49ers need Kaepernick to succeed

Sticking with second-year QB, letting him throw long are keys

Updated: December 8, 2012, 9:12 AM ET
By Field Yates | ESPN Insider
Colin KaepernickStacy Revere/Getty ImagesThe Niners need to stick with Colin Kaepernick to maximize their potential.

The 49ers lost their first game with second-year QB Colin Kaepernick as their starter in Week 13, and three critical errors from the electrifying youngster played a part in that defeat.

Kaepernick was called for an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone (resulting in a Rams safety), threw an errant pitch near his own goal line (which St. Louis recovered for a touchdown), and failed to stay in bounds late in the game to force the Rams to take their final timeout.

But while those errors and the loss sting, the 49ers need to stick with Kaepernick as their quarterback going forward. They need him for their offense to reach its full potential, and they need to loosen the play-calling reins as well.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.