49ers

Why Steelers need to sign Colin Kaepernick with Ben Roethlisberger out

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Why Steelers need to sign Colin Kaepernick with Ben Roethlisberger out

The late Al Davis always never flinched at telling the NFL to go chew itself, and he likely would not have resisted in extending an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to become a Raider.

Without Al around to spite the league’s punitive pettiness regarding Kaepernick, no other owner has shown the stomach to break ranks and invite the 31-year-old quarterback for so much as a legitimate workout.

Well, the forces of fate have converged to change that. And another ownership, perhaps more suitable than Davis, has a chance to take a stand for liberty and justice for all.

The Steelers on Sunday lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury, leaving untested second-year man Mason Rudolph as the starter, with Devlin Hodges set to come over as backup.

OK, Rooney family, do your thing. The right thing. Your team is 0-2 and staring at a Rudolph-Hodges combo. Could there possibly be a better opportunity to once again live up to your ideals? To make a difference in a way that transcends the football field?

The Rooney family has spent decades doing a commendable job of cultivating and maintaining an image of fairness in a league generally indifferent to the concept. During the racial turmoil of the 1960s, they ventured to historically black colleges to find players. In 2003, the late Dan Rooney, who ran the Steelers franchise until his death in 2017, conceived a system that gave people of color an opportunity to become an NFL head coach. The Rooney Rule -- you may have heard of it -- is a policy that requests all teams seeking a head coach or front-office executive to interview at least one person of color.

Rooney, then the chairman of NFL’s diversity committee, put his words into action. Upon Bill Cowher’s departure from Pittsburgh in 2007, Rooney interviewed both Ron Rivera, a Latino, and Mike Tomlin, an African-American. Tomlin was hired seven weeks before his 35th birthday.

The credentials don’t end there. Rooney publicly supported Barack Obama for both terms of his presidency. One year before his death, Rooney received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The award, known as a ROBIE, is presented to individuals who promote and expand opportunities for people of color in the corporate world. It put Dan Rooney in the company of such fair-minded folks as Red Auerbach, Desmond Tutu, George Lucas and Arthur Ashe.

Which is to say, again, the Steelers have a history of promoting equal opportunity.

Kaepernick has been training for exactly that. Nothing more. He has credentials. He’s a dual threat, producing with both his arm and his legs. He was, in his last season with the 49ers, voted the Len Eshmont award winner, which goes to the player “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team." The award is the team’s most prestigious voted on by players, and Kaepernick received it in 2016, when he began kneeling in protest in racial inequality and police brutality

And now he’s written off as a “distraction?” As not being good enough?

As quarterback after quarterback gets injured – more than 30 since Kaepernick was effectively blackballed – teams have been twisting themselves into knots to avoid considering him while reaching out to some of the most preposterous QBs available, some active and some retired.

Yes, we remember Jay Freaking Cutler unretiring in 2017 to accept $10 million to throw 19 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and post an 80.0 rating for the Dolphins.

Kaepernick’s last season: 16 touchdowns, four picks, 90.7 rating.

Pittsburgh has a tradition of winning. Its six Super Bowl wins are tied with the Patriots for most by any team. Only New England has a higher win percentage in the 21st century.

The Steelers this season are at the bottom of the AFC North standings and staring at a likely third consecutive loss when facing the 2-0 49ers this weekend in San Francisco. There is absolutely nothing to lose in taking a look at Kaepernick.

[RELATED: What if Kaepernick, 49ers beat Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII?]

Steeler Nation can decide for itself what it despises more, losing football games or adding an Amnesty International ambassador of conscience winner in what would be a rational step toward winning.

This is an opportunity for Art Rooney II, son of Dan, to help his reeling team while also planting a flag of fairness that will be recognized around the globe. An opportunity to do something that would have made father proud.

Source: 49ers will have representative at Colin Kaepernick workout

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USATSI

Source: 49ers will have representative at Colin Kaepernick workout

The 49ers have determined they have no need at quarterback. Actually, they believe they have a surplus of NFL-caliber quarterbacks.

Nick Mullens is the team’s backup behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers retained a third quarterback, C.J. Beathard, on the 53-man roster. Beathard has been inactive for every game this season.

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will hold a workout on Saturday in Atlanta, and the 49ers will be represented, a league source has confirmed.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday he thought there was a chance the 49ers would have a representative there.

“I don’t know,” Shanahan said. “I would guess, but that’s not something I’ve asked them, yet.”

Shanahan said he did not think the timing of a workout on a Saturday during the college season would prevent teams from sending a scout to the workout.

“I don’t know at all the schedule for our personnel guys during the season ... But, yeah, they’re all over the place. But we got guys all over,” Shanahan said. “I’m sure if somebody could be there, it wouldn’t be too tough.”

The 49ers are not expected to have interest in Kaepernick. If the club were to have interest in Kaepernick, it would have been in the offseason of 2017. The 49ers, under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan, informed Kaepernick he would be released if he did not opt out of his contract.

[RELATED: Jimmy G takes ownership of 49ers' struggles despite drops]

Last year, when Garoppolo sustained a season-ending knee injury, the 49ers held workuouts with free-agent quarterbacks Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens and T.J. Yates. Kaepernick was not considered.

Shanahan explained: “I made that decision because of the style of offense. That's the same situation now."

Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for rematch with Cardinals

Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for rematch with Cardinals

SANTA CLARA – 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa’s ability to make adjustments will be tested this week.

For the first time in his career, he will face the same opponent twice in the same season when the 49ers meet the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a Week 11 game at Levi’s Stadium.

That means another opportunity to go up against Cardinals left tackle, D.J. Humphries, a fifth-year pro who is having his best NFL season through 10 games. Humphries has allowed just one sack and 21 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

When the 49ers beat the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday, Oct. 31, Bosa had three quarterback hurries of rookie Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bosa was selected No. 2.

“Definitely, a big learning experience,” Bosa said. “It was a short week, so a lot of the game plan that we had that week, we’re keeping. And we’re obviously adjusting to some other stuff. But we know our opponent and we know what to do to beat them. We just got to prepare.”

Bosa and Arik Armstead lead the 49ers with seven sacks apiece. Bosa has gone two games without throwing the opposing quarterback for a loss, but he had a strong game Monday against Seattle. Bosa applied pressure to Russell Wilson six times with one hit.

Facing mobile quarterbacks in back-to-back games has given Bosa some lessons on the mindset needed when he faces Murray again Sunday.

“They’re all different, but I’m getting better at it, for sure,” Bosa said.

What’s the key?

“Relentless,” he said. “Keep after it, no matter what. You never know when he’ll hold onto it, so you got to rush like he’s holding on to it every time.”

The 49ers expect the Cardinals to repeat much of the same game plan from the Week 9 meeting. The Cardinals' offensive approach consisted of screens, quick-hitting passes and running the ball in an attempt to neutralize the 49ers' pass rush.

[RELATED: 49ers sign Moore, place Blair on season-ending IR]

Bosa and the rest of the defense is coming off an overtime game in which he, Armstead and DeForest Buckner played nearly every snap. Buckner played 69 of the team’s 73 defensive plays, while Armstead was on the field for 68 snaps. Bosa was on the field for a career-high 60 plays.

“During the game, you’re good to go,” Bosa said. “Obviously, you’re going to keep giving it all you have, but the next day you definitely feel it. I usually don’t play that many plays. We don’t usually play that many plays as a defense, so we’re all a little extra sore, but we’ll be fine.”