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  • JEFF CHIU / Associated Press

    Colin Kaepernick speaks to reporters at the 49ers' training facility in Santa Clara on Tuesday. He said he will start training for next season next week in Atlanta.

  • Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

    Michael Crabtree cleans out his locker. He was the target for three straight incompletions on the 49ers' final drive Sunday. Some of his teammates wondered why no runs were called on those downs.

49ers' Kaepernick is still steamed after Super Bowl loss

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 - 7:25 am

SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick hasn't been exactly loquacious since becoming the 49ers' starting quarterback, but his answers were more clipped than usual Tuesday.

How will he remember this season's 49ers?

"As not being good enough," Kaepernick said.

What kinds of thoughts go through his mind about next year?

"Winning."

How long will the Super Bowl loss bother him?

"For the rest of my life."

Kaepernick still was simmering and on edge after cleaning out his locker Tuesday. Wide receiver Kyle Williams said Kaepernick already was maniacal when it came to offseason training, so having a Super Bowl title within his grasp will boost that intensity level a few more degrees.

Kaepernick said he will start training next week in Atlanta, where he prepared for the scouting combine and the draft in 2011.

"You guys have to realize he was that way before he had anything," Williams said. "Now being right there and having it that close and not being able to get it – this man's going to go crazy in the weight room, he's going to go crazy on the field, he's going to get us right, he's going to get all of us together.

"And he's going to be able to display how much of a leader he is."

For the second year in a row, the 49ers go into the offseason fueled by a bitter, last-minute loss.

A year ago, the focus was on Williams' two punt-return flubs in the NFC Championship Game, the second of which set up the New York Giants' decisive field goal in overtime.

This year, the most dissected plays have been the three incompletions Kaepernick threw to Michael Crabtree from the 5-yard line on the team's final drive Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Some 49ers players have wondered why they didn't run on one of those downs.

The Ravens were missing Pro Bowl defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, out with a knee injury at that point, and had allowed 129 rushing yards in the second half, including a 33-yard gain by Frank Gore that had given the 49ers the ball near the end zone.

After the game, tackle Joe Staley said he wished the 49ers had run at the goal line, and Tuesday, other players said they had talked about the same thing while dissecting the loss.

Coach Jim Harbaugh, too, said he wished he could go back and change the calls.

"Knowing how it ended up, how it finished, we didn't get the ball in – yeah, would've liked to have tried a different play call, a different scenario," Harbaugh said. "That's the way I always feel. If you do something and it doesn't work, yeah, would've liked to have done something different, at least tried it. But you can't."

Harbaugh said it was useless to second-guess. "The would've, could've, should've is undefeated," he said. "That's never failed."

On fourth down, Kaepernick threw a fade pass that was beyond Crabtree's grasp after the wide receiver was held up by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith.

The Ravens blitzed up the middle and played "cover zero," meaning the defensive backs were locked in close, man-to-man coverage and there were no safeties to double-cover the 49ers' receivers.

The 49ers didn't have a play called for that scenario, Kaepernick said, so he audibled the throw to Crabtree, who had a game-high 109 receiving yards, including a 31-yard touchdown.

Said Kaepernick, "I'll take Crab one-on-one with anybody."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



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