Kaepernick: “Bruce (Ellington) has been amazing.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick was interviewed by Bay Area reporters Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.

What did you get out of this three-day minicamp?

“We got more work with our receivers, with our running backs. Great opportunity for us just to get better.”

Are you a better redzone team now after this three-day minicamp than you were? I know that’s been a big focus this offseason.

“I hope so. We’ll find out when the season comes. It’s hard to tell until you start doing things in a game.”

Is there anything you want to work on during the break until you come back for camp?

“Everything. Always working on everything. Trying to have complete game.”

What is your impression of some of the young guys, WR Bruce Ellington in particular?

“Bruce has been amazing out here. He’s picked things up very quickly. Good route runner. Very good feel for the game and he’s made plays when we’ve given him the opportunity.”

What’s his speed like? Deep speed.

“I feel like he has game speed. He’s faster than he looks and he can separate. So, we’re very excited about what he can add to this team.”

WR Anquan Boldin was saying that he feels the chemistry between you two has really come along because of communication. Can you kind of describe what he means by that?

“It’s just a constant conversation between the receivers, me, the coaches and really nailing down what we want to do vs. different coverages, different looks and how we want to approach those things. And I think that’s cleaned up a lot of our passing game for us.”

Does all the additions at receiver, does that give you the chance to expand what you can do as a quarterback? What those guys can do makes you able to do more?

“I think it gives us an opportunity as an offense to do a lot more. When you have playmakers like Anquan, [WR] Stevie [Johnson], Crab [WR Michael Crabtree], B-Lloyd [WR Brandon Lloyd], [TE] Vernon [Davis], our tight ends, Bruce, [WR] Quinton [Patton], you have a lot of weapons that you can put in a lot of different places and you don’t necessarily have to worry about where you’re positioning people because they’re all good route runners. They all the capability of getting open and making plays.”

Would you like to see the offense start tilting more toward the passing game?

“I want to see this offense do whatever it has to to win games. That’s really what’s most important, but I’m always good to throw a few more balls.”

Do you think that the offense is capable of becoming an elite, prolific passing offense?

“I think we have that capability. I think a lot of it is the game plan though. How do we want to attack different teams?”

 

Is it a relief for you that the negotiations and the contract situation is done and you can go into this break and head to training camp without having to have that weighing over you?

“I wouldn’t say a relief. It wasn’t something I was ever worried about. I was playing football. I would say it’s probably more of a relief for my agents than anyone. But, I’m very happy that the contract is done and happy to be here for a lot more years.”

Since you had that press conference, there’s been a lot of talk about the 49ers having won the negotiations and maybe it wasn’t the best contract for you and maybe your agents got taken a little bit by the 49ers. What’s your response to all of that?

“You can skew things however you want. At the end of the day, a lot of the way the contract is set up is how every other quarterback’s contract is set up. And the things that aren’t set up like those contracts are because we wanted them that way so we can sign other players.”

So it was very deliberate on your part?

“It was very deliberate by agents, the organization and myself that we want things done this way so we can keep a solid team here.”

So do you feel you’re betting on yourself in the negotiations?

“If that’s what you want to call it, yes.”

Head coach Jim Harbaugh was saying that his outgoing speech to you guys about surrounding yourself with positive people. What do you take away from that? A lot of players in the locker room say they completely agreed.

“Yeah, you want to keep good people around at all times regardless of where you’re at.”

What are your first impressions of RB Carlos Hyde, and in particular, his hands coming out of the backfield?

“He’s a very good running back. Feel like he can make an impact here and he’s someone we can use out of the backfield. Has very good hands, has a good feel for the game and has a little wiggle to him.”

To continue on with that line of questioning about what Jim Harbaugh said to you guys, do you find yourself now a little bit more guarded or wary of what he talked about people lurking around the corner with not your best interests in mind?

“A lot more.”

When did you – was that even before this offseason?

“Yeah, I would say since I really started playing it’s something I’ve been more aware of and especially in the past few months. It’s something that obviously you have to be very aware of.”

Is that what you took away from the Miami situation?

“Yeah, for the most part.”

What do you think the biggest difference between the Colin Kaepernick that showed up here as a rookie three years ago to this minicamp, if you could sum up what’s the difference between that guy and you?

