I know a lot of Pride Of Detroit readers are used to me banging the Colin Kaepernick drum. I’ve been doing it for years. I believe it’s an absolute travesty that he is not on an NFL roster right now. I know some of our readers don’t like it. So I think it’s fair to start this piece off by saying I don’t care that you don’t like it. I’m doing it again today.
This time the circumstances are wildly different. The Detroit Lions could potentially find themselves without the services of Matthew Stafford for some time. Head coach Matt Patricia said Monday that Matthew Stafford is day to day and week to week. What the hell does that even mean?
The Lions rolled with Jeff Driskel against the Bears last Sunday and the results were not great. The Lions couldn’t get their offense going and they managed just 13 points to a division rival in a losing effort. Their record is now just 3-5-1, and their chances for the postseason look pretty bleak.
So not only are the Lions without Stafford and playing Jeff Driskel, but a certain somebody might finally be getting his chance to return to the NFL, and it may be sooner than you think.
Colin Kaepernick, who has not played since the 2016 season, plans to work out for NFL clubs on Saturday in Atlanta to allow them to evaluate whether to sign him, ESPN reported on Tuesday https://t.co/mgyUOLYmGi— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 12, 2019
The NFL has scheduled a private workout for Colin Kaepernick with all 32 NFL teams invited to the event on Saturday in Atlanta. It remains to be seen who will show up, but the buzz surrounding this indicates that there may be some interest.
In 2019, we’ve seen starting quarterback go down left and right. It’s been the year of the backup quarterback, and it means some teams are in desperate situations for their signal callers. For many, what they have is not working out, which could mean that Saturday’s workout could be well attended.
The Detroit Lions need to be one of those teams for multiple reasons. To begin with, we don’t know how long Stafford will be out. It could be a week, it could be the rest of the year. There’s no telling with back injuries.
The second and biggest reason is Kaepernick fits Darrell Bevell’s system like a glove. Look who Bevell’s previous quarterback is. In Seattle, Bevell’s offense revolved around Russell Wilson’s ability to work out of the pocket and run the ball. Kaepernick can and has done both of those things really well in his career.
You could even see some of what Kaepernick can do for the Lions in some of the things that Stafford and Driskel have done this year. Both have done a lot of moving around and working outside of the pocket. Driskel did a lot of that on Sunday in Chicago. The transition into this offense would be pretty smooth for both Kaepernick and Bevell.
Once upon a time, Kaepernick was linked to the Seattle Seahawks when Bevell was the offensive coordinator there. At the time it was believed that would be the absolute best spot for him to land. Why did MMBQ’s Peter King think so?
“Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has taken an unconventional quarterback and reveled in coaching Russell Wilson.”
And I’m not too worried about the stupid media circus. The Lions are already a circus. What’s a few more elephants in the room?
No, the issue is that Kaepernick is 32 years old. While that’s only a year older than Stafford, he obviously hasn’t played real live football since the 2016 season when he was unjustly blackballed from the NFL.
He hasn’t been sitting around, though. When he’s not helping out the community and charities, he’s been training, and he claims to be in great shape. We’ll see Saturday if he’s still able to ball out.
The other issue is Jeff Driskel and the Lions’ recent history of striking out badly on backup quarterbacks. Driskel showed some promise on Sunday, and, in all likelihood, he could be that guy the Lions have been looking for. We don’t know fully what he can be yet. If the Lions were to sign Kaepernick, you’d have to wonder what that would mean for Driskel’s future in Detroit. At the very least, it would probably mean not giving him the valuable game-time experience for the rest of 2019.
But there’s a scenario where they can have their cake and eat it too. You could make a strong argument that the leadership and mentoring from Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick at the same time could launch Driskel into a spot where he’s the heir apparent to Stafford some day or at least competent backup. Driskel is only 26, but Stafford is playing at an MVP level right now. He’s probably not going anywhere for a long time.
Another complication with Kaepernick is the length of commitment. Is he someone the Lions can bring in and hope for a miracle comeback in 2019? In that process they also would dismiss Driskel. Or do they hope to have him as that competent backup for the next few years? Or do the Lions just stay put?
This may sound crazy to say, but the Detroit Lions might be Colin Kaepernick’s best chance for a job in 2019. They’re a team without their quarterback and they have a system tailor-made for him. Bob Quinn should be on the phone with his travel agent right now. He should also be sure to bring his pen.