Bears vs Niners: Five Questions with Niner Noise

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November 8, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) congratulates quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) after a touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi

3. Colin Kaepernick has gone seemingly gone from hero to goat in the blink of an eye. What went wrong for Kaepernick? Do you think he’s played his last game for the 49ers? If so, is Blaine Gabbert the answer?

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick seems to be a better athlete than quarterback, at least from what I’ve seen. I’m not saying he didn’t work hard at it — he did — but the critical elements making up a signal-caller just weren’t there: proper footwork, mechanics, decision-making, etc. When he broke into the league, nobody had an answer for him. So, Kaepernick took the league by storm. But teams caught up. The best athletes continually adjust and improve their game to get one step ahead of the competition. Just look at the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry right now. He’s better than his MVP season last year. Kaepernick wasn’t able to do this. Instead, you saw a steady regression from 2012 with each year getting less and less impressive.

Barring some crazy whirlwind, Kaepernick is gone next season. And I think he’ll be perfectly happy going elsewhere at this point. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert looks like a nice short-term answer and could legitimately start in 2016 even if the 49ers select a quarterback high in the draft. Remember, San Francisco had Steve DeBerg mentor Joe Montana for a year-plus after Montana was taken in 1979.

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