SANTA CLARA – Josh Johnson was interviewed by Bay Area reporters in the 49ers’ press trailer Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript.
Q: Why do you think you have a second chance here?
JOHNSON: I’m a better player. I had a better year last year. I put a lot of different things on tape. They noticed that. What they do now fits my skill set more so than the first time I was here.
Q: Did you think you were going to make this team in 2012? Were you surprised that you didn’t?
JOHNSON: Yeah, it was a bit surprising. I thought I played well at the end, but I could have done a lot of things better and I look forward to doing them better this time around.
Q: Why does your skill set fit the 49ers better now than two years ago?
JOHNSON: Alex was the starter then and Kap is the starter now. Kap is an athletic quarterback and I’m an athletic quarterback as well.
Q: What did you learn from your first camp here that you can apply to give yourself a better chance to make the team this year?
JOHNSON: I was able to reflect on a lot of the things that I did wrong. Being out in Cincinnati and becoming the No.2, I was able to work on a lot of different things. Credit to those coaches out there. I felt like they developed me. Coming here the last time, I felt like I was in the process of developing as a quarterback. Now, I feel like I’m past the developmental stage of my career. Now, it’s just going out there and putting it on the field every time.
Q: Which coach helped you in Cincinnati?
JOHNSON: The quarterback coach, Ken Zampese, did a hell of a job fixing my mechanics so I can get all I can out of the talent I have. I thank him for that all the time.
Q: You mentioned the offense changing with Kaepernick. Is that something Jim Harbaugh talked to you about, or something you noticed on your own?
JOHNSON: you can notice it watching the game. Naturally, it has changed. Once I talked to the coaches, they said they do things that fit my skill set a little bit more. When I was here last time, the whole athletic quarterback deal wasn’t as big as it is now. And so it’s a different opportunity, but a better opportunity.
Q: Is the first time you’ve been in an offense you feel fits your skill set?
JOHNSON: Even in Coach Gruden’s offense last year – he did a lot of things that fit my skill set as well, and I was able to take advantage and show that during preseason. Now, more coaches are more open-minded to guys. When I first came in the league, it was more “I have to make you this way.” Now, it’s “what’s he good at? What are his strengths? Let’s get him comfortable and then we can make his weaknesses his strengths as he’s out there playing and growing as a player.”