The San Francisco 49ers entered the regular NFL season with promising prospects in their roster. With Colin Kaepernick leading the football squad, the Carlos Hyde squad had been projected as one of the exciting teams this season. Moreover, the addition of Australian star Jarryd Hayne in the 53-man roster expanded the marketability of the entire San Francisco 49ers squad. It appears, however, that the NFL team failed to live up the expectations of their fans.
Hayne proved to be still nervous in taking on his new role as part of a football team. While Hayne had been a superstar in the world of rugby, his punts left a lot to be desired. Apart from the disappointing performance of the Aussie star, the San Francisco 49ers also received bad news from their quarterback. Starting player Kaepernick was later on announced to be out due to injury - a blow that the NFL team did not see coming. This prompted the San Francisco 49ers to rely on second quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
What was initially perceived as a blow to their chances of excelling this NFL season, however, proved to be a blessing for the San Francisco 49ers. Gabbert's entrance as the starting quarterback invigorated the squad due to his notable leadership skills and qualities. Apart from the praises he garnered from his teammates, Gabbert also managed to grab the attention of football legend Joe Montana.
"I think he's done a great job going in under the circumstances, where the team is and how many people they've lost to injuries," said Montana of Gabbert in an interview with Sporting News. The Comeback Kid further noted, "Some people would say it's easier because you're losing and there's only upside, but there's still a lot of pressure to perform when you go in. When you make a change like that, you expect the backup to play well."
Montana, who played with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, went on to commend the qualities of Gabbert. He shared, "He has the athleticism to make defenses think about his running. If things break down, he can still get out of trouble and make plays downfield, not only with his arm, but his legs, too."
The offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers echoed the same sentiments, praising Gabbert for his leadership abilities.
"He's a well-prepared player," noted Geep Chryst. The defensive coordinator added, "He really spends a lot of time, which is to his credit." Chryst then went on to compared Michael Vick and Gabbert in terms of handling blitz attacks. He shared, "Blaine had really good answers to the blitz. Vic had to back off the blitz once it was shown that Blaine could do a nice job not just under pressure, which may be a collapsing pocket, but also under the blitz. Chryst further shared, "Blaine's done a nice job of not panicking. (He takes) what profit may be available, and we've been rewarded."
Does this mean that Kaepernick is definitely out of job next season?