SANTA CLARA -- You can check the record book. No football player has ever reached the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl by his performance in a June minicamp drill.
However, just by paying attention this week at 49ers headquarters, you can get a definite impression about one important thing: Colin Kaepernick is going to make a big, big leap at quarterback in the 2014 season. Or else he's going to take a step back in his development.
And I think he realizes it.
Kaepernick already has achieved much for a player who has started just 29 NFL games, including playoffs. Yet he has room for improvement with certain elements of technique and decision-making. And in fairness, he was limited a bit by the 49ers' roster makeup at wide receiver.
No more. The team's offseason additions at wide receiver, through trade and free agency and draft, will give Kaepernick an opportunity to show a lot more of what he can do with his arm. Although on Thursday, he didn't want to address it that way.
"I think it gives us an opportunity as an offense to do a lot more," Kaepernick said.
Then he reeled off the names of new 49er wideout additions (Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, rookie Bruce Ellington) and the holdover receivers (Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Quinton Patton) as well as the tight ends.
"You have a lot of weapons that you can put in a lot of different places," Kaepernick said. "And you don't necessarily have to worry about where you're positioning people, because they're all good route runners. They all have the capability of getting open and making plays."
For some, that sort of detail stuff might be too football-geeky. But it's easy to grasp what Kaepernick meant.
In the previous few seasons, the 49ers' receiving depth chart was full of players who might have two superior tools (say, great hands and leaping ability) but be less superior in others (say, speed and precision route running).
Or it might be vice-versa. Thus, the 49ers had to be careful which receivers they lined up at specific positions to run specific patterns.
Also, the 49ers' lack of a consistent deep threat made it possible for opposing defenses to line up in eight-man fronts and let the defensive backs not worry about getting beat long -- even though Kaepernick has a gun for an arm.
You can already pick up big hints about how the 49ers plan to blow up those defenses come autumn. For example, in one media session this week, coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged that his offense needs to "have ways of making defenses pay" for those eight-man walls and that he's "excited where our offense is evolving."
Bring it on, Kaepernick implied Thursday. He wasn't shy when asked if he hoped to see the 49ers passing game -- ranked 30th in the league last season -- gain more amplitude.
"I want to see this offense do whatever it has to do to win games," Kaepernick said. "That's really what's most important. But I'm always good to throw a few more balls."
Of course, Kaepernick must show he can handle all the extra elements of that strategy. Physically, his arm must be ready for more frequent and accurate 40-yard to 60-yard heaves.
Mentally, Kaepernick must know when to hang in the pocket and absorb punishment while waiting to fling, and when to check down or take off.
If he does it all correctly, we will see something spectacular come September. If he doesn't, we will see many cynics claiming he's not worth the millions of bucks in his new contract.
This week in the 49ers minicamp, Kaepernick was happy to put the background noise behind him from both the contract negotiations and his bizarre Miami hotel room encounter.
In light of the Miami weirdness, Kaepernick admitted he is now "a lot more" cautious about the people he chooses to have around him.
"It's something I've been more aware of and especially in the last few months," he said, later adding: "You just have to look out for what other peoples' intentions are."
The intentions of the 49ers are to make sure he gets to September with an offense that allows him to ascend higher on the NFL quarterback ladder. So far, so good.