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Greg Cosell: Kaepernick’s small hands hurt the 49ers

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As he does every Monday, NFL Films executive producer Greg Cosell broke down the tape of the 49ers game with Tolbert and Lund.

“It was actually kind of pretty because of all the snow,” Cosell joked.

Wisecracks on the radio aside, nothing was pretty for San Francisco about the 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears, especially the passing offense. Colin Kaepernick went 1/5, for 4 yards and was sacked five times.

“What’s most fascinating is Chip’s approach: Chip clearly did not want him to throw the ball. See that to me is more interesting to talk about than what Kaepernick’s numbers were. It’s clear to me, Kaepernick does not throw a wet ball very well…If you watch Kaepernick throw the ball from a clean pocket in the third quarter, it almost looks like he shot-puts the ball.

“I checked to see what his hand size was — because I didn’t remember that from the combine. He actually has small hands. So I’m wondering if he really just couldn’t throw the ball effectively in this kind of weather. Troy Aikman always said, ‘I couldn’t throw a wet ball.’ Some quarterbacks can’t do this.”

As bad the 49ers were on offense, their defense was put on ice skates by a rag-tag Bears unit. Jordan Howard rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns, while Matt Barkley repeatedly torched San Francisco’s secondary.

“Who would’ve ever said Matt Barkley was a difference in the ball game?” Cosell said. “(Jimmie) Ward had a tough game. Ward got beat a number of times. They blitzed Ward on a play and (Jaquiski) Tartt got beaten. It was not a good¬†effort when they had to matchup, and they struggled. The old saying is that in weather like that, receivers know where they are going. But it was still not a really good effort.

“These plays in particular were not examples of (busted plays). These were receivers getting open on mostly man coverage. They just got beat. Barkley made very good throws given the weather conditions.”

Cosell then ran down a list of the 49ers’s needs on defense, and they are aplenty. For beginners? The 49ers don’t have star players on their defense, and young pieces like Aaron Lynch and DeForest Buckner were unable¬†to use 2016 as a launching pad for their careers.

“I don’t think at this point you can count on Aaron Lynch,” Cosell said. “He’s been hurt and even when he played, to me he looked big, like he was overweight. I don’t know if you can count on him. They probably have some players on defense that are nice complimentary players. In other words, if you had really good players, these guys could be starters and be part of a productive defense.

“But they don’t have anybody on defense right now. Even (DeForest) Buckner hasn’t shown enough where you feel like he’s a cornerstone. He’s a rookie, so you certainly give him another offseason and another year. But he’s been up and down. He had some great plays early in the game where he played with great leverage and you saw the natural strength and power. But as the game progressed, and hey, I know it was bad weather but sometimes you play in those games, he got right back up to playing too high and he got moved easily. That’s been an ongoing issue for him all season.”

 

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