Trent Baalke “absolutely” expects Colin Kaepernick on 49ers roster in 2016

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke spoke at the NFL Combine Wednesday morning. He said he “absolutely” expects Colin Kaepernick to remain on the 49ers roster next season, and expects Kaepernick to compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback job.


Here is the full transcript of Baalke’s press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

What was the team’s evaluation of TE Vance McDonald and how do you see his role unfolding moving forward here?

“Well, I think Vance took a good step forward last year, came out and did some awful good things at the line of scrimmage blocking. As he knows, he’s got to be more consistent catching the football. But, that’s something that he continues to work on and expect big things from him, especially in this offense.”


Do you see QB Colin Kaepernick as a starter or would he have to compete for the job with QB Blaine Gabbert?

“Well, I think the good thing is we’ve got two guys that have gone into games and proven they can play. And Colin’s done some awful good things through his career, won some big games for the San Francisco 49ers and expect him to come back. The main focus right now is health, getting him healthy. He’s doing a good job with his rehab. Talking to the medical staff, that seems to be going very well and just look forward to getting him back and getting him working with this coaching staff.”


So, you expect him to be on the roster this season?

“Absolutely. Yeah.”


What has working with head coach Chip Kelly been like so far? Is there anything about his personality that maybe surprised you as opposed to the perception out there about him?

“Well, I always say there’s perception and there’s reality. And the reality’s what we deal with every day in the office and the perception’s what everyone else speculates on. But, it’s been awesome. He’s been very easy to work with. We haven’t spent a ton of time together because he’s been putting the coaching staff together and I’ve been involved in draft meetings for the last 17 days. So, there hasn’t been a lot of overlap, but we’ve had a lot of good discussions and look forward to continuing those.”


Do you sense that he’s approaching his second job as a head coach in the NFL a lot different than his first time being a head coach?

“I don’t know. I didn’t work with him in Philly. So, I can’t answer how he approached it in Philly. I’ve known coach since he was up at Oregon when I used to go up there and scout. I don’t see him any different today than I saw him then.”


How do you see RB Carlos Hyde and his style of running in Chip’s offense?

“Well, I think coach would tell you he’s the ideal fit for what coach wants to do. Very similar to what he did at Ohio State. A big back that runs with power, runs with a little anger. How can you not like that?”


How’s Carlos’ foot doing and do you think he’ll be ready for OTAs?

“Doing good. I actually talked to him about three days ago. [Indianapolis Colts RB] Frank Gore and him were working out down in Miami together and I think it’s coming. He’s not game-ready yet by any stretch, but all indications are that it’s healing very nicely and look forward to having him full speed as soon as possible.”


How important is the GM-head coach relationship? Does it take a while to develop over time in your mind?

“It’s like a marriage, you know? Yeah, it takes a while. It’s like any relationship. It doesn’t happen over night. But, all indications are, like I said, I’ve known coach since he was at Oregon and see him no different than the conversations that I used to have with him when we went in and were recruiting his players at Oregon.”


Regarding style of play, it seems like teams want to win with that quarterback throwing the ball. But, two of the last three Super Bowl champs, Seattle and Denver, have won with defense. Do you think it’s true that teams want to win by throwing the ball and is there a resistance to winning with defense nowadays, do you think?

“Well, it’d be hard for me to answer on behalf of everybody, but you know, I’ve always believed that defenses win and run game wins. You have to be able to stop the run. You have to be able to run the football and you have to be able to play good defense. You’ve got to get off the field on third down. If you can get off the field on third down and you’re good at stopping the run and you can run the ball effectively, you’ve got a great chance to win a lot of games in the National Football League.”


Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said yesterday that Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III would not be with the Redskins this year, they’re going to release him at some point or do something. Is he a guy that you’d be interested in if you end up needing a quarterback?

“Well, you’re going to kick the tires of everybody that’s available. To say interested or not, there’s no competitive advantage to me giving that an answer. But, everybody that’s available you’re going to kick the tires on. That’s the job that we do. Some are going to fit, some aren’t going to fit and no different with this draft class. There’s going to be good players that come out of this class that maybe don’t fit what we’re looking for exactly, but they’re going to end up being good players for somebody. And that’s the beauty of what we do. It’s in the eye of the beholder.”


There’s a belief that he might do well in a Kelly-type system, just with his skill set. Would you agree with that?

“Well, I think if you look at the quarterbacks that coach has had, he hasn’t had a bunch of guys that can run. He’s had some guys and he’s been able to put together some pretty good offenses with guys that aren’t able to run. You get an extra advantage of having a quarterback that can run. So, I think if you talk to any coordinator, they’re going to take that as a positive. But, it’s not a necessity.”

When Chip was in Philadelphia, he had certain prototypes and measurables on a lot of different positions that his scouts then took when they went on the road to scout people. Has there been an impact on you as far as the kind of people you’re looking for since you hired him?

“No, not really because if you look at what his prototypes are, he’s looking for the same thing that we’re looking for. Big players. Guys with size at their positions. That’s been an easy, and that’s part of what you’re looking for when you go out and hire a head coach. Do you have a philosophy that marriages pretty well? And it was evident early on. And once again, knowing how he liked to build his teams up in Oregon, it was no different. He was looking for big players. That’s what we’ve been doing since [former 49ers head coach] coach [Mike] Nolan was the head coach of the 49ers and that philosophy hasn’t changed.”


