Blaine Gabbert finding a 'smooth delivery' for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- There is a fine line between velocity and accuracy for quarterbacks, one that deposed San Francisco 49ers starter Colin Kaepernick struggled with early and often.

But his replacement has seemingly found a balance. Especially when under duress.

Blaine Gabbert has completed 72.4 percent of his passes while under pressure this season, compared to Kaepernick’s 35.2 percent complete rate in those same situations, according to Pro Football Focus.

"You’re more accurate with the football staying smooth, having a smooth delivery, because when you try and overthrow a football, you’re not really gaining that much more velocity on a football," Gabbert said Wednesday. "But, you tend to be more erratic with it. So, the thing that we’ve kind of focused on throughout the summer and throughout camp is just staying smooth with your delivery, trusting your eyes and delivering the ball on time. That way, you don’t have to rush throws."

Overall, though, Gabbert is smoother and more successful when he throws to the middle of the field. Per ESPN Stats & Info, he averaged more than 11 yards per attempt and threw a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend when throwing inside the numbers, but averaged fewer than four yards per attempt and threw his interception on throws outside the numbers.

Gabbert might not have as powerful an arm as Kaepernick, but it is more accurate overall as he is completing 65.3 percent of his passes compared to Kaepernick’s 59.0 percent.

And if it seemed as though Kaepernick preferred to fire 95-mph fastballs on every throw, did the big-armed Gabbert have trouble adapting?

"No, not at all," Gabbert said. "And like I said, staying smooth, you’re not losing velocity on the football. The ball’s coming out at the same pace, but you’re not overgripping it, overthrowing it and losing the accuracy."