SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s Week 15 press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
When you look back at the last game, what stands out about the second half and why you guys couldn’t get stuff going offensively?
“Once again, it comes down to our execution. We have to be able to make plays and we didn’t make enough in the second half to put points on the board.”
On the play before the fourth down run, did you see an opportunity there to score a touchdown on that slant?
“Yeah, there was an opportunity there. They had been playing a lot of cover-zero. We had an answer on that particular play for it and thought we had an opportunity there.”
What do you think happened on that?
“Once again, we did execute well enough. We executed well enough to get eight yards. But, a little better throw, run through the football, those types of things, we have an opportunity for a big play there.”
Did you put it out a little bit more than you wanted to?
“I had to throw around the backer. So, there’s a lot of things that come into play on something like that, but we have to execute better.”
You’re going back to Atlanta. What are some of the best memories you have from the NFC Championship game there a few years ago?
“A win. Getting down early, being able to come back, sticking together as a team and being able to pull out that win was huge for us.”
The ability to come back then, it’s something that this team hasn’t been able to do this season, coming back in games. Why do you think that is in terms of whether it’s offense, defense, what’s this team lacking?
“It comes down to, once again, execution, our ability to finish games and hit another gear in the second half to go out and make plays, put more points on the board, be stouter on defense. We have to be able to turn it up on both sides of the ball as well as special teams in order for us to pull out wins.”
Why does the team execute so well in the first half and not so well in the second half?
“If there was one thing we could do that we could change it, we would. There’s a lot of things that play into that. But, once again, we have to be able to be better in the second half.”
Are there enough scripted plays coming out in the third quarter or are you guys spending enough energy on the third quarter specifically?
“We spend our energy on the entire game. It depends on what the defense is doing, what we think is going to work best and ultimately going out and making plays.”
You guys ran the ball really well and have done so for most of the season. How come the play-action game hasn’t been more productive based off of the running success that you’ve had?
“Once again, that comes down to what the defense is allowing us to do. There might be opportunities in the running game that we aren’t going to have in the passing game depending on how that defense is playing us that day.”
You mentioned the other day not being used to dealing with this kind of losing. How do you deal with it? WR Torrey Smith was saying he loses sleep. What is it like for you after a game?
“You try and fix it. That’s the only way it’s going to change. You come in, you work, you do everything you can to be prepared for the next game and go out and play with everything you have.”
Did you know former NFL TE Konrad Reuland much from your rookie class? Did you get to know him?
“That first year, I spent quite a bit of time with him, knew him pretty well, had a couple conversations with him since he left. I heard the news about him this morning. It’s one of those tragedies that you don’t see coming, you hope never happens to anybody and he was always such a great person. Very kind hearted. It’s painful and I send my best wishes to his family.”
Back to that Atlanta NFC Championship game. Was there a specific moment or play that kind of sticks out to you?
“I think the biggest one for me is sitting there on the sideline at the end. Our defense is out there and [LB NaVorro] Bowman coming up with that pass breakup. That was something, on the sideline you’re sitting there waiting, are we going to make this play? We have all the confidence in the world in our defense and they come up huge for us in that situation. That’s something I’ll always remember, that feeling.”
In Atlanta, they still think that was pass interference. What are your feelings on that? I’m sure you refute that.
“Yeah. That’s more of an issue with them and the refs than it is with us. So, we’ll take the win and keep moving.”
Is there a personal goal that you have? I know you take each game a game at a time, but these final three games, something you want to prove to yourself by the time the season ends? I know everybody in here has kind of their own personal thing they’re looking at.
“The focus is always on winning. We have to take it week-by-week and try to get a win each week starting this week with Atlanta.”
LB Aaron Lynch just told us that he thinks this team is really close, that you guys are still one of the best teams in the NFC. Is that actually the thought process or are you guys willing to admit that 1-12, a lot of things need to change next year too?
“We are very close. We’ve been very close in a lot of games. Once again, we have to finish better. That will change the outcome of a lot of these football games.”