San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly said Monday there has been no conversation about benching Blaine Gabbert in favor of Colin Kaepernick.
“He’s our starter and I have a lot of confidence in Blaine,” Kelly told reporters at the 49ers' training facility. “We’re not thinking or talking about not having Blaine in there.”
Gabbert and the 49ers’ offense struggled in the 49ers’ 46-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers scored 20 points off Panthers turnovers, while converting just 4 of 14 (29 percent) of their third-down opportunities.
Gabbert completed just 17 of 36 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating was 64.9. Gabbert has averaged just 5.8 yards per passing attempt through the first two games of the season.
Kaepernick has not attempted a pass this season. Kelly said Kaepernick still has not regained his strength and weight after surgeries on his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee prevented him from his typical offseason training program.
Kelly, referring to five dropped passes, said the 49ers' pass targets have to do a better job catching the ball on well-thrown passes, and Gabbert has to be more accurate, too.
Gabbert takes approximately three-quarters of the 49ers’ first-team offensive snaps in practice, and Kelly said the offense has to continue to work in practices to improve its efficiency.
“It’s about chemistry and getting everyone on the same page,” Kelly said.