Moss impressed with Kaepernick's fastball, leadership


Moss impressed with Kaepernick's fastball, leadership

SANTA CLARA -- Hard-throwing quarterback Colin Kaepernick did something that's never before happened to wide receiver Randy Moss.

In his first NFL start, Kaepernick delivered a pass that popped one of Moss' fingers out of place.

"Man, he dislocated my finger," Moss said Wednesday after the 49ers' first practice of the week to prepare for the New England Patriots on Sunday night in Foxboro, Mass.

"Really, the play was designed for the ball to be thrown in the first hole," Moss said of the pass that he could only deflect in the 49ers' game Nov. 19 against the Chicago Bears.

"And I think I got to the second hole -- or we call them windows as a wide receiver -- and when he found me in the second hole it was kind of too late to throw it, but he threw it anyway. So he had to put one them Randy Johnson fastballs on me. When it hit my finger, I felt my finger pop -- dislocated it. So I had to come back to the sideline and the doctor had to pop it back in."

Moss, a 14-year veteran, said it was the first time he has ever experienced a dislocated finger attempting to catch a pass.

"I try to take pride in taking care of my body and finessing the balls as they come to me," Moss said. "But Kap throws hard. He's very strong and he works out every day. And I didn't really say anything to him other than, 'Keep doing what he's doing.' My finger will heal up.

"It hurt. It hurt. It really did. I tried not to show any tears. I don't know if they caught me crying or not. But it did hurt, but like I said, it's not the time of the year to be crying because it's late in the season. Everybody's hurting. Everybody's ailing. Everybody's feeling a little bit of pain. Some go home and some keep moving. And we want to be the team that keeps moving."

Moss said he has been impressed with how the 49ers have continued to move forward with Kaepernick as a leader at quarterback. And he likes that Kaepernick never seemed content to serve as Alex Smith's backup.

"I think that's most important because, no disrespect to Alex, but I think most backup quarterbacks, young as he is, are waiting in the shadows, like Aaron Rodgers was with Brett Favre," Moss said. "And I'm not comparing Alex and Brett or Aaron Rodgers and Kap. But I think most second-string quarterbacks are just waiting in the shadows and waiting to get their shot.

"I think that Kap's been able to come in and lead us as a whole unit. Any time a guy can come in and lead like that, and I don't mean verbally, I mean leading by example, it's what we as football players look for in a player, especially a quarterback. So I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field."

49ers release Ian Williams

49ers release Ian Williams

The 49ers on Thursday released nose tackle Ian Williams off the reserve/non-football injury list with an injury settlement.

The move, which was disclosed on the NFL, daily transaction report, is a procedural move, according to sources. It allows the 49ers to provide Williams with more compensation than he would have received if he had remained on reserve/non-football injury for the entire season. The move does not preclude the 49ers from re-signing Williams in the future.

The 49ers originally agreed to a five-year contract extension with Williams in the offseason. However, the contract was amended to a one-year deal after he underwent a team physical after undergoing surgery on his left leg.

Williams, 26, is a five-year NFL veteran. He originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame in 2011.

He played his first 16-game season in 2015. He ranked third on the 49ers with 85 total tackles, according to the stats compiled by the coaching staff.

Williams took over as the 49ers’ starting nose tackle in 2013 after the free-agent departure of Isaac Sopoaga.

But he started just 10 games over the next two seasons due to two fractures of his lower leg.

Chip Kelly reveals why 49ers going with slower-paced offense

Chip Kelly reveals why 49ers going with slower-paced offense

Chip Kelly's offense with the 49ers is his slowest-paced version of his four NFL seasons.


“I think that’s what fits with this group of guys we have on the offensive side of the ball,” Kelly said this week.

Kelly did not expound on that thought. But it could be safe to assume his thinking is the same reason why it does not make sense to enter a Ford Pinto to race against pro stock dragsters.

The 49ers’ offense is running more plays this season. The 49ers snap the ball every 24.4 seconds on offense. That’s down from 26.1 seconds last season, and 29.7 seconds in Jim Harbaugh’s final season in 2014.

Last season in Philadelphia, Kelly’s team snapped the ball every 22.6 seconds. In Kelly’s final season at Oregon in 2012, the Ducks snapped the ball every 20.5 seconds.

“I don’t think we’re playing fast right now,” Kelly said. “So if someone said, ‘How are you playing offensively?’ I don’t think we’re playing fast offensively. I think we’re just not going back (to huddle). We’re saving seven yards of run time for our offensive line because they don’t have to run back in the huddle, get a play called and then do it.

“We’re just calling it at the line of scrimmage. So I think it’s a lot of what Denver used to do when Peyton (Manning) was there. But there’s a lot of times that we’re under 15 seconds when we’re snapping the ball and getting the play off. So we’re not playing fast and we’re not calling tempo-type plays in those situations. We’re just calling plays.”

Kelly said part of the problem is that the 49ers are not converting third downs. The team has a 36.3 percent success rate on third downs, which is actually an improvement over the 30.5 percent success of last season.

But the 49ers’ overall lack of offensive success this season cannot be camouflaged.

The 49ers are averaging just 4.5 yards per play. The 49ers have not averaged fewer than 5 yards per play since 2007, when Alex Smith sustained a shoulder injury and was replaced by Trent Dilfer.

While the 49ers are running more offensive plays than it has in the past, so is the opposition. The 49ers have averaged 64.3 plays per game. The 49ers have defended 69.9 plays per game – only 2.3 more plays than last season but 8.1 more plays than in 2014.

The biggest problem for the offense has been its run defense. The league’s worst run defense has surrendered 185.1 yards per game and is on pace to give up 2,962 yards this season, which would be the most in the NFL since the 1980 New Orleans Saints yielded 3,106 rushing yards.