Patrick Willis – Inside the 49ers Updated news, opinions and discussion about the San Francisco 49ers and other pro football action from blogger Grant Cohn of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, CA Fri, 15 Jun 2018 22:52:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 49ers’ third exhibition may answer questions…or not Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:44:19 +0000 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 their starting offenses during the preseason: Bills, Redskins, Giants, Bears, Jaguars, Chiefs, Rams, Panthers, Cowboys, Seahawks, and the Broncos and 49ers.

Of those 12 offenses, only three ranked top 10 in scoring last season — Dallas, Seattle and Denver. We expect each of them to score a touchdown this weekend.

Do we expect the Niners’ first-string offense to score a touchdown Saturday?

Why should we? Through two preseason games the only starter playing well on offense is running back Carlos Hyde, who’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He seems ready for the regular season.

Everyone else seems stuck in minicamp, especially starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He has completed just three passes, none to his new big-play receiver Torrey Smith.

But don’t put all the blame Kaepernick. The Niners’ offensive line can’t protect him. According to Pro Football Focus, Kaepernick has faced pressure five of the nine times he has dropped back this preseason — more than 50 percent.

Kaepernick is a quarterback who often holds the ball too long in the pocket, and now he has no time to throw.

Is this offense a disaster waiting to happen?

2. NaVorro Bowman’s endurance

For the Niners to make the playoffs, NaVorro Bowman has to take them there. Simple as that. Bowman is a three-time All Pro inside linebacker, maybe the best defensive player in the league and certainly the best player on the team when healthy.

Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Bowman played three snaps — his first live action since tearing his ACL and MCL in February of 2014. And Bowman was terrific those three snaps against Dallas. He made tackles on all three plays, and two of the tackles resulted in losses. He looked like the old Bowman.

After the game, we read all about the return of Bowman, how he picked up where he left off like the injury never happened. Like he’s a superhero or an alien from another planet.

The man played three snaps. Not four. Not five. Three.

Great for Bowman that he can play well for three snaps. How about a whole game? Can he play 70 snaps? Eighty snaps? How sore is his knee going to feel in the fourth quarter? Or the day after a game?

Will the Niners even use Bowman for entire games, or will they take him off the field during passing downs and use him as a run-stuffing specialist?

Can Bowman even make it into the second quarter against the Broncos, or will the 49ers continue to protect him?

Bowman still has a lot to prove.

3. The new dime defense

Watch closely when the Broncos’ offense is facing third-and-long or operating the two-minute drill — obvious passing downs.

In those situations, the Niners are using a dime defense — three cornerbacks, three safeties and only one inside linebacker. This is new.

Under head coach Jim Harbaugh during passing situations, the Niners almost always used a nickel defense — three cornerbacks, two safeties and two inside linebackers. The Niners did this because one of the inside linebackers — Patrick Willis — could cover any tight end in the NFL and also could tackle a running back. So the nickel defense was strong against the pass AND the run. It may have been the best nickel defense in the NFL.

But Willis is gone, and his replacement is Michael Wilhoite, whom the coaches seem not to trust in coverage. They take Wilhoite off the field and replace him with a safety — rookie second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt — when they anticipate a pass.

Tartt wears No. 29. Watch for him. It’s easy to mistake him for an inside linebacker because he lines up next to Bowman, but Tartt is no inside linebacker. He’s the dime back. He weighs only 221 pounds. Willis weighed 240.

Using Tartt is a clever way to replace Willis on passing plays, but not on running plays. The dime defense is not built to stop the run. It simply isn’t big enough. It’s a speed group.

Which could lead to problems. What happens if an opposing team passes to its tight end on first-and-10 when Tartt isn’t on the field? Can Wilhoite cover the tight end? If not, what will the Niners do? Will they let the tight end have a big game, or will they adjust, replace Wilhoite with Tartt. If they do that, the running back will have a big game because Tartt is not strong enough to consistently stop him.

The Niners face a lose-lose choice, a choice they never faced under Harbaugh. Stop run. Stop the pass. Don’t stop both.

The Broncos may not be able to force this lose-lose choice on Saturday—they don’t have a good tight end. But this issue will come up again and again in the regular season. When it does, will the Niners have a solution?

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

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Eric Mangini on Jim Tomsula: “He cares deeply about (the players) and that resonates, I believe, in the locker room.” Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:56:52 +0000 SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of defensive coordinator Eric Mangini’s Saturday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

LB NaVorro Bowman prepared for this and you’ve got to be excited to see what he does back on the field?

