After five weeks of watching quarterback Blaine Gabbert struggle, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly is making a change.
After weeks of speculation, Kelly on Tuesday named Colin Kaepernick his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against Buffalo.
“Just to announce, we’re going to make a move at quarterback and we’re going to start Colin this week and give him an opportunity to run with the ones,” Kelly said. “I believe you’ve got to do it at the beginning of the week just because of how reps are distributed.”
After meeting with the coaching staff and discussing possible solutions for the Niners’ 31st ranked offense (in yards per game), Kelly said the group came to the conclusion that one of the only moves it could make to potentially jumpstart the offense was to make a change at quarterback.
“We were very analytical and sat down as a staff and watched the tape, went over everything,” Kelly said. “We had a couple days to kind of digest where we are and I think offensively we need to be better and we just need to make a move. And it’s really not, it’s not Blaine’s fault. I think it’s just as a group offensively we need to be better in a lot of ways so we’re going to see what we can do and make a move here. It’s really one of the only maneuvers we can make based on our depth.”
According to Kelly, because Kaepernick and Gabbert have similar traits, the offense won’t need to change much other than the way the reps are split in practice. Previously, it had been Gabbert taking about 75 percent of the work with the first team while Kaepernick handled the other 25 percent. Now, those roles will be reversed.
Kelly informed Kaepernick and Gabbert of the decision and said both were “professional” in handling the news. According to Kelly, Kaepernick offered a simple two-word response of “Let’s go” upon being told of the decision.