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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

July 30, 2012
Kaepernick out-guns teammates in accuracy test

CKthrows left.jpg

If you took the four 49ers quarterbacks to a carnival, Colin Kaepernick is the most likely to go home with a giant teddy bear.

I say that after watching Kaepernick out-gun his three fellow passers Monday in an amusing accuracy drill devised by quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. From about 10 yards away, the four had to throw 10 footballs into a square pocket - maybe two feet by two feet - in the goal post netting. Chryst was measuring them on both accuracy and on how quickly they could fire out the footballs.

During the first go-around, both Kaepernick and Alex Smith got seven balls into the square. Kaepernick, however, did it a second faster than Smith. (Scott Tolzien was accurate on six balls; Josh Johnson got five in).

The last drill was the most difficult. There are actually three squares in the netting, which descend from upper left to lower right. Chryst designated them red, white and blue. He would call out a color before the quarterback would throw. "Red" was the upper left-hand pocket, "white" was the middle square, etc, etc.

Johnson tossed in six balls. Tolzien hit seven. Kaepernick, meanwhile, got on a real roll and connected on eight of 10 balls. The sessions ended before Smith got his final turn.

One of the best-looking pass catchers Monday? Defensive-end/tight end Demarcus Dobbs, who hauled in two fast-moving passes on crossing routes from Smith and Johnson. Dobbs made both while on the run in front of the linebacker. Dobbs, however, was called for a false start penalty late in practice during a drill that simulates the 49ers being backed up on their own goal line. Hey, nobody's perfect.

Vernon Davis ran the same route as Dobbs and also hauled in a nice ball from Smith. He, however, was stripped of the ball by Patrick Willis.

NaVorro Bowman leveled running back Kendall Hunter in the flat. Unlike Brian Tyms - who was tossed out of practice Sunday after throwing Trenton Robinson to the ground - Bowman was allowed to continue practice. It might have something to do with the fact that Bowman is an All-Pro and Tyms is an undrafted rookie.

Tyms also slipped on a sideline route that allowed Chris Culliver to step forward for an easy pick six of Josh Johnson. ... Tolzien looked good in team situations, hitting Randy Moss over the middle on one play and dealing with a blitz to hit Nathan Palmer on the next play.

Jim Harbaugh says there's a five-way tie to be the 49ers' No. 1 receiver. And to be honest, it's impossible to decipher through practice repetitions who the favorite wideouts are. The 49ers rotate them through the lineup constantly. When 11-11 drills began today, for example, Kyle Williams and Palmer were the starting wideouts. On the next play the duo was Moss and A.J. Jenkins.

In addition to Michael Crabtree (calf?), receiver Joe Hastings (leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb missed practice ... Linebacker Tavares Gooden (illness) returned to practice .... Harbaugh said that rookie running back Jewel Hampton had a procedure to remove bone spurs from a "lower extremity" and will be out about six weeks.

Finally, a Santa Clara state senator has joined the fight over the $30 million the 49ers want for their new stadium. Sen. Elaine Alquist of Santa Clara has written a bill that would send the disputed funds back to the stadium. Read about it here.

The held-in-abeyance funds don't seem to be slowing down the construction of the stadium. The steel skeleton started going up at sunrise this morning, and the outline of the $1.2 billion facility is beginning to take shape.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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