49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 3, 2012
No QB change imminent, Harbaugh repeats

by Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated Monday that he doesn't anticipate making a change at quarterback this week following the 49ers' 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. It was Colin Kaepernick's first loss as an NFL starter.

"Still feel that way," Harbaugh said. "There was a lot of positives that were in the game. Definitely a tough loss. Specifically with Colin, I thought especially after the fumble touchdown the way he responded, the way our team responded, again putting ourselves in a position to win after that. And the same could be said after the safety too. He responded with some big throws and some big plays."

The two plays Harbaugh referenced -- the disputed third-quarter safety that gave the Rams their first points and the botched option pitch by Kaepernick that the Rams recovered for a late touchdown -- were arguably the 49ers' biggest mistakes of the game. Kaepernick finished 21-for-32 for 208 yards and rushed nine times for 84 yards, and Harbaugh said he was also pleased with how Kaepernick led the offense in the third quarter near his own goal line.

A relatively subdued Harbaugh spent much of his press conference Monday taking responsibility for the pitch play -- though his role could only have been a preventative one. Harbaugh confirmed the play call came from offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Kaepernick's pitch was off-target and receiver Ted Ginn couldn't pick it up to prevent the Rams from falling on it. Harbaugh had the option of stepping in and overruling the play call.

"We've got to finish games," Harbaugh said. "That's our job to finish those games. We all take responsibility for that. And the responsibility-taking starts with me on that option play that resulted in the nightmare scenario. It was a position in the game where I should not have let that play be called. So I take responsibility for that."

* Harbaugh said he expects kicker David Akers, who has been battling a pelvis injury and missed a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal Sunday, to kick for the 49ers against the Miami Dolphins.

"We'll see what his health status is this week," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh did not provide an update on receiver Mario Manningham, who left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter. Manningham had already been on the team's injury report before the game because of a sore right shoulder.



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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