What about for the quarterback position? Same type of thing, same type of deal with Chip?

“Well, quarterbacks, they come in all different shapes and sizes. If you had [New Orleans Saints QB] Drew Brees, you’d feel pretty good, right? I mean, I don’t know that you can pigeonhole any one position. There’s exceptions at every position. We prefer big, but does that mean that we’re not going to make an exception? No. We’ll look at every player and give them a value and make a decision, whether it’s through the draft or free agency, and try to get the best 53 we can.”


Is it becoming more difficult to find tight ends because so many college teams run spread or is that not really an issue do you think?

“Well, I think it’s like O-Linemen. You’ve got to factor in the development. It’s going to take a little longer to develop, especially in the run game because they’re not asked to do it as much. So, there’s some things that you have to look at differently now than you did let’s say 10 years ago because the college game is quite a bit different than the game we play, especially at the line of scrimmage.”


To the perception versus reality attempt, is there anything that kind of stood out?

“Not really stood out. I mean, he’s got an easy personality. For us to deal with internally, now whether that’s with the media or not, that’s for you guys and gals to decide. But, it’s been an easy transition. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. There’s always going to be things that you come across in these types of relationships where you’ve got to work through. But, as of right now, as we’re trying to put this thing together with free agency and the draft, feel pretty good about how we’re communicating and what exactly we’re looking for.”


What’s going on with WR DeAndre Smelter and kind of what do you see the future holding for him?

“Well, DeAndre is getting healthy and we opened his window this year to practice, that 21-day window and he did a lot of good things. He’s a big, athletic guy that can run, got huge hands, big catch radius. He’s a pro’s pro. He approached it from day one like you want a pro to do it. So, we expect good things from him.”


How about RB Jarryd Hayne? What are you expecting out of him?

“Jarryd, his second year. It was quite an experience for him going from Australian Rules Football to the National Football League. I think if you asked him, he’d tell you his eyes got opened pretty quick. Especially when you go from preseason games to the regular season games, just the difference in tempo and everything that goes with that. He learned a lot, did some good things for us and expecting him to come back and have a better feel for the game.”


You’ve faced QB Sam Bradford twice a year. Obviously, Chip coached him in Philly. What are your thoughts on him as a player?

“You know, we didn’t play them last year, so I haven’t studied him in relative to what he did with coach’s offense. But, he’s a good football player. He made a lot of plays for them, does a lot of good things. Without having great working knowledge, because once again I have not studied him in-depth.”


Well, I mean, formally you played him twice a year when he was with St. Louis.

“Well, we played against him, and when we played against him thought no differently. He’s a good football player. I don’t know what else, I mean, he does a lot of things well. He’s not a runner. He’s a passer. He’s a pocket player and does a lot of good things from the pocket. Smart football player.”


Would it be safe to say you’ll be looking at quarterbacks in free agency also for that or do you feel you’re OK with your veterans?

“Well, we feel pretty good with the guys we have, but we’re always looking. We’re always looking. And we’re certainly going to scour this draft and the free agency market that’s out there. There’s obviously not a lot of quarterbacks that make it to free agency, as we know. But, we’re going to look at every avenue.”


I know you mentioned you like size in a quarterback. When you see what Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was able to do with the Bills, does it make you look at some of these other sized mobile quarterbacks in the draft a little bit differently?

“Yeah, like I said earlier with that question, quarterbacks of all shapes and sizes have had success in this league. We’re going to look at every one. We’re not going to pigeonhole ourselves and say, ‘They’ve got to be 6-3 or taller, or 6-4 or taller. They’ve got to be 220 or bigger.’ We’re not going to do that. We’re going to look at everybody that’s available and put a value on them for what we think they’re value is for us.”


The data that’s collected now with the 40, the bench press, all that, in your years of coming to this event, have your views one the usefulness of that data changed one way or the other?

“Just numbers, just numbers. We try to take a look at what the numbers are, put on the film and see if we can find the numbers in their play. If we can’t, we’re going to lean towards what their play says. If they come here and run a 4.3 and we watch film and it looks like they run a 4.6, we’re not going to make them a 4.3 guy on paper. We’re going to make him a 4.6 guy on paper, because that’s what he plays to.”


Have your views always been that way?

“Always been that way. Always will I think, until someone proves it otherwise.”


WR Quinton Patton, do you expect anything from him?

“I think I mentioned earlier, Quinton did some awfully good things. Really stepped up on special teams and became one of our core special teams players. When he got an opportunity, made some plays. I think the big thing for him is consistency, especially in the route trees and getting on the same page within the offense and with the quarterback. But, he’s probably the most energetic player I’ve ever been around. The guy can run nonstop all day long and always comes to compete. So, we’re expecting him to take another step forward.”


There’s a lot of quarterbacks this time of year that are seriously trying to improve their footwork or their mechanics, whether it’s for here or for their Pro Day. But, is there really anything a quarterback can do to convince you guys to change your rating based on what you see on film and what your scout saw in person?

