49ers’ fill-ins can’t come up blank

This is my Saturday column. Before we get to the 49ers’ upcoming preseason game, here’s a brief history lesson. In 2010, the 49ers’ defense was ordinary. It ranked 13th in yards allowed and 16th in points given up. Four current starters were key contributors on that 2010 defense – Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Ray McDonald. After the 2010 season, the 49ers drafted Aldon Smith and signed Carlos…

August 16, 2014

49ers mock draft No.1

Let’s do a mock draft. I’m sticking to the first-three rounds this time. Round 1, Pick 30: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State. With so many juniors declaring for the draft this year, next year’s wide receiver class probably will be lean. The 49ers better grab a WR now. There’s a chance eight will get drafted in the first round this year — Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Marqise…

January 26, 2014

49ers 23, Panthers 10: Grades

CHARLOTTE – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 23-10 divisional playoff win over the Panthers. KAEPERNICK: A-. He played terribly before the 49ers defense made their second goal line stand but, then again, most of the Niners played terribly before the second stand. After that, Kaepernick and the rest of the Niners were just about unstoppable. Kaepernick accounted for two touchdowns – a pass to Vernon Davis while rolling…

January 12, 2014

Harbaugh: “We have a lot of confidence in our secondary players.”

Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference courtesy of the 49ers.   As you prepared for this game, how much was the focus just on getting their bodies right and more mental than physical? “It was both, both those things.”   Just the fact that I know you kind of worked the schedule a little bit different for earlier practice times, you haven’t done that in the…

January 10, 2014

49ers 23, Packers 20: Grades

GREEN BAY – Here are my grades for the 49ers, who beat the Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field in a wild card playoff game Sunday night. KAEPERNICK: B+. His passer rating the first three quarters was 58.9, but his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 118.2. So, he was clutch, although he completed just half of his passes in the fourth quarter (4-of-8), and one of his incompletions was…

January 5, 2014

49ers 34, Falcons 24: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers. They almost blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but ended up beating the Falcons 34-24. KAEPERNICK: B. His passer rating was 108.6 and he ran for 51 yards and a touchdown against a terrible defense. He also completed just 13 passes, and only a few of his completions actually hit his intended receiver in stride. All night, receivers had to adjust…

December 23, 2013

Fangio on the Falcons: “They’re still a very explosive offense.”

SANTA CLARA — Vid Fangio spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Since you have all of the same guys in the same places as last year, what’s different about your defense this year as far as the way it’s executing your scheme and what it’s accomplished? I think you’re back up there right there at the top like…

December 20, 2013

Harbaugh on Kaepernick: “There were 30-yard lasers on the run. Just haven’t seen anybody ever do that.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Opening Comments: “We’re glad to see you. We’re glad to be back. It was a great win for the team. We’re very excited about it. The biggest thing is the guys worked hard for it. They worked hard in their preparation. They worked hard in the…

December 16, 2013

Fangio on Glennon: “He’s got deceiving pocket presence.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Do you sense any, I don’t know if let down is the right word, but is it tough for these guys to get back to work after a big win against Seattle? “No. I don’t think so. Like I told you last week, the last four games…

December 12, 2013

Fangio says Wilson “can run any offense.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript.   How much of Seattle’s success is success on first and second downs to stay in manageable situations, third and short? “Well, it’s a big part of their success. Basically, the big part of their success is they’re balanced. They run the ball on first and second down as much as anybody in the…

December 5, 2013

Harbaugh says he hasn’t gotten out-schemed the past two games and Kaepernick is doing “a heck of a job.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: How is Tarell Brown doing? HARBAUGH: Good. Walking around and getting better every day. Q: Did he have cracked ribs? HARBAUGH: He’s working through something. I wouldn’t call them cracked ribs. I’m not going to define it. He’s got an issue he’s working through. It’s going to take him a little bit of…

November 21, 2013

49ers 20, Saints 23: Grades

NEW ORLEANS – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 23-20 loss to the Saints. KAEPERNICK: C-. Kaepernick passed the ball well. He was 6-for-15 on third down and 2-for-3 in the red zone. His worst pass was an interception, but it didn’t cost the team anything. Kaepernick ran down the defender and made him dive for the end zone and the defender fumbled the ball out of the back…

November 17, 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 31, Titans 17: Grades

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 31-17 win over the Titans. KAEPERNICK: A-. He threw some extremely accurate passes and ran exceptionally well. His passer rating was 93.2 and his yards-per-carry average was 6.2 – the highest in the game. He gets an A- and not an A because he made two poor throws in the second quarter when the 49ers were up just 3-0. First,…

October 20, 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

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

Kaepernick’s brilliance masks issues for 49ers

Here is my Monday column. Enjoy. SANTA CLARA – Let’s focus on the good after the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Packers, a very good team, probably not a great team. THE GOOD After just 11 starts, Colin Kaepernick probably is the best quarterback in the NFL. You could say he singlehandedly beat the Packers. His defense gave up 28 points, he had no rushing attack and still he…

September 9, 2013

49ers 34, Packers 28: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – My grades for the 49ers after their 34-28 win over the Packers: KAEPERNICK: A. He outplayed Aaron Rodgers and shredded the Packers’ defense despite having no rushing threat, one wide receiver and one tight end. Kaepernick may be the only quarterback in the NFL who can pull that off. Here’s his final stat line: 29-of-37 for 412 yards, 3 TDs, a 129.4 passer rating, 9-for-18 on third…

September 8, 2013

49ers 15, Chiefs 13: Grades

My grades for the 49ers’ 15-13 preseason victory over the Chiefs: QUARTERBACKS: D. Colin Kaepernick completed one of two passes for negative three yards. He overthrew the one pass he attempted downfield. Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien were horrible. McCoy threw an interception and Tolzien averaged just 3.8 yards per pass attempt. If those two keep playing like that, the 49ers won’t be able to trade either one for a…

August 16, 2013

Training camp report: Harbaugh breaks up fight

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers practiced in shorts and shells Tuesday evening in preparation for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs. Here’s what stood out to me during the evening practice. THE GOOD 1. MarQueis Gray – He made two jaw-dropping catches during 11-on-11 team drills. First, he ran a seam route down the middle of the field. Tolzien threw it up for Gray. Gray jumped, twisted and caught…

August 13, 2013