Steve Young: Kaepernick Needs To Reclaim Locker Room

Steve Young dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss his new book, “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral,” as well as numerous NFL topics, including Colin Kaepernick.

The social-activist lightning rod will start this Sunday in Buffalo, as Blaine Gabbert, who averaged just 159 passing yards over his last three games, has been demoted.

“I thought Blaine was showing more grit. I knew that he needed to lean into his chance. He didn’t have the confidence,” Young said in studio on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think he saw what he needed to do and it would just take the extra beat and then (he) was late and it was causing him a lot of grief. I had high hopes for him if he could kind of lean into it, and it’s been hard. I think Colin could do the same thing. Colin is prepared with the years that he’s now played that he’s not going to be overwhelmed by any moment or anything that’s going to happen, but he needs to reclaim that locker room. Last year was a really difficult year for him, and I think he’s done that. I think he’s put the time (in) with the players (and) kind of energized relationships. So I think he’s going to enter the game this weekend with people pretty enthused. Now Colin needs to do the extra things that he wasn’t doing before.”

Such as reading defenses sideline to sideline, being ahead of the game and making anticipatory throws.

“He needs to take control of the situation he has here,” Young said. “He has a nice opportunity. Who would have thought in March – when it looked like this relationship was dead – that he would be playing for the 49ers? Here is his shot right this weekend.”

Young, whose book delves into his life, career and upbringing, won three Super Bowls as a player. He was also MVP of Super Bowl XXIX, when the 49ers beat the Chargers, 49-26, in January 1995. Known for his passing as well as his running, Young, a seven-time Pro Bowler, remains one of the best left-handed quarterbacks in league history.

That doesn’t figure to change anytime soon – especially since there are exactly zero left-handed starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

“That’s weird,” the 55-year-old Young said. “I don’t know what percentage (of people) are lefties, but that’s crazy. I think a lot of times coaches want to coach righties because they want to set up the plays, they don’t want to flop everything, they don’t want to flip everything. Why (there are) so few lefties, it’s crazy to me. It was always an advantage, I thought. Defenses are used to seeing righties. All of a sudden, they see a lefty come out, rolls lefty, goes lefty – they’re not used to it. I thought it was a huge advantage that people could take advantage of. So I wish there were more lefties. When Michael Vick comes around or anybody else that throws left-handed, I’m like, ‘Yes, give me some more lefties.’”

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