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Dilfer: Kaepernick Changing the Environment

Posted May 17, 2013

Trent Dilfer discussed the impact Colin Kaepernick has had on his team, both on and off the field.

Ten starts into his NFL career, Colin Kaepernick is helping change the environment at 49ers headquarters.

Just ask former 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer, who was quick to point out the impact Kaepernick has made after just two seasons in San Francisco.

"I was just watching him this morning and the way he interacts with his teammates," Dilfer told 49ers.com before an Elite 11 camp help at the 49ers training facility. "When he gets to a meeting room, a weight room or on the field, that place just got better because of his presence and that's what you're looking for."

Kaepernick's 2012 stats were impressive as he compiled a 100.9 QB rating throughout the playoffs and ran for a record 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers. What impresses Dilfer the most, however, was the way Kaepernick influenced the 49ers off the field, noting the way the entire team evolved with him at the helm.

"Colin has the opportunity to set the pace every day," Dilfer said. "We want thermostat leaders, a term I've used. Guys who step into an environment and change the environment, they don't react to it. That's what's Colin's done."

Dilfer understands the important of having a full offseason as the starting quarterback and says this offseason will be key for Kaepernick's development.

"So much happens in the offseason with team building," Dilfer said. "Usually that centers around a few key figures on the team, the quarterback being one of them.

"I love watching quarterbacks develop, become graduate level players with their own flavor. Aaron Rodgers has his own flavor, Tom Brady has his own flavor and now Colin Kaepernick has his own flavor and it's beautiful to watch."

Kaepernick has a long way to go before reaching the level of Rodgers and Brady, two Super Bowl MVPs, but Dilfer says the former second-round pick has all the tools he needs to be successful.

In addition to having tremendous talent, Kaepernick is surrounded by a strong supporting cast. Dilfer praised that the job Trent Baalke, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers front office have done to create a solid foundation in San Francisco.

"Trent Baalke, in my opinion, is the best GM in all of football. He's not just great on the personnel side, he's a great leader," Dilfer added. "It's just an unbelievable situation where you have the best in the NFL at every level in the organization. That translates to the players. You come out and now you have a state-of-the-art training facility and now everything makes sense. You're getting the most from players."

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