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Colin Kaepernick Confident behind Revamped O-line

Posted Aug 11, 2014

After experiencing virtually no changes last year, the San Francisco 49ers offensive line started three new players in the team's preseason opener in Baltimore.


OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Most assume that Daniel Kilgore will take over as the San Francisco 49ers starting center in 2014.

But most forget that Kilgore already has a functioning relationship with starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“I worked my whole rookie year with him, so we just have to get back in a routine,” Kaepernick said after Monday’s practice, the third and final session with the Baltimore Ravens at their facility.

Kaepernick, you might remember, was the 36th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Kilgore was the 163rd.

The only botched snap the pair has had during camp – as one reporter noted and Kaepernick clarified – was the result of a running back’s deflection.

“I don’t think we’ve had any problems,” Kaepernick said. “He’s been doing well. He’s been mentally on top of things. We just have to keep getting better.”

With Jonathan Goodwin’s three-year run as the snapper for Kaepernick and Alex Smith before him, Kilgore is fighting off rookie Marcus Martin for the right to lead the Mike Solari-coached offensive line this season.

But he’s not the only new face.

Although Kilgore was flanked on the left side in the team’s exhibition opener by stalwarts Joe Staley (tackle) and Mike Iupati (guard), the right side was less familiar. Returning reserve Joe Looney (guard) filled in for the absent Alex Boone while offseason addition Jonathan Martin (tackle) started in place of Anthony Davis, who is rehabbing an injury.

“I thought Jonathan Martin played extremely well. Very effective. Some things to clean up,” Jim Harbaugh said after the team’s 23-3 defeat at M&T Bank Stadium. “Had a false start, had a couple of plays he’d like to have back. Joe Looney, the same. Got high on a few plays. It was good work and things that are fixable, things that are correctable. Look forward to getting that done between our first game and our second game.”

As it currently stands, less than a week from their Sunday home exhibition opener opposite the Denver Broncos, the o-line has three new starters. This is a unit that saw virtually no changes in 16 regular-season games and two postseason contests a season ago.

The group undoubtedly bettered itself by practicing against the Ravens defensive front. Kaepernick sure did.

“You get different players, different looks and different techniques from them.” Kaepernick said. “You have to pick up all those things in practice like you would in a game.”