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Harbaugh identifying areas 49ers must improve upon

The SportsXchange

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Jim Harbaugh refrained from saying he was concerned a day after the San Francisco 49ers were thoroughly dominated in a 29-3 loss in Seattle, but it was clear he came away from Sunday's loss believing his team needs to address several areas.

"You can use what word you want to use," Harbaugh said when asked if he was concerned. "We're using this early part of the season to identify it and improve where we can."

Offensively, there was no scarcity on where that improvement can occur. A week after Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and looked every bit the part of an elite passer in beating the Green Bay Packers, he turned in what easily amounts to the worst game of his career. Never before had he tossed more than one interception in a game. Against the Seahawks, there were three to go along with a lost fumble.

Usually a deadly downfield passer, Kaepernick was just 1-for-8 for 17 yards on passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air and two picks, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

Harbaugh didn't lay much blame on Kaepernick, citing the limited options in terms of open receivers and minimal time in the pocket.

"I thought he competed and played hard and played well at times," Harbaugh said. "He probably played the best, most productive person we had on offense."

That was more a statement of how poor the rest of the offense played than praise of the third-year quarterback.

Running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined on 10 carries for nine yards. It wasn't necessarily their fault either, as the offensive line was unable to open up running lanes.

"I think what we do, look, again, where we can make improvements, zero in on that and see if we can't come away with this week significant improvements in all those areas that you're talking about," said Harbaugh.

The coach declined to specify exactly what areas he believes need to be addressed offensively.

"Yeah there's things that we'll put our finger on and try to make improvement, significant improvement this week," said Harbaugh. "That's something that the earlier part of the season you want to make the most of identifying where you can get better and make improvements and then you want to see those improvements made. I'm not going into every single detail, but we're trying to put our finger on some things."

--Harbaugh said Glenn Dorsey will replace injured Ian Williams at defensive tackle, with the team looking into signing another defensive tackle to improve depth.

"We're looking through that right now and we'll make a decision on that in the next day or two," said Harbaugh.

-- There are a lot of connections between the Indianapolis Colts, this week's opponent, and the 49ers. Quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver Griff Whalen and tight end Coby Fleener all played for Harbaugh at Stanford, while offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was also a part of his staff.

"He's a terrific player and you see it on the tape," Harbaugh said of Luck. "The ball comes out quicker than it looks like it comes out. The velocity on the throws is more than what it looks like.

"As good as he looks and as physical as he looks in the pocket and tough to bring down, he's even harder to bring down than you think. He looks fast when he's running with the ball and he's out of the pocket and can make a throw on the run or run. But he's faster than he looks."

-- S Eric Reid suffered a concussion against the Seahawks and will have to go through the series of required concussion tests before his status for Sunday's game against Indianapolis can be determined. He was showing no symptoms Monday, according to Harbaugh.

-- TE Vernon Davis suffered a hamstring injury against the Seahawks, but his status moving forward is unclear. The injury is not expected to be serious.

-- DE Ray McDonald left Sunday's game against Seahawks early and there is no update available on the status of his ankle injury.
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