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Geep Chryst talks Colin Kaepernick and the regression narrative

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A frequent discussion point about Colin Kaepernick is the issue of regression. His new offensive coordinator had a discussion about that recently in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers return to training camp means we will start to hear more from head coach Jim Tomsula, offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini. Tomsula will be managing everything on the team, but given his defensive background, it seems likely that Chryst gets a bit more leeway in how he handles the offense. These press conferences are not exactly earth-shattering insight, but they at least give us something to chew on.

Before those get started however, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News had a chance to sit down with Chryst for a 45-minute interview. I'm not sure if we'll see a full transcript, but Purdy put together some portions of it that related to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Last year's performance has resulted in all sorts of discussion about Colin Kaepernick and whether or not he regressed. He had career highs in certain categories, but the offense was sluggish for much of the season. Fingers are pointed in numerous directions when the discussion gets going. Some point to Kap, some point to the offensive line, some point to the wide receivers, some point to the play-calling. It goes on and on and on.

In discussing last season, Chryst had this to say:

"And then last year," Chryst said, "you're playing with some different sets of challenges. There was more change within the offensive line than he had experienced the last couple of years. How does that affect your production as a quarterback? You're behind more often in games. How does that affect your production as a quarterback? I cite the fact that we had six touchdowns nullified by penalty. You plug that back into his formula, he really wasn't ... he didn't regress off his line as much as perceived."

I need to go back and look at the six touchdowns nullified by penalty. It is not as simple as adding those back in since penalties do happen, and the context of those penalties needs to be taken into account. And of course, it can be on the quarterback to overcome these kinds of obstacles.

With all the discussion about last season, I don't think either "side" of the discussion can claim complete superiority on the position. Kap dealt with a struggling offensive line, a lack of a consistently strong second receiving option after Anquan Boldin, and some questionable play-calling. On the other hand, he recognized a need to improve in areas like the short game and his progressions.

Whether it all comes together in 2015 remains to be seen. Chryst recognizes there is a lot of work left to be done as the team heads into training camp. They know the offense struggled last season, and adjustments are being made. We'll see some aspects of it in training camp and the preseason, but Week 1 is when we can really start to judge the results of the offseason changes.