Training camp report: Colin Kaepernick misses the mark

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ second non-padded practice of training camp.


1. Brandon Lloyd. Made a 20-yard catch near the sideline during an 11-on-11 team drill. Colin Kaepernick threw the pass high. Lloyd jumped and caught the ball and got both feet inbounds.

2. Stevie Johnson. Beat Chris Culliver for a 15-yard catch during a seven-on-seven drill. Johnson sold the deep route before he broke it off to the inside.

3. Tramaine Brock. Nearly intercepted Blaine Gabbert during 11 on 11s. Gabbert dropped back, looked to his right and fired to Stevie Johnson. Brock broke early on the pass and jumped in front of Johnson. The ball bounced off Brock’s chest and fell to the grass.

4. Jimmie Ward. I haven’t seen him give up a completion during team drills yet. He’s intense during practice, one of the most competitive players on the field. Today he batted away a deep pass from Josh Johnson intended for Jon Baldwin during 11 on 11s. On one play during seven on sevens, Ward covered Stevie Johnson in the slot. Johnson tried to beat Ward to the inside. Ward read the route, shadowed Johnson and broke up the pass.

5. McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Made the best pass of practice. It was during a seven-on-seven drill in the red zone. Bethel-Thompson fired a rocket to Quinton Patton before he made his cut. The pass was perfect. It hit Patton in stride in the end zone as he turned his head. But he dropped it.

6. Derek Carrier. Made the best catch of practice. He was running deep down the middle of the field and he was open. Kaepernick saw him and threw it to him but threw it too high. Carrier reached up and caught it without breaking stride.

7. Chuck Jacobs. Burned Tramaine Brock deep during a one-on-one drill. Brock held Jacobs’ left arm down to prevent him from catching the pass.

8. Dontae Johnson. Faced Quinton Patton once during one on ones. Patton tried a double move to the outside. Johnson did not bite. He stuck with Patton and broke up the pass.

9. Kenneth Acker. Faced Chuck Jacobs once during one on ones. Jacobs ran deep, slammed on the breaks and turned around. Acker slammed on the breaks, too, dove and almost picked off the pass.

10. Chase Thomas.  Colin Kaepernick attempted a short pass to Vance McDonald over the middle. Chase Thomas beat McDonald to the pass but dropped the interception.


1. Colin Kaepernick. He made one good throw during practice – a 20-yard completion to Michael Crabtree in the middle of the field during a seven-on-seven red zone drill. Other than that, Kaepernick was all over the place. He missed Anquan Boldin by five yards in the corner of the end zone during the same red zone drill. Later, Kaepernick rifled a pass over Bruce Miller’s head in the flat. Next, Kaepernick threw a pass five feet over David Reed’s head. Then, Kaepernick overthrew Michael Crabtree deep when he had a step on C.J. Spillman. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Kaepernick participated in an accuracy drill with the other quarterbacks – the coaches set up a net underneath one of the uprights and there were three holes in the net. The quarterbacks had to throw as many passes into the holes as they could. Kaepernick made one of six, and on his final attempt he hit the cross bar, missed the target by a few feet.

This article has 77 Comments

  1. 12/18 with a few drops for Kaepernick? Yea, Bernie Kosar might be a better tutor than your star guru….

  2. He’s not following through.
    C’mon Kap. Get it together dude!

  3. Man Im getting really excited about Ward…When they picked him I was like who???? Grant I know its a small sample but sounds like Ward looks like the real deal huh?

    1. Just a matter of learning the defense, experience and he’ll be well on his way to being the play maker this defense is looking for…..

    2. They guys is a baller. Loved what I saw of him from college tape. Hopefully the transition to the pros keeps going as smoothly as it seems to so far.

  4. Only Grant Cohen could watch a practice in which Kaepernick hits on 66% of his passes to 6 separate receivers and call the article “Kaepernick misses his mark.”

      1. And from Maiocco, “–Kaepernick did not complete a high percentage, but his best throw was a 20-yard laser in 7-on-7 drills that he completed to Michael Crabtree at the goal line between the coverage of safeties Craig Dahl and C.J. Spilllman.”

    1. 66% puts him top 5 in the league. You’re hilariously like your father Grant. Controversial and negative.

    2. Grant obviously uses negativity in his headlines to draw eyes to his article, so he can make more $$$ per click.

  5. in terms of accuracy, I don’t clearly recall Kaepernick being lights out in practice but shouldn’t we start expecting some separation between him and the backups of the team? I get that it’s his unorthodox handling of the position that makes him what he is, but what if he packaged that with anticipation and touch? I don’t think there is anything else this team could benefit from more or needs for that matter, in 2014.

  6. Thats what I thought. This is from another perspective

    “Colin Kaepernick started day two of San Francisco 49ers training camp by completing five consecutive passes to five different targets in a 7-on-7 passing drill.

