READ: Kaepernick Speaks Candidly at Super Bowl
Perhaps none was more impactful than the 49ers quarterback's 42-minute visit with Grantland.com's creator, Bill Simmons.
Kaepernick and Simmons covered a number of important topics in Simmons' Super Bowl podcast. The conversation ranged on everything from the quarterback's media strategy to his outlook on 2014. The lengthy interview is included in this post, but we've also put together some of the most important Kaepernick answers from the conversation.
It's a must-listen for the 49ers Faithful.
Why my answers are so short... I don’t want to give them anything to try and flip or manipulate. Offseason, if you want to run with something, go ahead and do it.
Rivalry with Seattle
It’s a great rivalry. I think we both have very good teams. I think it’s a rivalry that’ll be around for a while.
Running with the Football
Scrambles are some of the biggest plays in football. A defense can’t scheme for that. It doesn’t matter what coverage they have on, when you start scrambling, windows open up.
I’ve never been one to go out and play conscious of my body. If I’m running down the field and there’s a linebacker coming at me, I’m going to do what I can to get down and get out of the way.
To me the Super Bowl was the worst one. You’re five yards away from getting a ring. We had the opportunities, but we didn’t convert.
Final Throw in NFC Title Game Loss to Seattle
It’s not a very big window, but to me that’s something I have confidence in to make that throw… I think that’s part of the reason we called (the play). ‘Alright, let’s take a shot here.’
That was the last thing we’re expecting to happen, a tipped ball to a linebacker... in everyone’s mind worst case scenario was we’d have an incomplete pass.
Boise State Game in College
That was the first time we got national recognition as a school. It was a huge win for us. It was four years of playing them and beating them the fourth year… I think they were in line to try and be in a BCS title game.
Where I got drafted in comparison to other quarterbacks is really what sticks with me more than anything.
Edge from Draft Snub?
I feel like I’ve always been down that path. I’m used to having to prove myself and work through things. At this point, it helps me and motivates me. When I step on the field, it drives me to show people I shouldn’t have been drafted where I was.
I haven’t spent any time talking to him, but I feel like the personality he gives off, (if he slides in the draft) I feel like he would come out in a fury.
We have a little basketball hoop in our locker room and we’ll sit there and shoot. You get three shots, see how many you can make… It’s harder to make it on a normal hoop. We’ll sit in there and it turns into 30-minute games after practice just because people don’t like losing.
Taking Over for Alex Smith
I could walk through a mall, a grocery store wherever before and no one cared (who I was). Then it turned to, I could walk out in a hat or a hoodie, trying to cover up, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s him. Can we get a picture? Can we get an autograph?’ It changed very quickly.
It got to a point where I felt like I was more known for my tattoos than my face… I think it was because I was a quarterback that it came out like that… I thought it was pretty unfair… It’s hard to say anything about anyone you haven’t spent time with because you really don’t know. Even when I talked about Manziel, I tried to preface it with, ‘I’ve never really talked to him or spoken to him, so I really can’t say too much.’
A lot of things we did we felt like they were things I wanted to do and things that fit me. I think the thing that people don’t realize is every shoot I did, every commercial I did, every interaction with fans or anything that I did, was done after I finished my workout for that day. So, it wasn’t like I’m skipping workouts and I’m not focused on football. Everything in my schedule was based around football so I could do those things.
For me, it’s important for people to know that I’m still focused on football. I’m still making sure I’m handling my business to get ready for the next season.
Green Bay Wild Card Win
Growing up, I always saw them playing in the cold at Lambeau. It was the opportunity to go out there and play in it and try to win a playoff game at that.
Playing against Green Bay, it was a little bit of, 'We’re going to come into your stadium in the cold weather and this is supposed to be your element, we’re going to make it ours.'
A QB’s Role
I think a huge part of being a quarterback is the confidence you carry yourself with, the demeanor you give off and do your teammates have the respect and confidence in you? Are you going to go out and play well? Are you going to make a play? Ultimately, if you give them confidence from what you’re doing, their level of play is going to rise and the whole team is going to be better… As a quarterback, you can’t walk into the huddle and be tentative and be scared because everyone in the huddle is going to know it.
I’m going for the Broncos… I have two college teammates on the Broncos, Virgil Green and Brandon Marshall... I’m also a big Peyton (Manning) fan. I have a great respect for what he does on the field. He makes a lot of things look so easy that shouldn’t be.
Manning and Other Top QBs
I always try to pick up different things from quarterbacks, especially quarterbacks like Peyton, (Tom) Brady, (Drew) Brees, (Aaron) Rodgers, quarterbacks who are at that elite level as far as they just go out and make plays and they do it on a consistent basis... I see if there’s anything in there game I can steal and start to make it a part of mine.
Early QB Inspiration
I think one of the quarterbacks I looked to a lot was Randall Cunningham. His highlights and just the way he moved, the way his game was. It was almost freelanced, but he just went out and made plays.
To this day I’ll watch Randall Cunningham highlights. You get excited watching him. I think there are plays he made that players couldn’t make today. His game was very different.
Baseball Talent as a Pitcher
I had a fastball, a two-seam fastball, a changeup and a curve.
Outlook on 2014
We’ll be back.
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