It’s safe to say that more than a few of Turlock’s television sets were tuned in to Friday’s preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings. It’s an even safer assumption to say that most who were watching were doing so to catch Turlock native Colin Kaepernick line up under center.
Since he was drafted from the University of Nevada a year ago, Turlockers have been waiting to watch the former Pitman High standout shine. Although Kaepernick did take some snaps last season, his playing time was minimal as he was forced to enter his rookie season amidst a lockout and watch Alex Smith lead the team to the NFC Championship game.
This year, with no lockout to hold him back, Kaepernick has already developed a healthy sense of comfort with the offense. That comfort and familiarity was plain to see in his opening drive on Friday, the highlight of which was a 78 yard touchdown run on his second snap.
“There are a few throws I wish I could have back but overall, as far as being comfortable on the field and knowing what we’re trying to get done, I feel pretty good about everything,” Kaepernick said. “Just having a year under my belt with this playbook has made a big difference.”
Kaepernick’s electrifying run excited his teammates, coaches, and the legions of 49er fans across the country as bloggers and social media users took to the Internet to talk about the performance. Still, none were more excited about his success than Kaepernick’s friends and family from Turlock.
“They were all excited,” Kaepernick said of the local community’s response. “They know I want to do well and they know I’m trying to work my way into a starting position so everyone was happy I made some steps in that direction.”
Kaepernick is continuing to take those steps each day at the team’s training camp in Santa Clara, working with the likes of Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Randy Moss. He stated that his passing progressions, understanding of protections, and his grasp on the audibles have improved exponentially; vital necessities for every starting quarterback.
“I’m just trying to go out every day and show that I can be a starter,” Kaepernick said. “I think I am very ready and capable, I’m just waiting for the opportunity to show it.”
Kaepernick will get the opportunity to improve on his 132 yard performance against the Vikings on Saturday when the 49ers to face the Houston Texans in their second pre-season game.
“I want to go out and compete,” Kapernick said. “I know Alex has positioned himself as the starter but if the opportunity comes where I get the chance to prove I can take that spot I want to go out there and do that.”