49ers

Boykin, Adams getting shot to be Wilson's backup in Seattle

carroll-russ-twoshot-seahawks-practice.jpg

Boykin, Adams getting shot to be Wilson's backup in Seattle

RENTON, Wash. — Trevon Boykin and Vernon Adams are getting a chance this weekend to pull off their best Russell Wilson impersonation.

Their similarities to Seattle's starting quarterback are a big reason why both are part of the Seahawks rookie minicamp that started Friday.

Backup quarterback is one of the big remaining questions for Seattle this offseason. Veteran Tarvaris Jackson has served as Wilson's backup for the past three seasons but is a free agent and while Seattle would like to bring Jackson back, it is also looking at other options.

Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks targeted Boykin and Adams for this weekend because of their skills that are similar to Wilson's. But Seattle clearly sees a bit more of a future in Boykin, who was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Adams is with Seattle simply on a tryout basis.

"It gives us a chance if it works out — we still have a long way to go — but if it works out to maintain continuity with one of the backups," Carroll said. "Tarvaris has been a fantastic kid for us over the years but they're not in the same style (as Wilson)."

Boykin had 40 total touchdowns his senior season at TCU — 31 passing, nine rushing — and was considered a Heisman Trophy candidate at one point during the season before fading late. He said he believes his draft stock took a hit after his arrest two days before TCU won the Alamo Bowl. He was out on the famed River Walk after the team's curfew in the early morning hours on Dec. 31 when he was allegedly heckled at a bar and ended up being subdued by authorities who said they had to threaten the quarterback with a Taser.

Boykin said his offers were from Seattle and Dallas, but he wanted the opportunity to play for Carroll and with Wilson.

"It probably had some effect. But like I said I've moved forward, pushed past it," Boykin said. "I'm surrounding myself with better people. I'm doing better things."

While Boykin was forced to watch the Alamo Bowl as a spectator, Adams was leading Oregon to a 28-0 lead before leaving the game with an injury. TCU rallied from a 31-0 deficit to beat Oregon in triple overtime.

They're now on the field together and competing for a chance to be developed as Wilson's backup. Boykin said he ran into Wilson at the Seahawks facility on Thursday as the rookies were arriving.

"He told me he watched a couple of my games. I told him I watched more than enough of your games," Boykin said with a chuckle. "I told him I was going stay in his hip pocket and just soak up everything he has to give me."

Adams has more to prove than Boykin. He's shorter. He has a unique throwing motion. And he was tested only one year at the highest level of college football, transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon for his final season.

But it's hard not to notice Adams' production when he was healthy. Adams threw for 21 touchdowns and four interceptions in the final four games of the regular season last year for Oregon. He threw for 55 touchdowns as a sophomore at Eastern Washington and 35 touchdowns the following season.

Adams said his only tryout offers were from Seattle and Washington.

"It's an honor to be compared to somebody as great as Russell Wilson. ... I just embrace it and watch film on him and model my game after him a little bit," Adams said.

For both Boykin and Adams, the little things about playing quarterback in Seattle's system are the toughest to pick up. Calling plays in the huddle. Taking a snap from under center. They were tasks that seem so mundane for a quarterback to learn, but with the proliferation of spread offenses in the college game, they are skills that are becoming somewhat rare to find.

"It's generic things that spread quarterbacks coming out of college have to get over that learning curve," Boykin said.

NOTES: Carroll said Seattle intends to have first-round pick Germain Ifedi play at right guard with the idea he could switch to right tackle. The Seahawks plan to have veteran J'Marcus Webb at tackle for now. ... Nine of 10 Seattle draft picks have signed. The only unsigned player is RB Zac Brooks, a seventh-round pick.

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Recently, some prominent NBA stars have come out in support of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, displaying their solidarity in different manners.

The Warriors' Kevin Durant, for instance, donned a black No. 7 jersey to and from a recent game at Oracle Arena, bearing the phrase "#IMWITHKAP" on the chest.

Steph Curry, wearing the same attire, recently posed for a photo with his son Canon.

