Quarterback Colin Kaepernick offered his most vocal support for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and disputed the suggestion the team’s window is closing during a national TV interview that aired Sunday morning.
Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers is in serious doubt due to his relationships with CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke. Reports of dysfunction within the organization surfaced early in the season. But Kaepernick said he does not believe Harbaugh’s situation has been a distraction to the players.
“I think we have great confidence in coach Harbaugh and this staff and everything we’re doing to make sure this team is prepared for Sundays,” Kaepernick said during an interview with ESPN's Jim Trotter. “Things haven’t gone as smoothly as the last three seasons, so people start panicking and criticizing.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers LB Bowman, DT Dorsey placed on injured reserve]
“But at the end of the day, if you told a team you were going to have a four-year run and have a Super Bowl appearance and (three) NFC Championship game appearances and the fourth season you might be so-so and you’ll have a chance to get into the playoffs again, there are a lot of organizations that would say, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
Kaepernick added, “So do we have the right to be criticized for some of the things we’ve done? Yes. We haven’t played our best football. But at the same time, you have to look at what coach Harbaugh and his staff have done in the grand scheme of things.”
The 49ers are 7-6 and could be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and a Detroit Lions victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers-Seahawks Matchup No. 1: Kaepernick vs. Sherman]
When asked if the 49ers’ window is closing, Kaepernick answered, “Not a chance.”
“(There are) too many players on this team that can make plays, (and) too many players that are working hard and too many coaches who are doing the same thing,” Kaepernick added. “Ultimately, everyone’s goal is to keep winning. And I don’t think anyone’s opinion outside of this organization is going to change what we do here.”