Kaepernick: “When I’m on the field, I’m not worried about my health.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick spoke in front of Garrett Celek’s locker Wedensday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

 

Do you like watching Panthers QB Cam Newton play and do you feel there’s similarities in your game and his?

“He’s a great player. He does a lot of things well. We do have some similarities.”

 

There’s so much that’s being made that Cam doesn’t have the playoff experience and you do. How much does that really play a part to you at all? How did you prepare for your first playoff game last season?

“I prepared like it was any other game. You have to go about your business the way you normally do and make sure you’re ready.”

 

You had to burn timeouts early in each half. Do you see that as a problem or is that just what you need to do sometimes? Were there some plays where you were getting the call a little bit late in the huddle?

“It’s not something you want to do, but sometimes it’s necessary. You want to have things right. You don’t want to blow a play.”

 

You and Cam were in the same draft, he went number one. Does that motivate you to prove that you deserved to be drafted as high as he did?

“It’s not something I’ll forget.”

 

That’s something you’ll forget?

“Not something I’ll forget.”

 

When you made that tackle on the interception, head coach Jim Harbaugh admitted he was holding his breath. When’s the last time you made a tackle and what’s your thought about that in terms of trying to get that done and yet maintaining your health?

“When I’m on the field, I’m not worried about my health. I’m worried about trying to win the game and trying to do what’s best for this team.”

 

So, when’s the last time you made a tackle?

“Sunday.” [laughing]

 

Before that.

“I’m not sure.”

 

It was pretty good. Did you like your form and how would you critique it?

“No, he snuck me a little bit. I thought he was going to try and hit the sidelines, so he got under me a little bit. Wish I could have that back.”

 

What did this team struggle with against that defensive front during the regular season? What does Carolina bring that maybe is unique that this team hasn’t seen from a front seven?

“They have a great front seven. They’re very athletic, very fast, very strong. It was something that the first game we didn’t play very well. We didn’t execute the way we should’ve.”

 

Jim calls WR Michael Crabtree the greatest catcher ever in the history of the game. Would you agree with that as far as your experience?

“There’s not too many people that can catch the football like him. He has very strong hands. His catch radius is huge.”

 

You had an up-close view of his rehab. Were you ever worried at any point that he wouldn’t be able to come back or wouldn’t come back as effective as he has?

“No, not at all.”

 

That first Panthers game, you were under a lot of pressure. Honestly, how much do you think that’s likely to change when you have more weapons on the field like Crabtree, like TE Vernon Davis for the whole game?

“It’s really going to depend on what their game plan is and what they’re trying to do.”

 

Nevada, obviously, played Texas Tech back in the day. Have you and WR Michael Crabtree, through the years, talked about that game?

“Yeah, we talk about it from time to time. Remember him making a lot of plays on us.”

 

The perception that in the playoffs you’ll take more chances with your legs, is that myth or fact?

“I guess it’s really week-to-week. It depends what teams are giving us.”

 

But, in terms of whether your choice is to take off on a scramble or maybe look for one last guy, is there a difference in the playoffs in that?

“No.”

 

What are you expecting out of their defense?

“Expecting them to play hard. You really can’t expect too much other than they’re going to have a game plan for us and we have to try to beat it.”

 

Is Luke Kuechly the quickest linebacker that you’ve gone against?

“I wouldn’t say he’s the quickest, but he has great speed. He’s a very good linebacker. He has great instincts, which makes him play faster. He’s one of the best in the league.”

 

You feel like winning in the Wild Card weekend you have an advantage over a team who’s been sitting around and waiting to play?

“I don’t know if it’s an advantage or not, but ultimately you have to come out, you have to play your best football on Sunday.”

 

When you watch film of that first Panthers game, how do you feel about your performance?

“Didn’t perform well enough.”

 

And why was that?

“A variety of things. It really depends on the play, but we have to play better this week.”

 

Was it more you or was it what the Panthers defense was doing?

“It was me.”

 

Were guys giving you grief about the wristband thing?

“No.”

 

Not one guy?

“No.”

 

They’re intimidated by you then apparently.

