SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) When it comes to any outside chatter questioning Colin Kaepernick’s support system in his own locker room, coach Jim Tomsula hardly expects that would have been generated within team headquarters from management or players.
”That would be an absolute concern but I don’t address those things,” Tomsula said Wednesday. ”I don’t know where they come from. I don’t believe it’s coming from here.”
And Kaepernick certainly would like to think nobody is making him a scapegoat and placing blame for all the struggles.
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”I really hope not. For me, I give everything I can to this organization, I give everything I can to my teammates to try to help us win and to try to help us be better moving forward,” Kaepernick said. ”I have a great relationship with my teammates and I’ll leave it at that.”
Tomsula figures part of the constant criticism of Kaepernick just comes with the territory for a team that is 2-5 with a struggling offense, but ”any of that stuff’s counterproductive.”
FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer reported Sunday that Kaepernick is ”just alone, on an island in that locker room. There’s not a lot of people he connects with. Confidence-wise he’s just buried right now.”
”First of all, our locker room is straight … Kap isn’t on a damn island,” wideout Torrey Smith responded.
Kaepernick’s latest forgettable performance came in a 20-3 loss to the rival Seahawks last Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium, and San Francisco now heads to St. Louis this weekend. Kaepernick went 13 of 24 for 124 yards with a 68.8 passer rating against Seattle while taking six more sacks. He had X-rays after the game for a swollen thumb.
”My relationship with my teammates is great. That’s all I’m worried about,” Kaepernick said. ”What the perspective is outside the locker room really has nothing to do with me or this team. … To me that’s a situation that I don’t know what the agenda is saying that or what the credibility of that source is.”
Tomsula has stressed better communication from everybody, including his quarterback.
”That was one of the things we talked about as a team, communicating, everybody, not just him, all of us in the communication side of things,” Tomsula said of a team meeting earlier this month. ”If something’s on your mind there’s a way to talk about things and go.”
Tomsula hasn’t observed any problems in the locker room.
”I think I’m a guy that’s in the locker room more than most coaches. … We’re 2-5, here it comes, here comes all the stuff. That’s the business, that’s where we’re at. But I don’t see it.”
San Francisco managed just 55 yards in the first half and finished with 142, fewer than the 164 the Niners managed in last year’s Thanksgiving night loss to Seattle and their worst total since 133 yards against the Vikings on Nov. 5, 2006.
Kaepernick was seen interacting with fellow quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Dylan Thompson – two people he regularly eats lunch with along with offensive linemen Alex Boone and Joe Staley – in the locker room Wednesday before hitting the showers.
”This whole team sees Kap on an everyday basis, we see him 15 hours a day in meetings,” Gabbert said. ”Unless those stories are coming from in here they’re false. They don’t have any reason to be spread. I think people are just trying to find something that’s causing turmoil within this team, but the rumors don’t need to be spread, they’re not true. That’s really all there is to say about it.”
Tomsula is most concerned about getting his entire team on track. He spent time during the extended weekend break evaluating his roster.
One strategy Tomsula has gone to in order to improve communication is to turn off the music during some practice periods to force players and coaches to speak to one another rather than rely on hand signals.
”What happens, the frustration thing. I felt a frustration there. We all do, I’m not going to lie about it,” Tomsula said. ”We had a tough stretch there and you get frustrated. What I don’t want is all that pent up then we start having boom, boom, boom. So I want to be in front of that before anything comes up in that way.”
Notes: S Antoine Bethea, on injured reserve after getting hurt against Seattle, underwent surgery at Stanford on his torn pectoral muscle.
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