49ers 9, Panthers 10: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 10-9 loss to the Panthers. KAEPERNICK: F+. He completed just 11 passes and converted just 2 of 13 third downs. He had 46 net passing yards. That’s pathetic. He took 6 sacks and he threw an interception to seal the defeat. His passer rating in the fourth quarter was 0.0. But I give him an F+ and not an F because…

November 10, 2013

Roman holiday or horror story?

Here is my Friday column on the 49ers’ upcoming game against the Panthers. SANTA CLARA – I would feel confident picking the 49ers to win on Sunday, but offensive coordinator Greg Roman gives me pause. This is the kind of game he screws up. Roman has had extra time to prepare for the Panthers’ No.2-ranked defense because the 49ers are coming off a bye week. It’s the extra prep time…

November 8, 2013

Roman: “Frank is just getting better and better.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon. I’d just like on behalf of the offensive staff to send out best wishes to [Houston Texans head] coach [Gary] Kubiak, [Denver Broncos head] coach [Jon] Fox and their families. Our thoughts, prayers are with them and their families and their health. [Offensive…

November 7, 2013

49ers 42, Jaguars 10: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 42-10 win over the Jaguars. Quarterbacks: A. One of the best games ever by a quarterback who completed just 10 passes. Kaepernick scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing, and he averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt and 9.3 yards per rush attempt. He made 10 breathtaking plays in the first half alone – designed runs, scrambles, pump fakes, passes on the…

October 27, 2013

49ers 32, Cardinals 20: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 32-20 win over the Cardinals. KAEPERNICK: C-. He was 8-for-11 passing to Vernon Davis and 8-for-18 passing to everyone else. The Cardinals absolutely could not cover Davis and Kaepernick took advantage. Kaepernick also threw an interception in the red zone, fumbled the ball in the pocket and fumbled a snap which he recovered. He was 1-for-8 on third down until…

October 13, 2013

Boldin’s intensity can carry 49ers, but not every week, not this week

Here is my Friday column about the presence and absence of Anquan Boldin. SANTA CLARA – Anquan Boldin is like a hero from an Elmore Leonard novel, a modern-day cowboy. On Thursday he marched through the locker room from the shower to his locker, head high, eyes forward, and said hello to no one. He’s like a cowboy entering a saloon with the brim of his hat covering his eyes….

October 11, 2013

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…

October 8, 2013

49ers 34, Texans 3: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 34-3 demolition of the entire Texans’ franchise. KAEPERNICK: F+. He gets the plus for hitting a wide-open Vernon Davis on a 64-yard touchdown pass. Besides that play, Kaepernick completed 5-of-14 passes for 49 yards. That’s a 46.4 passer rating and that’s dreadful. At least he didn’t turn over the ball. He’s still hardly looking to throw the ball to anyone…

October 6, 2013

Roman: “I think we can change gears pretty quickly.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. ROMAN: Good afternoon. We’ve got a very good Houston team coming in. We’ve got a very complete defense, a playoff team that won a lot of games there, a complete team. When you look at their defense, it starts up front but they’re really talented at every level of their defense. You look at their…

October 3, 2013

Skelton: “I’m fairly confident I’m not going to do do the stuff Kap can do.”

SANTA CLARA – John Skelton spoke at his locker Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: What are your thoughts about coming to this team and initial impressions? SKELTON: I’m excited. When I first talked to the coaching staff about the possibility of coming here, I got super pumped, just being able to work with Coach Harbaugh and the rest of the staff. I think his track record, especially for…

October 2, 2013

49ers v. Texans matchups: Boone v. Watt

Before the 49ers play the Texans Sunday at Candlestick, I’ll break down a few key matchups. RG Alex Boone: 6-8, 300 pounds vs. LE J.J. Watt: 6-5, 289 It’s the best defensive player in the NFL vs. the 12th-best guard according to Pro Football Focus. The 49ers have had success running power off right tackle the past two weeks, especially with Boone as a pulling blocker. Will Greg Roman and…

October 1, 2013

49ers 35, Rams 11: Grades

ST. LOUIS – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 35-11 win over the Rams. KAEPERNICK: B+. He played very well – 115.7 passer rating – even though he rarely went through his progessions.  He didn’t have to – in this game his first read usually was open. This season if his first read isn’t open, he scrambles. On one play in the fourth quarter Kaepernick started scrambling to his…

September 26, 2013

Road game on a Thursday is not the scenario for a 49ers recovery

Here is my Tuesday column on the upcoming 49ers-Rams game. You don’t have to look hard to find reasons to pick the 49ers to beat the Rams Thursday night in St. Louis. Here’s one: The Rams stink. Last Sunday they got destroyed by the Cowboys, a .500 team the past two seasons. And the Rams showed no emotion while they got stomped. It was like they expected it and didn’t…

September 24, 2013

Roman: “Repeating successful plays is something we’ll do, just didn’t have a chance to get back to them, really.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. ROMAN: Short week. All the coaches were back in about an hour after the last game, getting to work on the Rams. Guys have been working hard and late into the night. Seeing our coaching staff unshaven, a little gritty but grit is good. We’re getting ready to play a Rams team, a division team….

September 24, 2013

Kaepernick says the 49ers “have to win” this week

SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick spoke in the 49ers’ locker room Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: What stands out to you about the Rams’ defense? KAEPERNICK: They’re a good defense. They play hard. Q: How about their defensive front? Greg Roman said they’re probably the best defensive front you guys have seen so far. KAEPERNICK: Yeah, they’re very good up front. They do a lot of things well….

September 24, 2013

49ers 7, Colts 27: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-7 Week 3 loss to the Colts. KAEPERNICK: D-. His second horrendous game in a row. He completed just 13-of-27 passes for 150 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled. Kaepernick is the kind of quarterback who wants to feed the ball to the receivers he trusts but he trusts just one receiver – Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick hardly looks…

September 22, 2013

Roman: “Frank churning out those yards for us is very important to our success.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. ROMAN: Afternoon, we’ve got a playoff team coming in here in the Colts, very well-coached, very good defense. Just day-to-day here in terms of getting ready. Thursday is more of a situational day for us and that’s what we’ve just been working on this morning. Any questions? Q: How big of a priority is it…

September 19, 2013

Andrew Luck: “I want to earn it on the field before doing too much off the field.”

Andrew Luck spoke on a conference with Bay Area reporters call Wednesday morning. Here is a transcript. Q: What’s it like being in preparation mode knowing that the people on the other sideline know you very well? LUCK: I’ve given it a little bit of thought but I don’t think it changes anything from my end. I’m not going to change how I prepare or the process because it’s Coach…

September 18, 2013

49ers flaws were exposed and the rest of the league was watching

Here is my Tuesday column on the issues the 49ers currently face. The Week 1 win against the Packers masked issues on the 49ers, but the Seahawks just tore off the mask. What do we see? The offense is worse than it was last season. Let’s start there. They’re missing key players: Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Delanie Walker and Frank Gore. Yes, Gore is missing. More on him later. Crabtree…

September 17, 2013