“No, not at all.”

 

Well, how do you feel about that in retrospect?

“Well, I felt dumb for leaving it on the sideline.”

 

How’d it happen?

“I took it off during halftime and left it in my locker.”

 

There’s a theory that your arms were numb and you didn’t know whether you had it on or not.

“No.”

 

What kind of lead blocker is RB Frank Gore for you when you take off? It seems like he’s routinely taking guys to the ground in front of you.

“He’s one of the best, whether it’s lead blocking on a scramble or pass protection. He’s one of the best in the league at what he does.”

 

Coming back to that defensive front, you guys have faced a lot of good defensive fronts this season, and Seattle has a good one as well. Is Carolina more that they can play you straight up or do they have some schemes that are unusual as well?

“They just play hard, they know what they’re doing and they know how they want to play you. And that’s something we have to be ready for.”

,
  1. The wristband line of questions had me rolling in laughter. Was anyone smiling when he was answering? Kap’s loosening up a bit….

    1. My first game, I played the first play of the game and called a timeout and got sat down, got benched for the rest of the game, and we won the game. It was the longest day of my life. Long day. Very embarrassing.
      Mike Singletary

    2. I liked how he took the blame for how he played against Carolina. He could have said they had a good scheme or whatever but he said it was him. He owned his baggage.

  2. The perception that in the playoffs you’ll take more chances with your legs, is that myth or fact?

    “I guess it’s really week-to-week. It depends what teams are giving us.”

    I know some fans who aren’t going to like that answer.

    1. But it’s the truth. so Screw ‘em. When there’s an opportunity offered you, you take it. It it’s not there, you do what you must do.
      I’m sure Panthers are getting their spy plans polished well.

  3. “The #Vikings are expected to request an interview with #49ers DL coach Jim Tomsula for their head coaching job, source said.” ~ Adam Caplan

    1. He’s been a HC in Europe, so he knows what it entails. If Jim wants it, then I want him to have it. Of course our guys would miss him, but Onward Always Onward.
      ‘Parents be the bow for your children’s arrow’ (best recollection from Kahlil Gibrain).

    2. Saw that also Hammer ,further conjecture(PFT) mentions Tomsula as being Romans’ choice as Defensive Coordinator if he goes to Minn. As a fan I do not like the idea- as a proponent of the man’s character I would be forced to be congratulatory and forced to the land of wisdom(ala Gibran ,Tuna blast from the past!) to deal with my inner wounds.

    3. No more “pound em, pound em, pound em?” Say it ain’t so.

      I have a feeling the 49ers like Okoye more then they let on. He’s at the facility daily and on the sidelines for the games (hard to miss, he’s huge). Okoye said Tomsula is the reason he’s playing football instead of law school in the UK. Hate to lose both.

      Tank is also a Tomsula project that could use his mentoring. Be nice to see Tank, Dail and Okoye get another season of mentoring.

  4. I love this kid. He is a stand up football player with courage to be accountable by taking the blame for not playing well. Also, i love his competitive spirit for wanting to take that tackle back! I promise you he probably would have just knocked that DB out. GO Colin, please play one of your best career games this sunday.

  5. “Penn State has offered head coach job to Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. A decision is expected Thursday.” ~ ESPN

      1. I think things went sour when Roman was asked what his philosophy was on shallow crossing routes, screen and vertical Wr routes.

  6. Way too much competion for Roman, I could see him getting a local head coaching position, maybe Cal, maybe San Jose State and if he is lucky Stanford, when Shaw heads into NFl in one to two years.

  7. Chiefs trying to extend Alex Smith contract, good for him. Take the extension, Free agency might not be as good in 2015.

    1. Smith made his money early now he can just pick the best fit for his skill set. Now CK is the opposite he has to cash in on his second contract because health or ability might not make for a 3rd contract. I see salary cap horrors in the 9ers future. It will be interesting to see if the 9ers use one of their early draft picks this yr on a QB.

    2. That’s great….Alex balled out in that Colts game, he deserves it….Now it will be interesting to see if Chiefs go after a QB in the draft this year and how early. But that’s awesome to hear for him and his family.

