Monday, December 31, 2012

49ers will “evaluate” after two more David Akers misses

The 49ers have two weeks before their next game, which gives them ample time to figure out what to do about their kicker.

David Akers missed two field goal attempts in the first half of the game, from 44 and 40 yards, to continue an awful season for someone who has long been one of the league’s most reliable kickers. Akers missed at least one field goal in six of the team’s final eight games this season and ends the regular season with a conversion rate of just 69 percent on field goals for the year.

That’s the lowest of his career as a full-time kicker and it has prompted repeated questions about whether the 49ers would look to replace Akers. They’ve looked at others in tryouts, but coach Jim Harbaugh has stuck with Akers each time. He was asked if he’ll replace Akers this time after Sunday’s 27-13 win and committed to nothing other than a concise description of Akers’ job.

“I don’t know if we have to,” Harbaugh said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’ll evaluate the position. It’s his job to make the field goals.”

While you’re not going to find a kicker with more postseason success or experience than Akers at this point in the season, the 49ers have given him plenty of chances to get back into the groove and it hasn’t happened.

We’ll see if the prospect of their slumping kicker facing a big kick in a playoff game will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Patrick Willis

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Frank Gore

49ers Vs Cardinals Postgame Press Conference - Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree

49ers Vs Cardinals Box Score - 49ers Win 27-13

Justin Smith will need triceps surgery after season

Justin Smith knows he’s going to need surgery eventually.

But the 49ers defensive tackle is hoping he’s able to play through the pain and weakness associated with his partially torn triceps tendon and get through the playoffs.

Smith told reporters Friday he’d be “ready to roll” even if the playoffs start next week for the 49ers. They could clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Cardinals and a loss or tie by the Packers, or a tie and a Packers loss.

They could use the time, as Smith needs to heal and build strength.

“Yeah, I’d be ready to play,” Smith said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “Just go with it. That’s all you can do.”

Even 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged Smith’s injury could worsen.

“Yes, I think there’s a higher risk,” Harbaugh said. “It’s something that he’ll have to have surgically repaired at the end of the season either way.”

Smith himself downplayed that risk.

“They can fix just about anything nowadays, so they told me,” Smith said. “Yeah, you’ve got to have surgery

Smith’s listed as doubtful for today’s game against the Cardinals, and frankly, it would be foolish to play him. The 49ers need as much time for him to heal as possible, since pass-rusher Aldon Smith has been quiet since his bodyguard’s injury on Dec. 16 against the Patriots.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vernon Davis not optimistic about playing Sunday

The San Francisco 49ers can lock up the NFC West division with a Week Seventeen win over the Arizona Cardinals. It sounds increasingly likely, however, that they’ll be playing Sunday’s game without concussed tight end Vernon Davis.

In a late-Friday article entitled “Vernon Davis likely won’t play Sunday,” Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Davis “sounded not at all like a player expecting to return to action” during Friday interviews with reporters, and “he’s not optimistic about playing” against Arizona.

“I’ve just got to get a little more comfortable,” said Davis, who suffered the concussion in last Sunday night’s loss to Seattle.

Davis participated in Friday’s practice in a black, no-contact jersey, but is listed as questionable on the injury report and still must pass a simulated contact test before receiving full medical clearance.

“It was pretty brutal,” is how Davis described Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor’s hit. “I don’t think it was legal, no. I saw it on the news, but I didn’t really go in and look at it. I didn’t want to see it.”

The NFL disagreed with Davis, as Chancellor was not fined for the hit.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vernon Davis cleared for non-contact activity

49ers tight end Vernon Davis sustained a concussion during Sunday night’s loss to the Seahawks.  On Thursday, he took a significant step toward returning to action.

Davis was cleared by an independent neurologist to resume non-contact activities, according to Matt Maiocco of

The 49ers will eventually put Davis through a contact drill.  If he has no concussion symptoms, he’ll then be referred to the independent neurologist for final clearance.

The 49ers host the Cardinals on Sunday.  If San Fran loses, they also could lose both a first-round bye and the division title.

Report: Justin Smith has partially torn triceps

It might be hard for 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith to do any “ropin’ and ridin’” any time soon.

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Smith has suffered a partially torn triceps. The injury, which happened two weeks ago against the Patriots and kept him out of last week’s loss to the Seahawks, has been listed as an “elbow” on the injury report.

Both are part of the arm.

According to Barrows, the injury appears to have happened in a similar manner to the one that ended Parys Haralson’s season.

Haralson also suffered a torn triceps, and was placed on injured reserve. After the Patriots game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked if Smith’s injury was similar to Haralson’s and long-term.

“No, seems to be two different things,” Harbaugh said.

Smith and the 49ers are hoping he can tolerate pain enough to contribute in the playoffs. That makes this weekend’s game more important, as they could still earn a first-round bye with a win against the Cardinals and a loss by the Packers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Von Miller pulling for Aldon Smith, wants to play with him one day

Miller told Lindsey Jones of USA Today that he’ll have more chances to break the record and that he’s “hoping” 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith can get there this season by “finishing stronger” than he did last year.

He’s not rooting against Texans defensive end J.J. Watt — Miller wore a bracelet supporting Watt’s charitable efforts last year — but he’s definitely pulling for Smith, a player he’d like to call a teammate at some point down the road.

“Me, Marcell Dareus and Aldon Smith, we talked about doing the whole LeBron, Wade and Bosh thing,” Miller said in reference to the Miami Heat trio that joined forces two years ago and won last season’s NBA championship. “We talked about doing that somewhere down the line.”

NFL quarterbacks have likely thought of more comforting things than Miller and Smith coming at them from opposite ends of the line, so they’ll be reassured to learn that any team-up is unlikely to happen in the immediate future. Any of those quarterbacks that find themselves on Denver’s schedule will be less reassured to hear other goals that Miller set for himself when he was coming into the league as part of the impressive 2011 defensive draft class.

“I didn’t want to just be the best linebacker on the board. I wanted the best defensive player,” Miller said. “I might not have looked like a traditional outside linebacker or a traditional defensive end, but I wanted teams to see me as the best defensive player out there.”

That wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize for not setting the sacks record and it’s certainly a goal Miller can reach if he keeps playing at the same level we’ve seen in his first two seasons.

Report: Vernon Davis “should be available” for Week 17

With Mario Manningham joining Kyle Williams on the sideline for the rest of the 49ers’ season, the team’s going to need contributions from all their other receiving targets.

Matt Maiocco of reports that tight end Vernon Davis “should be available” for the season finale against the Cardinals after suffering a concussion that knocked him out of last week’s loss to the Seahawks. If he is in the lineup, it would be a good opportunity for the team to get him more involved in the passing game than he has been in recent weeks.

