Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Alex Smith Named NFC Offensive Player Of the Week

Good things happen when Alex Smith is in a rhythm.

The 49ers signal-caller showed that on Monday night, as he went 18 for 19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns to lead San Francisco to a dominant 24-3 win at Arizona. Not only did Smith set an NFL record for completion percentage (94.7) with at least 15 passing attempts, but on Wednesday he was named the NFC Offensive Player of Week.

“We’re always happy for the other man’s success,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said on KNBR Wednesday. “We’ll always, as a team, honor those people who receive those awards. Well-deserved on Alex’s part, just a great performance.”

Smith benefitted from strong efforts by his wide receivers, especially Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss.

Crabtree continually won his one-on-one matchups with Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, catching two red zone touchdowns as part of his five-catch, 72-yard performance. Moss added a touchdown of his own, catching a quick out route before making two defenders miss and sprinting for a 47-yard score.
Smith took advantage of all of his weapons, as Mario Manningham also picked up three first downs and Delanie Walker, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore each had big catches.

“Alex was very sharp playing quarterback,” Roman said. “He took it one play at a time, stayed very sharp. I think he had a real understanding of what the Cardinals were trying to do and was very good, very efficient with his reads, very accurate, and the guys made plays, the wide receivers made plays. That was great to see.”

Roman attributed Smith’s success to his relentless work ethic. Since Roman and Jim Harbaugh joined the 49ers before the 2011 season, Smith is 19-5, tied with Aaron Rodgers for the most quarterback wins in that span.

“Alex, one of the great things about him is how consistent he is and how he comes day in, day out and doesn’t get on the roller coaster,” Roman said. “He just came back to work and came in every single day trying to get better, understanding the gameplan.

“I don’t think he did anything extra special in his preparation – every week he’s really on. Just a really good performance at quarterback for him. When he plays like that, we can get this thing rolling pretty good.”

Smith was joined in the weekly NFC Awards by New York Giants safety Stevie Brown, the Defensive Player of the Week, and Green Bay cornerback Davon House, the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week.

  • Smith completed 94.7 percent of his passes (18 of 19) and threw for 232 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 157.1 passer rating in the 49ers’ 24-3 win at Arizona.
  •  He set an NFL record for the most passes in a game (19) without more than one incompletion or interception, besting the previous mark of 18 held by Pro Football Hall of Famer FRAN TARKENTON and CRAIG MORTON.
  • Smith’s 94.7 completion percentage is the highest single-game mark in NFL history (minimum 15 attempts). By comparison, STEVE YOUNG’s best single-game mark (minimum 15 attempts) is 93.8 percent (15 of 16) and JOE MONTANA’s is 84.4 percent (27 of 32).
  • Smith’s 157.1 passer rating is the highest of his career and, including the playoffs, the 49ers are a perfect 15-0 when Smith starts and has a 100+ rating. When Smith starts and completes at least 75 percent of his passes, the 49ers are 7-0.
  • In his eighth season from Utah, this is Smith’s first career Player of the Week Award.
  • He is the first 49er to be honored on offense since FRANK GORE in Week 14, 2009.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

49ers vs Cardinals Locker Room Speech

49ers want NFL to change box score, give Alex Smith passing record

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith completed 18 of 19 passes on Monday night. But the 49ers want to change the stats to 19 of 20.

Coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed today that the 49ers want the NFL to review the game and change the official box score because the 49ers contend that one play on which Smith threw the ball to Michael Crabtree behind the line of scrimmage — a play that went down in the stats as a run by Crabtree — should have been counted as a complete pass from Smith to Crabtree.

“It definitely was a pass,” Harbaugh said.

Why is this such a big deal? Because if Smith gets one more completion, he’ll have the all-time record for highest completion percentage in a game in NFL history. To qualify for that record, a player has to throw at least 20 passes in a game.

The record is currently owned by former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who completed 24 of 26 passes (92.31 percent) in a 2009 game against the Jaguars. In second place is former Browns quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who went 21-for-23 in a 1993 game against the Rams. Third belongs to former Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson, who went 20-for-22 in a 1974 game against the Steelers.

If Harbaugh gets his wish and Smith’s stat line is changed to 19-for-20, he’ll be at 95 percent, the best completion percentage in a game in NFL history.

Unfortunately for Smith, it seems highly unlikely that his stat line will get changed: The ball clearly did not travel forward, and the official scorer got this one right. Smith had a great game, but not a record-breaking game.

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Alex Smith

49ers Impress on Monday Night Football (VIDEO)

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Michael Crabtree

Monday, October 29, 2012

Brandon Jacobs a healthy scratch for Niners/Rest of Tonight's Inactive List

The debut of running back Brandon Jacobs as a member of the 49ers will have to wait at least another week.

Jacobs, who has yet to play this year due to a preseason knee injury, is inactive for tonight’s game between San Francisco and Arizona, even though he’s healthy.

Also inactive are quarterback Scott Tolzein, first-round rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins, second-round running back LaMichael James, fourth-round rookie guard Joe Looney, sixth-round rookie safety Trenton Robinson, and defensive tackle Ian Williams.