“Absolutely. There’s so much that goes into that position that you can’t see on film. That’s why you’ve got to get the coaches with them, sit down, talk ball, do as much research as you can on them, their work ethic, their preparation habits, their intelligence. Everything that goes into it that you can’t see. But, there’s no question that these guys working on their footwork, you watch [Denver Broncos QB] Peyton Manning, [New England Patriots QB] Tom Brady, they’re constantly working on it. Drew Brees, they’re constantly, still at the level they’re at, they are still working on it daily. I think you need to. It’s such a big part of that position.”


Before hiring Chip, did you have any conversations with the Eagles or Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman on how it was like to work with Chip?



Why didn’t you have that conversation?

“Once again, I’m a huge believer in sitting down with somebody and just talking and figuring out if that relationship is going to work or not work. We all run into people that other people don’t like and you sit down and all of a sudden you have a pretty good relationship and pretty good communication back and forth. So, I knew what was out there, what was being said, I think as we all did, but that really didn’t play into our decision at all, obviously we moved forward.”


Talk about the gap for North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz moving from the FCS to the NFL. Three guys from North Dakota State in the NFL right now from the last two years, two here this week competing for North Dakota State. Is that gap shrinking at all, do you think?

“Well, I used to coach there, in fact I coached a young man by the name of [former NFL DE] Phil Hansen, years ago when I was a GA there. So, they’ve put out a lot of good football players for a smaller, for a lower level of play that conference has. Certainly there’s a learning curve that they all go through. But, I don’t think it’s as drastic as some may. I think they’ve played at a high level. They’ve won five national championships in a row. Carson was a part of four of those. He’s a good football player. He’s got the stature you’re looking for. He’s got the intelligence you’re looking for. There’s so many positives to draw from. Now, how soon, how ready is he going to be when he gets to the league? I think there will be a learning curve, but there is for everybody at that position.”

This article has 138 Comments

    1. I’m disgusted, but I’m not surprised. IN the words of the late Claude Akins, the criminal mind is dumb, and Jed York has gotten DUMBER with Baalke. They are one lies and the other swears up to it. I hope BLaine Gabbert seriously wants off this team is Crappendink is kept.

  1. Of course he’ll be on the roste April 1. The more important question is if he’ll be on the roster Sept 10th 2016.
    That gives the team 5 months to trade him. Fingers crossed…

      1. I don’t think him or Cam Newton are the answer at QB in the NFL. The style is gimmick.
        NFL HISTORY shows mobile QBs are game planned for and shut down. Russle Wilson won a super Bowl and lost another. Then the NFL shut him down. Kaepernick lost a super Bowl and the next year the NFL shut him down.
        It’s such a quick league that adapting must be continuous. One trick shows like Cam’s and Kaepernick’s and Wilson’s are simply not dynamic enough to stay successful. If you could couple a pocket passer with a mobile QB like S Young and you have a future. These QBs are flashes. None have shown an ability to overcome the adjustments made. Seattle was fortunate to play terrible teams in the second half of 2015 . Stl. SF. An injured AZ. They were decimated by a stout Carolina D.
        So I’d love to trade Kaep with some value left rather than watch him destroy any perceived ability he has left

        1. One doesn’t replace a key part of the personnel unless they have a replacement ready to take over who is better than the one he’s replacing. At least, that’s how it is in my world.

          Baalke does not have a replacement for Kap for April 1. Would he have one by September 10? I don’t think he knows either — but the changes are low, IMO. Niners could still draft a QB in early or mid rounds but I don’t see that QB starting this year. If Kap applies himself and buys into Chip’s offensive philosophy, I doubt that Gabbert can beat him to the starting job.

        2. You do realize the last 4 Superbowls has had those “gimmick QBs”. You do realize the best QB out of next years draft is the same type of player? I think their taking the league by storm and clearly their not one hit wonders.

          1. And of those 4 super bowls, you do realize that the “gimmick qb’s” are 1-3….not necessarily ringing endorsements.

            And the one who WON the super bowl was the least gimmick of them all, Wilson is more Steve Young than he is Michael Vick or Kaep or Cam.

      2. Because he’s not good and road the backs of the defense to get there.

        Because you can, in Gabbert, have a qb who can do a lot of the same things, is quicker with his release and more pocket mobile, and at a fraction of the cost (about 9 million or so savings).

        Because he’s a petulant child who doesn’t have the support and backing of a lot of players on the team.

        Need I go on?

      1. Because everyone assumed he was gone back in December when he got put on injured reserve and all the analysts said he was a goner. Hey couldn’t use their own brain to diagnose. That and listening to too much Tim Ryan.

        1. Because of his guaranteed contract he wasn’t going to be cut. However, I have said he should be traded since year’s preseason. Nothing has changed. If he is on the team opening day in Sept Iwill be shocked qand admit I was wrong.

          1. The April 1st clause in his deal makes his guaranteed contract a non issue and is no obstacle to cutting him. It actually makes it very easy to cut him with no cap ramifications whatsoever.

            He’s not getting cut because they either A) truly feel he can be effective in Kelly’s system and want to give it a chance or B) they want to keep him around as a possible trade chip and/or as collateral against injury or poor performance involving Gabbert.

