SANTA CLARA -- A year ago during the exhibition season, the 49ers’ first-team offense did not get much going.
The 49ers’ first unit managed just two field goals and no touchdowns in seven series. They will get their first crack to line up in the exhibition season Saturday against the Houston Texans.
“You always want to make sure you’re on the right track, doing the right things to get you prepared for the season,” Kaepernick said on Wednesday.
“The biggest thing is being able to go out there, have continuity and just play good offense.”
Kaepernick completed 12 of 22 pass attempts for 115 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in three exhibition games a year ago. (He did not play in the final tuneup.) He said he believes he has invested the time and energy to improve from last season when his passer rating fell to a career-low 86.4.
“I think I’ve made a lot of strides in a lot of different areas,” Kaepernick said. “It’s really trying to put the complete package together and get comfortable with the offense, get comfortable with the new weapons, get comfortable with the new language. All those things play a factor in what we’ve been working toward to get ready for the season.”
The new-look 49ers defense, under coordinator Eric Mangini, has also made things more difficult on the team’s offense during training camp. The 49ers are using a wide array of blitz packages, and Kaepernick said he believes that is beneficial to the offense that must face all those different scenarios.
“I think it’s great work for us,” he said. “To me, you always want practice to be harder than anything you’ll face in a game. It allows us to solve those problems in practice and get to practice where our quick answers are. How do we want to adjust protections? Things like that, so come gametime, it’s not something we’re not used to seeing.”
--- It did not take long for Kaepernick to utilize the talents of veteran Reggie Bush, who has established his niche as a running back who is a reliable target in the passing game. The pair hooked up on a couple of touchdowns on Sunday when Bush took part in his first 11-on-11 work.
“I’ve had quite a bit of work with Reggie before that, so we had a pretty good feel for each other, as far as how he’s going to run routes, his body language, things like that,” Kaepernick said. “But it’s great to have him on the field. I think everybody kind of saw the effects that he can have on a defense and the things he opens up for us as an offense when he’s on the field.”