Too many timeouts for Kaepernick-led offense


Too many timeouts for Kaepernick-led offense

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers burned four timeouts on Sunday on offense to prevent delay-of-game penalties.

It's an area in which coach Jim Harbaugh said quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and the entire 49ers' offense, must improve. Harbaugh said the play calls and personnel groupings were getting to the huddle in plenty of time, but the calls in the huddle and the tempo to the line of scrimmage were lacking.

"It's his responsibility," Harbaugh said Monday. "It's everybody's responsbility. The tempo of how you operation has to be better. We need to get better at that."

Harbaugh stood near the closest official on the 49ers' sideline and called timeouts on each occasion as the play clock ticked down. Kaepernick, making his fourth NFL start, is expected to make those decisions himself.

"He needs to be aware of that and operate it and run it," Harbaugh said.

However, Harbaugh was pleased at how Kaepernick performed his other duties. Kaepernick completed 18 of 23 passes for 185 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

"He's operating the offense, getting us in the right plays, executing," Harbaugh said. "For a guy who's only started four games now, he's doing it at a very high level."

Kaepernick said afterward that the one throw he wishes he had back was a corner route to Michael Crabtree in the second quarter. A well-thrown pass could have resulted in a touchdown. The 49ers settled for a field goal.

Kaepernick's best pass of the game might have been his throw to wide receiver Randy Moss on a flea-flicker. Dolphins cornerback RJ Stanford had ahold of Moss' right arm, preventing Moss from using both hands to catch what could've been a 47-yard touchdown.

Harbaugh was careful not to complain about the officiating when asked whether Moss should have made the catch.

"Uh, yeah, that would've been a . . . it was a great throw," Harbaugh said. "He (Moss) had some adversity trying to make that catch. There was some adversity involved there."

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Receiver A.J. Jenkins and running back LaMichael James, the 49ers' top two draft picks, made their season debuts. Jenkins played eight snaps and did not have any passes thrown his way. James was in on 15 offensive plays. He gained 30 yards on eight carries, and he caught a 15-yard pass.

Harbaugh said both executed their assignments very well.

"Both LaMichael (and) A.J. did good in that regard," Harbaugh said. "LaMichael got those touches, and thought he made a real good contribution both in the kickoff-return game and offensively.

"(Jenkins) had a real nice block on (Frank Gore's) draw play that nearly scored. Ran a route and didn't get the ball, but ran right past his man, which was positive. Assignment-wise, pretty well."

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.