SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — He was adopted as a newborn, has a fully grown pet tortoise named Sammy, and sports 10 or 11 tattoos by his own count covering much of his upper body.
Colin Kaepernick is finding out fast that just about everything becomes fair game — and very much public — when you're a starting quarterback in the NFL. Personal, professional and otherwise. Since the second-year pro took over as San Francisco's starter three games ago, further details of his life have emerged.
"I get tattoos because I like them, not for anybody else," Kaepernick said when asked if he understands the intrigue of a tattooed quarterback. "I don't know. I don't worry about that."
Kaepernick said Wednesday he understands there are pressures on and off the field with his job, but prefers to move forward this week from a disappointing loss at St. Louis and get ready for Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins.
Kaepernick accepts the added attention and scrutiny that comes his way, along with the successes.
"That's something that I don't worry about," he said. "I'm here to play football. I don't pay attention to what the media's writing or what people are saying. I'm here to play, and go out and perform on Sundays."
And Kaepernick knows he had better help the Niners (8-3-1) bounce back from a 16-13 overtime loss on the road to the Rams — because coach Jim Harbaugh still will only go as far as to say Kaepernick is the starter again this week, nothing beyond there. The reigning NFL coach of the year hasn't ruled out returning to Alex Smith before season's end.
"It's a situation, whatever Coach Harbaugh chooses, that's the guy we're rolling with," left tackle Joe Staley said. "We're all worried about getting W's, we're worried about doing our jobs to the best of our ability. We don't have time to worry about favorites. Kaepernick's our guy. We support him 100 percent. That's how it is."
Harbaugh again accepted blame Wednesday for an errant pitch in the fourth quarter that was fumbled by Kaepernick deep in 49ers territory and that allowed St. Louis to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Harbaugh said Kaepernick still can learn as much from plays that go awry as from those that work. Even Rams coach Jeff Fisher wondered afterward why San Francisco called such a risky play in that situation.