Davis has just five receptions in the last five games and, according to Elias Sports Bureau, he’s only been targeted nine times over that span. That’s a sharp drop that has coincided with Colin Kaepernick taking over at quarterback, something Davis recently attributed to the need to create chemistry with the new quarterback.

Of course, Davis isn’t the only player in position to do more. Randy Moss will become the No. 2 wide receiver behind Michael Crabtree, a move that comes as his increased playing time has resulted in 10 catches over the last four weeks. The numbers for Moss and Davis will have to go up for the 49ers’ passing game to keep producing into the postseason.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mario Manningham Out For Season With Torn ACL

In addition to suffering a blowout loss to the Seahawks, the 49ers have suffered a significant loss to their receiving corps.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham tore his ACL and PCL Sunday night in Seattle, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. That obviously means Manningham won’t play in the playoffs, and a torn ACL this late in the year could affect Manningham into the 2013 season as well.

That hurts for San Francisco: Manningham is second on the team with 42 catches and third on the team with 449 receiving yards. Manningham will be the second 49ers receiver to go on injured reserve this month, following Kyle Williams.

With Manningham out, the 49ers will likely get Randy Moss more involved in the offense. Rookie A.J. Jenkins, the first-round draft pick who has yet to catch a pass this season, will also be asked to step up for a 49ers team that suddenly looks like it may be reeling heading into the playoffs.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

49ers Vs Seahawks Postgame Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

49ers Vs Seahawks Postgame Press Conference - Colin Kaepernick

49ers Vs Seahawks Box Score - 49ers Lose 42-13

Justin Smith’s consecutive starts streak ends at 185

Since becoming a starter during his rookie year in 2001, 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith has never given up his spot in the starting lineup.

For 185 consecutive games, Smith has been in the starting lineup for the Bengals or Niners. That run ends on Sunday night. As reported earlier in the day, Smith is inactive for the game against the Seahawks as a result of an elbow injury suffered in last week’s win over the Patriots. Smith did not practice all week and was considered a long shot to play. Ricky Jean Francois starts in his place.

The Seahawks defense will also be shorthanded. Cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond were both game-time decisions because of hamstring injuries and the decision for both players was that they will not be on the roster Sunday night.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, guard Joe Looney, safety Trenton Robinson, running back Jewel Hampton and linebacker Clark Haggans are also inactive for San Francisco.

Cornerback DeShawn Shead, guard Rishaw Johsnon, guard John Moffitt, tackle Mike Person and defensive tackle Jaye Howard are the other inactive Seahawks.

Report: Justin Smith won’t play tonight

The injury report calls him doubtful.  His head coach has said that he is actually questionable.  When the list of inactive players is submitted, he will be characterized as out.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith won’t play tonight in Seattle, due to an elbow injury suffered last Sunday night against the Patriots.

Smith’s status has been cloaked in mystery all week.  From the absence of any information about his MRI results to coach Jim Harbaugh’s persistent efforts to create the impression that Smith will play, it appears that the Niners have been trying to dupe the Seahawks into thinking that Smith will be on the field.

The reality is that the 49ers are a different defense when Smith isn’t.  It’s no coincidence that the Patriots’ 28-point comeback came when Smith was gone.

Meanwhile, we can only wonder whether the league office will tell coaches moving forward that they can’t officially give one designation to a player on the final injury report and then publicly contradict it.

Either way, a streak of 185 straight appearances for Smith will end tonight.  It’s the first game he will miss since a contract holdout in 2001 as a rookie with the Bengals.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jim Harbaugh upgrades Justin Smith from doubtful to questionable

On the official NFL injury report, 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith is listed as doubtful to play in Sunday night’s game against the Seahawks. But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is a little more optimistic than that.

Harbaugh told reporters at his press conference today that the team views Smith’s status as questionable.

Smith suffered an elbow injury on Sunday against the Patriots, and in his absence he showed just how important he is to San Francisco’s defense: The 49ers largely shut down the Patriots in the early part of the game while Smith was on the field, and then the Patriots scored 28 points in 15 minutes with Smith sidelined.

The only game Smith has missed in his NFL career was the first game of his rookie season, the result of a lengthy contract holdout after the Bengals chose him with the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft. He has played in 185 consecutive games since then.

T.O. and Jerry Rice Reunited (VIDEO)

Terrell Owens on ESPN First Take (VIDEO)

Video of Dashon Goldson Hit On Aaron Hernandez That Got Him Fined $21,000

This is the hit that got Dashon Goldson fined. It looks like a clean hit to me. You be the judge.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pete Carroll says Harbaugh wants help from the officials

After the Seahawks and 49ers last met, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said he’d ask the league for guidance on the limits of permissible contact by defensive backs against receivers.

At the time Seahawks coach Pete Carroll chided Harbaugh, who previously had complained about perceived efforts by Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to work the officials via the media.

More recently, Carroll said he saw nothing wrong with the way his team was playing, and that Harbaugh simply was looking for some help come round two.

“I did go back and look at the film to see what Jim was talking about,” Carroll told reporters via conference call, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.  “And I had trouble seeing why there was a complaint.  But the fact that he did, he was just trying to get some help from the officials, I think.”

Harbaugh may not need much help.  With cornerback Brandon Browner already serving a four-game suspension and with cornerback Richard Sherman’s appeal hearing set for Friday, there’s a chance the Seahawks could be without both players come Sunday night.

Dashon Goldson fined $21,000 for hit on Aaron Hernandez

Though 49ers safety Dashon Goldson’s boss thought it was a legal hit, the NFL disagreed, and fined Goldson $21,000 for his hit on Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

He was penalized for the hit during the game, but said he wasn’t going to let the league’s enforced charitable donation change his style of play.

“Hits like that definitely draw attention for the simple fact of what they’re trying to accomplish in this league with helmet-to-helmet [hits] and the safety of players or whatever they want to call it,” Goldson said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “That’s going to definitely raise a flag every time you go in there for a tackle. But like I said, as football players we can’t think about that.”

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday the hit was perfectly clean because Goldson wrapped as he hit.

“He hit him right here in the chest area,” Fangio said. “I think what’s happened is if it looks bad, the league has told the officials to err on the side of caution. . . .

“A lot of times if they don’t see it all and it’s a bang-bang play — it’s a hard play for them to see sometimes — they’re going to err on the side of safety and throw the flag.”

Goldson added the fine letter to a growing pile. He said he planned to appeal, and that many of his big hits that drew penalties this year did not result in fines. In fact, his biggest deductions have come for uniform violations for the length of his socks, as he estimated he’s accumulated $70,000 worth of those.

Whether he’s a dirty player or not, $70,000 worth of sock fines is ridiculous, and a poor investment on Goldson’s part.

David Akers quits Twitter after death threat

It’s no wonder many players are beginning to think social media simply isn’t worth it.

