Skip to main content

Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick Split First-team Reps at 49ers Training Camp

View the best photos from #49ersCamp at the SAP Performance Facility, on Sunday July 31, 2016.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks are taking a workmanlike approach towards the competition to be the team's starter.

Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick each met with the media following the 49ers first practice of training camp. Both quarterbacks, who started eight games apiece in 2015, explained that their mindset this August will be no different than any other year.

"That's just the way a competition goes," Gabbert said. "You just have to make the most of your opportunity. This isn't my first quarterback competition I've ever been a part of, and it definitely won't be my last."

Added Kaepernick: "It's going to be an even competition, and I'm here ready to compete. … That's what we come out here to do. I'm excited for what's to come." 

The signal-callers split reps evenly on Sunday as Chip Kelly indicated would be the case before practice. Kelly remained steadfast that there's no timetable for when he would choose his Week 1 starter.

"Obviously, you'd like to get it done sooner rather than later. But, you don't want to get it done sooner and then make the wrong decision," Kelly said. "I think how we train, and what we do on the practice fields and then obviously the opportunity to play in preseason games, will give us a real good indication, we hope, as we head into the regular season."

When asked, Kelly also provided the traits that he'll be looking for when evaluating the play of each quarterback.

"I think, first and foremost, is who can move the team the best. That's what you're always looking for," Kelly explained. "Which quarterback can handle what they're doing and get the team in the end zone. Obviously, you have to protect the ball in doing that. We're excited to see it.

"I think we're confident in both those guys. It's good to have two. In my three years before, we've had to play two quarterbacks every year. It's a good situation to be in."

Neither Kaepernick nor Gabbert appeared concerned with the timeshare of reps in practice. The pressure of a position battle won't overshadow their enjoyment of a new season.

"I just go out there and have fun. You can't worry about it," Gabbert said. "The best man is going to get the job regardless, so dwelling on that isn't going to do you any good. You prepare like you're the starter, go out there and play like you're the starter and let your play take care of itself."

Kaepernick echoed Gabbert's sentiments.

"It felt great to be back on the field, to start with," he began. "And then to get into the offense and really sink my teeth into it and get comfortable with it, felt good. I felt comfortable with the plays. I'm not going to lie, the mental reps I took in the spring really helped me today." 

Kaepernick's health was a major storyline through the offseason following a trio of surgeries. At the conclusion of mandatory minicamp in June, the quarterback told reporters that he had work to do in order to gain muscle and be fully prepared for preseason.

Mission accomplished, expressed No. 7.

"I don't look like my high-school self anymore," Kaepernick joked. "I'm ready to roll."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.