Editor’s note: Read Insider Matt Maiocco’s reports from the UK all week long as the 49ers gear up for their Week 8 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London
HERTFORDSHIRE, England -- Coach Jim Harbaugh found a “football oasis” tucked among the rolling hills of the British countryside.
And quarterback Colin Kaepernick found his own private sanctuary among the masses of crowded London, approximately 20 miles to the south of where the 49ers are living and practicing most of this week.
Kaepernick and some of his teammates ventured into the capital city of England on Tuesday – the players’ day off – for some sightseeing and shopping along the River Thames.
“We had a good time out there yesterday and got to see a few things,” Kaepernick said Wednesday, just prior to the 49ers beginning on-field preparations to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
When asked if he got noticed, Kaepernick answered, “A couple people, but for the most part it was peaceful. It was nice.”
It’s been a while, he said, since he has enjoyed a “peaceful” experience in the Bay Area.
“I don’t try any more,” Kaepernick said.
And that is saying something. Kaepernick is not easily influenced by the actions of others.
Before Kaepernick stepped to the lectern to take questions during his weekly press conference, an NFL official asked a member of the 49ers’ public-relations staff to get Kaepernick to remove the pink headphones from around his neck.
Kaepernick declined. The act does not subject Kaepernick to an NFL fine. He was asked to remove his Beats to appear more professional and respectful in front of the international media.
But Kaepernick and the 49ers are not changing how they go about things this week as they prepare for Sunday’s game. They are acting as if they are back at home -- with rooms set up for weightlifting, treatment and film study.
“It feels like we’re adjusted,” Kaepernick said. “It feels like I’m adjusted. It feels like a normal week now. We’re back to our routine.”
The 49ers put on their pads Wednesday for their first full practice of the week on a field on the grounds of The Grove, a luxury resort and spa. Since arriving Monday afternoon after their 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans, the 49ers' coaching staff immediately got down to preparing for its next game.
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In that sense, there has not been a big adjustment in playing the organization’s second game in London in four seasons as part of the NFL’s International Series. And Harbaugh's sees this as an opportunity to isolate on team-building and football.
“I really thought two percent would be a good goal – if we could improve two percent as a football team this week,” Harbaugh said. “I underestimated that. I think we might be able to get three percent, four percent, maybe even, five percent better with the surrounding we have here and the accommodations here.
“This is a football oasis. I’m really excited about that. So that’s what we’re attacking.”