So often 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick can be seen with headphones that it seems they’ve become attached permanently to his body.
As far as teammate Anquan Boldin is concerned, Kaepernick needs to use them even more frequently.
“To be honest with you, I just think he has to just block out everything else around him,” Boldin told SiriusXM NFL radio on Wednesday. “Stop listening to what people have to say about you. Stop listening to what people want to see you do. And just be yourself.”
As Kaepernick’s favorite target, Boldin led the team with 168 receptions on 259 targets the last two seasons.
“I think sometimes when you try to go off suggestions of other people and try to please other people, you forget who you are and what got you there,” Boldin said.
Under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Niners attempted to turn Kaepernick into a traditional pocket passer after the signal-caller agreed to a seven-year, $126-million contract. Even though Kaepernick was among the most mobile quarterbacks around, he was sacked a league-high 52 times last season.
What’s more, Kaepernick wasn’t as efficient even though he passed for a career-high 3,369 yards and had a higher completion rate. He connected at a 60.5 clip compared to 58.4 in the 2013 season. His touchdown passes dropped from 21 to 19, while his interceptions increased from eight to 10.
Kaepernick rushed for 115 more yards in 12 more attempts. “Trust your skills,” Boldin advised the quarterback “Trust the athletic ability you have and just go for it.”
Kaepernick has spent most of his off-season in Phoenix, training at the Exos gym and getting one-on-one work with former Super Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner among others.
Asked at his introductory news conference if Kaepernick had to be unleashed again, coach Jim Tomsula said he just wanted his players to have fun again.
“I think it was a very favorable experience for Colin,” Tomsula said at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix recently. “He had some guys down here working with him. Some wide receivers were able to make it down, but I don’t have any insight into it because we’re not allowed to.
“But everything I’ve heard has been very favorable. I know Colin felt it was very valuable for him, and really, that’s the most important thing.”