Harbaugh going with Kaepernick Sunday

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Harbaugh going with Kaepernick Sunday

SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick has officially replaced Alex Smith as the 49ers' starting quarterback.Coach Jim Harbaugh announced his decision to go with the second-year player on Wednesday, the day the 49ers begin on-field preparations to face the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.The 49ers made an investment in Kaepernick, the first quarterback that was added to the roster after Harbaugh took over as head coach.The 49ers acquired the Nevada product when they moved up nine spots in the second round of the 2011 draft to select him with the No. 36 overall pick. The 49ers traded their second-, fourth-, and fifth-round selections to the Denver Broncos to get in position to draft Kaepernick.The announcement ends more than a week of speculation about the identity of the 49ers' starting quarterback.RELATED: Harbaugh's QB decision all about playoffs
There was no controversy just three weeks ago when the Rams came to Candlestick Park. After Smith's previous start, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his 18-of-19 passing performance against the Arizona Cardinals.Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, was the third-ranked passer in the NFL this season with a career-best 104.0 rating, and the 49ers were 19-5-1 in the regular season since the beginning of the 2011 season.But Smith sustained a concussion in the second quarter against the Rams on Nov. 11, opening the door for Kaepernick, who performed reasonably well in the 24-24 tie against St. Louis.When Smith's concussion symptoms did not clear in time for the 49ers' next game, Kaepernick stepped in and put together a strong performance in the 49ers' 32-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.And a quarterback debate was launched.Harbaugh managed to add plenty of fuel to the controversy when he declined to name a starter last week, citing his belief it would help the 49ers gain a "competitive advantage."Kaepernick got his second start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Afterward, Harbaugh said Kaepernick started only because Smith was not cleared officially to play until after the 49ers arrived in New Orleans on Saturday. Kaepernick ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the 49ers' 31-21 victory.On Monday, Harbaugh did nothing to clear things up."Alex Smith is our starting quarterback," Harbaugh said. "He has not done anything to lose that job. In fact, he's playing at a very high level. Also, Colin Kaepernick, you can't categorize him as a backup quarterback because he's started games, and played very well in those games."In the offseason, the 49ers signed Smith to a three-year, 24 million contract. He is the 20th-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. If he remains on the 49ers' roster after April 2013, his entire 7.5 base salary becomes guaranteed. If the 49ers cut Smith, the club would take only a 1 million cap hit in 2013.QB COMPARISON
Colin Kaepernick
Age: 25
Experience: Second season
2012 record as starter: 2-0
Attempts: 74
Completions: 48
Percentage: 64.9
Yards: 680
Yards per attempt: 9.2
Touchdowns: 3
Interceptions: 1
Passer rating: 102.3
Sacked: 6 times46 yards
Rushing: 31 for 214 (6.9 average), 4 TDsAlex Smith
Age: 28
Experience: Eighth season
2012 record as starter: 6-2-1
Attempts: 217
Completions: 152
Percentage: 70.0
Yards: 1731
Yards per attempt: 8.0
Touchdowns: 13
Interceptions: 5
Passer rating: 104.0
Sacked: 24 times137 yards
Rushing: 29 for 134 (4.6 average), 0 TDs

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.

Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.

Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.

Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:

2017 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright

* * *

2016 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.

The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.

But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.

The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.

Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.

The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.

Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.