The word out of Arizona is that quarterback Colin Kaepernick is making good progress during his 11-week program during this time of the offseason when the 49ers' coaches are prohibited from working with their players.
Next month when the offseason program begins, the 49ers will see just how much of a difference Kaepernick’s work with independent quarterback coaches, including Kurt Warner, has made on his mechanics and mental part of the game.
And 49ers general manager Trent Baalke promised there is no chance that Kaepernick will be playing for a team other than the 49ers this season. Baalke twice last week refuted a report from a Houston radio station that Kaepernick was on the trade block.
“There has not been a discussion with another team regarding Kap,” Baalke said last week. “We have not made a call, nor has anyone called us. So the report that was pushed out there . . . was false, 100-percent false.
“There has been absolutely none, no conversations with any team regarding our quarterback. Period. Exclamation point.”
Kaepernick is set to begin his third full season as the 49ers starting quarterback. The 49ers re-signed Blaine Gabbert last week to a two-year, $4 million contract to servce as his backup.
But it will be the first season in which Kaepernick is without coach Jim Harbaugh, who was viewed as Kaepernick’s biggest proponent. Harbaugh was viewed as Kaepernick's main proponent, as the 49ers traded up in the second round to select him in the 2011 draft.
“I think Jim (Harbaugh) would say the same thing if Jim was here,” Baalke said. “There was never in our four years together, ‘That’s Trent’s guy, that’s Jim’s guy.’ The media may have brought that up on occasion, but I can promise you internally that was never the case.
“The assumption that Kap was Jim’s guy. Kap was our guy. And I think Jim would say the same thing if you called him and asked him. Jim certainly liked him, had a lot of respect for him as a player, pushed hard for us to go that direction, which we were able to do, to maneuver up to get him. From that standpoint, Jim was a big supporter and a very big part of why Kap was chosen by this organization.”
Although Kaepernick’s passing efficiency has dropped every season since Harbaugh named him the starter to replace Alex Smith in the middle of the 2012 season, Kaepernick recorded career-highs with 3,369 passing yards and 641 rushing yards last season. In 2012 and ’13, the 49ers were 4-2 in the postseason with Kaepernick as the starter.
“He can impact the game with his arm, with his feet, and he’s done it at a consistent level,” Baalke said. “We’ve won a lot of playoff games with him. We’ve won a lot of football games with him. And we look forward to winning a lot more with him. He is our quarterback.”