Scratched for the Cardinals are quarterback Kevin Kolb (rib), tight end Todd Heap (knee), receiver LaRon Byrd, guard Senio Kelemete, guard Adam Snyder, cornerback Greg Toler, and linebacker Jamaal Westerman.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Richard Sherman calls 49ers' Jim Harbaugh a ‘bully’

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's complaints about Seattle's physical defense didn't sit well with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

When reporters asked why Seattle's secondary wasn't repeatedly flagged in last Thursday night's loss to San Francisco, the 49ers coach said he planned to "take that up with the" league office.

Sherman -- who played under Harbaugh at Stanford -- sees a double standard.
"Sometimes, man, when the bully gets bullied, that's how that happens," Sherman told Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times. "He's the same guy who said the other guy was irrational and ignorant for talking about the refs."

"The other guy" is New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, and the comparison doesn't hold up. Gilbride went out of his way to imply that 49ers defensive end Justin Smith "gets away with murder" from officials. Harbaugh didn't spout off unaided. Reporters asked him to comment.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has dismissed the notion that his secondary plays outside the rules and said: "I don't think a guy should be able to speak out and go ahead and cause an investigation. That's too easy. I don't think that's going to happen."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Behind Enemy Lines: Calais Campbell hates the 49ers, “with a passion”

On Monday night, the 49ers and the Cardinals will renew their division rivalry.  Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell is looking forward to the game and already running his mouth.

“I really felt like I could have had four sacks last week and I had zero,” Campbell told Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, regarding the Cardinals’ Week Seven loss to the Vikings.  “So I gotta make up for that this week especially going against the 49ers who I really hate with a passion.  I can’t wait to go out there and stick it to them.  Alex Smith I’ve gotten down a few times so I know he’s thinking about me a little bit.  So I can’t wait to get out there.”

Told that the Niners don’t like him either, Campbell had no complaints.  “They’re not supposed to like me,” Campbell said.  “I’m not supposed to like you.  That’s what makes this game so special.  I mean, off the field I don’t have nothing against anybody but on that field come Monday night, it’s on and crackin’.”

It definitely is, and it definitely will be, in six days.

Alex Smith/Frank Gore Memorabilia Added To Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame received mementos from the San Francisco 49ers’ history-making performance during the team’s Week 5 win over the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers became the first team in National Football League history to record 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in the same game.

The milestone is being preserved by the Hall of Fame with the addition of a ball from the game signed by quarterback Alex Smith and running back Frank Gore. In addition, the team sent Gore’s shoes and gloves to the Hall of Fame.

San Francisco racked up 621 yards of offense during their 45-3 win over Buffalo on Oct. 7. Smith completed 18 of 24 passes for 303 yards and 3 TDs to post a passer rating of 156.2. He also chipped in with 49 yards on three rushes. Gore led all runners on the day with 106 yards on 14 carries and scored 1 TD.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jim Harbaugh Press Conference 10-19-2012

49ers vs. Seahawks Postgame Locker Room Speech

When Jim Harbaugh Declined That Safety, He Swung At least $75 Million In Bets

 Its safe to say that Jim Harbaugh didnt make many friends in the football gambling community last night. When he declined a safety with the 49ers up 13 - 6, he caused a lot of money to change hands.

R.J. Bell of breaks down who got hosed, and for how much:

49ers -7 had money refunded (but would have won with the safety)

49ers -7.5 or -8 lost (but would have won with the safety)

Seahawks +7 had money refunded (but would have lost with the safety)

Seahawks +7.5 or +8 won (but would have lost with the safety)

Overall, it's safe to say that coach Harbaugh's unconventional decision resulted in a $75 million dollar swing worldwide with the bettors overall losing that amount (due to 65% of the action being on the 49ers) and the bookies overall winning that amount.

49ers complain that Seahawks’ cornerbacks got away with contact

The 49ers won on Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean they were happy with the officiating.

Specifically, the 49ers want to know why the Seahawks weren’t called for pass interference, illegal contact or defensive holding — which the 49ers think they should have been. Coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed today that he has contacted the officiating department at the league office to ask about it.

“We’ll take that up with the officials and get their view of it,” Harbaugh said, via “I think it’s just important thing to address. What is this all being defined as? Is it physical play within the rules? That’s the biggest question. Is it within the rules what’s happening? We have to ask that question. We have to know what the interpretation is.”

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith said he thinks Seahawks cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner should have been called for illegal contact “several times,” and that he noticed the Seahawks getting away with it in other games this season as well.

“If this is a point of emphasis of no contact after five yards, no question,” Smith said. “They’ve done it all year. When they played Green Bay, they were doing it to all those guys, [Greg] Jennings, all those guys. You turn on the Patriots [film] and same things. That’s what they do. It’s who they are. They’re good at it. It’s what they play, big corners, physical guys. I don’t know how we didn’t get a call. It seems like it gets called once a game and then it doesn’t get called again.”

Harbaugh also complained that Seahawks defensive lineman Chris Clemons should have been flagged for grabbing Smith’s facemask as Smith was trying to pass.

“It’s not impossible to throw the ball when your helmet is turned and you’re looking out the side of the earhole, but it makes it a lot harder,” Harbaugh said.

It’s probably safe to say these comments will be brought up when these teams meet again in nine weeks.

