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Notebook: Colin Kaepernick Will 'Continue to Work,' Coordinators Preview Matchup with Rams

Take a look at the top images when the 49ers took the practice field to prepare for the Rams.

Colin Kaepernick discussed his backup role on the San Francisco 49ers depth chart on Wednesday.

"I have to wait my time and work," said Kaepernick, who will be San Francisco's No. 2 passer behind Blaine Gabbert in Week 1. "I've been in this position before."

Kaepernick pointed to his his rise to prominence in 2012 when he began the year as Alex Smith's backup. Kaepernick led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLIV and was the team's Week 1 starter for the next three seasons.

Year No. 6 for Kaepernick has been different. A trio of offseason surgeries and shoulder fatigue midway through training camp put him behind in the competition to start Sept. 12 against the Los Angeles Rams on "Monday Night Football."

View every player currently on the San Francisco 49ers 2017 90-man roster.

Even so, Kaepernick finished the preseason strong, completing 11-of-18 passes for 103 yards in a road victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said the peformance bodes well moving into the regular season.

"Kap has a history of being really good in this league and doing some good things," the OC said. "I think in this league you need more than one good quarterback, and we're very fortunate that we do have him and Blaine."

Kaepernick, too, was complimentary of Gabbert, but the competitor in Kaepernick still wants to be on the field.

"He studies hard. He works hard," Kaepernick said of the man he'll be backing up. "That's ultimately Chip's decision. All I can do is focus on myself at this point and make sure I'm getting better."

As San Francisco's backup quarterback, practice reps will be pivotal for Kaepernick now that he's regained full strength in his right arm.

"I think I'll continue to improve and continue to get into my stride," Kaepernick said. "It's really only been about a month since I've been on the field, so there's still some progressing to do, still some strength to get back, but I'll continue to work."

Coordinators Highlight Rams Best Players

Aaron Donald. The All-Pro defensive lineman for the Rams. He's certainly a player to watch on Monday night.

What makes him so good?

"How much time do we have?" Modkins fired back. "He's explosive. He's tough. He's physical. He's as good a pass rusher as he is a run defender. And so, he causes havoc on both sides whether it's the run game or the pass game. He's just a really, really good football player who has a really, really high motor, and he's kind of mean, too. So Aaron's a fantastic football player and he's going to present a challenge that we'll have to meet."

As for the other side of the ball, Jim O'Neil offered some thoughts on what makes the Rams a challenge on offense.

"They are very physical," the defensive coordinator began. "They have their whole offensive line healthy. In my opinion, they have six really good players. They haven't been able to play together this preseason, but they are starting to get healthy. The quarterback (Case Keenum) does a great job getting the ball out of his hands, puts them in a position to win football games. Obviously, Todd Gurley at running back is a dynamic player. Tavon Austin is a dynamic player as a receiver, running back, screen guy, down the field. They've got a big receiver in Kenny Britt. They've got three tight ends that they roll that all do a good job. So they are pretty good personnel-wise."

Niner Notes

-- Pierre Garçon wore a blue non-contact jersey at practice. He's still in the concussion protocol. Shauhn Draughn, who wore the jersey for the last two weeks, was back in a regular practice uniform on Wednesday.

-- Glenn Dorsey continues to work his way back onto the field. O'Neil said the "next couple of days will be huge for him." Dorsey has not been in full-team drills yet, but he's been more involved at practice in recent weeks

-- Arik Armstead's upper-body injury kept him out of action in the preseason, but O'Neil sounded like the second-year defensive lineman would be ready for the Rams.

-- Recently claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart joins Armstead and DeForest Buckner as a trio of Oregon products on San Francisco's defensive line. The 49ers coordinator offered this scouting report: "He's a guy that I evaluated when he was coming out of college. Big, physical, strong at the point of attack in the run game, very tough, which we're always looking for tough guys."

-- Will Redmond was placed on Injured Reserve to start the season, but he could be activated later in the year if he's healthy enough to play. "I think that's the plan," O'Neil said. "Will's a guy that we were very excited about when we drafted him. We're still very excited about him. We'll lean on (the team's medical staff) and the athletic training staff as far as when he's fully back, and if it's a situation down the line where we can activate him, I'm sure that that will be a conversation."

-- The defensive coordinator said Ray-Ray Armstrong, Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite will all play at inside linebacker next to NaVorro Bowman. O'Neil has not named a Week 1 starter. "We have a plan right now going into Week 1," he said. "I'll let you guys figure out that plan on Monday night."

-- The acquisition of Rod Streater was well received by Chip Kelly over the weekend. Modkins also weighed in on how the veteran receiver can impact San Francisco's receiving corps. "I like what Rod brings," Modkins said. "One, he has some length. He can run. He's had some production in this league."

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