SANTA CLARA, Calif. - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being asked to handle things a little differently in 2015, he said Wednesday.
"I would say the biggest thing, I'm being asked to be myself this year," Kaepernick said. "I don't think anyone knows how to be myself better than me. So, it's a comfort zone for me. It's a situation where I'm not being asked to do things outside my character."
Of course, Kaepernick is coming off a season in 2014 where the offense didn't perform well, playing a role in the organization parting with then-head coach Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers' 8-8 finish was their worst since 2010, before Harbaugh arrived.
The line of questioning to Kaepernick stemmed from new head coach Jim Tomsula saying, "What I see is, because we're not asking for the same things. It's not the same. There's really not things to compare to, what we're asking him to do, what he's been asked to do any other year."
Through two games, Kaepernick is completing 69.4 percent of his throws, which would be a career best, well ahead of his previous mark in 2012 when he connected on 62.4 percent of his passes en route to a Super Bowl appearance.
Initially, Kaepernick Wednesday was asked about his improved play on the field after having one of the best statistical performances of his career against the Steelers, when he notched 335 yards passing on 33 of 46 completions with a pair of touchdowns.
But he seemed to veer into a different direction, by saying he's not "being asked to do things outside my character."
Did Kaepernick feel like he was asked to do things outside of his character previously?
"Outside how I would normally handle situations, yeah," Kaepernick replied.
When asked to elaborate with specifics, Kaepernick said: "No, I'm getting at that was I asked to do things outside my character." And then he walked off the stage, declining to answer any more questions.
On the field, the work Kaepernick did in the offseason appears to be paying off.
The 49ers enter Sunday's game in Arizona with the league's fourth-ranked offense after compiling 804 total yards through two games. Aside from a botched hand-off attempt dropped by Carlos Hyde in Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh, Kaepernick has not turned the ball over this year, after throwing 10 interceptions and losing five fumbles in 2014.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has noticed the improved nuances to Kaepernick's game.
"I think he’s progressed as a quarterback, that’s obvious," Arians said. "When he’s in the pocket going across his progressions, hit footwork. He’s put a lot of work into it. That’s obvious to me as a quarterbacks coach. Applaud him for that. They do what he likes to do. He has progressed as a pocket passer."
It's unlikely Kaepernick will provide more context to his statements about the past, leaving the rest of us to guess at what he was getting at before leaving the interview session.
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
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