Rain, rain -- here to stay

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Rain, rain -- here to stay

The dark clouds that loomed over the 49ers practice facility Thursday made head coach Jim Harbaugh downright giddy. Admiral Halsey once said, If youre going to fight in the North Atlantic then youve got to prepare in the North Atlantic, Harbaugh said enthusiastically to the local and national media. Theyre anticipating some rain on Sunday. We wont know until Sunday morning until we can check the sky. But excited that we may get some rain today in practice to help us prepare for the ballgame Sunday.
The rain, and two days to practice in it, is welcome to a coach who thrives on preparation and details. The 49ers near perfect season has been accompanied by near perfect weather. They only game they experienced a slick field was their 23-7 win over Arizona at home on November 20. Rain pelted the Bay Area leading up to the game, but the skies cleared by game time and the conditions weren't unbearable by any standard. The forecast for the NFC Championship is more ominous, and the 49ers have already accounted for it in their game planning. You try to play the game in your head all week and when you have bad weather you start picturing that field all mudded up and you start going through contingencies in your mind, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. Theres no doubt. You have to. As far as it affects me and play calling, added defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, it will be what I see out there. As far as what the effects of the field actually are.Fangio will let each of his defensive players decide which type of cleats he prefers to wear. He admits many of the players dont like the longer cleats in muddy conditions because it slows them down. But Tom Rathman doesnt appear to be leaving the debate open for the running backs. Anthony Dixon told CSNBayarea.com that his position coach told the group to wear their inch cleats. Rathman spent eight seasons playing on the same field the current 49ers use, and won two Super Bowls in that span, so Dixon and his teammates have no reason to doubt him. A wet field will certainly be an issue for them and other skilled positions as well.I think the receivers probably have an advantage on the defensive backs because they know where theyre going. And the defensive backs have to react so if the footings poor, advantage offense, Roman said. On the same token, running backs cant hit a hole or make a cut like they normally would, so advantage defense. It works both ways."Roman also feels the pass rush is negatively affected by muddy turf. But both teams have to play through the same conditions. So it still comes down to which team prepares and plays better. The field condition, this and that, the tide, said defensive end Justin Smith. It really doesnt matter. They are going to run ball, they are going play action thats what they do. They arent going to change who they are at this point of the season.And neither are the 49ers. Though they hope to be better at this colder and wetter point of the season.

Cosell: It's fascinating that Kelly clearly didn't want Kaepernick to throw

Cosell: It's fascinating that Kelly clearly didn't want Kaepernick to throw

Colin Kaepernick was benched after three quarters on Sunday.

He completed 1-of-5 passes for four yards.

"To me, what's most fascinating about that is what Chip's approach was," Greg Cosell said on KNBR 680 on Monday evening. "Chip (Kelly) clearly did not want him to throw the ball ... it was clear to me that Kaepernick does not throw a wet or a cold ball very well...

"He has small hands so I'm wondering if he just couldn't really throw the ball effectively in this kind of weather.

"Hey, Troy Aikman always said, 'I couldn't throw a wet ball.'"

Kaepernick was sacked five times for -25 total yards.

"Looking at the sacks, there were opportunities for tighter window, but NFL throws -- and first of all, I don't think Kaepernick is that guy under normal circumstances -- and my sense is, he didn't feel comfortable in this weather," Cosell added. "He certainly wasn't gonna cut it loose on those kinds of throws in this weather.

"Maybe Chip knew that, maybe he didn't. But to me, as I said, it's more fascinating that he didn't have him throw the ball at all."

Blaine Gabbert supplanted Kaepernick and completed 4-of-10 passes for 35 yards. He was sacked once.
 

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

Colin Kaepernick will remain as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement on Tuesday while coach Chip Kelly was in Maine for services for his father, E. Paul Kelly, who passed away on Friday.

Kaepernick has started the past seven games for the 49ers, during which time the club has gone winless. The 49ers (1-11) are on a franchise-long 11 game-losing streak.

Kaepernick went 1 of 5 on Sunday for just four yards in the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards before getting benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

“We had been playing good football on offense and the thing had been trending in the right direction,” Modkins said.

A week earlier against the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 113 yards as the 49ers rolled up 475 yards of total offense.

Kelly said the 49ers made the switch at quarterback early in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Bears in hopes Gabbert would provide a spark. Gabbert started the 49ers’ first five games of the season before Kaepernick replaced him.