The San Francisco 49ers are through five days of on-field practice. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was made available to the media Tuesday afternoon, and he touched on several topics, focusing in particular on his wide receivers.
What are your impressions of how he's [WR Brandon Lloyd] doing out here on the practice field?
"He's doing great, doing a lot of things well, on top of the playbook and making plays. So, I'm happy with what he's doing."
He said that his route running has always been one of his trademarks. Just from a quarterback's perspective, what does that mean for you just knowing he's going to be where he's supposed to be on a route?
"It just gives you that much more confidence when you drop back that you're going to have a receiver where he's supposed to in that timing. He's been there through camp. He's been there through OTAs on time. So, that gives all of us confidence."
He said a lot of the different receivers have different styles. Do you see that as well?
"Very much so. They all have their different techniques, different strengths that they are going to use to get open. And, I think it's good to have a variety of receivers with different moves. I think that makes it harder on defenses, harder on DBs."
How well have you learned Brandon right now?
"I think pretty well. He has pretty easy body language to read and for the most part normally, he's open by a step or two. So, that makes it a lot easier too.
What have you worked on with 49ers coaching intern George Whitfield during practice and also in drills?
"A lot of different drills. Just working to get better."
Could you talk about one thing specifically you've done? Or today, you were in a line doing five step drops, going to the left. What were you working on in that drill?
"Just our footwork, throwing left."
WR Michael Crabtree looks like he's really healthy again. Is that what you're seeing and just, is he 100 percent back?
"Very much so. I mean, even the end of last season he wasn't 100 percent and he was making plays for us. I'm excited to see what he's going to do now that he's 100 percent."
Is he noticeably different for you? I mean, is it obvious to your eye the way he gets in and out of routes?
"Yes. He's a step or two quicker now. He has burst out of his routes. He has burst when he catches the ball. He looks really good out there."
How about your evolution as a quarterback as a third-year starter now? Can you cite anything specifically that you're most proud of or that you're most improved at?
"I wouldn't say there's one thing. It's constant work trying to get better at everything I do and make sure I'm ready to lead this team and that I'm making the right reads, making the right throws when it counts."
What does it say about Crabtree that he wasn't running great last season and still eight games projected over 16 he still would've been close to 1,000 yards?
"I think that shows the caliber of receiver he is. He's not someone that's going to let a nagging injury or a little bit of pain stop him from playing well. He's going to go out, he's going to fight and he's going to make plays."
Four to five days into camp now, where do you think this offense is, from an installation standpoint and how you guys are working to get better?
"I think we're at a great point right now. I think everyone's very confident with what we're doing and feeling good with what we're doing. But we have to continue to get better."
Crabtree's pretty quiet mostly on social media and had a post about how he's working out but you know him pretty well, do you see that quiet desire and intensity this season and this offseason?
"That's him every season. Every time he steps on the field he's not playing to have fun. He's not playing just to be out there. He's playing to win. Whether it's on that route, on that block, whatever it is, he's doing it to win."
Speaking of social media, was it last year where someone pointed out how you would go and favorite the tweets where people would criticize you. Do you still do that? Are you still looking at the perception of you where not everybody's believing in you or trusting in you?
"That wasn't the first time I've done that. It was just the first time people took notice."
But, are you still at that stage?
"I do things when I feel it's appropriate. So, at that time I felt that was appropriate."
Has this camp allowed you [inaudible] into your first full year as a starter last year and all these new receivers. How much different is it for you this year as opposed to last?
"I don't think it's different for me. You have different personnel which makes it a lot easier when you have four 1,000-yard receivers out there. I mean, it's something we're excited as as quarterbacks, as an offense, as a team, but for me it's not too much different. I'm coming to work."
What are your impressions of TE Derek Carrier your tight end and what does he need to do to keep improving?
"He is a very strong receiver. Very quick. Very fast. Explosive. I think he's someone that continues to improve and I think we're looking forward to seeing what he's going to do in this preseason and how he fits into this offense."
What have you seen some of your young receivers like WR Bruce Ellington, he just got out there today in drills?
"He's looked great when he's been out there. He's been on top of it mentally which is a huge thing as a rookie. He doesn't play like a rookie. He's not out there thinking about things or worried about making mistakes. He's playing fast, he's making plays, so we're excited about him."
WR Brandon Lloyd was saying how you guys will be watching film and you'll be in there with the receivers and tell them where your target spots are supposed to be or what you're looking at. Have you always spoken up like that, in a positive way obviously, kind of setting things up like that in the film room?
"A little bit. I think the coaches have a lot more confidence in me doing that. I think I have a lot more confidence doing that now as far as making sure that we're on the same page and we're seeing the same thing when we're on the field. Because, ultimately when we step out there there's not going to be a coach out there telling you to run the route like this. It's going to be you and the receiver. So, you have to have that communication."
Is part of it because there's a lot of new receivers in the group now and you have to communicate that with them or is that just you taking more charge and doing that more?
"I think it's a little bit of both. We want to make sure [WR] Stevie [Johnson], Brandon, Ellington are on the same page with what we have been doing. And at the same time, I want to make sure everyone hears what I'm saying so they see things from my perspective and I hear what they're saying from their perspective of how they want to run routes."