For 49ers kicker David Akers, a death threat was enough to make him get out of the Twitter game.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Akers has deleted his Twitter account, shortly after retweeting a death threat.


Since then, the tweeter in question has claimed he was hacked (the Adderall defense of Twitter) and deleted the tweet.

Akers set a record for field goals made last year, but is 25-of-35 this year. The 49ers have brought in kickers for tryouts, but have insisted they’re not looking to make a change now.

And exactly none of that matters, when it comes to players who try to interact with fans, or simply move through life without being threatened.

NFL admits officials, replay assistant screwed up on 49ers fumble

During the first quarter of Sunday’s 49ers-Patriots game, San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick hit Delanie Walker with a pass, and New England’s Steve Gregory hit Walker just as he grabbed the ball, knocking it loose. Aqib Talib picked the ball up, and the officials ruled it a fumble recovered by the Patriots.

One problem: Walker never had possession of the ball. Another problem: The replay assistant who is supposed to review all turnovers and tell the referee to take a closer look at the close calls never told the ref to review the play.

The officials got the play wrong on the field, but NFL director of instant replay Dean Blandino placed the blame on the replay assistant in an appearance on NFL Network.

“This actually never went to review,” Blandino said. “The replay official confirmed it upstairs without bringing the referee over. And that’s a mistake. We need to bring the referee over.”

Blandino said the replay official made the mistake of watching the replay in slow motion, which made it look like Walker had control of the ball for long enough to constitute a catch. But the replay official should have watched the replay at full speed, which would have shown that Gregory knocked the ball out of Walker’s hands just as Walker grabbed it.

“He slowed it down,” Blandino said. “If you go frame-by-frame you distort the time element and you can make it look like he has it longer than he does. We want to watch it at full speed.”

Still, Blandino said that the referee can’t take the time to review every single scoring play and turnover, and so the job needs to be the replay official’s to do.

“We have to be cognizant of the delays that replay causes in the game,” Blandino said. “We’ve given the replay official — that’s his jurisdiction. He has to make those decisions.”

Unfortunately, too often this season we’ve seen the replay official make the wrong decision.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Justin Smith just a spectator at 49ers practice

Before Justin Smith is able to ride or rope, he’s going to have to get back in the saddle.

According to Matt Maiocco of, the 49ers defensive tackle was held out of practice Wednesday, after missing most of the second half of Sunday’s game with the Patriots with a left elbow injury.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said earlier this week he was optimistic to player known as “Cowboy” would be able to play.

Asked for an update Wednesday, Harbaugh said: “We’ll see. We’ll see how he feels today and tomorrow.”

Smith has a streak of 185 straight starts, missing only one game in his 12-year career. The 49ers defense was noticeably different without him Sunday, as his ability to tie up blockers helps their pass-rush. That’s just as important against the Seahawks, even though Russell Wilson’s a slightly more mobile target than Tom Brady.

Vernon Davis Frustrated With Lack of Chemistry With Kaepernick

Tight end frustrated with chemistry with quarterback. We've heard that one before.

But in the case of the 49ers and tight end Vernon Davis with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it might actually matter.

After being held to one catch Sunday against the Patriots, Davis admitted he was frustrated at having to start from scratch with a new passer, after developing a good relationship with Alex Smith.

“That’s something me and Kap don’t have right now,” Davis said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “We don’t have it. You have to expect [that because] he just stepped in. Me and Alex — we’ve been here. It takes time. It took time for me and Alex to get like that.

“In the beginning, he’d underthrow me, he’d overthrow me because we had to build that chemistry that I would be in that spot right when I need to be. And that’s something that me and Kap don’t have right now. But we’re working on it. We started working on it the moment he walked in.”

The early returns were promising, with Davis catching six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown in Kaepernick’s first start.

But in the four games since, he has four catches for 29 yards. There were balls that were either overthrown (or short-armed) against the Patriots, and Davis said: “I get chills when I think about it,” he said.

As long as Kaepernick is finding Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss, and the 49ers are putting up 41 points like they did against the Patriots, it shouldn’t be a problem.

At least as long as Davis doesn’t let it become an issue, as others have.

Colin Kaepernick wins NFC offensive player of the week

Plenty of people were surprised when 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided to change horses in the middle of the season and switch to Colin Kaepernick as his starting quarterback, but there’s less disbelief about his choice right now.

Kaepernick has been named the NFC offensive player of the week after becoming the third quarterback in history to throw four touchdown passes at Gilette Stadium in Sunday night’s 41-34 win against the Patriots. In doing so, he outdueled another member of that club in Tom Brady.

Kaepernick was 14-of-25 for 216 yards overall in the game, which saw the 49ers roar to a 31-3 lead before giving it all back to the Patriots. On the 49ers’ first offensive play after the Patriots tied the game, Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree with a pass that the receiver was able to turn into a 38-yard touchdown that put the 49ers back in front for good.

There were an impressive list of candidates in the NFC this week, including Tony Romo, Adrian Peterson and Russell Wilson. Kaepernick took home the honor by continuing to make Harbaugh’s move look like one of the smartest of the year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Harbaugh on Justin Smith: "If it’s humanly possible, the Cowboy will be out there ropin’ and ridin’.”

It’s no coincidence the 49ers defense began to spring leaks when defensive tackle Justin Smith was out of the game Sunday night.

But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said during his weekly appearance on KNBR 680 he was optimistic Smith would be able to practice this week. Smith appeared to injure his left elbow during the third quarter, was X-rayed, tried to come back with the arm taped up, but couldn’t finish the game. He had an MRI yesterday, but there was no update on his condition.

“Well, you know his nickname is Cowboy,” Harbaugh said of Smith, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “Everybody affectionately refers to Justin Smith around here as the Cowboy. So, I expect we’ll see the Cowboy. Knowing what I know of Justin Smith and the situation, yeah, I think the Cowboy’s going to be saddled up. . . . Ropin’ and ridin’! . . . If it’s humanly possible, the Cowboy will be out there ropin’ and ridin’.”

49ers not making kicking change “at this time”

 49ers kicker David Akers missed another field goal on Sunday night, dropping him to 25-of-35 on field goal attempts so far this season.

That’s the lowest percentage of makes for Akers in his career and it has become a problem for the 49ers. They looked at a few kickers last month and said that Akers had a pelvis injury that was hindering him, but coach Jim Harbaugh made no mention of injury when talking about Akers’ latest miss.

“Specialists sometimes only get four or five opportunities a game, and you’ve got to make the play,”

Harbaugh said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “You’ve got to see him do it, got to see him make those plays.”

Harbaugh said Monday that the team isn’t making a change “at this time” and you have to wonder how much more rope Akers will get. There are just two games left in the regular season, which doesn’t leave you much time to find someone else in the event you decide to pull the plug on Akers.

