The starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers met with the Bay Area press on the fifth day of training camp.
As always, Colin Kaepernick's words will be printed (heavily) and dissected (heavily).
So it's only right that we add to the commentary.
Here are five things we learned on Wednesday, hours before the second padded practice of camp.
- Offensive communication is the talk of Day 5
The 49ers made a point of streamlining pre-snap communication with Kaepernick this offseason.
For starters, the offensive staff had the starting quarterback wear a radio earpiece during the helmet-free portions of the offseason program so the offensive staff could improve play-calling mechanics. Kaepernick wore a receiver and an earpiece during the second phase of the nine-week program and was given play calls from quarterbacks coach Steve Logan, who received the play from offensive coordinator Geep Chryst.
The coaches have continued the same system throughout the offseason, only now they use the helmet receiver. Kaepernick, who wears the green-dotted radio helmet, is able to call the plays in the huddle for the first time ever in training camp.
When asked about the team's play-calling mechanics and his ability to lead the offensive huddle in camp, Kaepernick said the change has been a positive development for an offensive unit working in a faster pace.
"It allows the players to have confidence in hearing your voice and you're the one that's going to be giving them direction on the field," the signal-caller said. "It's something that I think every quarterback should have the ability to do."
When Kaepernick was asked if the changes have given him more of a command of the huddle, the fifth-year pro said, "I feel like the opportunity has been put in front of me to do that."
- The end of practice is crucial on offense
A noticeable change of San Francisco's camp practices under Jim Tomsula is the final practice period dubbed, "Fix it."
Kaepernick said plays that weren't executed properly will be reviewed at the end of the session. Both sides of the ball run plays at a walk-through pace, allowing the offense to better understand the errors that were made.
"Whether it's a protection-route combination, whatever it may be, we want to make sure we get those things right," the 49ers QB said.
Kaepernick added that he has the authority to suggest which plays need to be fixed before the players leave the practice field.
- Mangini dials up pressure on defense
Four days into camp, San Francisco's defense has made a habit of loading up the line of scrimmage.
The added pressure was noticeable on Tuesday when an all-out blitz in a move-the-ball period led Kaepernick to force a pass to Quinton Patton, which was intercepted and returned for a 20-yard touchdown by Shareece Wright.
Kaepernick said it's too early to say if the Eric Mangini-led defense will be a blitz-happy group, but the quarterback has noticed that pressure has been heavy to start camp.
"Yesterday we did see a lot of pressure, a lot of different blitzes," Kaepernick said. "(It's) something we have to get comfortable with."
Kaepernick has three players in front of him competing for jobs of the offensive line: Center Joe Looney, right guard Marcus Martin and right tackle Erik Pears. All three will likely continue to get tested as they look to establish themselves as first-team contributors.
- Weapons on offense have impressed early
Kaepernick was asked about several new offensive weapons and how they've made life easier in camp.
The 49ers quarterback explained that the offense has a "great opportunity" to get the ball into the hands of the play-makers.
The group includes new wideout, Torrey Smith.
"He's a great player," Kaepernick said of the wideout who signed a big free-agent contract with San Francisco this offseason. "He's shown he can make plays in big-time situations. That's something we want to take advantage of."
- Mechanics still an emphasis for Kaepernick
Kurt Warner's appearance in camp reminded everyone how Kaepernick went to work early in the offseason to better himself. The 49ers QB took a checklist of items to improve from his coaches, and he worked with Warner and others on how to refine his game.
When asked about his biggest improvement coming into camp, Kaepernick said he didn't overemphasize one thing over anything else.
But when it was brought to his attention that players like Anquan Boldin have gone on record as saying Kap needs to be himself and play ball without over-thinking mechanics, Kaepernick admitted that he doesn't dwell to much on his throwing motion in the moment.
"It's something that every player in the offseason tries to improve their game," Kaepernick said. "It's different once you step on the field. You go out there, you play, you don't think about those things. But you try to create good habits by what you do in the offseason."