The San Francisco 49ers entered training camp with numerous questions about their wide receiver corps. Injuries cost them Bruce Ellington and Eric Rogers, but the team traded for a pair of veterans late in camp. They acquired Jeremy Kerley from the Detroit Lions on the Tuesday of the cut to 75 players. They then followed that up with a trade for Rod Streater on the Saturday of final roster cuts.
Both players had a quick turnaround before the team's season opening Monday Night Football game, but Kerley had the edge of a week of practice and a preseason game. Kerley stepped up in a big way for the 49ers in their opener, leading the team in receptions and yards. Earlier this week, he chatted with SB Nation Radio about the performance, and having such a short time to prepare. He talked about learning about the trade, getting ready in a short period of time, and the Colin Kaepernick protest. I've transcribed it below.
Now that Kerley is in the mix, I'm curious if we see Rod Streater emerge as a target for Blaine Gabbert. He was acquired after the final preseason game, but now has a couple weeks of practice under his belt. Maybe we see him break out a little bit in Week 2. On to Kerley's transcript.
On what he was doing when he found out about trade:
I was actually laying down in my apartment, and I got the phone call from my agent that the trade had been made. Shortly after that, like four hours after that, I was on a plane to Cali.
On difficulty of moving to a new city and learn new system so quickly:
I mean luckily for me, I didn’t have a lot out there in Detroit yet. I had an apartment, had my apartment furnished and all that, so other than that, the moving process wasn’t too hard. But to come to San Fran with little to no knowledge about what they do, or who’s over there, I really got a plane ride to figure out everybody that was over there. It was a little difficult at first. When I first got in there, everything was kind of like listening to a foreign language. But after a couple days, I just tried to get the formations first, then pick up a couple plays, pick up a couple plays I see myself running, and then after that, it just started flowing. It took a little while, but helped myself out, I picked it up pretty good.
On picking things up quickly enough to lead team in catches vs. Rams:
I just made sure to put in the time, put in the hours. I stayed, there was times where I could be done around 12 o’clock and I wasn’t leaving until around 8:30. And I was just trying to make sure the offense wasn’t slowing down because of me. Chip Kelly offense is up tempo, it’s fast, it’s meant to go fast, so I just wanted to make sure that if I was going to be out there, and if I was gonna be on the field, they wouldn’t have to slow down because of me.
On Colin Kaepernick protest:
I don’t think it’s been a problem. It hasn’t been a problem in the locker room. It hasn’t been a problem with any of the guys towards Colin. I think, I can’t speak for everybody else, but I can speak for myself, but I feel like what he’s doing is something that he has to do. I’m not him, I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but if he’s standing up for whatever reason he’s standing up for, or in this case, sitting down for, that’s his right to do so. Everybody has a right to protest, everybody has a right to stand up for something, so that’s something that he’s standing up for.
On short turnaround vs. Panthers:
Yea, I mean, we’ve been prepared for it pretty much since they’ve been in camp. We practice at 10 o’clock in the AM, to prepare for when we go play east coast games, we’re playing at 1 o’clock. We’ve been preparing early, at least since I’ve been here; pretty sure it’s been throughout camp. I don’t think it’ll be an issue.
On Panthers defensive strengths and linebackers:
I think the most noticeable thing about their linebackers is they move really good. They’re instinctive and they can cover ground well. Veteran guys, so they definitely know what they’re doing out there.