Deep trouble for 49ers’ passing game starts with play-calling

Here is my Tuesday column on Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers’ 31st-ranked passing game.

SANTA CLARA – You could argue Colin Kaepernick has been one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL this season.

He definitely has been the worst starting quarterback in the Bay Area. The Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor has outperformed Kaepernick in nearly every statistical category.

Kaepernick was great Week 1 against the Packers but since then Kaepernick has posted Tim-Tebow-like numbers – 50 percent completions and a putrid 62 passer rating over the past four games.

Kaepernick looks disconcerted on the field. He is doing things young quarterbacks do – not going through the full progression, sensing pressure that isn’t there and missing open receivers downfield.

General Manager Trent Baalke flipped over Kaepernick missing an open receiver Week 4 in St. Louis. Baalke was sitting in the Rams’ press box near the writers. There was 1:23 left in the third quarter and the 49ers were winning 21-3. You could say the game was over.

The 49ers had the ball at their 5-yard line and it was second-and-5. Kaepernick faked a handoff to Frank Gore in the end zone, turned around and saw Vernon Davis sprinting wide open downfield on a corner route. Kaepernick stared at Davis and patted the ball twice but didn’t throw it. Instead, he ran to the right and gained 4 yards.

Baalke couldn’t take it. He burst out of his chair. “Throw the ball!” he yelled.

What happened to Kaepernick? Was he fool’s gold? Is he the next Tim Tebow?

No, no, no.

Kaepernick is the real deal. He is the LeBron James of quarterbacks, the most physically talented quarterback ever. The issue is the 49ers’ passing scheme. It lacks rhythm and continuity.

Name the 49ers’ go-to passing play.

You can’t because they haven’t developed one this season.

The 49ers’ offensive philosophy has become simple: Run the ball, or fake the run and chuck it downfield.

The 49ers’ offense wasn’t like this when Alex Smith was the starting quarterback. Jim Harbaugh didn’t seem to trust Smith on downfield throws, so he called shorter passes and the 49ers’ offense was less explosive. On the other hand, Smith never went through a four-game slump under Harbaugh, and the offense went three-and-out much less frequently. The 49ers currently lead the league in that category, going three-and-out on 43 percent of their drives.

The 49ers have Kaepernick throwing the ball more than 20 yards downfield 15 percent of the time, close to the league high. Compare that to Alex Smith, who threw it downfield 8.7 percent of the time last season when he was a 49er, or Peyton Manning, who currently is throwing the ball downfield on 9.1 percent of his passes.

Last season, Kaepernick was the best downfield passer in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, his downfield accuracy was 60 percent (counting catches and drops). This season, his downfield accuracy has plummeted to 30 percent. But the 49ers keep making him throw deep 15 percent of the time.

You’d think the 49ers would adjust their play-calling to help Kaepernick end his slump. “I don’t know that we’re going to bang our head into a brick wall all day. We want to give our players a chance to be successful.” That’s what Greg Roman said on Sept. 19 in response to a question concerning his running game. It’s time for him to apply his own advice to his anemic, 31st-ranked passing game.

But Jim Harbaugh seems intent on keeping things the same. On Monday after the Texans game, a reporter asked Harbaugh what is wrong with the passing attack.

“Well, we made some big plays in the passing game.” Defending it.

They made one big play in the passing game – a 64-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis in garbage time. Kaepernick completed six total passes against the Texans. He completed two passes after the first drive of the game.

It is Jim Harbaugh’s and Greg Roman’s job to give Kaepernick a chance to develop continuity and confidence. Harbaugh and Roman must start calling more “small” throws, easy completions, confidence boosters that get other receivers involved and developed as potential weapons.

It is not all about deep passes. The 49ers need to call more slants, more bubble screens, more one-step hitch routes. Let the receiver get yards after the catch like a punt returner. Get him “in space” where he can go one-on-one against a defensive back.

Take the pressure off Kaepernick until he breaks out of his slump. Go back to the basics and re-establish a foundation for the passing offense.

You know, the West Coast Offense. Bill Walsh stuff. Classic 49ers stuff.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

, , , , , , , , , ,
  1. Grant:
    I think you are correct in part. The short passing game and involving the backs in the passing game is a needed step.
    I also think Kap needs to work on the fundamentals again. His footwork looks bad. Even the TD pass to VD happened while he was moving backwards instead of stepping into the throw.
    It appears Kap has loss some confidence and needs some assistance from the play calling, coaching and his teammates to get it back.

    1. Grant, is just saying the truth, kap is not a legit NFL Qb. Don’t you guys get it, he plays horrible against teams with great defense. It just shows kap is soo0 overrated. Put that on your note espn Jaworski.. haha

      1. umm yeah dude, the article doesn’t say that at all. Grant calls Kaep the “real deal” and the labron james of football QB’s. He blames the play calling.

        Since you apparently can’t read, I will assume raider fan.

      2. Timbo, Kap is the real deal? Wow ! i must need some thicker eye glasses to watch kap play on television. I guest i missed some of his fantastic plays for the last 4 weeks in a row? Wait a minute playing a bewildered Texan team, for 3qtrs he had completed 4 out of 16 passes, with 45 yds to show? After the game 113 total yards, and a -7 yds and 1 Td. The 49ers defense are 49ers offense, if you think Kap won the game you must dellusional?

  2. Kaep needs to trust his options in the receiving corps before that happens. He seems to only place his trust in possession WRs in the mold of Crabtree and Boldin.

      1. Tell Roman and Morton!
        Let’s get Kyle Williams a bubble screen from a trips formation with Boldin and Davis blocking. Just once?

      2. Kaep has a bad habit of looking at his first read and then running if he isn’t open. It is on Kaep as much as it is on the coaching staff.

        1. He’s like a basketball player in a shooting slump. A good coach would tell him to drive to the hoop and get high-percentage shots to build confidence, not to keep chucking threes.

      3. By now he shouldn’t be over-thinking (as it appears to me he is), so is he over-anticipating and hesitating as the reads develop? Like a hitter sitting on a particular pitch…? Maybe go back to some ‘Street’? LOL.
        PS: Is it true? Are we calling for more check downs?
        ; >)

      4. Harbaugh and his coordinators are definitely “big picture” coaches that invest a lot in game planning, but if there’s anything Harbaugh/GRo lack completely, it’s the moment-to-moment play-calling nimbleness of quite a few of their top-level contemporaries.

        I don’t always agree with Grant, but his assessment of the Niners current passing issues is spot on. Why we don’t throw more screens and/or use bunch formations to set rubs and create space is beyond me.

        Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe watching two dive runs out of a jumbo formation net six yards (leaving us in an obvious throwing situation) followed up with a failed pass on a curl pattern to (*insert 49ers receiver name*).

  3. Lots of good information in this entry Grant, especially the percentage of 3 and outs which is horrific. Think about how much that not only kills any offensive momentum, but also the stress it puts on a defense.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that the Niner Coaches fell in love with Kaps big play ability and in turn took away the easy things that can keep the chains moving. In the game against the Colts, there were so many opportunities to dump the ball off to to RB and pick up good yardage, yet there were rarely any RB’s in a pass route. The Colts crowed the LOS and played press man coverage and the Niners did nothing to force them out of it. That’s Coaching to me, not player performance. Kap has been off on his accuracy, but I think a lot of his problems are now confidence related because they haven’t given him the ability to gain easy yards very often.

    1. rocket:

      The 3-and-outs certainly explain why the team is having so much trouble with time of possession. Unlike 2011 and 2012, the team is losing the time of possession battle – 28:40 to 31:20 on average – but even that differential doesn’t indicate how poorly the 49ers have performed in the time of possession department in 3 out of 5 games this season.

      Week 1: 38:35 to 21:25
      Week2: 23:17 to 36:43
      Week 3: 23:35 to 36:25
      Week 4: 31:45 to 28:15
      Week 5: 26:08 to 33:52

      The only game in which the outcome didn’t follow the time of possession differential was the Texans game. A +4 turnover differential will do that. Good thing Matt Schaub is going through an even bigger crisis in confidence than Kaepernick is or seems to be.

      I don’t see how the team can hope to succeed when it regularly hands over possession like that. The defense will get worn out, like it did at the end of last season. I agree with Grant that the 49ers need to stick with the higher percentage passing plays, not just to help with Kaepernick’s confidence, but also to sustain drives, shorten the game and give the defense some rest. For the same reasons, I also agree with those who have called for a healthy dose of the power running game.

      That formula worked in 2011 and 2012. I’m not sure why they wanted to mess with it in 2013; it doesn’t seem to be working.

      1. Claude, it is interesting that the 49ers are now ranked 24th in TOP after being 6th in 2011 and 8th in 2012. Last time the 49ers were ranked that low was in 2010, when they were ranked 24th.

      2. How can the 49ers offense sustain drives when you have a horrible, overrated Qb name kap, who is mediocre at best, and who has nothing to show for except his big game against the defenseless Packers. You’re right the defense will regress and how far can the 49ers defense carry the 49ers with their mediocre offense? Gore is the only bright side of the offense, nothing else.

    2. Great points Claude. Those are some ugly TOP numbers and it’s only a matter of time until the defense wears down and more players are lost to injury because of it. They got carried away with Kap’s athleticism is the only reason I can come up with for why they went away from what had worked so well before. If they can re-establish their physical superiority in the running game, along with getting Manningham and later Crabtree back, they will be able to create some more explosive passing plays. For right now though, Kap the game manager can win games and they should stick with it.

      1. rocket:

        You may be right. I can’t explain it; I can only guess. At first, I thought the coaching staff fell in love with the pass heavy offense after seeing how well the GB game plan worked. I also saw them saying to themselves after the Seattle game, “It wasn’t the game plan; Seattle just kicked our butts.” It wasn’t until after the Colts game that the coaches seemed to realize that the offense needed to be run first and that it needed to run more from formations in which Kaepernick is under center. But I don’t know why they are sticking with the deeper throws when that doesn’t seem to be working.

  4. It’s called, low-balling CK’ numbers by design in order to give the Org bargaining leverage come contract negotiations.

    This sounds somewhat farfetched, but with so many important contracts coming due at almost the same time, poor or anemic numbers from key players gives the Org a little advantage.

    Under this mindset (just my opinion) I see the 49ers winning games with their star players doing the minimum on the stats sheet.

  5. I think it’s been the same passing game plan for 5 weeks now. Week 1 and week 4, and week 5, they connected. Weeks 2 and 3 they haven’t.

    They are a run first time. They want Kaepernick to open up their running game by launching it down the field. The problem isn’t Kaepernick’s accuracy, but rather the ineptness of his receiving squad to create any separation or run any NFL routes.

    I believe the coaches are happy with the production and getting Gore his numbers. So far they’ve won 2 games underutilizing their QB and I don’t see a team on the schedule in the next 3 games who will make them do anything different.

    1. Your’re right Matt. There are little going wrong for the Niners right now including some poor play calling (Roman gets so much credit!) but they are really lacking receivers right now as well. When Boldin is you only short guy and the D stacks up on him there is simply no place to go. Look at the replays…….it’s just sad how little imagination they have in attempting to get someone open short. They desperately need Crabtree and Manningham, who have the talent to overcome some blase playcalling.

  6. Wow Grant, you hit it out of the park with your observation. I completely agree with you and was wondering when GRow is going to modify the game plan by utilizing the short passing game! Last week we had a reverse pitch that was extremely successful so why not utilize screens to wr, TE and running backs or reverses or quick slants to help the offense build momentum and promote confidence!

    Keep in mind the first team hardly played during the off season and due to D. Walker leaving and Crabtree getting injured this offense has a different chemistry! The coaching staff Is not helping CK by just focusing on the intermediate to long pass. GRow must incorporate more of the classic west coast offense to get the offense moving. Nice article Grant

      1. I want to hear the coaches opinion. By the way the comment about the slow OL is just purely silly!!!! since they are pulling and moving to hit people all day in the power running game. Screen pass can be executed in so many ways by utilizing the big te and Boldin and a quick pass to LMJ, GORE or Hunter or even KW.

  7. I give you a A for this column lets work what we have not with what we don’t have we have the players to do this. The deep pass will be back when we get healthy at receiver so lets build the QBs confidence with nice short passes.

    1. excellent analysis as well as presenting some options to help CK get out of the rut which currently is plaguing his pass offensive skill set. Niners are too home run conscious with CK and their offensive passing game philosophy is not QB friendly at this point.

      1. I think the coaches lack creativity and the ability to adjust on the fly. 49ers offense = Predictable If what they are doing is working, then the game is like the Packers game. If its not then you get what we have seen the pass few weeks. CK will be fine sooner or later but these WRs can not get man handled at the line like they have been. If TY Hilton can go crazy on the SheHawks secondary why can’t the 49ers WRs? He is built like a leaf…..I am not impressed with the coaching at all….or the ability to get open and to make plays on the ball. Hurry back Crabshack!!!

