49ers training camp report: Tim Hightower — not Carlos Hyde — on field for first play of practice

SANTA CLARA Here’s what stood out to me during practice Monday morning. THE GOOD 1. DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has lost more than 20 pounds since the beginning of OTAs when he says he weighed between 295 lbs. and 300 lbs. According to Lynch, he currently weighs 273 lbs. Good for him. I thought he would gain weight during the five weeks between minicamp and training camp when he didn’t…

July 31, 2017

Joe Staley on the 49ers’ future: “I feel optimistic.”

SANTA CLARA Here’s what Joe Staley said in response to a question I just asked him in the 49ers locker room. ME: “How do you feel about the future of this team?” STALEY: “I feel optimistic. I think we have a lot of young guys on this team, a lot of guys that are stepping up. We need more guys to get into those leadership roles. I see the traits…

December 23, 2015

Eric Mangini on Aldon Smith: “Loved the way he was working, approaching things. I’m really happy for him and I’m cheering for him to do great things.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of defensive coordinator Eric Mangini’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “Good morning everybody, how are you doing? We are just pushing forward on our installation, our situational defenses. Got through walk-thru, we’ve got another good day of practice today. I thought yesterday went well, and just moving the plan along.”   How do you kind of account…

September 11, 2015

49ers’ third exhibition may answer questions…or not

This is my Saturday column. The 49ers’ preseason game Saturday against the Denver Broncos almost matters. It’s the third preseason game, the dress rehearsal. Both teams’ starters probably will play the entire first half so they can get in rhythm and feel confident for the regular season. Here are the top-three things to watch about the 49ers. 1. The first-string offense Twelve teams have yet to score a touchdown with…

August 28, 2015

49ers training camp report: Day 15

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ first half-speed non-padded practice of training camp, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes. The first-team offense and first-team defense never faced each other during team drills – both units faced scout teams only. Apparently this is how Friday practices will function during the regular season. THE GOOD 1. OLB Aaron Lynch. Chased down and tag-sacked backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert…

August 21, 2015

49ers training camp report: Day 13

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ ninth padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. OLB Aaron Lynch. Started at left outside linebacker in the first-string base defense and at left defensive end in the first-string sub-packages. Today was only Lynch’s second day of team drills, and he already seems to have taken Corey Lemonier’s job. Poor Corey. 2. S Jaquiski Tartt. Today the Niners practiced…

August 19, 2015

49ers training camp report: Day 11

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ seventh padded practice of training camp. THE GOOD 1. S Jaquiski Tartt. Played free safety for the second-team defense and picked off Colin Kaepernick during seven on sevens. On that play, Kaepernick stared down his intended target, Vernon Davis, who was running a post route. Kaepernick seemed to expect Davis to run a straight seam route, and the pass sailed…

August 13, 2015

49ers’ draft had a distinct NFC West influence.

This is my Tuesday column. Look at it from Trent Baalke’s perspective. The 49ers’ general manager has to build a team that plays in the NFC West — the toughest division in the NFL. Last season, the Niners’ record was 2-4 against NFC West teams. Against the rest of the NFL, the Niners’ record was 6-4. They were pretty good, but they couldn’t compete in their own division so they…

May 4, 2015

NFL draft: 49ers eye Seahawks rivalry with Day 2 picks

This is my news story on Day 2 of the 49ers’ draft. SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers must have made their second- and third-round picks with the Seattle Seahawks in mind. The Niners needed a cornerback. During the offseason they lost Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox, both of their starting cornerbacks from last season. When it was time for the Niners to make their selection in Round 2…

May 1, 2015

Jaquiski Tartt: “Really, a lot of teams, they honestly didn’t throw my way in college.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is a transcript of Jaquiski Tartt’s first press conference as a member of the 49ers, courtesy of the 49ers public relations department. Where are we hearing from you tonight? “I’m on the road, actually. I’m headed to my school to celebrate with my teammates and my family in Birmingham.”   Who called you from the 49ers and what is your take on playing for this team?…

May 1, 2015