The San Francisco 49ers don’t want to bench Colin Kaepernick.  He struggled last year but is a proven NFL quarterback.  It’s another position that may be the impetus for a change behind center.

The right side of the offensive line is really, really bad.  Veteran Erik Pears was signed as a back-up for Anthony Davis at right tackle, and then Anthony Davis retired.  Pears has been a below average lineman for years, and now he’s a starter.  Right Guard Jordan Devey is an un-drafted second year player that San Francisco acquired from New England on Aug. 18. Devey has some up-side, but Pears has to be a real concern for the coaching staff.

Daniel Kilgore will provide some relief when he returns from injury to play center, but there appears to be no plan ‘B’ at right tackle.

If the 49ers face a heavy pass rush, as they are expected to, Blaine Gabbert is a better solution to that problem than Colin Kaepernick.  Gabbert has shown the ability this preseason to make short, quick passes before the oncoming rush can get to him.  Kaepernick meanwhile has always had trouble with pocket passing even with good protection.

When the 49ers offense struggled in 2014, Gabbert was not a viable option for a jump start.  After a crisp preseason, he now is.  If the ball isn’t moving, Gabbert is ready to go.

And if the losses pile up, the Kaepernick era may be over altogether. Even more reason to play the back-up.

Sport is always about wins and losses, but that truth is multiplied for this team.  After a tumultuous 2014 slate that ushered in coaching change, the 49ers had what was hailed as the worst NFL off-season ever.  Win games, and it’s all in the past.  Get off to a bad start though, and their downward slide will continue and possibly even become familiar.

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Luke Straub

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

Spark Sports