NEW ORLEANS – Everyone has seen Colin Kaepernick's tattooed arms and explosive legs, but considering he's the most discussed participant in Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is still, in many ways, an unknown quantity.
Kaepernick's public comments are unfailingly polite, but brief and to the point. He sends pizzas to hungry reporters, but doesn't exactly fill their notebooks with scintillating insights.
His parents describe him as a nice kid, his coaches rave about his work ethic and his colleagues tiptoe around the thorny question of the Alex Smith saga.
Tabloid fodder like Tom Brady he is not, and likely never will be – not even if he leaves the Big Easy with a Super Bowl ring after his 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
So, what makes Kaepernick tick?
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Backup 49ers tight end Bruce Miller might know Kaepernick better than anyone else on the roster, having spent much of the lockout summer of 2011 with him in Atlanta. They also lived together for several months in San Jose, Calif., in an apartment opposite the team's training base before Miller found his own accommodation.
The picture Miller paints is that of a young man not quite ready to grow up just yet – but one who also has an unwavering eye for detail.
"The guy you see is the guy you get," Miler told Yahoo! Sports at Super Bowl media day. "He is a great dude. There is not a whole lot to Colin. He loves his Disney movies, kids movies. Every time it is something like "Finding Nemo.' "
Kaepernick watches his movies in the days leading up to games, either "Nemo" or "The Incredibles," or "Despicable Me." He watches them at home, on flights, on the bus and in his hotel room. No amount of gentle teasing will dissuade him from doing so.
Of course, further evidence of Kaepernick's youthful exuberance should only please the 49ers' army of followers, especially in these heady days of buildup when every scrap of information is scrutinized. When the 25-year-old runs, it is with the carefree skip of a teenager, of a player not yet weighed down by battle scars of body or mind.
Yet the complexities and structure of the playbook have been well within his grasp and Kaepernick's marshaling of the 49ers' offense is the primary reason why his team will go into the Superdome as slight favorites this weekend.
"He has great attention to detail, and that is with everything," Miller said. "It didn't surprise me how quickly he adapted because he is meticulous all the time. He is a neat freak, everything has to be just so. He isn't satisfied if something is out of place, whether it is something in the house, or the running of a play.
"It would take a psychologist to work out what is going on in someone's mind, but you have to think that those kind of things can only help you as a quarterback. I think he looks at things a little bit differently and it sets him apart a little bit.
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