This is still the new Colin Kaepernick. Although the San Francisco 49ers quarterback only completed one pass and was benched in the fourth quarter, he spoke with grace and humility in his post game press conference. The short answers of 2015 are still behind him after what must have felt like a huge blow to his ego and maybe his self confidence.
You could tell that this was tough for him to wrap his head around after having put together a few productive games, even though they were losses. The conditions didn’t help but when opposing QB Matt Barkley was able to put together a touchdown drive at the end of the half, it only made it all look worse.
Here’s the full transcript:
What was the biggest obstacle for you and the passing game today?
Yeah, I think the weather definitely played a factor. We have to be able to do a better job managing that, handling it, being able to throw the ball still.
Was gripping the ball difficult?
Yeah, more than anything it’s tougher throwing a wet football. Once again, it’s something we have to be better at and being able to handle that.
Were you surprised coming out of the game in the 4th quarter?
Yeah, I was surprised. It wasn’t something I was expecting. I’m always prepared and ready to do everything I can to help this team win.
Were you aware that the game plan was to be run heavy early on?
It wasn’t something we talked about, running that much during the game. The weather played a factor in that. Once again, when we get into passing situations, we have to handle that better.
Who told you that you weren’t returning to the game?
Did you make a case to remain in the game?
It’s not my place to really argue on the sideline. I want to make sure I do what I can to help this team win and that was the decision that was made so I’m going to support my teammates.
Is this game a step back in the passing game?
No. We have to continue to keep building, keep progressing. This is a setback most definitely, but we have to continue to keep pushing forward.
There was a report that you’re going to opt out of your contract in 2017. Can you confirm or deny that?
Once again, like I’ve said all along, my focus is on the next game. So my focus has been on the Bears this past week.
Do you feel you will you be starting the next game?
You know, that’s not my decision. My feelings on it really don’t matter at this point. I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure I’m prepared.
Can you talk about your choice to kneel, especially in this stadium which is called Soldier Field?
Yeah, I will continue to do it. This is something, that there are a lot of issues that still need to be addressed. I do think that there is significance being her today, seeing it’s the anniversary of the assassination of chairman Fred Hampton. Being in Chicago, being able to acknowledge a black figure, a black leader like him, is very important and his role in being a leader in this community and bringing this community together is something that need to be acknowledged.
What did the Bears defense do to shut you down?
They made the decision to take the outside run away. They play a lot of man, a lot of cover zero. Once again, that’s something we have to be able to handle.
Do you feel you got a fair chance to throw in this weather?
Once again, its not about my feelings, it’s about being able to help this team win. This coaching staff didn’t feel like I was out there being able to help this team win so they made a change whether I agree with that or not.