Colin Kaepernick facing pressures as 49ers' QB on and off field

Getty Images File PhotoColin Kaepernick responded to criticism surrounding his tattoos with

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 the 49ers 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.

Kaepernick is back to work getting ready for what has turned into a key game with the Miami Dolphins considering Seattle won at Chicago in overtime Sunday to put pressure on the NFC West-leading Niners. San Francisco plays at the Seahawks (7-5) on Dec. 23.

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