Analysis: Jed York, Colin Kaepernick Breathed New Life Into Niners
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports) — You assembled what some would call the strongest front office in the NFL, hiring a first-time general manager in Trent Baalke and nabbing a big-fish head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was widely sought after in the pro and college ranks. With that tandem you came one play from winning a Super Bowl last February in New Orleans, and, during Super Bowl week, managed to further reconnect the York and DeBartolo families, while also mending fissures with some San Francisco 49ers greats from their dynasty days.
Make no mistake, the rebirth of the 49ers is a decidedly Jed York creation, and given the dynamic manner in which he has led this ascent, there is every reason to believe that York’s ultimate vision for a franchise that once again wins multiple Super Bowls will one day come true.
“It’s really all Jed,” said Paraag Marathe, the 49ers Chief Operating Officer and someone who works very closely with York. “He deserves a ton of credit. Everything we’ve achieved, this is all his vision. He’s just got the ‘It’ factor. He just sort of always has a great pulse on what’s coming next, and the other thing is he doesn’t get flustered. He’s always calm despite how bad things might get.”
READ MORE from CBS Sports on why York is the 49ers’ secret to returning to greatness.
And then there’s Colin Kaepernick – now a bonafide American celebrity, a condition hardly entirely enviable in which people naval-gaze about the cultural connotations of your tattoos, chronicle your every public move and deconstruct your wardrobe in idiotic fashion.
When you are a Super Bowl quarterback within a half season of becoming an NFL starter, when you play the position in a dynamic manner in which few ever have and begin to grace the covers of magazines, you immediately sacrifice a normalcy you once took for granted. Kaepernick, 25, isn’t seeking any of this – he really just wants to win football games, but in the post Super Bowl haze this is what life has become, and part of adapting to life the past few months has required coming to grips with his new-found fame.
“My expectations are to lead this team, to perform well, to perform to the best of my ability,” he said. “Anything short of that isn’t being successful. For me, I put a lot of hard work and preparation in to make sure I’m ready for the season… I’m very excited, I think a lot of people don’t really see the big picture of our offense. I think our offense realizes that, and it’s to the point where we want to show people what we’re capable of and prove we’re not a one-trick horse.”
READ MORE from CBS Sports on Kaepernick’s elevated status and why he could be in for a big season.
(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)