San Francisco 49ers News, Rumors: Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh, Frank Gore
The San Francisco 49ers–having suffered a loss to the bottom-dwelling Raiders–are fighting for their playoff lives. Here’s some of the latest updates:
Harbaugh on Michigan rumors
There’s been rumors and speculation that coach Jim Harbaugh will leave next season for Michigan.
After Sunday’s loss, Harbaugh addressed those rumors.
“As a principle, I don’t talk about any other job other than the one that I have,” Harbaugh said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve answered this question many times, even recently, so you know exactly where my priorites are.
“I get this from the Marines: Leaders eat last. My No. 1 priority is winning football games. The second priority is the wellfare of the players, the coaches, all our staff, the wellfare of our team. Lastly is my own personal, professional future.”
On Sunday, NFL Network reported that Michigan reached out to him. However, the officials with the college came away with the sense that Harbaugh wants to stay in the NFL.
There’s been other rumors that Harbaugh might be the coach of the Oakland Raiders, who are being coached by interim coach Tony Sparano.
Harbaugh said he had a brief encounter with Raiders owner Mark Davis. “I just said hello,” Harbaugh recalled.
Kaepernick jerseys burned
A number of 49ers fans apparently burned their Colin Kaepernick jerseys after the loss to the Raiders.
They posted images of burning No. 7 jerseys on Twitter and Instagram.
Kaepernick turned in a woeful performance, throwing for 174 yards on 18 of 33 passes as well as two interceptions and a touchdown. He was also sacked five times.
Kaepernick also pushed a photographer at halftime during the game Sunday. “If I put something real close to your face, you’re going to try to move out of the way, too,” he reportedly said.
Kaep analysis: not good
According to a recent ESPN analysis, Kaepernick’s vertical passing game–meaning deep throws down the field–hasn’t been there.
“Or, as ESPN Stats & Info noted, Kaepernick completed the same number of passes to Raiders defenders (two) as 49ers receivers on passes traveling at least 15 yards. ” writes Paul Gutierrez with ESPN.
But in the past four games, it’s been a bit worse.
He’s only completed 17.6 percent of his passes that go beyond 15 yards. He has one touchdown and five interceptions.
“In his first nine games this season, he completed 40.3 percent of such passes for an average of 11.0 yards per attempt with five TDs and three INTs,” Gutierrez added.
Gore sad after loss
Frank Gore, who has been used sparingly this season, said that with the change, “It’s been tough all year to get in a rhythm.”
“The coaches are the ones calling the plays,” he said, via SFGate.com. “Whatever the coach calls, I’m going to give 110 percent. I’m only a player; I only do what my coach says. You’ve got to ask the coach.”
It’s Gore’s last season under contract. And at age 31, it could be his last season in the NFL.
“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s my last year under contract. I want to go out with a shot at least to hold the trophy. We’ll let the chips fall. I’ll still keep fighting with my teammates. Hopefully, other teams will help us. We have to move forward from this one. But it’s tough.”