A decade in the past, Colin Kaepernick commanded the Tremendous Bowl stage and helped change the QB prototype dialog

Super Bowl XLVII had no scarcity of drama and buzz, from Jim and John Harbaugh teaching the 2 groups, to it being Ray Lewis’ final sport, to Beyoncé’s incredible halftime performance that includes a Future’s Baby reunion, to the power outage that stopped the sport on the New Orleans Superdome for about 35 minutes.

It additionally included Colin Kaepernick as quarterback of the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, and a glance again at highlights from the sport on its tenth anniversary is to be reminded of what a singular expertise he was, and the way in some ways he was a precursor to the kind of quarterback play that has now turn out to be the NFL norm.

Since Kaepernick started protesting in 2016, which a small-minded subset of individuals did not approve of, a delusion propagated that he wasn’t actually a superb participant and did not need to be within the league anymore on the time. Aaron Rodgers didn’t believe it. Neither did Tom Brady. We’re not right here to argue that he was in a category with Brady or Rodgers, however to say he was horrible is an outright lie.

One want look no additional than that Tremendous Bowl. The Niners have been down 28-6 seconds into the third quarter after Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a landing. Kaepernick had a first-half interception, however the Ravens did not get any factors off it, turning the ball over on downs when kicker Justin Tucker picked up simply 8 yards on a faux field-goal try on fourth-and-9.

Colin Kaepernick’s meteoric NFL rise peaked with a Tremendous Bowl look in 2013. The Niners misplaced that sport, 34-31. (AP Photograph/Matt Slocum)

Dealing with the numerous deficit within the third quarter after Jones’ TD return, San Francisco’s protection settled in and Kaepernick went to work. On the Niners’ second possession of the half, he ran for 20 yards on the primary two performs, and accomplished a 9-yard move to Randy Moss on third-and-8. An 18-yard sideline completion to Vernon Davis and a 31-yard TD move to Michael Crabtree wasn’t going to fold after the massive deficit.

A 32-yard Ted Ginn Jr. punt return set the 49ers up properly on their ensuing possession. A move to Davis and 6-yard landing run by Frank Gore and unexpectedly it was 28-20. San Francisco bought even nearer when the Ravens’ Ray Rice fumbled on the Baltimore 24 on his workforce’s subsequent drive and the 49ers bought a subject aim off the turnover. San Francisco had scored 17 unanswered factors within the third, with Kaepernick finishing 6 of 9 passes for 107 yards and the landing.

Down 31-23 within the fourth quarter, Kaepernick ran for a 15-yard landing, dropping again after which rapidly taking off towards the left sideline, punctuating the rating with the biceps kiss that may turn out to be his trademark. A game-tying two-point attempt to Moss failed, and the Ravens went on to win 34-31.

Whereas he was in his second season, the Tremendous Bowl was simply the tenth begin of Kaepernick’s profession. Jim Harbaugh had determined to stay with Kaepernick as his starter even after Alex Smith returned from a concussion in November. Smith had been the starter when the 49ers performed for the convention title a 12 months earlier than however was uninspiring in a loss to the New York Giants.

Harbaugh would not remorse the choice. San Francisco went 5-2 to shut out the common season with Kaepernick working the offense, locking up the NFC West and the convention’s No. 2 playoff seed.

As a quarterback, Kaepernick wasn’t a lot totally different than Cam Newton, who had been chosen No. 1 total in the identical 2011 NFL Draft, Kaepernick went thirty sixth. They have been sensible, they may move they usually might additionally run. They did not match what was for many years the QB prototype.

Of the 4 QBs drafted between that duo, solely Andy Dalton ever appeared in a playoff sport. Kaepernick was in six in two years.

In his postseason debut, the divisional spherical in opposition to the Packers, he bounced again from an early pick-six and shredded Inexperienced Bay, saying his arrival on the grand stage with 263 yards passing and 181 yards dashing on 16 carries, with two passing touchdowns and two dashing touchdowns. The dashing whole was a report for a quarterback in any sport, common season or playoffs.

Per week later, Kaepernick and San Francisco went on the highway to face the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, and he confirmed that he might throw a little bit bit too, finishing 16 of 21 passes in a 28-24 win.

Kaepernick remained the starter because the 2013 season started, and he rewarded Harbaugh’s religion in him. The 49ers have been 12-4 that season, with Kaepernick throwing 21 touchdowns in opposition to eight interceptions, including 4 dashing TDs. Within the playoffs the Niners confronted Inexperienced Bay, this time at Lambeau Subject within the wild-card spherical, and once more he handed and ran his means by means of the Packers. A divisional win over the Carolina Panthers adopted, and San Francisco misplaced to Seattle within the NFC championship, 23-17.

With not even two full seasons as a starter underneath his belt, Kaepernick had been to the Tremendous Bowl as soon as and the convention championship sport twice.

The 2014 season was rocky, with San Francisco lacking the playoffs at 8-8. Kaepernick had a profession excessive in yards, but in addition in sacks (52), and Harbaugh was gone on the finish of the season, pressured out by then-general supervisor Trent Baalke after the 2 had been at odds. With the 49ers in shambles, hiring one-and-done coaches in 2015 and 2016, Kaepernick missed the tip of the ’15 season and the beginning of 2016 to accidents that required surgical procedure, however he began the ultimate 11 video games of the season. With a receiving corps that was substandard (to place it kindly), he threw 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

That was additionally the 12 months he had begun his protest for racial and legal justice, and a vocal minority of soccer followers whose voices have been amplified by right-wing media have been intent on tearing down not simply Kaepernick the person, however Kaepernick the participant. The whole lot he’d achieved was forgotten, changed by racist vitriol with no foundation in actuality.

Far much less gifted quarterbacks are nonetheless incomes paychecks, as starters and backups, however for talking up for individuals who seem like him, Kaepernick was referred to as a “son of a bitch” by the then-President, discarded by a league he was as soon as on the precipice of conquering, a league that has welcomed again accused domestic abusers and people accused of sexual assault, and a few accused of both.

However for anybody who watched Tremendous Bowl XLVII a decade in the past, who noticed the massive arm and the gangly legs sprinting towards the aim line, the bravado of a bicep kiss and a mode of play that was recent — and efficient — all that you simply noticed was the promise of a participant and pleasure for what might comply with.

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