Lions once had designs on Kaepernick
After watching a glued to my couch weekend of NFL playoff games marveling, especially, at the made for CFL talents of the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick I couldn’t help but recall that both young quarterbacks were once on the negotiation lists of CFL teams.
Negotiation lists are a secretive CFL practice whereby Canadian teams claim the rights to an American collegian before his graduating year, in the vain hope the player might be overlooked by the NFL and become available to play later in Canada. Lions), Robert Griffin III (Hamilton Tiger Cats) and Cam Newton (Toronto Argonauts). All four were still undergraduates at the time.
Needless to say, any future chance of one of them ending up in Canada seems more remote now than a manned landing on Mars.
The CFL long ago put a premium on mobile quarterbacks who can run a spread offence, but it’s become obvious that the NFL is moving toward signal callers with those same tendencies as well. Still, Wilson was undervalued by NFL in the 2012 draft (third round, 75th overall) because he was a shorter guy (5’10”). Yet, after watching him run rings around the Atlanta Falcons, taking the Seahawks within a field g adidas oal of the NFC championship game a adidas gainst the 49ers, 29 other teams must be kicking themselves for their lack of foresight. I’m excluding the Colts (Andrew Luck) and Redskins (RG III) because they’re cornerstone players who might play for 10 15 years (barring physical breakdowns).
Wilson, said Atlanta coach Mike Smith, reminds him of Fran Tarkenton, an unconventional quarterback with the Vikings and Giants in the 1960s known as “The Scrambler.” For decades since, however, the NFL has resisted similar quarterbacks with free form charm, the little man who can weave through fat boy peril, a prejudice that resulted in Doug Flutie coming to Canada for eight seasons of sustained excellence with the Lions, Stampeders and Argos.
Wilson is helping to change those misconceptions, however, becoming, in the span of one season, the little diamond in the Seahawks’ showcase.
Kaepernick is an altogether different animal an anomaly. The 6’6″, 225 pound quarterback from Nevada is built along the lines of Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger all 6’5″ but he defies the conventional NFL model with his sprinter speed and willingness to exploit gaps in defensive coverage with his legs. Kaepernick’s NFL single game record rushing performance (for a quarterback) of 181 yards against the Packers Saturday bettered by one the CFL mark held by Nealon Greene, playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in 1999.
With Kaepernick, the 49ers are a much more dangerous team offensively, and coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to go with him over veteran Alex Smith looks anything but impulsive and emotional. It looks inspired.
Indeed, Kaepernick, Wilson, Newton, Griffin III are changing what it means to be a quarterback in the NFL and, by extension, making playing styles north and south of the border much less distinguishable.
Then again, let’s not forget that Tom Brady is still plying his trade, somewhere south of perfection. The well seasoned (35), old school type quarterback is evidence that smarts, accuracy and experience still count for something, too, despite the gathering wave of young, run capable QBs. GolfLast post May 9, 2014Cole’s NotesLast post Jan 14, 2011Collectibles: Inside the sports bagLast post Oct 15, 2012CyclingLast post Aug 14, 2013FootballLast post Feb 13, 2014HockeyLast post May 2, 2014MMALast post Sep 13, 2012OlympicsLast post Jul 17, 2012SoccerLast post May 5, 2014Winter SportsLast post Feb 23, 2014STAFF Blog SectionsBusinessLast post May 7, 2014DrivingLast post Aug 16, 2013EntertainmentLast post May 8, 2014EnvironmentLast post May 1, 2014HealthLast post Apr 29, 2014LifeLast post May 10, 2014NewsLast post May 10, 2014OpinionLast post Apr 17, 2014PoliticsLast post May 8, 2014SportsLast post May 9, 2014TechnologyLast post May 8, 2014Category cloud
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