Asked what his father taught him about leadership, the 49ers quarterback replied, “You just have to be able to relate to people and know how to motivate them.”
Sage advice, indeed.
Kaepernick does more than relate to his teammates, he inspires them with courageous play and unrelenting work ethic.
“He’s an excellent leader,” fullback
Jim Harbaugh praised Kaepernick’s willingness to set the tone after San Francisco’s 27-6 win on “Monday Night Football.” The 49ers head coach spoke highly of his offensive co-captain for helping guide the team to victory. Kaepernick tossed three touchdown passes and finished the primetime game with a career-best 134.5 passer rating.
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Kaepernick's difference-making demeanor started during mid-week practices. Faced with a two-game losing streak and the Arizona Cardinals nipping at their heels in the NFC West, Kaepernick showed the perfect attitude during the work week.
“He was just being exactly perfect leadership and demeanor-wise,” Harbaugh said of his quarterback. “He was a combination of loose, focused.
“It was really good, just the kind of leader that stands tall and works extremely hard and has the right encouragement for his teammates.”
Teammates like Miller rave about how their quarterback is constantly leading by example.
“Saying things is great, but I love watching ‘Kap’ work,” Miller said. “He’s here on days off in the weight room, things like that are motivating to me.”
On the field, Kaepernick leaves his mark, too.
“When it’s time to put up or shut up, I like how he’s a leader for our team,” Miller continued. “I like the way that he plays, diving for first downs, diving for the end zone.
“It’s motivation for us to do whatever it takes to get a first down or score for him.”
So while outsiders have criticized Kaepernick’s ability to read defenses or decide when to escape the pocket and utilize the gifts of his long-striding running ability, the 49ers locker room turned a deaf ear to such commentary.
Miller said it’s the same for praise and criticism.
“We don’t take a whole lot into what people outside of this circle say, good or bad,” the 49ers fullback said. “‘Kap’ is going to keep his head down and he’ll keep working the same way since day one. That’s why you see games like the one he played last week.”
Kaepernick's leadership will come under the spotlight once again when the St. Louis Rams visit Candlestick Park this Sunday.