            1. Let’s explore that Rocket. Kap is already included in the salary cap, so if he’s on the roster after April 1st, it still doesn’t affect the roughly $55 million the niners currently have in cap space. But if they cut him before April 1st, the salary cap savings are an additional $4.5 million just on his base salary I believe. As far as future years go, there will be some dead money hits (about $5 million in 2017, $2.5 million in 2018), but these amounts are relatively low for a starting QB. Am I missing something?

        2. Baalke expect Kaep will be with the 49ers beyond April 01. But the question is, but there’s still no guarantee he’ll be in the 49ers roster comes Sept? I notice all the Kaepernick apologies are out celebrating the good news that their hero still a 49ers for now. :)

  2. Long way to go before April 1st. Anything can happen. I called this months ago. Kaep will compete with Gabbert and beat him out. Kaep will thrive in Kelly’s system. They will draft a QB no earlier then Rnd 4.. Chip did not take this job to just have a back up QB in Gabbert at the helm. He wants to see what a very talented QB in Kaep can do in his system. That’s reality fellas. If I’m wrong I will be on here stateing just that.

    1. Why is Colin, a 2nd round pick, a starter yet Gabbert, a top 10 pick, a “back up”?

      Gabbert is every bit as talented as Colin, only he’s not nearly as fast in a 50 yard run…but he makes up for that with a lot better small space mobility, quicker release, and better NFL QB Brains. And he shows he’s a fighter, he was down and out, and came back to be competitive, Colin was stunned and took a knee.

  3. Its gonna be Colin’s job to lose…. no way its going to be a fair competition when you’re competing with someone that makes less than a 1/4 of what you make. But hey its Chip’s team and he has final say on who’s starting, he wants wins. I hope Colin can turn it around, but I also hope they have a plan ready if he doesn’t.

    1. It’s not going to be a fair competition because Kaepernick is a legitimate threat in the read option and Gabbert isn’t.

        1. MJ

          Actually, you know nothing of what you speak. Of all the guys in the 2011 draft class, including Gabbert and Newton, Kaep had the quickest recognition to release. Look it up on Sports Science.

          Now, if your point is that Kaepernick can’t get to the “recognition” portion of that equation, you’re probably forgetting that he played behind the worst OL in the NFL for the worst coach in the history of the NFL. You should probably refresh your memory by watching the video I posted a couple of days ago. Here it is again (1:55 and 3:15, especially):

          1. Silcon chip, here you go again with your crappy ideas. I told you before stopped living in the stone age, You and SEB always bring up 2012 he almost won the SB, he blames his HC that he didn’t win the SB. Cut this idiotic crap that was 4 years ago and CK is 4 years older now, did this guy CK progress after 4 years or he still the same loser? I’ll bet you and SEB probably watch this videos over and over just to make yourselves feel good being Fan boy, rahrah. haha.

            1. Jam, considering that the only Niner highlights were during that 3 year stretch with JH. I like to be reminded of how good the Niners could be. Instead, you probably want to dwell on those 2-14 seasons.
              Someday, I hope to see greatness, and Baalke, Chip, the whole team and astute fans like Sil has determined that Kaep is the most likeliest guy to do it. I am ecstatic that Baalke has said such positive things about Kaep, and the whole- cut him he’s trash crowd- just got kicked in the teeth.
              Now, hopefully, we can begin discussing and strategizing the best ways to get the Niners and Kaep to improve.
              Hating on Kaep is futile and infantile. He will be competing to regain his starting job. Considering he is up against a 5-27 QB who has never sniffed the playoffs, who would throw the ball way too early before the receiver could get to the first down marker, he should be confident to regain the starting job he lost due to injury.
              I am a die hard faithful Niner fan. I want them to win multiple Super Bowls. Hating on Kaep is not helping them achieve that goal.

              1. April 1st is a long ways away. All Baalke accomplished today with that bum #7 is leverage for a trade. Read between the lines blow hard!

              2. Time will tell and I’ll be here waiting for you to tell me “I told you so”
                Congratulations on what you term a great day today. Too bad there is a draft and free agency still to come to decide your hero’s fate. Don’t worry Seb, just small details!

          2. And if we ONLY went off of what someone did BEFORE they entered the NFL, Jamarcus Russell would be in the hall of fame.

            Dude has not done it when the games matter. I don’t care about his read to recognition score from some ESPN show. Jesus, next you’re going to be telling me your friend made $2500 last week working from home and using his computer.

            Its funny, you say he had such a horrible Oline yet it was that same Oline that Gabbert played behind that gave him better numbers overall and a win total last season. So what is it?

            1. No. Gabbert did not have Devey, and Killgore replaced Martin. It was not the same O line at all. Last game, Brown was the RT and they won that game.

      1. Wow! I’m impressed with your analogy. Kelly’s mistake, if he keeps Kaep. I’ll give him two years and he’ll be holding hands with Kaepernick heading out of San Francisco with baalke driving their bus. :)

  4. Never a doubt in my mind. I know he’s going to be the starter week 1. Still believe Gabbert is trade bait for a team like the Texans, Rams (although unlikely), Broncos, or Browns.

    1. I beg to differ. Unless they get a second round pick for him, they will keep Gabbert. Chip himself stressed how important it is to have a good backup with all the attrition in the league.

      1. I think they draft Adams or Prescott or both to be backups. Gabbert costs too much as a backup and his contract is up next season and the 49ers are going to bring him back at 4-6 million to be a backup.

