When Indianapolis visits San Francisco this year, it will be facing the defending NFC champions that feature a former Colt quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, as the head coach and a quarterback he tabbed, Colin Kaepernick, to get them past the NFC Championship hurdle the 49ers missed in 2011.
Harbaugh made a bold move in subbing quarterbacks late in the year, going from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick.
The offense prospered and San Francisco came within seconds of winning Super Bowl XLVII.
San Francisco General Manager Trent Baalke spoke Thursday at the combine about the quarterback the Colts may face in 2013.
“He’s a young man that brought an awful lot to the table,” said Baalke of Kaepernick. “He came out of an offense what was not a “pro style” offense. (He was) just a guy our coaching staff really believed in.
“Coach Harbaugh has done an outstanding job with him, as has Geep Chryst and Greg Roman. He still learns, still developing.”
The NFL can be a copycat league and non-traditional offenses being run in college are seeping into the league. Will it result in more mobile quarterbacks on the landscape?
“I think teams are paying more attention to it obviously,” said Baalke. “I’m not going to try to guess what 31 other teams are doing, but he certainly puts a little bit more pressure on the defense.
“I think it stresses the defense. The more that person can do, the more stress it puts on. Peyton Manning puts a lot of stress on defenses, too. You’ve got to meet the skill sets of your quarterback. As long as you do that, I think you’ve got a chance.”
Kaepernick was one of the most explosive forces for the 49ers. It was an inspired draft pick by San Francisco, a franchise that historically had outstanding signal-callers.
“It’s a lot easier to sit up here after a young man’s had success and say you pictured that, but there’s a lot of unknowns when you draft anybody,” said Baalke. “You look at skills sets, you look at the kid as an individual, you look at the intangibles that they bring to the table and you try to see if they fit. He’s a young man who brought an awful lot to the table.
“From a personnel standpoint, it was just letting him develop and giving him an opportunity.”
A Colts-49ers match-up will feature two quarterbacks nimble on their feet and productive in an offense in Kaepernick and Andrew Luck. Hopefully, it will be the first meeting of two quarterbacks that have significant careers for years to come.
One veteran voice believes the future of the position will look more like Luck.
“I think you’re going to see more Andrew’s (than Kaepernick’s),” said Arizona Head Coach Bruce Arians.
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, Colin Kaepernick, indianapolis colts, San Francisco 49ers, Trent Baalke
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