49ers

Jim Harbaugh defends Colin Kaepernick’s press conference

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh came to the defense of Colin Kaepernick after giving short answers to the media on Wednesday after practice. 

According to Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Harbaugh was vehement in taking up for the signal caller.  

“I saw there was quite a bit of sport made of Colin Kaepernick and people even were tallying his responses. It’s sad, really, because you don’t know him. He’s a determined person, a spiritual person, and a very hard worker and he wants to do well. He works extremely hard at it and get (sic) the honest person when you deal with him.”

Kaepernick was exceptionally brief, even by his own standards, in his first public comments since an embarrassing home loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night. 

Here’s the transcript of the conversation (h/t to David Fucillo of Niners Nation):

How was practice out there? A little wet?

“Good.”

How’s the team coming back, bouncing back right now? Where’s the focus at?

“The Raiders.”

What about you personally?

“The Raiders.”

What do you see in the Raiders as far as what they bring to the table and what you’re seeing on film?

“They’re a good team.”

When you went back and looked at tape from the Seattle game, what struck you about the offense?

“We didn’t play well.”

Why?

“Didn’t execute.”

Any explanation why you didn’t execute?

“Didn’t play well.”

Was it mostly you guys or what Seattle was doing?

“It was us.”

Growing up here in this region, if you could share with us just growing up playing the game, this Raider-49er rivalry, just if you followed it or?

“I was a Packers fan.”

You almost became a Raider, though, back in the draft. How many times did you visit with the Raiders before the draft?

“Once.”

And did you meet with former Raiders owner and general manager Al Davis back then?

“[Former Raiders head coach] Hue [Jackson].”

And what kind of vibe did you get from Hue and knowing how much he would want you?

“A good one.”

Did you work out at the facility there?

“No.”

Did they work you out all?

“No.”

No work out? Just a meet-and-greet?

[Yes].

What’s the confidence like with the team right now? Did Thursday’s loss take its toll on you guys confidence-wise?

“No.” And why is that?

“We know what we have to do. We played bad.”

When you have a game like that, is it one of those things where man you just can’t wait until the next one?

“Yep.”

How are you guys able to compartmentalize all the outside drama and rumors and stories about head coach Jim Harbaugh potentially not being here next year? And not only that, but whether it’s the Raiders, Michigan, different places like that. How are you able to keep that all out of your heads?

“I don’t pay attention.”

Is that hard, though? I mean you guys are human.

“No.”

What do you think about the rumors that are surrounding Harbaugh?

Look at his resume. You’ll get your answer.”

Do you want him to be your head coach next year?

“Yes.”

What are you looking forward to on Sunday?

“Winning.”

Are you curious to see what the black hole is like in person, just being in the Raiders stadium?

“I’ve been there before.”

As a fan or just as exhibition? As a fan?

“Punt, pass and kick.”

How old were you then?

“I don’t remember.”

How did you fare?

“Second and third.”

In what categories?

“Two different years.”

Sorry if you’ve been asked this, I just got here, but TE Vernon Davis, as you probably know, he had 16 catches of over 20 yards last year. He just has one this year. He’s dealt with injuries. Is he physically OK or what’s going on with him and why hasn’t he been as big a part of the offense?

“He’s physically fine.”

Can you put your finger on why he hasn’t been…his numbers are pretty dramatically down?

“Couldn’t tell you.” No idea?

“No.”

Were you about 11 when you did the punt, pass, kick?

“I don’t remember.”

The presser is somewhat laughable at times. He calls the Raiders a “good team” and apparently feels nothing in terms of the Raiders-49ers rivalry despite spending many of his formative years in Northern California.

On Thursday, he struggled in the 19-3 debacle to the tune of 121 yards passing, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and a paltry 55.17 percent completion percentage. It was the worst performance of an already-disappointing season thus far for both he and the team. 

For the head coach’s part, Harbaugh understands the importance of preparation as a former quarterback himself. His public support comes from a position of empathy. He understands what it takes to prepare to compete at the sport’s highest level. If that means one-word answers for an awkward five minutes or so, then so be it. 

The 7-5 49ers will square off against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in the Battle of the Bay. They’re in a de facto playoff situation as they look to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season under Harbaugh. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tony Avelar

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.
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