Five 49ers to watch: 1. Colin Kaepernick

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Five 49ers to watch: 1. Colin Kaepernick

(This is the final part in a series that spotlighted five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, 6 p.m., at Candlestick Park.)

Five 49ers to watch: 5. Alex Boone
Five 49ers to watch: 4. Perrish Cox
Five 49ers to watch: 3. Demarcus Dobbs
Five 49ers to watch: 2. Kyle Williams
Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick's goal is simple for the 49ers' four-game exhibition schedule."To go and show that I can be a starter in this league," he said. "I want to go out, perform my best and show everybody what I'm capable of."Kaepernick showed what he was capable of doing at Nevada, where his exceptional dual-threat skills prompted the 49ers last year to trade up in the second round to select him with the No. 36 overall pick.At the time, Kaepernick was viewed as the starter-in-waiting. But Alex Smith never gave Kaepernick the chance to get on the field last season. Smith took control of the No. 1 job, and he remained healthy through all 16 regular-season games and the playoffs.Now, as he begins his second NFL season, the 49ers still do not know what they have in Kaepernick. The club signed Smith to a three-year contract, giving him the opportunity to make sure Kaepernick never rises to starter status before he becomes eligible for free agency.
In the first two weeks of training camp, Kaepernick has been up and down. Starting defensive players have joked among themselves that Kaepernick would rather run with the ball than throw it.That is the biggest issue that faces Kaepernick. In each of his final three seasons at Nevada, Kaepernick threw for at least 2,000 yards and he rushed for at least 1,100. In his career, he threw for 10,098 and rushed for 4,112.He was the No. 2 last season. And that's where he begins his second training camp.But Kaepernick must earn that backup job. Josh Johnson comes to the 49ers after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And second-year player Scott Tolzien has shown plenty of skills and acumen to challenge for the job, too.
Smith is not expected to play very long Friday night. Then, Kaepernick will take the stage. He wants to prove he's a starter, though he is not likely to get that opportunity for a while.First, he must prove he is the 49ers' best option as the backup.

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.