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Harbaugh: Kaepernick’s “armadillo skin” pays off

San Francisco 49ers v Washington Redskins Getty Images

At least one of the quarterbacks last night showed he could throw the ball.

But the thing that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick displayed to his coach in a bounce-back game might be the thing that separates him from his Washington counterpart at the moment.

“Some people have baby deer skin,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “And some people have armadillo skin. He’s got armadillo skin. It’s just strong, good leadership.”

Like Robert Griffin III, Kaepernick has taken his share of heat lately for his team’s inability to move the ball through the air.

But Kaepernick came back with an efficient night, going 15-of-24 for 235 yards and three touchdowns, for a single-game best passer rating of 134.5 (after a 42.0 and a 72.9 the previous two weeks).

“It was a good step in the right direction,” Kaepernick said simply, after the dominant 27-6 win.

For their part, his teammates acted as if nothing was ever wrong.

“You’ve got to ask the people who were questioning him,” wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. “I mean, for us, we didn’t lose confidence in ourselves. We know what we’re capable of doing.

“He [Kaepernick] was himself. I think he’s that way every week. He comes out. He prepares the right way. He has great practices. He’s into meetings or giving his opinions, so I see that from him every week.”

For all the angst in Washington about their situation, Kaepernick resolved his by working and performing, and for a moment, has silenced those who wonder how effective he can be as a passer.

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41 Responses to “Harbaugh: Kaepernick’s “armadillo skin” pays off”
  1. jonbeck316 says: Nov 26, 2013 5:59 AM

    Harbaugh went on to say “RG III has jive turkey gobble gobble skin”

  2. pencilmonkeymagic says: Nov 26, 2013 6:00 AM

    I was out – Did they beat a top-tier pass defense and a hot armed QB then?

  3. eagleswin says: Nov 26, 2013 6:27 AM

    Of course Washington has one of the worst defenses the 49ers will see all year but you won’t hear Harbaugh saying that. He’s just happy Washington was on the schedule.

    The 49ers, on the other hand, have one of the better defenses in the league, which is the reason why the 49ers have their record.

    You won’t hear Harbaugh saying that either. He’s just hoping and crossing his fingers that this “confidence building” game translates into production when they play a decent defense again.

  4. bengalguy says: Nov 26, 2013 6:40 AM

    My god, it was the DEADSKINS defense. Wouldn’t happen against the Cincinnati.Defense! Guys a fraud!! Looks @ the Hot Route & if it ain’t there, he takes off.

  5. frankyvito says: Nov 26, 2013 6:56 AM

    It helped that he went against a secondary with armadillo arms.

  6. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 26, 2013 7:16 AM

    If RGIII were the Niners QB, the Niners would be undefeated. Kaepernoob is lucky he faced a amateur Defense. What aMediocre QB. #RGIIIWannabe

  7. kremis says: Nov 26, 2013 7:17 AM

    Keep this perspective, it was against the Washington Redskins defense.

  8. jimmyt says: Nov 26, 2013 7:19 AM

    One of the worst teams in football with a flash-in-the-pan QB beats one of the worst teams in football, also with a flash-in-the-pan QB and Kap is GOAT again. Right. Um, coach, you still kept the wrong QB.

  9. doomsdaydefensetx says: Nov 26, 2013 7:32 AM

    Armadillos are a road kill favorite here in Texas.

  10. ravenswhat says: Nov 26, 2013 7:35 AM

    Armadillo skin or the awful skins D? I know which skin Kap benefited from.

  11. 4thqtrsaint says: Nov 26, 2013 7:50 AM

    Its easy to “silence” critics against a bad team.

  12. beastmode5150 says: Nov 26, 2013 7:52 AM

    I’ll take Rw3.

  13. bgrillz says: Nov 26, 2013 7:58 AM

    you beat Washington….let’s pump the brakes there Jimmy. Let me know if his armadillo skin works vs Seattle.

  14. jda129 says: Nov 26, 2013 8:07 AM

    He made plays against a terrible defense that was on the field ALL night long. He needs a good showing against a good defense to show his play is on the rise heading into the playoffs. Nice start now let’s see continuity.

  15. mythaimyke says: Nov 26, 2013 8:13 AM

    Krapernick, It was the 32nd rank defense! You and Rno Good3 SUCK!!!

  16. bert1913 says: Nov 26, 2013 8:15 AM

    armadillo skin aka: no pressure from washington’s defence

  17. irishgary says: Nov 26, 2013 8:16 AM

    So Kap had a good game against a lousy team.

    One year wonder. 49ers don’t make the playoffs

  18. getsome636 says: Nov 26, 2013 8:22 AM

    All that we learned is that as long as he is throwing against the worst pass defense in the league, he can go 15-24. He is still mediocre at best.

  19. poridge1214 says: Nov 26, 2013 8:29 AM

    As a 49ers fan, I can say this game didn’t silence anything. He was simply efficient against a 3-win team. If we were in the Skins’ division it wouldn’t matter, but we are looking way up at Seattle and Arizona is neck and neck with us.

    So who exactly did Kaep silence again?

