Kelly: Some real positives with Kaepernick's performance vs Bills

Kelly: Some real positives with Kaepernick's performance vs Bills

Chip Kelly was noncommittal about the identity of his starting quarterback immediately following the 49ers’ blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

A day later, he confirmed what seemed to be a certainty: Colin Kaepernick will start his second consecutive game on Sunday when the 49ers face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.

“I think there are some things he did on Sunday that you can build upon,” Kelly said. “For his first extended playing time since last year, I thought there were some real positives there that we need to continue to kind of try to build with him and get him going. (Kaepernick) gives us the best chance against Tampa Bay this week.”

Kaepernick picked up five of the 49ers’ eight first downs rushing on his seven attempts, not including a kneeldown to run out the clock at the end of the first half. Kaepernick's best run came when he escaped a potential safety by breaking a tackle of Bills linebacker Jerry Hughes in the end zone and rushed for a first down. Kaepernick finished with a team-high 66 yards rushing.

“Sometimes the protection broke down, but he kept some plays alive from that standpoint, did a good job keeping the ball out of harm’s way,” Kelly said. “(He) didn’t throw any interceptions. There were no balls where you were like, ‘Oh, geez, that was a close one.’ Sometimes you can have a game where you didn’t throw any interceptions, but you should have, the defense just dropped them.”

Kaepernick and the 49ers’ offense got off to a good start on Sunday. He completed eight of his 11 first-half attempts for 135 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 144.1.

But in the second half. Kaepernick connected on just five of 18 pass attempts in a stiff 22 mph wind for just 52 yards.

Kaepernick made his first start since Nov. 1. After the 49ers’ 27-6 loss to the Rams, Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of rust,” Kelly said of Kaepernick. “I think there’s some things, he’s not a guy that’s played seven straight games and is seeing things just like that. But that’s understandable.

“Really, his last extensive playing time was in the San Diego game (final game of the exhibition season). But there’s room there where I think he can grow and I’m sure as he watches the tape with us (Tuesday) and we get a chance to sit down and visit with him and go through everything, he’ll see some things and get a chance to get a little bit better and that’s the thing that we’re encourage by because he did a lot of really good things and I think we just need to try to build upon that as we move forward.”

Lynch: Shanahan's plan was to sign Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo 'had to really prove himself'


Lynch: Shanahan's plan was to sign Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo 'had to really prove himself'

Remember all those stories about how the 49ers were going to try to sign Kirk Cousins?

Well. They were all accurate.

On Wednesday, 49ers GM John Lynch was asked about acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo at the deadline.

"We made the trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually," Lynch said on ESPN radio. "I was proud of Kyle because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise and he didn't hesitate.

"But even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself. Kyle was really smart -- he didn't play him right away ... when he did put him in, he put him in a position to succeed.

"I would tell you that Jimmy really impressed Kyle, to the point where he said, 'This is our guy.'"

Yes. Garoppolo is the 49ers' guy.

The 26-year old signed a 5-year deal worth up to more than $137 million (with over $74 million guaranteed).

Cousins, meanwhile, inked a 3-year deal with Minnesota that will pay him $84 million guaranteed.

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.