With Mason Crosby also struggling right now, two of the top contenders in the NFC could enter the playoffs without much confidence in their kickers. Given how often playoff games can turn on a field goal, that’s a big risk to take if neither team decides to go in another direction for their biggest games of the season.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Harbaugh's Lips are Sealed on Justin Smith's MRI Results

49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith has undergone an MRI on his injured arm.  And coach Jim Harbaugh is saying nothing about what it revealed.

“It’s really going to be how he is today, tomorrow, Wednesday, before we know anything,” Harbaugh told reporters on Monday.

The 49ers are obligated to provide no information about Smith’s availability until Wednesday.  Then, they’ll be required only to say whether and to what extent he was prevented from practicing.  On Friday, the 49ers will apply one of the various labels to Smith — doubtful, questionable, probable, etc.

The Niners need Smith, if they hope to nail down the No. 2 seed in the NFC and the bye that goes along with it.  On Sunday night, the San Fran defense wasn’t the same without Smith.

They’ll need the defense to be the same and then some if the Niners hope to win in Seattle.

Photo of the Letter Colin Kaepernick Wrote in Fourth Grade Predicting He'd Play for the 49ers

They talk about this damn letter every Niner game. You'll hear it next Sunday night. You'll hear it every playoff game. You'll hear it all Super Bowl week. You'll hear it during all of his off season post Super Bowl MVP performance press interviews.

Get used to it. I'm just saying.

Justin Smith to get MRI on left arm

It’s not a total coincidence that the Patriots comeback last night happened when one of the 49ers key players was on the sidelines.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith suffered what was described as an elbow injury, and missed a significant chunk of the second half. After going to the locker room for X-ray and getting his left arm wrapped, he tried to come back, but wasn’t able to finish.

Smith told Matt Maiocco of he’d have an MRI today when he returned to the Bay Area.

“I’ll see on MRI, and we’ll go from there,” Smith said. “I’ll do anything I can to play.”

Smith has played 188 consecutive games, the longest active streak among defensive tackles.

His replacement, Ricky Jean Francois, had a sack late in the game that helped them preserve the win.

“It’s next man up,” Smith said. “Ricky is a heck of a player and he came in and made a heck of a play. It was a huge play, a big turning point in the game.”

That’s nice, but if Smith’s out for any amount of time, it’s a huge blow for the 49ers defense, not only for his own contributions, but for the way he frees up outside linebacker Aldon Smith in the pass rush.

Tom Brady: "We kind of gave game to 49ers" after tying it up

The Patriots made a remarkable comeback from 31-3 down on Sunday night to tie the game with less than seven minutes to play.

But it didn’t take long for the 49ers to answer back. LaMichael James had a huge kickoff return after the tying score and then Michael Crabtree took a short pass and turned it into a 38-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the drive to put the 49ers up 38-31. They would wind up winning 41-34 as the Patriots offense failed to score on their next two drives and quarterback Tom Brady was left to lament the missed opportunity during a radio interview with WEEI on Monday.

“We kind of gave it to them at that point,” Brady said, via the Boston Herald. ”We didn’t do anything on offense, and we didn’t put up the kind of fight that I wish we would have been able to.”

The 49ers surely feel they took it from the Patriots at that point in the game. James and Crabtree made big individual plays and the defense came up with consecutive sacks to halt a Patriots offensive drive at midfield after retaking the lead on Crabtree’s catch.

49ers Vs Patriots Postgame Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

Sunday, December 16, 2012

49ers Vs Patriots Postgame Press Conference - Colin Kaepernick

49ers Vs Patriots Postgame Interview - Carlos Rodgers

49ers Vs Patriots Box Score - 49ers Win 41-34

Aldon Smith has proven to be a prime time player

The Patriots were going to have to worry about 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith anyway.

But since they won’t see him until tonight on Sunday Night Football, they have to be extra careful.

Smith has a league-high 19.5 sacks this season, but 10 of them have come in four prime-time games, including his 5.5-sack outburst against the Bears on a Monday.

“Those Friday night lights,”Smith said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “You knew it was showtime. It’s just that feeling you get again from being under that spotlight.”

Of course, he’s playing against a guy who has been fairly successful himself under the lights.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been sacked just 20 times this season, and leads the league’s highest-scoring offense.

So it’s natural for him to be highlighted, but Smith admitted surprise at being used as the face of the 49ers in NBC’s promos for the game.

“I just had one word – ‘Wow,’ ” Smith said. “I didn’t know what to say. . . . It’s Tom Brady. He’s won Super Bowls. Me? I just got here.”

If he can keep getting there tonight, the attention is only going to grow.

Aldon Smith Defensive Player Of the Year? Brandon Jacobs Situation and 49ers Vs Pats (VIDEO)

Manningham officially out for Niners, Moss in line for more reps

As expected, 49ers receiver Mario Manningham will miss Sunday night’s game against the Patriots, with a shoulder injury.

The absence of Manningham means that veteran Randy Moss will continue to see increased opportunities, just in time for his return to Foxboro.

As explained by Matt Maiocco of, Moss will see more time in two-receiver sets.  When the 49ers use three wideouts, rookie first-rounder A.J. Jenkins will add to his scant first-year playing time.

While Moss has drawn rave reviews in his first season as a 49er, his numbers pale in comparison to past years.  Through 13 games, he has 21 catches for 326 yards and two touchdowns.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

49ers OC learned formation from Kaepernick’s former coach

Coaches are constantly talking to other coaches, looking for something they can steal.

So when 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was coaching at Stanford, he made the trek to

Reno to learn about the “pistol” formation from its master, Chris Ault of Nevada.

Ault had developed the formation in 2004 (a shorter drop than the traditional shotgun formation, with a running back behind the quarterback), and had a skinny legged quarterback named Colin Kapernick running it when Roman dropped by for a visit.

“About three years ago, made the trek to Nevada and visited with him and his staff,” Roman said, via Matt Maiocco of “That was very valuable time spent. He was very accommodating and it was very interesting as a coach to go really learn something totally new. And he’s a very good football coach. . . . So it was good.”

Watching Kaepernick clearly made an impression. He was the only Division 1 quarterback to throw for 10,000 yards and run for 4,000 in his career.

So they’ve tried to implement some of that into their current offense, which has many fathers. Roman grew up working on George Seifert’s staff in Carolina, and there’s a heavy West Coast Offense element.

But incorporating the “pistol” — the 49ers call it “Q” because they want to keep play calls to one syllable — began in training camp. It can now grow with Kapernick starting, thanks to the time Roman spent with Ault.

“I think you can gain a lot if they’re willing to tell you,” Roman said. “You can gain a lot with an upside, the downside, what other teams do to try to stop it. When they do that, what do you do? Every little nuance. It’s just so much in terms of how you might sequence things, the downside, the upside. And definitely what people have tried to do to combat it or defend it, and then the next logical step for them. So, [it was] great information.”

