While some 49ers are (justifiably) spending time with their families and recuperating from the rigors of a 2012 campaign that fell just short, others are already back to work. That list includes quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is training alongside 49er wideouts Chad Hall and Ricardo Lockette at CES Performance outside Atlanta.
When Kaepernick burst onto the scene midway through 2012, observers marveled at his physical gifts. More importantly, they were awe-struck by the young quarterback's verteran-esque leadership and poise in the spotlight. Yes, Kaepernick took two quarters to settle in at the Super Bowl, but that can hold true for any quarterback, at any age.
As a budding superstar playing the NFL's most glamorous position, Kaepernick has to deal with the pressures of becoming an overnight celebrity—television spots, "Kaepernicking", book deals, a plethora of public appearances, the list goes on and on. With so much pressure and so many distractions piled up on his plate in such a short span of time, it would be easy to understand if things "got too big" for Kaepernick. It would also be understandable if he was at least mildly content with reaching the Super Bowl in his first season (and merely his tenth game) as a starter...
But Kaepernick's not content. Nor is he complacent. Nor is he distracted. Nor is he dwelling on 2012's shortcoming.
Instead, he's back to work in Georgia—getting stronger and faster, and forging chemistry with his young wide receivers. News like this should thrill 49ers brass and fans alike. All too often, athletes of Kaepernick's stature/caliber fall victim to the pitfalls of stardom and rely solely on their physical abilities to get by.
Kaepernick, on the other hand, is declining invitations to the Grammy's and Oscar's in favor of doing what it takes to improve upon last season. His work ethic and unflappable focus represent a razor-sharp competitive edge and maturity beyond his years. They also signal that he has the ever-important "it" factor—the unyielding desire to win, to be great—a quality that is palpably contagious to teammates. This was apparent last season when a veteran team swiftly rallied behind Kaepernick in his new role as commander-in-chief, catapulting an explosive offense to the league's biggest game. And while it's easy to rest on one's laurels, it takes a special person to strive for further greatness...for the great ones are never satisfied.
Following Super Bowl XLVII, the young quarterback was asked how he'll remember the 2012 season. His response? "As not being good enough." But as the old adage goes, "actions speak louder than words."
Right now, few are speaking as loudly as Kaepernick.
Date: July 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Comment: The only reason the 9ers were even close to winning the superbowl was due to the very extended power outage that allowed the 9ers to reset themselves and the coaches to adjust their game plan so they could get back into the game. If the power hadn't gone out the game wouldn't have even been close. Power outage caused momentum swing in 9ers favor.
Date: July 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Comment: I'm still laughing at dude calling Kaep a "tatted up chollo" with 2 Ls lol.....ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I applaud Kaepernick for recognizing that regardless of how much gas he's being fed he knows that last year was an appetizer...he's out there working for the whole meal. Let's hope the team follows him down that path of hard work.
Great article man....glad i stumbled across it.
Date: June 8, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Comment: As a Bay Area transplant to Seattle, my allegiance is split--but that gives me 2 to 1 odds that "my" team wins it all. That out of the way, I would like to compliment all of you for very decent commentary on a solid article--not much in the way of flames. Keep it that way--it reminds why I like the Bay Area so much. Stay smart!
By: Martin Pickup
Date: May 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM
Comment: I was going to read the Kaepernick article when I stumbled across your article at the bottom, Top 20 Greatest SportsCenter Anchors Ever - with a picture of Linda Cohn on it.
After glancing that I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere.
Date: May 9, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Comment: I think it's hilarious that everyone is so hyped on this guy... Say what you want about his inexperience, and that being the reason why they couldn't get 7 YARDS IN 4 TRIES AT THE FRICKIN SUPERBOWL!!!! That final drive will haunt this tatted up chollo for his whole career. As a Ravens fan, you will not win a Superbowl, as long as Russell Wilson is the QB of the Seattle Seahawks. They are a complete team from top to bottom; no weaknesses. The 49ERS sport the highest paid defense in the league, and they're aging quickly. Questions are at CB, Safety, a true number 1 & 2 reciever, DE when Justin Smith retires after this year, along with an aging offensive line. . I understand optimism, but good lord people; be realistic.
Date: May 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM
Comment: Hi I have been whatching kap when he was in high school he is a grate kid when all his freind were out partying after there games he was at home are geting ready for next week when he went to nevada i said wow i would of play baseball if i was him but he has proved me wrong so anything he dos dont surprise me keep it up bud
Date: May 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM
Comment: Good article. Hope next year is even better for the Niners.
And, JC, "Our future's so bright..." was written and recorded by Timbuk3, not the Cowboy Junkies. One of my favorite songs, so I have to make sure it gets proper credit ;)
Date: April 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM
Comment: Nice story. To paraphrase the Cowboy Junkies, 'Our future's so bright, we have to wear shades.' This guy is incredible. While there's no question Alex came into a mess and made the most of a bad situation (and Niner fans everywhere owe him for that) fact is, he's way too talented to back up here or anywhere, so good for him to move on.