    Kaepernick completed passes to wide receivers Anquan Boldin, Quinton Patton, Devon Wylie, tight end Derek Carrier and then found Michael Crabtree for a 20-yard touchdown pass down the right hash-marks in a red zone period.

    In the third 7-on-7 period of the day, Kaepernick completed passes to tight ends Vance McDonald and Asante Cleveland. The 49ers quarterback also completed a slant pattern to new wideout Stevie Johnson.

    In team periods, Kaepernick found Brandon Lloyd on a deep cross and Crabtree on a quick pass. Kaepernick overthrew a deep ball to Crabtree 45 yards down the field in the final period of the day.

    Unofficially, Kaepernick completed 12 of 18 passes in 7-on-7 and team periods. He especially looked sharp threading the needle down the middle of the field.”

  7. Grant it sounds like the class of 14 is looking outstanding so far, looks like you might be eating a little crow on that J. Ward pick.

  8. Just watched NFL replay of the GB wild card game and the Seattle championship game..I dont care what he looks like in practice..Hes 17-6 and hes started 23 games..After 7 years people were still making excuses for A Smith…I still dont want him back..After watching those games Kap single handedly kept us in the Seattle game and won the GB game..Dude is special get over it…Give him some time …jesus

  9. Grant M Barrows says that Gabberts first v2 practices have been excellent what are your thoughts on Gabbert so far?

  10. Grant might become a menace to the team while reporting. Maybe a time will come fans will protest against him in front of the office. He’s so offended by the attitude of Kap and Harbaugh along with his father. They can’t stand them. Those 49er bad men.

    1. They actually don’t even let him ask questions in pressers. They know the drill and call on the real reporters.

  11. Ward keeping up with a player like Johnson, in his second day of practice, is, I think, pretty impressive. Anyone listen to his interview after yesterday’s practice? Very impressive individual.

  12. I read another negative report on Kaep about the accuracy drill. It said Kaep only hit one of 5. But it also said his last pass that hit the crossbar was thrown there on purpose because Kaep was pissed that he miss the others. Leave it to Grant to utilize prevarication to make his point.

        1. If we had drafted Murphy and Gardner it wouldn’t matter who we played at QB because our defense would score all our points.

  13. Ward, the next Charles Woodson. I’ve been saying it since the draft. He’s going to wreak havoc from the slot position.

  14. Quote of the day: Michael Wilhoite on the task of trying to replace the injured star Bowman at inside linebacker: “You are not replacing Joe Schmo, so you can’t be Joe Schmo.”

  15. Second-year pass rusher Corey Lemonier had a nice day, showing good burst on multiple plays. I have high expectations for this kid….

    1. Me too. I think he takes Brooks’ spot if the team decides to keep Smith past 2015.

  16. Thanks for the update Grant. Was Kaep on the run during those high throws or were they from him standing in the pocket?

  17. Why always the negative angle? Coming hear to read football news you feel a dark cloud hanging over you

  18. Love the passion and play making ability that J.Ward is showing after 2 days.

    OBTW, CK could lead all TC QB’s in INT’s and will still be the starter when the season begins. There will be no surprises here come September unless Kaep’ throwing arm falls off.

    Any news on KHunt’ knee?

  19. Anymore news about Hunters knee? I’d hate to lose him. It would automatically make Hyde #2 back.

    Side note. It’s amazing to me how people are downplaying Marahawn Lynch’s role in the hawks offense. They’ve pretty much told him to kick rocks.

    1. We may here some vague info today on Hunter.

      The Seahawks are in a spot where they need to plan for re-signing Wilson, and with Lynch’s age I don’t see them wanting to pay him more than they already are. He and Frank Gore are almost mirror images of each other.

  20. “Kaepernick saw him and threw it to him but threw it too high. Carrier reached up and caught it without breaking stride.”

    The argument goes on as to Grant’s bias against Kaep. Grant insists he is just a true pro journalist calling it just as he sees it. But I can’t let that quoted passage go without comment. Kaep’s pass was too high but Carrier caught it without breaking stride? Really? Come on man. Professional pilots have a saying: “A good landing is any one you walk away from”. Kaep threw it, Carrier caught it in stride — end of story! Grant lost me as a believer of the true pro school of thought at “too high”.

    1. Whine Country,
      According to Grant, even a completed pass is not good enough when it comes to Kaep unless it’s put between the receiver’s jersey numbers.

      Apparently Carrier made a great reaching catch, but aren’t WR’s supposed to track down or reach for balls that are in their vicinity?
      Another hype-filled report from our Grant (lol).

    2. At least 2 other journalists wrote similar reports on Kaepernick’s performance yesterday.

      1. Hammer,
        Grant’ story-line’s have been a little overhyped of late so I’m treating his latest report in keeping with the same context.

        But my take in this report is that Carrier made a great reaching catch that every WR should be expected to make or at the very least make an effort to make.

