Colin Kaepernick remains the 49ers’ starting quarterback, despite the protests of Clay Matthews, Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson and other critics. But head coach Jim Tomsula wasn’t as resounding in his affirmation of the struggling quarterback on Monday than he was after two previous weeks of offensive failures.
“We’re starting from top to bottom and where I’m at and the things I’m asking for and then going through offensively,” Tomsula said when asked specifically about Kaepernick. “But we have to fix some things. And, I just, that’s where we’re at. We’re going through that now.”
Is Kaepernick being evaluated with the possibility of replacing him with more ineffective play, starting Sunday night on the road against the New York Giants?
“I don’t want to say it — then, that starts a whole — that’s not where I’m at,” Tomsula said. “I mean, everybody is evaluated. We’re in the middle of it and I don’t have any statements for you on anything like that.”
Receiver Torrey Smith, after a display of frustration during Sunday’s 17-3 loss to Green Bay, doesn’t believe things are as bad as they seem, despite his team’s 1-3 record and the league’s lowest-scoring offense.
“I feel a lot better than I did yesterday,” Smith said Monday. “But it still doesn’t feel good, at all, losing. Still embarrassed about how we’ve been playing offensively.”
The 49ers had another lackluster offensive performance that saw Kaepernick complete 13 of 25 passes for 160 yards and take six sacks.
Smith made two catches Sunday and was visibly peeved on the field for much of the afternoon. The 49ers managed just 196 total yards, with 47 coming on a long pass to Smith in the fourth quarter. However, that catch didn’t lead to points as San Francisco wound up turning the ball over on downs.
“My body language was horrible at times. I should never let my frustrations show, especially to [reporters],” Smith said. “That’s not a good thing. I’ll work at that. … To be honest, we work too hard to go out on Sundays and play like that. Jim Tomsula doesn’t deserve this. The fans don’t deserve to watch the way we play.”
Smith, who signed a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $40 million, has nine receptions for 185 yards in four games. His lone touchdown catch came in the second half of a blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.
Tomsula said, “We need to use him and we need to get him more involved. That’s on the checklist.”
The Packers’ defense was intent on stopping the run by keeping safeties close to the line of scrimmage. Running back Carlos Hyde had just 20 yards on eight carries in his first home game since running for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Kaepernick was the team’s leading rusher, netting 57 yards on 10 carries. Running back Reggie Bush returned after a two-game absence with a calf injury, registering one run for no gain.
The 49ers were unable to take advantage of Green Bay’s game plan by utilizing Smith’s speed, with Kaepernick completing just one of seven throws that went longer than 10 yards.
Kaepernick’s 67.7 passer rating through four games is the lowest since he became the full-time starter midway through the 2012 season, when he led San Francisco to the Super Bowl.
“We have to find our rhythm,” Kaepernick said Sunday. “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.”
Tomsula said wide receiver Quinton Patton suffered a concussion Sunday and is going through the league-mandated concussion protocol. There’s no timetable on his return.