SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick finished the 49ers' minicamp and nine-week offseason program in impressive fashion Thursday, completing his final five passes to five different receivers.

Consider that an appropriate summation on where things stand with a 49ers offense searching for receiver depth after Michael Crabtree's Achilles tear last month.

The 49ers did add former Raiders receiver Brandon Carswell, but he promptly tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his first practice Wednesday, as coach Jim Harbaugh announced after Thursday's practice.

Carswell's exit resulted in an audition Thursday for former Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie, whose injury history (multiple concussions, 2012 ACL tear) has the 49ers seeking further medial evaluations before a potential signing.

An injury isn't what kept Anquan Boldin, the 49ers' most established receiver, out of the final team drills. "I felt like he had done enough, and I wanted to see the younger receivers," Harbaugh said.

One such receiver is A.J. Jenkins, whose breakout offseason finished with a fantastic, diving catch during Kaepernick's closing spree. Marlon Moore, Kassim Osgood, Ricardo Lockette and tight end Vance McDonald also hauled in Kaepernick passes on that final stretch.

"They were really sharp there. Colin has been on it all offseason, and that period especially was outstanding," Harbaugh said.

Kaepernick cited his vocal leadership as the biggest area he's improved through his first offseason as the 49ers' starting quarterback. Teammates agreed.


Advertisement

"I've seen him most definitely speak up and let it be known what needs to be done," linebacker Patrick Willis said. "That's the kind of thing you have to do when you want it to be right, when you're the guy who's leading."

  • Harbaugh corroborated former St. Louis safety Craig Dahl's assertion from Wednesday that the Rams had picked up on the 49ers' offensive tendencies. But those tips were mainly corrected after their first meeting, a 24-24 tie on Nov. 11, Harbaugh said.

    "After the first game we played the Rams, we saw we were," Harbaugh said of a run-pass, pre-snap indication. Such tells were "not as much" an issue in the 49ers' 16-13 overtime loss three weeks later in St. Louis, he said.

    Kaepernick dismissed the notion the Rams' recognition of 49ers' tendencies resulted in his first career loss as a starter in that Dec. 2 matchup. "There were things in that game we should have made plays, I should have made different decisions," Kaepernick said. "I'm not going to chalk something totally up to what a defense was doing. I look at ourselves, first."

  • Running back Frank Gore feels good even though he didn't practice in the three-day minicamp, under orders from head trainer Jeff Ferguson.

    "I'm just getting my body back, and I want to be fresh," the 49ers' all-time leading rusher said as he prepares for his ninth season. After turning 30 in May, Gore's newfound motivation is fueled by reaching that proverbial age barrier for a running back.

    "I laugh. I feel like every year it's something with me. I've got to overcome everything every year," said Gore, the 49ers' leading rusher every season since his 2005 rookie year. "I'm just going to keep working and training hard, and whenever Ferg lets me get on the field, I'll just go hard and prove everybody wrong again."

  • Willis said he's in the best shape of his career, physically and mentally, as he enters his seventh season. "I learned this camp that you don't have to move as fast if you're smarter," Willis said. "It almost looks like you're not moving at all, but you're making the plays. That's where I'm trying to get to in my career."

  • While others disperse until the July 24 training-camp reporting date, rookies still have one more week of tutoring before they're dismissed. Among those rookies is first-round draft pick Eric Reid, who was slated to serve as Thursday's first-string safety. A minor injury, however, kept him out of team drills, Harbaugh said.

  • Perfect-attendance certificates were awarded to 31 players who attended every practice, meeting and weight-room session, Harbaugh said. Among those who walked off the field with those honorary papers were Willis, Dahl, Moore, Ray McDonald, LaMichael James, Garrett Celek, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Dan Skuta, Jewel Hampton, Al Netter, Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney, Nate Stupar, Michael Wilhoite, Darius Fleming and Ian Williams.

    Staff writer Jimmy Durkin contributed to this report. For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.