Expectations Always Mount Up in the Off-Season
~ Amy Lignor
As every fan knows – not to mention the players that are in the owners and coaches spotlights – expectations can become rather high in the off-season surrounding certain players. Makes sense; after all, they are the ones who bring home the ‘green’, and they are the ones counted on to better the team because they were so ‘amazing’ in their respective colleges.
Now that the draft is over and done with, there are already names being bandied about in regards to whether or not their talents that glowed so well on the amateur stage will shine as brightly when put up against the old pros of the NFL. You have a ‘Johnny Football’ with Cleveland who’s already getting mixed reports. Whereas one side of the coin says his ego will get in the way; the other side states that he is the right man for the job to make Cleveland into an 80’s Cowboy or 90’s Niners team. (Seriously? The guy won’t even give an unpaid interview!)
However, there are also those who are coming back who have proven they are good at what they do. BUT, what they’re looking at are doubts. They have something to live down or, perhaps make up for – such as a bad play made at the worst time possible. One such player is Colin Kaepernick – or Kap for short.
Although Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers coach, stated that his QB is in fine form and doing a great job (minus the bad pass that led to the Seahawks, of all teams, taking the trophy out of the hands of Denver.)
Now…for three seasons in a row fans have believed that Kap is like the next Montana or the equal to Brady. But when it comes to being one of those ‘proven’ QB’s that head to the Hall of Fame without a second thought, Kap still has a few hurdles to jump over. He certainly can become one of the ‘best of the best’ – he has all the skills to do so, and has already brought serious excitement to a team that hasn’t had much since the names Young and Rice appeared on the roster.
RGIII. Any fan of the NFL knows this name. This is the QB that was going to turn things around for Washington. He was going to come out and basically have a ‘killer’ career of Super Bowl wins and amazing plays that made people rewind their DVR’s and gasp again and again at the perfection. Unfortunately, thus far, fate has not worked out for RGIII. And when it comes to Kap, although fate helped him in 2012 when, in only his second year among the big leaguers, he led San Fran to the Super Bowl, it seems that the spotlight is far brighter on him this coming season. Fans expect Kap to become yet another 49ers QB that is held in high esteem, and Kap needs to give them what they want.
The 49ers are also a team that boasts fantastic players to help Kap. He certainly has no trouble finding a wide receiver, especially now that two veterans have also been added to his crew during this off-season; not to mention a tight end that can do no wrong. If Kap doesn’t rise to the occasion, not only leading San Fran to the Super Bowl but also winning it, perhaps in a grand slam much like Young when he raced around the gridiron in excitement after a 49-26 win, then Kap may just be set in a lower position, having coffee with RGIII and wondering what happened.
Is he headed for ‘Tebow’ land? No. Kap is not on the outskirts of anything. In fact, being only a young’un at 26, and with his Achilles injury now in the past, Kap has a true chance here to get the gold and hang on tight.
$18 million-20 million per season is what the speculation is when Kap looks at his next contract. And even though the 49ers defense is beyond amazing, and has been the saviors for the offense in many ways, to bring home that kind of money to feed his very large turtle, then Kap has to use every star at his disposal – and make this season count.
Yes, the high number of rushing yards is a great plus when it comes to Kap; his ability to fly by defenders with the ball tucked carefully under his arm is something all NFL teams wish they had. But when it comes to the big win (and the big money), Kap will have to throw that pigskin like he’s never thrown before.
It will be fascinating to watch!