Harbaugh in search of 49ers' offensive identity


Harbaugh in search of 49ers' offensive identity

SANTA CLARA -- Through two games, only the Seattle Seahawks rank lower among NFL teams in total offense than the 49ers.Coach Jim Harbaugh attempts to identify what works best for the 49ers' offense."In the process of finding our identity," Harbaugh said Monday, the day after the 49ers' 27-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. "We're going to stick to our guns. In a lot of ways, disappointed like all fans, all players, all coaches, everybody involved. Disappointed. But not discouraged. I feel we're on track."Nobody thought it would be a quick fix for the 49ers, who have not been to the playoffs since 2002. As Harbaugh said, "Everybody wants to solve the debt today."So what does Harbaugh envision for the 49ers' offense?"We want to be a running team. We want to be throwing team. We want to be darn-near 50-50 and equally good in both," he said.The 49ers have been efficient with their passing game. Quarterback Alex Smith 95.2 passer rating ranks 11th in the NFL. But running back Frank Gore has not gotten much going. He gained just 106 yards and a touchdown on 42 rushing attempts in the first two games."Everybody on our team, including Frank, (is) doing things that are really good, really positive," Harbaugh said. "Played well enough to win. Frank is doing some incredible things in the pass protection and some really fine runs. It all works together, the scheme, the blocking, the angles, timing. And we are not where we want to be, yet."Tight end Vernon Davis expressed surprise following the 49ers' loss on Sunday that he was used so often in pass protection. Davis remained into block on 10 of the 49ers' 30 quarterback drop-back."There's frustration on Vernon's part, I'm sure," Harbaugh said. "He was doubled most of the ball game, in terms of the passing game. But, still, finding that role, creating that identity for Vernon in the passing game. And he's going to be asked to do multiple other things, in terms of the run game and pass protection."Does Harbaugh plan to speak with Davis about his frustration?"Oh, yeah, I'll address Vernon and the entire team on where we're at and were we need to go, going forward," he said.

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

PHOENIX – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday he does not believe quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being “blackballed” in his attempt to continue his career.

“I haven’t heard that from our clubs in any way that that’s an issue,” Goodell said during his press conference to conclude the NFL owners meetings.

“My experience in 35 years is that our clubs make independent evaluations of players. They work hard to try to improve their teams. But if they think a player can help improve their team, they’re going to do that.”

Kaepernick remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent after opting out of his 49ers contract earlier this month. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman this week was asked on ESPN’s "First Take" whether he felt Kaepernick was being blackballed.

"I'm sure he is," Sherman answered. "It's difficult to see because he's played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it's difficult to understand."

General manager John Lynch on Tuesday said the 49ers have not had any contact with Kaepernick since he and coach Kyle Shanahan met with Kaepernick on Feb. 22 in Santa Clara. The 49ers signed free-agent quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, 29, created a controversy last season when he opted to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick has decided to stand for the national anthem this season.

Earlier in the day, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was “stupid” and “intellectually lazy” to think teams have colluded to keep Kaepernick out of the league. Last week, former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother, said Kaepernick is still an outstanding player and can win championships.

“I absolutely think he’s going to get signed,” John Harbaugh said. “I agree with Jim. He can win games for people.”


49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said he does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.