SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick made his first public comments Friday afternoon following getting benched as the 49ers' starting quarterback on Monday.
Here's what he had to say:
What was the conversation like on Monday when you found out that the coach had made a decision?
"They told me they were going to sit me. And that was about the extent of the conversation."
Did you ask why or were there any reasons given?
"That decision is out of my control, and I left it at that. I respect their authority."
Jim Tomsula said on Wednesday it was to give you an opportunity to breathe, to take a step back and re-focus. Do you think you needed that opportunity?
"I'm not out of breath, so I don't understand that reference."
I think he meant mentally, to give you a break from all the pressure that's been building up. Do you feel that was building up inside of you?
"No, I don't believe in pressure. Pressure is not being prepared for what you want to do. To me, I've played full seasons and been successful. It's something mentally I've been through before. I'm not incapable of going through things."
Has this been a hard week for you to go out, knowing you're not the starter?
"No. To me, that's selfish to put that on myself and take away from my teammates and take away from Blaine (Gabbert). I'll support my teammates, I'll support Blaine and everything they do because they've been good to me."
A year-and-a-half ago you had a press conference where you talked about signing a team-friendly deal to try to get some of your other teammates signed. Do you feel like the team reciprocated, held up your end of the bargain?
"That's not something for me to say. I just try to do my part to help this organization, help this team, and do everything I can to help us be successful."
Geep Chyrst was saying yesterday that you simply don't have the same supporting cast like you did in 2012. What's your take on that? Do you feel like this is as good a team as the Super Bowl squad?
"We have a very different team that we did then. We have a lot of veterans, a lot of very experienced players that had been through a lot of different things and had been through a lot of struggles. So when they stepped on the field, it was with a passion that they didn't want to go back to where they were at before. And that's something, we haven't faced those struggles as a team until now. We have a lot of young players."
It seems like a lot guys on this team are under-performing but, yet, you're the first person that's been taken out of the lineup or benched because of it. Do you feel like you're being made the scapegoat for this 2-6 season?
"I don't pass judgment on that. I do everything I can to help this team win, try to support my teammates and try to go out and help us get a 'W' on Sundays."
When you look back on the past eight games, are there certain instances or moments you thought you could've played better?
"Yeah, there are always times you think you can play better. Even in wins, there are things you can do better. I haven't seen a quarterback play a perfect game, yet. So I'm very critical of myself. I'm very critical of what I feel I can do to help this team. And just that's kind of what it is."
Are you spending more time going back and looking at some film from earlier this season instead of game-planning for Atlanta?
"No, I'm still game-planning for Atlanta, still mentally focused and locked in."
Geep said he thought when you came in, in 2012, you were a young guy trying to make plays but this year the mentality is you don't want to make mistakes. Is that an accurate assessment?
"No, I don't believe that's accurate. Every time I step on the field, I step on the field to make plays. So that's just a matter of opinion."