Kaepernick’s work has even made waves in the Pacific Northwest.
“I thought he looked great during the stretch in the postseason last year and was really on it,” Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in his conference call with 49ers beat writers.
“He was able to make all the throws that he needed, a lot of downfield throws.”
Carroll was also aware of what San Francisco’s third-year passer accomplished in his first start on NFL's Kickoff Weekend.
Kaepernick posted a career-high 412 passing yards to go with three touchdowns in a fourth-quarter comeback win over the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick beat Green Bay with his running and throwing in a 2012 postseason win. But to start the 2013 season, Kaepernick used his strong arm when the Packers took away his running lanes by crowding the line of scrimmage.
Seahawks Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas, who also spoke on a conference call, noted how Kaepernick can beat defenses when he's given time by throwing downfield or making long runs on scramble plays.
“When you have a guy like that,” Thomas said, “he will put you in a lot of great situations to win.”
Kaepernick will use his growing pocket presence in a key Sunday night primetime matchup in Seattle against the up-and-coming Seahawks, a team that soundly defeated the 49ers at home last season.
Entering Sunday’s NFC West showdown, the 49ers quarterback made waves with the release of an EA Madden commercial highlighting a fictional bet between the team’s signal-callers. In the clip, Kaepernick and Russell Wilson talked about the loser of Sunday’s game having to shave off one eyebrow.
Now that the commercial is public, both quarterbacks have said there’s no truth to the wager.
Truthfully, Kaepernick has bigger things to focus on, like handling the loud home field advantage in Seattle while competing against one of the NFL’s top defensive units.
“You just have to be prepared for it,” Kaepernick said. “You have to be on top of everything that you’re doing.”
Kaepernick will make sure to project his voice when needed. The 49ers will also heavily lean on non-verbal cues. At practice this week, Jim Harbaugh pointed to the use of artificial crowd noise to help the team work on hand signals.
Kaepernick’s last start in Seattle, a 42-13 loss, tied San Francisco’s lowest point total with the athletic quarterback as a starter.
The 49ers dual-threat remains motivated from it.
“We played bad that game,” Kaepernick said. “We’re going up there to try to prove that’s not who we are.”
Kaepernick has plenty on his mind heading into a key divisional contest. The non-existent eyebrow bet is not one of those things.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Kaepernick said. “I’m worried about getting the win.”
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