Justin Smith: “It’s a young man’s game and you’ve got to be full of piss and vinegar when you step onto the field.”

This is the transcript of Justin Smith’s retirement conference call, courtesy of the 49ers’ public relations staff. I think former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said late last season that even when you were nicked or injured in recent years, you were still better than most of the defensive linemen in the league. With that said, why walk away with a year remaining on your contract? “I mean, for me…

May 19, 2015

Justin Smith retires

The 49ers’ best player the past seven seasons, Justin Smith, just announced his retirement. From 2009 to 2013, Smith went to five straight Pro Bowls.  In 2011, he earned his one and only first-team All-Pro selection, and he should have won the Defensive Player of the Year Award, too. Here’s a statement from 49ers’ general manager Trent Baalke: “Justin is the consummate professional whose impact on this organization can never be measured…

May 18, 2015

Report: Darnell Dockett signs $2-year, $7.5-million deal with 49ers

The 49ers just signed defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. The deal is worth $7.5 million over two years with $2 million guaranteed according to Adam Schefter. This is an excellent signing. Darnell Dockett can rush the quarterback, and it’s not easy to find defensive tackles who can do that effectively. Better to sign Dockett than to spend a first-round pick on someone like defensive lineman…

March 5, 2015

Tomsula: “I take full responsibility for the results of the coaching staff.”

This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s press conference from the NFL Combine, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “Good afternoon and we’ll try this again. Go ahead and shoot. I’m really happy to be here and I’m excited to see you all and looking forward to the questions.”   You seemed to just reference your introductory press conference, which was criticized in some circles, you may have…

February 19, 2015

Jim Harbaugh on Frank Gore: “He never talks about being 30 or being an older player, therefore he never thinks that way.”

This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department. Opening comments: “We had compiled some team voting and voted on awards for this season. Wanted to announce those. The Len Eshmont Award: [RB] Frank Gore. The Bill Walsh Award: [S] Antoine Bethea. Bobb McKittrick Award: [T] Joe Staley. The Hazeltine Iron Man Award: [DT] Justin Smith. Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: [LB] Chris Borland….

December 24, 2014

Vic Fangio: “What next season brings as far as who is all here, what other guys are in the mix, will be determined at that time.”

This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department. Where do things stand as far as your injured guys? I know there were a lot of guys who came in and out of the game. Kind of made it a little bit — “Name some names.”   CB Perrish Cox? “He’s questionable. Truly 50-50.”   LB Ahmad Brooks? “Questionable but on the plus…

December 23, 2014

Vic Fangio on Derek Carr: “For him not to be sacked very much, that speaks of his feel and knowledge of the game and their offense.”

This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. LB Chris Borland won yet another award. He’s the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. You’ve talked about him at some length this season, but has he surprised you with what he’s been able to accomplish? “Well, I think anytime a rookie comes in and has some success there is some element of surprise…

December 4, 2014

Redskins 13, 49ers 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers defied the odds and beat the first-class Redskins 17-13 Sunday afternoon. Here are the Niners’ grades. KAEPERNICK: B. Unusually efficient. Completed 20-of-29 pass attempts (69 percent) for 256 yards (8.8 yards per attempt). Three of his nine incomplete passes were dropped. He threw a long, beautiful touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on the first drive of the game, but he never came close to throw…

November 23, 2014

49ers 27, Saints 24: Grades

They aren’t dead yet. The 49ers beat the Saints 27-24 in overtime Sunday afternoon, handed Sean Payton his first loss in the Superdome since 2010. Now the 49ers are 5-4. Here are their grades. KAEPERNICK: B+. It was fourth-and-10 from the Niners’ 22-yard line, one minute and 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Niners’ down by three. Kaepernick had to save the game. He rolled to his right. Nowhere…

November 9, 2014

Grading 49ers at the break

This is my Sunday column. The 49ers just finished dead week. These are their midterm grades. COLIN KAEPERNICK Pocket proficiency: B. Was a C-minus last season. Completed just 57 percent of his passes and posted an 81 passer rating inside the pocket in 2013. Has completed 69 percent of his passes and posted a 90 rating inside the pocket this season. He’s finding the open receiver quickly and throwing the…