    2. Yeah. Harbaugh must be terrible. 2 years in the NFC Championship game, win once, go to the super bowl. You can just tell from the record that he stinks up the place.

      1. I am not blaming it on the head coach, I am speaking as a whole. You can say what you want but the strength of the team is the D. It was a top 5 D long before Harbaugh arrived. I am not saying he is a terrible coach. I think they need to game plan better, work on adjusting(in game) and not being predictable. I am a fan….not a hater. What I don’t like is the D bailing the offense out of poor performances and the mistakes are never corrected because it is a W. The book on stopping the 49ers has been the same for years…stack the box, jam the wrs and dare the QB to beat you. The coaches have yet to find a way to fix that. SheHawks did it and the Colts did it. If Harbaugh doesn’t fix that all he is gonna win is NFC championships. To take a page from Coach Singlatary’s play book “I WANT WINNERS” SB winners……

      1. My girl who only started logging in last week is 4-1. However in my league, I’m 2-3. UGH. Someone please humble TeamSF.

  8. One factor that you failed to mention is that Kaep receiving corps is totally different from last year. It was easier to call more plays going down the field when they had Moss, Crab, Manningham, and Delanie Walker that could all stretch the field. Niners tried to pass more and you see where that got them in the Seattle and Colts game. Hard to pass when you dont have any outside downfield threat.

  9. Does anyone think that the reason why the offensive game plan(s) have been devoid of a creative passing game attack has been done purposely? What is the advantage of opening up the playbook in the first 1/3 of the season when they’ll need to be far more creative (as they’ve been previously w/ Harbaugh/Roman) as the games get tougher later in the year? Personally, I would love to see them blow everyone out with a high powered offense but I really feel they’re being pragmatic and grinding out wins with the thought of opening the playbook up more as the season progresses. No need to give the tough guys later on an opportunity to game plan based on their entire playbook. Just a thought.

    1. They lost a KEY game against the Seahawks. If what you say is the strategy, it is also a mistake. 3-2 teams pass to the playoffs 51% of the time (according to a comment thrown out by ESPN before the game started).

      It is obvious that it’s better to “open” the playbook and win the games you need to win in the early stages of the season.

      1. David,

        The reason 3-2 teams only make the playoffs 51% of the time, is that most 3-2 teams are mediocre. That’s why they’re 3-2.

        A few 3-2 teams are good (49ers) and fewer still are bad (Cardinals).

        Just because historically 51% of 3-2 teams make the playoffs, doesn’t mean that’s the 49ers’ chances of making the playoffs. It would be better if they were 4-1 or 5-0, but I still like their chances, very much.

      2. The NFC has yet to produce any front runners outside of NO. You have 6 teams with winning records 5 games in. Seattle is 4-1, NO 5-0, and the rest of the teams are 3-2.

        A lot like the NFC west, the NFC North will beat itself up. The division holds 2 teams at 3-2, and the Packers at 2-2. Chicago has to play GB two more times and Detroit again. Then, they also face Dallas and Baltimore at home.

        Behind the Saints 5-0 start, the next best in their division is a 1 win team. There won’t be a playoff team coming from the NFC North after NO wins the division. Not one team in that division has played a division game yet.
        Then you move to the NFC East. 1st Place is 2-3. The Eagles have only won in their division. They have six more games in the division. Dallas has only played 1 division game and plays at NO and At Chi. They have the best chance to win the division with their remaining schedule.

        I don’t think there will be another winning team coming from the NFC East. The Eagles would have to win 7 of their remaining 11 games to have a winning season. They play Dallas twice, Det, Chi, @ Greenbay and @Oak.

        Now on to the NFC West. Seattle and SF have the division locked down. Sure AZ is 3-2, but they have only played 1 division game and lost. They still face SF twice, Seattle twice, and Indy.

        The NFC Playoff teams look to be locked 5 games in barring some incredible injuries or a complete turn of events. Seattle, SF, NO, 2 from NFC North and Dallas.

      3. Let’s not go to sleep on the Cards this year like we did the Rams last year. Let’s beat them before we start to write them off.
        This is the point in every season where we begin to shake off our surprise at the emerging new order around the league. Falcons 1-4? G-Men suck? Colts beat both Niners and Seahawks? Chiefs 5-0?

  10. As for X’s and O’s, I will sit back and shut up.
    % of long passes: It’s not that much of a difference between 15% and 9% if you look, as an example of 30Total x 0.15= 4.5 long passes vs. 30Total x 0.09= 2.7 long passes. You’re talking about 2 or 3 difference.
    It’s still up to the QB to decide where to throw, most pass plays have long, medium, short options.
    Loss of Crabtree is, without saying, the most limited factors. Kaep is without his favorite target and limits Roman on play calls too.

    1. Reading all the excuses, kap is missing crabtree and the list of excuses goes on. Look at the great Qb like Brady, Brees, P. Manning and Eli and other above average Qb, they still find ways to get the ball to their recivers..

      1. Good smart Qb moves on. Regardless what the situation you are in, even you don’t have your favorite recievers or play makers, you have to make an effort to make plays and adjustments.

  11. Not sure is CK can throw the touch pass/check down with regularity. Personally I think its just a mental thing with CK and that will be fixed with experience. CK has all the physical tool required not only to be a NFL QB but one of, if not the best QB to ever play the game. There are a few things CK needs to learn. 1. Learn to read defenses, 2. Look off the defense, 3. his footwork needs improvement, and finally needs to be able to check down with precision.

    One of the things that might be a problem is the compatibility with Gore and CK. Two different types of schemes are required to enhance both of their styles and that’s impossible to do. No worries here CK will be just fine.

      1. Thanks, Grant, I know you do usually try to answer our questions. I was just thought it might be fun in a regular Q & A format.

  12. I don’t think anyone can diagnose Kap’s problem with total confidence. It’s unprecedented. I’ve never seen a quarterback regress like this-especially after his first off-season of practice and study. He’s missing everybody, whether they’re his favorites or not. Everyone is blaming the receivers, but I believe if Kap were playing well they wouldn’t look so bad.

    1. I don’t know that Kaepernick has regressed as much as some on here would have you think. He’s seeing new things from the defense. That’s the NFL in a nutshell. They are quick to shut windows. The read option was nullified in 1 offseason.
      Our coaching staff hasn’t put him in the best position thus far to win a game. They seem hell bent on his passing ability to flex the running game.

  13. Can’t help but agree 100%. However, Grant do you put it ALL on scheme and coaching? Kaepernick doesn’t share some of it?

    1. Yes, Kaepernick shares some and so do the receivers, but the coaches get the bulk of the blame. It’s their shot-play-heavy passing game plan and it doesn’t fit the personnel right now.

      1. Agree with the bulk…I’ll give them 60%. I believe we’re not doing simple routes that you mentioned.

        The other 40% is Kaepernick not performing well in the pocket…sensing the phantom rush, completely bailing out of the pocket when maybe stepping up or to the side can open the passing window, and taking his eyes off receivers when he gets out of the pocket.
        Everything you said…

      2. The Jets are making Geno look pretty good (some of the time) and they have no one at receiver. The coaches are calling plays that create easy throws for Geno. This doesn’t seem like the case for Kaep. He frequently has to make tough throws and when he does have to he only trust Boldin to make the catch.

      3. Hey man, pick a quarterback…any quarterback. Common thread? They’re all playing much better than Kaepernick right now.

        I’m not sure exactly what it is, but the team needs to figure it out quickly.

        Everything that happened last year was no fluke. Week 1 when he torched the Pack was no fluke. WTF happened in one week that prompted such a regression?

      4. It’s their shot-play-heavy passing game plan and it doesn’t fit the personnel right now.
        How many “shot plays” are the Niners average per game?
        Again, I am not buying that the coaches are forcing Kaep to throw long.
        Coaches: 30%
        Kaep: 30%
        WR corp: 40%

  14. By the end of Dec the passing game will be flying high if the team is healthy. Manningham, Crabtree and a fully healthy Davis will make all the difference in the world. Just imagine Crabtree last yr Boldin this year and a healthy Davis it will be a very good passing game. Untill then run the ball run the ball run the ball and play special teams and D. Just like i said regarding FG a few weeks ago the sky is not falling the sky is not falling!!!

    1. So, according to you coach our receivers are THE issue? It’s not play calling or Kaepernick’s ineptness in the pocket? Insert a couple new pieces and all will be well?

    2. It took Kendall Hunter 10 months to regain his explosiveness after tearing his Achilles. In November, Crabtree will be six months removed from tearing his Achilles.

      Manningham is an injury-prone player. He’s missed 3.6 games per season not counting this year.

    3. Justdareal It might seem overly simplified but yes i do believe that about 70 % of the problem is the WR’s. CK needs to mature into the job and with a couple of WR’s that have some speed and can get off of press coverage will allow Roman\Harbaugh to open up the playbook. After this yr we need to package a few picks to move up into the top 15 and get a stud WR.

      1. Kaepernick still has Boldin and Davis. Kaepernick shouldn’t have Tebow numbers.

        Should the 49ers trade up for Marqise Lee? What about a cornerback?

        P.S. I’ve had a vision and here’s where the rookie QBs are gonna go

        Bridegwater – Jaguars
        Hundley – Bucs
        Mariota – Eagles
        Boyd – Vikings
        Mettenberger – Browns
        Manziel – Texans
        Carr – Cardinals
        Murray – Bengals
        McCarron – Chiefs
        Fales – Cowboys
        Morris – Redskins
        Thomas – 49ers

        Jameis Winston will go to the Rams in 2015.

      2. Really hate to compare teams but what about the Saints? How many great/good receivers do they have?

        Jimmy G, Colston, and ……?

        To Grant’s point…VD and Boldin should yield us more production than we’ve had. All we need is for guys like Kyle, Baldwin, or even Marlon to catch a simple curl/hitch/slant underneath. Is too so complex?

      3. With how bad USC has been playing and Lee not doing a whole lot he may drop to the 20s.

        Grant do you think the 49ers should go WR or secondary in the draft? FYI if they don’t resign Brown, Brock, Asomugha and Whitner tehy will all be gone and Rogers will be sitting on 8 mil next season, they will try to restructure him for sure. That leaves nobody in the secondary except Culliver and Reid. I think they need some help back there too.

      4. I agree Claude but I guess I wonder if you use the first pick on a WR or a DB. What if they go safety again. Two first round picks at safety would be potentially crazy (Whitner has been playing good though, hopefully he is willing to resign for cheap). They haven’t used a high pick on a corner for a long time, in fact I can’t remember the last time.

      5. Dude:

        I’m a big believer in taking the BPA, so I would make the decision based on talent, rather than on position played.

      6. Similar to Skelton. Thomas has looked better than last year but his accuracy issues are still a glaring concern…Mathews will probably never be a starter, but I think he’ll make it as a backup…

  15. About half the time I agree with you Grant and I do this time too. How bland has the play calling been lately? Even the runnning game has been very very simple. Remember when the 49ers had the most dynamic rushing attack? It was nearly impossible to predict where the ball was going to go. Now just follow the pulling guard and that is where the ball is. I don’t know why that is the case. As for the passing game it seems like its great at times and dead the next. When the game really mattered, in the first quarter, Kaep completed three straight third and longs, something that 49ers couldn’t do the past three years.

    Grant do you think there is a chance the 49ers are holding back on purpose? They did at the end of last season and I would say that after they went up by 14 against the Texans they did.

    1. The thought of holding back crossed my mind too. Especially when you consider that we ran 67% of the time…there was no interest in being aggressive.

      1. There should be an interest in getting Kaepernick back on track and getting receivers other than Boldin involved and targeted.

      2. Agreed. The funny thing is that publicly Harbaugh will portray as though he’s just fine with getting the win. Sure, we all loved the W, but still.

      3. I agree Grant and others, they need to get Kaep going but for the sack of this conspiracy theory lets continue with maybe they are holding back. Kaep doesn’t appear to lack confidence (you wouldn’t pose naked if you didn’t) and I would assume Harbaugh doesn’t lack confidence in Kaep (you wouldn’t if you looked at his naked pictures) so maybe they don’t want to reveal much to their plan this year knowing they have their best WRs coming back. They unleashed it against the Packers knowing it was a must win and from there it’s a bit of a coast till the guys come back.

        FYI I know this is far fetched because you know they wanted to win agianst Seattle, unless they figured that the odds were stacked to high against them playing in Seattle.

  16. Say what?!
    We lead the league at 43%
    in terms of series which go three-and-out…
    Holy Cow.!!!

    I have a bad feeling about week #11 and
    the New Orleans Saints / Drew Brees.

    You’re working on the offense, huh Mister Harbaw?

      1. I like the plan ahead nature of the this latest entry.

        I guess even this joker is admitting that the 49ers will likely be 7-2 going into the NO game.

