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Colin Kaepernick still trying to figure Stevie Johnson out


New 49ers receiver Stevie Johnson hasn’t done much of anything this preseason, catching just two passes for 11 yards in three games. Colin Kaepernick says that’s because he can’t always find Johnson on the field.

According to Kaepernick, Johnson doesn’t always run routes the way Kaepernick is expecting, and that means Kaepernick doesn’t necessarily see Johnson get open.

“There are times that he’s going to make a move on a DB, and you have to be ready because he’s also making a move that you have to see,” Kaepernick said, via the Sacramento Bee. “So I think that’s something where it took a little bit longer just to get used to his body language because he had some unorthodox things that he does. But ultimately his separation is there, he’s getting open.”

Johnson acknowledged that his playing style can be hard for a quarterback to figure out.

“I’ve pretty much taken it upon myself to be unorthodox to make up for some things that other receivers have – you know, speed and quickness,” Johnson said. “I set up my routes a little different. It’s a gift and a curse. Because it can take some time to build chemistry with quarterbacks. But at the same time, the gift is that you know you can get open.”

It doesn’t do the 49ers much good for Johnson to get open if Kaepernick can’t find him. If Johnson is going to help the 49ers win, the two of them need to get on the same page in a hurry.

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70 Responses to “Colin Kaepernick still trying to figure Stevie Johnson out”
  1. staffordsyear says: Aug 28, 2014 6:26 AM

    Meanwhile Colin Kaepernick is still trying to figure out Colin Kaepernick.

  2. joetoronto says: Aug 28, 2014 6:33 AM

    Kaepernick only see’s his first read, much like many other “QB’s” today.

  3. gobills21 says: Aug 28, 2014 6:34 AM

    Ryan Fitzpatrick figured it out for a few years and he stinks. Why can’t you colin?

  4. sfm073 says: Aug 28, 2014 6:38 AM

    There have been plenty of great receivers over the years that weren’t blazing fast or quick but ran excellent routes and got open. Anyone can just make it up as you go and get open everyone in a while.

  5. bigbaldpapahawk says: Aug 28, 2014 6:51 AM

    Those 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th receivers are very hard to find in Santa Clara.

  6. redskinsredskinsredskinsredskinsredskinsredskins says: Aug 28, 2014 6:54 AM

    It took a while for his route running to catch on in Buffalo, but once it was figured out, it worked great. I guess it was all about knowing the end point of where he was going to be. He was always open though , just has a little grease on the fingers though. Used to be the only one who would make Revis look like a rookie .

  7. billswillnevermove says: Aug 28, 2014 7:05 AM

    Stevie Johnson has always played this way, but he does get open……..Revis couldn’t cover him. Best of luck to Stevie. Pretty good dude.

  8. ddarlak says: Aug 28, 2014 7:06 AM

    ahhhhhh…….rid of the stevie-isms….

    there’s always an excuse, just wait until he drops an easy one or fumbles a crucial play…. it’ll happen and there will be an excuse, or gods fault…

  9. titansbro says: Aug 28, 2014 7:07 AM

    It’s on Kap. WRs job is to get open. QBs job is to find the open WR.

  10. thetroofishere says: Aug 28, 2014 7:08 AM

    I hope his bewilderment about Stevie Johnson doesn’t get sorted out until week 2.

    – A Cowboys fan

  11. wydok says: Aug 28, 2014 7:13 AM

    Maybe he should stick to the route called.

  12. sayly75 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:19 AM

    Krappernick is just sorry, you’re a QB and everytime a play is called you should already know where your WRs needs to be. He may not run a clean pattern but he still runs the pattern.

  13. historyisyourfriend says: Aug 28, 2014 7:21 AM

    Have to laugh when they put the word “unorthodox” in when what they really mean is the guy isn’t running the route he is supposed to. 49ers got themselves a big headache when the acquired this guy.

  14. packerman1968 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:27 AM

    So basically he is not following the routes set by the offensive cordinator. He is freestyling.

  15. jigwig13 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:28 AM

    If hes not out there catching passes hopefully he will be a big enough decoy or threat so teams cant double anyone or put 8 in the box

  16. tv426 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:29 AM

    Wow!! A guy that just admitted that he doesn’t have speed or quickness and tries to make up for it with bad route running?

