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January 30, 2014
Kaepernick on final throw: "I don't play this game with fear"


Colin Kaepernick today said if he had just thrown the final pass in the NFC Championship game a foot farther, Michael Crabtree would have caught it and the 49ers, not the Seahawks, would be in the Super Bowl.

"I thought I had put enough on it where it would drop over his head and give Crab a chance," Kaepernick told KNBR radio's Murph & Mac. "... It's always easier to look back and say, I should have put a little more on it. But at that point, I thought I had thrown a good ball."

Kaepernick said if he had the opportunity, he wouldn't do anything differently. "I'm going to take Crabtree every chance I get on a one-on-one matchup," he said.

Even against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who led the NFL in interceptions this season and who tipped the pass allowing it to be picked off? "I wouldn't second-guess that at all," Kaepernick said. "I don't play this game to play with fear - a player, or another team or anyone. To me, I saw the matchup, I liked it, I'm going to take my chance."

Here's Kaepernick on ...

* ... Sherman, who called Crabtree "mediocre" and "sorry" after the game. "I feel like it was a ridiculous statement. I think everyone who saw it knows it was a ridiculous statement. Crabtree's one of the best receivers in the league in my opinion. He's done a lot for our team, a lot for this organization. To me, to have someone try to call him out that way is absurd."

He was more forceful in a separate interview with The New York Post (Kaepernick is making the media rounds at the Super Bowl): "If I throw that ball one foot farther, it's a TD and now you're the goat, Richard Sherman," he said.

* ... why he runs less in the regular season than the postseason: "You have 16 weeks in the regular season where you might not want to take all those hits. There's a lot of chance for injury, a lot of chance you could lose your starting quarterback. So it's something that our offensive coordinator has talked to me about - a lot of our coaches have talked about - as far as, 'Make sure you protect yourself and when we give you those opportunities to run, if you can get out of bounds, get out of bounds. And if not, get down.'"

* ... Joe Montana's advice that he work on pocket passing: "I think pocket passing is something that's overlooked -- as far as what I do in the pocket. I think people see me running around, they see throw on the run and running down field, and (think), that's just what he does. But when you step up in the pocket and make a normal throw, it gets overlooked because I'm not running around." Kaepernick said he would work to improve pocket passing as he does every aspect of his game but that it won't be specifically addressed.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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