      2. Yup, and Taylor Price (another writer) said that Kaep was unofficially 12-18 on 7 on 7 drills with some good throws over the middle. Depends who’s report you want to hang your hat on, I guess.

        Point: 2 days into TC will not make any HOF players.
        My sense regarding TC has been that it’s for the veterans to get into playing shape and for the new guys and rookies to make an impression.

          1. I can’t disagree; Mr. Price is a “House” writer who works for the PR Dept. Grant may show some biases in his work, (eye of the beholder I guess) but Taylor Price darned well better show a Homer prejudice in his work, or he’s gone!
            Uh, headline writing is what it is; its different than reporting so it gets an eye roll and a sigh, then a pass. The differences in accounts of practices are pretty small and inevitable as there are different eyewitnesses. Whoever reports is just human. Take the track record into account, remember that everyone has bias, and then use your own biases to assign credibility to the composite picture being painted.

          2. Okay but 12-18 the second day of camp to new receivers and guys he probably had zero reps with is 66%. That would place him in the top echelon in the league. Spin, facts, bias… Whatever path you choose I ask this question. If he is paid to put a positive spin, are you paid to out a negative spin? Or is that your own personal choice?

            1. Did any beat writers describe Kaepernick’s performance any differently yesterday?

              1. My point, and that of others is that you write a 49ers blog. It would be safe to assume that your audience enjoys the 49ers and likes their players. You’re right, most beat writers had the same stance. The difference is that your negative opinion of the QB, the coach, their draft, etc gets old as a 49er fan. I guess I could stop reading your blog because it’s unpleasant and reminds me of a sibling whining “what about me, what about me!” At some point down the road I’ll come back and enjoy your new found passion and blog about home and garden, the best new cell phone to hit the market, or I’d guess maybe video games. I might keep reading because I enjoy watching a 49er blog writer subtly bash the niners. Nice call on the Vernon Davis holdout, the draft, Kaep… Keep up the good work. Cheers

        1. By most accounts I read yesterday Kap struggled with his accuracy. Grant wasn’t the only one to point it out.

          1. rocket,
            I know that most reports from TC were closer to Grant’ report. My point is that after reading T.Price’ report perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle.

            In any case, it was only day two of TC and the cream usually doesn’t rise to the top after two days.

            1. AES,

              I wasn’t singling you out and I agree it’s not a big deal anyway. I just wanted to point out Grants view wasn’t biased. He takes enough heat around here with out ripping him for observations that are accurate.

  21. It’s day 2 of training camp. If CK going to be inaccurate let him get it out of his system now. I’m more interested in hearing about the coaching. Is Whitfield or any of the other coaches concentrating on his footwork? That’s where they need to focus. Fix the footwork and the accuracy issues are fixed.

    1. Houston,

      Reports yesterday indicated that Whitfield was working almost exclusively with Faulkner.

    2. Whitfield isn’t working with Kaepernick in front of the media, as expected. That’s got to be behind closed doors, especially for Geep Chryst’s sake.

      1. This comment is my point exactly. It reeks of your negativity. Like it’s some conspiracy the niners hire a good QB coach to help out but need to only work the starting QB in the dark of the night. C’mon man.

  22. “Hey Jason,Trent here. Noticed that you might need some help at right guard. Just so happens that I might be able to help you out.”

    The Bucs are staring at a realb possibility of Patrick Omameh being there starting right guard with Nicks retiring yesterday. Anyone who watched the 49ers in the preseason last year knows how bad that option is.

  23. Okay Grant, Kaep has had a top 10 QBR the last 2 years and won playoff games single handedly. If his comp % is higher will you finally be happy? If he completes 21 more passes last year he is in the top 10 in comp %. A full season with crab and Vernon are worth 21+. If not Kaep then who at QB. The thing you fail to realize in your judgment of Kaep is, especially in this article is that throwing passes to different receivers at different speeds is a complicated process. For example, a “5” route in their tree is a speed cut (not chopping feet) out, should be at 10-12 yard in the sideline. QB throws before the receiver is out if his break so like I said this takes reps. I honestly find it comical how little you know about the sport you write on, yet you push your agenda like 49er coaches and league execs have no idea. Try learning a little first so you at least sound educated about your critisim. This isn’t 7th grade flag football or madden on PS3.

  24. Last year I posted on here that Kaep isn’t the answer. I was called a Hawks fan and an Alex Smith fan–neither of which could be further from the truth. I’m really troubled by his lack of development as a passer. People point to his good games in the playoffs, but much of that had to do with his legs–something that’s always a big injury risk. I’m hopeful he turns it around, and yes it’s too early to bash him, and yes he’s made the playoffs every year, and yes this is practice not games… But I’m still really worried.

    On the plus side, this was an incredible draft class for us. Plus, Stevie Johnson is a huge all-around threat if he can stay healthy.

    1. Really worried? Ha! For me, those days are gone with the coming of Harbaugh and his hand picked quarterback of mass destruction….

Comments are closed.