On Wednesday, 49ers coach, Jim Tomsula finally got a chance to explain to the press why he decided to bench Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert for this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
While talking to reporters, Tomsula stated that he benched Kaepernick because he thought that the star player needed some breathing space before going on to say that the team’s recent woeful displays are not entirely due to the quarterback’s poor form and that the whole team is to be blamed for that.
“I want Colin to step back and breathe and look at things through a different lens,” Tomsula said. “I felt like this was the direction we needed to go. In no way is 2-6 all on Colin Kaepernick. That’s on all of us. This is a guy I think has talent. I just want him to step back, keep working.”
And although Tomsula wasn’t very forthcoming when asked about why he wanted to bench Kaepernick last week but it is clear that the head coach was never going to give Gabbert his debut against a strong Rams defense. And although Tomsula didn’t say that outright, a reporter already claims that this is exactly what team management had in mind.
In what should be considered a controversial tweet, Kyle McLorg claimed that the 49ers wanted to wait a little before benching Kaepernick because handing Gabbert his debut against a weak Falcons side was a more logical choice.
Regardless, the Falcons did take offense to the tweet and responded with an “Oh” to the direction of the reporter. Indeed the Falcons were not pleased to learn that their opposition held off on starting Gabbert because they wanted to make that happen against a team they believed to have a weak defense.
However, you have to see the wisdom behind such a huge decision. If the aforementioned reason is exactly why Kaepernick was benched, then Gabbert is surely facing a double-edged sword. If Gabbert fails to shine against a supposedly weak Falcons defense, then it is clear that Kaepernick will have his job back by Monday which is something that should not come as a surprise if it happens.
However, it is indeed morale-crunching news for Kaepernick who only three years ago, came just a few yards away from throwing a game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Two years back, he was in great form but this year has proven to be quite a testing experience for him with his performance not matching the exploits that made him such a larger than life personality a few months back.
At present, Kaepernick is completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 1,615 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. The 49ers are currently rock bottom in the league standings with 13.6 points per game.
Moreover, it appears that the players are not getting along well with the star QB with reports claiming of an altercation between Davis and Joe Stanley which was centered around Kaepernick.
However, the Gabbert decision still boggles the mind in all honesty considering the fact that in the 29 games he has played in his career, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft has more interceptions (24) that touchdown passes (23) which means that he is not the cure for the 49ers’ offensive shortcomings.