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Jim Harbaugh Puzzled by Kaepernick Critics

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Jim Harbaugh does not agree with the critics of San Francisco's third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Jim Harbaugh does not agree with the critics of San Francisco's third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

While members of the media question Kaepernick’s recent production, Harbaugh does not.

Asked about Kaepernick’s perceived play puzzling fans and those scribes, pundits and so-called experts alike, the 49ers coach disagreed with such an opinion.

“I think he’s doing a heck of a job,” Harbaugh said of his first ever offensive draft selection. “I guess I’d be puzzled to why people would think that. What’s most important is what we see. I’m puzzled to why you or anybody else thinks that.”

Kaepernick has an 81.8 quarterback rating through 10 games this season. The athletic passer has completed 141 of 251 passes for 1,802 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Kaepernick has been more pocket-oriented in 2013, but he still has 335 rushing yards, second-most on the 49ers.

RGIII Compares to Kaepernick

Harbaugh, the ultimate player’s coach, has had Kaepernick’s back throughout his first full year as a starter. Although the 49ers are 6-4, Harbaugh has given Kaepernick game balls for his steady performances and has praised his work ethic and leadership at various times of the year.

Coming off a two-losing streak, however, the flowery praise from the outside world has come to a standstill. People want to know how Kaepernick will respond to the team’s second, two-game skid this season. They want to know how the 49ers quarterback and offense will function at a higher rate, including getting in and out of the huddle faster to avoid burning timeouts in the first three quarters of games.

Harbaugh was asked about Kaepernick’s voice in offensive meetings and speaking up on how to better handle the team's in-game offensive management. The 49ers coach mentioned that Kaepernick was wise enough to not dive into the scheme-talk.

“I don’t have a great desire to talk about it outside of our meeting rooms either,” Harbaugh said.

Like quarterback, like coach.

Harbaugh noted that Kaepernick’s weekly preparation hasn’t changed. Despite having the league’s No. 32 passing attack, the 49ers coach remains positive on his quarterback’s development and weekly focus.

“He’s been consistently good,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been like that every week he’s been backup or a starter.”

For his part, Kaepernick has maintained that his approach is the same way it was in 2012 when Kaepernick took over the starting reigns and led the 49ers to the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl.

“I was trying to be a perfectionist last year, the same way I am this year,” Kaepernick said.

So while the mud-slinging continues on the doorstep of San Francisco’s offensive meetings, the members of those discussions are not hearing the words of outsiders.

Behavior-wise, Kaepernick is leading the effort.

“Colin’s always been A-plus in that way,” Harbaugh said.


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