Tough Seahawks defense provides lessons for Kaepernick

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Tough Seahawks defense provides lessons for Kaepernick

SEATTLE -- Coach Jim Harbaugh knew there would be games like this for Colin Kaepernick.

The second-year player struggled with the crowd noise Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks in the 49ers' 42-13 loss in front of a national television audience. He threw an interception in the end zone, and had a couple other attempts that could have been picked off, too.

[MAIOCCO: Instant Replay -- 49ers shamed in Seattle]

But Harbaugh said he is giving no thought to making a switch back to Alex Smith. When asked if there's any question that Kaepernick is his starter, Harbaugh said, "Yeah, I don't believe there's a question about that."

Kaepernick completed 19 of 36 passes for 244 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a season-low passer rating of 72.0 in his six starts. Harbaugh wanted Kaepernick to get seven starts to finish the regular season to prepare his young quarterback for the playoffs.

"Everybody's going to feel the same way after this," Harbaugh said. "This wasn't good. Can't feel like you coached well. Can't feel like you played well after this one."

Said Kaepernick, "Every time you're on the field you learn something, so we just have to take what we can from this game and move on."

Kaepernick opened the game with three consecutive incompletions. Seattle immediately scored a touchdown. After the 49ers' first two possessions, Kaepernick completed just 1 of 5 attempts for minus-1 yard. And after just 10 minutes, the 49ers trailed 14-0.

"He did his job," 49ers tight end Delanie Walker said. "It takes the other 10 players to help him and make plays for him, and we didn't do that."

In the first half, the 49ers were called for two delay-of-game penalties. Kaepernick called timeouts on two other occasions with the play clock winding down.

"It's loud in other stadiums, too," said Kaepernick, who was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing four touchdowns in the 49ers' win last week over the New England Patriots. "It's something you just have to get used to on the road. . . We just have to get in and out of the huddle. That is something that we can control."

Said Seattle coach Pete Carroll, "They had a little bit of trouble tonight with the clock. They got some delays tonight for whatever reason. They are very deliberate, one of the slowest teams in terms of that. Tonight it caught them a couple of times."

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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