Benching Kaepernick not on Tomsula's mind

The 49ers head coach has no plans on benching his starting quarterback.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After another disappointing offensive performance, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula continued to stick by his starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. There's no indication Tomsula plans on benching Kaepernick in favor in Blaine Gabbert any time soon.

"(I) won’t even go into that discussion. It’s not on my mind,” Tomsula said after Sunday's 17-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Kaepernick was sacked six times Sunday, putting him on pace for a new-career high of 56. Last season, Kaepernick took 52 sacks, the second most in the NFL.

Sunday, Kaepernick threw for 160 yards with an interception, with more than half that yardage coming on two plays. One, a 40-yard jet sweep to Quinton Patton, was only a pass by technicality. The other, a 47-yard throw to Torrey Smith down the right sideline late in the fourth quarter, didn't result in points as the 49ers went on to turn the ball over on downs. He completed 13 of 25 throws.

Consecutive sacks spoiled the 49ers best scoring chance in the second quarter when they reached Green Bay's 5-yard line, leading to their only points coming on a Phil Dawson 33-yard field goal.

"To me, we have to be able to get the ball out quick," Kaepernick said. "We have to be able to get the ball into our playmakers' hands as soon as we can. And ultimately, this offense is a team. We're working as hard as we can to try to make sure we're doing things right and on the right track."

Overall, the Packers out gained San Francisco 396 to 196, while the 49ers have been outscored 107-28 during their current three-game losing streak.

"We have to find our rhythm," Kaepernick said. "We have to get back on track and string plays together. When we do that, we have produced successful drives. It’s getting those plays to string together where we’ve struggled thus far."

The 49ers have yet to find much offensive rhythm under new offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach, a position he held the last four years under former head coach Jim Harbaugh. Chryst's offense is the lowest scoring unit in the league.

Through the first quarter of the season, Kaepernick has completed 62 percent of his throws for 727 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions - good for a passer rating of 67.7. His previous career low was 86.4, coming last season.

The 49ers starting receivers, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, were both visibly frustrated with the offense's inability to produce throughout the game Sunday. Boldin declined to speak to the media after the game.

"They’re playmakers for this team," Kaepernick said. "They want to contribute. They want to have an impact and we weren’t able to get the ball to them and allow them to have that impact until later in the game. So, I understand the frustration, yes, but it’s a team game. They want to win. I understand that.”

Meanwhile, the struggles of the offensive line continue to persist. The 49ers are continuing to feel the effects of Anthony Davis' retirement and the departure of Pro Bowl left guard Mike Iupati in free agency.

Tomsula indicated he's thinking about making changes to the offensive line.

"Yeah, I won’t comment on any of that in the media,” Tomsula said.

One of those changes could be moving left guard Alex Boone to the right side of the line after starting at right guard over the previous three seasons. The 49ers added former Ravens center Nick Easton before the start of the season, who has been active over the last weeks, instead of former draft picks Brandon Thomas and Ian Silberman.

The team's current center, Marcus Martin, has shown little improvement from his rookie year after being considered one of the top centers available in the 2014 draft. Injured center Daniel Kilgore, who resumed running this week after suffering a fractured lower leg last season, can return from the physically unable to perform list Week 7 against the Seahawks.

Gabbert made waves in the preseason by completing 82 percent of his throws without an interception. But there's no indication the Jaguars' former first-round pick in 2011 would have any more success under center than Kaepernick.

"I think it’s everything. Offensively, we’ve got to improve in all areas,” Tomsula said.



Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.

E-mail Niners Digest:

Get updates from Niners Digest by following here and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and analysis.

Niners Digest Top Stories