  17. Grant

    I DO believe that you are onto something here….what I would like to know, is how many times does JH change the play that is sent from Roman but never gets to CK without modification? Is that the reason that we’ve had so many ‘delay’ penalties or very close to delay penalties ? Another thing that interests me, is that upon their return, will Crabtree and Manningham be the same receivers that they were before their injuries? Will they be hearing ‘footsteps’ ? It wouldn’t be rare, therefore I believe (as you do) that the development of some of our younger receivers is vitally important. The more the merrier.

  18. Grant, I don’t usually like your analyses, but you’re on the button this time. We don’t have a great receiving corps, but they’re getting a lot of the criticism that should be going to Greg Roman. Where are the quick, short drop passes? The slants? The big reason that our wide receivers are not getting open is that the passing game is so predictable and unimaginative that the defense knows where our guys are going. With Kap’s running threat, defenses are committing an extra man to the box, so it’s ridiculous that we can’t get anybody open. Roman is a bad offensive coordinator.

  19. When you have a crappy play book, on top of crappy receivers, your QB, gets all of the blame. We will be playing more effectively in Nov and Dec. Good column Grant.!!

    1. When you have a crappy play book, on top of crappy receivers, your QB, gets all of the blame.

      That’s the way it has been on this blog for at least 4 years.

      1. Neal,

        Since the receiving core is so limited (I definitely agree with this), exactly how can you tell the playbook / playcalling is bad? I’m not saying the playbook / playcalling isn’t in need of rethinking (probably mostly the play calling, I’m pretty sure the playbook is fine, for the most part), but how can you be so certain?

        My point is, you can make the most perfect play call in the world, but if your players can’t execute it, it will look pretty bad, right?

    2. Ex Golfer,

      I believe Roman has difficulty in putting together consistent game plans. Let’s start with the last couple of minutes of the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, making those fade passes to Crabtree. Very low percentage. He probably could of ran for a TD, or hit VD in the middle of the end zone. His plays don’t cater to the strength of the player. Also if he was a very highly looked upon offensive coordinator, he would of been head coach by now. I don’t even think he got a interview except for the Penn State job.

  20. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals could be the test needed to see where the passing game is in regards to effectiveness. The Cardinals rank 3rd against the run while 19th against the pass.

  21. This is probably the first article I kind of agree with by Grant. Although I think in the last two games I started seeing the offense get back to what they do best. In Denver, Peyton Manning loves using level routes to beat zone coverages. In San Fran we have always had great success running Smash routes against man coverage and to be honest Kap throws one of the best corner balls in the NFL. On all of VD’s Touchdown passes Im pretty sure it was the result of a smash route. If you are uncommon with this route its when either the slot or TE runs a deep corner and the End WR runs either into the flat or 5 yard hitch. The play that we scored on in the 4th qtr looked like a smash route. VD and Kyle Williams are perfect candidates for this route. Also One thing that gets lost in this game is on the stat sheet it looks like Colin had a bad game but I thought he played very well. The Boldin and Baldwin missed out on two catches on a fade route that I was surprised to see kap throw pretty well as its been his weakness even last year. And the pass to Vernon that was missed was more of a result of Vernon pulling off the pass than kap overthrowing. 9 out of 10 times vernon catches up to that ball, I was actually shocked when he didn’t but I think it was his hammy. Also another thing that got lost with all this “Garbage” time talk (which I give little credit too as in the NFL there is hardly such a thing as garbage time its not like Defenses are raising the white flag these guys are pros) is how good the pass actually was. He had Cushing coming down right in his face and off the back foot threw an accurate bullet to VD, hitting him in stride and allowing him to keep running. There isn’t too many QBs in the NFL that can make that throw.

  22. I said the same thing last week. They need to engage the receivers in the game plan early with short passes. Crap just get them involved. If Baldwin isn’t built for a slant, then I don’t know who is……
    Last year Crabs would run a delayed slant. He scored off of that route at least 4 times. Do we just give up on the route because Crabs isn’t here?

    1. I agree too. Also what happened to trips to one side and let the outside guy slowly make his way over the middle? Make him the last read while the others go deep, he is usually always open, especially when the D is in a zone, and it’s an easy throw for Kaep

    2. Baldwin was supposed to be a threat who could go up and get the ball. That’s exactly what they tried to do on the first offensive play Sunday night.

      1. Jack, do you think Baldwin is capable of being a decent #2 this year? He’s got the physical skills, but I was a bit disappointed in the route he ran on that deep pass he caught and went out of bounds. For a big guy he should have no reason for getting muscled out to the sideline like that. Needs to give the QB some room to work with.

      2. Scooter,

        I don’t think they have a #2 guy, but by default I would rather they try working Baldwin more. He’s a big body that can help in the running game.

        I agree on the deep ball. I think he needs to line up a step or two closer to the numbers to give himself room to work. Joseph is a pretty good corner and was right with him, but if Baldwin had started a little further inside he might have been able to get back down in bounds. He definitely showed that he can jump.

      3. I am going to go ahead and disagree with you there, Jack. The 49ers have a great #2 receiver – Mr. Boldin. What they do not have is a #1 receiver, at least not on the active roster.

      4. Jack, if I remember that play correctly, it was thrown well enough for him to catch, but his defender got in the way of his extending himself.

    3. Bay,

      They ran that route for a TD to Boldin against GB. They ran it again against Seattle in the red zone but Kaepernick didn’t pull the trigger.

      They should to work Williams on the underneath route they ran a bunch that you see Avery running for KC now. It’s basically a WR middle screen.

    1. I scratch my head every game about this issue. He’s supposed to be a “genius,” but I just can’t see it. Or is it Kaep? Could the standard he set in the Chicago game last year be “beginner’s luck,” so to speak?

  23. Grant, thanks for the article. I encourage to you listen to Greg Cosell’s interview with Tom Tolbert last night. He takes a different view than you do after looking at the film. He was pretty positive on what he’s seeing out of Kaepernick and the gameplanning. SF is transitioning a young QB into a pocket passing role and these are the bumps in the road. The problems you identify are not going away for a while until Kaepernick learns the progression reading game (as Cosell calls it). Cosell says Kaepernick took a step forward against the Texans.

  24. Yet somehow…. Somehow. The same playcallers has gotten us a near .800 winning percentage the last 2 1/4 years. How many teams have been better over that same period? 2? 3? How can that be with the crappy playbook and unimaginative OC we have going for us? It almost defies the laws of football, doesn’t it?

    1. It’s the defense, mainly. And a hall-of-fame running back and a very good offensive line and a good roster overall. The play calling and offensive scheming are only a part of how good a team is. It’s just that there are some obvious things that aren’t being done on offense, and there have been some really obvious dumb bunny play calls. Some of us think that the potential is there for a really dynamic offense, and it ain’t happening.

    1. Jack:

      Another nice read. Thanks for the link.

      How do you see the Cardinals defending the 49ers this week? I don’t know if Boldin can replicate Crabtree’s Peterson-killing success, and Davis hasn’t had a lot of success against the Cardinals the past two years. I hope the running game is strong and creative.

      1. This game actually make me a little nervous. Their secondary will out match the receivers. PP on Boldin and Mathiew on Vernon. It will be run, run and run.

      2. Thanks Claude. In that first matchup Crabtree played well, but they also had good contributions from Delanie Walker and Randy Moss. I will try to get a breakdown done by Thursday.

      3. I disagree Dude. As I stated earlier, the Cardinals come in ranking 3rd against the run and 19th against the pass. This could be a good chance for the team to open up the passing game more.

      1. Thanks MidWest.

        I wouldn’t say that. Crabtree was his security blanket and for all the knocks he gets from 49ers fans did a real good job of getting open and picking up yards after the catch last year.

        Although Boldin has good numbers he doesn’t have the ability to create separation like Crabtree, and this causes his yards after the catch to be minimal.

  25. Let’s not over-react. Remember that we have played 3 of the top 5 pass defenses (excluding the Niners ) in weeks 2, 3 & 5 (Kaep’s worst statistical games). Also, we have played 4 games against 2012 playoff teams. The competition has been stout. I’m not saying Kaep isn’t at fault, but weeks 1-3 we had no running success which makes the pass harder to get going (frequently behind the down/distance) and we were in the hole in the second halves of games 2 & 3 (which makes the passing attack predictable). Now factor in the fact that in weeks 2 & 3 very few receivers were able to get open and you can sort of understand why Kaep’s play seems to be frantic and he perhaps lacks trust in the receivers (if reads 1 & maybe 2 are covered he feels antsy). Week 4 against the Rams he didn’t do to bad (maybe missed a couple open receivers) and we had the lead most of the game so we didn’t need to pass a whole lot. Also, if you really look at the last game, several of his in-completions were actually well thrown balls placed where only the receiver had a shot (see the Baldwin sideline catch out of bounds and the throw to Vernon at the Houston 1 yard line). I think there were a couple others that I can’t remember, but even if its just those 2 it dramatically changes the numbers. 8 of 15 for probably another 30-40 yards (would have been a solid Russell Wilson type performance in a game with no need to pass much).

    Again, Kaep can play better, but I’m not worried yet, especially factoring in who Kaep has to work with (Bolden who is rarely “wide” open, Davis who has been a shell of himself since the hammy tweak, and…still thinking). I tend to blame the play designs & calls more than Kaep. Where are the screens, where are the bunch formations & pick routes that everyone uses against us? Why can’t we use some formations with Gore and Hunter /James in the same backfield perhaps motioning the speedsters out wide to force a mismatch on a LB (like Darren Sproles). I predict that if Kaep were given these options his confidence and play would dramatically improve and then bam the R/O starts to work. More on Roman than Kaep.

    1. On point Riff Raff. I’ve been clamoring for more of the exact plays you described. Those are easy to read, fairly safe, and reliable plays. Other have said we don’t have those types of players, I disagree. Gore-Hunter-James would all be effective with traditional screens, and our line is athletic enough to pull it off too. We ran some bubbles with Crabs last year, I see no reason why Boldin [when you need 3-4 yards] and use KW for a possibly more explosive play. The receivers are the main blockers on bubble screens and we have Boldin and Davis! 2 maulers as far as WR\TE blocking goes. Just another part of the field the defense has to account for.

  26. I hear alot of people calling for bubble screens and quick slants. My limited experience with H.S. and J.C. football coaching was with WR’s and DB’s. If i was a DB coach vs the 49ers i would do everything possible to jam the wr’s at the line which pretty much takes away bubble screens and quick slants [which is what teams are doing to them now] and dare them to throw over the top. Roman\Harbaugh are hamstrung by the lack of speed\size combination of the current crop of WR’s

    1. Other than SEA and possibly AZ, who jams our WR’s at the line?
      You rarely see ‘real’ jams at the line anymore. When you run trips or bunch, the defense can’t jam more than one of the WR, the outside guy peels inside up the LOS and the other 2 {Boldin&Davis my choice] can more than take care of the immediate threat of one DB on the line and the other shadowing. With this team it would be to spread out the defense more than anything and I’m only talking 2-4 times a game. You can do so much from a bunch formation, the bubble screen or smoke route is jut the tip of the iceberg. It’s a great formation to dictate your mismatches.

    2. you can get in to cluster and bunch formations with stacks , etc., that force the secondary to loosen up a bit; plus you have movement packages that you can utilize

  27. This all falls at Harbaugh’s feet. This is his vision, his QB, his game plan, his coaches . Of course the team should be doing what they have been doing for the last 2 1/2 years but the present QB is having difficulty with progressions, with his foot work, with his reads etc. All of this is the HC and it makes me sad.
    The window does not stay open long and IMHO Harbaugh is 100% responsible !

    1. Are you also willing to give Harbaugh 100% of the credit for getting the Niners to back-to-back Championship Games? Harbaugh doesn’t draft players either. So, if you’re going to pin everything on the guy, just be sure to give him his due praise as well. Plenty of time left in the season and the Niners are still 3-2 with an easy upcoming schedule.

  28. 49ers should be glad in some ways that Kaep is struggling a bit. First of all it has meant they’ve gotten back to what made them successful in 2011 and most of 2012, which to me is a longer term success strategy than lots of read-option. Second, the more he struggles the less they’ll likely need to pay him come contract extension time – hard to justify Peyton Manning/ Joe Flacco like money if you are playing more like Christian Ponder and Jake Locker…

    1. Scooter, but the flip side is if he continues to play like Ponder and Locker, is that still the QB the 49ers want for the future even at a discount price? I’d rather see him turn it around (which I think he will) and give him the big pay day.

    2. Well, that is a silver lining, I suppose. But I would gladly advocate they make him the highest player in the league, provided he showed he was worth it. Wouldn’t you?

      1. With regards to Kaep and his contract there is only one thing I would like more than he be worth being paid the highest contract in the NFL – that he be worth it yet be happy to receive less.

        With regards to Kaep and his contract there are only two things I would like less than he turn out to be rubbish – that he turns out to be as good as advertised but gets seriously injured due to continual use as a psuedo-RB out of the read-option, or they pay him like a superstar and he then turns out to be a flash-in-the-pan.

  29. I think you really nailed it here, Grant. Yes they are missing Crabtree and their WR mix is different, but good coaching finds ways to create open wide receivers. I watch other games, with pedestrian QBs and offense get creative and get WRs open in space, but I think Robaugh are too predictable and lean too much on the running.