October 27, 2014

Jim Harbaugh: “I think we’re real close to playing our best football.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Generally, people will probably second-guess your decision to trade Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith if they could. I mean, they probably do anyway, especially if they come in and win. Does that add any weight or any perspective to this game for you? “We said before, playing against a team…

October 3, 2014

49ers 26, Eagles 21: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Eagles 26-21 Sunday afternoon. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: B-. Made both of the 49ers’ touchdowns happen. On the first one he scrambled left, drew the Eagles’ entire defense and threw back to the right, across the whole field to Frank Gore who was wide open. One of the most thrilling plays you’ll see. Next, Kaepernick scrambled to the left and threw…

September 28, 2014

Vic Fangio struggles with the hand he was dealt

This is my Saturday column previewing the 49ers’ Sunday home game against the Eagles. What is Vic Fangio supposed to do? Call plays while hopping on one leg? Vic, try patting your head and rubbing your stomach in the coaches’ box. Say rubber baby buggy bumpers. Strike a pose. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator is running out of options. He tried blitzing. He tried not blitzing. Neither has worked. The 49ers’…

September 27, 2014

49ers 20, Bears 28: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers lost 28-20 to the Bears Sunday Night. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: F. His worst game since two games ago. Looked like Tony Romo looked last week. Committed four turnovers – one fumble and three interceptions. Would have been five turnovers but one of the interceptions hit the grass before a Bears’ defensive back caught it. Also committed a delay of game penalty on…

September 14, 2014

49ers 28, Cowboys 17: Grades

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys handed the 49ers a 28-17 win Sunday evening. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. Efficient. Completed 70 percent of his passes, averaged 8.7 yards per pass attempt, threw two touchdown passes and zero interceptions and converted 7-of-12 third downs. He found his receivers when they were wide open and he made some terrific throws while taking big hits. RUNNING BACKS: B. LaMichael James was…

September 7, 2014

Tony Romo says he expects the 49ers’ defense to double Dez Bryant

SANTA CLARA — Tony Romo was interviewed by Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning. Here’s a transcript. Q: What are your thoughts on Michael Sam joining the practice squad? ROMO: Any time you’re in an NFL locker room, what you find is there are a lot of different people with a lot of different thoughts on a lot of different things — politics, religion. What you find…

September 3, 2014

49ers’ fill-ins can’t come up blank

This is my Saturday column. Before we get to the 49ers’ upcoming preseason game, here’s a brief history lesson. In 2010, the 49ers’ defense was ordinary. It ranked 13th in yards allowed and 16th in points given up. Four current starters were key contributors on that 2010 defense – Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Ray McDonald. After the 2010 season, the 49ers drafted Aldon Smith and signed Carlos…

August 16, 2014

Kenneth Acker picks off two passes, Devon Wylie beats Jimmie Ward three times in team drills

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Wednesday afternoon’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick. Completed 22 of 32 pass attempts during team drills. He threw two touchdowns during an 11-on-11 goal line drill – one to Anquan Boldin and one to Asante Cleveland. Kaepernick also got intercepted on a deep pass in the end zone – Perrish Cox jumped and caught the ball over Quinton…

August 13, 2014

Vic Fangio says Justin Smith and Ray McDonald “will be ready to return maybe when we get back to San Francisco at some point in the near future.”

Here is a transcript of Vic Fangio’s Sunday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. staff. I’ll ask you the same question I just asked Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Which guys on your defense stood out to you at practice? “We had a few guys that have stood out here in these two practices. [LB] Aldon’s [Smith] obviously been practicing well, is one. Think our safeties have been…

August 10, 2014

Report: Glenn Dorsey tears bicep

Glenn Dorsey hurt his arm Friday during practice. It was unclear what he injured exactly. Adam Schefter just cleared that up. Dorsey tore his bicep according to Schefter. Dorsey may miss the entire season. After Dorsey tore his bicep, Mike Purcell took over as the first-team nose tackle for the rest of practice. Tank Carradine was the first-team three-tech in place of Justin Smith, who is injured, and Quinton Dial…

August 2, 2014