With the 49ers preseason opener just 3 days away, and most starting positions pretty much set, their has been a lot of discussion lately on who will be Alex Smith's backup this fall.
A lot of the talk has started because of the way 2nd year QB Colin Kaepernick has played in training camp. The 6'6" sophomore has reportedly taken great strides from his first training camp up till now, and has coaches raving about him once again. It was obvious it would take the young slinger some time to adjust to NFL play after running the "pistol" offense in college with Nevada but he looked much more lost during the 2011 Preseason than I was anticipating. This time around, he's got the playbook down and he's adapted much better to taking snaps directly under center. He's got the great arm, good athleticism and certainly the size to succeed at QB in the NFL, but he's going to have to prove he's got the brain. Jim Harbough said he still has the edge up on 49ers newcomer Joe Johnson, but both will get heavy looks in the Vikings game Friday and things could change day-to-day according to Harbough. One thing I'd like to see Kaepernick do better on Friday is sticking in the pocket longer.
Manningham vs. Rogers
In other 49ers news, it's been a relatively quiet week one of training camp, but one unit that has been making a lot of noise is that strong defense. The 49ers defense is apparently so far ahead of their offense right now that they're having to dial back their play in scrimmages against the offense. It's understandable to an extent, being that the 49ers have a completely new wide receiving unit out there and their passing game has been a bit off. Michael Crabtree is just now returning after missing a week with a bum foot, so Smith will have one familiar face back, but he still has to get in synch with Randy Moss, AJ Jenkins and Mario Mannignham. A big reason why the 49ers are expected to improve upon last years 13-3, NFC Championship run is because their upgraded receiving core and it won't do any good if Smith can't get them the ball. I get not wanting to run your first team out there too much on Friday, but I do hope Harbough opens up the playbook a bit when they are, just to see where they stand.