SAN FRANCISCO -- Colin Kaepernick, man of few words, few starts, and many, many yards, stood in the back of the interview room for a while, listened and beamed.
What else could the 49ers' new superstar do?
Kaepernick's big-name teammates kept marching to the podium Saturday night -- Patrick Willis, Michael Crabtree -- raving about his running and his moxie.
And raving some more, and I think I saw Kaepernick blush at least once. A superstar's blush. A franchise player's blush. The blush of a new 49ers era.
Then Kaepernick got up there, smiled at the questions -- and still didn't say too much.
Of course, he had expressed everything he wanted to on the field during his epic, historic
It was a star-making game that seemed to declare him as a quarterback capable of winning any game at any time, including this season's Super Bowl.
And his teammates absolutely noticed. This is his team now. Wherever they go, Kaepernick will take them.
"Any time your teammates have confidence in you and they feel good about what you're doing, it makes you feel like you're doing the right things," Kaepernick said at last.
It also helped that he dominated this playoff game in a way that made Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers -- last year's MVP -- look like a bit player.
It wasn't a Joe Montana-style surgical domination; it looked and felt more
This is exactly the way the 49ers planned it, too, which is astounding, because this was Kaepernick's first playoff start and the switch from Alex Smith was still a big topic of conversation.
Also, the 49ers hadn't run Kaepernick much the past few weeks, as the offense bogged down a little.
But the 49ers coaches went into this one with a general plan: Run Kaepernick on the read-option, and watch him go.
"If you've noticed, we're definitely the type of people to hold our ace card, slip it under our leg and wait for the right time to pull it out," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said.
In all, Kaepernick ran for 181 majestic yards, two for touchdowns, and threw for 263 more yards, and two more TDs.
That is the most rushing yards ever for a quarterback in any NFL game, and the most by any 49ers player in a playoff game. The 49ers totaled 579 yards -- their highest offensive total ever in the playoffs.
That would not have happened with Smith at quarterback. This was a Kaepernick production.
"He's making it happen," Crabtree said. "With his feet, with his arm, just out there making plays."
Kaepernick also did it after an ignominious beginning -- on the fourth play of the game he threw a horrendous pass off his back foot that was intercepted by Sam Shields and returned 52 yards for a touchdown.
Boom, the 49ers trailed 7-0 in the first seconds of the Kaepernick Era. What was Kaepernick thinking at that point?
"I had to bounce back," he said.
Well, he did, immediately leading the 49ers deep into Packers territory, finishing with a 20-yard scramble for the tying touchdown.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he never had a flutter of doubt about Kaepernick, even after the interception.
"He does a great job of responding," Harbaugh said. "He has done it every time there's been an interception that he's thrown or a safety or a turnover, he's responded with a scoring drive.
"I think that's a rare quality. So far he's shown he's got that ability to come back."
But there was more to come.
First, Kaepernick found Crabtree for back-to-back touchdowns that got the 49ers the lead.
Then, with the score 24-24 in the third quarter, Kaepernick did something that had his teammates laughing and shaking their heads.
Lined up in the Pistol formation, Kaepernick faked it to LaMichael James, turned around the right side, got a couple of blocks and was gone, for a 56-yard score that echoed Usain Bolt in the Olympics.
Green Bay safety Charles Woodson looked like he had a clear angle to chase down Kaepernick. But never came close. Whoosh.
"Man, he's fast," Willis said of Kaepernick. "To see a guy come across the field at an angle and he eats up the angle, man, that's fast. He's moving."
And he's moving the 49ers into a new era. It's his era. Wherever the 49ers go, it's clear now: Kaepernick will take them, and it will happen at very high speed.