If Colin Kaepernick was using the last week and a half to gather his thoughts after San Francisco’s loss to Seattle in the NFC Championship game, I’d say the time was well spent.
The usually terse 49ers quarterback spoke at length and was on point during a series of interviews Thursday, three days before the start of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” Kaepernick sounded off on Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, saying his verbal attack against 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree at the end of Seattle’s 23-17 win over San Francisco was “ridiculous. … But if that’s what you need to do to make yourself feel like a better player, you have to tell everyone, I’m the best corner in the league, go ahead and tell them.”
Kaepernick reiterated himself at the Super Bowl media center in Midtown Manhattan and went a step further. He told Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post that he would take the matchup between Crabtree and Sherman “any day,” and that Sherman is “afraid” of the 49ers receivers.
“That’s something I look forward to (exploiting) next year,” Kaepernick continued.
In an interview with San Francisco radio station KNBR, Kaepernick was asked to discuss a possible new contract. He has one year left on his rookie deal.
Once again Kaepernick said everything 49ers fans would want to hear.
“I think it’s a balance. You want to be paid fairly for what you feel like you’re doing in comparison to your peers. But at the same time, you have to realize, if we want to get Anquan Boldin back, if we want Donte Whitner to come back, we’re going to have to make moves to get them back. And there has to be room for everyone. And that’s something I’m going to let my agent and the organization try to figure out. But hopefully, it’s a position where we can assemble the best team we need.”
As if his day wasn’t busy enough, Kaepernick did an interview with ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in the evening and continued taking the blame for his team not being in action this week. Kaepernick of course was picked off in the final minute of the NFC Championship game. His pass intended for Crabtree was tipped by Sherman and intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith in the Seattle endzone.
“If I throw that ball one foot farther, it’s a TD, and now you’re the goat, Richard Sherman,” Kaepernick said, according to ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson.
At this time I’d like to remind all of us that Kaepernick is 26 years old and has yet to play full two seasons as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Clearly his maturity is on pace with his blossoming talent.
His remarks against Sherman were a little, well, Sherman-esque, even though Sherman himself implied his tirade was ridiculous by apologizing for it. But Kaepernick’s support for Crabtree and his willingness to take less money for the sake of retaining the team’s core talent were spot on.
Kaepernick is a true team leader.