Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/12/13
Late in Sunday’s game against Carolina, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick escaped the pocket and took off downfield for a 16-yard gain. When a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the Panthers was tacked on, it seemed like the spark the 49ers’ bedraggled offense needed. But on the next play, 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin was called for a false start, one of numerous first-down mistakes the team was unable to overcome in the 10-9 loss. Four sacks of Kaepernick also occurred on first down, one reason the 49ers converted only two third downs. “Too many negative plays – loss-of-yardage plays, penalties, sack, turnover – that we’ve got to get better at,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. “We didn’t do a good-enough job.” That was as far as Harbaugh was willing to go when it came to assessing blame. As always, the 49ers’ coach refused to criticize a player or assistant coach, whether it was backup tight end Vance McDonald failing to haul in a deep pass or offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s play selection. “Not going to go through, dissect position by position, raking anybody over the coals,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think that’s the best thing for us. We have a tough game coming up. We’re not going to wallow in it. We’re going to move on to New Orleans.” Harbaugh specifically was asked about Kaepernick, who had perhaps his roughest outing as a 49ers starter. He was sacked a career-high six times and completed just half of his passes, and his longest completion was 14 yards. The 16-yard scramble at the end of the third quarter was the 49ers’ longest play of the game. After the game, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, a former 49ers quarterback, said Kaepernick turns into a “remedial” passer when defenses take away his first target. Harbaugh, however, refused to discuss Kaepernick and his ability to go through progressions when he drops back.
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