LaMichael James heaps praise on the 49ers offensive line and Chip Kelly

SANTA CLARA – LaMichael James spoke at his locker Friday afternoon about the 49ers offensive line and his college coach, Chip Kelly. Here’s what James said. Q: What’s it like running behind the 49ers’ offensive line. JAMES: A lot of holes. I really feed off of them. I think they believe in me. During the game they keep me motivated. Q: What’s it like running behind Joe Staley in particular?…

January 4, 2013

Why the 49ers-Cardinals game matters

There are two reasons why this game against the Arizona Cardinals matters deeply to the 49ers. First, there are playoff implications. If the 49ers win, they’ll be 11-4-1. They’ll get the No.2 seed and a first-round Bye if the Packers lose to the Vikings. If the Packers beat the Vikings, the 49ers get the No.3 seed and they would not get a Bye. They would play the No.6 seed at…

December 29, 2012

49ers Week 16 grades: Offense

SEATTLE, Wa. – The Seahawks crushed the 49ers 42-13 Sunday night. Here are the grades for the offense. Offensive line: F. Even though this group only gave up one sack, they gave up pressure the whole game. Kaepernick was running for his life and he took some big hits after throws. In the fourth quarter, Anthony Davis lost his cool and took two cheap shots on 190-pound cornerback Jeremy Lane,…

December 23, 2012

Seahawks-49ers matchups: Part II – Bruce Irvin vs. Anthony Davis

The 49ers play the Seahawks Sunday night in Seattle. In the meantime, I’ll break down the key matchups. To read part 1, click here. DE Bruce Irvin vs. OT Anthony Davis The Seahawks’ nickel rush, especially Irvin, will be tough to handle, especially on turf, especially with crowd noise. Offensive tackles are the last to move when offenses use the silent snap count, which the Niners will be using because…

December 20, 2012

49ers Week 14 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Dolphins 27-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: C. They’re a big, strong run-blocking line that struggles in pass protection. The 49ers came out passing in the first half and the line wasn’t up to it. Anthony Davis gave up three sacks in the first half. He was a complete liability and he forced Greg Roman to abandon the…

December 9, 2012

49ers Week 12 grades: Offense

NEW ORLEANS – The 49ers just beat the Saints 31-21. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: B-. These guys gave up pressure all game, but did not surrender a single sack because Kaepernick escaped every time. Anthony Davis was flagged for a hold which negated a beautiful throw by Kaepernick and a beautiful catch and run by Michael Crabtree which would have been a 35-yard gain….

November 25, 2012

Bears-49ers matchups: Part III – Julius Peppers vs. Joe Staley and Anthony Davis

The 49ers play the Bears Monday night at Candlestick.  In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups. DE Julius Peppers vs. OT Joe Staley and OT Anthony Davis Peppers had a terrific game against the Texans last week, recording 1 sack, 1 QB hit and 2 hurries. Peppers is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He rushes from both the right and left defensive end positions….

November 18, 2012

49ers Week 10 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers tied the Rams 24-24. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: B. They gave up five sacks, but not all were their fault. In fact, four of the sacks were due to Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick holding on to the ball for too long. On the fifth sack, Anthony Davis got beat by Chris Long, who sacked Kaepernick as he was…

November 11, 2012

Roman on Anthony Davis: “Find a right tackle that’s playing better than him.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the 49ers media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about right tackle Anthony Davis.   In what areas have you seen T Anthony Davis make his biggest strides? “That’s a great question. Anytime you draft a player with ability, who’s young like that, it’s all about the development of the player. [Offensive line] Coach [Mike] Solari, who, I know it’s November right…

November 8, 2012

Which 49ers made Pro Football Weekly’s midseason All-Pro team?

Pro Football Weekly just announced their midseason All-Pro team. Considering how good the 49ers defense is, you’d expect a few those players to make it. They didn’t. Surprisingly, two players on the offense made the team – Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis. Punter Andy Lee also made it. PFW named Aaron Rodgers the midseason All-Pro QB, Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch the running backs and Rob Gronkowski the tight end….

