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

Vic Fangio struggles with the hand he was dealt

This is my Saturday column previewing the 49ers’ Sunday home game against the Eagles. What is Vic Fangio supposed to do? Call plays while hopping on one leg? Vic, try patting your head and rubbing your stomach in the coaches’ box. Say rubber baby buggy bumpers. Strike a pose. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator is running out of options. He tried blitzing. He tried not blitzing. Neither has worked. The 49ers’…

September 27, 2014

Ahmad Brooks: “Unbelievable.”

GLENDALE, AZ. — Here’s what Ahmad Brooks said at his locker after the game. Q: It seems like the team is not the same team in the second half. Do you have any thoughts on that. BROOKS: No. Q: You don’t? BROOKS. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know, man. I have no idea. I don’t know what to tell you. Q: Fair enough. When all of a sudden…

September 21, 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

Ahmad Brooks doesn’t exactly know what titanium is

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ahmad Brooks responded in the locker room to Jim Harbaugh’s post-game comments. I’ve always known Brooks to have a dry wit and a subtle sense of humor. This is a good example. Q: Harbaugh says the team has titanium in the spine in terms of dealing with adversity. BROOKS: I don’t exactly know what titanium is. Q: It’s stronger than steel. BROOKS: Stronger than steel? Q: Yes….

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

49ers 21, Chargers 7: Starters’ grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Chargers 21-7 Sunday afternoon. Here are the grades for the Niners’ starters. KAEPERNICK: D-. Fumbled twice and committed one turnover. Completed 50 percent of his passes. Completed zero percent of his passes in the red zone. Posted a 64.2 passer rating. Performed poorly in areas he needed to improve this offseason – accuracy, touch, footwork and red-zone passing. RUNNING BACKS: C. Carlos Hyde…

August 24, 2014

49ers have chance to show quality

This is my Friday column. The 49ers have been by far the worst team in the NFL during the preseason. In two games, the Niners have scored three points and given up 57. That means they’ve been outscored by 54. The Cowboys have been the second-worst team in the preseason. They’ve been outscored by merely 27. That means the 49ers have been twice as bad as the second-worst team. We…

August 22, 2014

49ers’ fill-ins can’t come up blank

This is my Saturday column. Before we get to the 49ers’ upcoming preseason game, here’s a brief history lesson. In 2010, the 49ers’ defense was ordinary. It ranked 13th in yards allowed and 16th in points given up. Four current starters were key contributors on that 2010 defense – Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Ray McDonald. After the 2010 season, the 49ers drafted Aldon Smith and signed Carlos…

August 16, 2014

Kenneth Acker picks off two passes, Devon Wylie beats Jimmie Ward three times in team drills

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Wednesday afternoon’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick. Completed 22 of 32 pass attempts during team drills. He threw two touchdowns during an 11-on-11 goal line drill – one to Anquan Boldin and one to Asante Cleveland. Kaepernick also got intercepted on a deep pass in the end zone – Perrish Cox jumped and caught the ball over Quinton…

August 13, 2014

Chris Cook intercepts two, Quinton Patton catches eight

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Monday afternoon’s padded practice in Levi’s Stadium. THE GOOD 1. Chris Cook. His biggest weakness is defending the deep pass and he picked off two of those today. First he picked off a deep pass intended for Devon Wylie (Josh Johnson threw it), and then Cook picked off a deep pass intended for Chuck Jacobs (Blaine Gabbert threw it). Cook…

August 4, 2014

Colin Kaepernick throws touchdown passes, Anquan Boldin throws punches at Darryl Morris

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Friday’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick. Completed 14 of the 19 passes he attempted during team drills. He threw three touchdown passes – one to Quinton Patton, one to Vernon Davis and one to Chuck Jacobs. This may have been Kaepernick’s best practice of camp. 2. Vernon Davis. Made five catches during team drills. One was a five-yard…

August 1, 2014

Perrish Cox intercepts Colin Kaepernick twice, Stevie Johnson drops the ball three times

SANTA CLARA — Here is what stood out to me at the 49ers’ padded practice Wednesday afternoon. THE GOOD 1. Darryl Morris. Started off practice by beating Michael Crabrtee in a one-on-one drill. Crabtree tried to beat Morris with a move to the outside, but Crabrtee couldn’t shake him and Morris knocked away the pass. In team drills, he broke up two passes — one intended for Stevie Johnson, and…

July 30, 2014

OTA Notes: Good Kap, Bad Kap

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me during Thursday’s mini-camp. THE GOOD 1. Red-zone Kap — Two-for-two during the full-team red-zone drill. On first-and-ten from the defense’s 15 yard line, Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. On attempt No.2 — first-and-goal from the 6 — Kaepernick rolled to his left and threw a high pass to Vance McDonald who reached…

June 19, 2014

OTA Notes: Ellington beats Johnson, Patton beats Brock, Brooks beats Kaepernick

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me at Wednesday’s mini-camp. THE GOOD 1. Bruce Ellington — The only receiver who caught a deep pass. During one-on-one drills, Ellington ran deep against rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson. McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw a perfect deep pass. Ellington jumped up and caught the ball over Johnson, who is five inches taller than Ellington. 2. Quinton Patton — Was two-for-two against Tramaine Brock during…

June 18, 2014

49ers’ 2014 sack leader

Last season, the 49ers had co-sack-leaders — Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. Each finished the regular season with 8.5 sacks. Justin Smith had 6.5 sacks — third-most on the 49ers. NaVorro Bowman had 5 sacks — fourth-most on the team. Which player do you think will lead the 49ers in sacks in 2014? I think it will be Aldon Smith, even though he probably will be suspended for some games.

May 26, 2014

49ers grades and projections

This is my Thursday column. Dear player or coach for the San Francisco 49ers, This is your final report card for the 2013 season. Show this to your mother and make sure she signs her name at the bottom. COLIN KAEPERNICK: C+. I assumed you would improve, but you got worse. Somehow you became a less accurate passer, only occasionally hitting a receiver in stride. How did you get less accurate…

February 6, 2014

Why mute Marshawn is wrong

This is my Thursday column on Marshawn Lynch. Should you care that Marshawn Lynch refuses to talk to the media? Yes, you should. He’s not honoring his contract, the standard player contract which mandates talking to the media. I understand not caring. Fans don’t like the media. If Lynch wants to bail on interviews, that’s his business. He earns $5 million per year. He can afford to pay the fine….

January 29, 2014

Brooks: “I played middle linebacker in the goal line defense.”

CHARLOTTE – Ahmad Brooks spoke at his locker after the game. Here’s what he said. Q: How important were the two goal line stands? BROOKS: Just a big play. Of course, it determined the score differential. Maybe they could have put up a few more points on the board if they had gone for the field goal instead of going for it, three more points on the board. It was…

January 12, 2014

49ers 23, Packers 20: Grades

GREEN BAY – Here are my grades for the 49ers, who beat the Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field in a wild card playoff game Sunday night. KAEPERNICK: B+. His passer rating the first three quarters was 58.9, but his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 118.2. So, he was clutch, although he completed just half of his passes in the fourth quarter (4-of-8), and one of his incompletions was…

January 5, 2014