Well, it happened. The San Francisco 49ers have benched Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick has accounted for just seven touchdowns (six pass, one rush) in eight games and has thrown for 165 yards or fewer five times.
However, he might not be why the 49ers (2-6), who have lost six of seven, are struggling.
“It’s more than Colin Kaepernick with San Francisco,” Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “The management there – owner, general manager, etc. – have done a horrific job with this organization. Horrendous. You had a head coach that got you to the Super Bowl, championship games, and you couldn’t see eye-to-eye. So there was some dissension among the team, among the ownership and management, and now he’s gone. Now you’re saying there’s dissension with the quarterback and the quarterback has digressed to this level to where you’re starting a quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, that shouldn’t even be in the same sentence.”
Gabbert, with has more interceptions (24) than touchdowns (23) in his career, will start at home against the Falcons (6-2) on Sunday.
Sanders isn’t expecting much – neither from Gabbert, nor the Niners.
“It’s going to get worse,” Sanders said. “I was there on Thursday night when they played against Seattle. Seattle is one of the best defenses in the league, but (they were in the backfield immediately). You have receivers that really can’t separate at this point of their careers, you have a running game that is very dismal. You’re not going to have success right there. Whatsoever. And this team was built amongst the defense – not offense. Their glory days was built on defense, not offense. And that’s what’s going on with them. I would like to see the owner and the general manager get behind that line and be successful. I really would. Because that’s the problem, and what they’ve done to this franchise is ignorant.”
Still, Sanders believes that Kaepernick is salvageable.
“Yes, I do,” Sanders said. “Most definitely I do. I think he has to be in the right situation, in the right scheme to allow his gifts to shine. We keep trying to make this kid what we want him to be instead of (enhancing) what he is. He’s not a (pocket passer). He amazed us with his running ability and his escapability when the pocket broke down. That’s who he is. Let’s design something around his assets. We keep waiting for him to turn into Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. He’s not that type of guy. Never was, never going to be. Not to mention, this offensive line, have you seen it? Have you watched the game? When you start seeing a guy like Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick being amongst the leaders of being sacked in the NFL, you have a problem with your line. That’s a telltale sign. That’s a problem with your offensive line because there’s nothing else they can run.”