McKillop’s knee isn’t 49ers’ only injury concern

The most serious injury sustained during the first five days of the 49ers’ training camp undoubtedly is the torn ACL and patellar tendon suffered by ILB Scott McKillop, a vital special-teams player who is likely to miss the entire 2010 season.
Also troubling, however, has been a rash of concussions.
There probably is no connection among the recent head injuries to LG David Baas, TE Delanie Walker and OLB Travis LaBoy. It’s always tempting to use such occurrences as evidence that a camp is too physical, but really, Mike Singletary’s practices aren’t much different than other coaches’. It’s likely just a string of bad luck, though it demonstrates the NFL’s changing approach to concussions.

August 5, 2010

Rare aerial show in Santa Clara

It was just one day of practice, and some of it didn’t even occur during 11-on-11 team periods. But the ball was flying here Tuesday morning, with the 49ers’ offense connecting on numerous deep passes.
Josh Morgan reeled in two long gainers from Alex Smith in the first passing drill of the day, which had receivers going against cornerbacks one-on-one; Michael Crabtree got one, too (from David Carr), as did Jason Hill (from the little-seen Jarrett Brown). And Hill was open for another but couldn’t quite reel in Nate Davis’ throw.

August 3, 2010

See you in late July

Nine weeks and 1,054 tweets after taking over the 49ers beat for the Press Democrat, I’m planning my (temporary) escape route. I’ll be using up my vacation time until, say, a week before rookies report to Santa Clara on July 30.

June 24, 2010

The Questions of Summer

The offseason work is done for the 49ers, and writers such as I are trying to wring every last syllable of information out of the notebooks we’ve kept over the past couple months. But the writing is on the wall. We’re about to hit the NFL’s deadest dead zone, not to emerge until the marathon grind of training camp at the beginning of August.
In all probability, there will be little to report and digest over the next month. Maybe nothing at all, at least nothing of consequence (thanks in part to safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who ended speculation by signing a five-year deal with the Rams this morning).
To bridge the gap, here are a few questions that might get answered before rookies report to Santa Clara on July 30.

June 23, 2010

Matt Wilhelm is ready for his screen test

About five weeks before training camp, Matt Wilhelm will be going to boot camp. Fortunately, it won’t require a high-and-tight haircut.
Wilhelm has been selected to participate in the fourth annual “NFL Broadcast Boot Camp,” an intensive four-day crash course that teaches current and former players how to be media piranhas. (Lesson 8: How to Hoard Marriott Points.) “It’s gonna be exciting,” he said Monday. “Just to understand what it’s like to have a pen and paper in your hand, and taking the notes.”

June 15, 2010

After living through war, football is easy to Caulcrick

When Bonita Caulcrick finally got into war-torn Liberia, finally located her two children, finally eluded the soldiers and bullets long enough to make it across the border to Ivory Coast, she ran up against one more challenge.
Bonita had been living in the United States for a few years, and had picked up a trace of American accent. The bureaucrat at the embassy in Ivory Coast didn’t believe the children were hers, and wouldn’t stamp their passports. She returned the next day, and got a similar reaction. The next day, same thing.
Caulcrick, her nerves frayed by months of worry, had heard enough. “Fine,” she said. “You keep them.”

June 14, 2010

Brooks would be happy with a mere 17 sacks

Who was the most surprising 49er last season? Think a minute. Vernon Davis and Dashon Goldson certainly turned important corners, but both had been recognized as having the talent. Michael Crabtree may have exceeded expectations considering how late he got into the game. Aubrayo Franklin?
It’s hard to believe any of them raised more eyebrows that outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

June 10, 2010

Another Dixon hoping to go pro

Sixth-round draft choice Anthony Dixon is trying to make the 49ers as a power halfback. One of his younger brothers, Rashun, is playing left field for the Kane County Cougars, the Oakland A’s Single-A affiliate. Monday, a third brother, Deshun, will be hoping to hear his name called in the 2010 MLB draft.
“When it comes on Monday, I will be in front of the TV watching every single round until I get drafted,” Deshun told the (Jackson) Clarion Ledger.

June 6, 2010

Goldson gets vote of confidence, and a challenge

Media outlets both local and national, starting with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and bouncing all the way up to ESPN, have reported that the 49ers are not interested in pursuing safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who became a free agent at midnight last night. Take that as a tacit endorsement of Dashon Goldson.

June 2, 2010

49ers educate the media (slightly)

We’ll see if the 49ers’ coaching staff can school the Cardinals and Seahawks this season. We now know they can school the media.
Head coach Mike Singletary and coordinators Jimmy Raye, Greg Manusky and Kurt Schottenheimer spent about 2½ hours cluing in local writers on the team’s basic on-field goals, the installation of game plans and the complexities of terminology. It was billed as 49ers Football 101.

May 27, 2010

Davis, Iupati craving action

Rookie tackle Anthony Davis was sitting on a low stool in front of his locker Tuesday, talking to reporters with a towel draped across the appropriate area when, about two questions into the interview, his 323 pounds suddenly toppled backward and off the stool.
There was a split-second of concern, but Davis quickly erupted into squeals of high-pitched laughter. “That’s a blooper, right?” he said.
Yes, and probably not the last for him or any other NFL rookie.

May 21, 2010

Vernon D vs. Adrian W: It’s on

In case you missed it, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and hard-hitting Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson engaged in a highly entertaining tweet-off this morning. No, scratch that. Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett did all the texting for Wilson, by proxy. The give-and-take went like this…

May 11, 2010

LaBoy can bust out that Roger Craig jersey once again

Almost forgot to post it: Here’s my story for the Press Democrat on Larkspur native Travis LaBoy, who finally gets to suit up the team he loved as a boy. His brother/agent says Travis’ four-game suspension last December was due to doctor-prescribed medication he had been taking to rehab an injury he suffered back with Tennessee.

May 5, 2010

Rookie minicamp notes

We’re in between practices here on Day 2 of the 49ers’ rookie mini-camp. Tomorrow’s session has morphed from a field practice to team meetings, with no media access, so today’s afternoon work could be the last we see of the young guys for a while. Here are some observations from the morning practice.

May 1, 2010

Savaiigaea getting tryout

According to the Honolulu advertiser, former Hawaii defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea will get a tryout at this weekend’s minicamp. If he made the team, Savaiigaea could join Isaac Sopoaga and Travis LaBoy as a trio of Warriors. He’s a long shot, of course; then again, his name is Rocky.

April 29, 2010

Please welcome me to the 21st Century

I have a Twitter account. My 14-year-old daughter will be so proud. Please start following Skinny_Post for Niners news. We’ll link it to this blog shortly, and I’ll try to acquire the social-networking skills of a second grader before the mini-camp.

April 27, 2010

Vernon Davis, Renaissance man

On Thursday, May 13, tight end Vernon Davis will step away from football and pumping iron for a couple hours and focus on his other love. No, not curling. Renaissance art. Davis, called “an avid admirer of Michelangelo and the Renaissance period” in the following press release, will kick off the Art Impact series, a new creation of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Young at Arts Festival. He…

April 27, 2010

Replacing a legend

Hi, Niners fans, I’m Mike Bordick. No, wait, I’m Phil Barber. Mike Bordick is the man who replaced Cal Ripken at shortstop with the Baltimore Orioles, and that’s pretty close to how I feel stepping in for Matt Maiocco.

April 26, 2010

49ers at Seahawks

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December 6, 2009