49ers

Same weekly approach for Kaepernick as he preps for Patriots

kaepernick_colin_harbaugh_jim.jpg

Same weekly approach for Kaepernick as he preps for Patriots

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not spent any more time preparing for the New England Patriots' defense, he said Wednesday.

Kaepernick said he has maintained the same preparation schedule since the beginning of the season, beginning when he was Alex Smith's backup.

Kaepernick faces his biggest challenge Sunday night in his fifth NFL start, as he goes against a Patriots defense that figures to come up with a few new wrinkles in hopes of confusing the second-year player.

"They give you a lot of different looks on defense," Kaepernick said. "You just have to be prepared for it. You have to be ready for their disguises and different coverages, different fronts they're going to give you."

"It'll be a great challenge. It's a great opportunity to show what we're capable of."

The 49ers have averaged 25.8 points in Kaepernick's four starts, including two touchdowns from the defense. New England features the league's No. 1 offense and averages 36.3 points per game. The 49ers might have to unleash a more prolific offensive attack in order to stay close.

There is plenty Kaepernick can learn from New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has thrown 29 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

"What he does mentally," Kaepernick said. "He knows exactly what he wants to do against every look a defense is going to give him."

Kaepernick struggled Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in getting the offense to the line of scrimmage and going through his pre-snap reads. The 49ers wasted four timeouts on offense.

"We just have to practice it," said Kaepernick, who said he did not know why the 49ers struggled in that aspect of the game.

He will need to break the huddle in a timely fashion to properly diagnose the Patriots' defense, he said.

"Trying to see what the defense is trying to do pre-snap," he said. "They give you a lot of different looks, a lot of different fronts. We just have to be ready for it."

* * *

--Kaepernick said Alex Smith has been a help to him as the team's backup quarterback.

"He's been great," Kaepernick said. "He's helped me with everything I've asked. Even on the sideline he's going over looks with me and making sure I'm seeing everything."

--Kaepernick has built a rapport with veteran wide receiver Randy Moss.

"He's a true professional," Kaepernick said. "He's going to do whatever it takes to make sure he's ready to play on Sunday.

"Randy is a great guy. He's a great teammate. He's someone that everybody should try to be like, as far as in the locker room and how they are as a teammate. . . Randy has always been great. He's always going to tell me what he's seeing with the defense. We have a good relationship."

--Kaepernick on why he's comfortable throwing to Michael Crabtree: "He's open. So you're going to throw the ball to the guy who's open."

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

stubblefield-mugshot-santaclaracosheriffoffice.jpg
Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.
 

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

smelter-us.jpg
USATSI

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.