49ers camp summary (86): Kaepernick shows flashes


49ers camp summary (86): Kaepernick shows flashes

Summary: Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers' second-team offense on a two-minute touchdown drive against the No. 2 defense with a combination of his arm and legs.

He dropped in a nice 30-yard pass to tight end Delanie Walker, who beat the coverage of safety Trenton Robinson. Then, Kaepernick ran it into the end zone from 15 yards out on a read-option play.

It was an up-and-down day for Kaepernick, whom cornerback Tramaine Brock intercepted in the red zone. At one point late in practice, Kaepernick badly misfired to a wide-open Brett Swain down the middle of the field, who had several steps on safety Mark LeGree.

But on the very next play, Kaepernick's throw 20 yards down the field was on target to tight end Konrad Reuland. Kaepernick has maintained the lead for the No. 2 job behind starter Alex Smith. Veteran Josh Johnson has not closed the gap with some inconsistent play of his own. Johnson threw an interception to Chris Culliver. Alex Smith also threw an interception, as Perrish Cox picked off a ball intended for Randy Moss.

Injury report: Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) went through individual drills for the first time since he was injured July 27. He did not take part in one-on-one or team drills.

Offensive lineman Jason Slowey sat out his second practice with an undisclosed injury.

Safety Dashon Goldson sustained a foot injury when he was cleated during warmup drills. He was held out of practice, but should return as early as Tuesday.

C.J. Spillman filled in for Goldson with the first-team defense.

Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb also did not participate.

Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Offensive play of the day: Alex Smith lofted a nicely thrown 35-yard pass to Vernon Davis, who made an over-the-shoulder catch against rookie cornerback Deante' Purvis.

Defensive plays of the day:Outside linebacker Aldon Smith recorded would-be sacks on back-to-back plays against the first-team offense in a four-minute drill. Smith beat right tackle Anthony Davis for a sack on one play. He then chased down Alex Smith, who was rolling out on a third-and-12 play on the next snap.

Eye on reps: Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who played 42 offensive snaps from scrimmage last season, was spotted for the first time on the other side of the ball. He motioned out of the backfield to catch a short touchdown pass from Alex Smith.

Rookie report: In a four-minute drill, which is designed to run out the clock, first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins came up with a nice catch of a Kaepernick pass at the sideline against tight coverage of Deante' Purvis. The 49ers needed 5 yards on a third-down play.

The play netted 6 yards. The 49ers went into their "victory formation" for the next two plays to run out the clock.

Notable: Cornerback Cory Nelms was allowed to leave practice to watch his girlfriend, T'erea Brown, qualify for the finals of the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympics.

Quotable: "Kendall Hunter is having an exceptional offseason and exceptional camp. Ahmad Brooks has been fantastic all offseason, all camp. . . I don't know if he (Brooks) doubled, tripled or quadrupled his salary, but this is the best shape he's been in. People say it's the best offseason he's had. I think that speaks volumes about a guy, a person. Some people tend to go the other way when money enters the picture like that. I've been real impressed" -- 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Next practice: The 49ers return to practice Tuesday from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.