Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has written the story San Francisco 49ers fans were hoping to see, one that affirms Colin Kaepernick's football identity following an offseason packed with extra-curricular activities.
We've seen Kaepernick pose nude in ESPN The Magazine, tick off some 49ers loyalists by defiantly wearing a Miami Dolphins hat and show up for the ESPY Awards in sunglasses. We've seen him strike an endorsement deal with Jaguar and go on shopping sprees to stock his home with expensive sneakers.
All of these things taken together could create the wrong impression. But as Barrows reports, Kaepernick is still the first one to arrive for work, usually before 6 a.m.
"He's universally respected in the locker room and loved by his teammates," coach Jim Harbaugh said in the Barrows piece. "I guess I see that from the 25-to-35 demographic, too, buying jerseys. People relate to him. They like his company, they like being around him, and I've noticed that very much from our team."
We've seen the 25-year-old Kaepernick produce on the field, but we're still learning about his overall makeup. This piece is a notable addition to the file.
Update: Tight end Vernon Davis offered thoughts regarding Kaepernick during an interview Sunday. It's great hearing from coaches about players, but teammates can provide another level of authenticity.
"From the time he started all the way up to the Super Bowl, totally different guy right now," Davis said of Kaepernick. "Touch. Precise decisions. He's talking more. He's being a leader. He's working extra hard. I don't know if you guys know, he is not just a worker on the field, but he is a worker in the weight room. Every time I turn around, he’s working. ... You are going to get 110 percent out of this guy."