How Glenn Dorsey fits into the 49ers’ defense

There’s been some confusion regarding exactly how the 49ers will use their newest defensive lineman, Glenn Dorsey. So I wrote an article explaining Dorsey’s role. He will start at nose tackle for the 49ers, meaning he’ll line up in the strong side A gap, the position Isaac Sopoaga played for the Niners the last two seasons. Dorsey also will backup Justin Smith at “Under tackle,” or right defensive end. But…

April 10, 2013

49ers extend NT Ian Williams

The 49ers just announced they have re-signed nose tackle Ian Williams to a two-year contract. This is Trent Baalke’s official statement: “We are very pleased to extend the contract of a young, talented player like Ian. He will have the opportunity to continue to grow in our defense, and we look forward to his future development. Paraag and Drew deserve credit for working hard to put this deal together.” Williams’…

March 11, 2013

Grant’s 49ers mock offseason: 1.0

Many of you have asked me for my best guess about what the 49ers will do in free agency and the draft. This is my first best guess. I’ll make subsequent best guesses in the coming weeks. The 49ers will cut David Akers and Parys Haralson to create cap space to give the franchise tag to Dashon Goldson. Goldson probably wants a five-year contract worth about $8 million per year….

February 19, 2013

Cosell on Kaepernick: “I thought he did a really good job of stepping up in the pocket.”

Greg Cosell spoke on KNBR on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s what he said about the NFC Championship game. Q: How do you think Colin Kaepernick performed as a passer against the Falcons? COSELL: I thought he threw the ball exceptionally well. I thought he did a really good job of stepping up in the pocket, which younger quarterbacks – particularly ones that run – sometimes struggle to do because as…

January 23, 2013

Harbaugh on A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James: “We’ll learn more about them and see how they step up.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   How did the week go? “Good week. Got a chance to work on our turf field today. And playing on turf this week. But, overall, good week. Thought the focus was good and the practices were good.”   Does the rain infringe upon your preparations at all? “Probably a couple different ways…

November 30, 2012

Fangio calls Goldson and Whitner landmines, and more

SANTA CLARA – Here is what Vic Fangio said about the 49ers defense at his Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   How much is it a luxury for you to have all four linebackers locked up for at least three more seasons after this one? “I think it speaks well for the organization that they’ve been able to in this age of salary cap. And it’s not always…

November 29, 2012

49ers Week 12 grades: Defense and special teams

NEW ORLEANS — The 49ers just beat the Saints 31-21. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense and special teams. Defensive line: B+. Justin Smith had 1.5 sacks – he’s coming on at the end of the season, just like he did last year. Ray McDonald almost sacked Brees on the first play of the game. McDonald didn’t do much the rest of the game. And Isaac Sopoaga was…

November 25, 2012

49ers Week 10 grades: Defense

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers tied the Rams 24-24. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense. Defensive line: D. Isaac Sopoaga was a liability at nose tackle. He actually got planted on his back by Steven Jackson in the first quarter. Sopoaga was briefly benched for Ricky Jean Francois. Ray McDonald was flagged for a 15-yard helmet-to-helmet hit on Bradford. Justin Smith finished with eight tackles and two pressures….

November 11, 2012

Fangio on Ponder: “He’s a threat both running and throwing.”

Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   From what you’ve seen, does RB Adrian Peterson look like a guy who is coming off an ACL injury? “No, he really doesn’t. He still has his great speed, cutting ability and I’m sure that he’ll get better and better as he goes throughout the season. Week one to week two he was better. I’m sure he’ll be better…

September 21, 2012

49ers unsung heroes

We often talk about the same few guys around here – Jim Harbaugh, Trent Baalke, the Smiths. But for the most part, the entire organization is thriving, and many 49ers don’t get the credit they deserve. So let’s address that. Here are five unsung heroes. Joe Staley – He struggled at the beginning of last season, but so did the entire 49ers offensive line. They didn’t have an offseason, so…

July 3, 2012

Ranking the Niners best players: Nos. 16-20

This is the fourth edition of my series ranking the Niners 25 best players. To read the previous edition, click here. 16. Chris Culliver, CB – Targeted 50 times in 2011 and allowed just 4.9 yards per pass, fourth best of all cornerbacks in the NFL (Carlos Rogers allowed 6.5 yards per pass – 19th best). Culliver played left cornerback in the Niners nickel defense, which is a tougher job…

June 27, 2012

Justin Smith: “Your team isn’t always stacked forever.”

SANTA CLARA – Justin Smith philosophized about his team and his future this morning at the 49ers facility. He said he’s got three, maybe four more good years of football in him, and that the Niners window to win the Super Bowl is right now. Here’s everything he said. Q: How’s minicamp going? JUSTIN SMITH: It’s been good, every day just keep installing, getting everything done that you can get…

June 14, 2012

49ers hedging their bets on Alex Smith

Alex Smith wants a five-year contract, but the Niners only want to sign him for three years – that’s what the Sacramento Bee is reporting. What does this say about the Niners’ true feelings towards the quarterback they call “their guy?” It says Smith is their guy for now, but not for the long-haul. They like Smith and they want him presently, but they also want to keep their options…

March 8, 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

How the Niners offense will attack the Giants defense

Here’s how I expect the Niners offense to attack the red hot New York Giants defense. I expect the Niners to split out Vernon Davis at wide receiver often, much more than usual. The Giants are going to double team him, probably with a cornerback and a safety. I expect the Niners to use that against them. They’ll split Davis out wide and have him run deep. Two Giants defenders…

January 19, 2012

How the Giants defense will play the Niners offense

Part of the reason the Saints lost to the Niners on Saturday is that their defensive game plan was too simple. They acted as if stopping Frank Gore would stop the entire Niners offense. They committed eight, nine, sometimes ten defenders to the box to shut down Gore and they left every single receiver in single coverage – even Vernon Davis. This was a bad strategy. You can’t single cover…

January 15, 2012

Jim Tomsula says Isaac Sopoaga is thriving at “nose guard” this season

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Tomsula said on Monday about his starting “nose guard,” Isaac Sopoaga. I also included a Tomsula quote at the bottom on nose guards in general. Q: Isaac Sopoaga at nose – is that where he’s most comfortable? TOMSULA: “Yeah. There’s a lot more technique at the nose guard position for us than there is at the end positions. They all have their techniques and…

December 6, 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

Greg Roman insists the Niners offense is not a Greg Roman offense

SANTA CLARA – Here is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Opening Statement: “We’ve got a tough opponent on the road. Every game is tough, every opponent is tough. These guys are really well coached. Play a 3-4 scheme, very aggressive, very physical. They had Dallas down late, haven’t won a game in a few weeks but they’re a very good team. The team…

November 3, 2011

Trent Dilfer’s #filmstudy of the 49ers

Trent Dilfer just wrote a series of tweets on the 49ers which he tagged #filmstudy. Here’s what he wrote. 1. Alex Smith DEALING in Big Moments whole year, Vertical accuracy has been very good. Passing game making strides” 2. “Iupati 77 is going to be a premier OG for years. Huge, great feet, great length, dominant at point and fantastic puller” 3. “O-line continues to gel and improve in their…

October 18, 2011