Jerry Rice demonstrates how to practice like a winner, but the 49ers don’t follow his example

SANTA CLARA This is what stood out to me during practice Monday morning. THE AMAZING 1. 54-year-old Hall-of-Fame WR Jerry Rice. The 49ers invited Jerry Rice and Steve Young to speak to the players before practice. After they spoke, Young watched practice from the sideline for 15 minutes then left, while Rice joined the players on the field and practiced like he was a member of the team. Rice wore…

August 14, 2017

49ers training camp report: Tim Hightower — not Carlos Hyde — on field for first play of practice

SANTA CLARA Here’s what stood out to me during practice Monday morning. THE GOOD 1. DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has lost more than 20 pounds since the beginning of OTAs when he says he weighed between 295 lbs. and 300 lbs. According to Lynch, he currently weighs 273 lbs. Good for him. I thought he would gain weight during the five weeks between minicamp and training camp when he didn’t…

July 31, 2017

49ers training camp report: Joshua Garnett upsets Charles Haley

SANTA CLARA Here’s what stood out to me during practice Sunday morning. THE GOOD 1. DT DeForest Buckner. Today was the first day the 49ers wore pads, so I focused mainly on the players who hit each other, particularly the linemen – both on offense and defense. And the best lineman on the team clearly is second-year defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. None of the interior offensive linemen could block him…

July 30, 2017

Eric Mangini: “Another difficult quarterback, another difficult group of wide receivers.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Eric Mangini’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “Good morning, everybody. So, we are full go on the Giants. Similar pattern for us, working on third down, red zone here today. Another difficult quarterback, another difficult group of wide receivers, but working on it and excited to get going.”   There was a report that LB Ahmad Brooks won’t…

October 8, 2015

49ers training camp report: Day 15

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ first half-speed non-padded practice of training camp, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes. The first-team offense and first-team defense never faced each other during team drills – both units faced scout teams only. Apparently this is how Friday practices will function during the regular season. THE GOOD 1. OLB Aaron Lynch. Chased down and tag-sacked backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert…

August 21, 2015

49ers training camp report: Day 13

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ ninth padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. OLB Aaron Lynch. Started at left outside linebacker in the first-string base defense and at left defensive end in the first-string sub-packages. Today was only Lynch’s second day of team drills, and he already seems to have taken Corey Lemonier’s job. Poor Corey. 2. S Jaquiski Tartt. Today the Niners practiced…

August 19, 2015

49ers add Hyde, Lynch, Kilgore, Smelter and Brown to non-football injury list

The 49ers just announced they’ve added RB Carlos Hyde, OLB Aaron Lynch, WR DeAndre Smelter and OT Trent Brown to the Active/Non-Football Injury List, and G/C Daniel Kilgore to the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List. “Players placed on either list count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated at any time prior to the final cuts of training camp,” the Niners wrote in the their press release. Hyde…

July 28, 2015

49ers 20, Cardinals 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – Hey, at least the 49ers didn’t lose to both Cardinals’ backup quarterbacks this season. KAEPERNICK: B+. Played his best when it really mattered. Threw two touchdown passes and zero picks for the first time since Week 6. Also threw zero fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the 18th game in a row. Would have committed a Delay of Game penalty with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter if Marcus…

December 28, 2014

49ers 13, Raiders 24: Grades

OAKLAND – Before we get to the grades, let’s have a moment of silence for the Jim Harbaugh Era.       That’s enough. KAEPERNICK: Ω. He gets an omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet, because English just won’t do. An ‘F’ isn’t low enough. A ‘Z’ isn’t low enough. This was the worst performance of Kaepernick’s career, the kind of performance that gets a quarterback benched and…

December 7, 2014

49ers 27, Saints 24: Grades

They aren’t dead yet. The 49ers beat the Saints 27-24 in overtime Sunday afternoon, handed Sean Payton his first loss in the Superdome since 2010. Now the 49ers are 5-4. Here are their grades. KAEPERNICK: B+. It was fourth-and-10 from the Niners’ 22-yard line, one minute and 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Niners’ down by three. Kaepernick had to save the game. He rolled to his right. Nowhere…

