Joe Montana on Colin Kaepernick: 'Let Him Be Himself'

Colin Kaepernick told reporters on Sept. 23 that he's approaching the game differently in 2015.

"I would say the biggest thing is I'm being asked to be myself this year," the San Francisco 49ers signal-caller began, "and I don't think anyone knows how to be myself better than me. So it's a comfort zone for me. It's a situation where I'm not being asked to do things outside of my character."

That line of thinking was recently applauded by none other than Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

When asked to share his advice to San Francisco's current quarterback, Montana said on NFL Network's "NFL HQ" that Kaepernick should stick to what he does best.

"I would tell him to get to the coaches and say, 'Look, I'm here because this is what I did in college and my first year I was here you let me do it. Now because I'm making a lot more money, you're trying to keep me in the pocket, you're trying to make me do things,'" Montana said on set.

Kaepernick has completed 62.9 percent of his passes this season season for 989 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. Such is the case with being a quarterback in a 49ers uniform, Kaepernick's performance is a weekly hot-button topic. It made sense for Montana to add his commentary to the subject.

The legendary quarterback offered his opinions on what will help Kaepernick best continue his development. Mostly, Montana said Kaepernick should be allowed to play to his strengths.

"The timing is different," Montana said of being a pocket-passer. "The ball has to come out of your hand and guys – not just Colin but you look at guys with big, strong arms, they want to wait until the last minute.

"When we talk about touch and things, those are the things that are different from those guys because when they run their offense, they're outside and they're usually throwing to guys who are pretty open. Let him do it. He's big. Tell him just protect yourself but you have to get him back to doing the things he's comfortable with doing."

Kaepernick is second on the 49ers with 218 rushing yards on 36 attempts. However, he is coming off a loss to the New York Giants when he rushed the ball a season-low three times. In that game, Kaepernick played primarily under center. The major offensive adjustment played a role in the 49ers quarterback completing 23 of 35 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.

"Let him do the things that he does well," Montana concluded. "He'll take that team back and get it winning again, but you can't force him to do something and make him start thinking and then everybody questions every throw he makes.

"Let him be himself. That's what I would tell him. Tell those guys you want to be Colin Kaepernick, the guy you drafted and who you let me be the first year I was here."

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