SANTA CLARA -- Offensive coordinator Greg Roman took accountability Thursday for the 49ers' passing-game actions, or lack thereof, while also deflecting blame away from quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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

Roman has been the 49ers' primary play caller and their offensive coordinator since 2011, when he came over from coach Jim Harbaugh's Stanford staff.

Greg Roman, 49ers Offensive Coordinator, speaks to the media during a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara,
Greg Roman, 49ers Offensive Coordinator, speaks to the media during a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. as they prepare for the NFC Championship game. The 49ers will play the New York Giants on Sunday. (Gary Reyes/ Staff) ( Gary Reyes )

"Anytime we don't have success, it definitely starts with me, and we've got to get it fixed," Roman said. "It's something we're working hard to do. Anytime we fall short, I'm looking at myself first and foremost, and we've got to get it fixed."

Echoing Harbaugh's stance on Kaepernick in recent days, Roman testified the quarterback is "progressing very nicely" while continually encountering new defensive strategies.

"I think Kap understands that's how the quarterback is: He's the lightning rod," Roman added. "We all have to do a better job around him to help him be successful."


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  • Running back Marcus Lattimore expects to begin practicing next week for the first time his rookie season. Lattimore is coming off a career-threatening knee injury his junior season at South Carolina, and the third-round draft pick has spent all season on the reserve/non-football-injury list.

    Next Tuesday marks the final day the 49ers can put him on the practice field and launch a three-week window to evaluate him. "Everything feels good and I should be out there, so we'll see what happens," said Lattimore, noting he hasn't received any such assurance from his coaches. "It would be real important to have my mind ready for next year."

    Aside from studiously watching Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter shine in the league's fourth-ranked run offense, Lattimore has been a sponge in the classroom, noting: "I've learned more these four months than I have the past 18 years."

  • Wide receiver Michael Crabtree hasn't been seen on the practice field this week or last Friday during media access, but he hasn't experienced any setbacks in his return from a torn Achilles, Roman said.

  • Cornerback Carlos Rogers feared that a rule exists that could end Eric Reid's season if the rookie safety sustains a third concussion. No such rule is part of the NFL's concussion protocol, a league spokesman confirmed.

  • Tight end Vernon Davis and Reid practiced in noncontact jerseys for a second straight day because of their Sunday concussions. Both are expecting to play Sunday in New Orleans. Reid, a Louisiana native, bought 58 tickets for family and friends.

  • Ahmad Brooks has been stripped of one of his three sacks Sunday, upon official review. He still has team-high 51/2 sacks this season.

  • Justin Smith (shoulder) returned to practice, but fellow defensive tackle Ray McDonald (ankle) and tight end Garrett Celek (hamstring) did not.

  • Rookie wideout Quinton Patton has done individual conditioning work on a side field this week as he recovers from a Sept. 26 foot fracture.

  • Perhaps the most 49ers' most-fabled locker stall is vacant, the one closest to the equipment room. It last belonged to cornerback Perrish Cox, who got released Tuesday. That locker over the years has housed Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jeff Garcia and Alex Smith. Kaepernick's locker is on the other side of the equipment room, alongside those of quarterbacks Colt McCoy and McLeod Bethel-Thompson, punter Andy Lee and kicker Phil Dawson.

    For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.