  5. Can we all please keep in mind that if they plan on trading him this is EXACTLY what he has to say, verbatim. I don’t see this as news either way, just means they are not going to outright cut him. Team is keeping its leverage.

      1. shoupbj

        At this point, I think that Baalke is setting the table, and Kaep will not be a niner after the hitting starts….I don’t think I’d like to play poker with TB….

      1. Wrong: I would actually say Colin will be on our Roster September 1, not April 1. You know, when its time to actually play football.

        1. You forget the competition aspect. In the unlikely event that if Gabbert out competes Kaep, They may trade him to a team that really wants him so he can still be a starter. Baalke spoke volumes when he said they were comfortable with Kaep’s contract and will no ask him to take a pay cut.

    1. Yep. And it’s going to be easier to deal him after April 1st, of course, because he’s got to deemed healthy. And best time to trade him might be just before the draft, or perhaps even very early in training camp, or somewhere in between.

  6. The word ‘absolutely’ doesn’t allow for much wiggle room does it? Somebody (Seb) is having wet dreams tonight.

    Schefter: “Kaep’s a Niner” in 2016

    My question: Does this mean Goff is off their draft board? I’m not so sure it does. I’ve always felt the teams best move would be to keep Kap in the mix, regardless of their future plans. And if Kap isn’t able to win his job back, the team will claim through “leaks” to the media that it’s a close battle, but that the team is willing to listen to trade offers. Boom!

    1. Baalke touched on RB Jarryd Hayne a bit saying that he “learned a lot, did some good things for us, and expecting him to come back and have a better feel for the game.”

      A 28 year old professional football player has no business even trying to develop if his current stage is as Baalke thinks : he’s having a better feel for the game.

      That’s just taking a roster spot from the RB’s Chip want’s on his roster…Fans now can see the problem of giving a GM too much power, only to bring in a new football coach who can’t choose the groceries for the meal he’s been cooking for 25 years.

  7. Shoupbj

    February 24, 2016 at 8:59 am

    What??? A GM making a misleading statement? Will wonders never cease.

    Nobody trusts Baalke. Bill Walsh did the same to Hollywood Henderson. Henderson wasn’t going along with the program. Walsh stood by Hollywood with another coach one practice and asked him if he could play this week. Hollywoood said, yeah, the next day Walsh traded him…Is Baalke suddenly pulling a page from Bill?

    1. TomD,
      As I posted earlier i’m not particularly happy that the 49ers are going to keep CK but I will bet good money after todays announcement that he will be on the roster on sept 10. Kelly is just confident enough to believe he is what CK needs to get over his 2 year case of the yips. I don’t possess that confidence but I certainly wish them both the best.

  8. The Anthony Davis delima doesn’t add up.

    – Someone has an employment contract that affects several million dollars
    – His employment status affects the employment status of at least three coworkers
    – The employee frequently tweets about his intention to change his employment status for several months.
    – The employee maintains almost complete radio silence with his employer.

    This just doesn’t add up. I’m thinking AD’s making a public “willing to work” display to insure against a potential dispute over his pro-rated signing bonus.

  9. I sure am glad Chip is the head coach, because he is smart enough to be able to utilize Hayne properly. The last coaches were brain dead to keep Hayne on the bench while floundering to a 5-11 season.

  10. The 49ers can release CK before April 1 and would have little or no dead money to pay. Does anyone out there know if the same holds true next year?

  11. I see the logic in keeping him as they may be able to get something in trade or find out he can play well in Chips offense. I don’t see them getting anything significant but if you have the cap room which they do, you might as well hang onto your asset and see what happens. I still think they may be interested in a QB on draft day, but keeping Kap and Gabbert makes a first round choice unlikely.

      1. I agree Coach.

        We’ve all seen Kap’s top 10 movies: “Deer in the Headlights” and throw an interception…Do we have to go through this one more time?…I really don’t believe it…This is Baalke’s last chance, he’s moving on.

    1. Rocket

      Of course they’d get something significant; he’s massively underpaid at $12M in the current market. As Kornheiser pointed out, for a guy with 56 TDs and 26 INTs, and a better career completion percentage than both Cam Newton and Andrew Luck, he is bargain basement, and his contract is team-friendly for whichever team wants to kick the tires with him, secured for another 5 seasons to boot.

  12. This makes sense. Neither Goff or Wentz would be ready to start on day one and Baalke generally leans towards defense.

    Ironically, in a Kelly run offense it is important to have a deep and fresh defense, so I look at our first pick (maybe first two picks) to be a defensive player. I’ve been pushing for a top-heavy defensive draft and FA signings from the time Chip signed on.

    We could draft a QB in the 3rd or 4th round.
    Zak Prescott and Vernon Adams are QB’s we could look at after round two.
    Baalke must be feeling good going into this draft year because he will do what he does best: draft defense

    1. All reports say this draft is deep in defense, especially interior line. Not so hot in receiver, running back, TE and so on.

      Mayock’s saying 12 “first round grade” interior defensive line players will be in this draft. There should be round 1-2 D-line talents falling to rounds 3-4.

      Chip Kelly teams need defensive depth… quality depth. I say grab while the grabbings good, even if it means waving bye-bye to TJE or Purcell.

