Jim Harbaugh: Colin Kaepernick is ‘great player’ who will ‘flourish’

By Michael Dixon
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh may not be coaching Colin Kaepernick anymore, but sure sounds like he remains a leading member of the quarterback’s fan club. In a Wednesday evening interview with the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, Harbaugh sang the praises of Kaepernick.

Among other things, Harbaugh called Kaepernick a great player and said “he knows he (Kaepernick) will flourish.” Harbaugh touted Kaepernick’s competitive drive, pure athleticism, and his awareness.

It’s doubtful that anyone in the NFL knows Kaepernick as well as Harbaugh. Additionally, Harbaugh has seen what Kaepernick can do and clearly has had confidence in the quarterback for a long time. The 2012 49ers were already one of the NFL’s best teams when Harbaugh replaced Alex Smith with Kaepernick at quarterback in a season that ended in a Super Bowl appearance.

It’s certainly true that Kaepernick struggled in 2015, which ultimately resulted in his being benched for Blaine Gabbert. However, it’s doubtful that any quarterback would have thrived for the 49ers in 2015. Harbaugh has a great track record with quarterbacks, and if he feels Kaepernick is still a prize, that’s a good endorsement.

With quarterback Brock Osweiler signing with the Houston Texans, the Broncos are reportedly interested in Kaepernick, who remains under contract with the San Francisco 49ers.