  20. mrsmell says: Nov 26, 2013 8:29 AM

    I dont know, I thought Kaep played ok yesterday. His pocket pressence is pretty pathetic to watch. What is wrong with him not wanting to run, when the pocket collapses. Coaches or him. He also does not step up on some drops causing sacks or panic throws. Not taking anything away, but this was against arguably the worst pass defense in the the NFL.

  21. packerbackernj says: Nov 26, 2013 8:32 AM

    I could put up Kaeps numbers vs the redskins defense. Hell, so could my nephew and his pop warner team.

  22. 23rdusernameused says: Nov 26, 2013 8:50 AM

    It was the washington Def! You don’t get a medal for destroying them!
    talk to me if he has a performance like this in 2 weeks, vs the seahags!

  23. damnsureis says: Nov 26, 2013 8:58 AM

    He also played the Redskins.

  24. blakeden says: Nov 26, 2013 9:24 AM

    kaepernick has been playing for about a full year now….Check-out Joe Montana’s first complete year stats……Give the kid a break fans.

  25. boyshole25 says: Nov 26, 2013 9:26 AM

    Lets not forget that the niner defense is way way way better than hasletts crew. Rgiii on the niners has them with a sb trophy last year.

  26. cowboysaretheworst says: Nov 26, 2013 9:27 AM

    Even while high, the Seahawks will school these clowns

  27. salmen76 says: Nov 26, 2013 9:38 AM

    Okay 40 whiners. You beat a bad team with a losing record. Act like it! You lost the last two games you played against teams with a winning record. I got a news flash for ya; all the teams you will be facing in the playoffs if you make it will have a winning record. Yall are boasting like the cowboys did when they beat the scrub Giants Sunday. The whiners had first and goal in last years Super Bowl with 2 time-outs and 2 minutes left and still couldn’t get the ball in the end-zone! Ha ha. In the SUPER BOWL! Joe Montana took the whiners down the field for 80 yards with only 52 seconds left and NO timeouts and WON the Super Bowl against the Bengals. Facts are facts. The new whiners are all talk just like their whiny coach! Ha Ha. Geaux Saints!

  28. thebigtexas says: Nov 26, 2013 10:14 AM

    Armadillo skin? Isn’t this the same guy that obsesses about insults tossed his way on Twitter? He’s about as thin skinned as it gets. But I’m glad he toughened up against that formidable Redskins defense *rolls eyes*

  29. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Nov 26, 2013 10:18 AM

    Nothing like a terrible defense to make an average quarterback look great.

  30. mizzousooner says: Nov 26, 2013 10:22 AM

    Man up, with Gold Bond!

  31. macjacmccoy says: Nov 26, 2013 10:26 AM

    irishgary says:
    Nov 26, 2013 8:16 AM
    So Kap had a good game against a lousy team.

    One year wonder. 49ers don’t make the playoffs

    I would love for that to be true but the 49ers have one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league. They play 3 of the worst teams in the league the Rams, the Bucs, and the Falcons. Plus they play the Cardinals who are playing well above their skill level. The only hard game they got is against the Seahawks.

    They should be able to basically coast to an 11-5 record.

  32. sb44champs says: Nov 26, 2013 10:27 AM

    Harbaugh: Kaepernick’s “armadillo skin” pays off
    ===========================
    I think Harbaugh meant to say Kaepernick looks like an armadillo..

  33. nos1815 says: Nov 26, 2013 11:46 AM

    Armadillos carry leprosy in the wild. I’d prefer the baby dear skin.

  34. ratsfoiledagain says: Nov 26, 2013 11:46 AM

    That’s my quarterback. Sniff, sniff…

  35. judsonjr says: Nov 26, 2013 11:57 AM

    I love how scoring 27 points against a team that has given up 31 per game is “silencing the critics”.

  36. braceyourselffor12 says: Nov 26, 2013 1:16 PM

    Most likely everyone posting here was wishing for a Niner loss and now have to back track and demean the win, deal with it.

    The last two losses against Carolina and New Orleans were not blow outs so stop acting like the Niners can’t hang with good teams. With Crabtree coming back expect to see the playbook open up and air attack to continue.

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  37. thebirdofprey2 says: Nov 26, 2013 2:07 PM

    Really did Harbaugh just gloat after his QB played a decent game against the NFL worst ranked defense?

    I will admit that 49ers defense played an excellent game overall but people have been calling for RG3 to be replaced by Cousins and this team was 3-7 while playing in the worst division in football.

  38. ngbradley says: Nov 26, 2013 2:17 PM

    The teams that the 49ers have lost to have a combined record of 34-10. Over the season, that’s an average of about 12.5 wins. One of those losses came on an abysmal call, and the other one was a tough physical game that resulted in a one-point loss.

    I don’t think any other playoff caliber team has faced this sort of schedule

  39. Dogsweat says: Nov 26, 2013 4:52 PM

    Colin Tebow will defeat the Rams.

  40. jmaro530 says: Nov 26, 2013 10:45 PM

    As a aNiners fan I saw this game as what it was a drunk ugly girl who’s there to love u for the night and give u some self confidence aka slump buster

  41. malonership says: Nov 27, 2013 3:32 PM

    Colin looked solid…. but he did play the 28th ranked defense that DID load the box to stop the run. Manningham becoming a threat is opening up passing lanes. Kaps footwork looked much improved.

    St louis should be a good barometer for us. That defense is playing well.

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