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Colin Kaepernick validating Jim Harbaugh’s decision to make QB change

Colin-Kaepernick-NinersColin Kaepernick’s record-setting game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night should end all questions about Jim Harbaugh’s decision to make a midseason quarterback change for the 49ers.

The second-year quarterback from Nevada started off shaky in his first career playoff game by throwing a pick six to Packers cornerback Sam Shields on the team’s first possession, but he went nuts after that. Kaepernick broke two touchdown runs — one for 20 yards and the other for 56 — while setting an NFL quarterback record with 181 rushing yards in a game.

Kaepernick also threw the ball well. He completed 17 of 31 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Kaepernick used his rifle arm to fire passes when they needed to get there quickly, and he also showed off his touch like when he threw a perfect pass up the seam to Vernon Davis late in the game.

He is such a dynamic playmaker it’s clear he’s in a different class from Alex Smith.

Kaepernick became the 49ers’ starting quarterback after replacing Smith during a Week 10 tie against the St. Louis Rams. Smith was concussed during that game and missed the team’s next contest — a Monday night win over the Chicago Bears. It was obvious after that point that Kaepernick made the 49ers’ offense more dangerous than Smith did. Even Kaepernick’s teammates seemed to confirm that.

Though Kaepernick was contained in his third start of the season — a 16-13 loss to the Rams — his four-touchdown game two weeks later at New England proved how dangerous he is.

It’s quite fitting that the man whose playoff record Kaepernick broke for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a playoff game is Michael Vick; Kaepernick is like Vick but without the turnovers.

After watching Kaepernick beat the Bears, I had no doubt that Harbaugh made the right choice by switching. Smith had been playing well enough to get the Niners to the NFC Championship Game, but Kaepernick has the ability to lead them to a Super Bowl win. There is a big difference between the two. And what does it say about Harbaugh’s coaching ability that people actually thought he was nuts for benching a guy most of us used to call a bust?

Randy Moss: Colin Kaepernick throws so hard he dislocated my finger

Colin-Kaepernick-NinersColin Kaepernick had made a lot of plays with his legs for the San Francisco 49ers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t throw. Not only has he completed more than 67% of his passes this season, but Kaepernick is also capable of putting some zip on the ball and sticking it into tight spots. Randy Moss said that is the reason he recently suffered the first dislocated finger of his 14-year career.

“When he found me (on one play) it was kind of too late to throw it, but he threw it anyway,” Moss told CSNBayArea.com when discussing the play where he hurt his finger. He had to put one of them Randy Johnson fastballs on me. When it hit my finger I felt my finger pop. I dislocated it so I had to come back to the sideline and the doctor had to pop it back in.

“Kap throws hard. He’s very strong, he works out every day. I didn’t really say anything to him besides keep doing what he’s doing. My finger will heal up.”

Moss has played with Daunte Culpepper, Brett Favre and Tom Brady — three players who can be categorized as having strong arms. A dislocated finger can happen on any play regardless of how much zip is on the ball, but the fact that Moss brought it up is obviously an indication of how strong he thinks Kaepernick is. When you spend some of your free time lifting up a 115-pound pet tortoise, arm strength is probably easy to come by.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Colin Kaepernick has a huge pet tortoise named Sammy (Picture)

Colin Kaepernick has one of the most unique pets you will ever see. If you ask me, the thing is awesome. While most people who want an enormous pet might convince their parents to buy them a Great Dane or a St. Bernard, Colin talked his parents into letting him get a tortoise when he was 10 years old. He named it Sammy.

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Colin Kaepernick’s birth mother Heidi Russo would like to reconnect with him

Rick and Teresa Kaepernick have clearly done a tremendous job raising their son, Colin Kaepernick, and giving him the tools he needed in life to become a successful young adult. Colin is the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers and has a degree in business management from the University of Nevada, so it’s safe to say he’s doing just fine. What you may not know is that Rick and Teresa are not his biological parents.

Kaepernick’s biological mother, Heidi Russo, gave him up for adoption after personally choosing Rick and Teresa when she gave birth to him at age 19. Russo has watched some of Colin’s games and followed his career closely, and she continues to hold out hope that she may one day reconnect with her son. She saw him play in person for the first time in 2010 when Nevada traveled to Colorado State. Russo described what it is like to watch Kaepernick from the stands.

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Colin Kaepernick’s parents defend him against criticism over tattoos

Colin Kaepernick has officially been given the chance to become the next face of the San Francisco 49ers, and so far he has answered the call. There has been little to criticize Kaepernick for in his first two NFL starts, both of which were convincing wins. While it would be difficult to criticize him for his play, one writer felt the need to bash him for something totally unrelated to his accuracy or decision-making — his tattoos.

David Whitley of AOL FanHouse wrote an article earlier this week in which he ripped Kaepernick for having tattoos on his arms that are visible during play. The overall message of the piece was summed up nicely with these two sentences.

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Vernon Davis still believes Alex Smith will be Niners starting quarterback

Alex Smith watched from the sidelines on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints on the road in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. It was only Colin Kaepernick’s second career NFL start, and he turned it into his second straight victory over a quality opponent after playing lights out in a win over the Chicago Bears last Monday.

You would think that Kaepernick’s quarterback rating of 111.9 over the past two weeks would be enough to keep his job, but Vernon Davis doesn’t necessarily agree. After praising Kaepernick last week and saying he felt like the “handcuffs” were taken off of him during the win over the Bears, Davis now says he believes Smith will return to the starting lineup once he’s fully healthy.

“It’s difficult, but I think Alex is still the man,” Davis told reporters on Sunday according to Around the League. “In my heart I strongly believe that and you’ll know next week. I’m sure Harbaugh will make a nice decision who he wants to go with but right now we have two outstanding playmakers.

“I’m sure Alex is still our guy.”

Some say it makes no sense to bench Kaepernick given the way he has been playing, but Smith was playing equally well prior to his concussion. The Niners have run the ball effectively all season and have arguably the best defense in the NFL. The system they have in place is designed for a quarterback to succeed, so I’m not sure there is much of a difference between Kaepernick and Smith at the moment.

As for Davis, we have no way of knowing which quarterback he truly wants to see under center. What we do know is he gushed about Kaepernick after his season-high eight catches against Chicago but was held without a catch against the Saints. Perhaps that’s why he already misses his old buddy.

Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Colin Kaepernick reportedly will start over Alex Smith for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is not messing around. According to Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, Harbaugh informed Alex Smith that Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback on Sunday at New Orleans.

Trotter’s report states that the decision was not based on medical reasons. Smith is recovering from a concussion suffered in Week 10 against the St. Louis Rams.

Harbaugh apparently saw enough out of Kaepernick on Monday to decide that the second-year quarterback makes the 49ers better. Kaepernick went 16/23 for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, which amounted to a 32-7 win over the Chicago Bears. The Bears are third in the NFL with just 16.5 points allowed per game.

Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis was among those who felt Kaepernick improved the offense, saying after the win on Monday night that he felt like the handcuffs had been taken off of him.

Kaepernick’s second opponent will be the New Orleans Saints, which have won five of their last six games. New Orleans’ defense is ranked 27th in the NFL with 27.3 points allowed per game. They’re 31st in the league in passing yards allowed per game, so it should be a softer matchup for Kaepernick than the Bears.

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer added to the report. He says that Kaepernick is receiving the snaps with the first-team offense in practice this week, but that Smith has not been definitively told he will be the backup on Sunday. As Dilfer said, this is just a matter of semantics; Kaepernick will likely start.