Jim Harbaugh: “We were calling and executing the plays that we thought would get us in the end zone.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers’ red zone offense. Q: In the past two games, seven trips to the red zone but only two touchdowns. What has been the problem? Execution? Play calling? HARBAUGH: “There was a couple there where I really thought we were going to knock it in. The last drive, I really felt…

October 6, 2014

49ers 22, Chiefs 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers eked out a 22-17 win over the Chiefs Sunday afternoon. But the 49ers should have lost. The Chiefs gave away the game. With four minutes and 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter Kansas City committed one of the stupidest penalties you ever will see: Fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs’ 36-yard line. Phil Dawson was on the field to attempt a 54-yard field goal and, if…

October 5, 2014

49ers 26, Eagles 21: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Eagles 26-21 Sunday afternoon. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: B-. Made both of the 49ers’ touchdowns happen. On the first one he scrambled left, drew the Eagles’ entire defense and threw back to the right, across the whole field to Frank Gore who was wide open. One of the most thrilling plays you’ll see. Next, Kaepernick scrambled to the left and threw…

September 28, 2014

49ers 14, Cardinals 23: Grades

GLENDALE, AZ. – The 49ers lost 23-14 to the Cardinals. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. Gained 290 of the 49ers’ 318 total yards. Ran 13 times for 54 yards and completed 78.4 percent of his passes. Passer rating was 103.3. The entire offense was Kaepernick. Hard to win in the NFL with a one-player offense. RUNNING BACKS: D. Frank Gore carried the ball 6 times and gained 10…

September 21, 2014

Greg Roman’s mistake on the 49ers’ final play against the Bears

Before we move on to Week 3, one more thing about Week 2. I question Greg Roman’s play call on the 49ers’ final play against the Bears. The 49ers were at the Bears’ 17 yard line with 1:17 left and it was fourth-and-9. Roman called a play where Michael Crabtree ran a post route and ended up in the end zone and Anquan Boldin ran a hitch-and-go double move and…

September 20, 2014

Kaepernick’s reads aren’t right

This is my Thursday column on Colin Kaepernick. When Colin Kaepernick says he sees pass coverages, does he really see pass coverages? It is the essential question about him as an NFL quarterback. The question might have seemed impertinent before Sunday night. But, at his postgame press conference, Kaepernick kept bringing up the Bears’ coverages without being asked about them. He was coverage-obsessed. This after he had thrown three interceptions….

September 17, 2014

49ers 20, Bears 28: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers lost 28-20 to the Bears Sunday Night. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: F. His worst game since two games ago. Looked like Tony Romo looked last week. Committed four turnovers – one fumble and three interceptions. Would have been five turnovers but one of the interceptions hit the grass before a Bears’ defensive back caught it. Also committed a delay of game penalty on…

September 14, 2014

Greg Roman says LaMichael James is a really good football player

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “It was great to start off the season with a win. We moved onto a Chicago Bears team on Monday that has a very experienced defense. Starting with their front four, they’ve got one of the best pass rushers over the last decade in [Chicago Bears DE] Jared…

September 11, 2014

Dontae Johnson expects Jay Cutler to test him Sunday Night

SANTA CLARA – Dontae Johnson was interviewed next to his locker Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript Q: Going up against Jay Cutler do you expect to be targeted a little more just because you’re the rookie? JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. That’s just one of the things: “He’s a rookie. Let’s see if he can play this game.” That’s one of the things that comes with being a rookie. You’ve got to…

September 11, 2014

49ers 28, Cowboys 17: Grades

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys handed the 49ers a 28-17 win Sunday evening. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. Efficient. Completed 70 percent of his passes, averaged 8.7 yards per pass attempt, threw two touchdown passes and zero interceptions and converted 7-of-12 third downs. He found his receivers when they were wide open and he made some terrific throws while taking big hits. RUNNING BACKS: B. LaMichael James was…

September 7, 2014

Boldin on the report that Harbaugh is losing the locker room: “There’s no truth to it.”

