49ers Mailbag: Questions about QB, WRs

January 23, 2012, 5:28 pm
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It's the morning after one of the most painful losses in 49ers history.Let's go to the 49ers Mailbag to see what folks are wondering after the 49ers' season-ending 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game.Q: I like Alex but still don't have complete faith in him . . . Will Kaepernick have a chance to compete for the starting QB position next year? (Jack O'Ryan)
Not only did the 49ers draft Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the draft, but they traded up to get him. Kaepernick, officially, was the first quarterback that was added to the 49ers' roster under coach Jim Harbaugh.
Fully expect Alex Smith to return. But also expect the team to give Kaepernick a shot. It's doubtful Harbaugh will have an open quarterback competition, but the best player will play. That's something Harbaugh has said all along -- about every position on the team.
If, at some point, Harbaugh believes Kaepernick gives the 49ers their best chance to be successful, then Kaepernick will take over as the quarterback. Kaepernick will get a full offseason and training camp to convince Harbaugh.
Q: What was up with our complete inability to convert 3rd downs? (Josh Geller)
It's been an epidemic all season. While the 49ers had an efficient passing attack, it was not always effective. Part of the problem was that the 49ers weren't able to do well on first and second downs, either. It's easier to convert on third downs when the yardage is manageable. That wasn't always the case with the 49ers.Q: Any chances on releasing Kyle Williams? (Jason Mitchell)
Well, let's face it, Williams broke camp as the 49ers' No. 5 wide receiver. He was behind Michael Crabtree, Joshua Morgan, Braylon Edwards and Ted Ginn when the season began. Without question, the 49ers need to do something to address the wideout position. Williams' spot certainly is not guaranteed for next season, so he'd have to earn his way on the team. But it would be surprising if they completely gave up on him before the start of camp.The 49ers believe Williams can be an effective slot receiver. But Williams looked way too shaky in the return game in the limited time he was back there. His confidence took a huge hit, obviously. How he bounces back from this, from a mental standpoint, will determine his future with the club.Q: Do you think the 49ers will draft a wide receiver? (Samuel Garcia)
Yes. They'll look toward free agency and they'll look for a young player, too. The 49ers have the No. 30 overall pick, and there will be the opportunity throughout this draft to add some talent at the position.Q: What do you think the 49ers need to add to their roster to get to the Super Bowl? WR? CB? QB or ??? (Rick Dalderis)
Well, they nearly got to the Super Bowl with the roster they have right now. Receiver is a spot that must be addressed. Morgan and Ginn are free agents, but the 49ers need to improve this area. They also need more help at cornerback with Carlos Rogers slated for free agency, and no guarantee he'll return. Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks is slated for free agency, so the 49ers will look to re-sign him while also getting another player at that spot. The 49ers feel pretty good about their offensive line, but they'll always look to get stronger there -- especially at guard.