Ranking the Niners best players: Nos. 6-10

Let’s rank the Niners best players. Since we’re killing time before training camp, this is the kind of mind doodling we do. I already wrote a blog on the top five Niners. I ranked them like this: 1. Justin Smith 2. Patrick Willis 3. Aldon Smith 4. Vernon Davis 5. NaVorro Bowman. In a way the next five are more interesting than the top five because they’re less obvious. You…

June 25, 2012

Baalke’s top-five moves of 2011

Trent Baalke is having a monster year. On Friday, the 49ers extended his contract through the 2016 season, this coming a few weeks after he won the NFL’s Executive of the Year award. Almost every move he made in 2011 worked out. It was like he was on a heater at a craps table in Vegas and he was hitting ten the hard way over and over again. Here are…

February 11, 2012

Eight Niners selected to Pro Bowl

It turns out Jim Harbaugh overshot his Pro Bowl prediction. Eight Niners made the NFC Pro Bowl team – one or two or three short of his prediction. Six Niners ended up making the team as starters, and two made it as reserves. The starters are Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Carlos Rogers, David Akers and Andy Lee and the reserves are are Frank Gore and Dashon Goldson. Not one…

December 27, 2011

Week 15 NFL picks: Why the Niners will beat the Steelers 9-6.

Here are my Week 15 NFL picks. 49ers vs. Steelers: 49ers 9-6. The Steelers should struggle to score points. They won’t be able to run the ball – not against this front seven. So they’re going to pass, their offensive line is mediocre at best, and one of their best linemen, center Maurkice Pouncey, has a high ankle sprain and he’s questionable for Monday night. Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Ray…

December 17, 2011

Highlights from warmups

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what I observed during today’s warmups. Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh’s father, Jack, having a serious conversation in the middle of the practice field. Patrick Willis gingerly high stepping hurdles. I would be extremely surprised if he plays this Monday night. Joe Staley jogging back and forth across the field with a backwards cap on his head. I doubt he plays this Monday night, either. Aldon…

December 16, 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

Week 14 picks: Niners will beat Cards 19-16

Here are my week 14 NFL picks. 49ers @ Cardinals: 49ers, 19-16. This will be another game David Akers wins for the Niners. Over the last three weeks Arizona’s red zone defense (36 percent opponent TD percentage) has been nearly as stout as San Francisco’s (33 percent opponent TD percentage). Both teams offenses will score one touchdown a piece on “shot plays” from outside the red zone. Akers makes an…

December 9, 2011

Roman on the red zone problems: “We’ve got to run it better down there to start.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what offensive coordinator Greg Roman said at his Week 14 Thursday press conference. ROMAN: Getting ready to play the Cardinals, who have obviously won four of five. They’re one of the hotter teams in the league. They’re hot for a reason. The defense is playing really well, keeping people out of the end zone – the Dallas game is probably their best game defensively all year….

December 8, 2011

Week 13 grades for the NFC West Champion Niners

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my Week 13 grades for the 10-2 NFC West Champion Niners, who beat the 2-10 Rams 26-0 this afternoon. Quarterback: A. This was almost an A+ performance for Alex Smith, but the sheer awfulness of the Rams holds his grade back. Here’s his final stat line: 17 of 23 for 274 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 picks, and a 142.3 rating. Two of his incompletions were…

December 4, 2011

Jim Harbaugh on Alex Smith: “He’ll get the game ball…don’t print that.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday afternoon press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. As you reflect on that game last night, what was the thing that stood out to you that you guys did particularly well? “The thing that stood out to me the most was why you love football. It was competitive, it was two really good teams with really good players that were playing…

November 14, 2011

David Akers on the Harbaughs

SANTA CLARA – David Akers spoke to the media after practice today. Akers played under Jim’s brother John for nine seasons in Philadelphia when John was a special teams coach. The 49ers’ new kicker had glowing praise for the Harbaughs. Specifically, Akers explained why he signed here and why he believes Jim can turn the 49ers into a winning franchise once again. Enjoy. Q: Why not be patient and see…

July 31, 2011