The Hall of Fame wide receiver discusses the tension between his former team, the 49ers, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the changes new coach Chip Kelly needs to make in San Francisco.
MAGGIE GRAY:So you believe that [Colin] Kaepernick is already out the door [in San Francisco]?
JERRY RICE: It's hard not to believe that, because he doesn't want to be there. If I'm a player, I'm in the locker room [looking at him] and saying, "If you're not going to be an important part of what we're trying to do, then why are you here?"
MG:Is that disappointing to you?
JR: It's disappointing when a quarterback and management are not on the same page. As [49ers general manager] Trent Baalke at one point said, Colin Kaepernick is still in the mix right now. He's a part of this team, and we're moving forward, while [Kaepernick's] agent announced [in February] that his client wants a trade. It's just unfortunate. I think there is way too much drama right now. Also, they have a new coach coming in, so they're already dealing with drama.
MG:Speaking of that new coach, back in Philadelphia when he jettisoned DeSean Jackson and [LeSean] Shady McCoy, he developed a reputation for not dealing with various personalities too well. Everything had to be uniform. Do you think he needs to do things a bit differently?
JR: I think his approach in Philadelphia is not going to help things in San Francisco. There are players whose behavior is a little bit different. As long as it is not a distraction to the team, you have to be able to deal with those guys and let them know they are a major factor on the team.
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"If you're not going to be an important part of what we're trying to do, then why are you here?"
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