      And Old Coach, I know what u mean about the cap hell. We definately cannot afford to keep wasting draft picks (AJ, LMJ, etc). That’s how good teams get bad, by wasting draft picks. I think last years draft was a good draft for our near future roster with guys like tank and lattimore, but we need a really good draft this year. We are bound to start losing people especially on the defensive side. One good thing is that the way our defense is built we really don’t need to invest too much into our secondary due to our fornt 7 being so good. Its almost as if we can stick anyone out there and still deliver a decent pass defense. Should be an interesting off season.

      1. Leo excellent point regarding the draft. If we end up like Balt having to release 7 or 8 starters we better have some recent draft picks ready to step in.

      2. I don’t think we have anything to worry about Coach. Excluding the WR position, Baalke has done an excellent job of finding quality players and diamonds in the rough in free agency, the latter part of the draft, and in those overlooked during the draft. Our coaching staff has in turn done an excellent job in helping these guys reach their full potential. Brock and Jerod-Eddie are two great examples.

  8. After watching the week 17 Carolina-Atlanta game, here are some observations:

    1. Atlanta made Newton uncomfortable with timely blitzes. Newton was off target on numerous passes throughout the game.
    2. Atlanta had success with underneath passes and good scheming. They were able to drive downfield for a TD on the opening drive primarily using short passes to RB and TE.
    3. Ryan threw a pick-6 2nd quarter
    4. Questionable PI led to TD for Carolina right before the half
    5. Atlanta WRs dropped many catchable passes. 4 drops by White (one in the redzone), 2 drops by Douglas
    6. Newton ran the ball effectively and picked several key 1st downs using his feet.
    7. Carolina used QB sneak to pick up several 1st downs on 3rd and short
    8. Carolina has a fierce pass rush – even from base D rushing only 4.
    9. Atlanta made too many mistakes yet only lost 21-20.

    I’m being conservative and expect the 49ers to win this game 24-17.

    1. I have a feeling its going to be a really close game. I know people, including myself, are making a big deal how we didn’t have all our weapons in our last meeting, which is true, but this is a really good defense so they will make the adjustments and a good game plane. Don’t expect us to just steamroll right through. I anticipate a good physical game on both sides that we ulitimately come out on top.

      49ers 20 Panthers 19

    2. I was at the SF / Carolina game at the Stick back in November and Newton was also off target on most of his passes. In fact, in almost every game I have seen Carolina play this year, Newton has been wildly off target with most of his passes.

      Carolina has won because of their defense and Newton’s running. The key to beating them is turning Newton into a pocket passer. How to do that is easier said than done…..

      1. Spy him all game with either Reid, Bowman or Willis. You will not need to double Steve Smith or Ginn, or their other guy Lafell. Our secondary should be able to play these guys man to man.
        We need to stop the run and stop Newton from escaping the pocket. Its not like this is a high octane offense.
        Like us they rely on their defense and running the ball. Only thing is, we have more weapons on offense and should be able to control the clock and score points.

      2. Rick,

        Newton starts off most of his games throwing erratically. It takes him a quarter to settle down because he’s so jacked up and he overthrows everything. We have to pick him off early and get a 2TD lead on them in the 1st 18 minutes. We can control the game at that point and have them potentially make this a blowout. The Niners took Carolina lightly the 1st time and may have been looking ahead to the saints game. They won’t do that this week. All we have to do is be hell bent on scoring TD’s and not kicking field goals. Focus on making executing in the red zone a MAJOR priority.

  9. Lowell has an article on the P.D. this morning discussing JH and BW that I found insightful, for those interested.

    1. The world must be coming to an end. Harbaugh is loosening up, Kaepurnicus is loosening up, and lo behold, Lowell Cohn writes one of best articles ever….Thanks Brotha!

      1. So….. Niners get the one offensive TD, a Pick Six, LMJ returns a Kickoff for a TD, and Niners kick 2 field goals. Niners win 27-17. Ta Da!