    Nice addition Whiners!

  17. jackn2482 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:37 AM

    CK has got weapons now and the window is getting smaller. Go time for the 9ers.

  18. silkyjohnson937 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:37 AM

    Kaepernick’s nose creates a blind spot.

  19. dccowboy says: Aug 28, 2014 7:49 AM

    So, to translate, “I follow the TO school of ‘sandlot’ route running. I run whatever way I think I need to ‘get open’, it’s the QBs job to find me and get me the ball.”

  20. exboomer says: Aug 28, 2014 7:50 AM

    This is the same problem that Bills QB’s had with him. Stevie is a good player but he needs to realize it’s not all about making QB’s adjust to his playing style. He needs to work with his QB to help him learn how he operates.

  21. jeffesky says: Aug 28, 2014 7:56 AM

    If the starting O-line keeps playing like it has been , well, then what!! As a Hawks fan an 8-8 niner team is no fun. If we want to repeat we need the Santa Clara 49ers to be relevant. The Cards are just to banged up and old. The Rams with no Bradford are done so we need to be pushed. My thought is you guys will get it figured out. After all we love to hate each other!

  22. unclebluck says: Aug 28, 2014 7:57 AM

    As a Bills fan I’ll do it for Kaepernick……Stevie is good a getting separation from the best DB’s in the league but he will not be running his assigned rout to do it so forget about timing throws…oh and when the game is on the line…don’t throw to Stevie cause he sucks in the clutch and then he blames it on GOD……

  23. vesh31 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:57 AM

    Good luck trying to figure out Stevie. Bills Fans tried to figure him out for years.

  24. ctiggs says: Aug 28, 2014 8:01 AM


  25. pencilmonkeymagic says: Aug 28, 2014 8:03 AM

    Kaepernick struggles to find anyone else, Stevie – don’t take it personally.

  26. pridewatcher says: Aug 28, 2014 8:27 AM

    I don’t think someone can demand to figure such things out from a QB worth 120 million bucks.

  27. erictheclown says: Aug 28, 2014 8:37 AM

    Umm, Kaep only looks for one receiver on any play.

  28. mazenblue says: Aug 28, 2014 8:39 AM

    Maybe because Stevie doesnt wear khakis, Kaep is having a hard tie finding the zipper.

  29. tjacks7 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:39 AM

    All the extra time these two hard workers put in to get on the same page appears to be paying off. Oh wait.

  30. iloveagoodnap says: Aug 28, 2014 8:41 AM

    He’s not that good. That’s what there is to figure out.

    It’s just that for several years in a row, until last year, the rest of the WR’s on the Bills were just that bad, making the not so great Stevie look good. Why do you think they traded him? With the acquisition of Mike Williams and drafting of Sammy Watkins, plus the development of Robert Woods Stevie dropped to the 4th best WR on the team. And Goodwin has the talent to surpass him.

    Too bad the Bills QB is so terrible. Putting a very talented offense to waste.

  31. garyridgway says: Aug 28, 2014 8:42 AM

    Their is nothing to figure out. Krapernick is a 1 read, to check down (maybe), than take off and run QB. He doesn’t go thru his progressions like the midget in Seattle.

    Stevie thinks he had a bad season last year in Buffalo? Uh this year he will be virtually invisible with Kraper playing the QB1 spot.

    Go Hawks!

  32. beastmode5150 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:43 AM

    65 IQ

  33. jimthebuilder27 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:49 AM

    This is what separates regular QBs from the great ones. On the one hand, Kaep can’t figure Johnson out. On the other hand, P. Manning was able to effectively use Blair White, a candidate for a “Where are they now” series.

  34. dspyank2k11 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:49 AM

    Stevies initial analysis when he was a 7th rounder for buffalo was that his route running is what was his #1 attribute. oh well, If the Bills QBs could figure him out so can Kap… right?

  35. bullcharger says: Aug 28, 2014 8:52 AM

    AFC East fans already figured him out. Stevie Johnson is not a good player. He makes a few good plays, but he makes an equal or greater number of boneheaded plays. He doesn’t help a team.

