When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was given a clipboard and forced to watch Colin Kaepernick after leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship game last year many questioned Coach Jim Harbaugh. By deciding to go with Kaepernick many believed Harbaugh broke the cardinal rule that a starter does not lose his job because of an injury.
Not one to give a hoot about public perception Harbaugh ignored the criticism refusing to reconsider his choice even after the 42-13 blow out against their division rival the Seattle Seahawks where Kaepernick looked both confused and overwhelmed.
Although Harbaugh had supreme confidence in his elite defense he knew that if he wanted to be in Super Bowl XLVII he would have to expand his ball control offense. With Kaepernick at the helm the 49ers offense began to finally make use of their play-making pass catchers Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. The transition to the spread offense took half the season to perfect but it was necessary if the 49ers truly wanted something more.
Blessed with elite athleticism and an ever improving arm Kaepernick saved his best performances for the playoffs: 496 yards passing, 202 yards rushing, and 6 total touchdowns. Many feared that inexperience would be his downfall but his play against some of the NFL’s top defenses says otherwise.
After the San Francisco 49ers lost to the sub .500 Saint Louis Rams many expected the Kaepernick experiment to end. Many thought that if the 49ers could not beat the lottery bound Rams what chance would they have against the arm of Aaron Rodgers or
the dynamic wide receiver duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White in Atlanta. Three playoff games and one NFC Championship later Harbaugh can lean back in his seat and pose this question: Who’s the dummy now? As the San Francisco 49ers gears up for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans their match-up with the Baltimore Ravens promises to be one for the ages. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark