49ers training camp report: Day 12

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ eighth padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. RB Reggie Bush. Didn’t play during Saturday’s preseason game against the Texans, and may not play at all during the preseason – the coaches seem to want to keep him healthy. But, from the looks of practice, Bush will play a lot during the regular season. Today he had a team-leading…

August 18, 2015

Antoine Bethea says Colin Kaepernick is doing a great job of “not telegraphing where he’s going”

SANTA CLARA – Here are selected quotes from Antoine Bethea’s Friday morning press conference in the 49ers’ auditorium. Q: Patrick Willis is gone, Justin Smith is gone, Ray McDonald is gone, but NaVorro Bowman might be back. How different is the defensive front going to look to you? BETHEA: Of course it’s going to be different, you just named three great players, possible Hall of Famers. So of course it’s…

July 31, 2015

Vernon Davis: “I didn’t even know that was Colin. No, seriously, he was working on his drop back.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis, Antoine Bethea and Jim Tomsula answered questions in the 49ers’ media room Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Head coach Jim Tomsula, just tell us about the start of the offseason program and sort of the vibe in the building that you’re picking up so far? JT: “Awesome, it’s awesome. The guys are awesome, everybody’s working….

April 10, 2015

Grading the 49ers’ best players

How many players on the 49ers deserve an “A” or “A-” grade? I count six. Here’s my list, and I’m eager to read yours. Aldon Smith: A-. The best pass rusher in the NFL from 2011 to 2013, and a bad pass rusher in 2014. Suspended for the first nine games last season. When he returned, he was not in football shape. If he’s in shape this year, he should…

March 23, 2015

Jim Harbaugh on Frank Gore: “He never talks about being 30 or being an older player, therefore he never thinks that way.”

This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department. Opening comments: “We had compiled some team voting and voted on awards for this season. Wanted to announce those. The Len Eshmont Award: [RB] Frank Gore. The Bill Walsh Award: [S] Antoine Bethea. Bobb McKittrick Award: [T] Joe Staley. The Hazeltine Iron Man Award: [DT] Justin Smith. Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: [LB] Chris Borland….

December 24, 2014

49ers 7, Seahawks 17: Grades

SEATTLE – Trent Baalke folded his arms and hung his head in shame. The 49ers’ season was over. The Niners and Seahawks were shaking hands at midfield and Baalke was staring at his desk in the press box. Bad look, Trent. Time to face the failure you created. KAEPERNICK: C. Played like Alex Smith. Didn’t turn the ball over – a first for Kaepernick against the Seahawks. Yes, he scored…

December 14, 2014

Fangio: “When Wilson has the ball in his hand, he’s like defending Barry Sanders.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. How is DT Justin Smith, his health? “Good.”   He was listed with a back injury. Is that a minor thing? “News to me.”   Do you expect him to play on Thursday, no questions? “It’d be news to me if he didn’t.”   His snaps are a little bit down…

November 25, 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 31, Rams 17: Grades

The 49ers dismissed the Rams 31-17 in St. Louis Monday night. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. His best game this season. The Rams stopped the 49ers’ run game and forced Kaepernick to win with his arm. He did. His deep 80-yard touchdown pass before halftime hit Brandon Lloyd in stride. On the opening drive of the second half, Kaepernick converted a third-and-12, anticipated an opening downfield and fired…

October 13, 2014

49ers 22, Chiefs 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers eked out a 22-17 win over the Chiefs Sunday afternoon. But the 49ers should have lost. The Chiefs gave away the game. With four minutes and 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter Kansas City committed one of the stupidest penalties you ever will see: Fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs’ 36-yard line. Phil Dawson was on the field to attempt a 54-yard field goal and, if…

October 5, 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 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

Dontae Johnson shuts down Anquan Boldin, Brandon Lloyd and Stevie Johnson

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ second padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. Dontae Johnson. Played like a monster. Broke up three passes. First, he swatted away a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Anquan Boldin in the back right corner of the end zone. You rarely see a cornerback beat Boldin on a jump ball. Next, Johnson almost intercepted a Kaepernick pass…

July 27, 2014

Bethea on Ward: “Like a lot of guys were saying on the sideline, he’s always around the ball.”

SANTA CLARA – Antoine Bethea was interviewed outside of the 49ers’ locker room Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: Do you feel like you’re catching on to the scheme? BETHEA: Yeah, most definitely. Coming into OTAs, you’re just trying to get your feet wet, get a good grasp on the defense. Now I’m more comfortable with the defense, so out on the field I can let my eight years…

July 25, 2014

49ers choose safety Ward in first round of NFL draft

Here is my news story on the 49ers’ first round selection, Jimmie Ward. SANTA CLARA — The 49ers had clear needs at cornerback and wide receiver coming into the draft. The 49ers chose to address strong safety in Round 1. With the 30th pick, the 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward, a 5-foot-11, 193-pound strong safety from Northern Illinois University. But he most likely will not play strong safety for the 49ers…

May 8, 2014

Baalke plays it cool

This is my Friday column on Trent Baalke. After Day 1 of free agency, I thought the 49ers’ moves were weak. Not bad, but weak. Trent Baalke didn’t really do anything. He cut Carlos Rogers, let Donte Whitner leave and replaced him with an older, cheaper safety – Antoine Bethea – traded a sixth-round pick for Blaine Gabbert, and traded a conditional seventh-round pick for Jonathan Martin. Woo hoo! Meanwhile,…

March 14, 2014

Report: 49ers and Bethea agree to 4-year, $23 million deal

ESPN has reported that the 49ers and free agent safety Antoine Bethea have agreed to a four-year, $23 million contract. Bethea replaces Donte Whitner, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Browns today, according to ESPN. Do you like the Bethea signing? Why or why not? Would you have preferred the 49ers to keep Whitner?

March 11, 2014