Colin Kaepernick is the best fit for Chip Kelly’s offense | NevadaAppeal.com
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Colin Kaepernick is the best fit for Chip Kelly’s offense

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning …It’s difficult to believe a healthy Colin Kaepernick is going to be on the sidelines watching Blaine Gabbert run the San Francisco 49ers offense this year. 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has always been obsessed by great athletes. His offense needs explosive, lightning-quick athletes for it to work properly. Kaepernick is still one of the most explosive athletes in the NFL, especially at the quarterback position. You don’t relegate a once-a-generation talent like Kaeperrnick to the bench while a dime-a-dozen plodder like Gabbert is on the field. “Bring Back Kap” chants would be heard throughout Levi Stadium all season long if that happens. Gabbert is the quickest way to 6-10. Kaepernick can get a team to the Super Bowl. The only way Kaepernick doesn’t start the majority of games for the 49ers this year is if he’s completely overwhelmed by Kelly’s high-volume offense. That won’t happen. If Kaepernick can run Chris Ault’s pistol, he can run Kelly’s offense. Kelly’s offense is made for a unique athlete like Kaepernick. Kaepernick, who’s expected to make his preseason debut tonight against the Green Bay Packers, made Ault’s pistol explosive. Nobody has come close to running the pistol like Kaepernick ran it. He’ll do the same for Kelly.

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The Oakland Raiders have already started the process of trade marking the name “Las Vegas Raiders.” Of course, before the Raiders call Las Vegas home there’s the matter of getting a stadium deal approved that involves a $750 million tax proposal. Opponents of the tax proposal are trying to frighten everyone, stating the issue comes down to funding education for our youth or building a stadium for a millionaire NFL owner. It’s that type of narrow-minded, short-sighted, ignorant thinking that keeps Nevada stuck in the 20th century when all it took was gambling to lure visitors to our state. The exposure a NFL franchise gives a state is tremendous and is the gift that keeps on giving well into the future. It would create thousands of jobs in and around the stadium. NFL teams also donate millions of dollars to local charities and support education in their communities. A NFL team would change the perception of Nevada around the world as well as swell state pride and unify the state for the first time. Nevada needs the Raiders and the Raiders need Nevada. Make it work.

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The Raiders are supposedly looking into making their summer training camp in Reno. Such a move would benefit the area tremendously, bringing thousands of visitors every July and August to watch the team practice. The team would also likely conduct a scrimmage or two and raise money for local charities. The Raiders would also no doubt pump millions of dollars worth of stadium improvements into Mackay Stadium, also helping the Wolf Pack football team. Of course, looking into a northern Nevada training camp might be just the Raiders’ way of luring local politicians and voters to support their evil stadium deal. The San Francisco 49ers, after all, only flirted with the idea of moving their training camp to Reno in the 1990s so they could get a better deal from Stockton, Calif. But it’s fun to dream of a NFL team making its summer home in northern Nevada every year. Make it work.

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Other than Notre Dame, who scares you on the Nevada Wolf Pack’s football schedule this year? San Diego State was 11-3 last year but the Aztecs have to come to Mackay Stadium this year where they lost two years ago. Cal Poly was 4-7 a year ago, Buffalo was 5-7, Purdue was 2-10, Hawaii was 3-10, Fresno State was 3-10, UNLV was 3-9 and Wyoming was 2-10. Everybody else (San Jose State, New Mexico and Utah State) was either a game over or under .500. It’s difficult to find four losses on this schedule, even for a team like the Wolf Pack which always finds a way to lose at least six games.

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Pack football coach Brian Polian has proven to be a brilliant schedule maker. Ever since he had to suffer through that ridiculous 2013 schedule in his rookie year left over from the Cary Groth era (it forced Chris Ault to go run and hide), he has made sure the Pack plays a manageable slate of games. Polian, like the rest of his family, is a program builder and manager. We need to put away our antiquated expectations of what a coach should be and buy into the 21st century model. Head coaches aren’t coaches anymore. They don’t coach anything. It’s why they now have a dozen assistants. They’re program CEOs. They make sure everything is in place (personnel, schedule, fundraising, facilities, connecting with the community, etc.) for the program to succeed. Polian has done that. Now all he needs is for the program to succeed.

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The leaders for National League Manager of the Year have to be Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Dusty Baker (Washington Nationals), Joe Maddon (Chicago Cubs) and Don Mattingly (Miami Marlins). The choice here is Roberts. Forget those Dodger teams of just a couple years ago who included Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw. Roberts has the Dodgers in first place with the likes of Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick. Kershaw has made just 16 starts this year, Greinke is in Arizona, Hyun-Jin Ryu has missed the season, Puig is in the minors and Ethier is hurt again. The Dodgers starting rotation this year has included Ross Stripling, ex-Reno Aces righthander Mike Bolsinger and Bud Norris.

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The leaders for American League Manager of the year should include Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians), John Farrell (Boston Red Sox), John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays), Jeff Banister (Texas Rangers) and Buck Showalter (Baltimore Orioles). The choice here is Francona. Farrell, Gibbons, Banister and Showalter all have a ton of talent on their rosters. The Indians have been without arguably their best player (Michael Brantley) for the bulk of the year and catcher Yan Gomes has been either horrible or hurt. And while the Indians certainly have some top talent (albeit underrated) in Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis, Francona has nursed Mike Napoli, Tyler Naquin, Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis into productive seasons.