Young to Alex: the pressure is on

Caught Steve Young on KNBR’s “The Razor and Mister T” on the drive to Candlestick Park tonight. After the requisite reminiscences, the Hall of Fame quarterback got to the important stuff: Alex Smith. And Young managed to not only praise Smith, but zing another NFC West quarterback who entered the league as a high first-round pick.
“I think Alex is a competent quarterback,” Young said. “I think Alex understands the game, and I’m telling you there’s a reaction – similar to Matt Leinart. He can’t get out of third gear. He throws the nice ball, he can drop back. But when things get fast – fast, fast – you can tell, he just can’t quite keep up. You really can’t win jobs when you can’t keep up.”

September 2, 2010

Breaking down Jerry Rice’s greatness

I made a guest appearance on a radio show in Miami today to talk about Jerry Rice’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. The segment was short, so I’m going to foist all my well-rehearsed lines on you. Four things I’ll always remember about Jerry Rice:
I was a young editor/writer working for NFL Publishing sometime around 1990 when I first got to see Rice in person. It was at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, where I had the plum assignment of interviewing several players for future GameDay magazine stories in between sips of daiquiri.

August 6, 2010

Roger Craig: 49ers ready to ‘annihilate the West’

There is no escaping the 49ers. After a week of offseason practices, I’m breaking away from your favorite team to help cover the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. And as I mentioned previously, former 49ers running back Roger Craig is serving as Grand Marshall.
Craig was in high spirits during a short pre-race press conference, sharing the podium with perky HNL anchor Robin Meade, who just sang the National Anthem.

June 20, 2010

49ers already missing ‘Old Reverend Bruce’

One day it may look like a swindle. The 49ers traded a potential Hall of Fame wide receiver to a division rival and got absolutely nothing in return. But this was no ordinary deal. San Francisco traded Isaac Bruce to the Rams so that he could officially finish his career with the team that made him famous.

June 7, 2010

Roger Craig waving the green flag at Infineon

Roger Craig always was one of the most versatile guys on the field. Apparently, he still is. Craig already has been involved in a fishing show this spring, and today Infineon Raceway announced that the former running back and three-time Super Bowl champion will serve as Grand Marshall of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June.

June 2, 2010

The mound, the mogul and the misdemeanor

The links are on me: Rookie RB Anthony Dixon’s finds time to watch his kid brother on the mound back in Mississippi.   Where are they now? Ed Galigher, DT (1977-78) and his wife are in real-estate development.   Another former Niners DT, Ronald Fields (2005-08), now with the Broncos, apparently has been arrested on a weapons charge.

May 9, 2010

Former Niner in the octagon

Former DT Matt Mitrione, who was with the 49ers during much of the 2004 offseason (they cut him at the beginning of training camp that year), has moved on to a different line of work. You think it was tough knocking helmets with Justin Smiley during minicamps? Look who Mitrione is going up against now.

May 3, 2010

Darryl Pollard talks charity

Here’s a quickie interview with former 49ers cornerback Darryl Pollard (1987-1990). Not sure I’d call him an “NFL legend” like the author, but he has some good things to say about charitable giving and personal responsibility.

April 28, 2010

Strong 49ers representation among HOF finalists

Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and Charles Haley have a combined eight Super Bowl rings with the 49ers. All three are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.   Rice, the holder of every significant receiving record in NFL history, is a lock to be among the four to seven enshrines who will be announced as part of the Class of 2010 Hall of Fame on Saturday at 2 p.m….

February 5, 2010

Ulbrich lands job on Carroll’s staff in Seattle

There has been plenty of competition at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this week. And a lot of that competition took place among individuals seeking jobs on NFL coaching staffs.   Former 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said he feels fortunate to land a coveted position on Pete Carroll’s coaching staff with the Seattle Seahawks. Ulbrich confirmed ESPN’s report that he accepted a position as assistant special teams coach.  …

January 29, 2010

Billy Wilson, 81, passes away

Billy Wilson, who led the NFL in receptions three times in the 1950s despite playing in the shadow of the 49ers’ famed “Million Dollar Backfield,” died this morning. He was 81.

January 27, 2009