Hoener to Panthers; Young gave Rodgers an assist

As if it wasn’t painful enough for Niners fans to watch Aaron Rodgers flourish, here comes this revelation via SI.com: Green Bay’s quarterback received important career advice three years ago from Steve Young, one of his boyhood idols when he was growing up in Chico.

January 31, 2011
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Niners hire Bobby Engram

Engram spent eight seasons with the Seahawks (2001-08) and played in the West Coast Offense, a system the Niners will implement this season. At 34, Engram set career-highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,147) in 2007.

January 28, 2011
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A mock draft to Bank(s) on?

Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks broke the Jeff-Fisher-is-out-in-Tennessee story on Thursday. Banks evidently had the news before some of the Titans assistant coaches. With Banks’ obvious connections in mind, perhaps his mock draft (click here) is actually more like the answer key.

January 28, 2011
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It’s Miller time. Again.

For his part, Watson ticked off a variety of attributes – acceleration, technique and a “great motor” – but he kept coming back to Miller’s hands. At 237 pounds, Miller isn’t huge, but Watson made it sound like he could crush skulls with his meat hooks.

January 27, 2011
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Senior Bowl standout Miller stood out on film

Von Miller, by many accounts, has been the star of the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Ala. And the Butkus Award winner figures to be moving up draft boards as a result. The 49ers, in desperate need of a pass-rushing outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense, surely have Miller among the candidates to select with the No. 7 overall pick, if he’s available.

January 27, 2011
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NFL Draft: Have West Coast Offense, need quarterback

Or will they draft for defense at No. 7 overall and target a potential second-round pick such as TCU’s Andy Dalton? And what’s up with Washington’s Jake Locker, who was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick at this time last year? And could Auburn’s Cam Newton really be a West Coast quarterback? And …

January 25, 2011
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The latest Niners legend: Patrick Willis

Maybe it’s because he bolted into the backfield with an impossibly large black cast on his broken right hand. And maybe it’s because, looking back, I know he suffered further damage to his hand and needed a second surgery following the game. Or maybe it’s just because, in my mind, everything about the Niners was substandard and embarrassing in that game until Willis, like a Porsche surrounded by Pintos, made that play.

January 24, 2011
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Spikes nominated for NFL Man of the Year Award

In 2003, Spikes launched 51 Ways, Inc. with former NFL linebacker Carlos Emmons. Spikes and Emmons have lost family members to cancer and their foundation provides financial, spiritual and physical support to families of children with cancer and blood disorders.

January 22, 2011
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NFL Draft: A pass rusher, please

San Francisco hasn’t had a player record more than 8.5 sacks in a season since 2002 when Andre Carter had 12.5. In addition, Parys Haralson is the only San Francisco linebacker to rank higher than 29th in the NFL in sacks in the past eight seasons.

January 21, 2011
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Report: Niners contact Browns’ Seely

During his tenure in New England, the Patriots led the NFL in kickoff-return average (23.5) and ranked eighth in punt-return average (9.9). New England also ranked second with 11 returns for touchdowns, including eight on kickoffs.

January 20, 2011
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Oliver Luck: Experience makes Harbaugh unique

No other assistant or head coach in the league has dropped back and examined an NFL defense more than Harbaugh, who ranks 46th in NFL history in pass attempts with 3,918. None of the other 45 quarterbacks ahead of him on the list is an NFL coach, assistant or otherwise. In fact, Harbaugh is the only NFL coach among the league’s top 75 in career pass attempts.

January 20, 2011
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