SANTA CLARA — The Niners have been working to improve their 31st –ranked red zone offense the past two practices, and their top two quarterbacks have had a tough time.
Alex Smith was sacked four times and he only completed six passes to wide receivers in team drills. His best throw was a 15-yard strike to Mario Manningham, who was knocked out of bounds right in front of the goal line by Carlos Rogers. Smith did not complete any passes in the end zone, but he did complete a short pass to Kendall Hunter who ran a few yards for a TD. On Smith’s last throw of practice, he got intercepted by Dashon Goldson after Tarell Brown tipped a short pass intended for Mario Manningham. Brown read the play all the way.
Colin Kaepernick scrambled more than he passed for most of practice. After roughly an hour and a half of team drills, he’d scrambled four times and completed just one throw. After he scrambled for the fourth time, some of the defensive backs heckled Kaepernick, imploring him to pass. Kaepernick rose to the challenge, completing four of his next six throws.