Curtis Modkins: “We made a change because we felt like this gives us the best chance to win.”

SANTA CLARA — Curtis Modkins spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Wednesday morning. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Opening comments:

“Good morning. Good to see you all. Well, it was good to get a couple days off the kind of mini-bye deal and be able to sit down, reevaluate and look at some things. So, there’s not probably a whole lot of reason to go back to last week. I’m sure you guys probably have some questions so we’ll just go ahead and get into it.”


What are you most curious to see from QB Colin Kaepernick in a game atmosphere now?

“Well, him moving the football team and scoring points and helping us win on offense. Kap has been here before. Kap has done it before. He’s no stranger to being a starting quarterback in this league and we look forward to seeing him move the football team.”


Will you tailor the offense from one guy to the other? Does one guy do things better than the other guy does and you can call plays to that effect?

“No, I don’t think we change. I think both guys are similar enough. We don’t change what we do.”


The transition of G Joshua Garnett from both sides, I know he started off at right, then left then, now back to right. Why move him around like that?

“Well, I think part of developing an offensive line is you have to have some multiplicity with guys being able to play different positions. When you’re trying to get to know a player, get to know a team, get to know a unit, especially offensive line, I think it helps to get guys experience at a different position so we know what we have. Josh has done a good job and we look forward to him continuing to develop.”


Is he starting Sunday?

“I don’t know. We got him a couple plays in the game because of the way the game fell out. Hopefully we’re able to continue that, but no decision has been made about him being a starter, no.”


What has he done since the beginning of the regular season to put himself in that position to get 18 snaps Thursday and be considered–?

“Well, he’s worked hard. He’s gotten better in practice. He’s learning what we do. Obviously he’s a talented player. He’s like any other young player on our team, they all need to continue working and continue to improve. But, I think Josh is on the right track.”


Can you talk about the play of WR Jeremy Kerley? He’s been targeted 23 times in the last two games, went over 100-yards for the first time I think since 2012. Are you surprised at all at his progress at all being a late addition to your football team?

“Well, Jeremy obviously has done a good job for us. Some of the things we’ve seen schematically versus the defense that we played have been conducive for us to give him some targets. He’s done a good job, made the most of them. Jeremy has always had ability. He’s been a good player in this league for a few years. I’ve known him since he’s been in college. He came out, so I’m not surprised at all that he’s done good. I’m looking forward to that continuing and I feel he’ll even get better.”


Some metrics say that QB Blaine Gabbert was really struggling in throws, deep throws, beyond 20 yards? Was that an area that, are those throws part of this change and do you guys need to push the ball downfield and maybe open up things for the running game?

“I think we need to improve in all areas of offensive football. I don’t think that’s a single one defining deal. We made a change because we felt like this gives us the best chance to win on Sunday and moving forward, so that’s why the change was made. But, to point to a specific metric would be probably unfair because a lot goes into being able to get the ball down the field. Protecting, the routes, there’s a lot of other things involved in that.”


After having that shoulder issue early in the preseason, how has Kaepernick looking in terms of his arm strength?

“I think Kap’s getting better and better every day.”


You’ve talked a lot about getting the ball down the field. Is it important to be able to get it downfield better than you have been?

“Yeah, I think it’s important that we hit some of our downfield throws. Yep.”


How was yesterday’s practice? I mean, how did Kaepernick look? I think WR Torrey Smith said that they seemed to have a good rapport, hooked up on a couple.

“Yeah, I think he looked good. Today will be another shot for us to come out and get better. Now, good one day is not good enough in this league. We try to get better every day and that’s not only with Kap, but every other position on the team.”


What was the energy like after the–?

“I thought it was good. The guys had a few days off. That’s something we talked about this morning. We’ve got to pick that up too, but I thought yesterday they came out and they ran around good.”


In your experience, can changing a quarterback provide a spark to the rest of the offense?

