San Francisco 49ers rumors indicate the Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert quarterback controversy continues. These 49ers rumors stem from comments that head coach Chip Kelly made about the two quarterbacks recently. A report from CBS Sports quoted Kelly after he talked about Kaepernick and Gabbert, but it might lead to more questions than answers for 49ers fans.
Heading into the 2016 NFL season, it still hasn’t been announced whether Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert has the inside track to becoming the starting quarterback. It’s possible that both players will have an opportunity to win the job during the NFL preseason, and Chip Kelly isn’t giving any hints about which way he is leaning. In the midst of commenting about his two quarterbacks, Kelly stated that he was “happy” to have both on the roster.
“Yeah, very happy. I was excited, and you know part of looking at the roster, when you have an opportunity to analyze what’s out there. I was excited with what they have here at the quarterback position. Obviously Kap’s coming off an injury, was on injured reserve, and is back getting healthy. But I thought Blaine when he played, played well. So I think there’s talent there. It’ll be a good competition when we get Kap fully healthy.”
During the 2015 NFL season, Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick both saw a lot of playing time. While the job belonged to Kaepernick at the beginning of the year, he ended up losing it to Gabbert due, in part, to struggles on the field and injuries he had sustained. Neither quarterback looked like a guy that a franchise could lean on, but the 49ers didn’t end up making a move at the position during the offseason.
In 2015, Gabbert completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,031 yards through the air. He finished with 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 86.2. Kaepernick completed just 59 percent of his passes for 1,615 total yards. He finished with six touchdowns, five interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 78.5. Both quarterbacks struggled in the pocket, with the pair combining for 53 sacks on the season.
There had been a high number of San Francisco 49ers rumors about the team trying to deal Colin Kaepernick and get out from under his salary and long-term contract. When Chip Kelly was hired, though, he requested that the front office keep Kaepernick on the active roster. It potentially cost the team several additional picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. This could be a strong hint that Kelly favors Kaepernick to lead the 49ers’ offense, but he has yet to state it in public.
The quarterback controversy of the 49ers may be nothing more than a construct of Kelly and his coaching staff to keep buzz going for the team. It could also be to alleviate some of the questions that might get asked of Kaepernick when he finally does get awarded the starting job. Fans wouldn’t come away with that opinion based simply on what Kelly is telling the press, though.
“They’re both 6’4+. They both can really run, which will help keep plays alive. Obviously we’re not a quarterback-run offense, but if the quarterback can run, you can use a little of that to your advantage. And they both have extremely strong arms. So, from a skill set standpoint, the two of them are kind of cut out of the same mold.”
There are still several months to go before Chip Kelly has to make an official decision on who is going to be behind center in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. Until that point, San Francisco 49ers fans, fantasy football owners, and NFL analysts will likely remain in the dark about who will lead this team in an ever-improving NFC West.
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