Kaepernick lets his play do his talking

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Kaepernick lets his play do his talking

SANTA CLARA -- As the 49ers' starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick probably will not be guilty of supplying any bulletin-board material to the opposition any time soon.

The second-year player is letting his play on the field do most of his talking. On Wednesday, as the 49ers began preparations to face the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick gathered in front of a rather large crowd of media in the 49ers' locker room to answer questions.

The media asked 16 questions. Kaepernick gave answers totaling 328 words -- a concise average of 20.5 words per question.

The following transcript is courtesy of the 49ers' public relations department:

How does it feel to be getting the start again this week?
Kaepernick: "It feels good."

What did you learn, going back to film, what did you take from the St. Louis game?
Kaepernick: "Can't make mistakes. That's the biggest thing."

How hard is it when the snap isn't right, where it should be, and you have to look down and look back up? Does that throw you off your rhythm?
Kaepernick: "If I catch the snap, it's fine."

Is that something you and C Jonathan Goodwin had to work on, just your time together to get that?
Kaepernick: "Yeah, it's something we work on the same as we work snaps underneath center. So, that's not a problem."

When you talk about development, especially on a play like that pitch, what do you get out of that, that makes you better the next time you're in that situation?
Kaepernick: "Just knowing the situation of the game. That situation, should have just gave the ball, let our defense get back on the field."

In the past, there have been stories written about your tattoos, your biological mother, your tortoise. Do you have a problem with people getting into the inner-person and just trying to humanize you so much rather than just the quarterback?
Kaepernick: "That's really not a problem for me. I don't read any of that stuff. I'm here for football."

Is that sort of part of the territory when you're a starting quarterback, does that come with it?
Kaepernick: "I guess so. That's really not for me to say."

RB Frank Gore said something sort of interesting in working with RB LaMichael James. He said he's trying to teach him, instead of using his speed, to be patient, wait for the holes to open. When you're back there, do you have to do some of the same? Instead of sometimes fight your urge to run and keep a play alive and wait for things to develop at all, can that be applied to you and your position as well?
Kaepernick: "I think it's a kind of a different view as far as running the ball and being in the pocket, throwing versus scrambling."

You kind of got drilled the one game against the Saints where you waited for your blocker, didn't you?
Kaepernick: "I wouldn't call it drilled, but yeah I took a hit."

What do you have to do, were you aware that that guy was back there? Do you need to have better field awareness of where the person's coming from?
Kaepernick: "No, I knew he was back there the whole time. I was waiting for [FB] Bruce [Miller], try to set that block up and I thought I could split them."

There are things obviously to improve on every week, but can you talk about some of the things that you did well in Sunday's game?
Kaepernick: "For the most part, I felt my reads were good, got through progressions well and that's something I want to continue to do moving forward.

When you look at Miami's defense, what stands out for you? What do you key on?
Kaepernick: "Their front seven. They have a great pass rush. They're very good against the run. That's something we're going to have to prepare for."

Did you know, you watched the 49ers as a kid, do you know what the baggage was in playing quarterback in the NFL, everything that surrounds the actual playing. Whether it's the media and the attention, things go right and things go wrong? Did you have any idea?
Kaepernick: "That's something I don't worry about. I'm here to play football. I don't pay attention to what the media is writing or what people are saying. I'm here to play and go out and perform on Sundays."

I guess maybe touching on that, just maybe your perception of being in this position, growing up as a kid, admiring, thinking of maybe playing for the Niners and now you're here dealing with like 30 of us hanging around you. . .
Kaepernick: [Laughing] "I come out here, I do it as part of the job. What I'm here for is to go out on Sundays and play."

You had to deal with a loss last week for the first time as a starter. What was some of the support you got from teammates afterwards?
Kaepernick: "The biggest thing was just move on and get ready for next week. They said, ‘Don't worry about it. We're a team. We'll win as a team, lose as a team and we'll get ready for Miami.'"

It's known as kind of a copycat league. Would you expect the Dolphins to show a lot of things that maybe gave your offense some problems on Sunday?
Kaepernick: "Yeah, defenses are always going to try to scheme to stop you and do what they think is best. That's something we're doing on offense, trying to scheme them up as well."