The fact they’re looking at others puts them ahead of the game. Like Patriots coach Bill Belichick trying to incorporate spread elements he learned from Oregon’s Chip Kelly, the best coaches are the ones who recognize they don’t know it all already, and continue to learn.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aldon Smith says Niners can stop Patriots

The game of the weekend, assuming the road team shows up (unlike the Texans on Monday night), will be in Foxboro, where the 9-3-1 49ers will face the 10-3 Patriots.

 San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith believes that road team will indeed show up.

 “We can stop them,” Smith said, via the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

One thing that could help the Niners stop the Pats is the fact that, when Smith faced Patriots left tackle Nate Solder in college, Solder couldn’t stop Smith.

“I had a good game,” Smith said, pointing out that he had four sacks for Missouri against Solder’s Colorado Buffaloes.  “I faced him in college and I know who he is.”

The official box score at the official Missouri athletics website shows that Smith actually had three sacks

Maybe Smith will get four on Sunday night.

If he does, he’ll break the single-season record by one full sack, with two full games to go.

Colin Kaepernick gave Randy Moss his first dislocated finger, made him cry

Randy Moss has caught 975 passes in his NFL career, but he had never caught a ball thrown as hard as the one 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hit him with in Kaepernick’s first start.

Moss said today that he suffered a finger dislocation in the 49ers’ November 19 win over the Bears because a pass from Kaepernick was thrown so hard. Moss said that had never happened to him before.

“Man, he dislocated my finger,” Moss said, via “[H]e had to put one them Randy Johnson fastballs on me. When it hit my finger, I felt my finger pop — dislocated it. So I had to come back to the sideline and the doctor had to pop it back in.”

The 35-year-old Moss said he has been able to stay very healthy this season after returning from a year away — other than getting in the way of that Kaepernick fastball.

“I try to take pride in taking care of my body and finessing the balls as they come to me,” Moss said. “But Kap throws hard. He’s very strong and he works out every day. And I didn’t really say anything to him other than, ‘Keep doing what he’s doing.’ My finger will heal up. It hurt. It hurt. It really did. I tried not to show any tears. I don’t know if they caught me crying or not. But it did hurt, but like I said, it’s not the time of the year to be crying because it’s late in the season. Everybody’s hurting. Everybody’s ailing. Everybody’s feeling a little bit of pain. Some go home and some keep moving. And we want to be the team that keeps moving.”

In addition to being impressed with Kaepernick’s arm strength, Moss has been impressed with Kaepernick’s leadership abilities.

“I think that Kap’s been able to come in and lead us as a whole unit,” Moss said. “Any time a guy can come in and lead like that, and I don’t mean verbally, I mean leading by example, it’s what we as football players look for in a player, especially a quarterback. So I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field.”
But as much as Moss likes Kaepernick, he wouldn’t mind seeing Kaepernick put a little more touch on his passes.

Any evidence of Brandon Jacobs being removed by 49ers

The 49ers had already suspended disgruntled running back Brandon Jacobs, now they’re in the process of erasing him from the record.

They’ve already given his locker to just-signed linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, taking away a reminder that he was ever there.

As you might expect, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh tried to not talk about it much. Asked if the suspension was for conduct detrimental to the team, Harbaugh replied.

“Uh, Yes, . . . well, let me stay away from categorizing it,” Harbaugh said, via ”The league has a process when you suspend a player that there’s a process that you go through. So you’re really not in a position to be talking about that.”

Others, who aren’t as concerned with perpetuating a bunch of jive turkey gobble, admitted what was obvious when Jacobs began griping about the team on social media sites.

“From the coaching standpoint, they don’t want any distractions on the team. He was being a distraction, they felt he was being a distraction, so they felt they needed to do something about it,” defensive lineman Ray McDonald said. “I guess, if he’s not about the team. And the coaches feel that he’s not trying to help the team. They made the right decision.”

When you’re 9-3-1 and heading to the playoffs, disgruntled non-contributors aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt from too many teammates, or any coaches.

Monday, December 10, 2012

49ers suspend Brandon Jacobs for final three games

The 49ers on Monday suspended running back Brandon Jacobs for the final three games of the regular season, the team announced.

The move prevents Jacobs from going to another team to help them in the final weeks of the regular season and, potentially, the playoffs.

In the end, Jacobs' tenure with the 49ers will likely be remembered more for Tweets and Instagram photos than yards and touchdowns.

Several days after Jacobs complained to his followers about his playing time -- or lack thereof -- the 49ers suspended Jacobs for the remainder of the regular season.

Jacobs was active for just three games, and his season stat line consisted of five rushing attempts for 7 yards. He was not active Sunday in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins, as LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon handled the backup running back duties behind starter Frank Gore.

When asked at his Monday press conference to clarify Jacobs' status on the team, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh answered, "No comment."

Last week, presumably after Jacobs found out he would not be active for Sunday's game, he went to social media to express his displeasure with the 49ers.

"I am on this team rotting away so why would I wanna put any pics up of anything that say niners," Jacobs wrote on Instagram in response to fans' complains that he posted only photos of himself while with the New York Giants. "This is by far the worst year I ever had, I'll tell you like I told plenty others."

Jacobs spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Giants. He scored 56 career touchdowns with the Giants, and was a member of two Super Bowl-winning teams.

The New York Giants released Jacobs after last season, and he signed a one-year contract with the 49ers that included $950,000 in base pay and a $150,000 signing bonus. He also collected an additional $12,500 for each of the three games that he suited up.

Jacobs sustained a knee injury in the 49ers' second exhibition game but was declared healthy in time to participate in the 49ers' fourth game of the season. However, he was unable to convince the 49ers' coaching staff that he could become a contributor. Last week, Jacobs even took an apparent shot at Harbaugh.

"Some people give the wrong person credit, this team win(s) because there is a lot of talent," Jacobs wrote on Instagram.

Aldon Smith's two sacks move him closer to Strahan record

After chasing Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Sunday afternoon, Aldon Smith is now officially chasing Michael Strahan.

Smith finished with two sacks against Miami, giving him an NFL-best 191/2 on the season. That moved him past Hall of Fame defensive end Fred Dean for first place on the 49ers' season sack list. It also means Smith is just 31/2 sacks from passing Strahan's NFL record for sacks in a season, which the ex-New York Giants defensive end set in 2001.

"I'm human, so it's going to cross my mind," Smith said of the record. "The focus is putting in a complete game and playing as best I can."

Smith admitted he left additional sacks slip through his grasp. Playing against a rookie, Jonathan Martin, who was making his first start at left tackle, Smith twice got within striking distance of Tannehill in the second half but couldn't quite pull him down.

"You can't let it happen twice," Smith said of a miss. "You have to make up for it on the next play."