“He’s been great. He had a really good spring. I’ve gotten to know NaVorro a little bit since I’ve been here, but it’s different when you start coaching a guy and to see him work in the classroom, to see his work ethic on the field, the leadership that he’s shown, it’s been fantastic. Got to talk to him a little bit about the work he’s been doing with his foundation, things like that, so really pleased with what he’s done so far and looks like he moving around good here early.”


Can you see the progression in his movement from when you first were looking at him in April or May to now, August?

“Yeah, with any of those injuries where you miss that kind of time, there’s always that process of breaking down all the scar tissue, all those things. Getting back to feeling completely comfortable with the movements. Understanding that your body can respond the way you want it to respond. It’s incremental. It was a little slower initially but it came along pretty quickly. He moved better and better each day.”


He said he’s not going to argue with the training staff and the coaches about putting that brace on for now, is that sort of the plan for a while?

“In terms of that, I’m not too sure. [Head coach] Jim [Tomsula] would know better than I. With any of that stuff, it takes time and sometime you’ve got to wear a little bit extra. It takes getting used to, especially when you’ve never done anything like that. I know offensive lineman always complain about wearing knee braces and defensive lineman, it just restricts you so you get used to that stuff.”


Can you talk about LB Aldon Smith and what kind of asset he can be for your defense? And what you need to do to put him in position to succeed like he did his first couple years?

“He can be a tremendous asset. Watching him, there’s not much he can’t do. And he’s one of those guys, where when you’re on the other side of the ball like I was and you’re watching one-on-one pass rush and working with the tight ends last year where they had to block him in some of those one-on-one pass rush, you appreciate just the volume of moves that he has. How easily he does things that it takes a long time for other guys to learn how to do what’s natural for him, instinctual. That, just straight pass rush, he’s got tremendous ability. And then if you can mix him with some games or combine with some blitzes or move him around to where he’s in different spots, whether he’s on the left or the right or inside, get to that point where now you can match him up with certain guys, I think that could be a good situation for us, too.”


He had good chemistry with former 49ers DT Justin Smith over the years. Is that part of the process this summer, figuring out who he works well with on various sides, mixing him around?

“He works well with everybody. If he’s with you, you’re pretty excited that he’s with you. It’ll be part of that. Getting him reps at different spots so that he feels comfortable working in different areas, that’ll be part of it. And understanding who he does have the best chemistry with and trying to get those pairings as much as you can.”


You had your rookies on the field this week. What do you see from them? Anyone in particular stand out going into camp?

“Yeah, the thing I forget sometimes about rookies is how just much information that they have to process and what a huge transition this is for them. They’re not only going from learning a new playbook but it’s new coaches, new system. They’re the big man on campus now they’re in that other spot where they’re trying to find their way. [S] Jaquiski [Tartt] was moving really well. Loved the way that he was communicating. Really picked up the information quickly. Comfortable in his role. Comfortable with this stage. [LB] Eli [Harold], I thought, has done a nice job as well. High motor guy, really high motor guy. He only knows one speed. Sometime you actually have to slow him down a little bit so that he’s getting the right read, he’s seeing things the way he needs to see them. Love the intensity, the effort, the consistency that he’s shown too.”


You’ve had DL Arik Armstead for just a short time, has he started to pick things in terms of how complicated the scheme is but–?

“Arik is a little different situation because we didn’t have him for most of the practices. What I’ve liked about Arik is, obviously while he was gone, he was looking at the information. It’s not like he came into the classroom and was lost. Even over the last three days, you saw that he had done work when he wasn’t here. He’s another guy, very conscientious. Looks like he’s going to be outstanding in terms of his work ethic. Just haven’t had as many reps with him as I have with the other guys.”


What’s your feeling about RB Jarryd Hayne at the moment? Do you think he is where he needs to be?

“I haven’t watched him as closely, but I do appreciate the transition that he’s trying to make. I started coaching in Australia, that’s how I got interested in coaching, and Ben Graham was guy that I had worked out there when he was with Geelong at the time. And he came over and I ended up being the head coach of the Jets and he was my kicker, so I get that huge transition so he’s a rookie plus. Every day, he’s learning. From the outside looking in, it looks like he’s picking up things better and better. Not working with him every day, I don’t know exactly where he’s at.”


There a lot of pressure on him though to pick up the specific skills needed here in the NFL, isn’t there?

“Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of pressure. He and I met before he signed with the team, got to spend probably a half hour together, just talking about what that transition meant and the difficulty of it. In talking to him, he’s a determined human being. He’s going to do everything he possible can to make that work.”


Can you describe the level of the game that he’s coming from, for people who haven’t watched that, to what he’s now going to have to play?

“Is it Rugby Union or Rugby League?”



