49ers’ biggest concern is the offensive line

This is my Tuesday column. Forget Colin Kaepernick and his development. Forget Frank Gore and his old legs. Forget NaVorro Bowman and his busted knee. Forget all of those concerns. The biggest concern facing the 49ers is the offensive line, from center to right guard to right tackle. Through the first three preseason games the 49ers have gained just 38 yards on 15 direct handoffs, running plays designed to go…

August 25, 2014
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49ers have chance to show quality

This is my Friday column. The 49ers have been by far the worst team in the NFL during the preseason. In two games, the Niners have scored three points and given up 57. That means they’ve been outscored by 54. The Cowboys have been the second-worst team in the preseason. They’ve been outscored by merely 27. That means the 49ers have been twice as bad as the second-worst team. We…

August 22, 2014
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Greg Roman says it is “too early to tell” if Quinton Patton’s and Adam Snyder’s injuries are serious

Here is a transcript of Greg Roman’s Sunday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. staff. Opening comments: “Having a lot of good work against a very good Ravens team. Tempo is very similar to what we’d be doing against ourselves, but we get to do it against a different style of defense and certainly different style of players. Everybody’s working very well together and I think we’re getting a…

August 10, 2014
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49ers sign Staley to a 2-year extension

The 49ers just announced that Joe Staley, who already was signed through 2017, has signed a two-year extension through 2019. Here’s a written statement from Trent Baalke: “In today’s NFL, it is rare for a player to play his entire career with one team. With this extension, Joe will likely be a 49er for life.  He is a three-time All-Pro and core member of our football team. His commitment and professionalism…

July 17, 2014
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49ers grades and projections

This is my Thursday column. Dear player or coach for the San Francisco 49ers, This is your final report card for the 2013 season. Show this to your mother and make sure she signs her name at the bottom. COLIN KAEPERNICK: C+. I assumed you would improve, but you got worse. Somehow you became a less accurate passer, only occasionally hitting a receiver in stride. How did you get less accurate…

February 6, 2014
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Harbaugh: “Superb year of football. Well, you can’t say superb.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s final press conference this season, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Can you give us an update on LB NaVorro Bowman? Is the timetable impacted because of the two ligament tears in his knee? “He’s got an ACL tear. We’ll see how MCL heals in the next two to three weeks. But, that’s not known if that has to…

January 21, 2014
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Breakfast of champions

SANTA CLARA — A reporter asked Joe Staley about Greg Hardy, the defensive end Staley will face on Sunday. Here is the exchange: Q: “Hardy seems like a very quotable guy. Does he talk much on the field?” STALEY: “The last game was the only time I’ve really gone against him. He’s a competitor, a fiery guy. He’s a little wild, which is fun. It’s fun going against a guy…

January 8, 2014
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49ers 33, Bucs 14: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 33-14 win over the Buccaneers. KAEPERNICK: B+. He was outstanding at improvising and passing on the run. He struggled in the third quarter (3-of-10 passing) when the 49ers asked him to pass almost exclusively from the pocket – his accuracy deteriorated, his passes got tipped and he stared down his first read. But in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick moved outside the pocket and…

December 15, 2013
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Harbaugh: “I don’t ever talk about any jobs other than the one I have.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   So, when are you heading off to Austin, Texas? “Trying to be funny?”   Yeah, trying. Any comment on rumors that you are going to be up for that University of Texas job? “I don’t ever talk about any jobs other than the one I have.”   With this…

December 11, 2013
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Harbaugh: “There was a time I was superstitious about not being superstitious, now I’m suddenly superstitious a little bit.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the full transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Any challenge getting the guys back up for a game that doesn’t have quite the luster as this one yesterday? “Every game’s a challenge. Every game’s a big task. Tampa’s playing extremely good football right now. I’ve been following them the last month, playing good ball. So, we’re into…

December 9, 2013
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Harbaugh: “Crab is back.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke to reporters in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Frank Gore’s 51-yard run against the Seahawks, and what Harbaugh said about Michael Crabtree. Q: What did you see when you looked at the film of Gore’s long run at the end of the game? HARBAUGH: It was one of the biggest holes we had on the day to run…

December 9, 2013
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97 G-rub

After the game against the Seahawks, I wrote in my grades that Frank Gore’s 51-yard run was a weak-side lead, but it had a twist. The 49ers had two tight ends and two running backs on the field. Vance McDonald lined up next to Vernon Davis on the right side of the 49ers’ formation, and then McDonald motioned to the left. When McDonald has motioned in this way from this…

December 9, 2013
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John Clayton: “I still think Seattle can win because they’re the better team at this stage.”

John Clayton was interviewed on Tuesday about the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game. Here is a transcript. Q: What do you see happening in this game? CLAYTON: I still think Seattle can win because they’re the better team at this stage. I think they go down there hitting them at a good time. Michael Crabtree is not going to be 100 percent because literally he’s having his training camp now. You can…

December 3, 2013
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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
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Kaepernick on the Rams: “You’re familiar with what they do, so it’s easier.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick spoke in the locker room Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. staff.   Who’s been the biggest influence on your leadership style? “My dad.”   What has he taught you about leadership? “You just have to be able to relate to people and know how to motivate them.”   Any such thing as momentum or is it just game-to-game? “Game-to-game….

November 27, 2013
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Harbaugh on Kaepernick: “Talked many times about his different qualities. Showered him every day.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Tuesday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   Are you feeling fresh or are you feeling a little jetlag? “I feel great. I feel great. One of the other bonuses of a long stay away, you get nine days away, is just how fresh your facility feels when you get back and the practice fields, the…

October 29, 2013
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Midseason report card: Top-3 49ers

Who are the top-3 players on the 49ers so far this season? Here’s my list and I’d like to read yours’ as well. 1. Colin Kaepernick. The No.3 rated quarterback on ESPN’s QBR system behind only Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. ESPN’s QBR systems also says Kaepernick’s last two starts have been two of the best starts ever by a quarterback. 2. Vernon Davis. The key to the 49ers’ offense….

October 28, 2013
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New code of behavior for NFL fans flies in the face of game’s violence

Here is my Tuesday column on the wave incident at Candlestick Park last Sunday, October 13. SANTA CLARA – You and I are supposed to feel contempt for certain football fans in San Francisco and Houston this week. Last Sunday in Houston, some Texans fans cheered when Matt Schaub, their own quarterback, sprained his ankle in the third quarter and limped out of the game. Cold. A few hours later…

October 15, 2013
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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
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This won’t be a rehearsal, this is a game to shape the 49ers’ roster

Here is my Saturday column previewing the 49ers’ Sunday preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. If you expect the 49ers to treat Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings like a dress rehearsal for the regular season, you may be disappointed. Most NFL teams treat the third exhibition game like a dress rehearsal. The 49ers did that last season – Alex Smith played the entire first half. But, I’ll be…

August 24, 2013
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