The 49ers quarterback is not playing this week, but he did earn attention by making candid comments in New York.
San Francisco’s play-making signal-caller was asked about the end of his season in the NFC Championship game and how he views his three-turnover performance in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
“I feel like the mistakes aren’t something that’s going to haunt me,” Kaepernick said in an appearance on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning Show.”
Kaepernick stressed that he wished he could have launched his final pass to
“I’m going to play to win,” the 49ers quarterback said of the ball that was tipped by Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith. “I’m going to try and make those plays. If you gave me that last pass 10 times, I’m going to take it 10 times over again.
“Now, do I wish I would have thrown a better ball? If it’s a foot farther, we’re playing this weekend and not Seattle. To me, it’s not a bad decision by me. It’s something physically I have to get better at. I have to make a better throw in that position.”
The 49ers quarterback attended Super Bowl festivities for promotional duties and to attend the “NFL Honors” award show.
Kaepernick stressed that he’s motivated to improve in 2014 and will continue using his motivational methods to make those strides. Using negative press clippings is one way the 49ers quarterback channels his focus on improving.
“It helps motivate me,” Kaepernick said. “When I go into a workout or when I go into a practice, when I have it in my mind that people are doubting me, or thinking I can’t do this or I can’t do that, that helps me… It really makes me stronger.”
The 49ers quarterback also carries a chip on his shoulder from being the No. 36 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
“I feel like being the sixth quarterback drafted in my draft class, I feel like there were people I should have been drafted ahead of,” Kaepernick said. “Every time I step on the field, I try to prove that I should have been drafted before those people.”
As Jim Harbaugh’s first offensive draft selection, Kaepernick has built a strong bond with his coaches. San Francisco’s dynamic quarterback discussed his relationship with head coach and what allows the two to have a great working relationship.
“I think the best word to describe him is he’s a maniac,” Kaepernick said of Harbaugh. “He’s a maniac in a good way. He’s very focused on the details. He’s going to make sure where doing everything and anything to win.
“He’s going to put you out of your comfort zone to make sure you’re not cruising through things. He’s going to make sure he’s getting the best out of you in all aspects of your game.”
The 49ers quarterback also listened to his offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, on the importance of staying safe from unnecessary hits. San Francisco opted to use less zone-read running plays to keep Kaepernick from taking on defenders in the open field.
“You have to keep your quarterback healthy,” Kaepernick explained. “I think coaches were hesitant as far as how much do we really want to run this and put our quarterback in harm’s way.”
“We’re going to pick and choose when we want to do it,” Kaepernick said. “We don’t want that to be on a consistent basis for our offense.”
In the playoffs, however, Kaepernick showed no fear when running with the football. In the loss to Seattle, San Francisco’s emerging quarterback produced a 58-yard scamper, the longest run by a quarterback in NFL postseason history.
Most won’t remember the run. All the talk after the game was on Sherman’s role in the interception and his postgame comments about the play.
Kaepernick calmly discussed the aftermath of the now infamous moment and backed his teammate in the process.
“I’ll take Crabtree on Sherman any day of the week,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick is looking forward to continuing the rivalry with Seattle in 2014.
“We’re going to come out and play football against you next year,” he said. “It’s a great rivalry for the NFL. It’s going to be a tough game – I think both teams know that going in. I do have a lot of friends on the Seahawks still. When we finished the game, I said, ‘Good job, good luck in the Super Bowl.’
“But at the same time, when we step on the field, we know it’s business.”
Kaepernick was asked about his own personal business - the option of signing a contract extension this offseason.
The 49ers quarterback stressed that he’s leaving that up to his agent to handle. All he can control is his work ethic and ensuring he can lead his teammates to a Super Bowl.
“For me, more importantly, it’s stepping on the field and having my teammates trust and confidence that I’m going to make plays and help our team win games,” he said.
Kaepernick plans on working out in Miami, Fla., and will be down there on Monday to spend time working out at a place recommended by
As for the contract talk, Kaepernick maintained the stance he had on ESPN Radio.
“I’m trying to focus on what I need to do to get ready for next season,” he said.
The most telling comment was on how Kaepernick wanted his potential deal to be fair for all parties involved.
“I think it’s a balance,” Kaepernick said. “You want to be paid fairly for what you feel like you’re doing in comparison to your peers. But at the same time, you have to realize, if we want to get Anquan Boldin back, if we want to get
“That’s something I’m going to let my agent and the organization try and figure out. But hopefully, it’s a position where we can assemble the best team we need.”
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