Kaepernick expecting starting competition, playoffs


Kaepernick expecting starting competition, playoffs

49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn't necessarily see himself as a backup. Twelve days after San Francisco fell in overtime of the NFC Championship to close Kaepernick's rookie season, the former Nevada Wold Pack quarterback spoke with the Reno Gazette-Journal with an exclusive interview.

He addressed the highs and lows of his first NFL season, his personal growth and -- maybe most interestingly -- his goal for next season.

Kaepernick, whose offseason regimen was limited due to the lockout, admits there was a lot to adjust to in his first year.

"I learned a lot of things and got my eyes opened to the playbook, the length of the season and how complex the schemes are," Kaepernick said. "There were a lot of things to take in."

Kaepernick, 24, said he spoke with coaches Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman after the season about what he needs to do "to get better and get on the field." He has a few pieces of homework, "like working on different arm angles on throws and trying to speed up his feet."

Kaepernick is excited at the prospect of an entire offseason to work on his game. He said he "plans on trying to take the starting job" from Alex Smith next year. Someone told him "Coach Harbaugh said it's an open job. It will be earned." And Kaepernick is under the impression that "they'll give him a fair shot."

The 49ers traded up in the 2011 NFL Draft, selecting Kaepernick in the second round. He played in three games as a rookie, completing three of his five total pass attempts. But the big difference between the Colin Kaepernick that was drafted 36th overall in 2011 and the Colin Kaepernick who's beginning his first NFL offseason training program? He'll tell you it's his "comfort level with the offense and what's going on."

That comfort level was critical when Kaepernick was a big hit away from quarterbacking the NFC Championship, a place some quarterbacks go an entire career without reaching. Despite no game action, the playoff experience left a strong impression on the rookie, one reminiscent of the 49ers 1980s dynasty.

"Now, it's almost like an expectation," Kaepernick said of the playoffs. "For all us rookies, it's the only thing we know."

The last time the 49ers expected -- really expected -- to be in the playoffs year-in and year-out, Joe Montana was at the helm and Kaepernick was graduating from diapers.

If hopes of being a perennial NFL playoff quarterback are to come true, it'll be more than just a long offseason of work for Kaepernick. He's not biting off too much, too early, though. He just says he is "going to try to come in (at camp) and show them what he is capable of."

If he does that well -- and Harbaugh is true to his open competition -- he'll be putting pressure on Alex Smith to perform next season.

Nate Stuhlbarg is a web producer withCSNBayArea.com. Follow him on Twitter @StuhlbargCSN.

Source: Bears deny 49ers attempt to bring back Fangio

Source: Bears deny 49ers attempt to bring back Fangio

The 49ers inquired about the possibility of re-hiring defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan's staff, but the Chicago Bears denied permssion, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

Fangio recently completed his second season as the Bears' defensive coordinator after spending four seasons in the same position on Jim Harbaugh's staff with the 49ers.

The Bears made it known to the 49ers that Fangio would not be allowed out of his contract. It never got to the point where the 49ers made a formal request to speak with Fangio, a source said.

Fangio's defenses were the strength of three 49ers teams that advanced to the NFC Championship game, including one Super Bowl appearance. He interviewed for the 49ers' head-coaching job after the 49ers parted ways with Harbaugh. After being passed over for defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, Fangio ended up on John Fox's staff with the Bears.

The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were blocked in their attempt to lure Fangio back to the organization.

Report: Seahawks could lose second-round pick in 2017 draft

Report: Seahawks could lose second-round pick in 2017 draft

The Seahawks might be in some trouble.

Seattle may lose its second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after failing to disclose Richard Sherman's knee injury, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The league is reportedly mulling a penalty after Pete Carroll revealed on Monday that Sherman dealt with an MCL injury during the season.

Back in September, the NFL took away the Seahawks' fifth-round pick, fined the team $400,000 and fined Pete Carroll $200,000 for violating work rules that prohibit excessive contact in all offseason workouts.

The Seahawks will also forefit their first week of 2017 OTAs.