49ers fans' clamor for Kaepernick unfounded, expected

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49ers fans' clamor for Kaepernick unfounded, expected

The 49ers have built over the decades a fan base that regards bitching about its starting quarterback its inherent right, maybe even a constitutional one.

Thus it is delectably stupid that after one of Alex Smiths best games that the matter of Colin Kaepernick getting no snaps is suddenly an issue again.

RELATED: Smith 'gobbles' up play time, Kaepernick sidelined

Well, not really an issue, though Jim Harbaughs State Of The Barnyard Address did draw some fire away from the real nonsense.

Of course, Kaepernicks Tuesday tweet, Bout to get this workout in because yall ain't goin keep me on this sideline forever, created much to-do about the level of his irritation over being involved in zero snaps against the Arizona Cardinals. His 48 snaps this year represent 10 percent of all offensive 49ers plays, 6.4 percent of all 49ers yardage and 6.3 percent of all 49ers points.

Bout to get this workout in because yall ain't goin keep me on this sideline forever! Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) October 30, 2012
And thats the big deal for today. Colin Kaepernick wasnt used in a game the 49ers won, 24-3, and dominated from start to finish. Hopeless.

RECAP: 49ers 24, Cardinals 3

And yet entirely predictable. Other than those few happy years when Joe Montana was free of the shadow of Steve Young (1980-1986), the backup quarterback has always been the most exalted position in the teams history. And during the years when Smith was surrounded by poor performances, poor coaches, poor teammates and rich veins of inexperience, the backup quarterback was particularly beloved.

And here is whom the fan base spent its very temporary love on: Tim Rattay. Ken Dorsey. Cody Pickett. Trent Dilfer. Shaun Hill. Chris Weinke. J.T. OSullivan. Troy Smith. David Carr. Of that group, Dilfer has had the best ersatz post-49er quarterbacking career, as he plays regular downs on the studio field.

But lets stay with Kaepernick for a moment, and ask the musical question: While we get why he wants to play, we are utterly gobsmacked as to why theres such a mad demand from others for his increased appearances, for the following compelling reasons:

1. Smith is 20-6 in his last 26 games.
2. Smith runs the offense given him by Harbaugh, and if it gobbles, it gobbles quite efficiently.
3. A quarterback does not operate in a vacuum. The players around him matter, too.
4. Harbaugh, whom most 49er fans will agree has done quite well when he wasnt actually saying words or dealing with non-49er employees, has had choices to make and opportunities to make them, and he has chosen Smith.
5. If fantasy league performances define quarterbacks, then you should demand that the 49ers take Denvers 4-3 record instead of their 6-2, or better yet, Washingtons 3-5.
6. And finally, teams adjust all the time, and they clearly have adjusted to Kaepernick for the moment.

Against all this, there is the counter-argument.

1. Alex Smith is Alex Smith, and he always will be.
2. Hey, this is San Francisco. If you wanted people to like you, you shouldnt have won the job to begin with.

This, of course, is utterly daft. It is also a law of physics in this mad-as-a-brush town. This is who they are. This is what they do. And no amount of counseling will change that. They will always and forever say, Sure the local team won 24-3, and it has the third-best record in football, and it almost got to the Super Bowl last year after years of stinking out the stadium, the town, the state and the entire galactic quadrant, but what if it had Drew Brees?

Well, you dont. This is who you have, and hes done very well by all of you for the last year and a half.

So yes, the fans should worry about the backups involvement, and yes, they should agitate for regime change, and yes, they should always maintain that the quarterback acts alone. Its in your DNA (even though it isnt), or its been passed down to you from your father (even though he was wrong about 70 other things), or its tradition (and so was the theories about the flat earth or the ozone layer being as sturdy as ever).

It is their right. Even when its so preposterously wrong.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.

 

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”