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