San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick met with the media on Monday prior to the team's departure back to the Bay Area. As we've seen with his other preseason press conferences, he seemingly is a little more open, or at least a little more willing to put up with the questions. It could just be a preseason thing, but he seems a bit more friendly with the press. He can choose to be however he wants, but I do wonder if his people talked to him about the way he presents himself to the media during these press conferences. You can watch the full video HERE.
He talked about the practices the 49ers have had with the Ravens, and the new looks they provide. But one of my favorite comments was what he said about Aldon Smith. He mentioned how Joe Staley would come back to the huddle during camp and say he is not really sure how to attack Aldon. If I had to pick one battle to watch in camp, that might be it. You've got one of the best left tackles in the game facing off against one of the best pass rushing linebackers in the game. That would be all kinds of fun.
What are your impressions of the Baltimore Ravens defense? What kind of defense do they have this year?
"They have a lot of great players over there. Obviously, their front is always very good. Great disguise team, a lot of different blitzes, a lot of different looks. I think they're going to be a very successful team.
Over these past three days, what do you think has been the greatest takeaway that you've had from these practices?
"I think just the opportunity to get better. The competition level is higher. You're going against people that you're not going to be playing with on Sunday, so you get different looks, you get different players, you get different techniques from them. So, you have to pick up all those things in practice like you would in a game."
Can you expand on the disguise element of their defense at times, just at times with, maybe some examples of, ‘Oh, I didn't see that coming, or'?
"Well they have, similar to our defense, they'll give you a lot of different looks, they'll show you a lot of different things to try and make you think one thing and then bring another thing. Whether they're showing something coming off the weak side and then bring it strong or vice versa, they do a lot of different things to try to mess with your mind as a quarterback and as an offense."
Do your opponents that you're going to face this year, do they, do the Seattle Seahawks for example, do similar things and were you able to kind of grow from this session to kind of help you in the regular season?
"I think the Seahawks are a little more straightforward defense. They play what they play and they do it well. The Ravens have a lot of great players and they utilize them in a lot of different ways. It's really apples and oranges the styles of the two defenses."
Other teams that are on your schedule this year, do they do similar things to what the Ravens do?
"It changes year-to-year what defense do and how they try to play you. Last year, we got a lot of looks from defenses that they hadn't even shown on film. You really have to prepare with what you know and then be ready for anything during the game."
How was it to work with Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco? You did a commercial with him. Did you get a chance to catch up with him a little bit today, this week? And just overall impressions of him as a player?
"Yeah. Got to talk to him a little bit. Real calm. He's always just calm, mellow. Good dude. I like him as a quarterback. He just sits back there and he picks people apart. Throws a great deep ball, which I'm a fan of homerun balls. Just happy to see him again. It was good catching up."
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said that it was very productive, there were no complaints from any of the players. That being said, some anxiousness to get back home from being away for six days after a game?
"Yeah, you're always more comfortable being at home, being around things that you're used to seeing. But I think this was good for us to come out here and get this competition and get this work in."
Was there a part of you that kind of dreaded coming out here considering the Super Bowl and having that kind of being reminded on a three-day basis?
"No. You have to move on from that. At this point, that's two years ago. We're focused on this season and getting better and trying to win a Super Bowl this year. This is the best way for us to get better, so we came out here, we practiced and tried to get ourselves better and the Ravens better."
How dramatic was it to look over across the line of scrimmage? You don't see former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. They've changed a lot since that game.
"They have changed a lot. Different players, different faces but they still have a lot of the core guys that they had from [Baltimore Ravens NT] Haloti [Ngata] to [Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell] Suggs. They have a very solid front seven, which, in football you're going to go pretty far if you have that."
You and Joe both have really big arms. After seeing him up close and personally, who throws harder?
"I'm always going to vote for myself on that one. But, I think he has the most relaxed throw that comes out hot. He just looks effortless when's he throwing the ball and he might drop it 70 yards."
Do you guys talk about football tips or anything like that? Or is it more just casual conversation?
"Well, we were split most of the week back-and-forth. So, it was hard to talk during practice. When we saw each other around it was more just casual talk, catching up. Even being around [Baltimore Ravens QB] Tyrod [Taylor], who I've worked out with for three years in the offseason. It's just catching up, seeing how they've been."
Did you leave here thinking that you took a major step with one of your targets during this period? It seemed like WR Stevie Johnson and you hooked up a lot that first day. Do you feel better about the chemistry with anybody in particular that you've developed?
"I don't think there's anyone in particular. I think we've had pretty good chemistry throughout. I think he just had more opportunities as far as play-calling and what the defense was giving us to get him the ball. A lot of times our defense had been taking them away. I think part of that was just the scheme we were getting, but at the same time he's a great receiver and we got a few more balls his way."
LB Aldon Smith said he never came to training camp in better shape and people seem to be impressed with the way he's playing. Does it look like he's gotten better to you?
"He's a freak of nature out there. When you have [T] Joe Staley come back to the huddle during training camp and is like, ‘I'm really not sure how to try to attack him. I just have to try to slow him down'. So you really can't block him. That's a good thing to know when you're on offense and he's on defense for you. But he's looked great. He's done a lot of good things, he's in great shape and he's been playing well."
What have you seen from TE Vernon Davis this camp?
"A lot of speed. He looks faster than ever. Been running really clean routes. Been mentally on top of everything and I think everyone's happy with what he's doing right now."
There was a botched exchange between you and C Daniel Kilgore today, which was the first one I've seen in training camp. How has that chemistry going with you and your new center?
"Well, that one got tipped by a running back in the gun. He's been great. We haven't had any missed exchanges. I worked my whole first rookie year with him. It's something that we just had to get back in the routine. I don't think we've had any problems. I think he's been doing well. He's been mentally on top of things. We just have to keep getting better."
What's it like to practice against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs?
"I just like talking to him. I like messing with him. He's a high-energy guy. He's always working. He's always going to be talking a little bit. I like that. You have to have that on a football field."
Did you give it right back to him?
Were you surprised by how friendly these practices were? Or at least how friendly they appeared?
"Yeah, I think once we got the first walkthrough out of the way and everybody kind of got their feet wet, we knew we were here to try to get better and it wasn't, ‘We're going to try to fight you guys,' or anything like that. We're both trying to get better as a team and make sure we're prepared for this season. Hopefully, we see them during the season because if we do, it's in the Super Bowl."