SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Still steaming over the Super Bowl loss, Colin Kaepernick packed up his belongings in the 49ers locker room and made plans with teammates to work out this off-season. They won't have to wait long.
Kaepernick said Tuesday that he'll be training in the Atlanta area within a week, and the strong-armed and fleet-footed quarterback will bring some of his receivers along with him. All of it is part of Kaepernick's quick evolution from backup to starter that will continue when he enters training camp as the unquestioned franchise star.
After losing 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans on Sunday, Kaepernick summed up his breakout second season "as not being good enough." He said the Super Bowl loss will stick with him "for the rest of my life."
"It's good to get the experience," Kaepernick said. "We should have won that game regardless, though."
A man of few words and a lot of yards, Kaepernick's potential might give 49ers fans reason to be optimistic more than anything following the first Super Bowl loss in the franchise's storied history.
Kaepernick threw for 1,814 yards and 10 touchdowns with 3 interceptions in the regular season, starting seven games after taking over for Alex Smith, who will likely be traded or released in the coming months to clear salary-cap space. He also ran for 415 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Kaepernick really ran away with his new role in the playoffs, throwing for 798 yards and 4 touchdowns in three postseason games. He also ran for 264 yards and 3 scores, including a quarterback-playoff record 181 yards rushing against Green Bay.
He added only a few more new details on the final, fourth-down play. He said he audibled to the corner fade to Michael Crabtree once Baltimore showed blitz.
Crabtree got tangled up with cornerback Jimmy Smith, and Harbaugh begged and pleaded with officials from the sideline for a flag that never came. Kaepernick remained testy and defiant when questioned about his decision.
"I'll take Crab 1-on-1 with anybody," he said, tersely.