Here is the opening to my column from the 49ers-Dolphins game:

Let’s start with praise for Colin Kaepernick. It is a pleasure to watch him work. It really is.

On Sunday, he put away the Miami Dolphins with a 50-yard run that was more of a prance, Kaepernick on his own, the overmatched Dolphins staring at him, knowing they had no chance to stop him. Touchdown.

The 49ers’ quarterback controversy is so passe, so old. Jim Harbaugh made the correct decision going with Kaepernick over Alex Smith. If you have any lingering bitterness, please put it to rest.

To read the full column, please click here.

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  1. htwaits

    I disagree with you on one play. The Kaepernick touchdown happened because Miami desperately sold out on the fake to Gore. All Kaepernick did was run straight down the field. There was nothing heroic about it. In fact, even though Alex Smith isn’t elusive, on that particular play, his speed would have been enough to get him into the end-zone given the way Miami’s defense over reacted to Gore.

    Every other point you made makes sense to me. That might be something you should worry about.

    I also agree that the move to Kaepernick will pay off in the future. If the 49ers can’t win two out of their next three games, it may be a bit further into the future than we like.

    December 9th, 2012 11:11 pm

  2. dharte


    Bitterness? That’s just a tired rhetorical trick.

    Kaepernick, as a QB, was very average against a bad 5-8 team. Again, like the Saints game when the two defensive touchdowns masked the kid’s mediocrity (10 points, remember, against the worst defense statistically in the NFL) yesterday’s fumbled punt on the 9 yard line–a play only bad teams make late in the game–saved him from real pressure.

    It was 6-3 then, mid-way through the 3rd quarter. 6-3. You would have savaged Smith under the same circumstances.

    Now, if the 49ers and Harbaugh want to bring back the Single-Wing offense for the playoffs, that long run, where no one touched him, bodes well.

    Bo & Ditka would agree with such offensive logic, I’m guessing, and that seems to be the pedigree that shaped too much of Harbaugh’s thinking.

    After all, this is, finally, his offense. Not Roman’s.

    December 10th, 2012 7:09 am

  3. Dennis

    I am glad you like Kaepernick as the QB. Aside from that I agree with your take on the offensive line and game plan. I would hope to see some screen passes to James next week. They don’t seem to use screen passes at all. Maybe that is a ‘grey’ area for them: is it the passing guy or the running guy who is suppose to put them in the game plan? Whoever it is they need to figure it out and slow down the rush.

    Speaking of the rush, I thought evading it was one of the reasons Kaepernick is the “new and improved” QB of the San Francisco 49ers? What happened? He looks just like Alex out there getting up off the ground.

    December 10th, 2012 7:53 am

  4. Stan

    Holy moly. The PD says “That article in no longer in our system”

    December 10th, 2012 8:11 am

  5. CohnZohn

    Stan, thanks for pointing that out. I fixed it.

    December 10th, 2012 8:31 am

  6. Mark M

    This is a good news/ bad news game for me.

    The good news is that Kaepernick is playing well. He does a good impersonation of Smith in terms of efficiency plus adds the element of explosiveness with down field throws and running ability. That deep ball to Moss was incredible. The lack of turnovers is huge as this is the one area that he could be considered “inferior” to Alex. It took Alex half a decade to learn how to lighten his turnover numbers. Kaep is already his equal if these first few games are any indication. This is my biggest fear with him.

    The bad news is that these games, since the Bears, all resemble the types of wins we got under Alex. Incredibly conservative play calling, untimely penalties, and bad pass protection leading to too many 3rd and longs. We’re seeing way too many drives stall out this way when it appears the defense is ready to buckle if we can make that elusive big play earlier in the game. We really need those points early in the game to feed our aggressive defense and especially our lethal pass rush. We’ll simply kill people if we get these early points. It needs to happen if we want to win it all. EARLY POINTS.

    I’m somewhat optimistic though as it’s clear the team is still getting used to Kaep. The play calling is different….read options, quick play action, variety of formations for the running game, etc… Plus new players are getting plugged in for the injured. So these hiccups remain understandable……FOR NOW.

    December 10th, 2012 9:39 am

  7. Stan

    I was told that D.Bruce was very critical of your Roman article.
    Why?..Stanford’s offense has improved without him. And the whole win with D by the 49ers,is nothing for him to brag about.
    The niner’s will do like last year. I don’t see CK out dueling Manning,Bree’s or Rogers. There is something institutionally average about the 49er offense. Dedicated to mediocre and just good enough most weeks. But not when it comes to being a real threat for the title.

    December 10th, 2012 9:59 am

  8. CohnZohn

    Stan, Who is Damon Bruce?

    December 10th, 2012 10:21 am

  9. htwaits

    Damon Bruce is a minor KNBR talk show host who has no where near your stature.

    How about a comment about you and Grant seeing Kaepernick’s run as heroic. His run the week before might be heroic, but Steve Young’s run against the Vikings was the real thing. Without it Walsh would have never gotten into the playoffs for his last Superbowl win.

    December 10th, 2012 10:43 am

  10. Burgess Williams

    It’s vision. Kaep has it…Alex does not.

    December 10th, 2012 11:34 am

  11. Brandon Conway

    I can be glad that you’re at least acknowledging that the sacks and 3rd down efficiency issues weren’t all Alex Smith’s fault, even though it’s after the fact. You’ve been so overly critical of the guy that it’s a bit shocking to see it, so kudos.

    December 10th, 2012 12:04 pm

  12. CohnZohn

    Brandon Conway, I freely admit the offense has not picked up that much with Kaepernick — the Chicago game excepted. I endorse the change from Smith to Kaepernick, but am perplexed that the coaching staff has not done more to game plan with Kaepernick’s skills in mind.

    December 10th, 2012 1:43 pm

  13. mbabco

    “The only reason they took a 13-3 lead early in the third quarter was because some confused Dolphin tried to catch a punt at his 9-yard-line when he should have let it bounce.”

    “Naturally, he fumbled the punt and the Niners recovered the ball and quickly scored a touchdown. That play by the Dolphins shows why they are a bad team.”

    Hmm, I guess the Ginn fumble under similar circumstances on the Rams game shows why the 49ers are a bad team?

    December 10th, 2012 4:34 pm

  14. Dennis

    I will give you this about Kaepernick: it takes at least a second longer for him to get sacked then it took Smith. Smith was usually sacked in under 3 seconds. Kaepernick might have it to a full 4 seconds as he waits for his mid range receivers to uncover. However, bell ringing or two like Smith got and Kaepernick will learn the “discount double check down” move just like Smith did. And we will be right back to where we started.

    And once we get the check down safely secured, I think we will be able to sign Goldson with Smith’s money – so we got that going for us. Goldson is a definite keeper.

    December 10th, 2012 4:42 pm

  15. Hacksaw

    I’m happy with how Colin is playing. He throws hard and can make all the throws, in addition to being able to run very effectively. I think people were so focused on Alex’s weaknesses that they overlooked the problems on the offensive line and with the OC.

    December 10th, 2012 8:04 pm

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