Date: February 22, 2013 at 6:22 AM
Comment: It's refreshing that this young man hasn't followed the footsteps of some of his peers around the league who after experiencing some success just seem to immerse themselves in their "greatness" and forget how difficult it is to sustain. He (Kaep) doesn't have much choice though, fair or not the bar for a San Francisco QB is set high and the spotlight is just gonna get brighter. The coaching staff needs to temper their enthusiasm for the passing game and maintain a balance with the run not just for Kaeps sake, but for the D as well. As great as our D was, I could tie the struggles as well as the injuries to the increased time the D was on the field when Kaep took the starting job.
By: R Guerrero
Date: February 22, 2013 at 2:10 AM
Comment: The 49ers really need a couple of situational pass rushers who can spell Brooks and McDonald at different times during the game in the same way A. Smith did last year. During the 49er's Super Bowl wins, they always had 8 or 9 D-Linemen that would rotate in and out and always stay fresh. The D-Line of Smith, Smith, Brooks, and McDonald are great when they're fresh. It was clear that they were gassed at the end of the year and that showed up in the lack of pass rush in the playoffs. If you give them 15-20 plays off during the course of every game, you'll see a huge benefit at the end of games and in the playoffs.
Date: February 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM
Comment: Nice read and yes, in the Niner Empire there's a lot of hope i this kid but we all know that Alex Smith will go to somewhere else wich means that we'll need a new backup QB and he needs to be similar to Kaep but with experience.........so..........who can be that guy?
Date: February 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM
Comment: Nice article Steve like yourself I am thouroughly impreesed with Kaeps drive. Jason and Paul A, I'm not sure why you all have doubts about Kaepernick. Also to say that Alex Smiths game is even comparable to Kaep has me question if you were actually following the 2012 season closely. in only 10 games Kaepernick turned a run first offense into an aerial force to be reckon with. Although I'm still a true believer of the "run down your throat" method, KAEPS NUMBERS DON'T LIE. The kid is the truth! Once he is able improve his ability to scramble inside the pocket (like Russell Wilson) instead of rolling out to one side you all will see. Funny hearing fans speak on how Alex is a better QB then Kaep.....smh. Remember one knows how to keep a lead (Alex) the other knows how to make a comeback (Kaep). No defense fears Alex Smith when their team is up 2 touchdowns. I can't say the same about Kaepernick (aka Randal Cunningham reborn).
Date: February 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM
Comment: People slow down. Kaepernick is not a world beater and he still not an elite Qb as yet. Too early to speculate that his better then most of the great Qb out there. Most of the games the 9er's win last season was beacuse of the 9er's defense. Alex Smith would have probably done better in the Sb with his years of experienced.
By: Paul A
Date: February 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM
I don't know if Kaepernick is a great QB or not . The Jury is still out on that one. But any way you look at it, the 300 yds and 29 points were not enough to win. Any thing else is wishful thinking.
By: Paul A
Date: February 20, 2013 at 3:46 PM
Comment: Sports is about the defining moment. That is what sets apart winners from losers. When the moment arrives, winners grab hold of the opponents throat and end the game. I have watched the SB more times than I want to admit and every time I watch, the moment arrives and the 9ers lose. You can blame the defense or special teams or even the coaches, but Kaepernick was on the field, all he had to do was grab and he missed. So please stop with the reframe that he did not lose the game because neither did he win the game. He missed the moment!
Date: February 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM
Comment: Slow down people. Your talking as if Kaepernick is the next Joe Montana or an American Idol winner. Before you all commit to seeing him part water, lets see if this continues next season. And lets see if/when the 9er make the Superbowl and win.
Everyone seems to blame the defense for the Superbowl loss, but I clearly remember everyone blaming Smith for not scoring enough points in last years Giants loss. Why does that same standard not apply for Kap? A hint, the media is so in love with Kap he can do no wrong.
Date: February 19, 2013 at 7:09 PM
Comment: Lack of pressure was definitely telling during the playoffs for the 9ers. As good as Ahmad Brooks is at containing the edge, he's just as less impressive as turning the corner. They need a speed rusher off the edge. Also, the 9ers could use Henry Melton or Randy Starks to bring pressure up the middle.
Date: February 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM
Comment: Kaep didn't play his best in the 1st half of the SB, but he didn't play that badly either. In the 2nd half he was great. The game was really lost by our Defense giving up 34 points. We won all our other SBs with stingy defenses which shut down some excellent QBs (Anderson, Marino Elway). What should have been our strength in SB 47 was a glaring weakness and must be addressed in the off season.
Date: February 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM
Comment: When did AJ Jenkins arrive?