    2. Baalke must be feeling good going into this draft year because he will do what he does best: draft defense

      He felt that way last year and the 49ers proceeded to go 5-11.

      1. Mid,
        There were only a handful of ‘turn-key’ type defensive players drafted last year that started from day one and played all 16 games.

        Armstead, Tartt and Harold were the first three picks last season. Tartt will likely be a starter or receive significant playing time this season and Armstead begin to show improvement towards the end of the year. Harold will need to add some muscle and could make some strides in TC.
        These three players could prove to be a good 2015 draft crop for Baalke.
        The only blame I place on Baalke for last year was the poor handling of the Harbaugh situation and for the subsequent awful choice of the butcher as HC.

        Tomsula was too busy trying to make players like him rather than getting them ready to play on Sundays. I look for Armstead, Tartt, Harold and all players on the roster to make significant improvement with the new regime leading the way on the development front.

        I’ve been pushing for Baalke to go top-heavy on defense in the draft this year and that it will take a couple of years to see this team contend for the division and beyond.

        Too many holes to fill Mid. This team does not have the type of talent that was afforded Jim Harbaugh when he made huge inroads in his first season as HC.
        We are in the middle of a rebuild culture – two years down the road will determine the grade on the 2015 and 2016 draft and FA signings.
        Right now, I would say that the 2015 draft looks to be one of Baalke’ best in the last three years.

    3. Why ironic?

      Of course Baalke will go D first pick (unless he shocks us by taking Ronnie Stanley). Then he’ll do some trading to get a couple of 2nd round picks, and take another D and Derrick Henry, since it’s an even year and Baalke always drafts RBs in the 2nd Rd of even years …

  13. 1) The 49ers are happy to have Kaep on the roster. They think 2015 was a bad year, but are basing their decision to keep him on his total body of work.

    2) The 49ers know any public statements hinting Kaep is out the door decreases his trade value. Happy 49ers + Happy Kaep = better trade value.

    3) The 49ers are keeping Kaep because they don’t want to get into a bidding war to trade up for Goff/Wentz. If one falls great. If not, 2 the following 6 fantastic players will be available.
    Laremy Tunsil
    DeForest Buckner
    Joey Bosa
    Myles Jack
    Jalen Ramsey
    Ronnie Stanley

    I’m leaning towards options 1 or 3 because Baalke’s said they are not renegotiating his contract.

  14. Keeping Ck, sounds like a ruse… if not t here will be a lot of drama that only winning can cure.

    Reasons against the niners keeping CK and winning:

    1. We are in the toughest division in football IMO. CK has proven he can’t beat Seattle. 90’s reference, and I paraphrase “…da boy is shook, aint no such things as halfway crooks…”

    2. CK was/is banging Aldon’s girl or ex or something… something happened and Smith is off the team. Who was at fault, not sure just all stinks. The men in the locker room loose respect for ill crap. Again I don’t know all the details I just go by leaks and white noise.

    3. The dude went backwards. Even when he was making plays he was a one read QB… or had no pocket presence to effectively attempt multiple reads. Regardless, it was just odd back there for him at times. Critical times. OL play blau blau, I understand… R. Wilson, A. Rogers, these guys are making the throws more often then not. CK needs to be a top 10 QB for that salary. An let’s be honest our expectations.

    4. Lost trust between the org and CK. I guess this can be fixed by keeping him next year, spending money. Front office explaining they had to get rid of JH b/c x, y, z. The next logic approach was to put a lame duck HC in and tank the season… then get a legit HC (per back channel conversations)… then strongly tell him they are sorry he took the brunt of not spending cash or a good staff… Then CK says I understand where the front office was coming from. And that if getting rid of JH had to happen then so be it. CK takes responsibility for not taking the next step and when I situations called for it he admits not being able to carry the on his shoulders… blau blau blau. A lot to humble pie to eat on both sides but maybe this can get sorted.

    5. There is some Chip drama that is just weird. All kinds of weird. I will just leave it at that.

    Full disclosure: I am not a CK hater. I was for Alex stepping down and out. He had his time. I am kind of thinking the same for CK as well. Too much drama at this point. I feel like the guys is shook up and doesn’t have the mentality to bring himself forward. I mean kissing biceps is cool and all, but where is that fire when things get tough. He just looked confused last year.

    Go Niners!!!

        1. IMHO it will be a fair competition and Kaep will beat him out. This system fits Kaep really well. As well as Gabbert though. Maybe sitting on the pine wakens him up. Did for young.

          1. This system fits Kaep really well.

            Disagree. Kelly’s offense is about the QB being accurate on their throws, and that isn’t one of Kaepernick’s strengths.

              1. Secondary or not, it’s been a important factor in whether Kelly’s offense can move the ball down the field or not, and it becomes even more important if the notion that Kelly’s offensive style has been figured out holds up to be true.

              2. Maybe Baalke needs to get a clue. It is now a passing league with all the rule changes, The neanderthal 3 yards and a cloud of dust mindset is extinct.

              3. Grant

                Just to remind you, that is what happened to Kaep previously…If you can’t throw accurately, you WILL see 8-in-the-box…Kaep is gone….

