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

Jim Harbaugh on Aldon Smith: “He’s showing up. He’s working hard. He’s listening.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh was interviewed by Bay Area reporters Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: What do you think of the rookies and undrafted guys so far? HARBAUGH: So far so good. They’ve done a great job studying. Coaches have done a great job bringing them up to speed in the last two weeks. Excited to see then competing out here today. Q: What is the status…

May 23, 2014

The importance of a college degree in football

I just found an interesting article in the Wall Street journal about  how the Eagle mostly try to acquire college graduates. The Eagles feel the more college graduates they have, the more successful the team will be. The article cites how the Patriots and Colts typically had the most college graduates in the NFL when they dominated the league last decade. Last season, the Seahawks and Broncos had the most…

May 21, 2014

Baalke’s pre-draft interview: Part I

SANTA CLARA – Trent Baalke was interviewed by Bay Area reporters for an hour Friday morning. Here is a transcript of Part I of the interview. Q: Are you going to pick up Aldon Smith’s fifth-year option on his rookie contract? BAALKE: Why did I know that was going to be the first question out of the blocks? That’s still being discussed internally. Q: Do you hope that he will…

April 25, 2014

Aldon Smith will not face felony charges for airport incident

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued the following media advisory on Tuesday: “The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has referred the Aldon Smith case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor consideration.” Considering Smith will not face felony charges for this incident, do you think the NFL will suspend him?

April 24, 2014

Report: Scouting service flagged Aldon Smith before 2011 draft

I found this article interesting, so I’m passing it on to you. Before the 2011 draft, a scouting service called Human Resource Tactics conducted a psychological profile of Aldon Smith. Here is an excerpt from it: “Smith’s upside potential is limited by his poor work ethic. Although he will not use injuries as an excuse, he will not always give his best and stay focused in practice. Smith does not…

April 14, 2014

Baalke: “I like long arms.”

Trent Baalke held a press conference Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here is a transcript. Q: Frank Gore will count $6 or $7 million against the salary cap this season. Is that reasonable? BAALKE: The simple is there is no reason it can’t be. We’re in a good shape from a cap standpoint. There really is no decision to be made. We can move forward exactly as is if…

February 21, 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

It’s Panthers by a whisker

This is my Friday column on the 49ers upcoming playoff game against the Panthers. Before I write off the 49ers, I want to say I underestimated them this season. When Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles’ tendon during OTAs, I thought the 49ers’ season was dead. And when Aldon Smith drove his truck into a tree and the 49ers started the season 1-2, I thought the season was really most sincerely…

January 10, 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

49ers’ weak pass rush gives Packers hope

Here is my Saturday column on the upcoming 49ers-Packers playoff game. GREEN BAY, Wis. — The 49ers can beat the Packers, have beaten the Packers, know how to beat the Packers, should beat the Packers and probably will beat the Packers on Sunday.But don’t count out the Packers just yet. A few factors work in their favor.The first factor is their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. That’s an easy one. He’s still…

January 4, 2014

49ers 34, Falcons 24: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers. They almost blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but ended up beating the Falcons 34-24. KAEPERNICK: B. His passer rating was 108.6 and he ran for 51 yards and a touchdown against a terrible defense. He also completed just 13 passes, and only a few of his completions actually hit his intended receiver in stride. All night, receivers had to adjust…

December 23, 2013

Fangio on the Falcons: “They’re still a very explosive offense.”

SANTA CLARA — Vid Fangio spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Since you have all of the same guys in the same places as last year, what’s different about your defense this year as far as the way it’s executing your scheme and what it’s accomplished? I think you’re back up there right there at the top like…

December 20, 2013

Harbaugh on Kaepernick: “There were 30-yard lasers on the run. Just haven’t seen anybody ever do that.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Opening Comments: “We’re glad to see you. We’re glad to be back. It was a great win for the team. We’re very excited about it. The biggest thing is the guys worked hard for it. They worked hard in their preparation. They worked hard in the…

December 16, 2013

49ers 27, Redskins 6: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-6 win over the Redskins. KAEPERNICK: B. He fumbled a snap, forced two passes into tight coverage and almost got intercepted both times, and converted just 29 percent of his third downs. That was not so good. But he did some good things – 134.5 passer rating, 3 touchdowns, no picks. In comparison to the opposing quarterback, Kaepernick looked like John Elway. WIDE…

November 25, 2013

49ers 20, Saints 23: Grades

NEW ORLEANS – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 23-20 loss to the Saints. KAEPERNICK: C-. Kaepernick passed the ball well. He was 6-for-15 on third down and 2-for-3 in the red zone. His worst pass was an interception, but it didn’t cost the team anything. Kaepernick ran down the defender and made him dive for the end zone and the defender fumbled the ball out of the back…

November 17, 2013