Programming note: For comprehensive 49ers coverage from the NFL combine in Indianapolis, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 & midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
INDIANAPOLIS – Coach Jim Tomsula said it is too early to speculate exactly how much Colin Kaepernick’s running ability will be incorporated into the 49ers’ offense next season.
But he certainly envisions him as a lot more than just a running quarterback.
“Colin Kaepernick, I don’t think it’s any secret that his legs work really well,” Tomsula said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “But so does his arm. OK? And so does his brain. And so do his eyes.”
Kaepernick actually accounted for career-highs in passing and rushing yards last season. He threw for 3,369 yards passing and gained 641 yards on the ground. But Kaepernick’s passer rating dropped to 86.4 – the first time it dipped below 90 in his career. The 49ers stumbled to a 8-8 record.
“He’s got to be able to make plays with his arm,” Tomsula said. “And our quarterback can. Colin can make plays with his arm. I’m terribly excited about Colin Kaepernick – extremely excited.”
CEO Jed York alluded recently to Kaepernick’s unique running ability, which he showcased with a 90-yard touchdown run late in the regular season against the San Diego Chargers. Tomsula said his coaching staff is studying the players to design a system that capitalizes on the players’ strengths.
“We want to utilize the total package,” Tomsula said. “Does that mean Colin Kaepernick is going to be the leading rusher every week? No. No plans on that. Let’s use everything we have -- like we have done. Let’s not act like that hasn’t happened, either.”
Matt Maiocco will appear on Yahoo SportsTalk Live tonight at 5, 7 & 11 p.m. to discuss Jim Tomsula's comments to the media at the NFL combine.