              4. Oregon, Chip will shape the defense by spreading them wide with 4 receiver sets, then throw bubble screens to the weak side. If a team crowds the box, they will get burned. Once spread out, he will gash them up the middle.

            1. Accuracy wasn’t a problem for him 2 years ago. Accuracy was a problem for Cam this year. I believe Cam completed less then 60 percent. It’s all about building an offense that fits. Kelly’s offense fits Hyde and Kaep very well. Completion percentage is a little overrated. Especially for a dual threat.

        2. Yes, I think it will be with Chip.
          Chip needs to prove himself in the NFL and both are athletic enough to run the offense. So it will depend on who consistently makes the right reads and puts the ball in the right location for his receivers.

    1. Actually, I think the locker room is way past thinking about former GFs of a former player. These players are mature enough not to let something like that destroy the team chemistry.

  15. This will look like genius if Kaepernick can bounce back and beyond stupid if he continues to regress.

    1. Baalke, above, on building a team:

      but you know, I’ve always believed that defenses win and run game wins.

      …And with the 7th pick in the NFL draft the San Francisco 49ers select, Ezekiel Adams, RB, Ohio State…Anybody?

  16. “he’s looking for the same thing that we’re looking for. Big players. Guys with size at their positions. That’s been an easy, and that’s part of what you’re looking for when you go out and hire a head coach.”

    Jimmye Ward
    Chris Borland
    Bruce Ellington
    Quinton Patton
    AJ Jenkins
    LaMichael James
    Kendall Hunter

    Why do I get the feeling Trent Baalke has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what he’s doing?

    1. How long do we have to wait for that 7th storm a coming and will the weather pattern shift a massive tsunami toward 4949 Centennial…If not, looks like more of the same one read, not open, run, throw interceptions.
      Baalke runs the ball only-no knowledge of quarterbacking.

    2. Ward looked great last year. Borland would of been a pro bowler if he hadn’t retired. Let’s blame Balke for that. Hunter was a solid pick too.. He happened to get hurt. Way too early to put Ellington on that list. Patton, AJ ok that’s fine.

      1. Note on 49ers mgmt “statements”: They sent Al Guido to tell Jay Feely that Tomsula had
        their backing… then fired Tomsula a few weeks later

        MM3813 ‏@mm3813 · 16m16 minutes ago

        @timkawakami Harbaugh was under contract & Baalke tiptoed around his future. Hasnt done that with Kap.

        Frank Schwab Verified account 
        @timkawakami I think so. Nothing is more valuable than QB, and you gotta be sure if you’re gonna cut bait. But I dunno, not my checkbook

        Tim Kawakami Verified account 
        Tim Kawakami Retweeted Frank Schwab

        49ers tend to be more of a “value” team than a “cap” team. Is Kaepernick worth $12M of Jed York’s money? TBD.


      2. Borland did fine until teams figured out his weakness. Pass coverage. Solid run stopper that was it.
        He got trucked by Lynch and injured by a qb, that stands 5-10..

      1. Ya but he is damn good at drafting D though. Which was the main reason why Denver just won. DEFENSE….. Let’s see if Chip can take care of the offense. Along with Gamble chiming in.

  17. Dail 3 year extension – Maiocco

    Good. He can also slide inside to NT in a pinch. Not his ideal position, but he holds up well. Insurance in case Williams is not re-signed. Next up… re-sign Williams!

  18. Its all wind at this stage until we see what they do, but its encouraging. If Kaep wants back, and the 49ers really do want him back, then that takes QB off the absolutely need to draft one early list.

    1. Baalke seems to use the early offseason (especially free agency) to build flexibility in the draft so he can’t be pigeonholed into taking player X.

      1. Yep. Like any good GM, he uses FA to eliminate immediate need where he can so he can take players for the future that aren’t pressed into starting roles before they are ready.

        1. Assuming Buckner and Jack are gone, I’d love to see him grab Spence. But a dark horse possibility could be Billings. He displays the traits that would make him an ideal fit as a two-gap, 0-technique nose tackle in their 3-4 defensive front….

          1. Razor,
            I love Andrew Billings.
            Perfect NT, about 6’2″ 300lbs, strong (could be strongest guy in college), stout and amazingly quick and fast for a man his size.

            I see him as a young Vince Wilfork. Whoever drafts this guys will have a starter from day one and the next 8-10 years.
            I believe that he will become a combine ‘freak’ in the next couple weeks – serious first round player.

            1. Is Billings a guy you take at 7 tho? I think it was Jayson Braddock raving about him, so that’s a good sign, but might be better taken between 20-25?

              1. Silicon,
                No. I would not take him at 7 simply because there is a greater need for edge rushers than a NT. Re-upping Ian Williams is a key signing if the team wants to remain stout in the middle.

                Right now my draft preference is Buckner or Spence/Jack at number 7.
                But Billings is a talent that I would move out of the 7 spot for if the above mentioned are off the board.
                This guy (I know we heard this many times before) has a 8-10 yr great career in front of him. Like I said, he is a young Vince Wilfork.

              2. Sil, I think Sheldon Rankins might be the best fit for the Niners. Explosive, great against the run, a disruptor. He had 13.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks and 2 interceptions. He is versatile so he could play in multiple positions and had great senior bowl practices. If Jack, Buckner and Spence are gone, he would be a nice pickup.

