SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick has not seen much of his favorite target.
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree had not practiced with the 49ers for nearly two weeks while he remains on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. On Thursday, Crabtree worked with a member of the strength and conditioning staff as he worked to rehabilitate his surgically repaired Achilles on a side field while the rest of the team began preparations to face Washington. A 49ers spokesman later said Crabtree joined practice after a "specialized warmup."
Prior to practice, Kaepernick said he could not provide an update on how Crabtree looks because, he said, “I don’t see him too much. He’s training.”
Kaepernick had his weekly session with media members on Thursday. Here’s what he had to say:
The deep passing game hasn’t been effective the last two games. What do you see as the reason for why that hasn’t come through?
Kaepernick: “It’s a variety of things, whether it’s how the defense is playing us or we’re just not hitting things. There’s a lot of things that can go into that.”
Did the Saints do anything specific with TE Vernon Davis in that game that was maybe different than other teams have been playing him?
Kaepernick: “Not different. They just gave him looks that weren’t going to allow him to get down the field.”
You mentioned after the game that the offense has a lot on it’s plate and even FB Bruce Miller just said there’s a lot of things. Has that been addressed at all just by the coaching staff? Are you trying to streamline that a little bit maybe?
Kaepernick: “That’s not my call. We’re going out, we’re executing the plays that are the called.”
When you said a lot on your plate, what do you mean by that?
Kaepernick: “He said that, not me.”
After the game, I think you said.
Kaepernick: “Oh, there’s a lot of things this offense has to do and it’s expected of us.”
Just as far as volume?
Pretty much the same as it was last year?
You say every week that you want to improve and get better. At this point of the season, what would be some of the things you would work on to make that happen?
Kaepernick: “Everything. Every week we’re trying to improve at everything we do.”
It was a Monday Night game last year that was your first start. A pretty big deal, it’s good you know what to expect. Do you remember at all what you were going through in the days leading up to that Chicago game?
Kaepernick: “I didn’t know if I was going to play. I was just trying to prepare myself like I was going to.”
You’ve thrown a lot to WR Anquan Boldin. You’ve thrown a lot to Vernon. Where are you as far as chemistry with your other pass catchers? Is that a work in progress? Do you not feel as comfortable with those guys as you do with the main two?
Kaepernick: “I wouldn’t say it’s not as comfortable. Vernon and Anquan have played in this league for a long time and it’s for a reason. They make plays down the field. When you throw them the ball, they’re getting open. So, anytime we have the opportunity to get the ball in their hands, we’re going to.”
How does WR Michael Crabtree look and how ready might you think he is to get in the mix?
Kaepernick: “You would have to ask him. That’s going to be 100% his call.”
What’s your perception of how he looks?
Kaepernick: “I don’t see him too much. He’s training.”
You ran the ball a lot last year more than this year. Is that something that you enjoy doing or that you like to do?
Kaepernick: “I do whatever this offense asks of me.”
Not to use it as an excuse, but what type of challenges does all the turnover at receiver, what has that been like for you this year?
Kaepernick: “It’s something you have to deal with. You make it work with whatever personnel is on the field, whether it’s five wide receivers or three tight ends and two backs. You make it work.”
Coach Harbaugh said, the last two defenses the Panthers and Saints, have attacked you guys differently, kind of vastly different schemes. Is that how, I guess, you’ve seen it, and have there been some surprises that they’ve thrown at you?
Kaepernick: “I don’t want to say surprises. They’re two very different defenses. We knew that going into each game.”
I’ve heard teammates describe you as a perfectionist. You’re obviously a picture of intensity on the field. Do you think at times that maybe your high standard may undermine your ability to maybe either relax or have as much fun as we saw when things were going better for you?
Kaepernick: “No, I don’t think so. I was trying to be a perfectionist last year, the same way I am this year.”
I guess the biggest thing Colin, is these last two losses came against really good defenses and the wins, especially the blowout wins, have come against defenses that may not have been as strong. When you look overall at those two losses what are some of the things the offense is just missing on? You always say that it’s us, and RB Frank Gore says it’s us and what we’re doing, but what is happening in those games that doesn’t happen in the wins?
Kaepernick: “We didn’t execute. That’s what it comes down to.”
Is there any concern about your ability to execute against the top-level defenses?
Kaepernick: “I don’t think there’s any concern on this team.”
Do you challenge yourself every week and each game going in more than you did the past games?
Kaepernick: “Every week is a challenge when you step on the field. You’re trying to play your best.”
Transcript provided by the 49ers public-relations department