In the NFL, hits to knees take back seat

Here is my Sunday article on hits to knees in the NFL. This article runs in the Press Democrat’s Sunday sports section. SANTA CLARA — Is it possible the NFL’s efforts to eliminate head-to-head hits have made the game more dangerous? If a defender hits someone in the head or even as low at the shoulder line, that’s a 15-yard penalty, probably a fine and maybe a suspension, too. But…

December 15, 2013

49ers 23, Rams 13: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the 49ers’ grades for their 23-13 win over the Rams. KAEPERNICK: A-. This was the most accurate Kaepernick has thrown the ball since Week 1 against the Packers. Kaepernick completed 68 percent of his passes for 9.8 yards per attempt against the Rams. My only knock on him is he did not play well on third down – the 49ers converted just 4 of 12…

December 1, 2013

Cosell calls the 49ers’ offense “one-dimensional with almost no passing dimension.”

Wednesday morning on KNBR, Greg Cosell discussed the 49ers’ upcoming game against the Saints. Here is a transcript. COSELL: “When you start to play better teams, you’re going to have to have the passing dimension, and right now (the 49ers) are a one-dimensional offense with almost no passing dimension. It came back and it caught them this week against a better team. “You’re dealing with an extremely talented kid (Kaepernick)….

November 13, 2013

Does Kap struggle with progressions? Harbaugh: “I understand what you’re doing, glomming onto somebody’s opinion.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   How do you explain what’s happened, as far as the passing game goes, last ranked in the league coming into this game and just really not ever being able to get anything going against the Panthers? “Well, if you look at the last four quarters of…

November 11, 2013

Jim Harbaugh on Eric Reid: “He’s been outstanding.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Can you talk about your days as teammates with Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith back in 2001, what you remember from those days with him? “We were both on the look team. I got there about seven, eight weeks into the season and just really enjoyed throwing…

November 8, 2013

49ers 42, Jaguars 10: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 42-10 win over the Jaguars. Quarterbacks: A. One of the best games ever by a quarterback who completed just 10 passes. Kaepernick scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing, and he averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt and 9.3 yards per rush attempt. He made 10 breathtaking plays in the first half alone – designed runs, scrambles, pump fakes, passes on the…

October 27, 2013

49ers 31, Titans 17: Grades

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 31-17 win over the Titans. KAEPERNICK: A-. He threw some extremely accurate passes and ran exceptionally well. His passer rating was 93.2 and his yards-per-carry average was 6.2 – the highest in the game. He gets an A- and not an A because he made two poor throws in the second quarter when the 49ers were up just 3-0. First,…

October 20, 2013

Delanie Walker on Aldon Smith: “He’s a little wild dude.”

Delanie Walker spoke on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. Here is a transcript. Q: You’re on pace to have the best year you’ve ever had. What’s going on out there to make you be so productive? WALKER: Mainly because I’m the first read at tight end. They put in plays for me to get the ball and to try to make plays. That’s all I ask…

October 16, 2013

Harbaugh: “We didn’t get a fast start in terms of moving the football offensively.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   Were there a few more people getting treatment today after having such a physical game yesterday? “It was normal, a normal day.”   Did it seem like a more physical game than usual? “It was very physical.”   On the 18-play drive in the fourth quarter, how well-executed…

October 14, 2013

49ers 34, Texans 3: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 34-3 demolition of the entire Texans’ franchise. KAEPERNICK: F+. He gets the plus for hitting a wide-open Vernon Davis on a 64-yard touchdown pass. Besides that play, Kaepernick completed 5-of-14 passes for 49 yards. That’s a 46.4 passer rating and that’s dreadful. At least he didn’t turn over the ball. He’s still hardly looking to throw the ball to anyone…

October 6, 2013

Fangio on the Texans: “They make their runs and play-action passes look exactly the same.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   When you look at the Texans, what sort of jumps out at you about the challenge that they present to you guys? “Well, balance number one. These guys are committed to running the ball and they have a play-action passing game that works directly in conjunction with their running game….

October 3, 2013

49ers 7, Colts 27: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-7 Week 3 loss to the Colts. KAEPERNICK: D-. His second horrendous game in a row. He completed just 13-of-27 passes for 150 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled. Kaepernick is the kind of quarterback who wants to feed the ball to the receivers he trusts but he trusts just one receiver – Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick hardly looks…

September 22, 2013

Harbaugh says Aldon Smith will play against Colts on Sunday

Jim Harbaugh spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Friday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. Q: Can you fill us in on Aldon Smith’s status for Sunday? HARBAUGH: The task today was to go and have a great practice. The time spent Sunday will be for us to go get a win, beat the Colts. We’ll make those decisions. Q: Have you spoken to Aldon about the incident this morning? HARBAUGH: Yes….

September 20, 2013

Fangio on Trent Richardson: “It would not surprise me to see him play half the game or 90 percent of the game.”

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript: Q: When did you find out that the Colts had added a running back (Trent Richardson)? FANGIO: Yesterday during practice. Q: What did you guys have to do as far as the preparations for this game? FANGIO: Obviously we went in and put a tape together of him running the ball for Cleveland for the…

September 19, 2013

Harbaugh wants the 49ers “to make significant improvement this week.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference courtesy of the 49ers.   Anything going on with NT Ian Williams? What’s his prognosis? “It looks like he’s going to be out for the year. Disappointing, he’ll have surgery today.”   It was a broken ankle? “Yes.”   After watching the play, any thoughts on just the block? “No, an unfortunate play.”   How do you…

September 16, 2013

Is Harbaugh correct about the new read-option rules being “flawed and biased”? Carroll says, “No, not at all.”

SANTA CLARA – Pete Carroll spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: What were your impressions of the 49ers’ Week 1? CARROLL: They couldn’t have been much more explosive in the throwing game. It was a fantastic day for the quarterback, a great breakout day for Anquan Boldin in the new uniform. Vernon Davis was no surprise, he did great. They…

September 11, 2013

49ers 34, Packers 28: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – My grades for the 49ers after their 34-28 win over the Packers: KAEPERNICK: A. He outplayed Aaron Rodgers and shredded the Packers’ defense despite having no rushing threat, one wide receiver and one tight end. Kaepernick may be the only quarterback in the NFL who can pull that off. Here’s his final stat line: 29-of-37 for 412 yards, 3 TDs, a 129.4 passer rating, 9-for-18 on third…

September 8, 2013

Fangio: “The quarterback has never gotten any special attention. The passer gets special attention.”

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. Q: Nnamdi Asomugha still is in the blue non-contact jersey. What is his availability for Sunday? FANGIO: We’re confident he’ll be able to play on Sunday. Q: Is he the No.3 cornerback? FANGIO: That’s the way we’re thinking about it right now. Q: Are you going to go by matchups for the No.3 guy, or…

September 5, 2013