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Colin Kaepernick a Quarterback for All Seasons

Posted Jan 6, 2014

Jim Harbaugh complimented his signal-caller's ability to fight the elements.


When the 49ers drafted Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh didn’t foresee how one aspect of the quarterback’s multi-faceted game would play in the NFL.

Kaepernick’s ability to throw, run and throw on the run in less than ideal weather.

“We have a good bad-weather quarterback,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “I think we’ve established that.”

San Francisco’s signal-caller established that at the University of Nevada and, once again, on Sunday evening in Green Bay, where the game-time temperature started at five degrees and crept toward zero. His 325 yards of total offense, plus a passing touchdown, led the 49ers to a 23-20 win over the host Packers.

It won’t be quite as cold at Bank of America Stadium in Carolina next Sunday, where and when the 49ers will visit the Panthers as part of the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs. But current forecasts call for temps in the 50s as well as a chance of rain.

Going from frigid Green Bay to potentially wet Charlotte, N.C. won't affect Kaepernick.

“The thing I didn’t envision, really even going into the game, and I didn’t envision when we drafted Colin was just how unbelievably effective he would be on a bad field,” Harbaugh told reporters. “He was running like a gazelle. At times, just looked like he was running and having fun like he was the only one on the field. That’s what a difference it was between him and the other defenders that were out there. And, because of the bad field, factoring that in, but that was very much to our advantage.”

Harbaugh spent the first half of his 14-year playing career with the Bears, playing half of his games at Soldier Field in Chicago. The challenge of playing quarterback while battling rain or snow is not foreign to him.

How does he define an all-weather signal-caller?

“Being able to throw a ball that pierces through the elements, the wind,” he said. “(Kaepernick) has shown that in the rain, bad weather, footing, or elements of precipitation. He can pierce a defense with velocity and tightness of the spiral.

"And also really did a nice job with the touch on the ball as well. It was going to be difficult to catch the ball at times. I thought he really laid it and placed it extremely well and that’s hard to do.”

Weather wasn’t a factor the last time Kaepernick and Co. opposed the Panthers, when it was 62 degrees at kickoff in Week 10 at Candlestick Park. The 49ers fell then, 10-9.

Kaepernick was 11-of-22 passing for 91 yards and 16 yards rushing on four carries. Consider, however, that two of his three favorite targets weren’t factors that day: Tight end Vernon Davis left early due to a concussion, and Michael Crabtree remained out of action while rehabbing his torn Achilles heel.

Harbaugh was asked how much more dangerous his Kaepernick-led offense is with its full complement of pass-catchers available for a rematch with the Panthers.

“More dangerous,” the coach said.

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