“I don’t know about sparks. We think it will give us the best chance to win on Sunday. I’m not into sparks or anything like that. So, I’m anticipating that it gives us the best chance and that’s the decision we made. It wasn’t about a spark. I think we all have got to be better around whoever the quarterback is, me included.”


You guys gave up seven sacks last week. When reviewing the game film, was that more indicative on the fact that it was missed assignments or is that just miscommunication along the offensive line as a whole?

“I don’t think there were missed assignments involved. I don’t think it was miscommunication. Maybe slow communication. I just think we’ve got to do a more effective job of blocking. And I’m not just talking about up front. There’s a lot things involved with that. Backs, we’ve got to do a better job of blocking there. Up front, there’s some things they did that we knew they were going to do. We’ve just got to do a better job. We’ve got to get the ball out. There’s a lot that goes into whether you get a sack or not. So, it wasn’t that idea of not knowing what was going on. I thought we had a good idea of what they were going to do.”


Head coach Chip Kelly said the Cardinals were doing a lot of twists and stunts and things like that. Was that first time or the most that you’ve seen that from your opponents?

“No, not the first time. But, they did beat us on a couple twist games and definitely not the first time. We’ve just got to be better at picking that up. Our defense does it. We’ve just got to get better at picking it up.”


What strikes you most about the Bills pass rush and their ability to get after you?

“Well, they’re like any other [Buffalo Bills head coach] Rex Ryan defense. They can pass rush you in a lot of different ways with a lot of different people. In their normal pass rush, they have a really effective, really good pass rusher in [Buffalo Bills LB] Jerry Hughes and then on the other end, they’ve got a guy that’s leading the league in sacks right now. So, they’ve got some individual guys that can rush the passer. They’ve got inside guys in [Buffalo Bills DT] Kyle Williams, who I was with for three years, who really understands get off and how to get to the pass rusher and they’ll get I’m sure [Buffalo Bills DT] Marcell Dareus will be back. He’s a really good pass rusher. So, they’re able to generate it with different people, but in their base pass rush they have good people doing it.”


The Bills are known to have a rabid fan base. Is that game day experience there different or unique?

“It’s fun. It’s a really good game day experience. I think our guys will be excited for it. Only bad part about it is when we drive up, there’ll be some good food I’ll be smelling in the parking lot. The Bills have great fans. We look forward to going back there.”


Either this week or in the offseason when you’re doing your early preparation, do you pick defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s brain, just maybe about some of the nuances of Rex’s scheme?

“Yeah. Jim and I talk all the time about different things. Sometimes that’s part of it, but not that specifically. We talk all the time and bounce ideas off each other. Not only Jim and I, but a lot of our coaches do that. Our wide receivers coach will talk to our DB coach and get ideas and what affects us here or how did you handle this? That happens a lot.”

  1. That is a damning statement by Modkins it might motivate Gabbert to visit EXOS. The next series of games is going to be interesting.

  2. Some of us knew Gabbert would never be as good as Kaepernick. Two weeks ago, Colin was not physically ready to play, yet he was a heartbeat away from playing. Now all of a sudden he’s gained back the weight and ready to go, and at the same time he’s knee deep in a contract renegotiation. Coincidence? I think not. When this first came out, I said my instincts were this was a pay for play audition. I still do. The front office also has started leaking that they believe Ponder gives them the best chance to win moving forward. As a fan, I don’t appreciate this garbage. You put the player that gives the team the best chance to win regardless of the contract. To ask a player to give up an insurance clause to play on a team that is running the read option more and more, is quite frankly, an abomination. If you weren’t going to play him, and you really think Ponder is the answer, you should have just given him the RG3 treatment. I hate this front office, and the little respect I did have for Chip Kelly is gone. This franchise should be ashamed of themselves and I guarantee you, other players around the league are paying attention….

    1. “Some of us knew Gabbert would never be as good as Kaepernick.”

      Gabbert was better than Kaepernick in 2015, and it remains to be seen how Kaepernick will play. The early returns were far from promising.

