Weekend poll: Which quarterback will finish with a better rating in 2013?

Leading Off: Is Kaepernick really as good as we think?

Published: Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 - 4:22 pm

There's no question the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick is one of the NFL's most exciting young quarterbacks, up there with the Colts' Andrew Luck, the Redskins' Robert Griffin III and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson.

But is he really as great as the media – including The Bee – is making him out to be?

Sure, he's in super shape – you checked him out in ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue," right? – he's got a cannon of an arm and he can run, run, run.

But before we reserve him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, how about we let him play a few seasons and win some big games?

He's only started seven regular-season and three playoff games, and he didn't have 300 passing yards in a game until the 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.

During the regular season, he completed only 62.3 percent of his passes, including a 19-for-36 performance in a late-season, 42-13 loss to Seattle and Wilson. In comparison, Alex Smith completed 70.2 percent of his passes before being injured and losing his starting job to Kaepernick.

After the Super Bowl, Kaepernick took just one week off before getting back to work preparing for this season. And throughout the offseason, he's said and done all the right things, clearly not content with his early success.

But defensive coaches have been working hard, too, designing schemes aimed at stopping Kaepernick and the 49ers' high-octane offense.

In his first full season as the 49ers' starting quarterback, Kaepernick will have three huge tests in the first three weeks. The 49ers open the season Sept. 8 against the Packers at Candlestick Park, travel to Seattle for a night game on Sept. 15, then return home to play Indianapolis on Sept. 22.

How Kaepernick and the 49ers do in those games will set the tone for the rest of the season.

What to watch

NFL, Hall of Fame Game, 5 p.m., Ch. 3: The NFL is back! Dallas and Miami play in the traditional preseason opener.

Weekend poll

Which quarterback will finish with a better rating in 2013?

• Colin Kaepernick

• Alex Smith

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

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