“Experience. Experience in the offense. Experience with what I want to be doing on the field as far as footwork techniques, everything. It comes down to experience and the time here and time on task as far as what we’re doing.”

What about off-the-field stuff?

“For the most part, I’m going to be me. Off the field, you just have to look out for what other people’s intentions are.”

Can you be you?

“I’m going to be me regardless.”

Did it bother you that Vernon and G/T Alex Boone weren’t here this week? What did they miss these last few days?

“We would love to have them here. They’re great players, great contributors to our team. But at the end of the day, that’s their personal decision.”

Michael Crabtree’s kind of taken things slow, but in the glimpses you’ve seen, is he better than he was last year, more explosive than he was at the end of last year?

“Yes. At the end of last year he still wasn’t 100%. He has a lot more burst to him now. Looks really good.”

What did you see out of TE Vance McDonald and G Joe Looney, kind of the guys who are getting more reps with Vernon and Alex not here?

“Joe Looney’s been great. He came in last year during the Rams game and played phenomenal. So, I think he’s someone that everyone has great confidence in. Vance has made great strides this offseason too. Just being comfortable in the offense, knowing what he’s doing and making plays.”

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  1. Bruce Ellington 5-9 197lbs 31″ Arms 9 5/8″ Hands
    4.45 ~ 40YD
    15 ~ Reps Bench
    39.5 ~ Vertical
    120 ~ Broad
    6.69 ~ 3 Cone
    3.95 ~ 20YD Shuttle

    Kyle Williams 5-10 188lbs 30″ Arms 9 1/8″ Hands
    4.43 ~ 40YD
    11 ~ Reps Bench
    33 ~ Vertical
    118 ~ Broad
    7 ~ 3 Cone
    4.19 ~ 20YD Shuttle

    1. Razor,

      Those Stats are important to a certain degree but it ALL comes down to what a Player can do on the field against Opponents.

      Ellington seems to be more of an Offensive Weapon than KW could ever be. But we’ll just have to see come Pre-Season. Look forward to seeing his potential come August.

  2. Heard an interview last week with Ellington and he said he is really looking forward to having the opportunity to focus only on football for the first time since he started playing the game.

    1. That is an understated point if you ask me. I know its been mentioned before, but the ability to be as good as he was in college while juggling football, studies and basketball is very impressive. Now he can focus on just one of those things. His ceiling could be very high.

  3. Man I’m really excited about Ellington, I think there’s a good chance he sees more playing time than others are expecting.

      1. Ignoring the fact that there are four if not five guys ahead of him on the depth chart isn’t explaining anything Razor. Lighting it up in minicamp is one thing. Taking over Johnson, Lloyd, or Patton’s position on the depth chart when it matters is another thing entirely

    1. What rationale are people using for their position on keeping 6 WRs or not?

      I think they only keep 6 WRs if both Lloyd and Johnson look fantastic in TC, and Patton and/ or Ellington do not.

      If one of Johnson or Lloyd struggle during TC then one of those two will likely get cut. If Patton and/ or Ellington show in TC they are at a similar level to Johnson and/ or Lloyd, then one of Johnson or Lloyd will get cut.

      1. I used a paper fortune teller; first I chose the color red, of course. This meant I had to open and close the device three times, once for each letter in the word. Then I selected the position WR and when I opened the flap it said; 5.

      2. I don’t see any scenario in which Stevie Johnson is cut in order to keep Lloyd. I think Johnson figures into the long term (3-4) year plans and I think Lloyd was always looked at as more of an experimental signing maybe for one season. Now if Lloyd really tears it up in training camp next month and into the pre-season and shows he can really help the team, especially with VD missing camp and the preseason, I can see the Niners keeping 6 WR’s.

        1. I think Stevie Johnson is a near certainty to make the roster, but not 100% safe. If Lloyd proves to be better than him and he doesn’t separate himself from Patton and Ellington, I can see Johnson being let go (they’d probably try to trade him before looking to cut him).

      3. What rationale are people using for their position on keeping 6 WRs or not?

        My guess is that the team would release TE Celek Scooter.