      2. It does not matter if they only gave up only 6 touchdowns in regular season, the playoffs are a different animal. Also Kaep is playing better then week 10 of this season and we have Crabs and Davis back. It appears that Jack and Grant are picking Carolina, they might be right, but you can throw stats out the window, when the playoffs start.

      3. I don’t see a much difference between this game and the first one other than this time I think the Niners score a TD and eke out something like 16-13. It’s going to be a slugfest.

      4. I think it has to be different only because you add two prolific players and recently, clutch playoff performers in Crabtree and Vernon Davis. This alone will prevent CAR from doubling Q and putting 9 in the box to stop the run like they did in week 10.

      5. FDM,

        It’ll help having those players back, but the Panthers are strong and physical in the trenches which has historically given the Niners trouble. The Oline was dominated in the first game at the stick.

        I think the Niners will win this time around but it’s going to be a really tough physical game.

      6. Back in week 10 when Davis was in the game the 49ers had 1 drive of more than 20 yards, the opening drive which resulted in a field goal.

        The other 2 scores came as a result of a muffed punt and interception.

      7. Jack, didn’t Davis go out with about 11 minutes to go in the 2nd Qtr? That’s almost three quarters he wasn’t in the game.

      8. When you think back to week 10, it was one of those games where nothing could go right for the Niners. Boldin was doubled, they stacked the box and shut down Gore so what else was there? If Vance Macdonald makes that catch, we win by playing the worst possible game. Instead, he drops it, in addition to a whole list full of mistakes and you get a 10-9 game.
        Now add 2 big time weapons. A defensive line and offensive line playing 100% better and the Panthers have a whole lot to contend with. I was more worried about GB then this game.
        Our players are talking about revenge and owing the Panthers. That’s scary when you have a team already playing with a ton of confidence. Now they are angry.

      9. Jack, that first Carolina game happened, but Niners had bad field position for 1/2 the drives, and did not have the playmakers on the field that they can put on now. I’m surprised with how many wins the 49ers got for nearly 3/4 of the year with Kaep, Gore, Boldin, & Davis as offensive weapons. That was pretty much all the had. And for the Panthers game, Niners lost Davis.

        IMO, the 49er offense Sunday will be a much stronger unit than the one Carolina faced in week 10. I’m aware this does not guarantee a win for the 49ers, but all things being equal, I like their chances a lot better.

      10. Space,

        The 49ers had 7 offensive possessions in the first half. Davis was injured on the 6th. After he was injured they ran 1 play, took a delay of game on 4th down trying to draw them offsides, then kicked the field goal to go up 9-0.

      11. Jack, so at the end of the half, the 49ers led 9-7, but had lost both Davis and Celek and had only VMac as a TE for the 2nd half, right? Do you think that may have affected scoring a bit?

      12. Space,

        I never said it didn’t. I was pointing out that the offense didn’t really do much of anything even when he was in the game. After the 46 yard drive to open the game they had drives of 46, 8, 6, 16, 6, and 17 while he was still in there.

      13. Jack, didn’t think you did. I was just asking if you thought it affected scoring in the 2nd half. But, yeah, I agree, not much was happening offensively by either team at that point. I just wish somebody could have tackled Williams on that TD run. That was bad on a day when both defenses were playing well. But those things happen and are part of the game. I just don’t think what we saw in that game by either team is what we’re going to see Sunday. I’m predicting 40+ total.

      14. Jack Hammer says:
        January 9, 2014 at 10:19 am
        I don’t think they will give up more than 1 this Sunday.

        They will give up TWO TD’s!

  10. Rotoworld has a bit about The Commish being serious about expanding the Playoffs. (big sigh). Right after JJ whines because he can’t get his team in. So is Roger Jerry’s lap dog?
    Should the NFL dilute its quality for a few dollars? Two more games, both of which are played simultaneously and so compete against each other for market share? Or maybe one game can start at Midnight in January in cold weather country? Yeah, Roger, you’re really worried about the Fan Experience at the games. You can’t understand why the stadium experience loses its luster for some? Wire up more Techie stuff for the stadium fans, right. So bring my laptop, but my wife can’t carry her purse? Then be sure to jack up the prices and hope that some forget how taxpayers subsidize NFL profits with stadium funding. Yeah, squeeze that turnip hard enough and maybe you will get some blood.
    Expand to 18 games so due to injuries you can’t recognize a team’s roster by the Playoffs?
    Have a team in London? Why not Capetown? Calcutta? Santiago?
    Sydney is nice.
    The greed is appalling. The disconnect even more so. This rant is now concluded.