      1. Gabbert has never been and never will be as good as Kaepernick, but you hold on tight to your Gabblert action figure. Right next to your Dahl and Davis ones….

        1. He was better than him a season ago. The Kaepernick that everyone remembers as being a playmaker has been missing for the most part since 2013.

          There’s a big difference I guess between you and I. I don’t really care who is on the field.

          As for Gabbert and Kaepernick, it’s arguing over who is the least worst. Yay! 👏👏👏👏

          1. There’s a big difference I guess between you and I. I don’t really care who is on the field.

            Exactly! I care about having the player that gives the team the best chance to win. You clung to a bust that didn’t do diddly poo in 2015, and has never done diddly squat in this league. Then you expected him to all of a sudden excel under Chipper Kelly. Ha! That, my friend is the difference between you and I….

            1. But now Razor you think Kap is going to do wonders under Kelly when since 2013 he hasn’t shown anything except diddly poo!

              1. Don’t be a disrespectful punk, Prime. Kaepernick has bled and led this team to greatness. Ungrateful is not a good look.

                I don’t know what he’ll do. I said stick with Roger Gabbert and draft Kizer. Deactivate Colin and release him. That’s what I said to do. I said nothing about wonders. Now, I hope he’s on fire week after week. I hope he makes these punks in the front office look like stoltos….

              2. Bled and led this team to what? What did he win again? A record of most rushing yards on a playoff game? Whoopie!
                You are giving him way too much credit for doing something he did 3 years ago and riding the coat tails of players way better than him.
                Calling me an ungrateful punk shows you are way too personal about old wind up.
                Sorry my friend but I think you are in a for a rude awakening over his performance the rest of the year!

              3. Prime,

                Don’t forget his 4-2 playoff record.

                Never mind that it is the same as that of Mark Sanchez.

              4. What did he win again?

                Your ungratefulness is most repugnant. You don’t deserve his services. The fact that he’s willing to put his life on the line for a team that does not want him, that’s willing to use him but not back him, fans like you who have nothing but disdain for him, a team he wants nothing to do with, and yet you think this is personal. Nope, there’s a few things I cannot tolerate. Liars, Fakes, and Ingrates. Cannot hang with them, cannot deal with them, cannot tolerate them, and I definitely can’t be in a foxhole with them….

              5. That’s right the 4-2 record where he blew it in Seattle and in the SB with an under throw and an over throw to Crabtree. How could I forget!

              6. Never mind that it is the same as that of Mark Sanchez

                Has Mark Sanchez bled for this team? Did he even play for this team? Put him next to your Roger Gabbert action figure, there on your mantle….

              7. Razor you need to calm down soldier! You act like I owe him for his service to the 49ers. He sucks! He had a good run and is a typical one trick pony. Flash in the pan!
                And yes, he has not won a damn thing.
                A NFC final & SB participating QB who lost it in crunch time. Let’s all be proud of what he’s done!
                I’m so grateful for that!

              8. Prime, this is why I do not think much of your football knowledge.

                181 yards QB rushing in a playoff game is Kinda a big deal, since NO OTHER QB HAS EVER DONE THAT. It helped him win that game, which was on the road,and helped propel him into the SB.

                Dissing Kaep for setting records just shows how much you hate him.

              9. Damn Razor. You’re wound a little too tight right now.

                Sanchez is a perfect comparison for Kaepernick. The first few years of their careers have shown almost identical trajectories.

              10. It’s funny to see someone try to diss someone else about their “lack of football” knowledge while also being wrong. 😂😂

              11. If he’s so fricking bad, why ask him to play on the condition he waives his injury guarantee? Why not just release him? That’s the point you two seem to be missing….

              12. Seb it’s typical of a no one to cling and base success on accomplishment that are totally irrelevant. This game is about winning and winning in pressure moments. You guys keep talking about his playoff performance. Are you forgetting the choke in Seattle and in the SB? Those 2 throws tonCrabtree?
                You think all those rushing yards mean something? It’s a passing league. Running QB’s don’t matter.
                I don’t hate the guy, he just sucks as a QB!

