The San Francisco 49ers were a mess in 2015, going 5-11 as quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggled mightily to complete passes and drive the ball down the field. With new head coach Chip Kelly at the helm, and a defense that has looked very impressive so far in training camp, the 49ers hope they can overcome their quarterback deficiencies and compete in a tough NFC West division.

Camp Report

Torrey Smith won’t make excuses for his 2015 season, even though he has a pretty good one.

It’s hard to catch passes when: 1. the quarterback position is in a state of flux and: 2. you aren’t getting many passes thrown your way.

“It was definitely difficult,” Smith told Alex Marvez and Kirk Morrison at the 49ers’ training camp in Santa Clara, Calif. “A lot of things led to my performance last year, starting with myself. I’m not going to place blame. I didn’t play my best and, obviously, I didn’t get the ball too much, either. I’m just excited about having a fresh start and those guys having a fresh start as well.

“So for me, right now, my focus obviously is it’s going to be a while before they name a starting quarterback, and the reps are even(ly) shifted. So I just want to make sure I’m dependable, make sure I’m where they expect me to be, because at the end of the day, my job doesn’t change because at the end of the day, my job doesn’t change regardless of who’s throwing the ball. When they throw the ball, it’s my job to go get it.”

But who will be throwing the ball to Smith? Either Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert, who says the competition has been fierce but friendly.

Blaine Gabbert believes it has to stay that way between himself and Colin Kaepernick as they battle to see who becomes the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback.
“It’s got to continue,” Gabbert told Alex Marvez and Kirk Morrison at the 49ers’ training camp in Santa Clara, Calif.. “Regardless of who the quarterback is, the quarterbacks should stick together. It’s the toughest position on the football field and you need that group to bounce ideas off of.

“And just the way this league is, all quarterbacks got to be ready to play. Week in and week out, things can change, people get hurt. You’ve just got to have a tight-knit group in there.”

Studs/Sleepers

Stud: Running back Carlos Hyde only played in seven games last season, but he was on pace for more than 1,000 yards. Under Chip Kelly’s quick moving offense, he may be in for a lot more carries this season.

Sleeper: Wide receiver Bruce Ellington only notched 13 catches last season, but Chip Kelly’s enthusiasm for the small, but quick wideout could mean more throws his way.

Catch all 32 NFL training camps on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Channel 88.

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