A Colin Kaepernick update

Actually, this is a Ryan Mallet update. However, it’s relevant to Kaepernick because Mallet is the backup quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, a team that has contemplated signing Kaepernick.

The Ravens starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, is injured. Thus, Mallet started last night’s pre-season game against the Washington Redskins.

Mallet was awful. He completed 9 of 18 passes for only 58 yards. His rating was 57.2.

Mallet’s actual performance was worse than these numbers indicate. He missed open receivers all over the field. He threw what would have been a pick-six (an interception returned for a touchdown) had the Redskins safety not dropped the ball.

Baltimore’s coach John Harbaugh defended Mallet, saying that he played “winning football.” But it’s not that difficult for a quarterback to play winning football when (1) the defense holds the opposition to three points, (2) the 13 points your team puts on the board while you’re in the game are mainly the result of the opponent’s penalties and a turnover, and (3) the opponent drops a pick-six.

Mallet’s career numbers aren’t much better than his numbers last night. His career rating is 64.9, with a completion percentage of 55.0, and seven touchdown passes vs. ten interceptions.

Kaepernick’s career rating is 88.9, with a completion percentage of 59.8, and 72 touchdown vs. 30 interceptions. Last year’s numbers, compiled with a terrible team, were in line with his career stats. Plus, Kaepernick is an accomplished runner. Last year he gained 468 yards on the ground in 12 games, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Mallet has run for -2 yards on 24 carries in his career.

The Ravens are probably concerned that fan reaction to signing Kaepernick will hurt the business. But Kaepernick has said he will stand for the National Anthem this year. Once that happens, if he’s given the chance to play for the team, fan anger is likely to dissipate.

This is a big season for the Ravens and coach Harbaugh. Until recently, this franchise was pretty much a fixture in the playoffs, but playoff appearances have started to dry up. Meanwhile a rash of injuries has already hit this year’s squad. Going into the season with Ryan Mallet as the backup for a starting quarterback who, himself, is fighting injuries seems awfully risky.

I’m not a Ravens fan, but I am a fan of free expression. I hope the Ravens, or some other NFL team, signs Colin Kaepernick.


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