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Kaepernick Looks to Bounce Back

Posted Sep 19, 2013

Colin Kaepernick is a perfect 5-0 when starting at Candlestick Park.

There’s no place like home for Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco’s third-year quarterback is a perfect 5-0 at home as a starter in the regular season and postseason combined. At Candlestick Park, he’s completed 94-of-144 passes for 1,379 yards with nine touchdowns, one interception and has a quarterback rating of 114.3.

Kaepernick’s statistics at home are especially important as he heads into a Week 3 matchup against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Kaepernick is coming off a four-turnover road performance against the Seattle Seahawks and his first multi-interception game in 12 starts in the NFL. The 49ers signal-caller completed 13-of-28 passes for 127 yards with three interceptions. He also lost a fumble in the 29-3 loss. Kaepernick carried the ball nine times for a team-high 87 yards, but was sacked three times.

It was Kaepernick’s lowest single-game passer rating and the first time the 49ers failed to score an offensive touchdown with him as a starter.

Two of the people who know Kaepernick best, his offensive coordinator and starting center, both say they’ve seen no change in the approach of the quarterback entering a key home game.

“Same as he is every week,” said Greg Roman, San Francisco’s third-year play caller. “Colin is a guy who doesn’t get on the emotional roller coaster. He doesn’t take the sucker’s bet. He understands the NFL season is one ripe with great highs, and hopefully a few lows, but they’re inevitable and it’s how you work through them and when you have great success or just the opposite, it’s all about pretty much remaining level headed and the same.”

Kaepernick continued his early arrivals to the 49ers training facility this week, including spending time on the player’s day off on Monday.

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Jonathan Goodwin, the man responsible for snapping the ball to the 49ers quarterback, sees a determined player heading into Week 3.

“He seems like the same Kap to me,” Goodwin said. “He’s had his head up all week. He’s practicing just as hard, focusing just as hard. He’s been the same in every aspect.”

Kaepernick has shown no signs of letting last week’s loss carry into his preparation for the Colts. Roman commended his quarterback’s poise in leading the 49ers offense.

In Roman’s eyes, stressful moments don’t seem to rattle Kaepernick.

“I think it comes naturally to him to approach it that way,” the creative coordinator said. “He doesn’t panic.”

Command of the huddle is also a key to Kaepernick’s development. Even in hard times, Roman saw his quarterback continue to battle through adversity last week.

“He’s a smart guy, very good competitor, wouldn’t want anybody else at quarterback,” Roman said. “I think those things evolve over time but I think he’s ahead of most guys at his stage. He does a good job with it.

“I don’t think he gets flustered very much. I think Colin handles himself very well.”

Roman noted that the 49ers quarterback has made smart decisions when running with the football. Kaepernick leads the 49ers through two games with 109 rushing yards.

For offensive linemen like Goodwin, seeing the quarterback scramble brings up a mixed bag of emotions.

“Sometimes when he’s running it might mean someone missed a block,” Goodwin said. “But if he can make plays with his feet that’s always a plus. It’s one of those things were sometimes you’re happy and sometimes you’re not happy about it.”

San Francisco faces an Indianapolis defense that allowed 112 rushing yards at home to mobile Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor in Week 1.

Kaepernick could be in line for a big rushing day if the Colts have similar defensive breakdowns like the ones they experienced in a season-opening home win.

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For his part, Kaepernick will continue to use good fundamentals when running with the football. That also includes being smart about avoiding unnecessary hits.

“There are some parameters we talk to him about,” Roman said. “I think he’s got pretty good instincts there. … He’s got a real good sense on how to end the play, so to speak.”

So while Kaepernick is focused on getting back to work with his very same workman-like approach, the biggest key for the 49ers quarterback against the Colts boils down to a very basic idea, staying focused on this week's task.

What does Kaepernick need to do to respond from last week’s defeat?

“Play better,” he said.

The 49ers quarterback and offensive captain isn’t alone in feeling that way. The entire team has moved on from the result in Seattle.

“We all want to win every game we play, but unfortunately you’re going to have some games where you lose by one, you’re going to have some games where you lose by a lot,” fellow co-captain Patrick Willis said. “In our case, we lost last week. We’ve got to be ready to play each game. It’s always about being better the next than you were the week before. That game is over with and our focus is on the Colts and winning.”