Smith has increasingly used a bull-rush move to stagger opponents, and it was particularly effective against Martin on the first sack, which came deep in San Francisco territory. Smith knocked the rookie flat on his back, then plowed into the quarterback.

"He got me on that one bull rush pretty good," Martin said. "There's a reason why he is one of the best pass rushers in the league."

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Major league commissioners all testify in New Jersey gambling case

Typically, sports commissioners try to avoid testifying under oath.  Like the chief executives that they are, they don’t like to submit to authority.

It’s not that they’re rebels; instead, they’re suit-wearing kings of one realm who don’t want to answer to the black-robed kings of another realm.

But in the combined effort of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB to block sports betting in New Jersey, all four commissioners have given sworn depositions, answering under oath a stream of questions posed by lawyers who represent the state.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was grilled on a topic that rarely comes up when considering the league’s staunch opposition to gambling.  The NFL plays games in two countries that embrace it:  Canada and England.

”Well, we’re playing in their country, we’re coming to them,” Goodell said, via the Associated Press. ”And we’re only there for a short period of time; we’re there for two or three days.  It’s not what we choose, it’s not what we believe is in the best interests of sports, but we don’t dictate the rules or the laws.”
Goodell’s “short period” argument would seemingly rule out placing a franchise in Canada or London, something at which the league has been hinting in recent years.

NBA Commissioner David Stern was more pointed, as he tends to be.  “The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two, and they don’t care that it’s at our potential loss,” Stern said.  It’s unclear what the NBA’s potential loss is, if gambling becomes legal in a state that the NBA abandoned with the move of the Nets to Brooklyn.

Stern also suggested that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is violating his sworn obligations, pointing out that the basketball czar’s position is “wholly apart from the fact that a governor, who’s a former U.S. Attorney, has chosen to attack a federal law which causes me pause for completely different reasons since
I’ve at times sworn to similar oaths about upholding the law of the United States.”

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig opted to moralize generally, saying that he’s “appalled” by New Jersey’s cash grab.  ”I know states need money. I really mean that,” Selig said. ”I understand all the problems.  Federal government needs money, going over a cliff, cities need money.  Chris Christie needs money.  But gambling is so . . . the threat of gambling and to create more threat is to me — I’m stunned. I know that people need sources of revenue, but you can’t — this is corruption in my opinion.”

New Jersey’s primary argument is that a 1992 federal law that restricts the growth of sports gambling and allows some states to maintain sports gambling programs violates the Constitution, and unfairly supersedes the authority of state law.  If that’s the case, it’s unclear why testimony from the various Commissioners was necessary; their own views on gambling are irrelevant to New Jersey’s effort to circumvent federal law.

49ers-Seahawks moves into NBC prime time Week 16

The NFL has shuffled the Week 16 schedule to move a better game into the Sunday Night Football prime time slot.

The December 23 49ers-Seahawks NFC West battle that was originally scheduled for a 4:25 p.m. Eastern kickoff on FOX has now become an 8:20 p.m. kickoff on NBC. That means San Francisco will play on Sunday nights in back-to-back weeks, with the 49ers taking on the Patriots on Sunday night in Week 15.

The Chargers-Jets game that had initially been scheduled for NBC prime time has now been moved to a 1 p.m. kickoff on CBS. The league also moved the Week 16 Giants-Ravens game from a 1 p.m. kickoff to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff.

Flexible scheduling is used late in the season to put the best games in the time slots when the most people will be able to watch. The final schedule for Week 17 will be announced at the conclusion of Week 16.

49ers Vs Dolphins Postgame Press Conference - Patrick Willis

49ers Vs Dolphins Postgame Press Conference - Frank Gore

49ers Vs Dolphins Postgame Press Conference - Colin Kaepernick

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Colin Kaepernick 50-yd Rushing Touchdown Responds to Tattoo Controversy (VIDEO)

Frank Gore Wears Dead Dolphin Hoodie To Press Conference (VIDEO)

49ers Vs Dolphins Box Score - 49ers Win 27-13

WR Jenkins, RB James active; WR Manningham, RB Jacobs will sit today

As expected, the 49ers’ top draft picks, wide receiver A. J. Jenkins and running back LaMichael James, will be active today against the Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

In another move that doesn’t come as a surprise, wide receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) is inactive after he failed to practice this week. Manningham was listed as doubtful on the injury report.

With Manningham out, the 49ers will dress four wideouts: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Ted Ginn and Jenkins. Ginn has two catches for one yard this season while Jenkins, who was active for two previous games, has yet to play a snap.

With James active for the first time in his career, running back Brandon Jacobs is inactive. San Francisco’s other inactives include quarterback Scott Tolzien, safety Trenton Robinson, guard Joe Looney, nose tackle Ian Williams and running back Jewel Hampton.

Brandon Jacobs mad he’s not playing, rips fans who criticize him

San Francisco running back Brandon Jacobs is angry that he’s not getting much playing time with the 49ers, and he doesn’t care if you criticize the way he goes about expressing that.

Jacobs, who previously tweeted about hating his boss but then claimed he wasn’t actually talking about coach Jim Harbaugh or anyone else with the 49ers, returned to Twitter on Saturday and acknowledged that he’s mad that his playing time in San Francisco has consisted of just five carries for seven yards in two games. And Jacobs also ripped fans who have criticized him for complaining about his playing time.

“I don’t understand why people are angry at me because I wanna do what I am paid to do, I am a competitive person, I think people should be mad if I didn’t wanna play, but I forgot the people that’s pissed they don’t have a athletic bone and their body,” Jacobs wrote.

Jacobs also addressed a comment he made on Instagram, where he posted a picture of himself celebrating winning the Super Bowl last season with the Giants. Asked by a fan why he didn’t post any 49ers pictures on Instagram, Jacobs responded that he has had a terrible year in San Francisco and therefore has nothing to celebrate.

“I am on this team rotting away so why would I wanna put any pics up of anything that say niners this is by far the worst year I ever had, I’ll tell you like I told plenty others,” Jacobs wrote on Instagram.

Jacobs sure doesn’t sound like he wants to be a 49er. Given how little he has contributed to the team this season, and how well the 49ers have played without him on the field, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 49ers decide to oblige Jacobs and cut him.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jim Harbaugh hearing it from 49ers over “Saved by the Bell” cameo

In 1996, Jim Harbaugh, then the quarterback of the Colts, made a guest appearance on Saved by the Bell: The New Class. That episode was posted to YouTube and became a viral video recently, and Harbaugh hasn’t heard the end of it.

The first question at Harbaugh’s press conference on Wednesday was about his appearance, and Harbaugh confirmed that everyone from his wife to his players have made fun of him about it.

“A lot of people have been mentioning that lately,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know why it’s become so popular. My wife told me about it, and a few players did. So they’ve been making quite a bit of sport of me over that.”