        2. Only, like Kaepernick (according to some), Baalke’s team building has been in decline for four free agent/draft periods. ;-}

  19. CK’s wind up is a problem with quick hitting passes. This might not be fixable. Add the stare down of first read and I can predict at least 5 INTs next year by the front seven alone. 2 of which will be a DL man dropping back into a zone blitz coverage.

    As Grant stated running the football is key to Chip’s offense (at least that was the case in Oregon). The issue is if you get predictable and can’t make an accurate pass or read for that matter, the defense has you dead 2 rights. Whomever the QB is, they MUST be accurate and quick thinking. This is not college. You don’t have the time or windows to make decisions and throw as one would at Oregon, Mizzu, NV, Fla, TexTech, Baylor, hell…80% of the programs out there. CK and CAM may have been men against boys in college, but in the NFL it is a different level.

    CK had some great games and took us to the super bowl, but that is all old news. Where is he know physically and mentally. That is my concern.

    On this blog we need to (and Grant does very well, b/c he is a Raider fan and a cynic), look at every pass the QB makes, noting the situation. QBR helps. The eye test I think is better. Process the data when CK misses an uncovered Smith or when Gabbert checks down or throws short of the chains. It is hard to see downfield without the coaches tape. But this is how I judge QBs. Look Brett Farve made a lot of mistakes. But he tried to make plays. On a lower scale Ryan Fitz in NY slings the ball around even though he is mediocre at best. But t he dude trys to make plays. Same with Tanny in Miami. I love that!!! If Gabbert is checking down and we are not competing next year I will loose it. Go Niners!

    1. Shawnrhod

      Check Sports Science from the 2011 draft. Kaep had the quickest delivery of all the QBs in that draft, 2nd quickest of any QB tested to that point, despite his awkward delivery. So there are facts, and then there’s your impression, which is colored by something other than reality.

  20. This team is in “Kelly” rebuild mode. My speculation is Kelly will be happy to rid himself of QB7and his lack of maturity/skill. QB7 is a poor fit for Kelly’s program both on and off field. It’s still early, but my guess is QB7 will be gone before April 1st.

  21. With Kaep on board, and the need to get a QB early is moot, maybe the best strategy is to take the best player available. I might even be happy if they grab one of those defensive backs who have been touted for a long time in the mocks.
    At 7, the Niners will be able to select a solid pass rusher, O lineman or ILB. However, maybe their best Strategy would be to trade back and get 3 picks in the first 2 rounds.

  22. For goodness sake – lose that pile of rubbish once and for all. K has done nothing but spell disaster – and he probably can’t even spell disaster.

  23. The Offensive deficiencies of this past season were not just on Kaep. With the less than stellar OL play at center and RG and lack of a healthy RB group, and less than effective coaching, there is more than enough blame to be spread around. I just hope that Kaep gets a chance to work with a qualified NFL head coach and show what he can do with a better cast of players and more effective game planning.

    1. JR

      You are very kind with your language. OL was worst in NFL, RBs atrocious, coaching staff the worst in the history of the league.

  24. It’s official. This is the dumbest team in America. You got QB potentials and we’re going to find ways to F it up by MAYBE taking a WR like the Raiders, hope he is like Amari Cooper RATHER THAN TAKE the FREAKING SMART QB that can PUT FANS in the SEATS! TAKING the QB IN JARED GOFF that AGAIN PUTS PEOPLE in the seats. It’s like on the old TV show Alice where Mel’s mother proposed to bake 6 months of food for 2 months during her stay and Mel would get a PROFIT> the 49ers by keeping Kap are going to MISS a PROFIT at their own stadium because people are not going to be at the stadium. I guarantee you 49ers that I will be here, on Facebook, on Twitter, the press Democrat, NFL, I will do whatever it takes to make sure NOBODY goes to the games.

    You keep Kap, I hope you lose, I hope you finish with a terrible record. I hope Jed York is ashamed and embarrassed. I hope he’s the laughing stock of the NFL.

  25. Fans can grow horns and tails, it’s a feeling Colin knows all too well. Knives in his back, and faded memories. With fans like these, who needs enemies?

  26. makes tons of sense. while the overall talent level needs shoring up, you can’t win a SB without a good qb (technically, you need a great defense and at least a good qb). good QBs don’t grow on trees and are often unavailable to any given team in any given draft. #7 pick this year guarantees us nothing on this score

    so, you’ve got a team with Gabbert, a discard with a notoriously weak arm, and question marks. If the salary cap was an issue, then perhaps you call time on Kaep, but for a team way under the cap its a no brainer. Kaep was great for us once, and bad for us lately, but you have to give a new offensively minded coach a chance to turn him back into a fully functional qb. he’s young, strong, fast, rifle arm, and has experience with winning and losing.

    here’s the new feel from recent press: Baalke is on a very short rope and he knows it. the swagger is gone. you can’t have the crappy drafts, the inexplicable turnover of high talent veterans (see the Seahawks for the counter), and an incompetence in drafting/signing the kind of WR this team needed when we had a SB quality defense. Baalke is lucky to have won the war with Harbaugh – with Tomsula as his self-promoting deputy – but the jig is up.

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