The San Francisco 49ers have finally decided that it’s time to put the organization first and try to get back to winning football. Head Coach Chip Kelly has confirmed that Colin Kaepernick is the starter for the Buffalo Bills game this Sunday.
The 49ers are sitting at the bottom of the NFC West with a 1-4 record and Kelly has seen enough. This is not about the Kaepernick’s media exposure that is sure to come. This is about Kelly saving his job and his reputation. Kaepernick is no stranger to winning football as he was the leader no more than three years ago when the 49ers were in a battle with the Seattle Seahawks for NFC powerhouse. But he fell on hard times and Kelly went with Blaine Gabbert for a change of pace.
It has come full circle now. But what should the 49ers expect from Kaepernick who has been out of the football limelight for a year? The 49ers do not have the talent they had when Kaepernick was leading them to two straight NFC Title games and a Super Bowl appearance, but they have enough to not be 1-4. Kaepernick has the arm and legs to help the team climb out of the basement as far as offensive ranking goes.
The ground game is steady with Carlos Hyde but imagine what it will be like with Kaepernick’s legs? The receivers need a QB that can get the ball where it needs to be at the right moment. Kaepernick is not a 5,000 yards passer but he does know how to manage a game, that’s all Kelly is looking for. The 49ers faithful should not expect a Super Bowl appearance this season but they should no longer expect to head into Game Day with their heads low, expecting a loss before the opening kickoff anymore.
If Kelly and Kaepernick can find themselves on the same page, the 49ers have a chance to salvage the rest of the season. But the team must be wary of the excitement and backlash that is sure to come their way with the QB change. Kaepernick is in the middle of a media blitz with his National Anthem protest but this can no longer be about that. He has a team to lead and if Kelly does his job right, he will protect his QB and let him do his job on the field.