Chip Kelly held his last press conference of the offseason on Thursday, and he said when training camp arrives, Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick will split first team work. We'll have a full transcript later today, but in the meantime, Cam Inman got some pertinent comments from Kelly:
“We get enough reps through the course of training camp that it’s never a concern for us, that ‘Geez, we’re not going to get enough reps out there,’ ” coach Chip Kelly said Thursday. “We have enough reps for everybody.
“Everybody will get with the first team, so that’s not a big deal to them.”
This is certainly not breaking news. Kelly has talked about this quarterback competition for a while now, stating that Kaepernick was not falling behind even having spent most of the offseason workout program doing rehab work, and shadowing the quarterbacks in drills. The quarterback competition has taken a step forward this week with Kaepernick taking part in 7-on-7 work, and it will take the biggest step forward once training camp arrives.
What will be more interesting to me is how the preseason snaps will work. If this competition has not been decided in the first week and a half of training camp, I suspect we would see Gabbert start one of the first two preseason games, and Kaepernick start the other of the first two. I don't think they'd give the rest of the offense extra work in the first game, so it would make sense to split the starting work.
It's hard to tell at this point how quickly the competition will be decided. My guess is we don't know for certain until at least the week of the third preseason game, but that's a long ways off. Maybe it gets decided sooner than that. Who knows.