Thanks for the response. Most of your points are accurate, but slanted towards diminishing Kaep (which is understandable considering he's now your biggest obstacle to making a deep playoff run).
And yes, Kaep was raw last season. He made a few silly mistakes and didn't have the full playbook when he started after Alex's injury. But he passed every hurdle and performed much better than almost anyone would have hoped. And really, if he'd completed one of the passes from 5yds out in SB, this would be a totally different discussion. He improved throughout the season and had 3 really good playoff starts.
He's legit and it will only be a matter of time before you agree.
I don't think he's gonna be very good. Like I said, there is a reason he couldn't beat out Alex Smith.
It really is the million dollar question. You can look at Kaep in several ways. Love him and focus on his arm strength and running ability while you ignore his red zone and 3rd down deficiency, hate him an focus on his progressions (or general lack there of) while ignoring his arm strength and legs or try and be fair and consider everything.
I am unsure of him myself. I don't think you can completely dismiss his success's or deny his short comings. He has a very strong arm but does he have touch? A Niner fan will say of course but I think it is a much bigger question. Look at his completion percentage but then factor in how well Crabtree got open early and where most of Kaeps targets went to.
Someone posted some stats of his success rate to Crabtree vs everyone else and it was eye opening to say the least. A great QB will make his receivers better like Brady has done for years (as long as he has some targets he will make the rest serviceable) and some receivers make QB's better like AJ Green and crew have done for Dalton but even with that said there are sometimes just to much to overcome like Fitzgerald with anyone other than Warner or Hasselbeck without a single starting caliber receiver on the team.
That said I think Crabtree's role in Kaep's success last year is being way under rated. The chemistry between the two along with Kaep's arm strength after building some confidence created a winning combination that not only made Kaep's job much easier it also made the rest of the receiving crew more successful. As well as running game. Crabtree really was that good.
Now without Crabtree we will get to see if Kaep can become Alex Smith. Can he execute a screen, read defenses well enough to utilize his dump off's when no one is open. Can he recognize when Boldin is open and put the ball in a position were he has the best chance to fight for it?
Alex Smith proved with that running game, O-line and defense holding opponents to manageable scores, they could still win because Smith had become a master of the dink and dunk. Creating long time consuming drives that ate the clock and almost always resulted in points on the board. As time went on he become more confident and started stretching the field much better. Given time I think he may have become one of the leagues better QB's. The question now is can Keap do the same?
Without Crabtree, unless Kaep can be successful with Boldin it will make it much easier for defenses to stack the box and slow down the running game while taking away Kaeps running lanes. If that happens then every defense that does it will start to look like the defenses that Shut Kaep down last year. You need those threats receiving to hold the defense at bay. Without it you will become much more one dimensional.
I suspect Kaeps red zone and 3rd down rate will actually decline this year and I think it is inevitable. I know many Niner fans will argue it but there is a thread in the Niners webzone that says 67% of the fans believe their receiving core is better right now than they were last year even without Crabtree. So I think you can consider that when factoring their opinion.
I think it is obvious if Kaep has a decent system around him with good threats at receiver, he can be a good QB but that does not answer the question of is he a good QB. We will get to see this year if Kaep really is a good QB or if he is a product of his system. My prediction is alot of Niner fans are going to be very surprised and upset this year and talk of letting Alex Smith go will also be a hot topic, especially if Smith has any success in KC.
In fairness I won't hold this year against Kaep any more than I held the last few years in Seattle against Hasselbeck. Keap still has a dominant O-line and running game that Matt didn't and he still has at least one good receiver and VD but for the most part it stops there. We seen how quickly an allpro QB can become ineffective and look like a bad QB when the system around him crumbles. We will see if playing with a limited receiver crew will be Kap's demise or not but hey he at least has a solid team surrounding him beside the receiving crew.
The Lion has no interest in the opinion of the sheep.