              13. Yea, like the 49ers were so fricking good before Kaepernick took over. Remember how we were winning NFC Championships and going to the Superbowl? Damn I miss those good old days….

              14. “why ask him to play”

                He’s the next QB on the depth chart and the coach is hoping he’ll do better. At 1-4 it can’t get much worse.

              15. Razor you act like he was the final piece of the puzzle in getting the Niners over the hump. You forget the end results?
                The journey was good but if you crumble under pressure does 181 yards rushing ease your pain? Give you hope for the future? That’s pee thet ic!

              16. He’s the next QB on the depth chart and the coach is hoping he’ll do better. At 1-4 it can’t get much worse.

                He was a heartbeat away from playing, yet he wasn’t physically ready two weeks ago. A magic waive of the injury wand and all of a sudden, Colin Kaepernick is healthy and ready to go. Amazing….

              17. Kaepernick took over a team that was 2 muffed punts away from a Super Bowl and was off to a 6-2 start.

                The cupboard was hardly bare.

              18. The team was stuck in a rut with Alex Smith, and Colin Kaepernick came in and guided them to the Super Bowl. That’s just a fact, and here’s another one. Jim Harbaugh made the decision. You know the guy who gave us wins, the one York fired instead of Baalke. The one who’s now giving Michigan wins. Poor decisions set a franchise back. A colossal mistake like that turns a franchise into what we have today. A complete dumpster fire led by total incompetent people who are being paid an enormous amount of money….

            2. I didn’t cling to anything.

              All i did was state that he was better in 2015, which he was both statistically and with wins and losses.

              I said he’d be the starting QB out of training camp, and he was.

              I thought there was a chance for him to show improvement under Kelly, but it didn’t pan out. Oh well.

              Now Kaepernick gets a chance to play. He looked awful against GB and was so so against a bunch of back ups in San Diego.

              We will see how he does.

              It doesn’t solve the real issue with this team but it’s a fun distraction.

              1. It doesn’t solve the real issue with this team

                The issue is Owner/General Manager/Chief Strategy Officer(What a joke)

              2. Prime,

                Gabbert keeps missing throws down the field that should be basic NFL level throws.

                I doubt it’s about being trade bait because any team acquiring him would only hold his rights through this season.

              3. According to the leaks, so they can play the guy that Kelly believes he can resurrect, Christian Ponder. You know, the guy the Vikings replaced with Teddy Bridgewater. The same guy that the Raiders released. They all expect Kaepernick to fail or get hurt, and the sooner they get it over with, the sooner Ponder can shine. Which begs the question, why does Kaepernick have to play in order to get Ponder on the field. If he’s the player they believe gives the team the best chance to win, why isn’t he playing now? I’m sure season ticket holders would like to know….

              4. No, Jack, you openly preferred Gabbert over Kaep.

                Somehow, you conveniently forgot that Kaep had 3 surgeries to repair all the injuries that Kaep suffered to try to help this team win. Youy also fail to correlate the association between injuries and poor play.

                Gabbert was fully healthy and still struggled. Now that Kaep is healthy, I hope he can complete passes, and move the chains.

              5. Jack doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground. Wrong about Dahl, wrong about Davis, wrong about Gabbert, wrong about Sanchez. Didn’t he say he would win the job in Denver?

              6. I never stated a preference. That’s an incorrect inference that you made based on simply showing the numbers, which show his performance was better, and paying attention to what was happening. It should have been a shock to no one that Gabbert was the starter week 1.

              7. Jack, the vehemence you showed in opposing me plainly made it clear that you preferred Gabbert over Kaep. You cannot hide from that fact.

              8. Sebnnoying, everyone knows Gabbert earned the starting job. What’s concerning is that as bad as he is, he earned it over your hero. How weak is that?

              9. everyone knows Gabbert earned the starting job.

