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Sunday, May 26, 2019

49ers scaling back playbook for Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Sometimes things can get a little too complicated for athletes and it’s best to get back to the basics. That’s apparently what the San Francisco 49ers are doing with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

According to 49ers offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, the team has scaled back the playbook for their quarterback to get him back to his comfort zone.

“You know, a playbook is something that you build upon based on confidence. And I think that over the years with Kap, because he’s handled things at such a young part of his career, you naturally add on to his contributions,” Chryst told the media Thursday via the 49ers’ website. “And at some point in time you’d probably hit the reset button. You kind of clear it out and hit the reset button. So, this was a great opportunity. [Head coach Jim Tomsula] Jimmy T came to me with an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, let’s maybe strip back and come back to some of the things that he’s most comfortable with.’”

Kaepernick made an interesting comment when speaking with the media Wednesday. In comparing last year’s coaching regime with this year’s, he said that this staff has helped make him more comfortable.

“I would say the biggest thing is I’m being asked to be myself this year. I don’t think anyone knows how to be myself better than me. It’s a comfort zone. It’s a situation where I’m not being asked to do things outside of my character.”

Kaepernick was vague when asked whether that comfort zone has to do with on-field or off-field stuff, but it’s clear that the Niners are trying to make him feel more comfortable on the field. Some of the changes they’ve made — besides scaling back the playbook — include allowing him to run more play action, get out of the pocket, and run out of the pistol formation, which all play to his strengths.

Kaepernick seems to be responding fairly well. His passer rating and completion percentage is up, though the team is only 1-1. The team will get to see just how comfortable he looks when they face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

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