    1. Agree with everything. Who cares if Pitt makes it to the playoffs this year. They were 8-8. NFL should be trying to make it more difficult for the 8-8 teams, like not host a playoff game over a 2nd place divisional team with a better record. Greedy Bastages.

    2. Has anyone seen the supposed format for these expanded playoffs. If you included 1 more team in each conference you would need a play in rd. if you added 2 in each there would be no byes and simultaious games. Niether choice sounds good. Any one out there with other possible formats inner conference games before the SB?

      1. old coach:

        As I understand, there would be one additional team added from each conference. The No. 1 seed from each conference would get a bye, and the other six teams would square off on Wildcard weekend. The NFL would get two additional games for that weekend, one in each conference.

        Someone needs to remind the NFL that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      2. Agreed. The system is fine the way it is other than maybe the seeding of the teams, but as you said if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    3. Brotha:

      That rant was righteous. As I read it, I stood up and applauded, hoping that no one walked by my office at that moment.

      Bravo.

      1. Thanks, Claude, your description made me smile. Thanks to the rest of you too; it’s nice to not be a lone voice in the wilderness.

    4. Brotha, they have to make up that 760 million dollar settlement somehow. Can’t have that affecting the NFL profit margin — not even at the expense of having to pay later settlements because of players injured in extra games.

    5. If they drop one pre-season game and one playoff game, the net sum is zero. But the payoff is much bigger for the NFL. Look for that to happen.

    6. This is a juggernaut of a money machine. Of course they will throw away integrity for dollars. Small exapmle last years Super Bowl referee crew. Because they wanted “diverse color” in the black and white uniforms??? Marketing players instead of teams. Changing the rules due to lawsuits, instead of fighting it in court or paying for past mistakes. The NFL is another new kid on the block of Corporate Greed. Get used to it.

      Oh and I liked your piece/rant

    7. Anyone follow the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia? Its a 16 team competition in which the top 8 make the playoffs – its crazy. Not surprisingly, the winners of the competition are almost always one of the teams that finish in the top 4 at the end of the regular season.

      Diluting the playoff field so that 14 of 32 teams make it is only about increasing revenue, not about improving the quality of the playoffs or rewarding teams that were ‘unfortunate’ to miss out (guess what, some teams will be ‘unfortunate’ to miss out every year, unless you include every team in the playoffs).

    8. Rather than expanding the playoffs, the priority should be alternatives to the current seeding system. I’d like to see teams get seeded based on regular season record.

  11. I expect the Panthers to start slow after the week off. Happy to be playing in decent weather, Niners will jump to a 2-score lead in the first half (e.g., 17-3), and, as per their M.O., watch the lead slowly evaporate and win the game really close, e.g., 20-17.

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some 2 minute offense from Roman to open up the game, and prevent that rotation along their defensive front….

  13. This could be a reason why Roman isn’t getting major interest as a HC:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_…nick-criticism

    The passing game has improved, but his schemes are basic. Can’t argue with the success he’s had, but other teams may be thinking he’s only going to be successful with this system as long as he’s got certain types of players to pull it off. With this being a passing league for the most part, simple passing schemes probably aren’t getting GM’s and owners attention.

    Sucks for Greg but it’s good for us because I think he’s improving and has the personnel to win this way.

    1. It’s weird. Everyone says it’s a “passing league” now. Well, look at 3 of the top 4 teams in the NFL (aside from Denver). Seattle, SF, and Carolina are the 3 top rushing teams, ratio wise, in the entire NFL I believe.
      Food for thought…

  14. Grant please cancel my comment currently awaiting moderation. I didn’t post it correctly and have fixed it with a different one.

