It’s Gabbert’s Turn Now
Blaine Gabbert, at 26 years old, has the starting quarterback position, at the moment, for the San Francisco 49ers. Gabbert has played three official games so far and has thrown five touchdowns. Former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick was benched on November 4th for his poor performance, throwing only six touchdowns and five interceptions in the first nine weeks of the season. With his decent play thus far, it seems as though Gabbert will keep his leading position with the Niners.
Gabbert was born in Wisconsin and played for Parkway West High School, where he was recruited by the University of Missouri. After his superb performance at Missouri, he was drafted as the 10th pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played for the Jaguars until 2014, when he was traded to the 49ers. During his stint with the Jaguars, Gabbert’s performance was horrible, to say the least. In his first season with the Jaguars, the team’s record was 5-11. In his defense, he did come in a little late to the season, when he replaced Luke McCown, the team’s starting quarterback at the time. Nevertheless, the next season wasn’t pretty either, as the team finished with a 2-14 record. In his third and final season with the Jaguars, he ended with a record of 4-12.
However, Jim Harbaugh, the 49er’s head coach at the time, saw something in Gabbert. “I think he’s a very talented player and his career so far hasn’t gone on to be what he expected, and maybe others expected it to be,” Harbaugh said to the San Jose Mercury News. “But I believe it can be a really powerful opportunity, powerful motivator for a player to say, ‘It wasn’t me, it was my situation.’ And now he has that opportunity.” Harbaugh saw something in Gabbert that other teams did not, but Harbaugh would leave in the off season and be replaced by Jim Tomsula.
Harbaugh’s departure seemed to coincide with Kaepernick’s star falling. Kaepernick, who played for University of Nevada football team from 2007-2010, was drafted in the 2nd round by the 49ers in 2011. Kaepernick would back up Alex Smith during the 2011, but would become the starter in 2012 following an injury to Smith. The 49ers went 11-4-1 during the 2012, and reached the Super Bowl with Kaepernick under center, but they lost 34-31. In the 2013 season, the Niners went 12-4 and lost in the NFC championship game to the Seattle Seahawks.In June of 2014, Kaepernick was offered a six year $116,000,000 contract. This was the start of Kaepernick’s deterioration. His ego would get the best of him in the years that followed. The Niners cut even at 8-8 in the 2014 season. Kaepernick, and ultimately the team’s, mediocre performance may have been attributed to the way the team utilized Kaepernick’s skill set.
TL student Jorge Aldana believes that “the Niners should [have] let him be a Ferrari instead of a Prius.” This season, Kaepernick played the first nine games and performed extremely poorly, leading to his benching on November 4th. Shortly after this, Kaepernick was put on the injured players list, due to a left shoulder injury. This is the end of the Kaepernick era. The 49ers are currently 4-8.
The 49ers have until April 1st to decide what they want to do with Kaepernick. With Kaepernick’s poor performance over these past couple of years, it looks like Blaine Gabbert will remain the starting quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is the solution, and under new head coach Jim Tomsula, he will be able to shine. All and all, Tomsula is going to stick with Blaine Gabbert and we’ve witnessed the demise of of Kaepernick’s career with the 49ers.