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Blaine Gabbert talks first day of practice, QB competition, more

Jul 31, 2016 at 3:24 PM--


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Was it like riding a bike getting back out there after a long layoff?

"Yeah. We just try to pick up where we left off. We kind of treated it as a long weekend. The offense is in, the defense is in and yeah, we're still going through installs but at a rapid tempo."

Is that why you had the session out at San Jose State? Get rid of any rust that may have built up over--.

"It was get back on the same page, hang out with the guys, throw the ball around, run around a little bit. It was good just to see everybody."

Do you think that was valuable in sort of getting the ball rolling before today?

"Yeah. Any time you can get with the guys, knock that rust off like you said, get the chemistry built up to where we left it and hit the ground running on day one. I thought from an offensive standpoint on day one, we were on point."

Blaine Gabbert Ready for 49ers QB Competition 

We you surprised to know that you would be splitting reps evenly with QB Colin Kaepernick to start--?

"That's the way the competition goes and you've just got to make the most of your opportunity. This isn't my first quarterback competition I've ever been in and definitely won't be the last. So, when you're out there, you've just to make the most out of your opportunities and go out there and have fun."

You mentioned the tempo, the up tempo. What is that like?

"It's fun. Like [head] coach [Chip] Kelly told us when we left here, you guys have go to be in shape when you get back. Everybody took that to heart and came back under weight, in great condition and it showed today. Nobody was really breathing hard and we were rolling."

When it comes to the tempo, is it more physical or mental that's challenging?

"It's both because when you're physically tired, you've still got to think. That's something that you've got to work hard at because when your body starts going, start breathing hard, you've still got to process the information, the play call coming into your headset, knowing what your read is, whether it's a run game or pass game and being able to kind of function when you're tired. So, it's mentally and physically straining but that's a challenge that we like and we're getting pretty good at."

When you were away and getting ready for camp, is there any way to replicate that or is it something that just everyone can do, just go do it?

"Yeah. You can train all you want but training for football, it's a different animal and the only way to get in football shape is to play football and we're doing that right now. But, the thing that I tried to incorporate this offseason was, running in between throws because that's what we're doing here. Get your heart rate up, get breathing hard and then still have to come back, focus, make the throw and do the same thing. I think that helped out a lot this summer."

What was your previous experiences at quarterback competitions done for you [inaudible]?

"I just go out there and have fun. You can't worry about it. The best man's going to get the job regardless. So, dwelling on that's not going to do you any good. You prepare like you're the starter. Go out there and play like you're the starter and let your play take care of itself."

Is there anything that you feel, if I do this thing, then I'll be OK?

"No. You just keep the offense on schedule. Execute each play called, not try and do too much. When you try and do too much, that's when you get into a funk and start making bad plays and just let the offense work for itself. Distribute the ball and let our guys go make the plays."

How do you think Colin looked today?

"Good. I thought all the quarterbacks had a great day. We're all competing with each other and just trying to make each other better every day."

What have you seen out of the defense? It seems like they're trying to upstage you guys on every throw.

"Yeah. They're flying around, trying to get the ball out after the catch and after the run but that makes us better. It works on our ball security, quarterbacks ball placement because when they're coming over the top trying to rake the ball out, the runners and the catchers have to make sure it's high and tight."

When you talk about running in between throws, keeping the tempo up, how does that affect your mechanics as you're going through a practice?

"It doesn't. You just get fatigued. It makes you focus more. I just say it's more of a conditioning exercise, gets you in shape and having to come back and make each throw after each rep."

Where were you working out before you got here?

"St. Louis. It was a lot hotter than here."

Were you in a gym or on a field or both?

"At a training facility, yeah, and then we have fields pretty much all around."

You have a lot of young receivers. Who stood out for you out of the receiver group?

"They all rotate. They're all kind of on a pitch count, per say, to save their legs. But, a lot of the young guys are stepping up. [WR] Quinton Patton, [WR] Bruce Ellington, [WR] DeAndrew White, [WR] Eric Rogers making plays, [WR] DiAndre Campbell had a great day today. But, all these guys, when the ball is thrown their way they're making the most of that opportunity. They're all doing a great job and a lot of fun to work with."

Is it such that when you line up, you don't even know which receivers are out there on the field or do you survey to know who's out there?

"You see in your peripheral vision just to see who you're going with because each guys got different body language, different speeds, different ways they run certain routes. So, you definitely have to know who you're on the field with but at the same time, the scheme and what the defense is dictating you to do with the ball is more important."

You said this won't be your last quarterback competition. Would you like it to be your last quarterback competition?

"There's always competition every year. There's always somebody that's trying to take your job and if you're not competing with yourself and with the other guys, I would say you're plateauing and not getting any better. So, every year, you come into camp after summer training, somebody's there to take your job. That's just the way this business works and that's what makes it so fun because it always kind of pushes you to be the best."



* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers



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