49ers

Bad technique leading to more 49ers penalties?

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Bad technique leading to more 49ers penalties?

The only thing faster than a Colin Kaepernick slant pass is his answer to a reporter's question. When asked what he learned from the Rams loss, Kaepernick responded:

"Can’t make mistakes. That’s the biggest thing."

Much of the attention for what went wrong for the 49ers in that game is focused on the pitch out that went horribly awry. Head coach Jim Harbaugh called it a "loser of a call" and the execution wasn't much better. But the mistakes in that game do not just belong to Kaepernick, and they're not unique to the team's trip to St. Louis. The 49ers' penalty problems surfaced in New Orleans the week before. San Francisco has racked up 21 penalties for 165 yards over the last two games.

"We’re looking at it," Harbaugh said. "Definitely, there have been some big ones that have stopped drives or extended drives for the other team. That’s not the 49er way of playing football."

Offensively, eight of the 49ers 21 holding calls this season have come over the last two games as well.

"We just have to do a better job with our techniques." said left tackle Joe Staley. "You see some of the holding penalties, there is a technique flaw here or there. Sometimes those penalties happen. You get caught in an awkward situation, you don’t really know where a play’s going or it’s designed to go one way and it goes another way. But as far as getting your hands in the right place or running your feet It’s all correctible."

There were mumblings in the locker room that the refs were tight in their calls in St. Louis. Maybe so. But only three teams have been flagged more than San Francisco this season. St. Louis, Washington and Dallas all have 97 penalties on the year while the 49ers and Ravens each have 88. San Francisco's 744 total penalty yards are the seventh most in the league.

The 49ers' current penalty outbreak comes at a time when the team is looking to build momentum toward a playoff push. If the 49ers don't correct the problem, as Staley suggests they can, the 49ers could could very well place their postseason plans in the hands of the officials.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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AP

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.