Colin Kaepernick says he’ll ‘always be a fan’ of Jim Harbaugh
Colin Kaepernick reflected on the end of his NFL relationship with head coach Jim Harbaugh, saying that Harbaugh made him better “not only as a quarterback, but as a person.”
Jim Harbaugh is leaving the San Francisco 49ers after months of reports that he was butting heads with the front office and, at times, his players. None of that animosity has been made public in the hours since his final press conference with team, however. On the contrary, players have been overwhelmingly thankful, and perhaps none more so than quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The fortunes of Harbaugh and Kaepernick have been linked since Harbaugh made the decision to start the second-year quarterback over Alex Smith in 2012. Kaepernick credited much of his success to his coach during his post game comments.
“He’s done numerous things for me, not only as a quarterback, but as a person,” Kaepernick said. “I think he’s not only a great coach, but a great person and that’s what he preaches to the team. Go out, give everything you have to your team, but make sure you’re taking care of your family and you’re taking care of your teammates and those are the things that are important.”
Harbaugh’s influence made Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals that much sweeter, according to Kaepernick.
“I think it was huge,” Kaepernick said. “A lot of us have been with coach Harbaugh since he’s been here. And the players that were here before him saw how he turned things around and turned this organization back into a winning one. It’s tough to let that go, but at the same time, we have to keep moving forward as players because our careers keep going on.”
Kaepernick faces an uncertain future. He enjoyed an incredible breakout campaign, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl as one of the brightest stars among the NFL’s recent crop of dual-threat quarterbacks. In relation, Kaepernick’s 2014 season was dismal, and rather baffling. His 98.3 passer rating in 2012 fell to to 85.9 in 2014. He threw 10 interceptions after throwing a combined 11 in 2012 and 2013, and the 49ers missed the playoffs for the first time under Harbaugh.
Whoever inherits the 49ers will have the difficult task of rejuvenating Kaepernick’s career. As for Harbaugh, he’ll be taking on an entirely different challenge as the expected new head coach at the University of Michigan.
Kaepernick said he will be rooting for Harbaugh going forward … mostly.
“I’ll always be a fan of coach Harbaugh,” Kaepernick said. “Not too sure about Michigan though.”