Kaepernick's 'hot hand' tipped scales, Harbaugh says

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Kaepernick's 'hot hand' tipped scales, Harbaugh says

SANTA CLARA -- Jim Harbaugh made the announcement Wednesday to go with the "hot hand" of second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the 49ers' starter over Alex Smith.

NEWS: Harbaugh going with Kaepernick
Here is some of what Harbaugh had to say about making the decision:Do you have a quarterback announcement?
"Yes, Colin Kaepernick, It's our plan to start Colin, and we're preparing him to make that start this week against the Rams."What's the rationale behind that?
"Well, the rationale is you got two quarterbacks that we feel great about as the starting quarterback. Both have earned it. Both deserve it, and, uh, Alex over a long period of time, Colin by virtue of the last two games. What tips the scales is Colin we believe has the hot hand, and we'll go with Colin. . . And we'll go with Alex. Both are our guys."Do you seek input from the veteran players or was this your decision?
"First of all, I talk to players all the time -- every day, all players, whoever wants to talk with me on any topic. But, yeah, this is one of those decisions you make as the head coach."When you have two guys very capable, would you consider having a bullpen situation, a guy having a bad half or is struggling . .
"No. (I'm not) going to start talking about speculation or every permutation that you could get into. We're not going to speculate on it. We'll worry about everything and fear nothing."Just to clarify, you're saying Colin Kaepernick is the starting quarterback moving forward. It's not a one week thing. . .
"I wouldn't assume anything. I know you probably will, but I'd assume nothing."With a young quarterback like Colin, do you have to be prepared for some bumps in the road?
"Like I said, we worry about everything as a coach. That's a part of my job. But as a coach and as a team, we don't fear any moment or circumstance or other man."Emotionally for you, how difficult was it to make this decision?
"All these decisions are difficult. And you think through them the best you possibly can."How did Alex handle the news?
"Alex is a class act all the way. He'll prepare as he is the starter. And that's what we'd expect, and be ready to go in and play and contribute to this football team."Is it something you see from practice or games from Kaepernick?
"I've seen it both in practice and in games that Colin is playing good. I've seen it both in practice and in games that Alex is a very good player."How did Colin get to become a more accurate passer?
"Like any football player, practice. You don't get to Carnegie Hall without practicing."Have you seen that, too, that his accuracy has improved even since training camp?
"Yeah, he's been improving. He's getting better every single day."How much of that is related to knowing the offense better and just going out and playing without thinking?
"He does a great job studying. It's both. It's physical and it's mental. He does a great job studying."

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.