                Prime, it is with great pleasure that I award you the dumbest statement of the day ribbon. Gabbert earned it, ha! Righty roo!

              10. You know Razor you believe what you want. This is obviously very personal for you with Kap and all. You get your glory this Sunday and beyond possibly to say Kap is everything you think he is. Let’s see what happens. Performance and wins trump all. Good luck this weekend!

              11. Quit lying, Prime. For the umpteenth time, I don’t know how he’ll do. One thing I’ve always known is on his worst day, he’s better than Roger Gabbert. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Ronnie Lott, ask Davis, ask Bennett….

              12. Oh yeah, you kept bringing up the fact that Sanchez has as many road playoff wins as Kaep.

                Its OK, you will cling to your narrative, but you should quit while behind.

            3. “A magic waive of the injury wand and all of a sudden, Colin Kaepernick is healthy and ready to go.”

              Big deal. Nobody forced the guy to do it.

              1. Big deal. Nobody forced the guy to do it.

                Question for you, Hammer. If he was a friend of yours, would you have advised him to do it?

              2. If he was a friend of mine I’d have told him it’s his decision and I’ll support him either way.

                But he’s not a friend of mine so I don’t care what he does.

              3. If he was a friend of mine I’d have told him it’s his decision and I’ll support him either way.

                Nope. I’d advise him against and tell him why. THEN, I’d give him the PC statement you did. Anytime someone you care about comes to you for advice, you should give them what you believe is the best for there well being. Just like if your daughter got pregnant out of wedlock, and asked you if she should get an abortion. Before I said, it’s your decision and I’ll stand by you whatever you decide, I would advise against it and explain my reasoning. When someone you care about thinks enough of you to ask your advise, you should provide. Not doing so is a cop out….

              4. Nope? You asked me what I’d say.

                I didn’t ask you. I don’t care how you’d respond to him.

              5. I didn’t ask you. I don’t care how you’d respond to him

                That’s because you’re butt hurt. Maybe ‘my boy’ will fail and you can dust off your Gabbert action figure, or maybe you head to Goodwill and see if you can find a Ponder….

              6. I’m hurt? Huh. Other than being a little sore from the changes in my workout I think I’m just fine.

                I care about who the starters are at any position on this team about as much as I care about what you’d tell your friend.

              7. I care about who the starters are at any position on this team about as much as I care about what you’d tell your friend.

                What was I thinking? I thought I was having an intelligent conversation with another adult, hoping to come to a mutual understanding. Oh well. Since we no longer have, ‘Who’s got it better than us’, I guess we go with, Who the hell cares?

              8. I’ve said repeatedly that I have no preference who the starting QB is. They’re both not very good.

                How difficult is this to understand?

              9. I’ve said repeatedly that I have no preference who the starting QB is. They’re both not very good.

                One was the worst in the league and the other gives the team a better chance at winning. At least that’s what the 49ers would have us believe. You do care about winning don’t you?

                How difficult is this to understand?

                Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care

              10. Yes, the 49ers hope that Kaepernick can help them win so they’ve made the switch.

                That doesn’t change my outlook on this team at all.

                I hope Kaepernick plays well, it would be nice to see the team win.

                I doubt they will. The offense will likely need to score 31+ points for that to happen. They’ve done that once in the last 30 games.

              11. Yes, the 49ers hope that Kaepernick can help them win so they’ve made the switch

                You know what my dad used to say about hope, don’t you? Bet your dad said the same thing. You can hope in one hand, and sh!t in the other. Let me know which one fills up faster. I remember you stated that you believed Baalke would be here in 2017. Still a believer?

  3. “No, I don’t think we change. I think both guys are similar enough. We don’t change what we do.”

    And therein lies the problem.

    1. Coaching cast offs. What did you expect, a scheme that accentuates the strengths of the players you have? C’mon, man!

  4. So forget which QB is playing, What would a good performance for a QB be in this offense? Obviously winning is one metric but what else would you guys say would make a good outing for any of our QB’s?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *