49ers’ QB Steve Young Had This To Say About Colin Kaepernick’s Development


With San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick continuing to be the hot topic around Levi’s Stadium, many former 49ers players have been voicing their concerns and opinions on the Nevada product. From former 49ers RB Dexter Carter to most recently QB Joe Montana, many of the former players have been chiming on their two cents and QB Steve Young is no different.

Young who went on the Mr. T and Ratto show on KNBR talked about the dual-threat quarterback as he had this to say…


“I think Geep Chryst (49ers’ OC) did a great job last week, because if Colin knows where to go with the football when it hits his hands, it works out great. If he’s not sure and now when it hits his hands, he has to figure it out, that’s higher degree, higher level kind of computing as far as software of quarterbacking. And that’s where things were going haywire.”

AP/Billy Hurst

AP/Billy Hurst

Young now turned an ESPN Analyst, broke down the quarterback position between hardware and software. Hardware meaning physical skill set and software meaning football smarts.

“You break it down to hardware and software. And hardware Colin’s like number one, right? Ability to throw the football, strength, speed, agility, athleticism, arm strength, everything. Hardware’s best in the league. The software is where we kind of have to develop over time an ability — and it’s high-level computing.”

And I couldn’t agree with Young more. Kaepernick, physically continues to have the highest ceiling of any NFL quarterback but potential doesn’t mean much if you don’t live up to it. Just like a good practice player. A good practice player doesn’t mean much if he can’t make the plays in the game and that’s something that Kap will have to work through as he digs himself out of this hole.

Special to the Chronicle

Special to the Chronicle

Young went on to say that IQ is no direct correlation to football IQ under duress. In fact, Kaepernick is actually very bright as he took AP classes in high school back in Turlock.

“There’s guys I know that were super smart. This is not about IQ now, by the way. I know super smart, high IQ guys that could turn over data really fast but then under pressure completely collapse, couldn’t do it. In theory, in practice, literally in practice, killed it! And in the game it would just overwhelm them. So it’s not an IQ thing, it’s more, there’s an aptitude to it.”


“High-level quarterbacking is really boring. Tedious memorization, so you have reflexive recall. You watch QB Aaron Rodgers (Packers). The other day, I was in Lambeau Field and his ability to take in just enormous amounts of data and just process it reflexively…He just picks people out. He sits there and waits and I literally see him look at the strong safety and go, “Oh, you poor sucker. You are just dead.” He runs around in a circle, hits him, and off he goes. Peyton does that. Tom does that. Three or four guys in a generation that really excel at it. And everybody else either has a hardware issue or a software issue or both, right?

Getty Images

Getty Images

“So I think that Colin’s just got to, it’s a tedious challenge that I’ve talked about now for five years that I went through, to tie up my legs. And sometimes you don’t get coached that way. We’ve talked about that even before. I don’t know that Greg Roman (Former 49ers OC) really coached him. I’m not close enough to know what needs to be done to get him to that. Because with the talent that he has, it would be a shame if we couldn’t get him reading the full boundary.”

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.