Greg Roman grades himself on wins and losses

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Greg Roman grades himself on wins and losses

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh took full responsibility for allowing the disastrous play call of an option -- without an available audible for quarterback Colin Kaepernick — to make its way to the field on Sunday.

The resulting fourth-quarter fumble was turned into a touchdown in the 49ers' 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman made the play call. But Harbaugh, who calls in the play to the quarterback via a radio transmitter, took full responsibility.

"I should have not let that play be called," Harbaugh said on Monday.

On Thursday, Roman stopped far short of admitting the play call was a mistake.

"You go back and you look at every call and judge your intent, relative to who you're asking to do what," Roman said in his first public comments since the 49ers’ loss. "You assess that decision. And one thing is, when plays work, you generally say that was a good decision. When they're not executing or they don't work, for whatever reason, maybe we should've done something else.

"In that case, there were too many moving parts for that situation. Certainly, when it was called, the result was not what we expected."

When Roman was asked to assess the risk-reward of that play call late in the game from the 49ers' 17-yard line with the club holding an eight-point lead.

"Not going to get into the X's and O's aspects of it," Roman said. "The result was not the intent of the play call. I always look back and say, ‘Did it work?’ "

Kaepernick's pitch intended for Ted Ginn was high. Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked up the loose ball at the 2-yard line and scored. The Rams added the two-point conversion to tie the game with 3:04 remaining in regulation. It was the only touchdown the Rams scored in the game.

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The 49ers had a difficult time on offense against the Rams, who took away the 49ers' deep-passing game and also stacked the line of scrimmage to make it difficult for running back Frank Gore.

"The Rams big thing was they wanted to take away the deep ball," 49ers guard Alex Boone said. "They wanted to keep everything close and I don't think we were really prepared for that. At the same time, as an offense, we have to execute better."

The 49ers also committed 11 penalties in Sunday's game. Six of the penalties were on offense.

"It's not about play-calling, it's about execution, ultimately, on the field," Roman said. "That's something we got to get a lasso around real quick. You know, 49er football is smart, tough, opportunistic, football and penalties certainly don't fit into that equation."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, in comments after the game, pointed to the 49ers' play-calling as a reason his team was able to come out with a victory.

"I don't know what they were trying to accomplish there, but we took advantage of one of their mistakes," Fisher said.

On Wednesday, Harbaugh responded.

"That's the low-hanging fruit, 'What the heck were they doing?' " Harbaugh said. "But again, you learn from it. It's like somebody reached into your chest and stomach and started pulling the innards out without using any anesthesia. All you can do is learn."

As for Roman, he said his self-assessment of his play-calling is black and white.

"If we win the game, I generally think it was good," he said. "If we don't, it's got to be better. That's how I look at it."

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.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”