The San Francisco 49ers had an unexpected surprise this season that no one could have expected prior to it kicking off. As the year began, incumbent starting quarterback Alex Smith looked like he would be the man once again, with backup QB Colin Kaepernick perhaps getting a few snaps here and there when the team needed a changeup or some energy under center.
How quickly things can change.
As it stands, Colin Kaepernick is one of the hottest stories in the NFL as we enter in to the week prior to Super Bowl XLVII which has earned the nickname as-of-late as the Harbaugh Bowl. There’s some question out there about whether 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh can trust Kapernick to be cool and calm under pressure and lead San Francisco to the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl victory.
I say yes.
While the pressure of the NFL’s biggest stage will certainly be unlike anything Colin Kapernick has experienced to this point in a little less than a full professional season as a starter, he will handle the game once the adrenaline wears off and he slides into the groove.
What can help Kapernick get there?
A nice, easy transition into the first few series — series full of the Frank Gore running game, a few check-offs to receivers and eventually the moderate-yardage game.
Beyond that, Kaepernick can be successful by not being afraid to use what has been his best attribute to date: his feet. If I were in Jim Harbaugh’s shoes, in fact, I would have a few designed runs in the early going to get it in the signal caller’s head that he should be looking to be active both through the air and on the ground.
Jim Harbaugh should trust Colin Kapernick to perform to the best of his ability on the league’s biggest stage because in leading the 49ers to the promised land — under some rather severe scrutiny both from the press and fans — he has earned that trust.
Now, it’s just up to Kaepernick to seal the deal and etch his name alongside the 49er greats who preceded him.
My bet is he does just that.