SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s Week-11 Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
What did you see Sunday that seems encouraging? It seems like the rhythm, kind of the continuity of the offense, has been as good as it’s been recently.
“Yeah. We have a lot of things we can build on this week and moving forward. We had good offensive line play. Our receivers made plays. We had an opportunity to win the game at the end and our defense did a great job for us as well, getting turnovers, giving us an opportunity to score more points and that’s something we have to do a better job of on offense is making those turnovers convert into points and more touchdowns than field goals.”
How about for you personally? Is it fair to say that you had to be a little rusty after all that time off, that you’re starting to get your rhythm back and starting to feel like you’re a little bit more a part of everything.
“Yeah, it is. As much as I’d like to think I can jump right back in and be 100-percent on top of my game, it was something that took a little bit to get into a rhythm, get comfortable with everything that’s happening within the offense and it’s coming more and more every week that I feel comfortable with what’s going on, why we’re calling plays, how we’re trying to get things done and being able to build on those.”
Why is that important to know why the play is called?
“It’s like anything. If you do it and don’t know the intention of why you’re doing it, you really don’t have a purpose. You don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. So, having that complete understanding of we’re calling this play to try to get this done is very helpful. It helps you get through progressions quicker and also helps you play with a clear mind.”
Are you talking about how this play sets up another play or how this play was set up by something previously? Is that what you’re talking about?
“It can be both and depending on what the coverage is also dictates what those things are. So, there’s a lot of things that go into that and getting more reps, getting more comfortable with those things is something that’s always an advantage, always a plus.”
Does that happen in the classroom for a large part or is it on the field? Where does that happen?
“It happens on both. Part of it is the studying, being on top of those things but being able to translate that onto the field and having everybody understand that on offense of what we’re trying to get done on this play and who we’re trying to affect, things of that nature. Having everybody on that same page, thinking the same way is very important on the offensive side of the ball.”
Head coach Chip Kelly said after the game he needed to do a better job calling plays in the third quarter and second half to put you in better position. Anything you can put your finger on why completion percentages goes way down in the second half for you?
“No, I can’t say one thing or another. I know offensively, there’s just times where we get a little bit out of rhythm and those are things that we have to do a good job of staying on track, staying on rhythm and continuing to get first downs.”
What are your memories, I think it was your fourth career start, when you went to New England and you had that shootout with New England Patriots QB Tom Brady? What are your memories when that game is brought up?
“I remember being up a lot and having them come rushing back. It was a great feeling to go up there, get that victory, especially against a team like that. It was huge and it was another confidence builder for our team, for myself at that point in time, that we were playing one of the best teams in the league and went there on the road, I want to say it was in December, and won. So, I think we have a similar opportunity this week to play a very good Patriots team and go out and get a victory.”
Do you remember anything Brady said to you after that game?
“No. That was so long ago. I don’t remember.”
Obviously, your record is not where you would want it to be at this point, but what can you do in these remaining seven weeks to kind of take positive things and find positive things to work on from this point moving forward?
“We have seven opportunities to win football games and that’s where our focus is starting this week with the Patriots and we have to do everything we can this week to go out and get a win.”
There’s been so much uncertainty and speculation about you. Is this kind of an auditioning process for you with this organization these last seven weeks?
“For me, it’s another opportunity to win football games. Focusing on the Patriots this week, what we can do to try and go out there and get a win, break this losing streak and get back on track.”
You were asked about not voting on Sunday. Did you think about voting, maybe not voting for just president and voting for maybe some of the local stuff?
“I thought a lot of different things about the process and what I could and couldn’t do. Once again, the system of oppression is what I have an issue with.”
It’s been reported that you’ve never registered to vote. Is that just because you haven’t–?
“Once again, I addressed that and continue to address that. I don’t agree with the system of oppression and that’s something that I will continue to not agree with.”
A lot of guys your age, especially people of color, feel the same way. Do you think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of young people didn’t vote this last election?
“I can’t say. You would have to ask them that. I don’t want to speak for anybody or put anybody in a situation where I’m not representing them properly. So, I really can’t say.”
I’ve asked you this before. Do you want more plays schemed up to be thrown deep down the field? It just seems like that’s your best skill.
“It depends on the opportunities, whether they are there or not. We had an opportunity this last game and [WR] Quinton [Patton] did a great job going and getting the deep ball that put us in a position to score. So, when the opportunities are there, we have to be able to take advantage.”
ME: Was that a play you practiced during the week and saved specifically for the second half?
“It was a play that came in that was a part of our offense. We always have plays we can bring in here or there depending on looks were getting. We had a great opportunity there. He did a great job going and getting that ball. Our offensive line did a great job with protection.”
How much one-on-one coaching does Chip do with you? Does he pull you to the side and just you two?
“It’s hard to say how much one-on-one. We talk about plays when they come up, things we want to correct, things we need to get done and also what his thinking is on plays.”
As far as your health and post-surgeries, are you feeling better now than you have and even before the surgeries years prior to that when that knee injury first came up?
“Yeah. I’m feeling better and better every week. I feel like I’m starting to get some of my wiggle back, some of the movement, starting to feel very comfortable with where my health is, how my body’s moving, those things.”
Weight-wise, are you back to where you were pre-surgery at this point?
“Yeah. I’m right around that same area weight-wise.”
And you’ve made progress health-wise since you’ve started starting again since that Buffalo game?
When you first were starting, first got the starting job, you didn’t seem to like talking to the media. You kind of were terse and sometimes maybe even a little rude. What’s going on through your head now and why are you more open now, you think?
“I’m comfortable with everything that I’m saying, what I represent and who I am. At that point in time, there was a situation where I didn’t feel comfortable talking because I didn’t want my words used against me and now I know if I represent my words properly, what my stance is, who I am properly, that those words can’t be used against me.”
So, these issues were in your mind even when you were first starting, you were thinking through these things?
“Not thinking through them, it’s just things that I’ve seen. Watching what’s happened, who’s saying what, things like that. Those are things that as a young person, OK, why am I going to speak on those? And as I’ve gotten older, it’s being able to be true to what I believe in, who I am and regardless of how people want to take that, that’s on them, that’s not a reflection of who I am.”
When do you think you got to that point where you were comfortable saying these things?
“It’s hard to say specifically when. It’s a constant evolution. It’s a constant growth being able to become a better man.”
Do you think you’re more open with your teammates now too?
“I think I’ve always been open with my teammates. I’ve never had issues talking with them or being open with them.”
When you scored the tying touchdown in Arizona, how badly did this team need that euphoric feeling and just how was that after these last couple of months?
“It was great to go down and get that game-tying touchdown to give us the opportunity to go into overtime. I think more importantly it was huge that [LB] Gerald [Hodges] got the interception that allowed us that opportunity. Those are things that we’re going to have to be able to do as a team to win football games. Defense create turnovers, offense capitalize on those and putting points on the board and playing a complete football game.”
I have another voting question. I understand what you said and I get that. People will respond or have responded and said, but you want to, you’re advocating for change and one way to do that is to vote. There are measures that effect communities and that is one way to effect change. What would you say to that?
“There’s more than one way to create change.”