Via ProFootballTalk

Thursday, October 18, 2012

49ers Vs Seahawks Box Score - 49ers Win 13 - 6

49ers Release Inactive List, Manningham Out

A week after he wanted to play against his old team (which he may or may not have been frustrated about), running back Brandon Jacobs finally gets a 49ers uniform.

With wide receiver Mario Manningham inactive for the game against the Seahawks, the 49ers finally had room for Jacobs for the first time after knee problems bothered him until recently. Manningham’s still recovering from a shoulder injury from last week’s loss to the Giants.

Left tackle Joe Staley is also active for the 49ers. He was listed as questionable after suffering a concussion last week.

Also inactive for the 49ers are: quarterback Scott Tolzien, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, running back LaMichael James, safety Trenton Robinson, guard Joe Looney and nose tackle Ian Williams.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Manningham, Staley questionable for 49ers on Thursday

The quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday can be problematic for teams dealing with injured players and it’s left the 49ers with a few last minute decisions to make before taking on the Seahawks.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham and left tackle Joe Staley are both listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for the Thursday night game. Manningham has been limited in practice because of a shoulder injury, but his ability to get even that work in should help him be ready to be on the field at Candlestick.

Staley suffered a concussion when he was blocked following one of Antrel Rolle’s two interceptions in the 26-3 loss to the Giants. He said Tuesday that he’s symptom-free, although he’ll still need to pass neurological tests to get the green light to help protect Alex Smith.

Running back Brandon Jacobs is also questionable, a status he’s got a lot of experience with this season. He doesn’t have any experience with actually playing in a game, something that briefly frustrated him last week before he decided that it didn’t frustrate him at all.

Quarterback Alex Smith is listed as probable with the sprained finger he picked up against the Bills. He’s expected to play, but he needs to play better than he did last week for the 49ers to avoid a second straight loss.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Joe Staley Hopes to Play Thursday

Via the official 49ers website:

As he spoke to reporters at his locker on Tuesday afternoon, Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley was buttoning up his Jim Harbaugh-issued, blue-collared shirt. It’s unknown if Staley will be fit for work by Thursday night’s marquee matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, but he’s chomping at the bit to return to the field.

Staley was knocked out of Sunday’s game when he was blindsided by a Giants defender on an interception return in the third quarter. After a visit with a neurologist on Monday that went “well,” Staley said the team’s medical staff will evaluate his situation heading into game time.
“If it was up to me, I’d have played yesterday,” Staley said.
 Concussions and player safety have become a hot topic for the NFL, but Staley said he remembers everything from Sunday, saying the concussion wasn’t “as serious.” Staley was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice and had plans to increase his workload on Wednesday, and perhaps even take contact.

“We’re going through the process right now,” Staley said. “It’s really out of my hands. It’s up to doctors and the training staff to come to the decision.”

Staley has been a key force on an offensive line that has paved the way for the top-ranked 49ers rushing attack, which averages 176.8 yards per game and 6.0 per carry. But the strengths of both teams will be put on display Thursday, as Seattle enters with the NFL’s No. 2 rush defense, giving up just 70 yards per game.

On the heels of the 26-3 loss to the reigning Super Bowl champions, Staley is eager for a shot to get back on the field.

“For this team right now, it couldn’t come soon enough,” Staley said. “We have a bad taste in our mouth after our last game on Sunday. We’re really excited to play.”

The Seahawks have also proved to be disruptive with their pass-rush, as Staley cited Seattle’s eight-sack performance against Green Bay in Week 3. Chris Clemons leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the year, while rookie Bruce Irvin has added 4.5 sacks and another explosive dimension to the defensive front.

“They have a real speedy front,” Staley said. “They can get after the quarterback. … We’re very familiar with these guys and up front they have Bruce Irvin, who’s a rookie, who’s doing a real good job and not playing like a rookie at all. Looking forward to having them at our place.”

During his Tuesday press conference with reporters, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio revealed that the 49ers “thoroughly” evaluated Irvin before the 2012 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the West Virginia product was picked by Seattle with the No. 15 overall selection.

Fangio said Irvin poses a lot of problems to opposing offenses.

“Well, speed, number one,” Fangio said. “He’s extremely fast. And he’s very athletic. I think those are the things, and he’s got a good feel for pass-rush. So, his speed, athleticism and pass rush ability.”

If Staley isn’t cleared to play on Thursday, he’s confident in his teammates behind him. Once Staley left the game on Sunday,
Alex Boone moved from his right guard position to left tackle, as 11-year veteran Leonard Davis filled in at right guard.

Boone takes regular reps at left tackle during practice throughout the week and has NFL and college experience at the position. In fact, Boone served as Staley’s replacement when he went down in Week 14 of last year with a concussion in Arizona.

“Regardless of what happens, whoever comes in if I can’t go will do a great job,” Staley said. “Boone has reps as a left tackle and has played very well there. He played very well when I had a concussion last year against Arizona, thought he did a good job going in for me this last game. Next man in and we’ll see what happens.”

Likewise, 49ers rushing king Frank Gore said the 49ers are fortunate to have a player of Davis’ caliber and experience if needed.

“Leonard, he can step in,” Gore said. “He’s been playing the game for a while, made Pro Bowls, so he can step in. He knows what to do.”

Stabbing outside 49ers game started with taunting a Cowboys fan

Police say they have arrested two people in connection with the stabbing on Sunday outside Candlestick Park before the Giants-49ers game, and they say it began with taunting a fan who was wearing a Cowboys jersey.

