Here is the opening of my Tuesday column about Colin Kaepernick, new model quarterback:


One of my Sunday pleasures is watching Colin Kaepernick warm up before games.

I sit in the press box at home or on the road waiting for him to appear, usually two hours before the game. He comes out in shorts and a sweatshirt, comes out when the field is deserted except for the practice-squad guys, and he goes through a long, involved routine.

He is an athlete getting his body ready. I am not saying he is a quarterback getting his body ready. “Athlete” is the operative word.

To read the full column, please click here.

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  1. B-Rad

    Beautifully written!

    From yesterday’s ‘Green Bay Press Gazatte;

    “The Packer’s reign as one of the elite teams in the NFC is over. It has
    become clear the 49ers have overtaken the Packers by a wide margin.
    And Aaron Rodgers no longer is the most dangerous and feared player
    in the league.
    That description now belongs to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick,
    who dominated the Packers with an NFL playoff-record 181 yards
    rushing by a quarterback. But Kaepernick is more than a one-trick
    pony. He also displayed pin-point passing ability in throwing for 263
    yards and two touchdowns.”

    January 14th, 2013 9:47 pm

  2. DougA

    Lowell, right on.

    Kaepernick convinced me Saturday that he is a far superior athlete to almost any player on the field. It was amazing to watch.

    He took only a couple of hard hits. But I worry that by exposing himself as a ball carrier as much as he does, he is making it to where he, and the Niners, are one hit away from losing. Maybe there is no happy medium in the read-option except to have a great backup QB.

    January 14th, 2013 9:50 pm

  3. RC

    Thank you for this article.

    January 14th, 2013 10:21 pm

  4. dharte

    The breathlessness around here is deafening.

    Can we let the kid first win something that matters before we crown him? He may well win–this year. But one playoff victory does not “redefine” a position.

    Now if he destroys Atlanta on the road, start polishing. But then my guess is he’ll still need to beat Tom Brady in the Superdome.

    If he does manage all of that–the world is his, and Harbaugh is probably on his way to the HOF.

    Wait for it?

    January 14th, 2013 11:15 pm

  5. Peter

    Maybe we are witnessing the beginning of football’s latest transcendent athlete. I do, however, share the perspective of DougA, that this rare explosive athlete is vulnerable to the training table. …..unless rules and penalties continue to neuter bad-ass defenses.

    January 15th, 2013 12:17 am

  6. Johnc

    I admire your writing, Lowell.

    January 15th, 2013 12:36 am

  7. Nancy R

    How cool that WE have the quarterback in CK who has broken the mould and is creating the new paradigm of QB. You hit the nail on the head; Colin is the pre-eminent leader of the pack and guys like Russell and Cam are finding their answer to the question: What does a QB look like in 2013 and beyond?

    January 15th, 2013 4:20 am

  8. Cindy

    Best article I have read in a while. Thanks Lowell!

    January 15th, 2013 7:16 am

  9. CohnZohn

    RC, You’re welcome.

    January 15th, 2013 9:33 am

  10. Stan

    The mold would not be broken IF the NFL hadn’t invoked the “protect the QB” rules of now. Before,a big guy like CK would have been piled on after run. I think there is a correlation between rule changes and preservation of big fast running-not scrambling-QB’s.
    And steroids.

    January 15th, 2013 9:43 am

  11. Stan

    I said it before,and said it again,there are no supermen. Bonds,Lance,Clay Mathews “wild man”..’roids. And if that local player who broke into tears at losing Alex “He’s my quarterback and I love him” wasn’t caused by roid rage like emotions then I know know nuthin about nuthin.
    He didn’t shed tear this year. Why?

    January 15th, 2013 10:49 am

  12. Dennis

    I guess you really like him. I thought he had an incredible game, one for the ages. But one great game does not make for anything more than just that – one great game.

    While he is certainly exciting I don’t believe for one minute he is the new model QB. I say this primarily because there are not too many, if any, QB’s out there with his specifications, big, athletic, fast and with fairly accurate rocket arm, for NFL teams to pick from. My guess is that he may be more of an anomaly than a new model.

    As for how good Kaepernick is, I will need to see if he can repeat his performance and more importantly if he can last more than a couple of years without getting hurt before I anoint him as the second coming. I also want to see how he performs after teams adjust to him.

    We need to consider that Tom Brady is still dominating after 13 years. Assuming that Kaepernick is able to dominate at all, the question is will he be able to last 13 years doing what he does? I doubt it. Franchise quarterbacks are hard to find. When you do find one you want them to last awhile. I think it is way too early to write off the pocket passer.

    January 15th, 2013 11:25 am

  13. John Sousa

    Have we gotten to the point yet where we just assume professional athletes are using some kind of performance enhancing drugs?

    January 15th, 2013 12:19 pm

  14. Jumbo Shrimp

    All you people who minimize what he did on Saturday make me wonder about whether it is stupidity or fear that drives the doubts. Are you so stupid that you simply cannot process what you witnessed? Or are you so afraid of feeling the earth tilt beneath your feet that you pretend you didn’t feel it?

    Saturday changed everything. Kaep is by far the most dynamic player in the NFL, tall, strong, exceptionally fast, and able to contribute on at least half of his team’s plays because he is also the primary ball handler. This is not Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson. This is a 2013 Ferrari F1 car running circles around the field at the 1957 Grand Prix of Monaco.

