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Roman Defends Kaepernick, No. 32 Passing Game

Posted Nov 14, 2013

The 49ers offensive coordinator answered the tough questions about his quarterback, the state of his passing game, and his role in improving offensive production.

In case you haven’t heard, the 49ers rank dead last in passing yards.

The topic was posed to San Francisco’s offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Thursday.

To his credit, Roman said the blame for the team’s 173.9 passing yards per game falls solely on his shoulders.

“I think it starts with me and I think any time we don’t have success, it definitely starts with me,” said Roman days after the 49ers posted 46 net passing yards in a 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

“We’ve got to get it fixed. And it’s something we’re working hard to do; guys are working hard to do. And I don’t think there’s any question, any time we fall short, I’m looking at myself first and foremost and got to get things fixed.”

Improving the passing game won’t be an easy fix. Roman said the team will look at ways to improve aerial statistics, including evaluating the play calls and how to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage based on defensive coverages.

Roman it’s easy to second-guess himself after a quiet passing performance.

San Francisco’s offensive coordinator said the team is pleased with the progress of Mario Manningham, who caught three passes for a team-high 30 yards in his season debut. After releasing Kyle Williams this week, Roman said the team has no concern with the effort of Jon Baldwin, a player the 49ers acquired at the end of training camp.

Roman admitted that the 49ers have lost continuity at the wide receiver position in recent weeks, but they key is to build that cohesion in practice.

Roman made no excuses for the lack of passing production. He also defended the performance of his quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

“Colin’s progressing very nicely,” Roman said. “And, there’s still an element of I’m seeing where somebody shows something for the first time. Obviously, there was a lot of that last year and very similar this year. I definitely think there is a punch-counterpunch thing, as there always is.”

WATCH: 49ers vs. Saints Matchups

This Sunday, Kaepernick will have a chance to counter a defense he defeated in 2012. The New Orleans Saints have an improved pass defense and ranks No. 7 overall in total defense, allowing 317.6 yards per game.

Kaepernick has passed the 200-yard mark twice in nine games this season. The numbers, however, don’t concern Roman. He knows the type of player he’s working with at team headquarters.

“I get to see him every day, I know what we’re trying to do and I know how he’s, what he’s supposed to do and how he approaches his job,” Roman said. “So, looking at it as just I’m looking at the number or the result or the stat, that’s a little bit in the category of 'don’t have all the information.'

"We all know it’s a results oriented and takes 11 guys on the field doing their job to get it right and really it starts with me when we fall short.”

So while fantasy football owners are pointing to Kaepernick’s passing numbers as the determining factor in his weekly success, Roman judges his quarterback on how he’s able to carry out the weekly gameplan.

“I think every quarterback in the league is going to have days where their stats aren’t great,” Roman said. “I think it’s important to remember though that it’s not just a quarterback. It’s 11 guys on the field. It’s also bringing forth a great plan and that’s something that in those occasions, I need to do a better job of.

“I think 'Kap' understands that’s how the quarterback is. He’s the lightning rod. But, we all have to do a better job around him to help him be successful.”

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