November 9, 2014

49ers 10, Rams 13: Grades

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers just gave away a game to the Rams, a dreadful team that was trying its best to lose. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: D+. Was that him? Didn’t look like it. Whoever was wearing the red No.7 jersey looked timid, tentative, not explosive at all. Averaged just 7.18 yards per pass and 2.8 yards per carry, converted 3-of-12 third down and scored no touchdowns…

November 2, 2014

Grading 49ers at the break

This is my Sunday column. The 49ers just finished dead week. These are their midterm grades. COLIN KAEPERNICK Pocket proficiency: B. Was a C-minus last season. Completed just 57 percent of his passes and posted an 81 passer rating inside the pocket in 2013. Has completed 69 percent of his passes and posted a 90 rating inside the pocket this season. He’s finding the open receiver quickly and throwing the…

October 27, 2014

49ers 17, Broncos 42: Grades

The Broncos eked out a 42-17 win over the 49ers Sunday night. Here are the Niners’ grades. KAEPERNICK: D. Carried the team in the first half. Posted a 140 passer rating in the second quarter. Would have been a 156 rating if Anquan Boldin hadn’t dropped a touchdown pass on third-and-goal from the 4 yard line. Kaepernick led a 7-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that took 2 minutes and 58 seconds…

October 19, 2014

Vic Fangio on Alex Smith: “Sometimes too much study is paralysis by over-analysis. I watched the tape and prepared for him just like any other quarterback.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. What went into the decision to play LB Aaron Lynch so much more? And how do you use him? Is it similarly to the way you use LB Aldon Smith? Is it a little different? “Well, the decision was, he had been playing a lot in the first three games anyway….

October 2, 2014

49ers 26, Eagles 21: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Eagles 26-21 Sunday afternoon. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: B-. Made both of the 49ers’ touchdowns happen. On the first one he scrambled left, drew the Eagles’ entire defense and threw back to the right, across the whole field to Frank Gore who was wide open. One of the most thrilling plays you’ll see. Next, Kaepernick scrambled to the left and threw…

September 28, 2014

49ers 28, Cowboys 17: Grades

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys handed the 49ers a 28-17 win Sunday evening. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. Efficient. Completed 70 percent of his passes, averaged 8.7 yards per pass attempt, threw two touchdown passes and zero interceptions and converted 7-of-12 third downs. He found his receivers when they were wide open and he made some terrific throws while taking big hits. RUNNING BACKS: B. LaMichael James was…

September 7, 2014

Vic Fangio says Ahmad Brooks is overweight

SANTA CLAR A — Vic Fangio was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. staff.   How did NT Ian Williams play? I know it wasn’t a lot of snaps, but how did he look? “He did fine. I was pleased with the way he played. I was hoping to get him a few more snaps but he started tightening up a…

August 26, 2014

Jim Harbaugh ends open practice at Levi’s Stadium after 45 minutes

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers have been talking about the Levi’s Stadium grass all week. Its roots haven’t set, the 49ers say. The footing is no good and patches of sod are coming up. Stevie Johnson slipped on the grass 45 minutes into practice, got up and started limping. Two plays later, Harbaugh pulled the team off the field and finished practice on the practice field which is closed to…

August 20, 2014

Jim Harbaugh says he is “very pleased with the job Blaine Gabbert is doing.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: What happened to Blake Costanzo? How did he get injured? HARBAUGH: Something with the knee. Q: He was placed on I.R. Could he return at some point this season? HARBAUGH: I don’t think it’s a season-ending injury, but I hate to talk and then be wrong and then get criticized for not…

August 15, 2014

Aaron Lynch says he weighs 276 pounds

SANTA CLARA — Aaron Lynch was interviewed next to the practice Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: How do you think you did in the practices in Maryland? LYNCH: I felt good out there. Q: You seem to be a lot closer to your Notre-Dame form than your South-Florida form. Are you similar weight-wise and do you feel like you felt back in your Notre Dame days? LYNCH: I…

August 13, 2014