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September 23, 2013
Harbaugh offers few answers, hints at Jon Baldwin's 49ers debut


After last week's blowout loss to Seattle, Jim Harbaugh said that quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the lone playmaker on offense. Today, he couldn't find any bright spots on the unit. "You never lay it on one spot," he said. "If we're talking offensively, I thought the effort was very good. Precision needs to be better. And that falls under everybody's purview."

For the third straight game, the receivers not named Anquan Boldin were quiet. No. 2 receiver Kyle Williams was targeted six times and finished with two catches for 12 yards and one third-down drop. Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton each were targeted once but had no catches.

Asked whether Jon Baldwin, who has been inactive to this point, could play soon, Harbaugh said, "That's possible. He's doing a good job. Had a good week of practice last week." Baldwin is 6-4, 230 pounds and has excellent speed. At the least, he would be able to stretch defenses, something the 49ers had a hard time doing without Vernon Davis (hamstring) in the lineup Sunday.

Otherwise, Harbaugh had few answers. With a short week to prepare for the Rams in St. Louis, he and the rest of the coaching staff spent the night at team headquarters trying to figure out a remedy for the first, two-game skid of the Harbaugh era. "There's always another thing to try," he said. "Just go back to work and see if there's something to improve and fix."

Both Patrick Willis (groin) and Nnamdi Asomugha (knee) will have MRIs today. They are unlikely to play in St. Louis, and would be replaced by Michael Wilhoite and Tramaine Brock respectively. If Asomugha's injury is serious, Eric Wright likely would be taken off the NFI (non-football injury) list at the earliest possible date, which is just after Week 6.

Harbaugh said there would be an announcement upcoming about Aldon Smith's immediate future. He's likely to be placed on the NFI list. The question the team hasn't answered yet is whether that designation means Smith must miss a set number of weeks.

-- Matt 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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