Patrick Peterson on returning punts: “I hope they challenge me.”

Here’s what Cardinals cornerback and punt returner Patrick Peterson said about returning punts Wednesday afternoon to Bay Area reporters on a conference call. Q: The 49ers did a good job limiting your punt returns last year. Do you remember what they did and how much punter Andy Lee had to do with it? PETERSON: Andy Lee, he’s probably the best punter in the National Football League right now, but those…

October 24, 2012

Fangio on Brock’s performance against the Broncos: “He’s played better.”

SANTA CLARA – Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. He said he did not game plan for the Denver Broncos. He also discussed what the defense did well and not-so-well on Sunday. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers. Is it time to push the panic button? “In regards to what?   The defense. “No, not yet.”   How do you take what happened yesterday?…

August 27, 2012

Training camp report: Vernon Davis runs great routes, Crabtree injures ankle

SANTA CLARA – The Niners first practice of the 2012 training camp was padless – full contact doesn’t start until Sunday. Keeping that in mind, here are my impressions from Friday. THE GOOD TE Vernon Davis – Twice the coaching staff raved about the routes Davis ran. Last year, Harbaugh mentioned he wanted Davis to improve his route running, to make his movements more precise. Today, Davis was the most…

July 27, 2012

Niners sign Darcel McBath

SANTA CLARA –Dashon Goldson may hold out the beginning of training camp – he still hasn’t signed his franchise tag – so the Niners were proactive Monday, signing defensive back Darcel McBath to a one-year contract. The Denver Broncos drafted McBath with the 48th overall pick in 2009. Current Niners defensive backs coach Ed Donatell was on the Broncos staff at the time, so McBath has a connection to Niners…

July 23, 2012

Top five Niners questions heading into training camp

Top five questions as we head into training camp, starting Monday: Will Dashon Goldson hold out? He wanted a multi-year extension from the Niners, but the July 16 deadline passed and the Niners didn’t give him one. All he can do now is sign the one-year franchise tender. The same situation happened to former Niners nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin two seasons ago. Franklin wanted an extension and didn’t get one,…

July 22, 2012

Ranking the Niners best players: Nos. 21-25

This is the final quintile of the Niners 25 best players. To read the previous quintile, click here. 21. Bruce Miller, FB – a Pro Bowl alternate in 2011, his rookie season. A very good blocker and a surprisingly good receiver for a fullback. 22. C.J. Spillman, ST – Led the team with 19 special teams tackles in 2011 (tied for fourth most in the NFL). Perhaps the best gunner…

June 27, 2012

Harbaugh praises Vernon Davis, Tukuafu, Cox and more

SANTA CLARA – Below is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Tuesday post-practice interview, courtesy of the 49ers. Here are Harbaugh’s main points: Will Tukuafu is playing defensive tackle and full back in practice, like Isaac Sopoaga did last season. Vernon Davis has improved his route running and he’s having an excellent offseason. Rookie defensive end Cam Johnson did not attend practice due a minor procedure but he should be ready…

June 5, 2012

Niners give safety Spillman three-year contract; Goldson parts ways with agent

Yesterday, I wrote that free agent free safety Dashon Goldson had a strong negotiating position with the Niners because they have no replacement for him. Well, maybe Trent Baalke disagrees. He gave C.J. Spillman, backup safety and top-special teamer, a three year, $6 million contract (1.8 million guaranteed), according to Matt Maiocco. Spillman is the first 49er Baalke has re-signed this off season. Considering the Niners will not re-sign last season’s…

February 24, 2012

The southwest corner

SANTA CLARA — For what it’s worth, the Niners really like each other. They may or may not man up against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Monday night – I think they will – but regardless, they get along. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are best friends. Parys Haralson and Aldon Smith act like brothers. Colin Kaepernick and Bruce Miller joke around with everyone. But there’s a cool section of the…

December 18, 2011

Week 14 grades

Here are my Week 14 grades for the 10-3 Niners, who lost 21-19 today in Arizona against the 6-7 Cardinals. Quarterback: C-. Alex Smith muffed what should have been the signature play of his career. On fourth down – the last play of the game – he rolled right, searching for a receiver. He looked like Joe Montana before he made the throw that led to the “The Catch,” except…

December 11, 2011

Have the Niners lost confidence?

SANTA CLARA — You might be wondering if the Niners lost some confidence after their 16-6 loss on Thursday night to the Baltimore Ravens. Here’s today’s scene from the locker room. You can judge for yourself. In the middle of the room Anthony Dixon started a dance party. He blasted his iPod speakers so loud it was hard to interview the players. The message was clear – today was a…

December 2, 2011

Vic Fangio: “Our pass rush was not an issue in that game.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s Thursday afternoon press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. [LB] Patrick [Willis] was talking about the goal line stand that you guys had in Baltimore a week ago, how he was able to call out the drop there with QB Joe Flacco in, said that was something you showed them on film, even though Baltimore hadn’t run it all season….

December 1, 2011

Spillman and Costanzo debate the burger

C.J. Spillman likes fast food burgers. He ate Carls’ Jr. for lunch today. He walked into the locker room drinking a milkshake and holding a bag full of burgers – maybe they were bacon westerns. Blake Costanzo walked over to him, frowning. “You’re going to eat a burger an hour before practice?” he asked, amazed. “You’re just jealous of my superior genetics.” Spillman said with a smirk. “Don’t be jealous.”…

October 6, 2011

Reggie Smith tears meniscus

According to Matt Barrows, Reggie Smith tore the meniscus in one of his knees and he will miss a couple of weeks, but it shouldn’t be a serious, long-term injury. Clearly, this is a big reason the Niners resigned Dashon Goldson. Here are my two questions for you: Question 1: If Smith hadn’t hurt his knee, would Baalke have resigned Goldson anyway? I say yes. Baalke got him for cheap,…

August 8, 2011