San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said a verbal altercation between a man in a Cowboys jersey and two 49ers fans turned physical, and that one of the 49ers fans, Kristopher Viana stabbed the fan in the Cowboys jersey and tried to stab two of his friends. Also arrested was Viana’s friend Alexandro Arguelles, who punched at least one person as the two of them ran off.

Both men are charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The stabbing victim’s injuries are not life-threatening.

The NFL’s security department has said that its increased safety measures — including metal detectors at every stadium — have made fans safer. In this case, the violence was outside the stadium, committed by fans who were apparently more interested in picking a fight with someone in another team’s jersey than they were in going inside to watch their team play.

Patrick Willis not happy with Matt Millen’s criticism

Matt Millen, the former NFL linebacker and former Lions president who currently serves as a TV analyst, was unimpressed with the 49ers’ linebackers when breaking down San Francisco’s loss to the Giants on Sunday. When 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis heard that Millen criticized him, he wasn’t happy.

Millen said on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that he thought Willis and 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman had the worst game he had ever seen the two of them play on Sunday. Willis later went on the same radio show, heard the same comments, and said Millen doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“Whoever this Matt Millen guy is, I’d like to ask him if he could do what we do every day and do what we do for 16 games a year and see if he can hold up every game,” Willis said, via “I doubt he would. I doubt he would be able to consistently play at a high level as Bowman and I do. I really don’t care about what this guy has to say.”

Now, it’s easy to rip Millen after his disastrous stint running the Lions, and believe me, I’ve ripped Millen plenty myself. But the reality is Millen did, in fact, play linebacker in the NFL at a high level. So Willis is wrong when he says Millen couldn’t do it. If Millen ever criticizes an NFL general manager for drafting too many bad wide receivers with Top 10 picks, that G.M. will be justified in saying Millen has no room to criticize. But Willis is wrong to suggest that Millen doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to playing the linebacker position.

Still, Willis may be right to think that people were too quick to jump off the 49ers’ bandwagon this week.
“We went in and everybody is on your bandwagon when you are playing good,” Willis said. “Everybody has everything positive to say and when you don’t do well, they got everything critical to say. For us, we are going to continue to do the things we need to do and that’s play football. Every game is not going to be a perfect game. Every game is not going to be your best game.”

What the 49ers need to do now is play one of their better games on Thursday against the Seahawks. If they do, they’ll be back to being clear favorites in the NFC West, and Sunday’s loss to the Giants won’t sting quite so badly anymore.

49ers' New Stadium Is a Finalist To Host Super Bowl 50

The NFL has narrowed it to two candidates for Super Bowl L, and the runner-up will bid against Houston for the following year.

The league announced that Miami and the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara would bid to host the 50th Super Bowl.

There was an earlier report that had New Orleans as part of the mix, but that’s apparently not the case.
Doug Tatum of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that New Orleans would likely bid for Super Bowl LII, which would coincide with the city’s tricentennial.

Going to California would follow with the league’s tendency to reward new stadiums with the chance to host the big game, while they’d likely expect upgrades to Sun Life Stadium (and wouldn’t be above using a huge carrot to leverage local money) if the milestone game went to South Florida.

Fight Erupts in Parking Lot after 49ers/Giants Game (VIDEO)

It seemed like fan-on-fan violence at NFL games had died down recently. In the beginning of the season, fight videos were showing up on YouTube every Monday morning, but over the last couple weeks there was nothing. Perhaps stadiums ratcheted up security. Whatever happened, the mood changed in San Francisco yesterday. Before the game 49ers fans stabbed another fan after a confrontation. Now we have this video that shows Niners fans – both men and women – brawling with Giants fans between two buses.

Monday, October 15, 2012

San Francisco could be in contention to host Super Bowl L or Super Bowl LI

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the NFL will announce on Monday whether the Super Bowl could return to Northern California for the first time since Stanford Stadium hosted Super Bowl XIX, which the 49ers won over the Dolphins.

The new 49ers stadium, which is being constructed in Santa Clara, could be in contention for Super Bowl L (in early 2016) or Super Bowl LI (in early 2017).

The next three Super Bowls already have been set:  Super Bowl XLVII will be played in New Orleans, Super Bowl XLVIII will come to New Jersey, and Arizona will host Super Bowl XLIX.

Per the Chronicle, the 49ers and San Francisco have quietly been putting together a bid to host the Super Bowl, with the city after which the team is named taking the lead, even though the team will be playing in a different city.

The league is expected to award Super Bowl L in May 2013.  Some regard Dallas as the favorite to host the 50th edition of the game, given the immense size of the team’s stadium.

Colin Kaepernick’s playing time a hot topic in San Francisco

After 49ers quarterback Alex Smith played his worst game of the Jim Harbaugh era in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Giants, the question in San Francisco is being asked: Is it time for more or less Colin Kaepernick?

Kaepernick, the quarterback the 49ers selected in the second round of last year’s NFL draft, has been getting a fair amount of playing time this season, running some of the same read option concepts he ran in college at Nevada, where he was the only player in major college football history to have more than 10,000 passing yards and more than 4,000 rushing yards. (It’s technically not the same thing as the Wildcat, although that’s how many people refer to the Kaepernick package.) This year for the 49ers Kaepernick has completed five of nine passes for 89 yards, and run 12 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. In limited action as a change of pace, Kaepernick has played very well.

