He’s a man a few words and many big plays on the football field. Colin Kaepernick isn’t one for talking for the sake of talking. His words are meant to be precise. They are meant to deliver. There’s no wasted motion.
This is also how the San Francisco 49ers third-year quarterback operates on the field. He’s direct. To the point. And he makes people watch every minute of it. In just 10 starts, Kaepernick captivated the football world while leading the 49ers to the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl appearance. The dual-threat quarterback is itching to get back on the field in the ultimate competitive arena – stadiums on Sundays in the National Football League.
After taking one week off following the February defeat, Kaepernick attacked the offseason the same way he approaches each week’s opponent – with no mercy. The 49ers quarterback got faster, put on more muscle and mastered every nuance of the playbook. Kaepernick leads by example and his teammates follow.
No longer the backup, Kaepernick is the one to rally the offense. He encourages members of the defense and he’s the team’s spark-plug in the locker room, weight room and on the field.
SEE: INFOGRAPHIC - COLIN KAEPERNICK
It’s Kaepernick’s team. But he’s not taking it for granted. He’s taking action. Not talking about it, but being about it.
Hours before the final exhibition game of 2013, Gameday caught up with the face of the franchise in the back of “Bus 2,” making its way to the airport for a final tune-up in San Diego. Wearing a backwards red snap-back cap, Kaepernick took off his black over-sized headphones, sat up in his seat and discussed his rise to stardom, celebrity encounters, charity work and aspirations on and off the field.
The man of few words is a man of many actions.
Here’s the conversation.
I would probably say Bo Jackson. We had a chance to talk about a lot of different things. He was always one of my favorite athletes.
You open up your first full year as a starter against Green Bay, a team you grew up rooting for and a team you beat as the youngest 49ers quarterback to start a playoff game. How do you view the opportunity to face them again on Opening Day?
I treat it the same as last season when we played them. You treat them like another opponent.
In the playoff game you broke the NFL’s single-game rushing record by a quarterback, beating a mark previously held by Michael Vick, how does that accomplishment rank in your football career?
I don’t worry about records like that. The only thing I can worry about is trying to win games.
The way you prepare for games is certainly noticed by teammates and coaches – what’s one thing you have to accomplish every day, something that’s become a standard of your preparation?
It’s not one thing, it’s everything. From meetings to workouts to practice, you constantly have to be on top of everything in order to improve.
Before you get ready for a game, what pregame music are you listening to?
Everything, mostly rap music. But it changes every week.
Off the field you’re known for being a sneaker head, so how many pairs of kicks do you currently own?
I probably have about 300 pairs.
What if something happened to your collection? Say your house catches on fire and you can only save three pairs – which three are you rushing to keep safe?
Hmm… I would grab my “He Got Game's” (Jordan 13s), probably my LeBron (10) Corks and my Versace's.
You’ve been active in raising money for Camp Taylor throughout your time with the 49ers – last year’s golf tournament raised more than 200k for the charity. Why is the cause so important to you?
Any chance I have to talk about it or build it up, I’m going to. It’s a great cause. A lot of people don’t know too much about helping children with heart defects, but I think more people are starting to become aware of it the more they realize how good of a cause it is.
Who is your biggest role model in life?
They do everything for me. They make sure I’m still the same person I’ve been since I was little.
If you could choose any athlete to meet, who would it be?
So this is probably a good time to put the word out and get LeBron to come to a 49ers game?
Yeah, that would be great.
You plan on rocking the beard all year, or is that a training camp/preseason thing?
I have no idea.
Would you say James Harden is inspiring that look?
(Laughs)… A little bit.
Is there anything you want the fans to know about this coming year?