Colin Kaepernick is ready to bounce back.
After the St. Louis Rams handed Kaepernick his first NFL loss as the 49ers starting quarterback in Week 13, the second-year signal-caller has his first chance answer adversity on Sunday against Miami.
Humble and soft-spoken as usual, Kaepernick addressed a large media gathering in the 49ers locker room on Wednesday. Asked what it’s like to receive his fourth straight start, Kaepernick simply said, “It feels good.”
The 49ers have gone 2-1 with Kaepernick as the starter following Alex Smith’s concussion in Week 10. Regardless of who’s under center, Pro Bowl tackle Joe Staley said the team is always supportive of the team’s leader on offense.
“Colin’s our quarterback and I support him 100 percent,” Staley said. “The whole team is behind him and we want to see him do well, and do everything we can to help him succeed and help the team succeed.
Kaepernick totaled a career-best 84 rushing yards on nine attempts Sunday, thanks in large part to a 50-yard, fourth-quarter run. Kaepernick showed off his long strides as he glided down the right sideline on the long pickup, getting big blocks from Bruce Miller, Frank Gore and Randy Moss along the way.
What’s even more impressive about Kaepernick’s scramble? It was the result of improvisation on a broken passing play.
“That’s the thing that he can do – he can make plays with his feet when plays break down,” Staley said. “He’s a great playmaker, great competitor and we’re happy to have him back there.”
Aside from his skills as a runner, Kaepernick is also pleased with the way he’s progressing in the pocket.
“For the most part, I felt my reads were good,” Kaepernick said. “Got through progressions well and that’s something I want to continue to do moving forward.”
While the 49ers ultimately lost 16-13 in overtime, Kaepernick led the 49ers on a field goal drive with less than four minutes left in the game. Had Greg Zuerlein not made a pair of late field goals in regulation and the extra period, we might be talking about three straight wins for Kaepernick.
“He made plays and he gave us a chance to win,” Staley said. “He made great checks at the line of scrimmage. He was facing some pressure – we have to do a better job of picking up the blitzes – but I thought he made plays with his feet.”
Kaepernick isn’t in this alone. Following the tough defeat, Kaepernick said he received plenty of encouragement from his teammates and coaches.
“The biggest thing was just move on and get ready for next week,” Kaepernick said. “They said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re a team. We’ll win as a team, lose as a team and we’ll get ready for Miami.’”
The Dolphins enter Sunday’s contest with the No. 11 scoring defense in the NFL, giving up an average of 20.8 points per game. Miami has proven to be stingier against the run this year (ranked No. 8, 97.7 yards per game) than the pass (No. 27, 257.7 yards per game), but Kaepernick knows the Dolphins are talented after reviewing tape on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Their front seven. They have a great pass rush,” Kaepernick said of Miami’s strengths. “They’re very good against the run. That’s something we’re going to have to prepare for.”
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley
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