  36. sb44champs says: Aug 28, 2014 9:06 AM

    Kaepernick probably couldn’t figure out Calvin Johnson if his life depended on it lol

  37. baltimoresnativeson says: Aug 28, 2014 9:07 AM

    I’m trying to figure out why Kaepernick looks like the little sidekick on the island of Dr Moreau.
    Google it.

  38. corkspop says: Aug 28, 2014 9:08 AM

    Johnson was one of the very few WR’s who could consistently get open against by Darelle Revis. Consistently. Better figure out how to use him.

  39. meximyke says: Aug 28, 2014 9:12 AM

    Yah right!!!

  40. Admin says: Aug 28, 2014 9:17 AM

    It’s easy to figure Stevie out… You throw him the ball and he drops it. Pretty simple.

  41. commonsense1986 says: Aug 28, 2014 9:27 AM

    Crabtree, you run a post. Boldin, give me a slant. And Johnson….just run in circles till I find you…

  42. GBwomenrhot says: Aug 28, 2014 9:37 AM

    Kaepernick is still trying to figure out how to be an NFL QB…..doh!

  43. rl7911 says: Aug 28, 2014 9:44 AM

    The 49ers are going to take a huge step back this year.

  44. thebirdofprey2 says: Aug 28, 2014 9:48 AM

    49er fans may hate to admit it but Kaep has been a one and two read QB. It is pretty impressive considering the amount of success he has had but watching him last year when teams took away Boldin, Davis he started to look like a deer and headlights.

  45. wny49er says: Aug 28, 2014 9:54 AM

    Alex Smith had no problem figuring out all his new WR last year in KC. Big mistake with Kap!

  46. pop562 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:09 AM

    Bruce Ellington, Q Pat and Lloyd are competing for the 3rd and 4th WR spot… This is a good problem to have. It’s called competition and the best man will win the spot. 49ers already have a healthy Crabtree, Boldin and V Davis and you think they’re going backwards. Please keep thinking that way when your team plays them.

  47. 760raptor says: Aug 28, 2014 10:11 AM

    Kaep is a pea brain.

  48. stampede101 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:26 AM

    Seahawks fanbase: Est. 2011 (don’t believe me? look at how many thumbs down this post gets)

    In summary based on comments: Kaep, who’s been a starter for 1 1/2 seasons, is pretty much a wreck, Stevie was a bad choice (wait till he poops on Richard Semen again), and the Niners are done (after 3 pre season games). Thanks for cracking your egg of football knowledge all over us Niners fans guys…all 3 years of it!

  49. gohawks7 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:45 AM

    He’s not “looking” for him. He’s glancing downfield in a panic…then dumping off to an outlet. You can tell by how he’s moving his head. He’s not finding his receivers and checking down…he’s just taking a quick glance. He’s not a pocket passer….and it looks like teams have figured out how to contain him. Since he doesn’t pose a threat as a passing QB….it wouldn’t surprise me if the flash is out of this pan. Niners struggle to win 9 games this year…

  50. jayniner says: Aug 28, 2014 10:52 AM

    3 preseason games(1st quarter, if that) and based on the comments here, you would think the sky is falling.

    People, it’s preseason…

  51. timmyp716 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:54 AM

    He sure seems to have figured out Stevies excuses though

  52. gohawks7 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:55 AM

    He’s used to playing in the AFC East…where other teams videotape your practices. So he’s used to improvising to throw off the defense.

  53. thebirdofprey2 says: Aug 28, 2014 10:58 AM

    Too funny, nobody cares if your QB was on the bench. He still had a playbook and practiced right?

    When people talk about how many years Aaron Rodgers been in the NFL, they say 9 years. They don’t defend his poor play and make excuses for him sitting behind Brett Farve. Just stop, its pathetic!

  54. rcali says: Aug 28, 2014 11:04 AM

    “Who needs a playbook?!” – Stevie Johnson.

  55. hmpennypacker says: Aug 28, 2014 11:09 AM

    Kap needs to figure this out. This year he has more weapons in the passing game than before & there will be no excuse if he doesn’t post better numbers. The defense doesn’t appear to be as good as in the last few years, so this season is more on Kap & his ability. This is why his contract is basically a year to year deal. He HAS to show he’s a qb who can find the open man past his first read and that HAS to start this season.

  56. thehighhat says: Aug 28, 2014 11:20 AM

    Just throw prayers up in the air like Wilson does and hope Johnson comes down with it. It’s worked for Seattle for 2 years!

