Seattle Seahawks

Contrarian: Colin Kaepernick thinks Jim Harbaugh will be back to coach 49ers in 2015

Some have been talking that Thursday night’s NFC West showdown could be the Seahawks’ chance to not only derail San Francisco’s track to the playoffs but perhaps hasten Jim Harbaugh’s end as 49ers coach.

Colin Kaepernick disagrees

“I think he’ll be back,” San Francisco’s quarterback said Tuesday when asked by The News Tribune on a conference call for his “gut feeling” on whether the only coach he’s had in the NFL will return to the 49ers in 2015.

What makes him think that?

“His resume,” Kaepernick said.

Harbaugh staked his 49ers tenure behind Kaepernick during the 2012 season when he picked the then-second-round draft choice and second-year player over former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith. Smith is now the starter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Kaepernick has since led the 49ers to one Super Bowl and was a Richard Sherman tipped pass in the end zone away from a second one last February.

THE PARTY LINE

Forget about any revenge talk from the 49ers about last January’s NFC championship game won by the Seahawks in Seattle.

“No, this is one more game to get towards where we need to get for the playoffs,” Kaepernick said.

And about Sherman and what Seattle’s cornerback did to end the 49ers’ 2013 season with that tipped pass that Malcolm Smith intercepted?

“We’re not worried about that. We are worried about trying to win this game,” Kaepernick said.

Harbaugh coached Sherman at Stanford from 2007-10. When asked about the All-Pro cornerback calling out 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a national television seconds after his winning play in that NFC title game, Harbaugh said Tuesday: ”My thoughts are, he’s an outstanding football player. Tremendous at doing his job. Outstanding player.

“That speaks for itself.”

TUKUAFU’S SWITCH

Recently signed Seahawks fullback Will Tukuafu has gotten playing time on offense and at defensive end in his first games with Seattle.

Seattle signed the 285-pound Tukuafu as a defensive lineman and an undrafted free agent out of Oregon in June 2010. The Seahawks released him a couple weeks later. Harbaugh and San Francisco signed him that August.

At first the 49ers split Tukuafu’s time equally between offense and defense. Harbaugh said they then leaned him to where they were thinner any given week.

What prompted the Niners to make him a 285-pound fullback?

“Just an idea,” Harbaugh said. “But there’s a special place in your heart for two-way players. That’s … not everyone can do that. And he does a great job of that.”

Asked whether the switch to fullback was his idea or that of an assistant, Harbaugh said: “Oh, whose idea — does it matter whose idea it is or was? The idea was his. It was his talent. His ability. His willingness. That’s where the idea comes from.”

The 49ers waived the 285-pound Tukuafu on Oct. 28. Seattle signed him a day later.

EXTRA POINTS: RB Marshawn Lynch (back) and nickel defensive back Jeremy Lane (gluteus) were limited for the second walk-through practice in as many days. Lynch has missed the first two practices of each of the last four games weeks — yet still has missed just one game in five seasons with the Seahawks. … WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle), LG James Carpenter (ankle), DE Demarcus Dobbs (knee) and DB Marcus Burley (hamstring) were full go. The only players to miss practice: C Max Unger (high-ankle sprain, twisted knee), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) and TE Cooper Helfet (sprained ankle). Unger and Pierre-Louis are out for Thursday. Helfet is iffy, at best. … To underscore Sherman’s point in his skit Tuesday railing against the NFL about players’ safety being at risk because of the short recovery time between a Sunday and a Thursday game, the Seahawks will not have had a full practice before they play the 49ers. They will have had just three, no-pads walk-throughs when they board their plane to the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon.

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