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Morning Tailgate: Kaepernick Respects Earl Thomas

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Colin Kaepernick outlined what makes the Seattle Seahawks a quality opponent in Week 14.

Colin Kaepernick respects his Week 14 opponent.

“Very physical, very fast," the 49ers quarterback said of the Seattle Seahawks, a defensive unit that sacked Kaepernick three times back in Week 2.

San Francisco's signal-caller recognizes the importance of Sunday's divisional game, but didn't want to make it bigger than any other regular season game.

“It means you’re going to go out and play hard to win," the third-year pro said of the key to playing in a rivalry game. "You’re going to do that every week.”

So while the football world is hyping up the pending battle between the 49ers and Seahawks, Kaepernick chooses to keep it business as usual.

“For me, they’re another team in our path to where we want to go," he said.

Kaepernick has been studying Seattle's No. 1 ranked overall defense all week. In particular, he noted how much he respects what he's seen from free safety Earl Thomas.

“He’s a ball hawk, has great speed, can make a lot of plays back there,” Kaepernick said of Thomas.

The 49ers quarterback was intercepted a career-high three times in the Week 2 road loss to Seattle. Thomas was one of the three defenders to intercept Kaepernick, who has yet to have a multi-interception game since.

This week, howeever, San Francisco's homefield advantage should help Kaepernick. He won't have to deal with stadium noise on offense.

“Home field advantage is always a big thing," Kaepernick said. "You get to use your cadence. You get to use a lot of different audibles that you can’t use if you can’t hear on the road.”

Kaepernick is ready for whatever happens on Sunday. He knows one thing, the game will be rough.

When asked to describe the rivalry in one word, Kaepernick replied, “Physical."

"I think that’s the best word to describe it,” he added.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today's edition of the Morning Tailgate, presented by State Farm.

Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com detailed Justin Smith's bullrushing efforts and Jim Harbaugh's praise of Russell Wilson.

Scott Kegley of 49ers.com discussed Alex Boone's "savage" play.

Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com previewed Sunday's 49ers-Seahawks clash.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News looked at the coaches involved in the matchup.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offered a rundown on the injury report.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com provided a Pro Bowl voting update.

Janie McCauley of the Associated Presschecked in with second-year guard Joe Looney.



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