SANTA CLARA – Blaine Gabbert's completion percentage of 54.9 ranks 31st in the NFL among quarterbacks with 30 or more pass attempts.
But his head coach, a man who preaches "repetitive accuracy," said on Wednesday that Gabbert is not alone to blame for the team's failure to connect on a higher percentage of pass attempts.
"I don't think it's an innate trait," Kelly said. "I think it's something that (quarterbacks) really need to work on. It's a byproduct of a lot of different things: protection, being on the same page as your receivers, the mechanics of actually how you throw the ball, how your feet are set.
"It's the most difficult position to play because you're trying to execute something when someone is trying to take your head off. It's not as easy as people think, but I think it's a huge part of being a very, very good quarterback. Repetitive accuracy is what we talk about on a consistent basis."
Kelly highlighted a couple of plays in which 49ers players ran incorrect routes, putting them out of position to catch Gabbert's throws. He also noted a particular play in which a penetration from a defensive lineman knocked Gabbert off his launch point.
"It's not always the quarterback," Kelly said. "I try to say that not to take pressure off of Blaine, but because that's the case.
"If you can't protect him, he's not going to be very accurate. Or if the quarterbacks and receivers aren't on the same page, he's not going to be very accurate."