Following the bitter loss to the Seahawks last week, the San Francisco 49ers will move to to face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Here’s some of the latest updates:
Over the past week or so, the rumors surrounding coach Jim Harbaugh leaving the 49ers has swelled from a trickle to a river.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Harbaugh apparently got into a conflict with GM Trent Baalke.
CSN Bay Area‘s Matt Maiocco reported that while Harbaugh and Baalke have had issues in the past, a recent butting of heads may have been the final straw.
“But that changed a couple weeks ago when an undisclosed incident or series of interactions occurred that irreparably tore at the trust that must exist between a coach and general manager. (The source would not disclose the specifics of the disagreement.),” he wrote.
Harbaugh has been linked to head coaching gigs at Michigan, the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Jets. On Sunday, ESPN reported: “The Oakland Raiders and New York Jets both are expected to, at the very least, inquire about Harbaugh’s availability in a trade, a source said.”
It added: “One NFL source is convinced the Raiders are the favorite to land Harbaugh, but the Jets also are known to be keeping a close eye on Harbaugh’s situation.”
And former 49ers have said that Harbaugh is “loved” by his team.
“The vibe in the locker room is that the players love him,” ex-RB Marcus Lattimore said Tuesday, via CBS. “We love everything he does … I love Coach Harbaugh and so do the other players. We are not having the greatest season, but look at his track record.”
On Wednesday, Harbaugh–in talking about Sunday’s game against the Raiders–“spoke extensively and glowingly about Davis, and yet at his Monday press conference he shut down opportunities to talk about his current employer, 49ers CEO Jed York,” says the SF Chronicle.
Harbaugh, responding to the rumors Wednesday, also strongly said: “I’m not going to speculate. It’s our job to move on without excuse, without apology and get it right. Make it right. That’s our intentions.”
Kaepernick a man of few words
Colin Kaepernick has been the subject of widespread criticism recently–namely regarding some of his decision-making.
But when he was asked questions about what the 49ers will do against the Raiders, he didn’t say much–likely purposefully being short.
Here’s what part of it said, via 49ers.com:
Reporter: “How is the team bouncing back right now? Where’s the focus?”
Kaepernick: “The Raiders.”
“What about you personally?”
Kaepernick had a run of 18 consecutive games with a touchdown pass snapped last week against Seattle. It’s imperative Kaepernick begins a different kind of streak, a winning streak.
The 49ers need to win their four remaining games to keep their playoff hopes alive. In addition, they need NFC Wild Card contenders like the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions to stumble in the final quarter of the regular season.
“We know what we have to do,” said Kaepernick, who maintained that San Francisco’s confidence on offense has not been shaken.
When asked what he’s most looking forward to about the biggest rivalry in Bay Area football, Kaepernick simply said, “Winning.”
Offense having big problems, analyst says
NFL Films’ Greg Cosell wrote a piece on Kaepernick’s problems this season.
He contrasted and compared Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and Kaepernick.
“Kaepernick has made many unstructured plays like this too, but a big difference is Kaepernick remains predominantly a pre-determined thrower. If that pre-determined throw is not there his tendency is to break down in the pocket, drop his eyes and look to move,” he writes on Yahoo Sports.
He then stipulates that “Wilson can be very good at making unstructured plays in the pass game; the Seahawks’ offense is built on Wilson’s legs and the power running of Marshawn Lynch. As the 49ers found out, you can’t allow Wilson to beat you in the pass game that way.”
After analyzing the 49ers-Seahawks game film, Cosell adds that Kaepernick “had really poor ball location against the Seahawks.”
“The first interception to Sherman was one of those throws. Brandon Lloyd was open to the outside, but Kaepernick was inaccurate to the inside and Sherman had an easy interception.”
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