The San Francisco 49ers officially began training camp Sunday but the Niners still have unanswered questions. Who will be the 49ers starting quarterback come week 1 of the NFL season? Head coach Chip Kelly spoke to the media before the Niners practiced Sunday and said that Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick would split first-team snaps. As reported by Matt Barrows, that’s exactly how it played out at 49er practice.
Kaepernick and Gabbert took 50% of the first team snaps each. They ended the day with identical performances throwing 7-for-12. The only noticeable difference was the fact that Gabbert got to throw to the first team ahead of Kaepernick. Both QBs also approached the media with similar cliche statements you’d expect from two players competing for a starting job. While Kaepernick was quoted saying, “I’m ready to compete… I’m excited for what’s to come”, Gabbert said, “This is not my first competition…best man is going to get the job regardless.”
Neither quarterback seems bothered by the shared reps. However, considering how close the competition is, albeit early, things may begin to heat up as training camp moves forward. If neither QB separates himself before the start of the season Kelly will essentially be making a toss-up call. The best outcome for the organization would be for the coaching staff to name a starting quarterback sooner than later. How quickly one of the QBs stands out from the other will be the determining factor for who gets the nod.
Although Kaepernick’s injuries have been a cause of concern for San Francisco, he says his body is feeling good. He even appears to have gained back some weight post injury which shows he is returning to form. When healthy Kaepernick has more tools in his arsenal. On the other hand, Gabbert proved to be a better decision maker for the 49ers last season.