San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Alex Boone (75) says he and the other linemen need to do a better job of protecting Colin Kaepernick, right, if the team is to succeed this season. (Tony Avelar/2014 AP)

49ers’ Boone: Time to pick up Kap

So how do the 49ers fix quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a matter of days?

Simple, teammate Alex Boone said. Have the other 10 guys step up for a change.

Or something like that, anyway.

“Frankly, we all need to pick our [bleep] up,” Boone told Balls on Wednesday. “We’re not playing winning football, obviously. That’s not the tradition we’ve had here, and that’s not who we’ve ever been. For us as a team, we’ve got to stop and say, ‘Hey, listen, we’ve got to take a deep breath. And now we’ve got to play.’”

Boone said he understood the nonstop talk about the quarterback, especially after two forgettable performances.

“Hell, it’s football, ain’t it? It’s always about the quarterback,” Boone said. “He’s like the pretty girl with the dress, you know what I’m saying?”

Well, sort of.

“Hell, yeah, you’ve got to do your job,” Boone went on to say. “If I don’t do my job, what good am I for this team? Absolutely, it has got to be a two-way street with that — we support him, he supports us. We never had a problem there.”

Kaepernick sure didn’t look like the pretty girl in a dress Wednesday. More like a guy who was oblivious to the talk around him.

“That’s not really something I’m concerned with,” Kaepernick said. “I have confidence in myself as far as being able to go out and help this team win. What others think of how I play and I how I go about this really isn’t something I worry about.”

WHERE’S TORREY? When general manager Trent Baalke spent a guaranteed $22 million on free-agent deep threat Torrey Smith last offseason, it seemed like so much wasted money at the time.

Sure enough, Smith has caught seven passes for 131 yards on 12 targets. And 75 yards came on one play in the second half of a blowout loss.

“We’ve only played three games,” Smith said. “It’s still early. You don’t panic.”

Maybe it’s time for offensive coordinator Geep Chryst to have Kaepernick wing it more often. The quarterback has completed 71 percent of throws of 10-or-more yards compared to only 57 percent on shorter ones.

DON’T WAIT: Tyler Eifert. Crockett Gillmore. Gary Barnidge …

If any tight end who plays against the Raiders is available in your fantasy league, Balls suggests that you claim him immediately.

“There’s a cloaking device I think they have,” coach Jack Del Rio joked of the tight-end frenzy. “Somehow they’re going right down the field without us able to see them. We’re going to see if we can remove that cloaking device.”

EXCUSE DEPARTMENT CLOSED: The Giants are the ex-Champs, and as manager Bruce Bochy and a few of his players have reminded us over and over again, injuries are a major reason for it.

What the Giants won’t tell us is that they finished the season with the same big problem that they started it with — the starting rotation — and that’s on them. After Madison Bumgarner, there are too few reasonable options.

Presumably, operations chief Brian Sabean will have lots of money to spend in the offseason, but the challenge won’t be an easy one. At least two spots are open, and that assumes one-month wonder Chris Heston and 34-year-old Jake Peavy will be able to take the ball every fifth day.

The Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers are prepared to throw some serious money at the upper-tier guys, which means the Giants may get stuck with Mike Leake again.

HOT QUESTION: One of the story lines of the Warriors’ preseason could be the role of veteran Andre Iguodala, who turned around the NBA Finals after coach Steve Kerr decided to start him after months on the bench.

Iguodala prefers to start, but he’ll wait to pop the question.

“No, we haven’t talked about that much,” Iguodala said the other day. “Steve looked dead the last week or two with [his] back surgery, so we try to keep everything in kind good spirits.”

Oh, to be fly on the wall when Kerr is back up and shooting from the lip.

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to and you may get your name in the paper one day.Alex BooneColin KaepernickSan Francisco 49ersTorrey SmithTrent Baalke

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