Criticism aside, Colin Kaepernick is back to work

Colin Kaepernick has his own critique for former quarterback
Trent Dilfer after the analyst questioned the ability of San
Francisco’s QB to adjust in the passing game: Unless you’re with
the 49ers day-to-day, watch what you say.

When told that Dilfer had called out Kaepernick’s skill to adapt
when his first read isn’t there following a 10-9 loss to the
Carolina Panthers, Kaepernick reminded everyone Wednesday that he
hasn’t changed from the player who led San Francisco back to the
Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years last season in his first
opportunity as an NFL starter.

”Well, I think you should ask him if he knows what my
progression is first before he says that,” Kaepernick said
Wednesday.

He pointed out that Dilfer is not at team headquarters regularly
– or working alongside Kaepernick like his teammates do – nor does
he know what the quarterback’s progression is supposed to be for a
given game plan or specific sequence.

”I didn’t hear what he had to say, but he’s not in the building
with us so what he’s saying really doesn’t affect me at all,”
Kaepernick said. ”I’m worried about what this team thinks and what
I’m doing in here with my teammates.”

Kaepernick has plenty of support from within as he nears the
one-year mark of his first NFL start in a commanding 32-7 victory
against the Chicago Bears on ”Monday Night Football” on Nov. 19,
2012, while playing in place of the injured Alex Smith.

”It’s been a very good, steady progression for him,” coach Jim
Harbaugh said. ”We don’t think anything’s wrong with Colin. We
feel like his progression’s been very good. He’s played winning
football for us and that’s what we expect.”

The 49ers certainly hope tight end Vernon Davis can play Sunday
after sustaining a concussion – his second in 10 months – against
the Panthers. Without him for the second half, San Francisco’s
passing game became non-existent as the Niners wound up with 46
total yards passing and 151 in all. Running back Frank Gore had 82
of those yards on 16 carries.

Gore stands by Kaepernick and knows he will grow from the tough
losses.

”He’s doing well. Every year is going to get tougher,” Gore
said. ”As long as he keeps standing and manning up and going out
there and trying to get this team to our goal, that’s all we want
from him. Kaepernick’s doing a great job.”

That is the perception of New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees
from afar.

”We all know what he’s capable of, he’s a dual threat, he can
make plays with his legs and his arm,” Brees said. ”He’s got the
ability to be a big-time player.”

Yet opposing defenses are doing more to take Kaepernick out of
his game, to keep him from scrambling loose and dominating out of
the read option.

After a five-game winning streak in which the 49ers scored at
least 31 points in each victory, all of that progress came crashing
down against Carolina and its swarming defense. Kaepernick had his
worst professional performance yet – 11 of 22 for 91 yards with an
interception and six sacks for a 42.0 passer rating.

”You’re always looking to get back on the field whether you win
or lose,” Kaepernick said. ”I won’t say angry is the word, but we
need to get out and we need to play better.”

Positioning in the NFC West and playoffs is on the line, and the
49ers are in jeopardy of losing their two-year hold on the division
to the rival Seahawks.

San Francisco waived wide receiver Kyle Williams and cornerback
Perrish Cox on Tuesday while activating linebacker Nick Moody. That
still leaves an open roster spot to be filled before Sunday, yet
Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether that could be for Michael Crabtree’s
return and season debut. He has been sidelined since tearing his
right Achilles tendon in May and undergoing surgery.

Notes: Crabtree wasn’t practicing during the open portion of
Wednesday’s workout. … DT Ray McDonald is wearing a walking boot
on his left foot for a high ankle sprain. He doesn’t expect to play
against the Saints. … Injured NT Ian Williams, lost to a
season-ending left ankle injury against the Seahawks on Sept. 15,
will be on crutches for two or three more weeks then use a walking
boot for a time before pins are removed from the ankle. …
Williams was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs one day
after the 49ers released him, reuniting him with Alex Smith.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org