But does that mean Kaepernick deserves more playing time? The most extreme opinion is that Harbaugh should bench Smith and make Kaepernick the starter. From all indications, that’s not going to happen. As Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News notes, Harbaugh has never wavered in his support of Smith, and one game — even the worst game Harbaugh has seen Smith play — will almost certainly not be enough to change that.

The second opinion is that Smith should remain the starter but Kaepernick should get more playing time. That’s definitely a possibility, considering how effective the 49ers’ offense has been with Kaepernick running it. All the endless offseason hype about what Tim Tebow could do with the Jets? That’s what Kaepernick has actually done. And it could make sense for Harbaugh to have Kaepernick do more of it.

However, there’s another point of view, which is that Kaepernick shouldn’t get any playing time at all because Smith can’t do his job as the starting quarterback effectively if he’s getting taken out before he can get the offense in rhythm. Harbaugh suggested after the loss to the Giants that he’s thinking about that: When he was asked if he had any concerns that putting Kaepernick in so much obstructs the flow of the offense, Harbaugh answered, “Yes.” And when he was asked if the use of Kaepernick was a problem on Sunday, Harbaugh acknowledged that it could have been, saying, “Perhaps. I mean, the plan wasn’t the best plan.”

On Thursday the 49ers host the Seahawks in a crucial game in the NFC West, and from Harbaugh’s post-game comments it sounds like, if anything, he’s leaning toward using Kaepernick less. But if Smith plays badly in another 49ers loss, that could lead to Harbaugh using Kaepernick more. And maybe even using Kaepernick exclusively.

Donte Whitner thinks 49ers focused too much on redemption before Giants game

There was a lot of talk about Sunday’s Giants-49ers game being a rematch of the NFC Championship Game last week, a topic of conversation that safety Donte Whitner thinks the 49ers let get too deep into their heads.

“(We) possibly got too high,” Whitner said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “A lot of people talking about redemption and this and that. Really, it’s game six of a 16-game schedule. We possibly set ourselves up for that.

The Giants rolled over the 49ers 26-3 in a performance that will make it harder for Tom Coughlin to keep playing the “Nobody believes in us” card. It will be just as hard for the 49ers to feel like they don’t still have a lot of work to do to make it back to the conference title game this year, which is probably a good thing for a team that was getting hailed far and wide for the way they took apart the Jets and Bills in consecutive weeks. We’re pretty sure coach Jim Harbaugh agrees with that assessment.

The good news is that, as Whitner points out, this is just the sixth game of the season. The 49ers have time to iron out things that went wrong on Sunday on both sides of the ball to ensure that they are better prepared for their next game against another top contender. After all, the 49ers beat the Giants during the regular season last year and then went on to fall in the NFC Championship Game. If they could switch that around this year, no one will much remember what happened on Sunday afternoon at Candlestick.

Via ProFootballTalk

Sunday, October 14, 2012

49ers Vs Giants Post Game Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

49ers Vs Giants Post Game Press Conference - Alex Smith

49ers Vs Giants Inactive List; Guess Who's on It Again

The teams have released their lists of inactive players for today's game.Brandon Jacobs has found himself on it once again. This week he has expressed that he was frustrated with not getting to play, but later backtracked from those comments.

49ers: QB Scott Tolzein, WR A.J. Jenkins, RB LaMichael James, RB Brandon Jacobs, S Trenton Robinson, G Joe Looney, DT Ian Williams

Giants: S Kenny Phillips, DT Rocky Bernard, RB Andre Brown, WR Jerrel Jernigan, DE Adewale Ojomo, T James Brewer, TE Adrian Robinson

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Justin Smith says he doesn’t know who Kevin Gilbride is

The war of words that erupted between Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh over whether or not 49ers defensive end Justin Smith gets away with holding left Smith asking just one question: Who’s Kevin Gilbride?

Gilbride said that Smith gets away with murder because he blatantly holds and the officials don’t call it. Harbaugh issued an angry refutation of Gilbride’s claims, accusing the Giants’ coaching staff of trying to influence the officials.

Smith wasn’t quite as angry as Harbaugh, possibly because Smith didn’t know who Gilbride was.
“I really don’t know what he’s talking about, to be honest with you,” Smith said. “But if he’s trying to talk himself, get some bulletin board stuff, good for him. Whatever they need to do. It doesn’t bother me. I’m going to have him look him up and see who it is.”

Smith also said he doesn’t understand why Gilbride is claiming he holds offensive linemen, because in Smith’s opinion it’s the opposing offensive linemen who hold him.

“I mean, they hold me,” Smith said of offensive linemen. “So, whatever. That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

That’s the first time I’ve heard of an offensive coordinator complaining about it. I mean, they hold me. They just hold.”

A defensive lineman complaining about getting held is the norm. An offensive coordinator complaining about a defensive lineman holding is something we rarely see, which is why Gilbride’s comments gained traction this week. And those comments are why Smith now knows who Gilbride is.

