Former starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert spoke at his locker Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
What is your reaction to the move that was made today?
“It’s a tough deal, but a change is made like that, it’s what the coaches felt best for this team. It sucks. I don’t like it. I don’t like not playing. I’ll be very forward about that. But, at the same time I’m still going to come into work the same way I’ve always come into work the three years that I’ve been here. Put my best foot forward. Still continue to prepare. I’m not going to slack on the film work just because I’m not playing. That’s not how I am as a person. That’s not how I’m going to approach this situation. So, moving forward, I’m going to still prepare the same, be the same guy in the locker room, lead these guys and just keep chipping away.”
When you look back at the last five games, are there things that you wish you had done differently–?
“Yeah, hindsight is always 20-20 especially in this game that we play. The quarterback is under such a microscope. But, yeah, there’s always going to be throws you want back, always going to be decisions you want back. I can honestly say I played hard, gave it my best shot. I wasn’t good enough. We didn’t win enough football games. We didn’t score enough points on the offensive side of the ball and that’s the way it goes. It’s a tough situation and [head] coach [Chip] Kelly had to make a call.”
Is five games enough for a quarterback to really show–?
“You never know. I can’t answer that question. I just know that I didn’t do enough in five games to keep the starting job. That’s just the way it goes. It’s a performance-based business and if you’re not performing at the highest level you know you’re not going to play. That’s just kind of the way the cookie crumbles almost.”
So, how will you support QB Colin Kaepernick?
“Like I said, I’m going to continue to prepare the same way I have in the three years that I’ve been here. That’s the only way I know how is just to continue to work hard, still go through my weekly preparations as if I was a starter. That’s how I go. [New Orleans Saints QB] Luke McCown taught me that as a rookie. You prepare the same way week-in and week-out because you never know when you’re going to play and that’s really the thing that you can fall back on late in the season is your routine, what you know, kind of in your daily routine.”
When did you find out?
“This morning. Good news to wake up to.”
Is there anything you can do to help support your replacement, because you’ve had five games already?
“Like I said, I’m going to continue to prepare the way I know how to prepare and whatever I can do to help this team I’m going to do. But, like I said, I’m going to stick to my routine, stick to the way I watch film, the way I practice and just keep to that.”
Even in practice, as if you are a starter, nothing changes? You’re going to practice as if you are the starter and keep the mindset?
“Yeah, you have to. That’s the way the quarterback position is in the NFL because you’re always one play away and you’ve still have to approach each practice rep like a piece of gold. You’re not going to be getting the bulk of the reps, but at the same time you’ve just got to make the most of the reps that you do get.”
Have you spent the last few days studying Buffalo?
“Yeah, I was catching up on film, doing the normal film study. But, like I said, that doesn’t change. My film study and my preparation throughout the week, it doesn’t change whether I’m the one or the two. That’s how I’ve always been. I’m not going to slack whatsoever in how I prepare for this football team, how I watch this film, how I get myself ready to play a game. That’s never going to change as long as I’m playing.”
Did you have a feeling these last few weeks that you had to kind of look over your shoulder and that Kap was kind of lingering there?
“No, you’re never going to play your best ball when you’re looking over your shoulder. This game is tough enough to begin with and if you’re playing like that, that’s not a recipe to be successful. That definitely wasn’t the case at all the first five games of the year.”
ME: We’ve seen you make every throw. We’ve seen you make some extremely difficult throws the past few weeks. Why do you feel you’ve struggled to make them consistently?
“Yeah, it’s the consistency factor. That’s something that we’re always striving to be more and more consistent drive-in and drive-out, game-in and game-out. You get consistent with reps and it just happens to be I got five games, didn’t make the most of the reps and that’s kind of the way it is.”