SANTA CLARA — Here is what Greg Roman said Thursday about Colin Kaepernick, courtesy of the 49ers.
Usually a young quarterback can get a lot of leeway to make mistakes. You guys are in the playoff hunt and you’ve also got a very good quarterback behind him now, what kind of leeway does he have to have a bad game?
“That’s a hypothetical question. We’re just getting ready to play the Rams, all of our attention is on the Rams and having a great performance against the Rams, which is tough. That’s really our focus.”
We’ve seen Colin’s physical attributes on the field, he told the St. Louis reporters yesterday that it makes (inaudible) the best part, is that something you can shed some light on? Just his mental makeup and how he goes about preparing himself for that role?
“Colin’s a very focused athlete. He achieved very, very good grades throughout his schooling, high school, college. He was a very good student. He has a good aptitude for learning, works hard at it and it’s one of the reasons I think he’s a 49er.”
In the stretch run, why is Colin Kaepernick better choice at quarterback than a healthy QB Alex Smith?
“We’re in a great situation, that we have two winning quarterbacks on our roster. They both compete hard every day to be the best they can be and help us win. So, that’s a good situation to be in.”
You just alluded to Colin getting good grades in school, looking at college transcripts and stuff like that, does that go into the scouting process?
“Everybody scouts different. I think our scouting staff does a very, very thorough job of all aspects of a person. You’re drafting a person more so than drafting a player. We all know how that position requires so much physically, mentally, emotionally and our scouting staff does a great job looking deep. So, tip of the hat to [general manager] Trent [Baalke] and his staff.”
How much of the playbook expanded with Kaepernick, let’s say over a year ago at this time?
“I think it’s been a pretty natural progression. Not nearly as much would we have felt he could handle at a high level last year. So, he has started off transitioning to the NFL game and taking snaps from under center and what not. Has just progressed, worked hard which has allowed him to progress at the pace he has. Things have expanded and hopefully, as with any player, they expand more as you go, incrementally.”
Can you give us a sense, a year ago at this time, how much you would be able to use vs. now?
“I can’t put a percentage on it.”
How do you see Alex adjusting to his new role as a backup even if it’s only temporary?
“Alex Smith comes in to work every day to do just that, to work and get better. That’s been since the first day we’ve been here in San Francisco, and it hasn’t changed a bit. He’s very, very much up on his preparation.”
What kind of feedback do you get from the receivers, both verbal and just what you see body language wise when Kaepernick’s out there?
“I think it’s the same. Receivers work hard every day, no matter who’s out there, they’re working hard to do their job and they know that’s what they’re evaluated on, how they do their job. We’ve got a good group that’s locked in on that. [Wide receivers] coach Johnnie Morton does a great job getting them prepared every week and it’s a credit to him.”
How has Colin been able to improve his accuracy so much? Just from watching a year ago to now, he’s a lot more accurate, obviously he’s worked at it. Any specific drills to that or specific instructions? How does that happen?
“It’s time on task, it’s a lot of different things. It’s just working hard to improve your entire game, your footwork, your balance, your alignment, where receivers are going to be, working with those receivers or tight ends or backs, whoever it might be. It’s just an understanding and a comfort, I hate to use that word comfort, but it’s more of a familiarity. Can we strike that word from the record? Comfort.”
Why do you hate to use that word?
“Because comfort precedes the fall. Familiarity with what our offense is and where people are going to be and what they’re going to do. It’s just day-to-day work.”
You don’t want him to be comfortable?
“I want him to be prepared and on the cutting edge.”
Do any specific coaches work with him on the accuracy part?
“Coach Harbaugh, [quarterbacks coach] Geep Chryst, myself we all work with him. He works hard on his own too. So, it’s a team effort here at the 49ers.”
Is his throwing motion shorter than when you got him a year and a half ago?
“At times, yeah. I think it’s more efficient.”