      4. At this point I believe that Lloyd is kept only if we lose someone to injury and by someone I mean; Crab, Bold, John, Pat, Elli. If those 5 guys are healthy at final cuts then Lloyd is released. I believe the hope is that Lloyd will have picked up enough offense during TC and PS that in the event of one of the above 5 guys getting hurt during the season that Lloyd will be the first one to receive a call. The fact that he’s spent the entire off season with us and is kept until final cuts will help make it more likely that he’ll in fact be available if they come calling.

        1. Boldin/Crabs/Johnson/Lloyd/Patton/Ellington will all make the team in my opinion. That my friends, is a beefy wide receiving corps. Perhaps one of the beefiest in the league…..

        2. You wont see a shocked expression on my face if they in fact keep Lloyd but seems to be the smarter decision as an organization is to give more playing time to the younger players that you are developing rather then a vet who’s coming off the couch who could just as easily be back on it next season. With the 5 I suggest you have 3 established veterans a second year player and a rookie. The first 4 give you a lethal enough receiving corp and you still have the opportunity to give Ellington game reps. With Lloyd in that mix how often does Ellington or Patton get on the field? Why sacrifice that for a player that has shown to be inconsistent in his career and could easily decide he wants to try acting again in a season. If that happened unless we win the SB the reps given to him will be a waste.

          Even if we go with Lloyd the problem with the passing game still isn’t addressed because the receivers weren’t the weak link.

          1. CFC,

            I disagree with that last point. The receivers have been a huge problem imo, specifically the lack of them. They finally have some depth and will be wise to keep it.

            I understand the notion of letting the young guys play, but this team is looking to win a SB and whoever gives them the best chance of doing that is who should play imo. Lloyd is a better player at this point I would guess than Patton or Ellington, unless proven otherwise in TC. Both Patton and Ellington will learn from this season whether they are big factors in games or not.

            If Ellington and/or Patton outperform Lloyd then sure, go with them and use the roster spot elsewhere, but I think Lloyd gives them an element they don’t have with the others and could turn out to be very useful this season.

          2. @C4C

            I’m in total agreement with you…I believe that we keep LLoyd because He’s the best out there at the moment…also the fact that Harbaugh doesn’t use young players except in extreme cases. He doesn’t save his starters, and the mileage DOES add up by the end of the season. One target for a # one draft choice…?

        3. CfC, that is my belief too. I think they keep 5 unless the specific combo of factors I outlined initially occur. And for mine Lloyd is the far more likely one to go than Johnson.

          Basically, Lloyd has to show he is a better #3 option than Johnson in TC or he’s gone.

          1. I don’t think it has anything to do with what Lloyd shows. He’s here to learn the offense and be ready if someone goes down in the regular season. If Ellington can’t get up to speed quick enough then maybe they go with 6 until they feel more comfortable with him and then drop Lloyd. He could be a mid season drop to make room for an injury replacement at another spot.

            1. You don’t think there is any possible chance Lloyd wins the #3 WR spot over Johnson if he looks better than him in TC? Or do you think there is simply no chance Lloyd will look better than Johnson in TC?

              1. I may not be the best one to ask, because I didn’t think there was a chance in hell he’d make the team. Is is possible he could beat out Johnson? Sure, but not probable. I just think he adds more value towards victory on offense than Osgood does on special teams…..

              2. Yeah, I meant that as a q to CfC regarding his comment of “I don’t think it has anything to do with what Lloyd shows.”

                Seems a strange stance to take. If Lloyd shows he is one of the 49ers top 3 WRs, then he’ll be kept.

                Like you razor I initially thought there was no chance Lloyd would make the team. As he’s apparently looked good so far, I think there is some chance, but unless there is an injury or Patton/ Ellington don’t look capable, I think he needs to beat out Johnson for the #3 WR spot to make the team. I don’t think they keep 6 WRs unless Vernon holds out to the regular season or Patton/ Ellington don’t impress.

              3. I think Lloyd has to look miles better then Johnson to beat him out. Even if it’s close with Lloyd slightly ahead I believe Johnson would get the roster spot over him. The 49ers gave up a 4th round pick for Johnson, you’ve got to get some value out of that pick and you can’t do that by cutting him over a guy that sat on the couch last year.

                Of course maybe he won’t have to beat him out and they’ll just keep 6 but if it’s down to 5 I’d be shocked if it was Lloyd of Johnson.

