Young sensations give fans hope for future - The Behrend Beacon

Young sensations give fans hope for future

Posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Author: Brandon Boyd (managing editor)

Keep your head up, Colin Kaepernick.

Keep kissing those biceps, Colin Kaepernick.

Keep throwing those fastballs and bewildering defenses, Colin Kaepernick.

Because while you and your team came just short of winning Super Bowl XLVII, you embody exactly why the NFL has such a bright future. Down 28-6 and stopped by a light outage, you gathered yourself and made sure we had an exciting second half to watch. While some of the decision making could have been improved, your tenacity and willingness to put it all on the line provided one of the more exciting games in recent memory.

You're something of a silent warrior, Colin Kaepernick. When you're asked a question by the media, you give a short, generic answer. When you're questioned by an opposing defense, you give a blazing, gutsy effort that leaves no doubt.

And it's not as if Colin Kaepernick should have ever been in this position, either. He came from a gimmick offense out of Nevada and was drafted in the second round. Many questioned his ability to perform at an NFL level with certain NFL qualities. To many, he was a runner. But Colin Kaepernick represents exactly why the future of the NFL is so bright.

Doubted. Hard working. Successful. While Kaepernick was able to show it on the brightest stage,  other young quarterbacks made sure their names were heard, too. Robert Griffin III, offensive rookie of the year, made defenses look silly with a combination of fast legs and fast decision making. Russell Wilson, a third round rookie out of Wisconsin, was said to be too short to play quarterback in the NFL. He, too, made defenses and talent evaluators look stupid as he assuredly won game after game and showed poise reminiscent of a polished veteran.

Kaepernick, Griffin III and Wilson represent just a part of what is making the NFL so good to watch. We have quarterbacks slowly transitioning out of their prime, like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, who are still proving to be dangerous in the right situations. We have quarterbacks entering their primes, like Aaron Rodgers, who will prove to be a playoff fixture year in and year out. And, as mentioned, we have an influx of young talent with the three aforementioned quarterbacks and other talent like Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Nick Foles in Philadelphia.

Just as important for the future of the NFL are new game plans and new ways to startle defenses. This year, the read option took a place in many play books. The read option values three things in a quarterback: decision making, fast feet, and a solid arm. Colin Kaepernick has and is all those things. While the prototypical, tall quarterback with the rocket arm in Joe Flacco won this round, a changing of the guard could be taking place in the NFL. While there will always be a need for a quarterback to stand tall in the pocket and make plays, we may see more gimmick offenses being used. And, unlike the Wildcat, for example, it might just be here to stay.

Whether the read option stays in the NFL or is faded out as defenses adjust, Colin Kaepernick will be a staple of the NFL for years to come. He proved that last night by nearly shocking the nation.