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.

70 responses to “Colin Kaepernick still trying to figure Stevie Johnson out

  1. 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.

  2. 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 .

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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……

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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…

  23. 3 preseason games(1st quarter, if that) and based on the comments here, you would think the sky is falling.

    People, it’s preseason…

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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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