Confidence. As one of the minor characters on The Office once said, it’s the food of the wise man but the liquor of the fool.
On Wednesday, 49ers coach Jim Tomsula (who may have eaten some food with liquor in it because he had a mark on his cheek that he said he got from walking into a doorway) told reporters he wants a confident starting quarterback.
“I want a confident man, just full bore ahead at that position,” Tomsula told reporters on Wednesday, via a transcript circulated by the team. “I believe it’s critical. And I believe in the quarterback. I believe in him. I believe in Colin Kaepernick.”
But Tomsula’s “confident man” apparently isn’t confident at times, because he’s possibly second-guessing his throws.
“That was something we hit head on,” Tomsula said. “Look, if you are, are you? No, if you are, stop. Can’t have it. Can’t play that way. And to me, again, it goes to the weight of the world on your shoulders. . . . I got you, you want to make a play. And I got you that you want to do good. Do well in the way and don’t play not to make a mistake. Just play. Play to make the play. So, making sure that’s something that we’ve hit, again, head on to make sure that we don’t have anybody on this team in that situation.”
Regardless of whether Kaepernick is second-guessing his throws, Tomsula doesn’t want Kaepernick second-guessing his job security. Which is how the issue of confidence came up, with Tomsula asked why he doesn’t have a competition at the quarterback position.
“I think that starts a whole lot of things that I just don’t believe,” Tomsula said. “I think that runs wild. There’s not a competition. Guys are playing. . . . I understand that position’s different. It’s the most important position in all of sports. I got it. But, also with me and the philosophy of coaching, when guys come in, when I send guys on the field at other positions that I’ve coached, as a starter you have to go in, you go in and you play. Now, other positions sub through more than that position, but I want a confident man, just full bore ahead at that position.”
The simpler answer may have been that the alternative is Blaine Gabbert. Either way, is Kaepernick’s confidence shaken?
“Well, I don’t see it shooken,” Tomsula said, apparently confident in his conjugation. “He and I and the coaches and players, we’re not seeing that.”
On that point, Tomsula seems to be accurate. Kaepernick told reporters that he’s 100 percent confident, about himself, the team, everything.
“I don’t play for job security,” Kaepernick said. “Whether football’s here or not, I will be fine. I go out, I play to win. I’m not worried about job security when I step in this building.”
He’s not worried about job security in part because Tomsula’s philosophy is that the quarterback shouldn’t be worried about job security. At some point, later this year or next year, Tomsula will have to worry about his own job security, which will in turn make the quarterback necessarily worry about job security.
For Kaepernick, whose injury-only guarantees don’t become full guarantees until April 1 of each of the next three years, the time to worry about job security will be when games aren’t happening, because the 49ers will have an extended opportunity to search for a new starter via free agency and trades before having to renew their vows with Kaepernick.