    Is that running a big part of the game? Yes. But relying on running and defense late in the season is a big mistake. Gore may not hold up, who knows how healthy our OL will be, and the TOS battle we’re losing is going to negatively impact our D late in the season. Further, though Running and great D was a recipe for success in times past, the game has changed favoring the passing game. If we don’t address that, we’ll be exposed.

    I also agree that Kaep has lost some of his swagger, and confidence. He’s made some very inaccurate throws and looks a bit lost at times, more so than last year. I do not put that all on the WRs. Coaching assumes the lion’s share of the blame, IMO. Creating successful short game (a slant, you say?) passes WILL help bolster his game and pay dividends down the road. Many people look at our schedule and assume we’re gonna be 7-2 at the break — but I’m not so sure if the current approach will mete that record.

  30. Also, I have been thinking about how other teams will game plan us. Load up the box to stop the run and dare us to beat them with the pass. Sound familiar? If we don’t work to get CK more confidence and work routes to free receivers then we’ll see a whole lotta that. I love what they did against the Lambs running the ball. But the Rams really do suck. The Texans too showed their vulnerability, but you have to also tip your hat to Schaub, as alluded, for how successful that game was. I love it that we’ve climbed out of a 1-2 hole, but don’t take too much stock in how our overall game (esp on the O side of the ball) has progressed to this point. Still much to do, IMO.

    1. “Ray McDonald said he has a partially torn biceps tendon. He’ll play through it but likely will have surgery after season.” ~ Matt Barrows

      1. Bad idea, shut it down. You can’t play DT in the NFL with limited strength in the arms. Lets now get Carradine ready and see what he’s got.p.

      2. According to M&M his bicep sustained no structural damage and Ray is functioning normally without a brace or sling….

      3. @PrimeTime,
        I wholeheartedly agree! Justin Smith tried it last year and it didn’t work! Shut it down and try to get healthy for the playoffs. However, we probably won’t see this until Tank Carradine is available to play. I know he’s Justin’s eventual replacement, but he could get some serious playing time because of this.

    1. Thanks guys, I appreciate it.
      We just don’t need any more injuries.

      I can now obsess solely on our anemic passing attack.

  31. I tend to blame the play designs & calls more than Kaep.

    I mostly agree with this. Kaep does get some blame, but I have never been particularly impressed with Roman’s passing designs. Running plays seem very creative, but the passing game, not so much.

  32. Everyone wants Niners to be this offensive running machine that grinds away on the ground, but when was the last time a run-first team won a SB? It’s a passing league that favors the QBs and receivers. It’s okay to run the ball 20-25 times a game, but at some point, you have to take advantage of the personnel around you. There’s a reason why teams like GB, Indy, New Englan, Denver and New Orleans can get away without running the ball and still be successful. They use the short-passing game as their running plays. Teams like the Niners, Chiefs and Texans will eventually have to adjust and pass more in order to contend. It’s as if the Niners are afraid to have Kap throw a simple screen. Take advantage of the speed of LMJ and Hunter. In the last game, Niners didn’t roll Kap out even ONCE. Heck, Niners could’ve had Rice and Crabtree on the field in their two losses and I don’t think much would’ve changed. Roman has to put Kap in better situations and Kap has to do a better job of being more deceptive. The bigger situation the harder and faster Kap gets. He needs to slow the game down.

    1. been saying the same thing for years………… just not in the cards w Roman apparently. I think that is how you beat Seattle up there on the road- chip away, keep possession take the crowd out.

  33. Reports indicate Falcons WR Julio Jones might be out for the rest of the season. Falcons season just went south with this news and last nights loss to the Jets.

  34. There is a natural tension between developing players and winning. I only point that out because doing the latter, will lead to the former and Harb was (is?) a MASTER of player development. At the same time, there are serious “blind spots” within Harb/Roman’s current offensive mindset.

    There is NO QUESTION that Kaep is a more dynamic QB with more upside than Alex Smith – but who wouldn’t mind being 5-0 right now? I say this because we could/should be at least 4-1 WITH higher QB confidence, rating/performance IF we (Harbaugh) would simply regress his excitement over Kaep and see him for the VERY YOUNG NFL QB that he IS – i.e., design a developmental plan for him, MANDATE Roman to follow the plan in game planning design and develop Kaep through the season.

    ONE FINAL THOUGHT – Anyone else notice that all this started SINCE the acquisition of Mangini to “advise” the 49ers Offensive staff in game planning? Possibly too strong a coincidence not to be examined by Harbaugh

    1. Harbaugh and Roman have pretty much done what you’ve described over the past two games. They’ve mostly simplified Kaepernick’s reads either with lots of play action (fewer receiving options) or half field reads.

    1. Agree with MWNer

      Ridiculous comment, comparing two Hall of Famers who won a total of 4 Super Bowls to a young QB, who has not even played a Full season.

      1. My point is that it is not the receivers. I am not comparing Kaepernick to anyone. The question asked was about the reason the 49er passing game is so sub par. The answer is that Kaepernick isn’t there yet. Not his fault, but it has nothing to do with bad receivers. Our receivers aren’t great but they are not that bad either.

      2. Ultimately it falls on the QB. It’s either something they don’t see in practice, or on tape. This a a professional football team for crying out loud. You figure out a way to win the players that you have on your roster.
        Some got exposed or revealed in the two losses.
        While the two wins were great, the Qb was less then steller.
        It doesn’t matter in the Texans game was over early, Colin was still making throws in the 2nd and 3rd quarter and he didn’t complete any.
        Just watch him when he drops back to pass, if he doesn’t throw it with 3-4 seconds, that’s it, he freezes, and then he scrambles.

      3. Kaepernick develops a comfort level with one receiver and that is it. Last year it was Crabtree. That is who he threw to. This year it is Boldin. In either year Davis would get targeted every once in awhile.

        The best thing the coaches can do for Kaepernick is when they get a lead bench Boldin and Davis and call pass plays and see what happens.

        A lot of people say our receivers can’t get separation. That was the knock on Crabtree when Smith was the QB. The QB changes and all of a sudden Crabtree is an elite WR. Sometimes it looks like Boldin is wearing his defender and yet Kaepernick has no problem chucking the ball to him. Kaepernick likes to play catch with just one receiver. He needs to work on trusting his other receivers or he will never realize his potential

  35. We have to remember that Johnnie Morton, our WR coach, is the one that does the game planning for the passing game. G-Ro does the game planning for the run-game and calls the plays during the game.

    Maybe it’s not so much as the play-calling, but more of a schematic issue. Our route combinations appear to be very basic, and you rarely see a WR wide-open by confusing the defense and exploiting their weaknesses. I feel like we have a super creative run game, with a very vanilla passing game. It’s like the only way we can get open is by our WR beating the press coverage one-on-one. And since all of our WRs have trouble getting separation, it’s a big problem because we’re not able to manufacture passing yards by design/scheme.

  36. Technically, we don’t know whether deep throws weren’t in the offense when Alex was QB. He may have just been less willing than Colin to push the ball down the field. I don’t know whether they still call multiple plays in the huddle (certainly doesn’t seem like it), but whereas Alex called a lot of audibles, I can’t recall Kaep ever doing so.

    From what I’ve seen, they’re pretty bad at running the screen game. No sense throwing one just so they can create meaningless stats. It’s not like Kaep is going to start looking for or trusting guys just b/c they caught a WR screen pass from him in a game.

    If Lockette and Jenkins are any indication, practice reps don’t seem to matter either. They’ve just got to hope that eventually Kaep will stop having tunnel vision while staring at his 1st read deep all the time and start going through his progressions.

    While he’s worse than Alex Smith right now, that bar is not a high one to clear given his obvious gifts. And that should be enough assuming health and that guys like Hunter and Reid should get better as the year goes.

    But now that teams have figured out how to contain Kaep as they figured out Cam Newton before him, the 9ers still need a QB of the future. One that is mobile IN THE POCKET (like Brees, the Manning’s and Brady – Kaep isn’t even all that elusive, watch Russell Wilson or a Doug Flutie highlight reel if you need the definition of an elusive QB) and that can quickly identify the open WR or throw the WR open.

  37. No wonder Stanford made Shaw as the head coach and not Roman for Andrew Luck. They seemed to thrive under David Shaw who by the way was in-charge of their pass plays during Harbaugh’s tenure at Stanford.

    1. The rest of the NFL knows that Roman is not head coaching material, and the same with top college teams too. He might get a head coaching job at a lousy division one school. He was not even interviewed for the lousy Cal job.

  38. WRONG!!!!!!! No receivers equals zero threat of a passing game. Vernon davis still not 100 Percent. Boldin is not a super fast receiver. We have no legit number 2. Rely on the running game with the best oline in football until the horses return.
    by the way,i wonder if grant has ever played football in his life. X box doesnt count.

  39. Ummmm…this is a simple article to dissect:

    The WR with whom Kaepernick had the most trust, rhythm, rapport comfortability and confidence in is out. That is what is different.

    I think Kap has done a great job with the players he has. Rookie TE. Broken TE. Tiny WR’s who can’t separate from pressure. An O-line that has not been very good in the passing game and WR’s who weren’t on the roster last year.

    Give the kid a break as well as the coaches. WE lost to two of the best teams in the NFL. The Colts loss is a little easier to swallow after the played toe to toe with Seattle.

    You’re a dummy Cohn.

    Oh, and ask a question during a press conference other than something about our 3rd string QB”s “stature.” No one cares.

    1. “You’re a dummy” made me smile, I haven’t heard such trenchant barbs since third grade! Just wish you would provide numbers, stats, heck anything to support your argument, what little of one there is. Until then, I will keep “You’re a dummy” holstered in my cache of verbal comebacks.

  40. The Merc says Ray McDonald has a right biceps tear. Offseason surgery likely, but Ray expects to play Sunday.

    RayMac said “It just looks kind of funny, and I have to stay on top of my strength with it.”

    Its still unclear how the arm will hold up over the season, but he’s “hoping for the best.”

      1. The Merc also reports using his arm, no brace etc. The only difference is the Merc reports it as a “tear” that will require post season surgery.

      2. From CSN: “He showed no signs of an injury as he used his right arm to talk on the phone and open a door.”

        A far cry from playing d-line. Hopefully he’s not too diminished, but it might be in his best interest long term to shut it down and have the surgery now.

        “McDonald said that he hasn’t lost any strength in the arm at this point, but Dr. Dan Solomon, an orthopedic surgeon with Marin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Novato, said that’s a possibility as the season wears on. Solomon also said it’s easier to repair the injury immediately than it is several months later. He said the muscle tends to atrophy a bit and the tendon can roll up on itself.”- Barrows

      3. “He showed no signs of an injury as he used his right arm to talk on the phone…”

        McDonald is the next Joe Horn?

      4. LOL Good stuff.

        It irks me when announcers act all high and mighty about sportsmanship.

        The other Joe Horn picked up a phone too. But he had the shotty in his other hand.

  41. Kap did fine with Crab last year… Why? He gets open. Yes, Manningham is injury prone but he’ll at least bridge some of that gap until Crab is back… We haven’t seen much from Baldwin yet but I think he has a great game come Sunday. Us Faithful aren’t worried unlike these bandwagon fans……

      1. Grimly,
        Sssshhhhhhh, don’t say anything. People like that…..there harmless. Their just venting they’re frustrations.

  42. Its straight forward. The 49ers have a shortage of pass catchers. Walker walked, Crabtree and Patton got hurt, Jenkins and Lockette never developed.

    (Vance McDonald shows great promise, but is a long way from Walker)

    All teams have to do is focus on Vernon and Boldin. They can single cover any other WR which frees up an extra player to stack the box.

    The 49ers faced a similar situation in 2011 after Josh Morgan’s needless injury (when Harbaugh called a “what’s your deal” pass play while sitting on a huge late 4th qtr lead). They were down to one decent WR (Crabs) for the remainder of the season. It cost them a Super Bowl.

    With a 2011 personnel set, expect a 2011 offensive scheme until Manningham, Patton (and possibly Crabtree) returns.

    The 49ers tried. They really did. They spent a first rounder on Jenkins and a 4th on Patton. They acquired Moss, Manningham and Boldin in trades and free agency. They spent training camp auditioning 36 promising your receivers.

    What’s wrong with Kaepernick? No one open (well, most of the time). No option run gaps because of the extra player in the box.

    What about the future? Hire scouts with a track record of evaluating WRs. Maybe hired a receiver talent guru as a consultant to the scouting dept.

  43. I couldn’t agree more. It’s really perplexing that the RB’s aren’t split out more to add an additional dimension. LB’s trying to keep up to James would really open things up.

