Kaepernick is Working Hard in Arizona

Niners' QB and Kurt Warner both indicate progress is being made in weeks-long work to improve technique and mental skills necessary for a top-flight NFL quarterback

There’s no doubt Colin Kaepernick is the most important player on the 49ers roster.

After Kaepernick’s production and efficiency on the field took a dip last season in an 8-8 season, even team CEO Jed York weighed in publicly on the team’s young quarterback.

“Colin did some things very well this year, and there are things he needs to improve on,” York told reporters at the end of the 2014 season. “That’s something that is very important. I don’t think you have a more important position in sports than quarterback.”

So it was news when Kaepernick, soon after that, announced he would be working for several weeks this offseason with former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Kurt Warner and quarterbacks coaches Dennis Gile and Mike Giovando in Arizona to polish his technique and fundamentals on the field and add to his ability to read defenses and study film.

Now, it sounds as if both Kaepernick and Warner believe the 49ers quarterback is making progress in all those areas.

Colin Kaepernick’s father, Rick, told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group this week that his son is excited by what he’s learning.

“I know Colin is very, very pleased and extremely happy with the instruction he’s getting,” Rick Kaepernick told Inman. “He’s learning a lot. He’s a sponge.”

Also, Warner – at the Super Bowl this week as an analyst for the NFL Network – told Bay Area News Group columnist Mark Purdy that much of a quarterback’s success comes down to technique, a hint that perhaps Kaepernick needs to refine the way he plays in some way.

“It all starts with technique,” Warner told Purdy. “Because if you don’t have technique, you’ll never have consistency. And then from there, we’ll go to the mental side of it and see how far we can push the envelope and how good he can be.”

That could be Warner’s biggest impact on Kaepernick: sitting down with him to discuss the ins and outs of studying film and reading defenses. Warner told Purdy he’s “been very impressed so far” with what Kaepernick knows.

“Been very pleased with where he is at,” Warner said. He added that they’re going to throw a lot at him to see how quickly and accurately he can improve in his decision-making abilities as a quarterback in the three seconds he has against rushing defenders.

“(To) know where to go with the football, know how to get there and technique-wise, be able to get it there,” Warner said. “So we’re going to push the envelope in all those areas and see how far we can get him.”

Obviously, too, Kaepernick seems to be enjoying the challenge.

This week, Kaepernick tweeted a photo from his Instagram account of him working with a coach in Arizona on his technique with the message: “Grind in silence!” and “I don’t get tired.”

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