    1. He lurks here sometimes. I’m sure it’s cuz he wants to mine us experts for material. ; >)
      OK, maybe it’s about Grant.

      1. BT ..
        funny .. cuz back in the day .. I would never
        mistake pappy Lowell for a
        Niner fan !

        He would constantly get under my skin
        with some of the things he wrote .. but
        that’s probably why I kept reading him ..

        And sometimes I think Grant is a chip
        off the old block …
        Although .. Grant will sometimes chime in
        the discussion … something I don’t remember
        Lowell doing

    2. Rocket i agree. i was wondering whether Lowell felt the differences in the two mens personality made Harbaugh a better man or father. Proper perspective is a huge part of parenting.

    3. Rocket,

      You’re right, LC’s article is excellent.

      It reminded me how unfortunate it is that Bill Walsh wasn’t stronger emotionally. Had he been, he would’ve enjoyed his success much more, not mention, he likely would’ve coached the 49ers years longer. I believe the 49ers would have and won two to four more Super Bowls, had Walsh been healthier psychologically.

  15. Now this is really unimportant, but what’s the big deal being made over Rivers’ bolo tie? I’ve always worn a bolo when I could get away with it as opposed to a regular necktie. It won’t fly for funerals or ‘Black Tie Events’, but most everything else. You can tell I don’t hang with The Glitteratti or get many White House Dinner invites.

    1. Brotha, I saw him wearing that in his post-game interview and was wondering what our good buddy Alex (I’m now a Panther’s fan) would say about it, lol.

  16. This article on luck – good and bad – and the reliability of stats may be of some interest. It’s by Brian Burke, in the Sports section of today’s New York Times:

    Of the N.F.L.’s eight remaining playoff teams, the luckiest may be the Indianapolis Colts. Not only did they survive a 28-point second-half deficit in the wild-card round, but they were also the team that most overperformed statistical expectations in the regular season.

    Based on the core efficiencies of passing, running, turnovers and penalties, plus the Colts’ strength of schedule, my efficiency model expected them to have between seven and eight wins. But they finished with 11, which was 3.2 more than expected.

    All but 2 of the 12 playoff teams were above average in terms of beating their statistical expectations, and all but one of the surviving eight beat expectations. Although you may at first think this pattern points to an obvious flaw in the efficiency model, it turns out this is exactly what the field of statistics predicts.

    Luck can be a loaded word, but in this context it has nothing to do with rainbows or leprechauns.

    Whether it’s called luck, randomness or something technical like “sample error,” the concept refers only to the fact that a 16-game regular season is too short for the breaks to even out. Footballs can bounce in unpredictable, game-deciding ways. A kicker might make a meaningless 50-yard field goal when a game has largely been decided but miss a 35-yarder to blow a heroic comeback. A cornerback can gamble and jump a route, sometimes giving up a touchdown but sometimes coming away with an interception.

    Over a long enough season, the good breaks and the bad breaks would cancel out, but with just 16 games, luck can mean the difference between a Super Bowl run and a coach’s firing.

    Very successful teams are usually both good and lucky. For instance, a 12-win team is more likely to be a true 11-win team that was fortunate to win an additional game than to be a true 13-win team that was one game unlucky. This is because team talent is normally distributed (meaning there are more teams close to average than at the extremes), but luck, by definition, is uncorrelated with team talent, or anything else for that matter.

    Some of the most dangerous teams can be the ones that were a bit unlucky but still strong enough to make the playoffs. The New Orleans Saints fit that profile, with an expected win total near 11 but an actual total of 10. This weekend they visit the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks. Although the model still favors the Seahawks, this may be their toughest test on their way to a championship.

  17. I find stats very unreliable, and in fact misleading in the NFL. They simply don’t play enough games. Baseball, now that’s stats heaven!

    1. Angus,

      There is some truth to that. Stats don’t tell the whole story which is why you also have to look at the situation.

    2. Here’s a stat that tells the truth.
      The 49ers went 5-1 vs the toughest division in football.
      That’s says a lot.
      Wheeeeeeeeeeew!

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