SAN JOSE, Calif. — Colin Kaepernick decided to skip a symposium for NFL rookies this week to spend time with his San Francisco 49ers teammates and learn some of the playbook.
He's doing a little more than that.
The second-round pick out of Nevada was a full participant on the first day of an informal minicamp Tuesday, showing off his strong arm and moving swiftly for the first time since surgery on his lower left leg in early May. Kaepernick said he doesn't feel limited at all but is waiting for an upcoming doctor's appointment before he resumes his complete training program.
"Definitely have to get back a little of the timing, get back to the pace of the routes, the timing of certain things," he said. "That's just going to take a little bit of time. For the most part, I felt like I was on time with most of my throws today and felt good out there."
The 36th overall selection was among about two dozen players at the workout led by quarterback Alex Smith, a free agent expected to re-sign with San Francisco once the NFL lockout is lifted. While Smith is the presumed favorite for the starting spot, Kaepernick figures to put some pressure on the 2005 No. 1 overall pick next season.
That competition may already have started.
The hard-throwing Kaepernick even knocked down a couple of receivers in some drills, giving a glimpse of an arm that registered the fastest throw during the NFL Combine at 59 mph. Kaepernick also took snaps, dropped back and moved in the pocket — all things he didn't do during the first minicamp earlier this month — with relative ease.
"He doesn't have that rookie, deer-in-the-headlights mentality," left tackle Joe Staley said. "I think he's going to be a good quarterback."
Kaepernick called his fellow 49ers rookies once he decided not to attend the rookie symposium this week in Bradenton, Fla. The only rookies at the previous minicamp who didn't attend were running back Kendall Hunter and guard Daniel Kilgore.
Kaepernick said he came to the decision to skip the conference after seeking advice from his agent, Scott Smith, and other rookies and teammates.
"We thought it would be best if I was here for this camp, especially being able to fully participate now, just being with my teammates," he said. "Also, we had heard that a lot of the rookies weren't going. We thought this would be a great reason to miss that. Not to say that that wouldn't be very helpful, but we thought that this would be more important at this time."
The 49ers workouts this week are still heavily focused on offense.
The group on hand included most of the key offensive players and almost all the receivers, including wideout Michael Crabtree. He was part of the classroom session but mostly watched on the field at San Jose State's Spartan Stadium while he recovers from sore feet, teammates said. He did not speak to reporters.
The primary difference in this workout was the addition of film from new coach Jim Harbaugh's West Coast offense. That included Harbaugh's offense at Stanford and NFL clips from Steve Young's 49ers and Rich Gannon's Raiders.
Smith has primarily led the classroom sessions with receivers while Staley is breaking off into groups with the offensive lineman.
"I think everything is going good so far," receiver Josh Morgan said. "Camp Alex is a success."
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