that Raiders will probably lose their mojo now that an old QB has to learn system ASAP. (Pryor???? He poses nothing of future for Raiders to whoever said such a thing)

    October 26th, 2011 8:37 pm

  25. KauaiRobert

    What have you people seen of Tolzien to make you think he has the juice to be a starter in the NFL???

    October 26th, 2011 9:44 pm

  26. sledpunch

    I only watch preseason for one reason, to see emerging young stars of future. Little did I know, I’d find a QB on the opposing squad.

    That SD vs 9ers game can’t be found on youtube so you’ll have to watch his highlights at Wisconsin. I watched that SD game and was in awe of this kid. Cool thing aside from him looking natural in #16 jersey, is how quick he makes decision to whip it out to his WR. This doesn’t mean he throws hard. That’s Kaep’s territory, which is all flash to me.

    I look at better decision makers, Tolzien seems to have better vision, Kaep has better wheels for evading and scrambling. Tolzien seems NFL ready right now, where Kaep could benefit from more time learning off bench.

    October 27th, 2011 2:21 am

  27. KezarMike

    I know football and the Ig-man is one smart young dude!

    October 27th, 2011 4:46 am

  28. Winston Wolf

    Tolzien will be the starter in a year or two.

    October 29th, 2011 2:09 am

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