Too many timeouts for Kaepernick-led offense


Too many timeouts for Kaepernick-led offense

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers burned four timeouts on Sunday on offense to prevent delay-of-game penalties.

It's an area in which coach Jim Harbaugh said quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and the entire 49ers' offense, must improve. Harbaugh said the play calls and personnel groupings were getting to the huddle in plenty of time, but the calls in the huddle and the tempo to the line of scrimmage were lacking.

"It's his responsibility," Harbaugh said Monday. "It's everybody's responsbility. The tempo of how you operation has to be better. We need to get better at that."

Harbaugh stood near the closest official on the 49ers' sideline and called timeouts on each occasion as the play clock ticked down. Kaepernick, making his fourth NFL start, is expected to make those decisions himself.

"He needs to be aware of that and operate it and run it," Harbaugh said.

However, Harbaugh was pleased at how Kaepernick performed his other duties. Kaepernick completed 18 of 23 passes for 185 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

"He's operating the offense, getting us in the right plays, executing," Harbaugh said. "For a guy who's only started four games now, he's doing it at a very high level."

Kaepernick said afterward that the one throw he wishes he had back was a corner route to Michael Crabtree in the second quarter. A well-thrown pass could have resulted in a touchdown. The 49ers settled for a field goal.

Kaepernick's best pass of the game might have been his throw to wide receiver Randy Moss on a flea-flicker. Dolphins cornerback RJ Stanford had ahold of Moss' right arm, preventing Moss from using both hands to catch what could've been a 47-yard touchdown.

Harbaugh was careful not to complain about the officiating when asked whether Moss should have made the catch.

"Uh, yeah, that would've been a . . . it was a great throw," Harbaugh said. "He (Moss) had some adversity trying to make that catch. There was some adversity involved there."

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Receiver A.J. Jenkins and running back LaMichael James, the 49ers' top two draft picks, made their season debuts. Jenkins played eight snaps and did not have any passes thrown his way. James was in on 15 offensive plays. He gained 30 yards on eight carries, and he caught a 15-yard pass.

Harbaugh said both executed their assignments very well.

"Both LaMichael (and) A.J. did good in that regard," Harbaugh said. "LaMichael got those touches, and thought he made a real good contribution both in the kickoff-return game and offensively.

"(Jenkins) had a real nice block on (Frank Gore's) draw play that nearly scored. Ran a route and didn't get the ball, but ran right past his man, which was positive. Assignment-wise, pretty well."

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

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.