Eric Mangini on defending the Seahawks: “It’s a question of how much of the dime packages would you want to be in.”

This is the transcript of Eric Mangini’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “We are full-bore moving along, short week, a lot to do, a lot to do today. Trying to get as much as we can in the classroom and then as much as we can through the physical activity that we’re doing, but obviously it’s tempo’d down. We’re only a couple days out…

October 20, 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

49ers mock draft: Post first wave of free agency

These are the players the 49ers should take in the upcoming draft given the players they already have signed in free agency. Round 1: Andrus Peat, OT/G, Stanford Andrus Peat is the most athletically gifted offensive lineman in the upcoming draft. He’s tall (6’7”), he has long arms (34 3/8 inches) and quick feet. He has the potential to become a Pro Bowl left tackle, but his rookie season he…

March 16, 2015

Trent Baalke answers lots of questions

SANTA CLARA— Trent Baalke answered a few reporters’ questions in the 49ers’ media room Wednesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript of the interview. BARROWS: Has Justin Smith decided whether he will retire? BAALKE: As I said at the end of the season, I think at this stage of his career, he has earned the right to make that decision when it’s right. I think he’s still sorting through that process. He’s…

March 12, 2015

Vic Fangio on covering Jimmy Graham: “He’s hard. Do you have any ideas?”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. You think LB Patrick Willis can play Sunday? “It’s questionable. As the week rolls on, if he doesn’t start practicing at some point then it starts moving to doubtful.”   Is he just taking a different tact this week or did he suffer a setback last week? “I don’t think he…

November 6, 2014

Vernon Davis puts a real threat in deep threat

This is my Wednesday column on Vernon Davis. SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis has the 49ers in a helpless position, like a turtle trapped on its back. Davis can stay away and let the turtle squirm – miss mini-camps and training camp, hurt the offense and make the 49ers look bad – or he can flip the turtle over. It’s up to Davis. He’s watching the turtle flail its little…

June 11, 2014

Return to the NFL winner’s circle

Here is my Sunday article on the last great moment at Candlestick Park. This article runs in the Press Democrat’s Sunday sports section. SANTA CLARA — A few days before the last game ever played at Candlestick Park, Vernon Davis walked off the practice field talking to Frank Gore after a morning walkthrough. Davis had agreed to do a one-on-one interview after the walkthrough about the last great moment at…

December 22, 2013

Prediction: 49ers win high-scoring game

The 49ers will beat the Saints 41-27 on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick will play even better than he did against the Bears. The loud Super Dome will not faze him. He will torch the Saints terrible defense with his arm and his legs. The 49ers offense will demoralize the Saints defense early. It will be clear in the first quarter the 49ers offense can do whatever it wants. The Saints are…

November 24, 2012

49ers-Saints matchups: Part V – Jimmy Graham vs. Willis and Whitner

The 49ers play the Saints Sunday at the Superdome. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups. TE Jimmy Graham vs. LB Patrick Willis and SS Donte Whitner This is the one matchup the 49ers will not win. Jimmy Graham is too tall and too athletic. Drew Brees frequently throws the ball up and gives Graham chances to make great catches. He made a bunch of great catches against…

November 24, 2012

Fangio says the Saints offense is “pretty proficient and explosive.”

Vic Fangio held a press conference Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the Saints offense, courtesy of the 49ers.   What are your initial thoughts on the Saints offense? “Pretty proficient and explosive. Any time you’ve got a quarterback of [QB Drew] Brees’ ability and stature playing in the same offense now for six or seven years with a lot of the same guys around him and with all…

November 22, 2012

Five reasons the Niners have a good chance to beat the Saints

Here are five reasons the Niners have a good chance to beat the Saints on Saturday. 1. The Niners can get pressure on Drew Brees with their front by attacking the weak link on the Saints line – center Brian De La Puente – with Aldon Smith on stunts. Justin Smith can occupy Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod and Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks and free up Aldon…

January 8, 2012