Harbaugh has dream-like visions of playing the game like
“I’ve said it before,” Harbaugh noted on Wednesday, “sometimes I dream about football and that’s how I look in some of those dreams, the way that he plays.”
Harbaugh repeatedly praised his third-year quarterback two days before the 49ers face the team’s former starter, Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.
In particular, Harbaugh noted how Kaepernick has become more hands-on entering his first full year as San Francisco’s starter.
The 49ers coach went as far as to say Kaepernick is becoming “very expert” in running the offensive system.
“He’s becoming the type of player that studies the gameplan, studies the ready list, studies our practice tape, studies our opponent tape,” Harbaugh detailed. “He’s somebody that contributes to the gameplan and formulates ideas, asks questions, knows what everybody on the offense is doing and getting very good at understanding defenses and what they’re trying to accomplish and what their adjustments are.
“(He’s) still evolving and looking for ways to get better in areas he can continue to learn. It’s not something that’s finite. He continues to grow. He’s always eager to learn. He’s always eager to understand and eager to have input as well.”
In particular, much of Harbaugh’s admiration stemmed from Kaepernick’s ability to reach his personal goals.
Prior to the 2012 season, the 49ers coach had his players write down three personal goals. Harbaugh recently looked back on Kaepernick’s aspirations and noted that he was close to reaching all of them.
When Kaepernick was asked about his goals, San Francisco’s emerging play-maker revealed that he missed the mark on No. 3, winning the Super Bowl.
Even so, Kaepernick is focused on reaching new heights in his third season with the 49ers. That being said, Kaepernick isn’t oblivious to his opponents devising new ways to slow his production.
“I think if you’re wearing an opposing jersey you’re a target,” Kaepernick said.
For now, the 49ers quarterback can only focus on getting better in practice and using the preseason to prepare for his 11th career start on Sept. 8 against the Green Bay Packers.
Despite the recent attention that comes along with offseason award show appearances and a cover story in GQ Magazine, Kaepernick is all about football.
“Great experiences, had a lot of fun with them, but we’re focused on football now,” he said.
The 49ers quarterback is very much like his coach. Football is always the most important thing.
When Harbaugh was asked if the two were twin-like in having the same mindset, all he could do was let out a chuckle.
“I take that as a compliment,” Harbaugh said.
The 49ers coach he has a quarterback who dreams to succeed and has Kaepernick’s hand-written goals to back it up.
“There’s something special there in terms of what drives him,” Harbaugh said. “He lives in one of those worlds where he’s motivated for success and for achievement, not satisfied no matter how good it is and I think there are people who come along like that.
“I relate to that.”