ARLINGTON, Texas — Anquan Boldin was asked after the game about NFL.com’s report that Jim Harbaugh is losing the 49ers’ locker room. Here’s what Boldin said. Q: Anquan, please bear with me on this question. This morning this thing came out on NFL.com saying there’s tension between some players and Harbaugh. When you have something to talk to him about football, do you feel comfortable going to talk to him?…

September 7, 2014

What to watch for in the 49ers’ season opener against the Cowboys

SANTA CLARA — Here is what to watch for in the 49ers’ season opener against the Cowboys, a game I expect the 49ers will win by 10 points at least. 1. The 49ers’ pass attack. Even if Anthony Davis doesn’t play, the 49ers’ passing game should look better than ever on Sunday. The Cowboys’ defense is unspeakable. They have no run defense, no pass rush and no one in the secondary who…

September 4, 2014

49ers 21, Chargers 7: Starters’ grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Chargers 21-7 Sunday afternoon. Here are the grades for the Niners’ starters. KAEPERNICK: D-. Fumbled twice and committed one turnover. Completed 50 percent of his passes. Completed zero percent of his passes in the red zone. Posted a 64.2 passer rating. Performed poorly in areas he needed to improve this offseason – accuracy, touch, footwork and red-zone passing. RUNNING BACKS: C. Carlos Hyde…

August 24, 2014

49ers have chance to show quality

This is my Friday column. The 49ers have been by far the worst team in the NFL during the preseason. In two games, the Niners have scored three points and given up 57. That means they’ve been outscored by 54. The Cowboys have been the second-worst team in the preseason. They’ve been outscored by merely 27. That means the 49ers have been twice as bad as the second-worst team. We…

August 22, 2014

49ers camp progress report

This is my Saturday column. SANTA CLARA – Eight training camp practices down, three to go before the 49ers play preseason game No. 1 and you see this for yourself. Until then, here are my top five takeaways from camp. 1. Colin Kaepernick is improving. It’s his fourth season in this offense and he has it down cold – that’s the first thing you notice. He shouts a million things…

August 2, 2014

Colin Kaepernick throws touchdown passes, Anquan Boldin throws punches at Darryl Morris

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Friday’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick. Completed 14 of the 19 passes he attempted during team drills. He threw three touchdown passes – one to Quinton Patton, one to Vernon Davis and one to Chuck Jacobs. This may have been Kaepernick’s best practice of camp. 2. Vernon Davis. Made five catches during team drills. One was a five-yard…

August 1, 2014

Borland beats Hyde again

SANTA CLARA — Here is what stood out to me at the 49ers’ non-padded practice Thursday afternoon. THE GOOD 1. Patrick Willis. Forced a fumble. Will Tukuafu caught a pass over the middle, turned and took two steps upfield when Willis punched the ball out of his hands. 2. Michael Wilhoite. Punched a ball out of Quinton Patton’s hands during a red zone drill. Patton hadn’t taken a step with…

July 31, 2014

Dontae Johnson shuts down Anquan Boldin, Brandon Lloyd and Stevie Johnson

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ second padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. Dontae Johnson. Played like a monster. Broke up three passes. First, he swatted away a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Anquan Boldin in the back right corner of the end zone. You rarely see a cornerback beat Boldin on a jump ball. Next, Johnson almost intercepted a Kaepernick pass…

July 27, 2014

Why the 49ers need Vernon Davis

This is my Friday column. Forget about contracts and holdouts for a moment. Let’s focus on why Vernon Davis is vital to the 49ers’ offense. Before I hit you with a barrage of X’s and O’s, there’s one stat you should know about Davis. He scored a touchdown once every four catches last season — the best rate in the NFL. If he had played in an offense that didn’t…

June 20, 2014

OTA Notes: Ellington beats Johnson, Patton beats Brock, Brooks beats Kaepernick

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me at Wednesday’s mini-camp. THE GOOD 1. Bruce Ellington — The only receiver who caught a deep pass. During one-on-one drills, Ellington ran deep against rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson. McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw a perfect deep pass. Ellington jumped up and caught the ball over Johnson, who is five inches taller than Ellington. 2. Quinton Patton — Was two-for-two against Tramaine Brock during…

June 18, 2014