San Francisco 49ers

Word play: Congenial Kaepernick goes deep in media session

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) stands with offensive tackle Alex Boone (75) after being sacked by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. The Raiders won 24-13.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) stands with offensive tackle Alex Boone (75) after being sacked by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. The Raiders won 24-13. AP

Let's not get carried away: Colin Kaepernick couldn't be described as long-winded in his weekly session with reporters today.

But it was clear the 49ers quarterback made an effort to improve his interview demeanor, which last week drew national scrutiny and criticism for its brevity. Today's session lasted 9:15 and, as evidence of a more congenial Kaepernick, even included praise for rival Richard Sherman.

“He's fast, he's long,” Kaepernick said of the Seahawks cornerback. “He does a great job covering guys. He makes the windows very small for being able to get the ball into receivers.”

A week after he responded to 32 questions with 87 words of answers, Kaepernick said “a few people let me know” that his clipped responses had been picked up – and picked on – nationwide. That includes general manager Trent Baalke, who said on 95.7 radio that he had addressed Kaepernick's media sessions with the quarterback.

“I think there’s a different way to go about things,” Kaepernick said. “Obviously it’s something that I take my job very seriously. And when I go out there and compete and don’t do well at something, I’m very hard on myself about. It’s something I have to be able to approach others differently with when I’m in those situations.”

Kaepernick is coming off two of the roughest outing in his career. Has he been too hard on himself following those games?

“I don't think I can be too hard on myself. I have high expectations for everything I do,” he said. “And when I go out and compete, I expect to make every play. And when I don't, it is frustrating for myself. To me, it's something where I have to use that frustration in a different way to make sure I'm productive when I'm out there.”

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine and smiles from the 49ers quarterback. Asked about the image of Sherman and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson munching on turkey legs on the 49ers field on Thanksgiving night, Kaepernick had a brief and direct reply.

“It's not something I was necessarily happy about,” he said.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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