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Bingo! When Moses' theory was relayed to Kaepernick, the quarterback confirmed that his training regimen includes plenty of plyometrics exercises that demand fast, explosive movements. The quarterback does not, however, have any track experience. His running style is natural.
He looks like a track star even to actual track stars.
It was the most recent one that caught Boldon's attention.
SANTA CLARA There are times when Colin Kaepernick looks like he should be carrying a baton, not a football, with his progress measured in meters, not yards.
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Colin Kaepernick and his Usain Bolt
"I was a tiny guy. I looked like Urkel when I was in high school. I had the glasses, the braces," Moses said, referring to the 1990s "Family Matters" sitcom character. "I was 5 9 with long legs. Other guys were like 6 1, 160 170. I was 5 9 and about a buck twenty. And I just didn't have the power.
"And I'd bet a million dollars he's done a lot of plyometrics in his life."
Kaepernick ran the 40 yard dash in 4.53 seconds at the 2011 Scouting Combine. That was fast second among quarterbacks that year to Tyrod Taylor (4.51) but hardly world class.
"I actually don't think that is an unfair comparison," Boldon said. "Because it's not just about being tall. There are tall guys who have been fast. But when you see a guy who is that fast, who is able to turn his legs over like Colin Kaepernick, now you have a special athlete."
That's how it happened for Moses.
Geographically, our track panel has this Sunday's game between the 49ers and Falcons well represented: Boldon and Harvey have ties to the Bay Area, while Moses lives in Atlanta, the site of the NFC Championship Game.
"The defensive secondary had a long time to look at him coming around and they still couldn't do anything about it," he said of the 56 yard score. "As much as Kaepernick is known for his speed, Omega Seamaster Blue Wave
I think he has the most underrated speed in the league. He's fast. Then he runs by people and they think, 'Oh, he's that fast.' "
So they were eager to play along this week when asked to analyze Kaepernick's long legged stride. Moses, a two time Olympic gold medalist, even requested additional Kaepernick highlights so he could take a closer look.
"He never has what you see in some poor sprinters, which is their feet getting too far in back of them butt kicking. He doesn't do that at all. And that's one of the things we really look for in efficient sprinters."
yard runs over his past 41 carries.
at San Jose City College. "Colin has great hip flexion, great recovery of the foot. So his foot is always moving underneath his center of mass.
Moses theorizes that Kaepernick's smooth running style was entrenched long before the muscles arrived. He figured he became biomechanically sound first as a way of making the most of an undersized physique.
Boldon was told how John Madden, the former football coach, said this week that Kaepernick's running style reminded him of Bolt the 6 foot 5, 210 pound record smashing Jamaican sprint superstar.
"When you push off the track, all of the energy has to go through the bottom of your foot," Moses said, detailing how the calf, Achilles, lower leg, quads and hamstring have to contract and fire. "So I would think that a guy of that size, in order to really be quick with the stride lift that he has all those things have to happen instantaneously."
"The most impressive thing is that he has a true, efficient sprint motion when he runs," said Harvey, the 2011 Pac 10 track coach of the year at the University of Arizona and a former standout sprinter Omega Watch Seamaster 007
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambles against the Packers in the first quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff on January 12. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick scampers for a 20 yard touchdown run during the first quarter of their NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 12. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)
What separates Kaepernick from most of the football pack is his ability to maintain that speed even while weighed down by a helmet and bulky pads.
Boldon, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, once attended Piedmont Hills High in San Jose and grew up idolizing the Joe Montana era 49ers. A former 100 meter and 200 meter specialist, he won three bronze medals and a silver over the course of the 1996 and 2000 Summer Games. The only other men with at least four individual Olympic sprint medals are Bolt, Frankie Fredericks and Carl Lewis.
According to a film review of the play by sports columnist Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group, Kaepernick needed only 15 steps to cover the last 40 yards. In contrast, defensive back Charles Woodson of the Packers needed 20 steps over that same distance and never came close to making the tackle.
Moses said that "big guys usually have a tougher challenge" when it comes to sprinting because longer strides mean fewer foot strikes. He ventured that Kaepernick's superior leg strength allows him to generate maximum propulsion on each step.
"It tells me his biomechanics are really good," said Moses, who won 400 meter gold medals at the 1976 and '84 Olympics and who once won 122 consecutive races.
The basic question for our running commentators: How can someone 6 feet 4 and 230 pounds be so dang fast?
In the biggest play Jan. 12 at Candlestick Park, Kaepernick rolled around the right side of his offensive line and zoomed untouched for a 56 yard touchdown. It was Omega Seamaster 007 Gold the longest run by a quarterback in franchise history the third time this season that Kaepernick has surpassed the old mark of 49 yards set by Steve Young.
Boldon, legendary Olympic hurdler Edwin Moses and noted track coach Fred Harvey were among those watching the 49ers' playoff game last weekend when Kaepernick blazed for 181 rushing yards, a single game NFL record for a quarterback.
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