Kyle Shanahan explains why Colin Kaepernick wasn't a good fit for 49ers

Some of Colin Kaepernick’s former 49ers teammates might have a hard time believing the quarterback remains out of work, but first-year 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who is known for his ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks, can explain why Kaepernick wasn’t a good fit in San Francisco’s new offense.

Speaking Monday, Shanahan, in talking about the upcoming draft, said via the Press Democrat, “I think players to fit your scheme, to me, is a little overrated,” but he added a caveat: “Usually a really good football player is a good football player in every scheme. I think you can get a little more into specifics when it comes to maybe the quarterback. ...

“If you bring in a quarterback who is the best when he’s a dual threat and can do all those type of things, that affects an entire offense,” he said. “That doesn’t just affect one guy. That’s a huge commitment to your entire team. So, when you bring in someone like that when you’re going to have to tinker the offense to fit one player, you’ve got to know you’re tinkering every single person on that offense, too. So, when it comes to the quarterback and some o-linemen, you look into that a little bit more. After that, I think it’s all pretty overrated.”

The discussion is about the 2017 NFL Draft, where the 49ers, who have the second overall pick, are in the market for their next franchise quarterback. But Shanahan’s explanation works just as well for Kaepernick, the team’s previous franchise quarterback who is currently a free agent. When asked by a reporter, “... [I]s that one of the reasons why maybe Kaepernick isn’t a fit because you’d have to really switch your offense to fit his skill?” here was Shanahan’s response: 

“Yeah, I think just the experience of doing that type of stuff, you don’t just run stuff and think you’re going to be good at it right away,” he said. “You’ve got to commit to it and work at it year round, and it’s all the positions. When all your quarterbacks have different ways to be successful, which I’ve been in situations like that and you try to prepare them best, it does take a toll on your offense. What are you trying to get good at? You can’t practice everything. You can’t be great at everything. You’ve kind of got to commit to something and do it over and over and over again and once the type of running game or drop-back game, you’re going to commit to one quarterback is completely different than the other, then that does affect your team.

“That’s why I think it can be harder when those type of guys are going through competitions and stuff and like that because even though you’re trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks you’re also being unfair to a team. You don’t really know what direction you’re going. So, if you have your pick of the best world, you’d like those guys to be somewhat similar, not just because that’s how you want the quarterbacks, just because of the work you’re doing for the rest of the guys on the roster.”

As it stands, the 49ers’ depth chart has journeyman Brian Hoyer as the starter and behind him is Matt Barkley. That duo doesn’t instill much fear in opposing defenses. And despite that No. 2 pick, none of the six CBSSports.com mock draft experts has the 49ers taking a quarterback there. Instead, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, who has been compared to Michael Bennett, is the consensus selection.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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