49ers

Steve Young to Kaepernick: Trust legs more than arm

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Steve Young to Kaepernick: Trust legs more than arm

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has some advice for 49ers backup-turned-starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears.Granted, Young, a 49ers-backup-turned-starter, would not have taken his same advice when he first got off the sideline to replace Joe Montanta."Don't throw anything that you're not sure of," Young said. "This is not the night to try new things against these guys. But it is the night to use your legs, run for first downs, maybe a touchdown, key conversions, trust your legs more than your arm tonight just to get things going."Kaepernick will make his first NFL start on Monday with Alex Smith declared inactive due to a concussion.MAIOCCO: 49ers key matchup No. 1 -- Colin Kaepernick vs. Jason Campbell"Here's the bottom line," Young said. "You cannot take this game away from your teammates. This is good team. Maybe even a great team. You can't be the reason that they don't have a chance to win this game. That's the fundamental rookie, young player's mantra."Once you get past that, you can move on to being neutral or the reason you win."Young said he would not have taken his own advice when he first started for the 49ers because he had more experience. Young played a couple years of professional football in the USFL before starting 19 games over two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started three games in his first season with the 49ers in 1987.
"I had a lot of games under my belt," Young said. "(I felt like) I got to make hay now. Neutral is not the place to hang around here. But I don't think he's there yet. I don't think he needs to feel that way. I was definitely in a different boat."When asked about the NFL's concussion protocol, Young said he does not believe any system would be perfect because there's no way to measure the gradations of concussions how they impact everyone differently."With 99 percent of knee injuries, you can take an MRI and you know what's wrong," Young said. But with concussions, Young said, "Even the guy who has it is not sure."Young retired after the 1999 season after sustaining a severe concussion in the 49ers' third game of the season.

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

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USATSI/AP

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

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AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.