Colin Kaepernick had a few things to say.
In fact, there was a number of noteworthy quotes offered by the San Francisco 49ers quarterback on Wednesday.
Here's the most important ones worth analyzing.
1. "You want to have a high standard, and we do around here. You have to be able to abide by that."The news of defensive tackle Ray McDonald's release was the story of the day. Kaepernick, like the rest of his teammates, learned of the news less than an hour before the team's locker room availability.
Kaepernick called the situation "very unforunate."
Kaepernick learned of the news from coach Jim Harbaugh, who brought the team together to explain the situation and reasons for McDonald's release. Kaepernick said he wasn't angry and that he understood the circumstances involved.
"I understand why the team did what they did," Kaepernick said. "Outside of that, it's really not my business."
2. "Frank (Gore) obviously has been a huge asset to this team. He's been a great player, a great leader on this team, and we want to win as many games as we can for him and everyone."
Will Frank Gore be able to pass the NFL concussion protocol and play this Saturday night against the San Diego Chargers? That's a question 49ers fans and members of San Diego's coaching staff would surely like to know.
Gore's availability will likely be a game-time decision. He told reporters that he's feeling better after suffering a head injury in the first half of last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gore, one of many key veterans heading towards free agency in 2015, is beloved by everyone in San Francisco's locker room. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he foresees a few more seasons left in Gore's 31-year-old body. Will it be an 11th season with the 49ers though?
Kaepernick said he wants to keep winning for Gore and everyone else on the roster. It might not seem like much to outsiders, but finishing the year with a winning record means something to the players. 3. "We want to win as many games as we can, and we have the opportunity to win two more before the season is over, and that's where our mind's at. That's what we're focused on."
The 49ers signal-caller did not pinpoint any specific individual goals for the next two games (San Diego and the Arizona Cardinals). Kaepernick said he only wanted to be victorious in each game.
San Francisco's young passer could have pointed to something more specific here, but that would have opened himself up to analysis on his own self-critiques. Rather than share that publicly, Kaepernick is keeping those cards close to the vest. These two games will surely present opportunities to improve, bur it appears like the upcoming offseason figures to be most paramount in helping his overall game continue to grow.
4. "Part of football is being able to deal with those things and continue to win games despite anything that may come along like that."
San Francisco has placed 15 players on season-ending Injured Reserve, including eight players on offense:
–Wide receivers Kassim Osgood and Chuck Jacobs
–Running back Kendall Hunger
–Tight ends Garrett Celek, Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek
–Center Daniel Kilgore and guard Fouimalo Fonoti
Kaepernick acknowledged how the injuries hampered what was expected to be a Super Bowl-contending season. Desipte the setbacks, Kaepernick said the right things here.
The 49ers will be better served to handle injury setbacks in future seasons, especially with what happened to the tight end position group.