The 49ers Get a Pep Talk from a Fan (VIDEO)

Alex Smith An Elite QB? (VIDEO)

Friday, October 12, 2012

49ers Vs Giants Injury Report

The 49ers will have quarterback Alex Smithin the line-up, who is listed as probable after spraining his finger last week. Running back Brandon Jacobs is questionable but he is absolutely, positively not frustrated about that. Unless it’s one of the days he is frustrated by that.

The Giants will be without safety Kenny Phillips, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and running back Andre Brown. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is questionable after missing the last three games, a designation he shares with tackle David Diehl and cornerback Corey Webster.

Justin Smith reacts to Kevin Gilbride’s comment

49ers defensive end Justin Smith, the subject of the mini-controversy that brewed this Friday morning, seemed bemused about the situation.

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride told New York media that Smith “gets away with murder” by holding offensive linemen. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh then issued a statement calling Gilbride’s comments “irrational” and “outrageous” and said Gilbride’s analogy was “absurb.”

Smith seemed slightly confused and bemused by the controversy. “I really don’t know what he’s talking about,” Smith said. “But whatever, it doesn’t bother me.”

On the subject of whether he holds offensive linemen, Smith said, “They hold me. That’s the first I’ve heard it. Interesting.”

Talking about offensive line in general, Smith’s characteristic humor came out. “They just hold; they’re born that way.”

While Smith was amused, Harbaugh was mum.

“It’s been addressed,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “I moved on about two hours ago.”

In the locker room, guard Alex Boone suggested Gilbride broke an unwritten rule. “I think it’s wrong to call out a player like that,” Boone said. “A lot of people can be called out for a lot of things. We just don’t do it. It’s not the way football is played.”

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t take kindly to Kevin Gilbride’s comments

Earlier we passed along Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s belief that NFL officials allow 49ers defensive end Justin Smith to get away with murder by holding offensive linemen during play.

Word of those comments made their way to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and it’s safe to say that Harbaugh was not fond of what Gilbride had to say. And, since Harbaugh’s a reliably good quote, he let everyone know that in no uncertain terms.

“Kevin Gilbride’s outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith’s play is, first, an absurd analogy. Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league,” Harbaugh said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “It’s obvious that the Giants coaching staff’s sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating.”

No need to read between the lines there.

When the schedule was released, it didn’t take long to notice this game and circle it on the calendar. The same two teams that played for the NFC Championship last year in the same stadium is always a game that attracts notice. There’s been a fair amount of back and forth between the teams this week and some classic press conference performances by Harbaugh and Tom Coughlin to add a little more buzz to a game that had plenty of it.

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride: "Justin Smith gets away with murder"

The Giants have every reason to be worried about 49ers Justin Smith when formulating their game plan for Sunday and they’d like a little help from the officials to help keep him in check.

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride had tons of praise for Smith’s game when speaking to reporters about the 49ers star. He tempered it with his feeling that Smith gets away with things that should be penalized, however.

“Smith is a beast on the inside,” Gilbride said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s strong, he does as good a job of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place. He never gets called for it, so he gets away with murder.”

Trying to work the officials through the media is a time-honored tradition in all sports so it’s not surprising to see Gilbride level this charge ahead of the matchup at Candlestick this weekend. Given how rarely defensive linemen are flagged for holding offensive linemen, it would be surprising to see the lobbying pay off in any calls but it’s worth a shot.

Smith has yet to record a sack this season, although the 49ers pass rush hasn’t lost much effectiveness as a result. If the Giants want to keep him at zero on the season, they’re probably going to have to do it by themselves.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brandon Jacobs backtracks from comments about frustration

Brandon Jacobs expressed frustration at not playing in a game for the 49ers yet this season because he feels he’s totally recovered from the knee injury he suffered in the preseason.

Jacobs said that he was healthy enough to play in each of the last two 49ers games, but the team put him on the inactive list against both the Jets and the Bills. He also said that he would be very disappointed if he missed this weekend’s game against his former team.

He was singing a very different tune on Thursday. Jacobs said that he spoke with coach Jim Harbaugh, who seemed to be itching for a problem to deal with earlier this week, a couple of times in the last two days and that he no longer feels it is important for him to be on the field against the Giants.

“We ironed it out,” Jacobs said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “We got it done. I understand where coach is coming from. Coach understands me with him playing football and understanding the athlete and the competitive nature of wanting to get out and help the team win. And not only that, against a former team. But in this case, the former team isn’t important. What’s is important is the long run.”

Jacobs also said that he while he could play right now, he no longer thinks that it would be smart for him to do so because he would rather be 100 percent healthy when he makes his return. Jacobs had a habit of expressing disgust or frustration with things during his time with the Giants only to do a similar backpedal a short time later. It would seem that we can put this into that category and move back to looking forward to seeing the Giants and 49ers play instead of listening to them talk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vernon Davis Press Conference 10-10-2012

Jim Harbaugh Press Conference 10-10-2012

Dashon Goldson Press Conference 10-10-2012

Alex Smith Press Conference 10-10-2012

Brandon Jacobs admits frustration at not playing yet

Normally, you’d have to peel Brandon Jacobs off the ceiling for a game like this week’s 49ers-Giants matchup.

But because he hasn’t done much to contribute to the effort, the current 49ers and former Giants running back was subdued when asked about the rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.

“It would be different if things were different, put it that way,” Jacobs said, via Mike Garafolo of USA Today. “I don’t have any thoughts on it.”