“Rugby League. I watched more Australian rules football when I was over there. But, I think there’s definitely carryover in terms of having to make people miss, instincts, seeing the whole field, but it flows a little differently. You don’t have the same blocking assignments. It’s usually you’re carrying the ball or you’re tackling. I’m not an expert though in case there are any rugby aficionados out there.”


Hitting is hitting. Is the hitting level–?

“I don’t know how it translates to pads. And then you’re returning kicks or punts and things like that, you’ve got to field the ball and then everybody coming down full speed and just being able to process that part of it as opposed to having a ball tossed to you and then processing that part, on a special teams level. But, as a back too, all of the plays are in a tight space with us and have got certain reads, so that might be a transition. Again, I’m not totally, don’t know if I’m going apples to apples here.”


DL Glenn Dorsey was in here yesterday, a big smile, good spirits, says he doesn’t even realize that he had surgery. It’s not on his mind. What are your observations of how far he’s come?

“Glenn’s a great guy. Always has that big smile, it seems to me. Yeah, he has not, I’m sure subconsciously there may be a component of that. But, when you watch him go through the drills and move and compete he’s definitely jumped in with both feet and it’ll be great to see him, not just in these early days, but as we put on pads against Houston to get him contact again. But, he’s moving well and you don’t look at him and go, ‘OK, he’s favoring one side.’”


Who’s going to get the first-team reps with LB Michael Wilhoite starting on the sideline as training camp begins?

“I’m sorry.”


With Wilhoite injured, who gets his reps?

“It won’t be a function of one guy getting the reps every day. It’s not really a depth chart component like that. So, what we’ll do is [LB] Nick [Moody] will get, today he’ll get the first-team reps, [LB Philip Wheeler] Phil will work in there, [LB Desmond Bishop] Des will work in there and we’ll rotate those guys through. So, you may see him, Nick may start the practice, but there may be periods in practice with the ones where you’ll see Phil out there or Des. We’re going to rotate guys through, and that will be the same thing in the secondary. You’ll see guys rotating through so that we can balance out, not just the reps, but the ability for guys to work with each other, communicate with each other and see where it all plays out.”


How do you make up, compensate, for losing someone of the stature of former 49ers LB Patrick Willis?

“It’s hard to answer that question. Patrick’s a special, special player. The one thing that we’ve done well here is get a lot of other players that have tremendous potential, tremendous pro-potential that have learned while he was here, that are growing in leadership roles. It’s hard to ever replace a certain guy and all the things that that guy provides, whether it’s Patrick or any player of Patrick’s caliber. But, when you have guys who have played around players like that, they learn a lot. They see the things that he did to help him be the player that he is and those lessons, there will be elements of Patrick moving forward because of the things that he left behind and the example that he set.”


A lot of players are, almost to a man it seems, like you ask them about 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula and they say, “He really cares about the players.” He comes up to them and says, “Do you need anything,” etcetera. Have you noticed that and does he bring to mind any other coaches from your past, just that style and rapport he has with his players?

“Yeah, Jim, the thing I love about Jim is, Jim is Jim. He’s going to be who he is. He’s not going to try to be anybody else and guys appreciate that honesty, that sincerity. And he does care about the players. He cares deeply about them and that resonates, I believe, in the locker room. He cares about the coaches. He cares about the organization. That’s just his personality. His relationship with everybody in the building, from the GM to the people that he meets in stadium ops that maybe he doesn’t have contact with, treats everybody the same way and I have a lot of respect for that. He’s got so much responsibility right now, but he’s always taking the time to make sure that people understand he’s accessible, people understand that if they need something his door’s open. He’s going to try to make it as good as he possibly can.”


Along those lines, did you have any input in the scheduling? The players have said they had input in how the schedule went and they really like kind of the format of how the practice schedule goes?

“Yeah, one of the things that Jim did is he gathered a ton of information before he put together the final schedule. [49ers tight ends coach] Tony [Sparano] had some input on that, different guys who have been in that role, Jim asked questions, give him feedback, maybe look over something, try to give him feedback and at the end of the day, being in that position you know that you’ve got to get what works for you. But, he was really thorough in that process and he looked at it a lot of different ways and as he put it together he would ask questions in stages to make sure that he got the right spot. So, he worked hard to get to the spot that he likes.”

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5 things to know about the 49ers before camp opens Thu, 23 Jul 2015 03:54:37 +0000 This is my training-camp preview for the 49ers.

The 49ers may be on the downswing.

This offseason, they fired a top-notch coaching staff and lost almost a dozen veterans and leaders. Who will fill those voids?

