BOSTON (CBS) - San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has gotten the Patriots’ attention.
The upstart QB has stepped into the 49ers offense and brings a totally different style to the field. His athleticism is rare and the way he moves his feet is something the Pats have not seen since they lost to the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson.
The team is taking notice.
“He’s a guy that can do a lot,” safety Devin McCourty said. “Just that last run against Miami he had last week, where he’s able to hit the sideline and pull away from everybody, and he has a very strong arm.”
“It’s another young quarterback that we’re playing that we’re just going to have to make things tough on him, do different things,” added McCourty, who picked off Matt Schaub in the end zone on Monday for his fourth interception of the season. “But he’s really grasped on to the offense fast. He hasn’t played in many games, but he’s been very productive.”
Kaepernick took over the starting quarterback job four weeks ago, and has over 1,000 yards through the air and another 350 on the ground. He’s only thrown three touchdowns on the season, all coming in the last four weeks and none in the last two contests, but he’s also found the end zone on the ground twice since being named the starter.
He’s also broken 50-yard runs in each of the last two games, so the Pats will be on their heels Sunday night.
“It’s basic defense. You have to make sure you do your assignment and don’t let the quarterback outside,” said linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who has gotten to opposing quarterbacks seven times this season. “We’ve gone against guys who can run in the past, so it’s just everyone doing their job and working together.”
The Patriots handled a running quarterback in Tim Tebow twice last season, but Ninkovich warns that Kaepernick is very different from the Tebow.
“I think they’re different. When you have an athletic quarterback, no matter who it is, they can beat you with their legs and extend plays,” said Ninkovich. “You just have to be sound in the pass-rush lanes and everyone has to make sure they’re not running past the quarterback.”
Tune in to Patriots-49ers Sunday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub! Pregame coverage begins at 5pm with Patriots Preview, with three hours of coverage following the game. WBZ-TV’s coverage kicks off with Patriots GameDay at 11:30am, with Patriots 5th Quarter after the game.