Harbaugh also noted that in the episode of Saved By the Bell, he knocked Screech over with a slap on the back. Harbaugh compared that to his controversial handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. Now that the Saved by the Bell cameo has come to light, that handshake is no better than the second-most embarrassing moment of Harbaugh’s career.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

49ers may finally be ready to tap into draft class

The 49ers haven’t had to rely or — or even dress — their rookie class much this year.

But with injuries and a shift in scheme with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick, there’s a chance second-round running back LaMichael James finally plays.

He hasn’t been active for a game yet, but coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke both said there was a chance of that changing soon.

“I’d say, it’s safe to say that LaMichael is going to start getting his opportunities,” Baalke said, via Mindi Bach of “And [I'm] confident that he’ll make the most of them when given the opportunity.”

The key will be whether they install more read-option plays with Kaepernick, something James should be familiar with from his days at Oregon.

Asked if that could happen, Harbaugh said “Yeah, there’s a possibility of that.”

Though it wasn’t used against the Rams, Harbaugh added: “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be, going forward.”

For his part, James has handled the situation well. Buried on the depth chart behind Frank Gore, the now-injured Kendall Hunter and even veteran Brandon Jacobs, chances were going to be few. He admits he gets tired of the questions, which may soon end.

“Yeah, it has. It’s really frustrating too,” he said. “I really don’t have time to be answering those questions or hearing about that any more. Obviously I’m here for a reason. I can play. I always feel like that. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.

“I’m young, I’m still learning. Whatever it takes, wherever it takes me that’s what I’m going to do to get on the field.”

It sounds like he’s about to.

Jim Harbaugh Played "Screech's" Cousin on Saved By The Bell

Well technically, it was an episode of "Saved By The Bell: The New Class" but I guess that's close enough. In this episode, Screech brought Harbaugh to Bayside to help one of the kids learn about being a hero.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frank Gore Press Conference 12-4-12

Carlos Rogers Press Conference 12-4-12

Birth Mother Still Trying to Connect With Colin Kaepernick

Heidi Russo has watched her son from the stands, half of her desperately wanting to rise and wave her arms with excitement in hopes that Colin Kaepernick might finally recognize her. She dreams, after all these years, that there might finally be a connection with the young man she once gave up for adoption.

 "Then the other half of me calms me down and I just sit there and cheer like the rest of the people," said Russo, a 44-year-old registered nurse who lives in a suburb of Denver and went to see Kaepernick play in-person for the first time in 2010 when his University of Nevada team played at Colorado State. "I kept looking at him, thinking our eyes might meet. He might finally see me. I kept thinking it happened, but he never came to see me after the game."

For all of Russo's joy in watching Kaepernick, who has made a dramatic rise to starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, there is an obvious sense of regret that he hasn't been a regular part of her life.
"I watch him now and I see how happy he is and I'm thrilled for him," said Russo, who said "I have to respect" his decision not to meet.

Yet she holds on to hope. "You can see that everything he wants and everything he has worked for is coming together," she said. "That's something that any parent would be happy to see for their child."
Russo has a Twitter account in which her profile notes that she has "a very special place in my heart for Colin Kaepernick." She said Kaepernick, who through his agent declined to be interviewed for this story, has exchanged a few messages with her, but that most of her tweets over the years have gone unreturned. Kaepernick's adoptive parents, Rick and Teresa, have said in the past they are supportive of whatever he wants to do. At the same time, Colin, Rick and Teresa have always been uncomfortable with the term "adoptive" parents.

"His parents are truly wonderful people," said Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green, a teammate and roommate of Kaepernick's at Nevada. "I've been out to dinner with them and you can see the job they did raising him. I think he would view it as almost treasonous to them to meet with his biological mother or father. They did such a great job giving him everything he needed to be successful in life."

 Russo admits that Kaepernick might have had a harder time becoming successful if she had kept him.
"I know I couldn't have given Colin everything he needed growing up," Russo said. "But I ask myself a lot of the time, 'Would loving him have been enough?' "

Russo was single and pregnant with Colin at 18, and a mother by 19. Along the way, she made the difficult decision to give up her first son (she also has an 8-year-old son). There was nothing easy about it. Russo said she initially interviewed three sets of prospective parents who were interested in adopting Colin. None were good enough, least of all the couple that "wanted to put him in the theater and have him play piano," she said. "He wasn't going to be in the theater."

Like Kaepernick, Russo was an athlete. She's 6 feet tall and played volleyball, basketball and track in high school. She was strong-willed and independent. Through the first eight months of the pregnancy, Russo had decided to keep him. Then, a family friend who worked for the Lutheran Social Services in Wisconsin introduced her to the Kaepernicks, who Russo said had two children of their own already, but had lost two other children to heart defects.

"I knew they were the right people immediately," said Russo, who was living in Milwaukee at the time. "The first thing Teresa did when she met me was give me a hug. They were such giving, wonderful people from the moment I met them."

That eased the situation, but didn't immediately solve it. Under Wisconsin law at the time, there is a six-week period between when a child is born and when he/she can officially be adopted. The child is supposed to go into foster care for that period. Russo would have none of that.

"I refused to have him in foster care, there was no way. I raised him for the first six weeks," she said. The attachment developed from those six weeks became a difficult bond for her to deal with, starting with the day she gave him up.

A day she can barely remember.

"I think your mind and your body do things to help you forget truly painful experiences like that," Russo said.
"I remember going to the courthouse to sign all the papers, then we went somewhere else for the exchange.

It might have been the Lutheran Social Services building, but I really can't remember. All I remember is that we had to be in separate rooms. [The adoption officials] came and got Colin from me and then took him to the Kaepernicks. That's the one thing I wish I had done differently. I wish I had given him directly to the Kaepernicks."

Over the next six to seven years, the situation got worse. At the time, the Kaepernicks and Russo's father lived in Fond du Lac, Wis., roughly 65 miles north of Milwaukee. When Russo would visit her father, she'd find herself looking for the Kaepernicks, hoping to see Colin.

Russo said Teresa Kaepernick would send letters and pictures, but that came to a halt.

"I would find myself waiting and waiting for the letters and the pictures, so much so that I wasn't moving on with my life," Russo said. "I was depressed and anxious." She said there were "many times" that she wanted to go get Colin back from the Kaepernicks.

"But that wasn't about doing what was best for him, it was about healing the wound I had. That wouldn't have been the right thing for him," she said.

Russo ended communication with the Kaepernicks when Colin was 6 or 7, but resumed her attempts to meet him when Kaepernick got to Nevada. Russo had a friend who went through a similar circumstance and the friend encouraged Russo to contact Kaepernick via the Internet. She found him on MySpace and finally wrote a message to him after roughly six weeks of thinking about what to say.

It took another six weeks or so to hear back from him.

"He had questions about his father and I tried to get answers for him," Russo said. "I found his father and called his house."