Jacobs’ reaction has everything to do with the fact he hasn’t played this year, after a preseason knee injury.
He said he was ready to play last week, but when he was held out it clearly put a damper on a normally fiery personality.

“How many times have you seen me [on the field] this year?” Jacobs asked rhetorically.

Asked if he was well enough to play, Jacobs replied:  “I feel great. I feel phenomenal. My leg is as fresh as yours.”

He admits friustration, despite the way the season’s gone.

 “Oh, very,” Jacobs said. “Because I don’t know anything. I don’t know what’s what. But I’m hanging in there, I’m working every day, doing what I have to do. Let’s say I’m just working and doing what I have to do and that’s that.

“I’ve learned over the years when you open your mouth and say certain things, it hurts you, so I’m just going to shut up and keep working.”

And if he didn’t play against his old team?

“It would disappoint me a lot,” Jacobs said. “But like I said, it’s not my call.”

Coach Jim Harbaugh said earlier in the day “Nothing’s wrong, except nothing’s wrong.”

Now he at least has something to worry about.


Vernon Davis sees difference between Moss and Owens

Receiver Terrell Owens and Randy Moss have plenty of detractors.  But one NFL player is a big fan of one, and apparently isn’t a fan of the other.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis praised Moss on Wednesday, while in turn taking a bit of a shot at T.O.
The difference is selfishness, and lack thereof.

“Randy is not worried about how many catches he’s getting,” Davis said, via  “I’m not worried about how many catches I get.  As long as we win, I’m having a good day.  That’s what it’s about.  It’s about winning.”

Davis said Moss hasn’t articulated a lack of interest in maximizing stats.  “I can see it in him,” Davis said.  “I sit right beside him.  I see it in him.  I see it in him when he’s not getting balls.”

And while Davis didn’t take a direct slap at Owens, the veteran tight end made his point by explaining that he used to be a guy who looked up to guys like Owens.

“At one point, I was selfish, and I admit it.  I was,” Davis said.  “And that’s because I was young and I didn’t know.  I was trying to find myself, just trying to figure it out.  I looked up to guys like Terrell Owens, and other guys in the league.  And I thought that this was what it was about.  But it wasn’t.”

Of course, if Owens were currently a teammate and Moss wasn’t, Davis may be saying the same things, with the names flipped.  As it currently stands, Davis sees T.O. as selfish and Moss as not selfish.


Jim Harbaugh wants the 49ers to stay paranoid

We got a vintage performance from Tom Coughlin on Wednesday when the coach of the defending Super Bowl champions reached into his well-worn motivational bag of tricks to opine that no one thinks his team can beat the 49ers.

Jim Harbaugh has responded with a good performance of his own. The 49ers coach isn’t too comfortable with everyone saying good things about his team in the wake of two straight thrashings of AFC East foes and referenced Andy Grove’s book Only the Paranoid Survive when discussing the mindset that he wants his team to have when everyone’s blowing smoke up their rear ends.

“Nothing’s wrong, except nothing’s wrong. It’s scary good — scary good. The law of averages say that you’re not going to keep getting the breaks, not going to stay at that spot. But if you understand the concept of scary good, then you got a chance,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of “Stay on your toes, keep your guard up, stay paranoid and come out here every day and do what you believe in, which is the preparation.”

It seems that Harbaugh would like to be able to play the nobody believes in us card that Coughlin played so deftly, but the fact they are favored and at home would make such an attempt even more dubious than Coughlin’s. At least to the outside world. All that matters is how this plays in the locker room and both coaches have shown a pretty good ability to push the right buttons at the right time.

Harbaugh also addressed Coughlin’s claim about everyone picking the 49ers to win the game.

“I think that’s probably an exaggeration,” Harbaugh said, via Tom Rock of Newsday.

Good stuff. Hopefully it only gets better when the two teams hit the field.


Carlos Rogers to Victor Cruz: I'm still going to salsa

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz became a household name last season thanks to his propensity for big plays and, of course, his ability to salsa in the endzone. In his book, "Out Of The Blue," Cruz delved into his displeasure with Carlos Rogers, who mocked Cruz during a regular-season game last November.

"Then with his teammates cheering him on, he did a sarcastic salsa dance over me," Cruz wrote, via The Sacramento Bee. "The Candlestick Park crowd went ballistic, but I wasn't laughing. It was a sign of disrespect. Instead of getting up and retaliating, though, I sat and watched Rogers finish his cheap Victor Cruz imitation."

"I promised to never forget it. I wasn't sure when the opportunity would present itself but I was confident I'd get payback for that dance."

Cruz did get some revenge, beating Rogers' Niners in the NFC Championship Game and putting up 16 catches for 226 yards in two games against the team. With a rematch between the teams on tap, Rogers hinted more imitation salsa could be on the menu.

"I like the dance, actually," Rogers said Tuesday. "I really can't do it as good as him, but if I make a play or get an interception on him in my mind, (I'll) just do his dance."

Monday, October 8, 2012

49ers vs. Bills Post-game Locker Room Speech

49ers Vs. Bills Player Impact

Alex Smith Sprains Finger

Alex Smith suffered a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand while making his final pass attempt during a 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Smith was seen entering the X-ray room adjacent to the 49ers' locker room. Coach Jim Harbaugh was not far behind, but he turned back before entering and headed into the postgame interview room nearby.

