Colin Kaepernick insisted Wednesday he’s not worried about his job security and that his confidence level is at maximum capacity.
But just to make sure, coach Jim Tomsula met with the 49ers’ starting quarterback this week to gauge whether the bad memories from his four-interception outing against Arizona had caused him to play too tentatively against Green Bay and second-guess his throws.
“That was something we hit head on,” Tomsula said Wednesday. “… If you are, stop. Can’t have it. Can’t play that way. And to me, it goes to having the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Said Kaepernick: “Yeah, it was a conversation we had. And (he) said, ‘Hey, just play to win; if something happens it happens. But we have to go out and make sure we’re making plays.’ ”
Kaepernick’s confidence has become a top 49ers talking point this week after his second consecutive anemic performance, one in which he tried hard to avoid turnovers and in so doing made throws that were uncatchable for anyone.
He threw four interceptions and finished with a career-low 16.7 passer rating against the Cardinals. Against the Packers, his passer rating was 55.4 and the 49ers only managed to score one field goal.
During his weekly news conference, Kaepernick acknowledged his mistake-filled outing against Arizona was on his mind the following week.
“I put our team in a bad situation in the Arizona game,” he said. “I wasn’t going to allow that to happen again. It cost us (Sunday), but that’s something I will correct moving forward.”
Tomsula’s mission this week appears to be to re-inflate his sagging quarterback. He reaffirmed that Kaepernick is the starter and was adamant the decision is not influenced by anyone in the front office.
“I do not have to clear that with anyone,” he said. “It is 100 percent my decision.”
Tomsula said that inserting Blaine Gabbert into the lineup would start “a whole lot of things that I believe run wild.”
“I want a confident man, full-bore ahead at that position,” he continued. “I believe it’s critical. And I believe in the quarterback. I believe in Colin Kaepernick.”
Kaepernick, meanwhile, did his best to project an air of confidence.
When asked if he needed to take a step back and take a “mental health day” to clear his mind of his back-to-back bad outings, the quarterback seemed amused by the notion.
“Well, mental health for me is doing everything I can to help this team win,” he said. “Sitting around, not doing anything isn’t something I’ve been too big on since I was young.”
Instead he said he would attack the problem with hard work, including going over game film, meeting with coaches and talking with his receivers, two of whom – Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith – were visibly upset during Sunday’s clunker.
The 49ers made it an offseason priority to build up Gabbert in case Kaepernick, who is running more this season, got hurt. Gabbert responded with a far better preseason than he had a year ago.
At the same time, it’s been noted in print, on television and on sports talk radio this week that the 49ers drew up their contract with Kaepernick so that they could get out of it every year by April 1 with relative ease.
How does Kaepernick deal with concerns about his future with the team?
“I don’t play for job security,” he said. “Whether football’s here or not, I will be fine. I go out, I play to win. I’m not worried about job security when I step in this building.”