Colin Kaepernick hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in nearly 10 months, including the final three games before his midseason benching last November.
But when he hit Jerome Simpson with back-to-back scoring strikes in Tuesday's red-zone drill, Kaepernick showed the production his new coaches will weigh most in resolving the ongoing quarterback competition with Blaine Gabbert.
Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins, before practice, echoed coach Chip Kelly's earlier depiction of their ideal quarterback: one who excels with accuracy, decision making and the ability to lead the team.
HC Chip Kelly has yet to say whether Kaepernick or Gabbert will start Sunday's exhibition opener at home against the Houston Texans. Kaepernick and Gabbert improved their practice-field accuracy Tuesday, albeit with mostly short throws to receivers running mostly horizontal routes. Gabbert completed 10 of 12 passes in full-team drills, and Kaepernick was 8 of 11.
SF WR Jerome Simpson - Week 9, 2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Week 9 vs. Atlanta
Simpson saw a team-high 10 targets last week in his first game back from his latest suspension, but he managed just three catches for 34 yards. He'll see action again with Anquan Boldin out for the second straight game with a hamstring injury, but Blaine Gabbert will be throwing the ball at him. Notice I didn't say to him.