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

49ers CEO’s comments hurting his own cause

This is my Wednesday column on Jed York. On second thought, Jed, don’t talk. Go ride a bike. Gardening is fine. There are so many things you can do. But, please, no more talking publicly. You’re making things worse with this Ray McDonald mess by making it all about you. You probably didn’t want to talk about the issue in the first place. I acknowledge that. You stayed silent for…

September 10, 2014

Chris Cook explains what makes Quinton Patton hard to cover

SANTA CLARA — Chris Cook was interviewed by Bay Area reporters outside of the 49ers’ locker room Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Quinton Patton. Q: What makes Quinton Patton hard to cover? COOK:  He’s good with his stems and at the line he gives you a lot of shake. As a corner, you have to be patient when guys are shaking a lot at the line. For most…

August 4, 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 shines (excecpt on 3rd down), and Jon Baldwin disappears

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me during Tuesday’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick. His best practice of training camp. He was accurate on the short throws and the long ones for the most part. He finally hit Vance McDonald in stride deep down the middle of the field. Kaepernick had been overthrowing that pass to McDonald since last year’s training camp. 2. Chris Cook. Intercepted…

July 29, 2014

Chris Cook on Brandon Lloyd: “Everything he runs, it looks like he’s about to take off and go straight down the field.”

SANTA CLARA – Chris Cook was interviewed by Bay Area reporters Sunday afternoon outside of the 49ers’ locker room. Here is a transcript. Q: How is this experience different that your experience on the Vikings? COOK: I’m not a rookie. I started my career in Minnesota. There is a lot of talent here. There is talent throughout the whole NFL. There definitely is better weather here. It’s not really different….

July 27, 2014

Tramaine Brock breaks up three, Chris Cooks gives up nine

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ first padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. Tramaine Brock. Broke up three passes today. First, he intercepted Kory Faulkner who was trying to throw to Stevie Johnson. Then, Brock broke up a pass intended for Carlos Hyde. And then, Brock broke up a pass intended for Kassim Osgood. 2. Michael Crabtree. Dropped one pass in the…

July 26, 2014

Five key questions for the 49ers

This is my Sunday article on the 49ers. For the 49ers, training camp is about becoming the best. Second place isn’t good enough anymore. Enough with second place. Win the Super Bowl before the window of opportunity closes. With that in mind, here are five key questions the 49ers will face in training camp. 1. Will Carlos Hyde rejuvenate the 49ers’ running game? Frank Gore is slowing down. In the…

July 20, 2014

Predict who starts at cornerback in the 49ers’ Nickel defense

Tramaine Brock will be one of the the cornerbacks in the 49ers’ Nickel defense; we know that. Who will be the other two starting corners? The main candidates are Chris Cook, Chris Culliver and the rookie with the broken foot, Jimmie Ward. If the foot recovers and Ward earns a starting spot, he would be the Nickelback, and Cook or Culliver would start outside opposite Brock. I’m guessing Culliver would…

July 7, 2014

Is Ward a lock to start at Nickelback? Fangio: “I don’t think you can assume that.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke to Bay Area reporters Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers. Are these the first real looks that you’ve been getting of DT Tank Carradine since he got here last year? “Yes. Last year at this time he wasn’t practicing, and that you guys know, didn’t practice until some point in October, November. And he wasn’t physically ready to go then….

June 18, 2014

OTA Notes: Rough day for the passing game

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what stood out to me during Tuesday’s OTA. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick — The passing game wasn’t clicking, but Kaepernick made three beautiful throws. First, he dropped back and looked to his right, then looked to his left and hit Brandon Lloyd in the middle of the field for a 15-yard gain. Next, Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass rolling to his right during a red-zone…

June 10, 2014

49ers’ top-5 position battles of the offseason

To get you prepped for Tuesday’s OTA, here are the 49ers’ top-five position battles. 1. Chris Culliver (6-0, 199 pounds, 25 years old) vs. Chris Cook (6-2, 212, 27) vs. Dontae Johnson (6-2, 200, 22) for No.2 cornerback Culliver is the favorite – the 49ers spent a third-round pick on him in 2011. But he tore his ACL a year ago and does not seem to have fully recovered yet…

June 1, 2014

Report: Chris Cook agrees to one-year deal with 49ers

Chris Cook has agreed to a one-year deal with the 49ers, according to the Sacramento Bee. Cook is the second cornerback the 49ers have signed to a one-year contract this week. Eric Wright agreed to a one-year deal with the Niners on Tuesday. If Cook makes the team, he probably would compete with Chris Culliver to be the 49ers’ left cornerback, i.e. the No.1 CB. Culliver tore his ACL during…

March 14, 2014