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SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick needs to add a little variety to his game – and his throwing motion -- to help him take the next step in his maturation as an NFL passer, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke suggested on Tuesday.
When asked about the mechanical changes Kaepernick enacted during his offseason work with independent quarterback coach Dennis Gile, Baalke said there is not just one way to be a successful quarterback.
“The only thing that matters at the end of the day is, are they accurate? It doesn’t matter how it gets there, how it looks, what the release looks like,” Baalke said.
Baalke referenced San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who has fashioned an unorthodox semi-sidearm throwing motion en route to five Pro Bowl appearances. Baalke also mentioned how Aaron Rodgers changed from his rigid throwing mechanics at Cal to a passer adept at changing his release points to get rid of the ball quickly with the Green Bay Packers.
“(I) never thought in a million years he would look like Brett Favre in terms of all the different arm angles,” Baalke said of Rodgers.
So how does that relate to Kaepernick? Baalke said a quarterback must adapt to be able to throw accurate passes under duress from a variety of different body positions.
“As long as the little things he continues to do allow him to change the arm angles and the trajectory so that every ball doesn’t look the same and every release isn’t the same, that’s what you’re looking for,” Baalke said.
“You’ve seen some of that in this camp. Now, the only way you get better at it is repetition and repetition under fire, because we could all do it, to a degree, in a one-on-one on air. But then as you build the tempo of the game up, you tend to go into different habits, or old habits. But nobody works harder. The guy works his tail end off, and I think you’re seeing some of the benefits of that.”