King: Kaepernick better than Newton, Luck and Griffin


King: Kaepernick better than Newton, Luck and Griffin

Colin Kaepernick is coming off his first Offensive Player of the Week honor after he threw for four touchdowns against Tom Brady and the Patriots in a win Sunday night. If you thought that wasn't enough recognition, former NFL quarterback and NBC Sports NFL analyst Shaun King offered more.

"If you gave me one under-25-aged quarterback in the National Football League, I'd want Colin Kaepernick," King said. "I think he has the most unique combination of size, speed and skill of any of the young guys -- and that includes RGIII, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton."

King went on to detail exactly what it is about Kaepernick that is impressing him so much.

"It's because he has that big arm and that athleticism that I rate him as the No. 1 under-25 quarterback right now in the National Football League."

Kaepernick is 4-1 as a starter and owns a 101.4 QB rating this season after 1,289 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

King, 35, played six seasons in the NFL, throwing for 4,566 yards, 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions from 1999 to 2004.

Editor's note: It should be acknowledged that Kaepernick turned 25 years of age on Nov. 3, but you know what Shaun King is saying.

Kelly: No changes to defensive staff


Kelly: No changes to defensive staff

SANTA CLARA – The search for answers will continue during the 49ers’ bye week. But coach Chip Kelly said he has already concluded he will make no changes to the defensive staff.

The 49ers surrendered 513 yards of total offense to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadiium. The Buccaneers, who entered the game with the league's 27th-ranked run game, rushed for 249 yards in their 34-17 victory over the 49ers.

Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil has come under fire, but Kelly told reporters he is not looking to make any changes to his staff. Kelly said he already spends ample time with O’Neil on a weekly basis.

“We spend time together during the week,” Kelly said. “We carve out time, in terms of how we watch film and what we do.

“There’s good communication there from that standpoint. It’s not like I don’t know what’s going on on the defensive side of the ball.”

Defensive players in the 49ers’ locker room expressed confidence in O’Neil’s scheme.

“I love this scheme,” safety Eric Reid said. “If everybody does their job, we shouldn’t get beat. But whenever there’s an explosive play, somebody is out of position. We just got to tighten up.”

Said defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, “We have a great scheme and we have the guys to fit the scheme that he’s trying to run for us. Everybody individually, including myself, just needs to do better.”

Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who left the game in the third quarter with a high-ankle sprain, expressed a view of the team’s defensive players that was more than a bit optimistic.

“We have the team,” Lynch said. “We possibly have one of the best teams in the NFL, easily. Hands down. We need to know how to keep finishing games and work together throughout the whole game. Once we get that down, nobody’s going to be able to mess with us.”

The 49ers rank last in the NFL in rushing defense. The 49ers gave up 561 yards rushing in the past two games, the worst back-to-back weeks in franchise history.

Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers was the latest player to feast on the 49ers' defense. Rodgers rushed for a career-high 154 yards on 26 carries to become the sixth consecutive opponent to gain more than 100 yards on the 49ers.


49ers' Armstead, Robinson, Lynch exit with injuries


49ers' Armstead, Robinson, Lynch exit with injuries

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers lost three defensive starters due to injuries in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium.

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (shoulder), rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) were forced out of the game due to injuries.

Armstead’s condition appeared to be an aggravation of a left shoulder injury he has been managing since training camp. Armstead did not play in any of the 49ers’ four exhibition games due to the injury. He said the undisclosed condition might force him to have surgery at the end of the season.

Robinson made his fourth consecutive start. He and Lynch left the game on back-to-back plays. Robinson sustained a left knee injury, while Lynch exited with a left ankle injury.

The 49ers will return to action on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints after the bye week.