  44. The way I see it is that the offense is still geared for Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss. Crabtree is no burner but he’s quick enough and slippery enough to get open downfield in deep crossing routes. Moss wasn’t used much but defenses still gave him a cushion to work with which opened up passes underneath. Often times Williams has trouble with the press so defenders don’t give him the same respect they gave old man Moss. Boldin is too slow to run those deep crossing routes unless Davis draws all the coverage away from him (like in the Green Bay game).

    But it’s not all play calling. Often times the #3 or 4 receiving option gets open and Kaepernick doesn’t see them. The only time he goes to reads other than Boldin and Davis (usually #s 1 or 2) is when the defense or play shifts the progression to start with one of the other receivers. Other than that, unless Kaepnernick has all day to watch a receiver get open (like he did against the Packers), he just isn’t reading the defenses and knowing ahead of time if his #3 or 4 receiving option is going to be open.

    If anything the Niners have simplified their offense with lots of play action (fewer receiving options…also helps to get the receivers to get open) and half field reads.

    As for running more slant routes, bubble screens etc….that’s kind of hard when defenders are coming up and playing press coverage. Bottom line is that the Niners receivers need to learn to beat press coverage (or in Boldin’s case, Kaep needs to just throw it to him even when a defender is draped all over Boldin).

  45. Grant,

    SPOT ON!! I pointed out after the Rams game that our offense completely sputtered out after the first couple scores…three-&-out after three-&-out. The passing game is non-existent.

    Now since you brought up Alex Smith, I’ll say this…Colin Kaepernick has the world’s greatest physical gifts; however, Harbaugh’s complex playbook requires MORE than a “smart” QB with physical gift, it requires a “cerebral” QB a-la Alex Smith. Alex was patient and could “risk assess” on the fly like a “MUTHAF#%&R.” It resulted in Alex not taking as many shots or having lower numbers some games, but he moved the ball methodically and set up the next play. If Harbaugh could combine Alex’s “processing power” (*see Andy Reid) with Colin’s gifts, he’d easily have the future GOAT QB on his hands. Instead he has a QB with all of the physical gifts but unable to put it all together right now because he can’t process all of the information. The size of the playbook was one of our offense’s greatest advantages. This year he acknowledged that they needed to pare it back. Yeah we had some clock issues but we still came out with the edge.

    Last year Kaep was pretty reckless but he was productive, this year he’s overly-cautious which has translated to being apprehensive and therefore he’s been under-productive. I think Harbaugh & G-Ro misjudged the difference between low-risk patience with low-risk caution. They’re hoping that Colin can develop a similar (not identical) approach as Alex, but be able use that edge that is his physical gifts.

    Last year Colin relied on the strength of his arm and simple defensive reading (first or second read only). This year for whatever reason Colin seems to have been asked to NOT rely on his arm strength and try more advanced defensive reading while “being more careful with the ball” and to throw with better “touch.” The problem is that it has muted his best features, explosive running and BLASTING the ball like a laser into tight windows. Now his receivers are not ready for those types of passes this year because he’s playing with better “touch.” Last year I think Vernon makes that catch in the tight window near the goal line because he’d 1) be expecting the ball and 2) expecting the heat…this year he can’t handle it.

    Learning to risk assess, even remotely as well as Alex, may take YEARS, so just let Colin USE HIS ARM and take some risk. But those risks only worked because (like what Grant said we’re missing) the developed the short passing game opened things up. When Colin is rifling the ball into tight windows shortly after the snap, especially just past the linebackers’ head, the defense has to loosen up at the L.O.S which opens up the run game, and the corners and safeties have to play tighter toward the receivers. Last year the result was that Gore (KH or LMJ) didn’t break long 70 yards runs, but he kept gashing for 6, 7, 10, 15 yards on most carries. This gives Vernon Davis and Kyle Williams a chance to use their speed on double pump passes or on play-action passes. It also, gives the read-option a chance to work. I’m not saying the read-option would suddenly be just as effective this year, but it would give defenses “pause” before rushing toward Colin because they could actually be getting gashed or biting just as Colin is rifling a pass to Vernon, or Kyle, or Boldin.

    So the answer to problem is…LET COLIN PLAY BALL! Give him the shorter passes and let him use his arm to set up the gashing runs and the deep ball. This doesn’t necessary require a huge playbook on Sundays, just the plays that let him use his strengths.

    1. They need to come down real hard on those fans. After having them arrested I hope the team bans them from any further home games. You just don’t cross that line.

      1. Actually they should also make them pick up the garbage after each home game for the next two seasons, without letting them watch it of course.

    1. Just because the pass wasn’t attempted doesn’t mean the play wasn’t called.

      “Baalke couldn’t take it. He burst out his chair. “Throw the ball!” he yelled.”

      Wait. Shouldn’t that be “He burst out of his chair.”?
      Bursting out a chair sounds painful.

    2. Just because the pass wasn’t attempted doesn’t mean the play wasn’t called.
      And PFF keeps stats on those? I wouldn’t know.
      For Kaep, I came up with an average of 4 long pass attempts per game, the so-called shot plays. Like one per quarter. I don’t call that “heavy.”
      I also disagree with putting the most blame on the coaches. Too late for another long story.

  46. Spot on Grant. The Niner passing game has no form or foundation. I watched the Chief’s game against the Titans on Sunday. With Alex, they are running the WCO just like Walsh and Montana. Just throwing the ball to whomever the defense is giving to them. Substitute Jamal Charles for Roger Craig and it looks identical in its execution. Flooding zones with two and three wides at different depths, just like the WCO is supposed to be run. Interesting how the Chief players are describing Alex just like the Niner players did, but no one believed them. The writers are ecstatic in praising him as an actual “professional” QB after so many imposters. Most Niner fans forget that Montana did a lot of dinking and dunking. I believe Craig had way over 50 receptions one year. And Gore has how many? Duh!

  47. I think this is the first column I read from Grant that I 100% agree with. Now, is there anything you can do to convince Harbaugh and Roman of their offensive ineptitude? I don’t care what our record is, the Niners suck this year. Kaep is a “One Receiver” QB. Before he had Crab, now he has Boldin, you think teams don’t see that? I remember the play where he didn’t throw to Davis, I yelled the exact same thing as Baalke did, probably at the exact same time – and I’m in East Africa!

  48. I think kaepernick misses randy moss more than some think…when he took over midseason in 2012 he made a lot of throws 20-25 yards downfield…but few were when the receiver was closely covered…most of the time it was a matter of hitting an open receiver…I have to believe moss speed opened up areas for those receivers to get open….moss runs deep and takes 2 defenders with him

  49. I think it’s not as much the play calling as it the way Kap is being over coached. “Don’t do this” – “Don’t do that” to the point he’s afraid to do anything. My greatest fear is that Kap blames the coaches and will want a change of scenery when he’s up for renewal.

  50. The betting odds must be considered at least even money
    that Kaep plays the 2015 season somewhere else besides SF.

    Having tasted the rarest of postseason air, the Super Bowl,
    only a Lombardi trophy this year or next will keep him in our town.

    1. Why do you refer to San Fran as our’ your town and the 49ers as our/ your team? You are obviously not a fan of either, you might be an Alex Smith fan ( even though you hated him until a year or two ago).

      You are a pathetic human being who resorts to irritating people with your nonsense because you crave attention from someone! Anyone! You are a sick person who needs help. What a whack job, someone with nothing to do other than criticize “your team” because you are hung up on an ex player. Gee, seeing the way you stalk poor Alex Smith, its no wonder you seek attention, probably killed all your ex boyfriends and therefore have no one paying attention to your 300 pound @$$ while you sit in your cubicle and eat garbage all day long.

      1. You realize, don’t you, that responses like yours are precisely what the troll is looking for? The sooner you stop responding, the sooner he will go away.

      2. Jshaw and Claude i really Do’nt think that AlexSmith [feeling no pressure] is a troll in the purest sense of the word. I think he is a big AS fan who probably feels that he got lots of abuse over the years and now has a chance to get back. Read JamesJones or Darin’s posts they are the definition of a troll, there only goal was disruption. From what i have read there are troll sites they go to to compare results. Real trolls will only go away if they are 100% ignored. Too often on this site i hear posters described as trolls who just have the opposite opinion of the poster who describes them as a troll or they are posters who’s post are just a little silly [like AlexSmithfeelsnopressure]

  51. Oh and let’s not forget, the Ravens have won two superbowls with subpar QB’s (Dilfer & Flacco) because of RUNNING THE FOOTBALL, Controling the clock, and having a killer defense. Sound familiar.

    1. and don’t forget that Walsh (and Seifert) won 5 Super Bowls mixing it up with a combination of runs and excellent pass routes. Screw the 3 runs and a cloud of dust mentality. That is truly dumb with a QB as talented as Kap. Harbaugh is a stubborn egotist, the exact opposite of Bill Walsh.

  52. I don’t even know how to feel about Ckone anymore, the regression is a shock to me…….

    blame meter:

    Ckone – 30% – Just needs to get his mojo back, it all starts with him.
    Coaches -10% – Overconfidence anyone?
    TBaalke -15% – All the moves at WR are duds.
    WR -20% – the duds.
    Opponent -15% – xxx

  53. here’s a hope how about Tony Gonzalez for a 5th rounder. Atlanta is done I am sure they would like to get something for him.

    1. I’m not confident that the problem will be solved by bringing in yet another receiver with whom Kaepernick is not familiar, particularly a non-blocking TE with no experience in the offense.

      1. I was just thinking having to cover him would help open the other receivers. Having Boldin,Gonzalez and Davis would be a nightmare for defenses than add Crabtree when healthy there would be no excuses. Gonzalez is strictly a rental someone you won’t try to resign.

      2. Gonzalez is strictly a rental someone you won’t try to resign.

        That’s my point. His lack of familiarity with both the offense and Kaepernick makes him least valuable to the 49ers in the short term, which is the only relevant time period under consideration. You are correct that he would command some attention from the defense, but I’m not sure it would be enough to make a difference.

  54. Great article. Harbaugh may be a “genius” to the current generation but those of us who either remember him playing QB or those who remember Bill Walsh realize what an arrogant bozo he truly is. He was an average QB with a monstrous ego. His play calling along with his buddy, Roman, has been embarrassing this season. Walsh would be calling plays to assist Kap and could easily get the current crop of receivers open with creative pass patterns but not old Harbaugh. I feel sorry for Kap and for the receivers who are being made to look like fools. Poor old Bill is probably turning in his grave.

    1. they have been calling plays to assist Kaepernick over the last two games. lots of play action and half field reads.

      Harbaugh was not a great QB for the Bears, but then the Bears ran an archaic offense that still thought it had Walter Payton after he retired. Harbaugh had a couple of good years with the Colts when he hooked up with Lindy Infante and his option route heavy passing game.

      I think the problem has been the coaches over confidence in the Kaepnerick’s rate of development. As some have said, they’ve had to put the training wheels back on. The other problem I think is that the Niners were in a transition from a power run based offensive team to a more diverse offense that implemented speedier more deceptive options such as the read option and speedy players like LaMicheal James and AJ Jenkins. I don’t think Roman and Harbaugh were able to fully integrate the two different kinds of offenses. To further complicate things was a QB still learning how to play QB and learning the offense and an power blocking offensive line and runningback that had to go back and forth from power running to a more passive type of blocking and running. Finally, I think the coaches underestimated how the NFL would adapt to their offense and personnel (it didn’t take long for opponents to figure out the Niners have no speed on the outside that can get open and that Kaep can’t find them anyway). >/b>

  55. We are not the explosive offense that we were led to believe we would become under CK7 – Defenses have mapped out the pistol/read offense.

    The offense has taken on a conventional look compared to last years CK’ free-wheel attack mode – CK is making the necessary adjustments (albeit a bumpy road) to better fit the traditional offense.

    So, the offense has struggled and that goes beyond saying. But there is a silver lining here.
    1. Our defense has shown much improvement even with Aldon and Willis not available.
    2. Our DB backfield is playing at a better level and with the insertion of Brock we should continue our upward trend.
    3. Special Teams is showing some improvement as well, and a healthy LMJ should help the cause.
    4. We are only one game back of the c-hawks with the bulk of the season still left to play and heading into a more favorable schedule.

    At the moment we may not look like a SB team, but if CK continues to improve and learns his progressions as well as reading defenses better and we start to get key players back for the stretch run things could begin looking very promising very quickly.
    I’m not concerned one bit about our play at the moment. If we are still seeing this type of play after 10 games I may begin to react with a little more trepidation.
    But seeing an upward trend in many areas gives me confidence going forward.

    1. did you notice how the defense started to play better when the offense began to go into grind it out run mode and Kaep became a game manager? remember that even when Kaep was playing well, the offense would go through stretches of quick 3 and outs before they figured things out and Kaep began to play explosive. Those quick 3 and outs I’m think probably tired out the defense and effected their performance.

