49ers

CEO York backs Harbaugh's QB decision

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CEO York backs Harbaugh's QB decision

SANTA CLARA -- CEO Jed York is remaining out of the 49ers' quarterback debate.

Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick? York's answer is to defer to coach Jim Harbaugh, who chose Kaepernick to remain as the starter after Smith was knocked from the lineup due to a concussion on Nov. 11.

"I'm excited that we're leading the NFC West," York said Thursday. "I'm excited that we're winning football game. This is a very difficult business to be in, and I'm glad that I have somebody like Coach Harbaugh to make tough decisions for me."

York attended a ceremony as the 49ers stadium construction reached a significant milestone. The "topping out" ceremony commemorated the placement of two steel beams at the highest point of the stadium. The gold-painted beams were erected 200 feet to the top of the stadium tower.

York said he has not spoken to Smith about his status, nor does he ever get involved in any player's role within the team.

"Coach Harbaugh is going to make the decisions on the field," York said. "And if you want your owner and CEO to make your calls on the field, then you're probably cheering for the wrong team.

"It's Coach Harbaugh's decision. He's the head coach of the 49ers, and I trust him to make the decisions that we need to make in order to do what we can to win."

The 49ers (8-3-1) own a 1 1/2-game lead in the NFC West over the Seattle Seahawks with four regular-season games to play.

 

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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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.