Harbaugh said during his news conference he wasn't sure which finger Smith had injured, or how badly.
Smith emerged a few minutes later. He wore a light wrap on the finger during his postgame news conference.

He said he thought the finger might be sprained, but he was not certain. He did not sound concerned.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

49ers Vs Bills Box Score - 49ers Win 45 - 3

49ers Vs. Bills Inactive List

The 49ers have released their list of inactive players. Although he declared himself ready to go, Brandon Jacobs will miss another game.

49ers: QB Scott Tolzien, WR A.J. Jenkins, RB LaMichael James, S Trenton Robinson, RB Brandon Jacobs, G Joe Looney, NT Ian Williams

Bills: QB Tarvaris Jackson, RB Johnny White, S Delano Howell, LB Kirk Morrison, G Kraig Urbik, T Cordy Glenn, DT Spencer Johnson.

Aldon Smith chasing Reggie White

Aldon Smith needs 1.5 sacks against Buffalo to break Reggie White's sack-era record for fewest games to reach 20 career sacks.

White needed 22 games. Smith has 18.5 sacks in his first 20 regular-season games.

Smith, who led the 49ers with 14 sacks as a rookie in 2011, had one sack wiped out by penalty in Week 4. He has 4.5 sacks through four games this season, putting him on pace for 18 sacks over a 16-game season.

Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken only four sacks in 136 drop backs this season.

Additional Bills-49ers notes, from ESPN Stats & Information:
  • Fitzpatrick's 12 touchdown passes are a franchise record through four games.

  • Fitzpatrick has thrown all seven of his interceptions against teams sending four or fewer pass-rushers. The 49ers have picked off 21 passes since the beginning of last season when sending four or fewer, third-most in the NFL. Opposing defenses have sent five or more against Fitzpatrick on 35 of 136 drop backs. The 49ers have sent added pressure 20.7 percent of the time since the start of last season, the second-lowest rate in the NFL. That includes 27.1 percent this season.

  • Fitzpatrick completed only 2 of 10 passes when targeting Stevie Johnson in Week 4. Fitzpatrick and Johnson have the lowest completion percentage in the NFL this season among QB-WR combinations with at least 20 targets.

  • The 49ers have 386 yards rushing outside the tackles, most in the NFL by 83 yards. They average 7.9 yards per carry on these rushes, third-best in the league. Their 18 rushing first downs on these runs rank first in the league. The team gave left tackle Joe Staley a contract extension in 2009, after Staley's second season. Right tackle Anthony Davis, who appears to be playing at a high level, is already in his third season. Not that agents would ever think of such things.

  • Alex Smith's 29-yard pass to Vernon Davis in Week 1 stands as the 49ers' longest completion in 2012. San Francisco and Minnesota are the only teams without a 30-yard pass play. Smith had 15 such plays last season. The Bills have allowed three.

  • Aldon Smith has recorded 18 of his 18.5 sacks when the 49ers sent four or fewer pass-rushers. No player has more on such plays.

Congratulations: Patrick Willis is Getting Married

Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis announced through Instagram and Twitter that he has proposed to his girlfriend Shenae Saifi and she agreed.

We here at 49ersSpin would like to congratulate the happy couple and wish them a happy life together.

Here is a picture of Patrick popping the question.

Friday, October 5, 2012

49ers vs Bills Injury Report

49ers released their final injury report for Sunday, and they are keeping things a little bit mysterious. Coach Harbaugh has listed Brandon Jacobs, Carlos Rogers and Isaac Sopoaga as questionable. NaVorro Bowman and Andy Lee are listed as probable.

Rogers (ankle) and Sopoaga (knee, ankle) were both limited in practice this week. Brandon Jacobs was listed as "full" all three days. It is worth noting that players who are 100% are not listed as full. Full is a specific injury distinction. NaVorro Bowman was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but a full participant on Friday.

You have to think Brandon Jacobs will be active and playing after a full week of practice.We may finally get to see what the 49ers have in mind for Jacobs.

Buffalo will be without tackle Cordy Glenn and guard Kraig Urbik and safety Jairus Byrd is questionable.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Brandon Jacobs Declares Himself Ready to Go

The 49ers haven’t seen any return on their investment in running back Brandon Jacobs through the first four weeks of the regular season, but the voluble former Giant says that is about to end.

Jacobs, who has been battling a knee injury since preseason, was able to return to practice on a limited basis while the team was in Youngstown, Ohio last week and told Alex Espinoza of the team’s website that he’s feeling the best he’s felt all season.

“I’m ready to play. It’s nothing now, it’s all gone now,” Jacobs said. “There’s a little kinks I’ve got to run out but I feel good. I feel good about my explosiveness, I’ve got fresh legs.”

If Jacobs is able to come back at full speed, it will just be a case of the rich getting richer for the Niners. They are coming off a game that saw them rush for 245 yards, which may be an outlier but it the Niners have shown the ability to run the ball against opponents who aren’t the Jets as well.

Jacobs was playing a short yardage role for the team in preseason, something he didn’t always do all that well with the Giants, but that would appear to be his route back into the offensive mix once the team agrees that he’s ready to play.

 Via Profootballtalk