The Lakers' LeBron James wore a nearly identical jersey getting off the plane when he and Los Angeles made the trip to Oracle to face Golden State earlier this month.

James took his support of Kaepernick a step further when he was asked about Kaepernick's reported settlement with the NFL at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

[RELATED: NFL compensating Colin Kaepernick for not playing football]

If Durant, Curry and James -- or anyone else for that matter -- like the black-and-white look, and want to show further solidarity for Kaepernick, well, they're in luck.

On Wednesday, Nike announced the release of a limited-edition Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey -- the same one James wore as a tease getting off the plane in Oakland. As Kaepernick explained in a tweet, the jersey is dedicated to "those true to themselves on and off the field. Proudly, unapologetically and against all odds."

"We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” a Nike spokesperson told The Undefeated. “The jersey marks Nike’s continued product collaboration with Colin."

The NFL logo is notably absent from the jersey, which should not come as a surprise given Kaepernick's recent litigation with the league. 20 percent of all proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will go to the Know Your Rights Camp he founded, which raises awareness for youth "on higher education, self-empowerment and instruction on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios."

So, if you're in the market for a new black-and-white look, or simply want to show more support for Kaepernick, there are certainly worse ways you could spend your money.

49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker

trent-taylor-us.jpg
USATSI

49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker

As a short, slot receiver, Trent Taylor has been compared to All-Pro wideout Wes Welker for his entire life.

Now, Taylor will have the chance to learn from Welker directly, after the 37-year-old reportedly will become one of the newest members of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's staff.

Taylor didn’t hold back when asked what his thoughts were when he first heard about Welker heading to the Bay Area.

“I thought it was freakin’ sick,” Taylor told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s been a baller in the NFL for 10 plus years and it’s always just cool having a guy like that coaching you. A guy with that type of experience and the guy people have compared me to my whole life.”

With only an inch difference in height between the two -- Taylor is 5'8", Welker is 5'9" -- Taylor is more than ready to learn from Welker. Tips from the receiver who led the league in receptions in three different seasons and racked up over 1,000 yards five times will be very valuable.

Even more than Welker’s physicality, Taylor believes his mental approach to the game is even more powerful.

“It’s going to be a cool opportunity to be able to work with him and hear what he has to say to me, what kind of advice he has, and I just know he has that ‘dog mentality’ that you want in a football player," Taylor said. 

“It’s cool to have that in the coaching position, and it will be cool to see the way that he coaches us and the fire that he brings into work every day. I think it’s going to be great.”

While Taylor knows what his new coach is capable of, he can’t wait be in the same room with the five-time Pro Bowler to watch Welker’s own game film.

“I haven’t been able to just sit down and break down his film,” Taylor said. “But I feel like we will have the opportunity to do that. I’ll probably press that subject pretty hard. I feel like he’s going to try to be humble about it but we need to see his film. That’s for sure.”

Welker’s level of productivity is the gold standard for a slot receiver, and that’s the goal for Taylor and the rest of the receivers room. Taylor understands its immense value.

“I think it will be good to be able to ‘learn’ somebody who played the same type of position with the same body type,” Taylor said. “You don’t run into to many guys like that in the NFL. So it will be an interesting perspective to hear from.”

Welker reportedly will be joined by former Cowboys wideout Miles Austin in the receivers room, who was hired as an offensive quality control coach. Taylor appreciates that both coaches are not that far removed from the game, which helps them be even more relatable.

“Two guys who played a long time in the NFL, and haven’t been out of the league for that many years,” Taylor said. “They’re still pretty fresh in it. It’ll be great. I think it’s going to work out great."

[RELATED: Why 49ers can't miss out on Brown or Beckham Jr. this year]

Taylor, however remains inspired by Welker's mental toughness and looks to get everything possible out of his new coach.

"I think he always wanted it more than the guy across from him," Taylor said. "And that’s what made him so great. that’s what makes anybody great. Just having that 'want to' and that fire that you’re never going to stop. That you’re not going to give up."