That’s just one key question the Niners face. Here are five more they’ll face during training camp:

1. Is Jim Tomsula a competent head coach?

He’s never even been a coordinator in the NFL. He was an interim head coach for one game at the end of the 2010 season, and he was a head coach in NFL Europe for one season in 2006 — that’s his complete head-coaching track record. Will he have a message that resonates with the 49ers for an entire season? Can he help the Niners rebound after losing so many leaders this offseason? If the team gets off to a rocky start (as it often did under previous head coach Jim Harbaugh), can Tomsula rally the team, or will the players simply tune him out?

2. Will NaVorro Bowman rebound from his knee injury?

Can he come close to his quality of play prior to blowing out the ACL and MCL in his left knee? Before then, Bowman might have been the best defensive player in the NFL. He could cover running backs, tight ends, even wide receivers. On the game-deciding play of the 2013 NFC Championship, he broke up a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons’ All-Pro receiver Roddy White, and sent the Niners to the Super Bowl. Can Bowman cover receivers like White anymore? Can Bowman cover anyone anymore? During minicamp and OTAs, he couldn’t cover backup running back Kendall Hunter. Bowman wore a clunky brace, which inhibited his ability to change directions.

3. Who will replace Patrick Willis?

With Bowman coming off a serious knee injury, he probably can’t play every snap every game like he used to. He’s a question mark, so the other starting inside linebacker must be a stalwart, someone the 49ers can count on. That guy used to be Patrick Willis, one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history. But he retired this offseason, and so did his understudy, 24-year old Chris Borland. Now the Niners are left with Michael Wilhoite and Nick Moody, a couple of mediocre players still learning the position — they played safety in college. Will the Niners have to use a Dime package (six defensive backs) more frequently to cover up their coverage liabilities at inside linebacker?

4. Will the real Vernon Davis show up?

And if he does show up, will the new coaching staff use him in the passing attack more than once or twice a game? Last season, Davis seemed to be going through the motions, and you hardly could blame him. Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman seemed intent on preventing Davis from catching passes, especially touchdown passes. All season long, he received just one target in the red zone, and he caught it for a touchdown. That was Week 1. You’d think he would have gotten more red-zone targets as the season progressed, especially considering he made eight touchdown catches in the red zone during 2013. But the coaches shut him out. Why?

5. Will Colin Kaepernick show some improvement?

Or is he content to play as he has? He turns 28 in November, he’s still a remedial pocket passer and his numbers have gotten steadily worse since he became the Niners’ starting quarterback in Week 9 of 2012. This offseason, Kaepernick went to EXOS training facility in Phoenix to work with quarterback guru Dennis Gile and two-time MVP quarterback Kurt Warner. Last offseason, Kaepernick worked with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. during training camp. And the past four seasons, Kaepernick worked under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the “Quarterback Whisperer.” How many gurus does Kaepernick need?

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49ers have no simple solution to Willis’ absence Fri, 13 Mar 2015 18:23:24 +0000 This is my Friday column.

It was a test.

I knew the correct answer to the question I was going to ask Trent Baalke. I wanted to see if Baalke knew the answer, too.

Baalke was sitting in the 49ers’ media room facing a semi-circle of reporters, answering questions about the state of the franchise.

This was Wednesday, March 11 — the day after Patrick Willis retired.

Losing Willis is no small matter. Willis was one of the greatest inside linebackers of all time. He was the Bo Jackson of inside linebackers.

When Jim Harbaugh was the 49ers’ head coach, he compared Willis to Willie Mays. Harbaugh liked to use baseball terminology to describe Willis’ greatness. Football terminology couldn’t quite capture it.

“The five facets of being a great baseball player:” Harbaugh said at a press conference in 2011, “hit for power, hit for average, catch, run, throw; be able to do those five things at an elite level. Patrick, as a linebacker, played downhill as a linebacker, number one, to be able to drop into coverage, be active and good in the coverage. Be able to tackle in open space, be able to blitz strong with tempo, and also be able to run from sideline to sideline with the agility and the speed to do that and make plays.

“Those five things, he’s doing at an elite level … I think just like Willie Mays. To me, five facets of baseball, Willie Mays is the greatest of all time. Patrick Willis has a chance to be one of the all-time great linebackers.”

There have been very few five-tool linebackers in the history of football. Willis was rare.

How do the 49ers go about replacing him?

I asked Baalke my question in an earnest tone. I didn’t want him to know I was testing him.

“Do you have a linebacker on the roster who can legitimately replace all the things Willis did?” I said.

Baalke sat up straight. “When you’re replacing a great player, a player that has earned that term, that is a true three-down impact player, sometimes you can’t replace that one individual with another. You’ve got to replace those roles with multiple players. So we’re going to look inside. We’re very confident in the ability of Chris (Borland) and Mike (Wilhoite). Obviously they played very well a year ago. And look at other ways within the scheme and the system to cover up for anything that we do lose.”