              4. The 49ers have already recouped the pick they gave for Johnson. They effectively got Johnson for the price of a 7th rounder.

                I find it hard to believe they would go Johnson over Lloyd if they think Lloyd is even slightly better. Not to mention the fact that Lloyd provides the team something very different to Crabtree and Boldin – a deep threat – which Johnson does not. I’m not saying I think Lloyd will win that spot, but I don’t think Johnson is as safe as you do.

      5. Scooter,

        With the uncertainty surrounding the position next year, I think they go with 6 this season to insure the depth chart isn’t depleted if they can’t resign Crabs and/or Boldin doesn’t figure into the plans beyond this season.

        1. Why would keeping Lloyd for one year insure our depth chart for next year?

          I still don’t see Lloyd staying. I think that last spot is too valuable for this team.

          1. Keeping Lloyd would be for this season. Keeping Johnson is for the future. If Lloyd plays well this year he could also be an option for next season.

            You could be right and they only keep 5, but with what they’ve gone through in terms of injuries and lack of quality depth at the position, I think they’ll keep 6 unless one of the rookies outplays a vet in TC.

            As far as having enough room, I think they’ll only go with two QB’s, put Faulkner on the PS and keep Johnson on speed dial.

            1. I agree about keeping Johnson as insurance for the future rocket, unless Patton and/ or Ellington show they are up to it in TC. Those guys are the 49ers future, and if the future is now, then great.

    2. Yes no question that the 49ers will keep 6 WR.’s

      Although injuries during TC can & will happen so that would be a determining factor as well.

      1. The main reason for not keeping 6 WRs is that the top 4 would offer no STs value. Which means the #4 WR would be unlikely to suit up on game day, and the chances are that guy would go Brandon Jacobs. I can’t imagine Lloyd or Johnson being happy to ride the pine.

  4. Is “game speed” better than deep speed? Which do the 49ers prefer?

    On another front, according to recent reports, the Warriors are about the break up the splash brothers and trade David Lee and Klay Thompson for Kevin Love and Kevin Martin. I’m bummed, but the trade makes sense.

  5. So much for all that leverage Vernon Davis has.

    With Crabtree’s contract coming up and given his contract history the 49ers will keep all 6 unless Lloyde is a bust. Lloyde will be the only one they may not keep.

  6. I’m interested to know what work CK is doing outside of OTA’s to get better. I hear Whitfield is involved so that is good but what about working out with his receivers? Didn’t Patton go to Georgia to work out with CK or something? What about Crabs and Boldin?

    1. Very interesting and well-argued. I don’t believe I’ve seen the 49ers use Boldin as a blocker they way they used Walker as a blocker.

      1. Thank you. I haven’t yet either and not sure how they feel about having a guy of Boldin’s age blocking inside. I think they could do it off and on though.

  7. The guys who are expendable are Patton and crabs. Lloyd is a deep threat and good in the redzone. Same for boldin. Crabs is a good route runner but not every explosive. Maybe one too many Achilles heel injuries.
    Sounds like Ellington had a great camp too. Keep Lloyd to get the ring. You always draft another wr next year that is the same caliber at Patton.

    1. Crabs is more explosive than the over 30 years old Lloyd and Boldin. And why would our up and coming 2nd year WR be expendable. So you’re saying you want to get older at this position???

      1. They aren’t cutting Patton. From what I read Lloyd has lots of pep in his step and he’d be difficult to cut.
        BTW, NFL Network is running a Top 10 Joe Montana games show right now.

          1. You are arguing with a troll. Crabs is not going anywhere and Patton is a rising star….
            It actually might be Stevie Johnson that doesn’t make the team. Battled injuries last year and he’s working through hammy issues right now…..

    2. Fan,

      Please tell me that you mentioned Crabtree being expendable just as a joke?
      If you are serious, please tell me you bumped your head getting out of bed this morning (lol).

  8. Stevie isn’t going anywhere. Dude is a top notch WR when healthy. And Bruce Ellington is the truth! I can’t wait to see him play.

  9. Even if he is buried on the depth chart, having a depth chart like we have is an awesome luxury and one I’m ecstatic to have. It even makes it fun to hear you guys arguing about it.

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