Camp chat: Taylor Jacobs

Training camp officially came to an end Wednesday for the 49ers, and when you start looking for top camp standouts, one of the first places to turn is toward WR Taylor Jacobs. The fifth-year veteran has emerged as one of the team's top wideouts, and here in an interview with SFI Jacobs shares his thoughts about what the past 25 days of summer have meant to him as both a player and individual.

Q: From your perspective, what has been like to be one of the stars of training camp this summer?
You know, honestly, I just thank God for the opportunity. I thank Him for putting me in this position where people would even say that. I've just been working hard, and believing in good things, and especially focusing on the mental aspect. Because in the past, I think that has been my biggest hindrance. Not that I'm weak-minded, it's just that I'm real hard on myself. I'm a perfectionist, so it's just been a day-in and day-out thing where I try to come back and be consistent and do what coaches tell me.

Q: What has your fine showing in this camp meant for your development in particular and your career in general?
I think I did some good things. To say I had a great camp … Like I said, I'm my own worst critic. I think I did some OK things. I think I just worked hard, and I'm going to continue to do that and do the best I can do. I think it has been a step forward for me, not only physically, but mentally confidence-wise, and just getting into the game and getting into the feel of timing and all that kind of stuff with quarterbacks and just playing free. That's what it has basically been for me.

Q: Is there one particular thing this training camp has told you about yourself as a receiver?
People have always told me that I have talent, that I've been one of the most talented guys, but really just getting in there and making plays … If it's told me one thing, it's really told me ‘Have confidence in yourself. You're good enough to be a player in the NFL, just have confidence in yourself and go out there and make plays.'

Q: There has been an appearance that you've picked up your game this summer. Why do you think people would say that about you?
Maybe just for the simple fact that I'm getting balls thrown to me and I'm trying my best to get open. You know, a lot of times, people look at the productivity as far as stats are concerned, and they don't really see the times when you're on the backside of a route, you're open on the backside. Not to say that I was open all the time on the backside. But I think I have made a big step forward as far as elevating myself in a lot of aspects. But you can't just look at productivity. You go in and look at a tape of practice, and you see the guy on the backside that was probably more open than the guy that even caught the ball.

Q: Are you a more complete wide receiver now?
I think that I am molding my game, that a lot of things around me are molding my game. I think the Lord is molding me into different things, and I think that coaches, and myself, are just molding me into a better receiver.

Q: What part of your game do you think you've elevated the most since you joined the 49ers last August?
The biggest thing is confidence. I think the most of coach Gibbs (Redskins coach Joe Gibbs) as a guy, I can't say enough good things about him. But really, in Washington (where Jacobs was a second-round draft pick in 2003), I came in and they already had a lot of receivers, so I slipped under the radar and got lost in the shuffle. Here, with the San Francisco 49ers, they have good receivers here too, but I believe they are going to put the best people on the field.

Q: When Mike Nolan clearly states earlier this week that he considers you the team's No. 3 receiver, what does that say to you?
The way I look at it is, it's an opportunity for me. I've been working hard, and it's just an opportunity. So let me go in here and seize this opportunity, let me make the most of my opportunity, and just keep working hard.

Q: That said, what do you see happening for you this season and what do you want to accomplish?
I mean, I want to be a big productivity guy. I want to be contributing in any kind of way that I can. I don't want to take any situation for granted. I want to play every play all-out, being it's me blocking somebody, or being it's me catching a pass because they're focusing on another guy. My big thing for this year is that I just want to be productive, I want to be very productive.

Q: You've had a great camp, your wife Christine gave birth to your baby boy Taylor Jr. on Saturday … Is it fair to say this has been a pretty memorable summer month for you?
This has been a summer of many things. Yeah, it has been a real good summer for me.

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