Harbaugh Convinced Kaepernick Will Improve

Niners coach says his QB 'wants to be great' and will continue to do whatever it takes to be better than he was in 2012

By Doug Williams
|  Thursday, Mar 21, 2013  |  Updated 10:25 AM PDT
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49ers Super Bowl Media Day in New Orleans

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Niners Head coach Jim Harbaugh (left) believes QB Colin Kaepernick won't be satisfied with what he did in 2012. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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For a head coach in the NFL, there are always concerns, and that’s certainly the case with the 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh.

After coming up a few points short in the Super Bowl, Harbaugh is eager this offseason to help his team improve.

But one thing Harbaugh says he’s not concerned about in the least is the drive of his young quarterback to get better.

Though Colin Kaepernick had a breakout season in 2012, Harbaugh expects him to work harder than ever toward 2013.

When Harbaugh, attending the NFL meetings in Arizona this week, was asked by the NFL Network about whether he’s concerned that perhaps Kaepernick will take it easier now that he’s earned the starting job and won acclaim for his play, Harbaugh scoffed at the idea.

“Ha, because I know him,” Harbaugh said, according to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “Ha, ha. I know him. Satisfied is a word that confuses him, that confuses us, just knowing who he is.

“The neat thing about Colin is he loves the game and wants to be great, and he wants to be great and it’s not self-centered. It’s about the team. Everything when you watch him train, work out or study the game, you see that love of the game driving him, and it makes him better.”

Though Kaepernick has made the usual offseason rounds of a Super Bowl quarterback – making TV appearances, doing charity work and meeting First Lady Michelle Obama – he’s also spent a good deal of time working out with receivers in Atlanta, including the 49ers’ A.J. Jenkins and Ricardo Lockette.

On Monday, it was obvious Kaepernick was still focused on offseason improvement, tweeting: “While everyone else worries about what I do I simply keep my head down and stay on my grind!”

Kyle Sammons, a former Nevada receiver who caught passes from Kaepernick in college, is now the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach and says Kaepernick is “the most competitive guy I have ever been around.”

He says that Kaepernick already has shown amazing progress in the NFL in two seasons and expects more of the same.

“I think the sky’s the limit for Colin because he’s always trying to get better,” Sammons told the Marin Independent Journal in February. “He always wants to make himself better as a quarterback. When he first came into the NFL, they said passing was his weak point. Now it’s his strong point. He can definitely be a Pro Bowl player and I wouldn’t be surprised if he even became a Hall of Famer.”

One of Kaepernick’s new teammates, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, met with the Bay Area media on Wednesday and said he’s eager to get to work knowing Kaepernick and developing a rapport with him this offseason. Boldin says he’s now talked to him several times over the phone.

“I’m excited to get to work with him,” Boldin told reporters. “A special kid, smart guy, very athletic. For me, hopefully I can help him grow as a quarterback.”

 

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