Colin Kaepernick's Week 2 press conference featured many notable quotes.
The upcoming road contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers was put into proper perspective from the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.
Here are four comments that jumped out, plus added context on why the words were worth added examination.
1. "I haven't seen anything quite like that from him."
Add Kaepernick to the growing list of Pierre Garçon spin-move admirers.
The 49ers signal-caller was asked about the running back's open-field move which led to a 10-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football." Kaepernick, who reversed course to lead Hyde into the end zone, said it was an amazing play by the second-year back making his first NFL start.
"He got us that first touchdown and really got us the momentum for the rest of the game," Kaepernick said.
Going into Week 2, Kaepernick said Hyde, the FedEx Ground Player of the Week winner, would play his part in the team's offensive scheme.
"He's not someone that's asking for the ball," Kaepernick said of Hyde, who finished the game with a league-leading 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns. "He wants to play within the offense."
- "If I went over and tried to play rugby, I'd probably be lost."
San Francisco's 27-year-old rookie running back, Jarryd Hayne, is making a transition that most NFL athletes rarely ever attempt, playing a new sport. The popular Australian athlete's first NFL game did feature a teachable moment in the form of a fumbled punt, but Kaepernick and his teammates have been impressed with Hayne's ability to adapt to professional football.
"He's come leaps and bounds," Kaepernick said. "It's really hard to describe because it's such a unique situation. So him coming over, being able to pick up football and the schemes that we have and what we're trying to ask him to do in such a short period of time has really been amazing."
Kaepernick noted that Hayne's blitz recognition is another reason teammates have noticed his rapid development.
"He's on top of it," the quarterback said. "He doesn't miss blitzes. Everything he's seeing, he's seeing the same way that I am, the coaches are and the rest of the running backs are. So that's really a credit to his ability to pick up on things and learn a completely new thing."
In addition to his running back reps, Hayne will continue to compete with Bruce Ellington to be the team's punt returner against the Steelers. Reggie Bush, another player in the mix for the return job, did not practice on Thursday due to a calf injury.
- "It was something he deserved. He's the one that's really kind of pulled everything together..."
Kaepernick had good reason to present Jim Tomsula a game ball following Monday night's 20-3 win over the Vikings.
San Francisco's starter made it a point to speak up and deliver the gift after Tomsula finished his postgame speech. Kaepernick said he felt like it was the right thing to do.
"(He) set the tone for this team as far as the mentality and the vibe that's going to be in this building," Kaepernick added. "And I think that showed Week 1."
The 49ers will return to Tomsula's hometown this week, but that's not something being stressed by the coaching staff. Tomsula, the Western Pennsylvania native who grew up 7.8 miles away from Heinz Field, has downplayed his homecoming to the media and to his players.
Kaepernick echoed the team's stance.
"It's another week of preparation as usual," the quarterback said. "For us, we're going to stay on our routine. We're going to make sure we're handling our business."
4. "If you're not healthy and you can't play, you can't help this team win."
When asked about Tomsula's emphasis on players taking advantage of body regeneration throughout the week, Kaepernick agreed that the entire roster has benefitted from state-of-the-art facilities inside of Levi's® Stadium. Tomsula's conscious approach of not overworking veterans also paid off prior to Week 1. The team went into the Minnesota Vikings game with an injury-free roster. Entering Week 2, Bush stands as the only question mark to play. The healthy state of the team all goes back to how Tomsula has reiterated players staying fresh throughout the week.
"It's something that coaches constantly talk to us about," Kaepernick said. "If you're not healthy and you can't play, you can't help this team win. And you're here for a reason, to help this team win.
"Taking caring of your body is a huge aspect of that because you have six days to get your body back to 100 percent or as close as you can."