  57. chawkup says: Aug 28, 2014 11:21 AM

    Santa Clara 49ers: Irrelevant for 20 years and counting.

  58. cavington says: Aug 28, 2014 11:36 AM

    Wait til he actually throws the ball to him and he starts dropping passes. Those are good times.

  59. number1hawkfan says: Aug 28, 2014 11:37 AM

    We complain in Seattle about Russell’s boring cliche interviews. I won’t complain about that anymore. Thank god he doesn’t act like Kap. All I hear from him is excuses about why he’s not good. He fits in well in San Fran. Harbaby and Kap can cry on each other’s shoulders when they both smash their stupid looking faces on the “closed” window they still think is open.

  60. dublindemonszfl says: Aug 28, 2014 11:46 AM

    1st question: Why do you want to be called “Stevie” are you 3 years old?

  61. ralphwilsonisrich says: Aug 28, 2014 12:15 PM

    Hey SJ you wanted to go home!

  62. osoviejo says: Aug 28, 2014 12:43 PM

    The only way Kaepernick will be successful, is with solid pass blocking.

    He can’t handle pressure, and that has been made crystal clear throughout his brief career. He is fast, but neither nimble nor elusive. It’s nothing new.

    What is new is the diminished performance of his offensive line. Whereas Russell Wilson has thrived with arguably the worst pass blocking in the league, Kaepernick has thrived with great protection. If that goes away, so will his production.

  63. rcosborne59 says: Aug 28, 2014 12:43 PM

    It’s a nice way to say he doesn’t run his routes correctly and free lances out there. He won’t get targeted that much if he keeps it up.

  64. deadlevelbest says: Aug 28, 2014 1:30 PM

    Nobody who has said Stevie is “not that good” knows his stats. 3 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the QB? Yeah, what a loser.

  65. deadlevelbest says: Aug 28, 2014 1:34 PM

    It’s another way of saying he gets open and Kap can’t see him.

  66. paythevig says: Aug 28, 2014 1:39 PM

    Why does everyone hate this kid so much? Barring an exaggerated TMZ report he’s done nothing wrong on and off the field. He’s led his team to a Super Bowl, and NFC Championship Game in his 2 seasons as a starter. He’s led many comebacks, been successful of a tough road stretch of playoff games and was two misplays away from Winning a super bowl when the 49ers defense collapsed, and from a super bowl birth – nail biter of a game in the toughest road stadium to play in.

    Yes he’s got some development ahead of him but the same can be said for many QB’s, including Russel Wilson. What Kaepernick lacks in his progressions, he makes up for it with raw talent. He’s got tremedous athletic ability and a cannon of an arm.

    As for his one-read? When your #2, 3 and 4 options are Kyle Williams, a hobbling Mario Manningham, and Brett Swain, no one other than Brady, Brees or Manning would have the confidence to make those throws.

    The top 5 qb’s today weren’t top 5 QB’s right off the bat. They developed. With exception of Brady, I can’t name another QB who ended his career as a top 5 player with success right from the start. What Colin has done in his short time as a starter is remarkable. And i’m glad he’s a niner.

    Asides from winning the super bowl, there are 31 losing teams. But there’s a big difference between barely losing a super bowl and NFC Championship game vs. going 2-14 and barely losing out to draft the #1 overall pick.

  67. juliusanonymous says: Aug 28, 2014 6:03 PM

    ctiggs says: Aug 28, 2014 8:01 AM



    Yeah, probably will be top 3, considering he’ll finish his career in the CFL or Arena League.

  68. omeimontis says: Aug 28, 2014 6:46 PM

    Johnson is really a possession type receiver, and Boldin and Crabtree are both possession receivers. So it is not necessary for them to develop chemistry right away.

  69. vancouversportsbro says: Aug 28, 2014 11:51 PM

    Colin couldn’t figure out how to turn his dre beats headphones on

  70. idpfantasyfootball says: Aug 29, 2014 12:14 AM

    Why does everyone hate this kid so much?

    Check out his time with Bills. He cost them at least a couple of games that they shoulda/coulda/woulda won.

    ….I’m not a hater, though. I find the kid to be quite amusing and hope he does well. If nothing else, he is entertaining.

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