VIDEO: 49ers’ Blaine Gabbert Earns Staring Job With Leadership, Poise, and Confidence

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

This is by no means a knock on San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. I still believe that Kaepernick has all the physical tools to be Pro Bowl quarterback under the right system. However, that may not be in San Francisco and as a result the QB Blaine Gabbert experiment has begun.

In a game where the 49ers were heavy underdogs at home, it was Gabbert who helped spark the team with his leadership, poise, and confidence. A quarterback who hasn’t started a game since 2013, Gabbert didn’t show any signs of rust, as he helped guide the team to victory. Whether finding open receivers outside the pocket or scrambling for a game-clinching first-down, Gabbert showed the Forever Faithful that all is not lost in San Francisco.

In the huddle you could easily sense the confidence the team had in him. I spoke with many of the players before the game and they all echoed that the game-plan wouldn’t change much because of the quarterback switch. “I feel very comfortable with Gabbert because I played with him on the scout team for two years, so I know what he’s capable of doing,” said RB Kendall Gaskins.

Gaskins who in my opinion is the team’s best pure pass-blocker of all running backs, continues to rise as he came from humble beginnings while on the team’s practice squad. Aside from Gabbert’s command in the huddle, it was his poise that took me by 2storm. Just watch the highlight below in which Gabbert eludes A-gap pressure, runs outside the tackle box only to connect with a wide-open WR Quinton Patton for a 41-yard play. Do you think Kaepernick could make that play? Absolutely. But Kaepernick lowers his head too often when pressured, not seeing the entire field — which limits his options (resulting in throwing the ball out of bounds).

The poise that Gabbert showed on that play gave not only the coaching staff confidence but the players as well, as any wide-receiver would love to play with a quarterback who can throw accurately down-field on broken plays.

I’m not saying that Kaepernick can’t make that throw, he obviously can, but to think he would have thrown the ball to Patton is questionable especially since he alluded to in an earlier press conference that he needs to make ‘protected throws.’ So unsure if the coaching staff would have given Kap the green light to make that play happen.

And lastly, you can’t help but love Gabbert’s confidence level. For those who don’t know Gabbert scored one of the highest grades possible on the wonderlic test during the NFL combine. And while they don’t necessarily bust out the No. 2 pencils on game day, the fact that Gabbert was able to dissect the Atlanta Falcons defense pre-snap was nice to see.

With the 49ers having an extra week to prepare for the rival Seattle Seahawks, it won’t come easy as this game could be a blowout. While everyone is high on Gabbert we have to keep in mind that this is only one game so the sample size is small. Let’s just hope that Gabbert can continue to prove his doubters wrong, as the team looks to him for his continued leadership, poise, and confidence. And if he puts up a strong showing against the Seahawks, expect him to keep the job permanently moving forward…

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 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 or call him at (408) 622-0996.