  56. KraperNoob DIDN’T come back from the Seachicken game (the defense kept the game close 12-3 till 13:44 in the 4th qtr).
    KraperNoob DIDN’T even come back from the IND game at home when he HAD plenty of opportunities (the defense kept the game close 13-7 till 4:13 in the 4th qtr) to do so all the way up till the 4th quarter.
    Regardless if the 49ers kept the “right guy” or not, they don’t trust KraperNoob ANYMORE.
    1) KraperNoob already choke in the Super Bowl.
    2) KraperNoob is over rated and over hyped and everyone knows it now
    3) Everyone and their Grand mom knows now if you take KraperNoob’s legs away and keep him in the pocket, he is at best average. KraperNoob STILL has accuracy issues in the pocket.
    4) KraperNoob is 3-2, before that 2-2 and 1-2 while Alex Smith is 5-0.
    5) Alex Smith beats KraperNoob in ALL important QB stats this season, KC trusts Alex Smith at 5-0, the 49ers and real 49er fans don’t trust KraperNoob and his over rated over hyped Fame Game i.e. why so many twitter hate on him (where there’s smoke, there’s fire)
    Bottom line, KraperNoob will not carry the 49ers to the SB this season, because he can’t sustain drives to help the defense, he is being kept in the pocket by the opposing defense and his own team doesn’t even trust him to throw the ball or run out of the pocket, and ultimately he NEEDS the RBs and Defense to carry him instead the other way around. Those are the FACTS.

  57. “Harbaugh and Roman must start calling more “small” throws, easy completions… It is not all about deep passes. The 49ers need to call more slants, more bubble screens, more one-step hitch routes.”

    The Problem is KraperNoob isn’t good at short easy throws. He isn’t even that great in the pocket LOL

    Now that every one and their Grand Mom knows if they take KraperNoob’s legs away and keep him in the pocket, KraperNoob is at best average in the pocket, they will do just that every time. Harb knows this, therefore he doesn’t even trust KraperNoob to throw the ball anymore…

  58. Grant, I entirely agree. But here’s one other important thing: Our vaunted offensive line is not so great at straight-up pass protection. It’s one of the best in the league at run-blocking; not so much in the passing game. I thought the Rams game showed that Roman had accepted this by incorporating more moving pockets, but against the Texans there was very little of that. Kaep looks panicked a fair amount of the time, and I think that’s a significant reason.

    I suspect the coaches have impressed on him how valuable he is to the team; thus his instincts to make plays with his legs are suppressed. It seems they could loosen the reins on him a little to get him back into the flow of the game, let him use his natural football sense to be the player he can be. I’m not talking about featuring him in the running game – he’s too valuable for that and we have a superb RB corps as it is. I’m just talking about letting him take off if he has gone through his progression fruitlessly or he simply sees a big opening.

    As to playcalling, I’d like to see them force him to look at Baldwin, KW, and anyone else not named Boldin or Davis by making those other receivers the top two in his progressions once in a while. These next few games may be the ideal opportunity to establish some trust with those other receivers, so he’ll stop ignoring them running free and forcing the ball in to 81 or 85 even when they’re covered.

  59. Don’t get butt hurt cause KraperNoob isn’t a great Pocket Passer like Manning or Brady and he sucks at short throws compare to Alex Smith LOL

    So take away KraperNoob’s legs and scrambling out of the pocket, he’s pretty much useless LOL!!!

  60. The defense will keep getting BANG UP as long as KraperNoob is the QB. It’s truly sad cause the over rated over hyped KraperNoob didn’t earn job to begin with, thus got a free ride to the SB last season with a SB caliber team and has regressed this season. Now he needs the RBs and Defense to carry him to wins and not the other way around thus NO chance of SB this season with Seattle improving and winning in the division. WHAT A JOKE.

    1) Now that everyone and their Grand Mom knows when you take away KraperNoob’s
    legs and keep him in the pocket, KraperNoob is at best an average pocket

    2) KraperNoob can’t sustain drives like Alex Smith can and still do in KC, which
    gives his defense rest and keeps the defense fresh. The 49ers
    currently lead the league in going three-and-out on 43 percent of their drives

    3) The 49ers have Kaepernick throwing the ball more than 20 yards downfield 15 percent
    of the time, close to the league high. Compare that to Alex Smith, who threw it
    downfield 8.7 percent of the time last season when he was a 49er, or Peyton
    Manning, who currently is throwing the ball downfield on 9.1 percent of his
    passes. Harb knows that is ALL KraperNoob is good for, KraperNoob sucks at
    short touch passes because he throws it too hard and is not good or use to it,
    UNLIKE Alex Smith who excels in the short to medium game.

    4) The 49ers are ranked 31st in the passing game.

    5) Even the Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor has outperformed Kaepernick in nearly every
    statistical category. You don’t even have to bother comparing KraperNoob’s
    stats to 5-0 Alex Smith LOL

  61. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski on WR Josh Gordon trade rumors: “I will say, We’re not shopping Josh. And we have no plans to trade Josh.”

  62. ESPN: San Francisco trades two #1 draft picks to the Kansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith! Did you wet your briefs troll??

      1. Bay and Jordan,

        Aren’t you the ones who accuse people of not being able to move on? Ironic. Ironic and sad, actually.

    1. Hmmmmm, you two guys teasing others about someone going berserk over Alex Smith…… irony there, huh? ; >)

      1. Gruden may be the most overrated coach in NFL history. The only thing that keeps him relevant is his likeness to a psychotic, murdering, Cabbage Patch doll knock off from the 80′s.

  63. “What happened to Kaepernick? Was he fool’s gold? Is he the next Tim Tebow?” No. More like Jeff Hostetler.

  64. Grant James Jones is begining to dominate the site with his posts a lot like Darin. Could you please block him. He is a troll nothing more nothing less. Just because a poster posts unpopular ideas does not make him a Troll I.E. Alexsmithfeels no pressure is not a troll but JamesJones is please block him. Thanks….OC

    1. James Jones is going by the name Jimmy Hanes over on Matt Barrows blog. He even copied and pasted one of his rants from that blog to this one. Yeah, a troll.

    2. You’re right old coach. This guy infests blogs to no end with this garbage 10-15 times a day. I’m a 2nd vote for blocking this guy.

  65. When Harbaugh came into the NFL, there was no film on the scheme and version of offense he was going to run in the NFL. He ran a very watered down version for most of the first season. I believe it was mostly because they had no training camp and they had a QB that either couldn’t make the necessary down field throws, or was too tentative to do it.

    In 2012 with a full training camp and a healthy squad, they opened up the playbook. By midway through the season, they made their QB change. Defenses has zero idea how to contain our new multi dimensional toy. Kaepernick wisely used his full array of weapons that he had at his disposal. His favorite was Crabs followed by Delaney, Vernon Davis, sprinkle in some Moss and they were very difficult to stop.

    Fast forward to 2013. Gone is Crabs, gone is Delaney, injured is Davis, gone is Moss. The Niners surely had a plan right? Brilliant first round pick Jenkins. Whoops bust, GONE. High draft pick Patten, whoops injured. Let’s bring in Kansas Cities first round bust Jon Baldwin. We see all of this, yet some of the ignorant of this blog want to blame our QB that has less than a seasons worth of starts under his belt for our passing game failures. Same group of losers that year after year for seven years said, “they keep changing Offensive coordinators on him, he has no line, he has no receivers, his head coach is a defensive minded head coach”. Dbags and not Niner fans is what I say.
    I respect the Patriots. I know Brady is all world and not fair to compare him to Kaep. However, the coaching staff of the Patriots is the best in pro football. The one year that Moss was there, they ran a vertical offense and destroyed teams. The year that Moss left, they reinvented themselves into a dual tight end centric team. Brilliant and almost unstoppable. The following year they sprinkled in more underneath routes to Welker and screens and short passes to Woodhead.
    My point is, at the beginning of the season we realized Jenkins was a bust, we realized Crabs was out till Dec, we knew Moss was gone. And what did we do? We tried to run the same wide open offense that we ran the year before without the receiving horses to pull it off. Every blogger in this room could have called a better 2nd half against the Colts than Roman did. He lost that game for us. And then talk about knee jerk reactions, throwing only 15 times against the Rams? Needing balance is one thing, but that was ridiculous.
    If Harbaugh wants to continue to be respected in the NFL, he is going to have to push Roman to be more dynamic or have him step aside for someone else.

    1. Placing one QB’s performance on coaching and OCs = Dbags and not Niner fans.

      Placing another QB’s performance on coaching and OCs = Bayareafanatic.

      Got it.

      1. So you are in disagreement with what I said? Or are you just here to be one of the Dbags that I was talking about.
        Rib I have hope for you yet. Keep it to football and not attacks. By the way I love your new Avatar…..

      2. Rib,

        Whether you agree or not with what Bay just said, was the insult really necessary. I thought the comment was well written even though I don’t agree 100%. Kap has to be more aware of his receivers being mopen when they are and throwing them the ball. I do agree that we three that Colt game away. We gave up on the run. Kap has to play better.

      3. 23jordan:

        Whether you agree or not with what Bay just said, was the insult really necessary.

        Perhaps you missed the part where Bay called out commenters for being “Dbags and not Niner fans.”

        ribico didn’t say he disagreed with Bay’s position regarding Kaepernick. He just noted that it was hypocritically inconsistent with Bay’s past positions on Smith.

      4. Michael Bay Area Fanatic,
        These are nothing more then Kapcuses!
        Pot Kettles call each other Michael Bay Area Fanatic, that’s how bad you are!
        Kap is in the bottom of most categories, playing horrifically and there’s nothing else to say, other then we hope it he starts to figure it out soon, because he’s our QB.

        You chastised everyone, and me, for questioning Harbaugh, and now you are doing the same thing.

        Look in the mirror buddy, the douche bag — the douche bag is you!!!!

      5. Jordo, regarding bay’s “critique”, I am in no way presumptous enough start putting the blame on the same coaching staff / FO that has been to 2 NFCCG, 1 SB, near NFL-best record over the last 2 1/2 seasons. With a head coach who, other than a year with the Raiders, had NO NFL coaching experience. I find that mind-boggling amazing.

        Nor do I “blame” Kaep, or any other positions such as WR.

        What I do blame is the fan instant-gratification mindset that is bolstered by the internet. That we had a young QB hyped as the GOAT, the second coming of Dan Marino/Joe Montana and John Elway combined and sells more jerseys than everybody else in the history of the NFL. We lost last week???? Then we are crap! QBR in the 40s????? Our QB is crap! Warm up the backup! Panic sign some free-agent! Panic trade for someone who is unlikely to help us! (Hernandez? Really? WTF?)

        BS. We will lose some games – every team does. We will have players whose statisical ratings from “experts” at website x, y, or z put them somewhere below individual league leaders. Me, I’m taking the long view. This is a good team, with great players and great coaching and yes, great schemes. I’ll let the professionals continue what they are expert at – we are going to be fine.

    2. Let me change that first sentence just a bit. “When Kaepernick took over there was no film on the scheme and version of offense he was going to run in the NFL.” His strenghts and weaknesses weren’t yet known. Now that opposing coordinators have been given an offseason to study his play and tendencies they have closed the gap. They have realized that he doesn’t throw well when running to the left, so they send blitzes to his right side, forcing him left. They realized that he struggles with accuracy when he has to go past his first 2 reads, so they jam the receivers at the line and force him to go through his reads.

      There is no doubt that Kaepernick took the NFL by storm last season. He made some big plays, and for a guy starting for the first time in the league he was over the top good.

      There is no doubt that he misses Crabtree and Walker. Unfortunately that does not excuse his inability to sit in the pocket and go through his progression and hit open receivers.

      What we may be watching is a player who played above what his real ability level is last season, and has come back down to his level point.

      Last season I kept referring to Alex Smith as Tommy Maddox because their careers to that point had been very similar. If I were to do that with Kaepernick I would refer to him as Jeff Hostetler. A backup QB who stepped in when the starter was hurt and led the team to the Super Bowl, winning the NFCCG on the road in comeback fashion. Unfortunately for Hostetler he could not find that type of success once he was handed over the keys and was 6-5 the next season before being injured himself.

      1. Jack: I’m glad you changed that first sentence for Bay because I am certain that there was an abundance of film on Harbaugh’s Stanford offense, which is pretty much the offense he runs in the NFL.


        You claim that:

        … some of the ignorant of this blog want to blame our QB that has less than a seasons worth of starts under his belt for our passing game failures. Same group of losers that year after year for seven years said, “they keep changing Offensive coordinators on him, he has no line, he has no receivers, his head coach is a defensive minded head coach”. Dbags and not Niner fans is what I say.

        I don’t suppose there is any chance you can actually name the commenters who are doing that, or is this just another straw man for you to knock down? As ribico pointed out, the only commenters I have noticed exhibiting douchebag-level hypocrisy are the Smith haters like you. You dismissed Smith’s lack of supporting personnel and poor coaching (we’re talking really poor) as mere “Alexcuses”, but you use those same reasons (do you really think that Harbaugh and Roman are as inept as Singletary and Raye?) to shield Kapernick from any responsibility for his struggles this year. Who, exactly, on the other side of the debate has been demonstrating hypocrisy on the same level?

