Conference Call: 49ers Head Coach Harbaugh and QB Kaepernick

Posted Nov 28, 2012

49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh – Conference Call – November 28, 2012
(On if QB Colin Kaepernick has been named the starter)
“Yes. Our plan will be to prepare Colin for the start against the Rams this weekend, yes.”
(On what factors led to his decision to start Kaepernick)
“The factors are that we have two really good quarterbacks – two starting quarterbacks. Both have earned that, both deserve that, Alex over a long period of time and Colin over the last three games. Feel like Colin has the hot hand right now and that’s the way we’ll proceed.”
(On Kaepernick’s maturity and leadership on the field as a young quarterback)
“He has a demeanor, I believe, that’s been both the same in practice and in games – how he prepares, how he operates in the huddle, at the line of scrimmage. I see it being very good in practice and very good in games.”
(On if he drafted Kaepernick as a work in progress considering he came to the game of football late and what went into his decision to draft him)
“Don’t really go back to the past or relive all the lists of things that we liked about the players that we’ve drafted and I believe that everybody’s a work in progress. Not always when you come out of college do you want to admit that, but all football players get better by playing football and Colin, it’s important to him. He works very hard at it and he has been improving as a football player.”
(On if he would consider this game against the Rams as a continuation from their last game)
“That’s an interesting way to look at it and probably some people would think there’s some merit to it. I think it’s just new business. That game is finished business and this game coming up is new business. Great challenge for our football team. We must prepare well this week. We must travel well. We must be ready to come in and play our best because we have great respect for what the Rams are capable of doing.”
(On if he would have liked to continue playing the last game against the Rams or any tie game just to get a winner and a loser)
“No, I’m not adamant about that. You can win, you can lose, you can tie. The game finished in a tie and now that’s finished business and we move on to new business.”
(On what he liked about his last two games that proved to be thorough and impressive victories)
“Liked that they were thorough and impressive victories.”
(On LB Aldon Smith and how he has improved since last year)
“He’s a full-time player now, where last year he made a huge impact in nickel situations, which was maybe 60-40, 50-50 of the plays that we had defensively. And now he’s made the big stride of being a full-time player and he’s acquitting himself extremely well.”
(On if Aldon Smith’s comfort with the system as time has gone on and his ability to handle more has contributed to his play)
“Yes. Absolutely, that’s a factor.”
(On DT Justin Smith, what he’s doing differently compared to past years and how his game has improved)
“Well, it’s the consistently great Justin Smith. I believe everybody should have a Justin Smith. He is a football player and I consider our team lucky to have the great Justin Smith on our team.”
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick – Conference Call – November 28, 2012
(On being named the starting quarterback and how it feels to get the controversy off the table for now)
“It feels good that Coach (Harbaugh) has confidence in me going out there. Just excited to get on the field.”
(On making his first long appearance against the Rams and what that experience was like)
“It felt good to be out there. I’ve been looking forward to getting on the field at some point and to be back out on the field, it just felt great. It felt like I was back in my comfort zone.”
(On what his relationship is like with QB Alex Smith right now)
“We have a great relationship. Our relationship hasn’t changed and we try to help each other out as much as we can.”
(On the challenges associated with facing the Rams again so quickly)
“You have their scheme fresh in your mind. You get a little bit of a refresher, so things come back to you pretty quick. But, at the same time the same thing happens for them, so we’re going to have to be prepared.”
(On if his appearance last game against the Rams contributes to his comfort level going into Sunday)
 “I think the comfort comes more from just being comfortable with our playbook, watching film and just getting comfortable with what the defense is going to be trying to throw at you.”
(On choosing to play football over baseball when he was transitioning to the collegiate level)
“There’s something about football that you just don’t get from any other sport. I don’t know if it’s the adrenaline rush, the camaraderie that you have with your teammates. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something that just draws me to football.”
(On what he thinks is the best part of his game)
“I think the best part of my game is my mental game. Just knowing what the defense is going to do and what we want to do on offense versus that.”
(On how much the game plan changes with RB Kendall Hunter being played on the injured reserve list)
“We have a lot of great running backs, so I don’t think things will change too much. We have a lot of guys that can step in and make plays just like Kendall did. Obviously, Kendall’s a great player, you don’t want to see him go down, but we have people that can step in.”
(On if it was helpful to sit and learn in his rookie season instead of being thrown in right away)
“Yes, it helps you get more comfortable with the playbook. Just your confidence goes up from being in the offense for a little while.”
(On what the biggest advantage was sitting out for over a year and being the backup quarterback)
“I think the biggest thing is just being comfortable with what your offense is doing and getting used to seeing NFL defenses.”
(On the challenges the Rams defense present)
“They have a great pass rush. They have a lot of players out there that can make plays, so that’s something we’re going to have to be ready for. They’re going to come. They’re a hard-hitting team. They’re very physical, so we have to be ready.”