Russo said she left a message that was never returned.

On Aug. 26, she attended the 49ers' preseason game at Denver. She reunited with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick and introduced her younger son to them.

"It was like meeting old friends after 25 years," she said. "You couldn't ask for better people than Rick and Teresa, how they have loved him and taken care of him. As a parent, you never think that anyone could love your child as much as you do, but they have."

However, she didn't meet Colin.

"Until he tells me otherwise, I'll continue supporting him," said Russo, who watches or records every game Kaepernick plays. "It's very emotional for me to watch him, especially [when he played against New Orleans] and you could see how happy he was. I just hope and pray for him."

What if he never wants to meet?

"Yes, there's always that, but I just stay positive for him," Russo said. "That's what is important. That's what you're supposed to do as a parent."

Via Yahoo! Sports

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jim Harbaugh Press Conference 12-3-12

Colin Kaepernick will start again for 49ers

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Monday that there is no change at quarterback coming in the wake of San Francisco’s 16-13 overtime loss to the Rams. Colin Kaepernick will get the start for the 49ers against the Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

That makes three straight starts for Kaepernick and likely ends the need for weekly announcements about the identity of the San Francisco quarterback. Harbaugh has gone from waiting until Sunday to name his quarterback to Wednesday last week and Monday of this week. That suggests Kaepernick’s hold on the job is only getting stronger and Harbaugh’s cast his lot with the second-year player.

Kaepernick was 21-of-32 for 208 yards on Sunday and added 84 rushing yards, but he also played a major role in 10 of the Rams’ points. Kaepernick was called for intentional grounding in the 49ers end zone — a call that the 49ers and many others thought was incorrect — and Janoris Jenkins returned his fourth quarter fumble for a touchdown that the Rams followed up with a two-point conversion. Kaepernick also wound up out of bounds on a run on the next 49ers possession, leaving the Rams with enough time to tie the game and send it to overtime.

That’s not enough to shake the 49ers off the Kaepernick train nor should it be if they think he has the ability to be a top NFL quarterback.

49ers Vs Rams Postgame Press Conference - Colin Kaepernick

49ers Vs Rams Postgame Press Conference - Jim Harbaugh

Sunday, December 2, 2012

49ers think they got a bad call on intentional grounding safety

One of the pivotal plays in a game the 49ers would go on to lose in overtime came when quarterback Colin Kaepernick was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone, which by rule is a safety. But the 49ers think that safety was a bad call.

Kaepernick said after the game that he believes his pass reached the line of scrimmage, which would mean there would be no intentional grounding penalty. Referee Carl Cheffers, however, made the call in conjunction with the other officials, and they agreed that the ball didn’t get to the line of scrimmage.

“He said it didn’t make it to the line of scrimmage,” Kaepernick said, via “I think it did.”

Many fans and members of the media agreed with Kaepernick, although Cheffers said after the game that he and his crew stood by the call.

“It was an intentional grounding,” Cheffers said. “The quarterback rolled out of the pocket and he needs one of two things: He either needs a receiver in the area or he needs to throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. The official on that side of the field came to me and reported that neither of those things took place. So we have intentional grounding. And because he threw the ball from the end zone, by rule, that penalty is enforced and the result of the enforcement is a safety, by rule.”

Cheffers also said he couldn’t have used instant replay to get another look.

“No aspect of that is reviewable,” Cheffers said. “The result of the play is not a scoring play, it’s a penalty enforcement that results in a score. There’s just no aspect of that play that, by rule, is challengeable.”

Whether the play was ruled correctly on the field or not, the NFL’s rule is dumb: If all scoring plays are supposed to be reviewable, and if the Rams scored two points on the play in question, why shouldn’t the referee be able to use instant replay to review whether those two points should have counted? The NFL would be wise to re-think that aspect of the instant replay rule, so that a review could be used to determine whether the ball really did reach the line of scrimmage.

49ers Vs Rams Box Score - 49ers Lose 16-13

Jim Harbaugh Reveals Emergency QB/Kicker

The 49ers press corp today successfully got Jim Harbaugh to divulge information. Yes! This is no easy feat, as anyone who has watched or listened to or read a transcript of a Harbaugh presser can attest. Harbaugh releases less information than the CIA.

Among the critical items they were able to extricate:

* Ted Ginn is now the 49ers' emergency quarterback. The 49ers typically dress two quarterbacks - Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith. If both got hurt in a game, it would be up to the emergency QB to run the offense. That used to be Kyle Williams, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. It's now Ginn, who played the position in high school and, as a coach's son, probably is a good choice.

* The emergency kicker is either Andy Lee or Isaac Sopoaga. (Yes, I said Sopoaga). David Akers (pelvis) will play in Sunday's game. But if his injury is problematic, the 49ers would have to turn to a substitute. Lee also is the team's holder. I assume Kaepernick or Smith could handle that job, too. But, boy, it sure would be interesting to see a 335-pounder boot a game winner or even an extra point. Sopoaga played rugby in his native Samoa and has experience as a kicker.

* Friday was the first time the 49ers have practiced on their turf field all season. The rain forced them off their usual grass fields, but Harbaugh said it was a positive since they'll be on turf in the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.

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A.J. Jenkins up, LaMichael James down as 49ers take on Rams

First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins is active for only the second time this season. The player the 49ers drafted in the second round, running back LaMichael James, is not active. The 49ers lost running back Kendall Hunter for the season last week, and there was a thought that James could see his first snaps of the season.

The backup duties instead will be divided among Brandon Jacobs, who has one carry for one yard, and Anthony Dixon, who is one of the team's core special teams players. Rookie running back Jewel Hampton also in inactive today.

James' lack of activity likely is due to special teams. Cornerback Perrish Cox will serve as the backup return man behind Ted Ginn. James does not play on the coverage units as does, say, Dixon.

Ginn likely will step into Kyle Williams' role at receiver, but it's possible Jenkins could see his first action of the year. Jenkins was in uniform in Week 1 when Ginn (ankle/knee) was inactive, but he did not play a snap.
The other 49ers inactives are: quarterback Scott Tolzien, safety Trenton Robinson, guard Joe Looney, tight end Demarcus Dobbs and and nose tackle Ian Williams.

Dobbs was arrested Friday morning after a solo car crash. He was arrested for suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. Also active is safety Darcel McBath, who suffered a concussion last week in New Orleans.

For the Rams, Danny Amendola (foot) will not play. Amendola had 102 yards in the teams' first meeting this year. Chris Given will start in Amendola's place. Givens, along with fellow rookie Janoris Jenkins, was suspended for the teams' first meeting for breaking curfew.

The other Rams inactives: QB Austin Davis, LB Mario Haggan, T Joe Barksdale, RB Terrance Ganaway, OL Chris Williams and DT Matt Conrath.

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