        Keep it to football and not attacks.

        Says the guy who repeatedly labels those commenters who disagree with him as “Dbags” and “not Niner fans”. You really have zero self-awareness, don’t you?

      2. I prefer to liken CK to Roethlisberger. Big Ben had a meteoric rise as a rookie and then became a very QB throughout his career until recently.

        We just don’t know what we are going to get with CK once he is fully established in the league.
        But we do know that he is far from a finished product.

        We see the arm strength and freak athleticism, but there is much refining left to complete his game.
        But on that front, I still hear Harbaugh’ words when speaking about CK’ huge upside and that gives me encouragement for the future.

        As I said last week, CK’ biggest challenge is not Alex Smith (i.e. all the comparisons) or any other QB. His biggest challenge is finding his comfort level in a conventional QB offense.

        I’m beginning to see some inroads in this area for CK and that bodes well for the future.

        If CK is playing at this level in game 10, I may join the ranks of the Alex comparisons. But by game 10 I expect to see some real improvements in CK’ game.

      3. So once again my analysis about CK and the Bears game from last year holds true. It was an anomaly and it’s being proven with every single defensive coordinator that has held CK in check.
        NFL coaches studied him all offseason and these guys know how to take away things certain players do well. CK has plenty of weapons to utilize. You cannot put it all on Crabtree or MM. A lot of it is on CK but Roman and Harbaugh too. No more excuses, it’s time for him to elevate his game if indeed he is a franchise QB capable of winning a SB.
        Lameareafanatic stop with the excuses!

      4. AES,
        very nicely said.
        “As I said last week, CK’ biggest challenge is not Alex Smith (i.e. all the comparisons) or any other QB. His biggest challenge is finding his comfort level in a conventional QB offense”.
        What also helps is the fact that the defense is finally playing at a high level again. And without Aldon. I’d even like to say that without Willis on the field, Bowman has come out from under his shadow and showed that he’s possibly a better overall player than 52.
        To the doubters, there will be handfuls of “I told you so” by the end of the year. This team and coaching staff for the most part is too talented to not get there.

      5. To the doubters, there will be handfuls of “I told you so” by the end of the year.

        What doubters? If you can’t name them, they don’t exist.

      6. Claude,
        they know who they are. A better question is why do you consistently insert yourself in a conversation to fight for a side that has no name attached to it? Care to talk football? Do you even know how?
        I get the years are done for you doing pro bono cases and ambulance chasing. Bored much? Stick to football instead of following my posts and sniffing my jock…

      7. Bay:

        Claude, they know who they are.

        That’s what I thought. They don’t exist, except maybe for Prime.

        A better question is why do you consistently insert yourself in a conversation to fight for a side that has no name attached to it?

        That’s my point. You can’t own up to your own hypocrisy, so you make up nonexistent hypocrites on the other side and argue that they are the douche bags.

        And I’m not fighting for anyone who argues that Kaepernick sucks or that he solely is to blame for his struggles this year. I’m simply pointing out your ongoing shameless hypocrisy. Read my comments without trying to think of a response first, and you might realize that.

        It’s interesting that the guy who’s on record gushing over Kaep’s physical gifts and how much of a stud he is would accuse someone else of jock-sniffing. If that’s your thing, go for it – it’s a free country – but don’t project your tendencies onto me.

    3. Bay,

      There is some validity to what you are saying in that losing Crabs and Walker does affect Kaps ability to be successful. However, he does have Boldin and Davis which is pretty much on par with what the Niners have had in past years in the Harbaugh era where the WR depth chart has been poor. I agree Coaching is a big part of this but Kap also has a problem with feeling phantom pressure in the pocket and not trusting his receivers other than the two mentioned above.

      I think you also are overselling the wide open offense idea from last year. The one thing that changed when Kap came in is that he took the deeper passes more often. What didn’t change was the run first mentality and the overall production during the regular season. There really was little difference in the passing numbers between Smith and Kap during that time. The big change in the playoffs was how effective the read option was against the Packers and then Kaps ability to lead the team back from two big deficits against the Falcons and Ravens both running and throwing the ball.

      The offense in general really didn’t change all that much in philosophy. They used the Pistol more often with Kap but they still ran more than they passed and relied on defense until they couldn’t. What’s changed this season is teams aren’t letting Kap beat them with the read option to the point the Niners have pretty much taken it out of the playbook, and are instead forcing him to beat them from the pocket which he’s had mixed results with. As Jack said, they’ve also figured out he is not overly effective when forced to run to his left so that also was a focus of opposing defenses, and a big reason why we saw the bootlegs to the right show up in the Rams game.

      It appears to me that Roman and Harbaugh became enamored with Kaps physical skill and started running the entire offense through him and he is not ready for that kind of responsibility yet. He needs the threat of the running game to be successful because play action is the most effective passing element the Niners have right now. I’m not putting too much emphasis on his poor numbers from last week because as soon as they went up 21-0, the gameplan became running the clock and defense, but he has shown some indecisiveness in the pocket that needs to be corrected or he will continue to struggle at times. He’s a young guy with limited starts, and it’s going to take some time, but at least they have realized it and are helping him more efficiently now.

  66. Grant- Kaepernick is ‘the most physically talented quarterback ever’?? Can you say hyperbole. You do this young man absolutely no favors with ridiculous statements like that. Where else does he go after an endorsement like that? Kap is a young, struggling QB with a significant upside but at this point that’s about all you can say. I think that the coaches, particularly Harbaugh, are the problem. They put him out there too soon and the piper is now being paid. The rest of the NFL caught up with the Kap offense and the ball is now in Harbaugh’s court, not Kap’s. And don’t expect a huge turnaround when Crabtree and Manningham return. It will be mid-season and they will be in the catch up mode for several weeks. Give Kap a straightforward game plan, more flat passes and focus on Frank Gore and the run game.

    1. You are way off base. They didn’t catch up with Kaeps offense because they haven’t been running Kaeps offense. His legs are what kept defenses off balance. They don’t have a backup Qb and are fearful of him being injured so they quit running and have him in traditional sets which are not his strength yet.
      As for being the most physically gifted QB ever, Grant is not so far off base. Can you name another signal caller that has his height, speed, arm strength and elusiveness? I can only really think of one, John Elway and I still give the nod to Kaep since he took a team that was giving up 30 points a game all the way to the super bowl. Let him get his weapons back before you judge so harshly.

      1. Way off base? Hardly. Opponents now spread the defensive ends a little more, contain better and sometimes assign a linebacker to watch Kap. Gore’s run game has picked up because defenses are forced to pick their poison-spread the D a little more to contain Kap or tighten the middle to stop Gore. And I am not harsh on Kap- I love the kid. Harbaugh just has his work cut out for him to now patiently bring him along without, as you say, a decent backup, which by the way, was not the case last year.

      2. Its real easy to game plan for a QB not working out of traditional sets. This is why Kaepernick is struggling. Teams are designing their defense so he has to make two to three reads before a decision is made. Then all they are doing is like Ninertime said, spreading out their defensive ends and using an inside linebacker to spy him so he cannot run.
        This is more about his decision making then it is “his weapons”.
        It will come with more experience but with a team ready to win now, this poses a problem.

    2. I’d argue that Randal Cunningham (QB Eagles to Tecmo Bowl fans) is the most physically gifted QB ever. He even kicked a 99 yard punt! Remember he was the QB during the 98 Vikings historic run on offense with Moss, Carter, Jake Reed etc….

      1. Allfor,
        I used to compare Kaep to Cunningham all the time prior to coming to the Niners. Good comparison, only Cunningham was much thinner and lankier than Kaep.

    3. Grant didn’t make up that ‘most physically gifted QB’ stuff, nor is it necessarily incorrect. Cam and RG3 and even Luck are pretty much as talented in various combinations, but the superlatives have been rolling off a lot of media keyboards and microphones about CK. Def CoOrds are earning their pay by trying to take away what he does well. Our coaches may have gotten a bit stubborn with their approach, and CK seems to have drifted a bit away from good mechanics, but I think he needs to play his way out of it. I suspect he’ll succeed.

      1. Brotha CK’s mechanics are fine in the shot gun, his mechanics fall apart when he gets under center. The big problem with that is the 9er O runs much better under center. I believe he will need the rest of this yr and the next off season to polish his mechanics under center, untill then its going to be run the ball, play D and special teams. Hopefully a healthy Manningham, Crabtree and Davis will also help.

      2. Great observation old coach and it makes sense considering Kap never played under center before coming to SF. It takes awhile to get the timing and footwork correct to coincide with the receivers route depths. I don’t think you can stress enough how difficult this is and how much time it takes to get to the point of being smooth.

        One of the reasons they started using the Pistol formation so much was due to Kap’s comfort level in it. The problem is, the running game doesn’t mesh well with it. They are having a tough time matching the strengths and weakness’ of their personnel right now.

      3. Brotha, allforfun, Bay, ninertime:

        Even if Grant’s hyperbole is correct, it doesn’t matter much. Historically, being fantastically gifted physically hasn’t correlated with QB excellence, much less with Super Bowls. Those things seem to require certain in-pocket skills. For all his physical gifts, Randall Cunningham wasn’t a great QB. And Elway’s Super Bowl victories came at the end of his career when he wasn’t nearly as physically gifted. Steve Young didn’t become a great QB until he reduced his reliance on athleticism and developed as a pocket passer. He has said as much.

        The foregoing in no way predicts doom for Kaepernick, however, because he appears to have the intelligence, work ethic, and drive necessary to develop the in pocket skills necessary for QB excellence.

  67. I don’t often agree with you, but in this case I couldn’t agree more. I know none of us are pros, but what you wrote seems painfully obvious even to a novice. I would love to see RBs more involved in the passing game. Who knows, maybe LMJ catching passes in the flat could be a Reggie Bush-like weapon. And those are far easier passes to complete. We’ll never know if we don’t try.

  68. So ironic people are calling on the short passing game to show up. The same short passing game that people on this blog have been tearing their hair out over for the last couple years. Don’t know why the playcalling ever went away from it, even with the qb change last year. It’s not sexy, but you keep the chains moving, giving our defense time to rest, meanwhile slowly grinding away at their defense, finally opening up that big shot downfield late in the game. It’s obvious the pistol is not effective and more importantly, not helping the run game. Frank and Hunter are way more effective running out traditional power formations. All the proof you need is to look at the HOU game. Frank had his best rushing performance and it was no coincidence that it didn’t come from running out of the pistol.

    1. Well, you are limited with the short passing game. It’s not some cure all. Harbaugh wants a deep passing game and a physical running game, because they go hand in hand to create play action opportunities. If you rely on a short passing game, the coverage evntually moves up and it affects the run game.
      Hunter is better out of the pistol and ran most of his carries out of the formation on Sunday. Gore is an old school back that likes to run out of the I formation. He also has a lot of wear on his tires. Crabtree and Boldin are physical receivers that thrive in tight quarters. Had Crabtree not been injured, he would be tearing it up with Boldin across from him and it would have a domino effect across the corps. Their receiving corps is terrible right now. The people that wrote essays about the receiving corps in defense of Alex Smith are the same people that are ignoring the reality of the situation now. The people that ripped Smith non-stop are the ones making excuses for Kaepernick. SSDD.
      Everybody plays a role in the situation. Kaepernick, the coaches, the front office, etc. There is no magic fix. The best case scenario would is for them to play conservative football like they have been, and hopefully get Crabs, Manningham and Patton back later in the season. It seems to be working and should end up being a great learning experience in the long run for a young QB.

      1. The people that wrote essays about the receiving corps in defense of Alex Smith are the same people that are ignoring the reality of the situation now.

        Can you name them? If not, I have to call b/s. The only possible candidate I see is Prime.

      2. Big P, I might agree with you in some of your insight, but in reality, why are some the 49ers fans who put Alex Smith under the bus still in denial that Kap is just a below average QB? It just shows that Andrew Luck will have a better career than kap, no doubt about it. After A.Luck’s playing career in the NFL is over, he will be in the Hall of Fame someday.

        Guys like Kap is one of those players, who comes to the NFL, and shows potential greatness briefly early in their NFL career, but at the end he’ll just be one of those forgotten players in the NFL that moved on.

      3. Alex had crappy receivers most of his career, he struggled mainly because of bad coaching. Alex was an average QB most of his career. He has average skills, but he makes up for it by being smart and understanding the game.
        Colin is Randall Cunningham 2.0.
        Unless he starts to figure it out and learn how to go through progressions, make smart audibles, its gonna be tough mudding for the 9ers Offense when Gore starts to wear down at the end of year.

      4. As I said, Prime the only candidate I can think of.

        Jack? Rib? I don’t think you have read their comments (past and/or current) correctly. I don’t see any inconsistency between what they wrote then and what they are writing now.

        I don’t remember what fansince77′s position was in the past, so I can’t comment on him.

