Steve Young to Kaepernick: Trust legs more than arm

916173.jpg

Steve Young to Kaepernick: Trust legs more than arm

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has some advice for 49ers backup-turned-starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears.Granted, Young, a 49ers-backup-turned-starter, would not have taken his same advice when he first got off the sideline to replace Joe Montanta."Don't throw anything that you're not sure of," Young said. "This is not the night to try new things against these guys. But it is the night to use your legs, run for first downs, maybe a touchdown, key conversions, trust your legs more than your arm tonight just to get things going."Kaepernick will make his first NFL start on Monday with Alex Smith declared inactive due to a concussion.MAIOCCO: 49ers key matchup No. 1 -- Colin Kaepernick vs. Jason Campbell"Here's the bottom line," Young said. "You cannot take this game away from your teammates. This is good team. Maybe even a great team. You can't be the reason that they don't have a chance to win this game. That's the fundamental rookie, young player's mantra."Once you get past that, you can move on to being neutral or the reason you win."Young said he would not have taken his own advice when he first started for the 49ers because he had more experience. Young played a couple years of professional football in the USFL before starting 19 games over two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started three games in his first season with the 49ers in 1987.
"I had a lot of games under my belt," Young said. "(I felt like) I got to make hay now. Neutral is not the place to hang around here. But I don't think he's there yet. I don't think he needs to feel that way. I was definitely in a different boat."When asked about the NFL's concussion protocol, Young said he does not believe any system would be perfect because there's no way to measure the gradations of concussions how they impact everyone differently."With 99 percent of knee injuries, you can take an MRI and you know what's wrong," Young said. But with concussions, Young said, "Even the guy who has it is not sure."Young retired after the 1999 season after sustaining a severe concussion in the 49ers' third game of the season.

Falcons coach Quinn: 49ers' offense, defense in good hands

Falcons coach Quinn: 49ers' offense, defense in good hands

INDIANAPOLIS – Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes the 49ers’ offense and defense have capable people charge.

Quinn, speaking Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, has worked on the same staffs with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who will run the team’s offense, and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Saleh, who served as Jacksonville’s linebackers coach the past three season, spent one season on the Seattle staff when Quinn was defensive coordinator.

“He has a really good and rock-solid understanding of the principles of playing three-deep and man-to-man,” Quinn said of Saleh. “He’s an excellent teacher. And, I think, as a coordinator that’s a really important thing, especially when you’re first putting the whole thing together so everyone has a real clear understanding and they’re all on the same page. So I think he’ll do a fantastic job.”

Shanahan did not hire an assistant to serve under the title of offensive coordinator. Instead, he will assume those duties with the 49ers while also overseeing the entire operation as head coach. Shanahan has been an NFL offensive coordinator for eight seasons, including the past two under Quinn with the Falcons.

“He is one of the few coaches who has a full understanding – run game, offensive line, quarterback play, receiver play,” Quinn said of Shanahan. “You could put him into any spot on the offense, and he’ll be able to coach that position. That’s a rare trait. There are some guys who are sto strong in one area. It might be in the run game or so strong in the pass game. But he has a really clear understanding how to do the whole thing.

“I never like to see anybody leave the staff, but what I can appreciate is a guy taking a risk to say, ‘Hey, I want to give this a shot and go battle for it.’ So I’m excited for him and the opportunity he has there.”

Report: Kaepernick's new agents inform teams he will opt out

Report: Kaepernick's new agents inform teams he will opt out

INDIANAPOLIS – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will become a free agent for the first time in his six-year NFL career.

Kaepernick’s new agents, Jeff Nalley and Sean Kiernan, informed all 32 teams on Tuesday that he will, as expected, opt out of his contract to become a free agent, the NFL Network reported.

Kaepernick was scheduled to make $14.9 million in salary and bonuses for the 2017 season. If he did not opt out, the 49ers were expected to release him to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled pay.

The 49ers do not have a quarterback under contract for the upcoming season. Kaepernick is coming off his best season since 2013 – his first full season as the starter. Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Quarterback ranks as the team's top need for the upcoming season.

“Do we have some places – probably the ultimate position, quarterback – where we need to improve? Absolutely,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said on KNBR last week. “And we’re committed to doing that.”

Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis are also scheduled to be free agents.