    If Kaep was a tight end, he’d match up with Vernon Davis. If he was a wide receiver, he’d match up with Megatron. But he’s a QB, and his arm is the best in the league. Believe what you saw on Saturday.

    January 15th, 2013 12:33 pm

  15. Stan

    The answer is..he’s backed off the roids. When I saw his veins popping out of his forehead in interviews..it was Flo Jo like. I don’t see that player with that extreme look now.
    I know…he knows I know. Harbaugh drops savant because he reads me!

    January 15th, 2013 1:02 pm

  16. Stan

    Remember Neukom? I posted right here on COHNZOHN,he had failed to follow “chain of command”…24 hours later Sabean said “We have a chain of command here”.
    I haven’t hear him say it since..or even before.
    They read fans,certain fans..or have it shoved under their noses.

    January 15th, 2013 1:05 pm

  17. Dan

    Given the fragile nature of the position, will teams start to carry two number one QB’s? The Jets have no clear understanding of why they had Tebow this year – but look at the fresh legs Kaepernick has for the playoffs. The defenses just look slow this time of year. Have one QB start half dozen or nine games. Then start the other QB. Many good teams have a wasted season once their QB goes down early in the year. Baseball has pitchers for certain situations. Will the QB’s like the situation? Probably not, but they may have longer careers, and less injuries.

    January 15th, 2013 4:51 pm

  18. MJ

    And the same was said of Bob Griffin the 3rd earlier this year, Cam Newton last season, the Wildcat offense a few seasons back, Mike Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, Randall Cunningham and so many other qbs who were “changing the position”.

    Funny, after 40 years of modern football, no true running qb has ever won a Super Bowl. Over the last decade we have seen Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton, Brady, Rob Johnson, Dilfer, Warner and Rothlisberger all win the SB. None of them are anywhere near fast. Rothlisberger is the most mobile, but its in a scrambling mode, looking to pass. And all this time guys like Vick and McNabb and Newton have been here, doing their thing, running with the speed of a WR, the moves of a RB, yet winning nothing.

    As someone else said before, let him win the SB, not just be along for the ride, before we call it the next big thing. The NFL has seen countless “evolutions” yet the classic drop back passer has still won the final game.

    And the read option will be stopped. It gets stopped in college where the gap in talent is so much more extreme than in the NFL. Just like the wildcat a few years back, give it an offseason. If Kap can become a passer, that’ll be the real story.

    January 15th, 2013 5:48 pm

  19. Jumbo Shrimp


    Ah, so it’s fear then, for you don’t seem stupid, not with your reasoned response. You fear this evolution. Why?

    None of the guys you mentioned have what Kaep has, and if you cal him a running QB, you are ignoring the most obvious asset Kaep possesses, that Golden Arm. “If Kap can become a passer…”

    Minimize him all you want. If you called him a running QB to his face, he’d pop you one in your grill. In case you haven’t noticed, his accuracy and velocity have already made a number of top CBs look average, and his desire to push the ball downfield with his arm rather than his legs has already allowed him to make big plays that few others, Roethlisberger and Rodgers, can make.

    Just stop. Whatever reasons you have for so carefully protecting your doubts are suspect. Wake up.

    January 15th, 2013 11:09 pm

  20. Stan

    A prediction: When the 49ers move to Santa Cara and with Harbaugh still the coach of course,I predict he gets the team to change the team uniform. The present costume isn’t Jim. I say a Oregon State like black,sleek with a touch of red and just a band of gold here or there.
    Jim is not “Gold and Burgundy,Disney lettering” kind of guy.
    Just wait.

    January 16th, 2013 9:11 am

  21. Stan

    Or, Raider like black…still coolest uniform in sports..

    January 16th, 2013 9:12 am

  22. Stan

    C’mon Lowell,lets start a cause that will get us on Jim’s good side. Lets get the 49ers to give up the antiquated Beach Blanket Babylon costumes and go with modern sleek uni’s with cool Lettering and Helmets. Its obvious that Jim Harbaugh doesn’t want to be caught dead in the garish show tune costumes of the 49er team,called the tam uniforms..
    I bet,if we started a drive NOW..the 49ers could unveil new uni’s for the Super Bowl. That,would be bad ass, ultimate cool.

    January 16th, 2013 11:19 am

  23. Dave T

    DougA….well said and I am with you. I really like seeing his athletic ability on display. It makes for great theatre. But we have seen this before in the NFL. Steve Young, MIchael Vick, RG III and Donovan McNabb to name few. It will take one hit from a player like an Ed Reed of the Ravens tackling him from the side or behind as he runs down field and his bell is severly rung. That is the risk/reward with this kind of QB as oppossed to a more traditional pocket QB like Brady, Manning(s), Brees, Montana, Marino, Elway, etc. And aside from Marino, those are the guys with the rings. Let’s see this style of play win a few championships before we hail it as the next big thing. Oh, and those that would argue Young has a ring, he was far more of a pocket QB then vs the runner he started as.

    January 16th, 2013 2:29 pm

  24. K.G.

    Stan, you might be right…As it is the current ownership has erased any notion of the 49ers being of “San Francisco,” other than in “name only.”

    January 16th, 2013 2:45 pm

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