        There are a lot of trolls posting on this blog since the 2 game losing streak, and they have been going after Kaepernick relentlessly because they know doing so will get them the response they want. Those comments are the vast majority of the It’s-All-Kaepernick’s-Fault postings. As Kaepernick finds his way through this and the 49ers otherwise figure out how to counter-adjust, the team will resume winning with regularity, and the trolls will disappear.

      5. Fan,
        I have confidence in our QB that set an NFL record in his first playoff game. Won his first NFC Championship game bringing the team back from 17 points down. Orchestrated the largest superbowl comeback in NFL history. The Kaep led Niner team gave me more excitement and took us deeper than any QB in the last 17 seasons. I’m hooked.
        Once we get his weapons back and Kaep gains some more valuable experience, I once again expect greatness from him. If that doesn’t happen, then they have to bring in competition for the position. As we know though, QB’s don’t grow on trees.

      6. No Bay you were just more entertained with CK, that’s why you like him. Now that he is struggling you want to make up excuses. This is what fantasy football fans do.

        @Claude my only excuses for Alex Smith were the coaches he played for. CK has enough weapons to make it happen. It is his decision making like someone mentioned that has been the cause of his struggles and the fact there is now film on him.
        Simple game plan, keep the DE’ s in, spy him with a safety or linebacker and force him to go through his progressions. It’s rookie QB game plan 101.

      7. Lets begin by showing who used to make excuses. I like this particular string because it shows back and forth conversation between Prime and Axcel Foley who we now know were the same person. You can’t get lonely if you have a two way conversation and you are the only one in the room right prime?

        Axel Foley says:
        October 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        The playcalling has been as puzzling as ever this year. The short passing game calls worked against the Cards cause the WR for once made plays, game changing scoring plays. Alex Smith has not had that support all year.

      8. Claude I agree with that….

        Then you don’t want to read my 1:00 pm message. It’s slightly different in tone.

      9. My favorite line by Prime / Axel is, I root for all players all the time…. Really?

        Prime Time says:
        October 31, 2012 at 8:16 pm

        Crab 15, I do agree. I was harsh on Crabtree this summer because his play in last years playoffs warranted it. I believe the real players show up in the playoffs.
        Now he is having a good year, I love the guy now, I’m sold, I’m not praising him one game then saying I told you so the next game if its bad, like the jive turkey gobbler club. Players struggle from game to game, it happens. I root for all players all the time.

      10. Here’s Prime, whoops I mean Axel. Ahhh sorry I get confused since he double posts. Anyway here he is making excuses for Smith after a bad performance. Once again, why don’t you give Kaep this kind of love?

        Axel Foley says:
        October 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

        That Thursday night cannot be classified as a bad game. No one played well that game, on a short week and against a divisional rival, both teams grinding it out, it was wash on both sides. Russell Wilson played terrible but that does not make him bad QB.

      11. In the words of Prime, “some good games some bad games that is the nature of playing NFL QB. REALLY prime? Then why so hard on CK who is young, learning and just had us in a superbowl?

        Prime Time says:
        November 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

        Just sounds like more jive turkey gobble gobble!
        Of course Alex has had good game and bad, that’s the nature of the NFL QB! You and the rest of your turkey club keep letting this thing play out and hating whenever you like. The rest of us will enjoy the winning and the jive coming from your big mouth!

        Bay you would not know greatness if it was your shadow! Tell the girls to keep working hard!

      12. I love this string. Even when he’s busted he still lies. Prime, does the ethics committed have a problem with you being a real estate attorney with an identity crisis and that cannot tell the truth to save his life?

        Jack Hammer says:
        October 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm


        Can you settle this once and for all? Is Axel actually Prime Time?
        Grant Cohn says:
        October 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        Axel Foley says:
        October 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

        Can we prove this Grant?

      13. Man,
        Jordan Nostrodamus on the job baby….

        23jordan/I told you so. says:
        October 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        Hofer/ Alex’s Brother,

        You just feel that way because you’re related to the guy. next year when he leaves town for Jacksonville, are you moving out there?
        The answer was YES lol.

      14. Talk about sniffing my jock! Bay so hard on CK because you and a couple other fantasy fans made him out to be the almighty QB when all along I said, once people had film on him, it would be different, guess what, I was right! Cheering an calling a spade a spade is something you don’t get cause you don’t know the game pal!
        Now you are crying the blues saying be patient, only 14 starts, yadda, yadda etc! Excuse after excuse all yen while never identifying the situation Alex had cause all you did was look at the numbers, fantasy football clown!

        BTW,prove that I was or am Axel, and any one else that calls out your crap son?

      15. Here’s MWN blaming Smith’s lack of success on VD’s route running… So add MWN to the list.

        MidWestNiner says:
        October 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

        You’re right Houston. Smith was telling the Seattle secondary how to play against Davis. For real?! Smith doesn’t run the routes for Davis. Again, I’ll believe what Davis said.

      16. Actually FDM,
        you are RIGHT…. Finally.

        FDM says:
        October 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

        Claude, dont forget, this is just Bay’s opinion, you know the one that has little or zero to no facts to support it.
        He is in the meeting rooms, the game plan sessions, and upper management meetings across the league. This is how he knows that Alex’s days are numbered, and how CK’s time is near. He also knows what actaully is going on in Greg Romans mind. He is an expert in mind control.

      17. FDM,
        wanna bet lol.

        FDM says:
        October 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

        For the people that are questioning Alex and whether or not he should or will be the Niners starting QB moving forward, sorry folks but he will be for the forseeable future as long as Harbaugh is calling the shots.
        This is what it is, a coach who truly believes this guy is the right guy to play in this system. You can boo, hiss, and scream for change but guys, its not happening. They are going to ride Alex and there is no stat, opinion or hate that is going to change that.

      18. Bay how resourceful of you to go back and quote the many different opinions and sayings on here. Fact is if anyone attempted to go back and cite all your quotes from the time you entered the blog till now we would need a cargo plane to carry all the horse manure that you spewed out of your mouth.

      19. Right, FDM. Bay is just asking for it. I might consider doing to bay what he’s doing to others myself. Oh wait, forget it. I have a life.

      20. Bay Area Fanatic,
        I think Colin has immense talent. I think he’s regressed for a variety of reasons. He rose too high too fast, much like Harbaugh. Other teams are just as good and as amazing as he is, he’s not the first physically gifted QB to not figure out the pro game. I hope he does because he’s the Niner QB. If not, then he has to go and let someone else give it a try.
        I’m not sure if the weapons come back, if they do, if we don’t get the same. 31st ranked passing offense is not acceptable.
        I would like to see Jon Baldwin make 3-4 catches.
        Patrick Peterson is going to be on Boldin for sure in the Cards game.

    2. >>The people that wrote essays about the receiving corps in defense of Alex Smith are the same people that are ignoring the reality of the situation now. The people that ripped Smith non-stop are the ones making excuses for Kaepernick.

      Yeah, and I did for good reason. If you want to celebrate a circa 2011 post-season receiving corps made up of pre-breakout Crabtree, Williams, Peele and Swain be my guest.

      The thing is, I’m not *ripping* our QB now, like the haters were doing circa 2011 post-season, so quit projecting. I’m not blaming or excusing anything about him including his current receivers.

      1. ribico, Prime, the fans like Bay, crab15, claude, bip p, ninermd and 23 jordan are the ones that always ripped Alex Smith, and the ones that comes to kap defense. They make a bunch excuses for kap, but yet they still can’t get A. Smith out of their mind. Some of kaps followers said once they have all their weapons back, kap will dominate again..Wow ! Don’t they know that other NFL teams have films on kaps game, thats why his not the same from last season? Without Gore the 49ers will struggle, the 9ers defense are keeping the 49er team in games and they win games for the 49er team. It won’t long this same group will put Kap under the bus also. Just give it sometime they’ll put harbaugh along with Kap in the same bus.. haha

      2. Capey,

        Ummm…. are you sure you want to include Claude in your list? Think carefully — your answer will impact whatever small measure of credibility you may have.

      3. ribico,
        I was once a 49er fan. But after Eddie D leave the 49ers and handed the 49er team to his sister Denise york, i don’t follow the 49ers that much anymore or rooted for the 49ers team. I was a proud 49er fan then, what made it so incredible the 49ers winning 4 Superbowls in the Montana era and 1 SB by S. Young, it was just unbelievable the achievement of the 49ers team. But in the later years the upper mangement have no clues building a winning football team. They hired disfunctional Hd coaches, OC that don’t have any idea how to run a football team. Hope you can understand from my point of view, why I am not a kap follower or a 49er fan.

  69. Aldon Smith will face weapons charges for the case 2 years ago at his home. I just heard that on the radio here in san francisco.

      1. I love Alex! The fact that he’s not here anymore! Lol. I like super bowl trophies for my favorite football team. Not wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t need to make excuses for Kap. He’s a grown man, just like Alex was. I expect Kap to lead this team to super bowls. If he doesn’t, I won’t kill myself. Smith didn’t exactly we t Kap a great example before him. I consider Lap an upgrade. The entire NFL does as well. All arrows up!

      2. 23Jordan, Its just too bad, kap and 49ers came short of winning the SuperBowl last season. Can you imagine if this young over confident, arrogant young qb won SB? Its too bad, going back to the SB the 2nd time around would be a lot harder to do, than people think. Every team that the 49er’s are playing will be gunning for Kap. We’ve seen it, in the last 5 games the 49ers played.

  70. The only person catching passes from Kap this year as well as last year is VD! So, yes, WR’s are a big part of the problem! All the roster turnover. Kap is having a “sophomore slump” even though he’s still a rookie ( less than 16 starts) all young Qb’s not named Luck are going through the same thing, or worse RG3, Wilson and Newton all suck! And the coaches are still trying to figure it all out without getting in their own way. Going on 3 years now, we have been a running check down team, so im not surprised by the deep shots down field, trying to add a new wrinkle to the O. Its a work in progress for sure, we are trying to turn someone who has been mimicking Mike Vick all his life into a Peyton Manning clone, all the while not having consistent WR’s for him to develop chemistry with. Were winning while were doing it so i dont know why everyone is freaking out!

    1. Who is a rookie, Kap? Kap has been playing in the NFL for 3 years?
      C’mon man, you’ve got to come up with a better excuse not because he has bad recievers and his main targets are in IR, but the truth is kap is just an average Qb. Its an embarrassement to compare him to Brady, Payton, Eli, Brees and to the great ones. he didn’t accomplish anything yet in the NFL, except kissing his Biceps in front of national television. Lol !

  71. Look folks, the receiving corp could be better but we do have two All Pro receivers, Boldin and Davis. That is not the biggest issue for the team. Adding Manningham and Crabtree will help and when they are at full strength, maybe next year, they will help a lot. But I don’t think that’s the fix. As mentioned above, Kap will have to get profficient at taking the snap under center and devloping the footwork and timing with his receivers. It’s no more full time postol. Until then, we are all going to have to watch a young QB learning on the job. Let’s hope it’s fun.

      1. Capey,

        Are you the guy sending the hate tweets to Kap? Keep up the good work. Lol. Wouldn’t sign your jersey huh?

    1. Besides, VD missed a game with a bad hamstring, and appears to still be hampered by the injury.

      Whether you want acknowledge it, or not, CK is working with a depleted receiving corps. It’s silly to not recognize that this has something to do with the 49ers’ offense not having a consistent passing game, right now.

      How much this has to do with the decrease in production of the passing offense will be seen when MM and MC come back, if they are at full strength.

      1. Exgolfer, I’m glad you can recognize why kap is having a terrible 1st half this season. You’ve said his working with a depleted recieving corps, thats why the 49ers offense is inconsistent early in the season.. Let me asked you a question, when Alex Smith was with the 49ers in his earlier days, why i’ve never heard it from anyone pointing out that Alex didn’t have the recievers to worked with, thats why his having a terrible games?

  72. KraperExcuses won’t help KraperNoob LOL

    Now that everyone and their Grand Mom knows when you take away KraperNoob’s legs and keep him in the pocket, KraperNoob is at best an average pocket passer. Don’t get butt hurt cause KraperNoob isn’t a great pocket passer like Manning or Brady, afterall he is still a over rated over hyped Fame Game NOOB… LOL

    KraperNoob can’t sustain drives like Alex Smith can and still do in KC, which gives his defense rest and keeps the defense fresh. The 49ers currently lead the league in going three-and-out on 43 percent of their drives LOL

    The 49ers have Kaepernick throwing the ball more than 20 yards downfield 15 percent of the time, close to the league high. Compare that to Alex Smith, who threw it downfield 8.7 percent of the time last season when he was a 49er, or Peyton Manning, who currently is throwing the ball downfield on 9.1 percent of his passes. Harb knows that is ALL KraperNoob is good for, KraperNoob sucks at short touch passes because he throws it too hard and is not good or use to it, UNLIKE Alex Smith who excels in the short to medium game.

    The 49ers are ranked 31st in the passing game.

    Even the Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor has outperformed Kaepernick in nearly every statistical category. You don’t even have to bother comparing KraperNoob’s stats to 5-0 Alex Smith LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>