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Until now, Kyle Shanahan’s hiring by the San Fracisco 49ers looked great because of his two-and-a-half predecessors – the last days of Jim Harbaugh, the misplaced concept of Jim Tomsula and the couldn’t-make-chicken-marsala-out-of-old-Kleenex problems surrounding Chip Kelly.

But now, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has told us all that Shanahan has a gift we in the Bay Area know all too well. Specifically, that Shanahan took too long to call plays to the Super Bowl the Falcons vomited up to the New England Patriots.

Now who does that remind you of, over and over again?

Yes, some things are evergreen, and too many options in this overly technological age seems to be one of them. Data in is helpful, but command going out is what bells the cow. Ryan said Shanahan was, well, almost Harbaugh-tastic in his timing.

“Kyle’s play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan told Bleacher Report. “As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, ‘There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.’ You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

“With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

And the reason this matters is because the Atlanta Shanahan had multiple good options on every play. In San Francsco, at least in the short term, he’ll be dealing with minimal options. That could speed up his choices, as in “What the hell, we don’t have Julio Jones.” But it could also mean more delays, as in, “Okay, him . . . no, maybe not . . . no, he just screwed up that play last series . . . oh, damn it, time out!”

In short, it’s growing pains season here, children. On the field, on the sidelines, and maybe even in Kyle Shanahan’s head.

49ers defense: Top training camp competitions

49ers defense: Top training camp competitions

Before starting six games as a rookie, Rashard Robinson had not played football since the 2014 season at LSU.

Yet, Robinson is the closest thing to a sure bet to win a starting job among 49ers cornerbacks.

Tramaine Brock was projected as the starting cornerback on the other side until his arrest on suspicion of a troubling domestic incident prompted the 49ers to release him more than three months ago.

The 49ers open training camp next week, and here are the top competitions for starting jobs on defense:

LEFT CORNERBACK
Keith Reaser has yet to make an NFL start while appearing in 28 games the past two seasons. The 49ers rotated cornerbacks with the first-team defense during the offseason program, and Reaser put himself in position to enter camp as the slight favorite to replace Brock.

Veterans Dontae Johnson and Will Davis will try to work their way into the picture. And the 49ers are hopeful talented rookie Ahkello Witherspoon will develop a willingness to play with more physicality. The 49ers selected Witherspoon in the third round. He has the size and all the tools to win the starting job, but there were times in college he showed an alarming lack of aggression as a tackler.

NICKELBACK
K'Waun Williams is healthy after missing last season due to an ankle injury and falling out of favor with the Cleveland Browns. Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley, one of the few holdovers from Chip Kelly’s staff, thinks highly of Williams after coaching him with the Browns. Hafley said he believes Williams can become one of the top covermen in the slot in the entire league.

Williams lined up with the first-team defense throughout the offseason program. His biggest competition could come from Will Redmond, whom the 49ers selected in the third round of the 2016 draft but did not play as a rookie due to a knee injury. Redmond has some rust to knock off, but he did not appear to show signs of the injury during the offseason program.

RIGHT DEFENSIVE END
Arik Armstead is not the prototypical player at the “Leo” position. At 6 foot 7, Armstead does not have the low center of gravity that is typically associated with that position. But Armstead is certainly not lacking for athleticism.

The 49ers need a more consistent pass rush to assist their unproven cornerbacks, and this spot will be counted upon to provide more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Veteran Elvis Dumervil, who believes he has regained his explosion off the edge after being hampered with Achilles injury, was added last month to do what he does best. Dumervil, 33, enters the season with 99 career sacks.

Aaron Lynch is on notice as he enters his fourth NFL season. He moves from outside linebacker to defensive end in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme. Multiple competitions will be ongoing at this position, as the 49ers will look to determine the best fits for base downs, as well as passing situations.

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER
The signing of free-agent Malcolm Smith raised a few eyebrows. It was just the offseason program, but Smith was as impressive as any player on the team during the non-padded practices. He is clearly comfortable in Robert Saleh’s scheme, which is based on the Seattle Seahawks’ defense.

The 49ers had Reuben Foster rated as their No. 3 prospect in the entire draft. They traded with the Seahawks to move up to select him at No. 31 overall. The 49ers seem thoroughly unconcerned with Foster’s shoulder. The club believes he will be medically cleared for the opening of training camp.

The 49ers might want to bring Foster along slowly, but it is clear they do not expect him to be a backup for very long.