This is the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s Wednesday interview, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department.
What’s your reaction to DT Ray McDonald being released?
“Not a situation you want to hear about. Very unfortunate.”
General manager Trent Baalke just addressed the media and he said head coach Jim Harbaugh told the team. Can you tell us a little bit how that went, how he pulled everyone together to let the players know?
“He just brought us together and let us know what the situation was and why he was released.”
I know that you worked out with Ray when you first got here with that group at San Jose State. He seemed like a guy who had a lot of friends. Well respected on the team. What was sort of the mood of you guys when Trent told you the news?
“It’s tough. He was a good friend to a lot of people on this team. No one around him ever thought bad of him. He was always a good person to everyone around here, so hopefully it’s just a misunderstanding.”
Do you understand the higher standard that the team wants to get from its players?
“Yes, I do.”
Tell us about that.
“This is an organization. It’s a franchise. You want to have a high standard and we do around here. You have to be able to abide by that.”
Are you angry over what happened, either the fact that he might have done something that’s way wrong or the team’s reaction?
“Not angry. I understand the situation. I understand why the team did what they did. Outside of that, it’s really not my business.”
This has been a season where things like this have kept popping up. You say it’s not a distraction. At what point is it a distraction because that was one of the reasons Trent Baalke said he was let go? A pattern of poor decision making that led to distractions to this team.
“As a team, we have to keep moving forward. We keep moving on and we’re on to the San Diego Chargers. That’s what we’re worried about.”
What kind of distraction has this kind of situation been throughout the season?
“I just answered that question.”
RB Frank Gore might not play in this game. He may only have a couple games remaining for the 49ers. How much is winning for Frank sort of a rallying cry for this team going forward?
“I think it’s something we want to win for everyone. Frank obviously has been a huge asset to this team. He’s been a great player, a great leader on this team and we want to win as many games as we can for him and everyone.”
What do you hope to accomplish yourself personally these last two games? What do you want to work on?
“Winning. At this point, we want to win as many games as we can and we have the opportunity to win two more before the season is over and that’s where our mind’s at. That’s what we’re focused on.”
Do you want to see a more pass-oriented offense this week and work on things of that nature?
“Anything that’s going to help this team win. Running, throwing, it really doesn’t matter. Whatever’s going to be most effective for us.”
If somebody told you in August you’re going to be 7-7 and out of the playoffs right now, would you have believed that?
“No. Not at all.”
Did this seem like a Super Bowl season was set up?
“I think that’s what everyone’s expectation was, including ours. You don’t play this game for any other reason than to try to win a Super Bowl. And it’s disappointing that we’re not going to be able to accomplish that this year, but we have to keep moving forward.”
How unique is it, though, this season, injuries are part of the game, but now TE Garrett Celek on the IR? It seems all season offensively and defensively, this team has just been hit with injuries more so than usual.
“Yeah, it’s part of the game. That’s all you can really chalk it up to. Obviously, we wish we didn’t have all those injuries and we had all of our starters out there. But at the same time, that’s part of football is being able to deal with those things and continue to win games despite anything that may come along like that.”
Did Ray say anything to you or the team about what had happened or in a farewell message of any kind?
Can you go back to Sunday’s game in Seattle for a second? The fourth quarter drive. There was a lot of talk about why you guys weren’t more urgent to get the ball down the field. Why wasn’t there a hurry-up offense in those final few plays?
“It depended on the situation. To start the quarter, we had time. So, we wanted to make sure we were calling good plays that we thought would be effective. Towards the end, we got in more of a hurry-up mode, but it wasn’t good enough to get the win.”