49ers looking for third wide receiver who can get open

49ers looking for third wide receiver who can get open
March 26, 2014, 7:30 am
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A third guy who can get open and make plays. ... A playmaker. That’s what we’re looking for.
Jim Harbaugh

Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco is in Orlando, Florida for the NFL owners meetings; check back for all his coverage and watch SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s football news

ORLANDO, Fla. -- If there were times last season Colin Kaepernick looked like a “one-read quarterback,” there was a good reason for it, according to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

“Some of the time, there was just one guy to go to,” Harbaugh said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings.

“And there were times when we had Anquan (Boldin) and we had Vernon (Davis) and they were literally doubling Anquan and doubling Vernon. And he had one other option to go to, and sometimes he’d fit it in there -- shoehorn it in. There was some tough-sledding at times.”

Michael Crabtree missed the first 11 games of the season while recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Before Crabtree returned to action, the 49ers did not get any production from a second wide receiver. Boldin led the 49ers with 85 catches for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns, while Davis caught 52 passes for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns from the tight end position.

The 49ers have looked to free agency to acquire another wide receiver. They still might sign a veteran, but they can also be expected to select a wide receiver in the draft.

“It’s on all of us to make it better,” Harbaugh said. “It’s on the players. Let’s get another really good option besides Anquan, besides Michael, besides Vernon. There were times in the 2013 season where his (Kaepernick) options were just get it to one guy.”

Kyle Williams caught 12 passes in nine games before the 49ers cut him. Mario Manningham had nine receptions and never fully recovered from a knee injury. And rookie Quinton Patton was active for just six games due to a broken foot. He caught three passes, and finished the season as the 49ers’ No. 3 wideout.

The blame, Harbaugh said, did not fall on Kaepernick for his failure to get more pass-catchers involved.

Said Harbaugh, “There were definitely times when we were just not getting guys open for him.”

“I think it’s more somebody stepping up and being that next guy,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of people try, competing for that spot, whether it’s Quinton Patton, somebody step and be that next guy to make plays for our football team.”

Harbaugh said the 49ers need “a third guy who can get open and make plays, another option for the quarterback to go to, a chance to attack all areas of the field. A playmaker. That’s what we’re looking for.”