Kurt Warner was in the news for San Francisco 49ers fans this offseason following his work with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. While Kap spent most of his time with QB coaches Dennis Gile and Mike Giovando, Warner was the high profile name. He only spent a day or so per week with Kap, but he is the guy we've heard from over the last few months.
Warner was in attendance at the 49ers Sunday practice, doing some work for NFL Network. While there, he had a chance to talk with the 49ers local media. There is a variety of content, both written and on video. CSN Bay Area posted some video, which I've transcribed below. You can view that video HERE. Below that, I embedded some video Cam Inman shot, with a brief transcription.
The videos do not have all of Warner's comments. You can read more in Eric Branch's article, as well as Cam Inman's article. Branch has a couple particularly in depth quotations in his article. He hit on a lot of the points we've heard thus far, but it is still interesting to see some different nuances mixed in.
For now, here is what he had to say in the Maiocco and Inman videos.
Well, I'll tell you what. The first thing I saw was a great kid that wanted to work hard and wanted to be great. And I think that's where it all starts, is the desire to want to better your craft. I think that's what Kap came into this offseason saying, hey, how can I get better? Let's look to find ways I can get better.
So that's where it all started. From there, it was really just trying to work with what his base was now. And try to get him more comfortable in the pocket. And by that I mean, getting comfortable for longer. He's been a guy who has been so athletic, and so dynamic with his athleticism for so long that I think sometimes, you kind of fall back on that. I just look at the fact that, here's Colin Kaepernick, one of the greatest athletes in our business, that got sacked 52 times last year. There's no reason for that. But one of the reason I think that happened is because he wasn't quite as comfortable in the pocket, of being able to get through a few of his progressions before he became an athlete. And so, we worked a lot on just engaging his lower body. When he was in the pocket, just kind of staying a passer a little bit longer, so even though pressure's coming, slide here, slide there, stay a passer until that moment comes where the clock goes off in my head, now's the time to become an athlete.
And so again, we only got to work together a short period of time. I tip my hat to him because he worked really hard during that time. And I know it's tough. And he came back, and I'm hearing rave reviews about how he's practicing and how he's playing. But it really came down to a young kid who was willing to put the time in and be teachable, to try and get better wherever he could. And now comes the spot of trying to get that to translate onto the field, when all this stuff's going on, and in those three or four seconds, where a lot of things are happening. And I'm excited to be out here today and to watch him throughout the season.
On what he'll be watching specifically during the season:
I'm a firm believer that in the National Football League as a quarterback, you have to be able to make the layups. And what do I mean by that? I mean everybody's talented at this level. You have to be able to make the throws that are there to be made. Whether it's a read, a simple read that you have to make, or a simple throw, you have to be able to complete those things 80, 90 percent of the time. So that's the first thing I'm going to look at. Second thing is a little more touch with the ball. Is that with engaging your lower body, it allows you to throw and get power with your lower body, so you don't have to throw everything 100mph with your arm. We all know that he's got a rocket arm.
But I think anything you can do to throw with touch, and anticipate and take a little bit off for your receivers, is something that's going to benefit your whole team in the long run. So those are just a couple things when we're talking about what it looks like on the field, that I'm going to be watching from him, and seeing the strides that he's made there.
Cam Inman video
That's all I ever did. I was always just a pocket guy, so I can help you with that. The hardest thing I believe for any athletic quarterback, is to figure out the balance between how long do I stay a passer, and when do I become an athlete, and be special that way. And that's something that I can't teach you. That's something that, there's no book for that.
But the idea is to be a passer, and figure out that time in your head on particular players, where, ok, this is the time it takes to get to your 1, 2 and 3, and now it's time to become an athlete. As opposed to, looking at 1 and going, OK it's not there, now let's try and create. Because you just can't live in that create a play world in the NFL. No matter how good you are, six or seven times a game maybe. Try to live there 20-25 times a game, it's not where you're gonna be. So, that's gonna be always the biggest challenge for an athletic guy.
So, I think the key was, if you can make somebody more comfortable. If you can make a throwing position their normal, they can stay there a little bit longer to make those layups that we need to make it at this level.