Withdraw, Sir Jed. I’ll help you to a quarterback.
Comedy or tragedy? Only Bill knows for sure.
Funny how the world loves the backup QB. Nate Davis was poised to save the day. Troy Smith was poised to revive a stumbling team. Shaun Hill. Tim Rattay, Elvis Grbac, Steve Spurrier, Steve Young (oops), Jim Plunkett, Drunkenfucker, Shaun Hill, and countless others, even Colin Kaepernick, were either thrust into starting jobs due to injury or by crappiness by the king, uh, starting QB. Thing is, the backup is the savior until given the shot to go. Then things get dicey. Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn both built careers of ineffectiveness out of being a backup on a great team. Tom Brady famously took over for a hurt Drew Bledsoe and the rest was history. 35 year old (!) Shaun Hill is back with the Vikes and helping the Niners in his own little way after coming in for injured Teddy Bridgewater and beating the Rams.
Point being, where are we with Colin Kaepernick? Most of the fans (and the idiots who booed him the other day) are of a mind to cut their losses and move forward with Blaine Gabbert. After that, well? The concensus appears to be that Jared Goff will be on the board should the Niners land in the top 10. Goff of course is the next Cal QB the Niners have a shot at. Aaron Rodgers of course being the other one we whiffed on back in 2005. I suppose they’ll keep Gabbert as the nominal starter and wait for him to get hurt or suck and throw Goff into the fray. I mean, it worked so well with Alex Smith.
I have no problem with these guys drafting a QB, but I do have a problem with them moving away from Colin Kaepernick. Trent Baalke is buying himself a year by blaming the team’s problems on him. The win by Gabbert, while impressive, mainly came at the feet of the defense. They played outstanding against a powerful offense. Atlanta’s defense however, is not very good. 31st in sacks and they’ve played the dregs of the league. So what happens next? Well, Jim Tomsula tweeted (seriously??) that Gabbert is starting vs Seattle. If I wasn’t so cynical, I’d think the team is stacking the deck in Gabbert’s favor to make the switch when they did. To think that Kaepernick couldn’t have done the same vs Atl’s soft defense is looking through shit-colored glasses.
The proof lies in the next couple games. Seattle and AZ have MUCH better defenses than Atl (or Minnesota even). Infer, people. Can Gabbert weather the storm? He looked pretty good, but then so did Kappy against the lesser defenses of Minn, NYG, and Balt. To disavow his body of work is ludicrous. To blame the team’s problems solely on him is stupid as well. He has won big games in hostile environments. Like all QBs, he needs a decent line and pass catchers and a cogent offense.
Thing is, Gabbert will probably get blasted by this leaky line, and Kappy will get back in there anyway. And struggle. If this team ditches Kaepernick and keeps Baalke, I fear a long-term downturn. Jed will likely take the path of least resistance and keep his GM as the talent falls away from the team that Scotty built.