OTA Notes: Good Kap, Bad Kap

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me during Thursday’s mini-camp.


1. Red-zone Kap — Two-for-two during the full-team red-zone drill. On first-and-ten from the defense’s 15 yard line, Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. On attempt No.2 — first-and-goal from the 6 — Kaepernick rolled to his left and threw a high pass to Vance McDonald who reached up and caught it in the end zone.

2. Vance McDonald — Didn’t drop a single pass.

3. Blaine Gabbert — Threw the best pass of the day — a 15-yard completion over the middle to Bruce Ellington. Gabbert anticipated the opening and laced the pass between three defenders.

4. Tramaine Brock — Broke up a short pass intended for Anquan Boldin. Boldin ran a quick slant. Brock ran him down and swatted McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s pass to ground.

5. Darryl Morris — Broke up a deep pass intended for Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd ran a post route and Blaine Gabbert threw a perfect pass, but Morris caught up to Lloyd and knocked the ball away.

6. Nick Moody — Broke up a short pass intended for Quinton Patton. Moody was covering Patton in the slot during the red-zone drill. Patton tried to beat Moody with a quick move to the inside. Moody wasn’t fooled.


1. Full-field Kap — On the first play during a  seven-on-seven full-field drill, Kaepernick badly overthrew Vance McDonald. McDonald was running deep down the middle of the field and he was open. Kaepernick missed him by five yards. Maybe Kaepernick expected McDonald to transform in to Vernon Davis mid-play. Note to Kap: McDonald is slower than Davis.

On the first play of an 11-on-11 full-field drill, Kaepernick scrambled out of the pocket to his right. He had time to set his feet, but he chose to throw on the run. His pass hit outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks between the numbers, but he dropped it.

This article has 60 Comments

  1. Hey Iggy!
    Have you ever noticed how the coaches react when these ‘not-so-good’ plays occur.
    Do they ever look concerned…even though it’s just minicamp?
    Just curious…

    1. You have to understand that one of Grant’s current top argument premisses is that Vernon Davis is the 49ers only legitimate deep threat so he has to take every opportunity to embellish and showcase situations that align with this premise. Until another threat shows up he will be giddily waiting to write his “I told you so” piece down the road.

    2. “On the first play during a seven-on-seven full-field drill, Kaepernick overthrew Vance McDonald by at least five yards. McDonald was running deep down the middle of the field and he was open. Kaepernick just missed him.”

      So did he miss him by 5 yards or just barely miss him?

          1. Grant singled out two plays. I hardly think that is enough to make a statement like this.

    3. Kid’s totally OBSESSING on Kap.

      Funny, this ridiculous click-bait blogging will never get this kid any writing job without the help of his dad. The internet never forgets this crap…

      Makes you wonder if Grant even followed the 49ers last season. Somebody posted positive stats that show a VERY different picture last article and Meek Little Grant never replied to his argument even once.

      This stuff reminds you why the internet can be completely useless when it comes to finding actual journalism and information. Any kid with a computer can be a blogger…

  2. What’s your take on Morris in camp? Is he going to play on the outside or nickle?

    1. Yeah, good q CfC. Grant, has Morris been playing exclusively in the nickel in camp, or is he all over the place?

      I like him. I think he makes the team.

      1. He’s been all over the place. Mostly Nickel, though. He was playing outside when he broke up the pass to Lloyd.

  3. Take away that overthrown pass to McDonald and the dropped from Brooks. I would say Kaep had a good day.

      1. Hush! DO NOT take away the rain & the clouds! The drought is deep enough already! Great Spirit, pay no attention, please.

        1. @Bro Tuna

          Excellent point…usually, we have some to send ya’….but this year we’re in it too.

          1. Sorry BT .. but I was lookin’ at some pretty ominous
            clouds laced with a bit of thunder and lightning ..
            when I typed that

            1. Oh, yeah, you guys have been getting pounded this year. I hope it’s not like the summer of ’93.

  4. Interesting fact: Did you know Oklahoma means “Red People” in Choctaw? I think we should change the name of the state. Since I am 1/32 Native American I am offended.

    1. My granddad was from County Cork in Ireland and I like to drink, and can be rather ill tempered at times—I wish Washington would force Notre Dame to change its name….rather than deal with the economy which sucks, or the problems in Iraq

  5. Grant,

    How many passes did McDonald catch today? It is encouraging to hear he had a day without drops. Sounds like he is making incremental improvement.

  6. From Bill Williamson – @BWilliamsonESPN

    I think 7th-round pick, D-lineman Kaleb Ramsey is a name to watch.

    Interesting. Must have looked decent this week. Though it is Bill Williamson…

    1. Grant, have you seen anything from Ramsey that would support Bill Williamson’s interest?

      1. He looks the part of a one-tech, but the Niners haven’t practiced in pads yet.

  7. Kiss of death for James.

    Bill Williamson @BWilliamsonESPN

    “Harbaugh praised several players, including RB/returner LaMichael James.”

    Another AJ moment…

    1. James will be gone before the regular season begins. His position(s) are going to be taken by Lattimore and Ellington.

  8. You point out that McDonald didn’t drop a pass, but then you fail to describe what kind of passes.

        1. Five yard gain on a crossing route. Ten-yard gain on an out route. Six-yard touchdown catch as Kaepernick scrambled to his left.

              1. I do, especially if it involves somebody that hasn’t been good during the minicamp. The TD catch is especially good to hear about.

              2. Just curious where VMac is lining up, it seemed like when VD was out last season, McDonald stayed in the 2nd TE/SAK role. Has he been lining up inline in Davis’s role during this camp?

  9. Sooooo. How bout that Alex Smith, huh?! Is he ever gonna be the answer …. LOL!! Just thought I’d make mention for old time sake ;-) Those were some pretty FIERCE debates. I think he was the reason the 9ers moved to Santa Clara.

    1. He’s been terrific so far. He caught four passes today, including a 15-yarder in traffic and a touchdown catch during the red-zone drill.

      1. Of course, from memory, Kyle Williams used to look good during these non-contact sessions too…

    2. They say the same thing about Ward. I hope his foot gets well soon so we can have a look at him.

  10. Grant, can you detail the DL rotations that the Niners used during this mini-camp? Where did guys like Dorsey, Williams, Dial, and Carradine line up? Did Carradine take most of the first team reps for Cowboy? I understand that the non-contact nature of the mini-camp makes line play kind of moot, so I was just looking at rotations and seeing where guys were playing.

    1. Williams didn’t participate in team drills. Carradine lined up at Justin Smith’s position in base and in nickel, and he lined up at Ray McDonald’s position in Nickel, too. Jerod-Eddie lined up at McDonald’s position in base. Dial lined up at NT and sometimes at McDonald’s position in base.

      1. Thanks Grant! Did Dorsey line up anywhere other than NT? Also, did Dobbs participate? (I would assume he lined up for J. Smith)

        1. Dorsey lined up at NT only. Dobbs did participate and lined up for J. Smith.

  11. Grant, who would you say is leading the ILB battle? I know it’s hard to tell without pads, but most people have come to the conclusion that it’s basically Wilhoite’s job to loose. Do you see it that way or do you think Borland is the more likely candidate right now?

  12. Thanks again, I’m pretty excited about the DL rotation going into the season.

    1. If they feel they need a change of pace back to replace Franklin they might. The guys they currently have are all bigger bodied RBs.

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