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Kaepernick: "I'm not just an athlete. I'm a Quarterback."
by Chris Russell
Apr 13, 2011 -- 12:35pm
If you've listened to me at all over the last two-plus months (and hopefully you have, otherwise I have bigger issues to deal with), you know that I feel passionately about two things when it comes to the Redskins and the NFL Draft.
 
# 1 -- they should trade down, preferably twice if they can make it work and try to recover both the 3rd and 4th round picks that they surrendered as part of the Donovan McNabb & Jammal Brown deals.
 
# 2 -- Terrell Owens used to say "I love me -- some -- me." Well, I don't really fall in too that death trap, but from a quarterback and true value/stud potential angle -- I do love Nevada's Colin Kaepernick.
 
Quite simply, he did it all. He's the only college quarterback to ever throw for over 10,000 yards and run for over 4,000. If you are not impressed at that point, maybe consider the 6-5, 230 ish pound frame - so you know he's not just running all over the place -- recklessly -- like say Michael Vick does.  He was the top scorer of the 2011 crop of throwers when it came to the "Wonderlic" test. What does that mean? Colin has a good answer down below.
 
He has a rocket for an arm, along with the great speed AND most importantly, he is clean injury wise and clean reputation wise, which you can't say about every quarterback or player in this draft.
 
A top scouting official in the NFL said the other day to ESPN 980 via text about Kaepernick,  "A lot of people are in love with the guy."
 
Russ Lande of Sporting News and GM JR has consistently had Kaepernick ranked # 2 among his quarterback rankings.
 
Yet to show you wild this process is, Wes Bunting and the National Football Post have Kaepernick rated # 8 with Florida State's Christian Ponder as the top choice. I have respect for anybody that does this for a living, but Ponder is injury prone and overall, has to be considered a disappointment in his career at Florida State.
 
In case you missed the entire interview, you can listen here http://redskins.ESPN980.com/  under "Redskins Audio"  or if you prefer the right in-front of you method -- here are exact quotes from Kaepernick with my questions slightly edited for brevity.
 
CR: At this time of the year, you hear a some positives and a lot of negatives about players. What has that been like for you?
 
CK:"Every person in this draft, is going to be picked apart looking  for their flaws. No one really wants to talk so much about what you do well, but what you do bad. goes through the positives. Going through this process, it's something you can't worry about, you just have to be yourself and be the player you know you are, and hope an NFL team likes what you are doing."
 
CR: Have you ever had anyone say you throw the ball too hard? (Kaepernick was clocked at 59 MPH at the scouting combine, fastest of draft class)

 
CK: "I've had a few receivers complain. I had a couple of broken fingers where I was training at. They get used too it over time. There's a time and a place to cut it loose, and a time and a place to put some touch on it."
 
CR: How would you describe the "pistol offense" that Kaepernick played in at Nevada, under Chris Ault?
 
CK: "I would say it's a spread offense with the downhill running game of a pro-style offense. It's very unique to be able to run both sides of the field, out of the shotgun formation. There's a lot of different things you can do  to try to confuse a defense in that formation."
 
CR: Did you do a lot of movement out-of-the-pocket throws, that Mike and Kyle Shanahan specifically like to use?
 
CK: "Yeah we did a lot of bootlegs, a  lot of sprint outs. I would say we probably did that about 60% of the time, and drop back the other 40%."
 
CR: How long did it take you to feel comfortable in the system, where you could just play and not think as much?
 
CK:"I would say it took about a year. It's something where, when you get in that formation, the hardest part is the running  game, because the running back is on you so quickly. That's the biggest adjustment you have to get used too is doing everything  you have too,  controlled, but fast enough where it doesn't mess with the running back's steps or spacing . The passing game is where it's easy, you can catch the ball, take a nice easy drop and start going through your progressions. So the biggest difference is the run game."
 
CR: How about some of the mechanical concerns that analysts and teams have about you?
 
CK: "That's something, I've tried to quicken it up as much as I can, but it's something I don't worry too much  about.  All of the workouts I've had, the coaches have said my release it's fine, it's so quick.  the biggest thing is it looks different then most quarterbacks, so most people assume it's bad. Going forward, you just have to be yourself and when you get to an NFL team, you let them do what they want with you."
 
CR: How important was your Senior Bowl experience in Mobile?
 
CK: "For me, it was huge just to get that first introduction to a pro-style offense. Some of the terminology, some of the progressions  they go through, which surprisingly enough -- a lot of the progressions aren't too much different then what we did.  It's just called something different, and you have to get used to going under center -- which wasn't a big deal with me.  I think the biggest thing is, you learn how quickly you have to pick up on things, when you are at the Senior Bowl. They're not going to walk you through everything they're going to tell you something once and you better know if from there on out."
 
CR: What does scoring such a high grade on the Wonderlic say about Colin Kaepernick? Does it mean anything?
 
CK: "I think for me, a lot of people thought I was just a running quarterback and didn't go through progressions and didn't check protections or audible or anything like that. I think it lets everybody know, I am not just an athlete out there, I'm a quarterback. I'm very intelligent. I'm capable of going through progressions, checking, audibling, making sure the offense is in the best position to be successful."
 
CR: Is there any QB in the NFL now, that you model your game after?
 
CK: "I wouldn't say there is one player I model my game after. I try to steal my favorite bits and pieces of every NFL quarterbacks games, and try to put it in to my own unique style."
 
CR: I've seen you at ESPN, on Sport Science, NFL Network and  for a photo shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Has this been a fun time for you?
 

"It's been an amazing process for me. I think with opening up a few peoples eyes at the Senior Bowl and the combine, some of those things have come along.  My agency, X-A-M Sports, has done a great job  for me, marketing me -- and just really making sure I'm in the best position to be successful going through this process.  So there's a lot of hard work from a lot of different people going in too this."
 
CR: The other day you were tweeting about going to "Red Robin" to eat with Nevada TE Virgil Green, did you put them out of business?
 
CK: "No we definitely had a good time, we ate quite a bit. I ended up eating my food, and a few extra baskets of fries. He ended up ordering two entrees and eating both of them. We're definitely big eaters."
 
mike shanahan, xam sports, washington redskins, nevada, colin kaepernick, nfl draft

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