November 6, 2012

Midterm report card: Anthony Davis

In the past, Anthony Davis needed help from tight end Vernon Davis in pass protection. This season, Anthony Davis is the best pass blocking offensive lineman on the 49ers. Now it’s Joe Staley who’s getting occasional blocking help from Vernon. Anthony Davis mostly is holding his own. He gave up three sacks against the New York Giants in Week 6, but he hasn’t given up a sack in the other…

November 4, 2012

49ers-Seahawks matchups: Part 1 – Anthony Davis vs. Bruce Irvin

The 49ers play the Seahawks at Candlestick on Thursday night. In the meantime, I’ll break down a few key matchups every day. Right tackle Anthony Davis (6-5, 323 pounds) vs. Left defensive end Bruce Irvin (6-3, 248 pounds) Before the Giants game, Davis hadn’t given up a single sack through five games. But he gave up 3 on Sunday, as well as 1 QB hit and 6 QB hurries according…

October 16, 2012

Week 6 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers just lost 26-3 to the New York Giants. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: F. This was Alex Smith’s worst game under Jim Harbaugh. Smith threw three picks – the most he’s thrown since 2007. In the first half he missed a handful of open receivers. Then he tried to force a few passes and got picked off. At the end of…

October 14, 2012

Why the Giants defense can be susceptible to runs on third downs

Yesterday I broke down a couple of 49ers offensive line matchups with the Giants defensive front. I want to point out something. The matchups will not always be as simple as Joe Staley vs. Jason Pierre Paul and Anthony Davis vs. Justin Tuck. If you noticed against the Browns last Sunday, the Giants tried a variety of defensive linemen over all of the Browns’ offensive linemen looking for a soft…

October 12, 2012

49ers-Giants matchups: Part VII – Anthony Davis vs. Justin Tuck

The 49ers play the Giants on Sunday at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down a couple of key matchups per day. RT Anthony Davis vs. DE Justin Tuck Tuck dominated this matchup last season, beating Davis for two sacks and five quarterback hurries in two games. Now Tuck is 29 years old and he looks out of gas. He has zero sacks and only two QB hits through five…

October 11, 2012

Roman on the 49ers offense: “We’ve just got to finish drives better.”

Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening statement: “Is it afternoon yet? Yes it is, good afternoon. If I appear unshaven I apologize, but this Jets defense forces our whole staff to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. We know [Head Coach] Rex Ryan, I worked with Rex, [Defensive Coordinator] Mike Pettine and [Defensive Backs Coach] Dennis Thruman. Some really good coaches,…

September 27, 2012

Packers-49ers matchups: Part IV

The 49ers play the Green Bay Packers in three days. In the meantime, I’ll break down a few key matchups a day. LOLB Ahmad Brooks: 6-3, 259 pounds, 28 years old, 33 ½-inch arms vs. RT Bryan Bulaga: 6-5, 315 pounds, 23 years old, 33 ¼-inch arms. Brooks has been a consistent pass rusher the last three seasons – averaging 6 sacks a season over that stretch. Bryan Bulaga gave…

September 6, 2012

5 keys vs. the Broncos

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers play the Denver Broncos today in their third preseason game. As you already know, the third preseason game is typically the most serious preseason game, the “dress rehearsal” before the regular season – starters play into the second half and coaches game plan for the opponent. But Jim Harbaugh said this preseason game would be no different than the other Niners preseason games. He doesn’t…

August 26, 2012

Greg Roman on the matchup between Anthony Davis and Von Miller: “It will be great work for us.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is the full transcript of Greg Roman’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Opening Statement: “Good morning. Grinding through training camp right now. It’s a great opportunity for us to look at guys and how they deal with the day in and day out, week after week. So much of the NFL season is how consistent guys can be day-to-day, week-to-week. So many players over…

August 22, 2012

Assorted Niners stats

Although many of you disagree with Football Outsiders projections for the upcoming season, their 2012 almanac has some interesting stats from last season I’d like to share with you. “Alex Smith was out of the pocket on 19 percent of pass plays, fifth in the league, and was pretty bad on these plays, with just 4.4 yards per play and -25.1% DVOA.” What this means to me: Quarterbacks usually ad-lib…

July 17, 2012