This is the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s Week-12 Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Looking ahead to next week, did you guys talk about the trip, staying over in Orlando? Is everyone kind of on board that that was a good thing to do?
“We haven’t really talked about it. From my understanding that’s the game plan and this team’s going to do whatever’s best for it.”
Do you like that idea? Do you think it’s something that can be beneficial?
“It saves travel time, so in that regard it can be beneficial. It will give you an opportunity to really focus on what we need to get done.”
What about sort of team unity? Did you guys feel that when you stayed over in Youngstown a couple years did you feel like you got closer as a team just from the experience?
“Well, it gets you kind of back into a training camp mentality where you’re in a hotel together kind of isolated and it’s just the team. So, there’s the opportunity for us to get closer, but I think we already have a very tight knit team.”
When you stepped in you guys went to the NFC Championship game, Super Bowl, NFC Championship game. How difficult is it for you now with six games left in the season to know that the playoffs aren’t out there and what keeps you motivated?
“We still have an opportunity to win games. That’s what we have to stay focused on and take it one week at a time. There is that feeling out there that we’re not going to be in the playoffs, but we still have an opportunity to do some good things and build on for next year.”
How much is this losing streak weighing on you? For the team it’s nine games, for you it’s five as a starter. How are you dealing with that?
“Once again, you have to take it one week at a time and stay focused. Ultimately, we have to be the ones that change the outcome of these games and change the path that we’re on. So, we have to stay focused on that task and not let what’s happened in the past effect that.”
Are you just picking apart the film more than ever trying to figure out what went wrong in each loss?
“Yeah, I think everybody is working hard to make sure we’re correcting everything we can to go out and get wins. Every position, every player is trying to knit pick what they’re doing to make sure we’re getting better each week to give us an opportunity to win.”
You just said building for next year. Obviously, there’s a lot of stuff that has to happen, but is that door open for you to come back next year?
“Yeah, I’m under a two year deal right now. So, my plan right now is I’m focused on this team.”
But, you can opt out. Is that something that you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it?
“Yeah. Right now my focus is on the Miami Dolphins and helping this team win.”
You’ve been with TE Vance McDonald since he got here. How have you seen him develop into a weapon on this team?
“He’s someone that really has developed. He came in, from the time he came in until now he’s really grown. He’s picked up a lot of things as far as techniques, ways to win on routes, has been a great run blocker and has really developed as a pass-catcher route-runner, which I think shows on the field and the big plays that he’s had for this team.”
Do you think his speed is something that is rare for a tight end his size?
“It is. He’s very talented, his speed, his strength, his ability to go get the football are things that separate him as a tight end.”
Is he as fast as former 49ers and current Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis?
“Not as fast as Vernon. Vernon had a different level of speed, but he definitely has speed that is very hard to match on the defensive side.”
You had the chance to rollout your website, show where your donations are going. I know you had mentioned that you wanted to be sure that was going to the right place. How difficult was that process to vet everything before you did that?
“Yeah, it’s something we’re being very particular with, the organizations we’re donating to, making sure they’re very grassroots. And also wanted to be very transparent with what we’re doing and where the money was going to within those organizations so people can really see that this money is going towards those communities and trying to help people.”
Is it just relegated to the communities that you have ties to or are you open to donating anywhere across this country?
“No. I’m open to donating anywhere across this country. There’s a lot of communities that are affected by issues of oppression and we want to make sure we try to help and touch as many communities as we can.”
Milwaukee, that’s kind of a place that’s near and dear to you. Is that part of the thinking there, to include those charities in your first couple months?
“Yeah. I wanted to make sure I touched Milwaukee and the Bay Area first being those are two places close to home for me. But, also being able to reach places like Chicago, New York, Texas, where these issues have really been rampant.”
Will you do any fundraising?
“Haven’t done any fundraising at this point. Might be an option moving forward.”
You said this team is really tight knit. I think a lot of us would agree with that. What makes that the case with a 1-9 team? You see a lot of other teams around the league that would get torn apart. Can you give us some examples maybe of why this is a close team?
“Well, I think we realized that the people in this locker room are the ones that are going to change the outcomes of these games and change the course that we’re on and it’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take a collective effort and I think that’s what this team’s focus is and what helps keep this team together.”
Has head coach Chip Kelly also contributed to that effort? What has he done to make sure you guys are staying together?
“Yeah. He definitely brings that culture where it’s going to take everybody and he talks about that and makes sure that everybody’s on the same page, staying focused on the same things as far as going out, trying to correct what we can to make sure we go out and get wins in the future.”
What kind of Thanksgiving plans you got?
“No plans right now.”
What are you thankful for?
“Thankful to be alive. Thankful for my woman, my family, people I love.”
Broad question, but statistically you’re doing better this year than you were a year ago. What areas do you think that you’ve gotten better at from year to year?
“That is a broad question.”
I was wondering if you kind of felt there was one area that you really kind of have improved upon?
“I think it’s something that there’s a lot of things that play into that. Whether it’s the offense, the play that’s called, the defense you’re going against. So, you really try to be a well-rounded player. For me, that’s something I try to stay focused on, being able to balance staying in the pocket, my ability to run and utilizing both of those when necessary.”
Are you making a conscious effort to stay in the pocket longer this year than maybe you would have back in 2012, 2013?
“I wouldn’t say it’s more of a conscious effort. It’s really depending on what the play is, what the defense is doing, different situations.”
Does this coaching staff encourage you to do whatever you want, whenever you feel the need to run, you can do it?
“I wouldn’t say whatever I want. But, there’s opportunities within the system we have where there’s opportunities to run, there’s opportunities to take shots downfield and a lot of that is dictated by the play call and what the defense is doing.”