Perfect answer. No, the 49ers do not have a replacement for Patrick Willis. Willis is irreplaceable, a one-of-a-kind.

The wrong answer would have been, “The defense didn’t miss a beat last season when Chris Borland replaced Willis in the starting lineup. We feel Borland can legitimately replace all of the things Willis did.”

Borland is not a five-tool linebacker. He’s a three-tool linebacker at best.

Borland is a terrific “downhill” run defender. That’s one tool. “Downhill” is Harbaugh’s term. It means running straight to the line of scrimmage and tackling the running back in the hole.

Can Borland run sideline to sideline with the agility and speed to make plays? Absolutely not.

Is he active and good in coverage? No.

Can he tackle in open space? Yes.

Can he blitz? Yes.

Three tools. Not bad, but not Willis.

Borland can replace Willis on first-and-10 if the opponent runs between the tackles. If the opponent runs to the outside, Borland is a liability. If the opponent passes, Borland is a liability.

On third down, Borland should go to the bench. Third down is a passing down. Borland’s tools do not fit passing downs.

That means Baalke must replace Willis with a platoon—Borland on running downs and someone else on passing downs. That someone could be a linebacker, a safety or a cornerback. If it’s a safety or cornerback, that’s called a Dime defense.

“Would you consider using Dime in passing situations?” I asked Baalke. “You haven’t used that much in the past.”

“We’ve been able to play Nickel and not have to jump into Dime very often because the skill level and the different ability levels of the players we had on the field,” Baalke said. “Now, once again, do we have to play a little more dime to cover up for Pat? That all remains to be seen.”

Baalke passed the test.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

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Patrick Willis: “I know I don’t have too much more left in these toes.” Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:16:43 +0000 Jed York, Trent Baalke and Patrick Willis spoke at Willis’ retirement press conference Tuesday afternoon. Willis agreed to answer questions; York and Baalke refused.

Here is the complete transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department

CEO Jed York opening comments:

“Obviously this is a bittersweet day for the San Francisco 49ers. We’re here to honor Patrick Willis, one of the best linebackers in the history of the National Football League, one of the best people that I’ve ever been around in professional football. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to watch you play, Pat. I remember when we drafted you, I was sitting with [former 49ers General Manager] Scott McCloughan watching film from the preseason game against the Bears. And we had conversations with the coaches about Pat, well he might help us on special teams a little bit this year. We’re not sure if he’s going to start. And I think Pat made like 19 tackles in a row in the preseason game. And we were just laughing, we were like, all right we’ll see how long it takes for Pat to go steal a starting spot. And obviously it didn’t take very long. Pat to me is what embodies winning with class, everything that he does on the field, everything that he does off the field. And even the way he’s going about his retirement. He’s doing a great job of setting himself up for what’s looking forward in his life. And I hope that all of our players, not just the 49ers, but all of our players across the National Football League and all professional sports can look to a guy like Patrick and understand that you can give everything your all while you’re playing your sport and doing what you do, but there’s always something to look forward to going after. And I think Pat has done an unbelievable job of setting himself up to be successful going forward, as much so or even more than what he was as a football player. Pat, we’re going to miss you. We love you. We thank you for everything, man.”


General Manager Trent Baalke opening comments:

“Well Jed, you took a lot of what I had to say. But Pat, special. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about you. What a special person. What a special player. And it is bittersweet, but also know that you have the ability to impact a lot of people. You’ve done that here. And I’ve got to go back to a funny story because when we met Pat, obviously the greatness, all of that stuff. But, it’s ironic that we’re sitting here in free agency, the opening of free agency, because it was four years ago when I became the GM of the 49ers and we were going through the free agent period. Pat came up to me and he said, we’re two days into free agency and Pat looks at me and says, as only Pat would very respectful, he said, ‘Hey Trent, do you realize that free agency has started?’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘Yes.’ And he looks at me again very sincere and he says, ‘Do you realize we were 6-10 last year?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he looks at me one more time and he goes, ‘Don’t you think we should be doing something?’ But, I looked at Pat and I said, ‘Pat, how about you play middle linebacker and you let me do the rest.’ And we laughed and we still laugh about that moment. But, this team, this community is going to miss you. It’s going to miss the leadership, the passion, the talent. It’s going to be difficult to replace. When I think of you, I think of one word, maybe two: special and greatness. When I was working with Coach Parcells and used the word greatness, he took offense to that. And he always wanted to reserve it for very special people, very special players. Well Pat, you’ve earned that term: greatness. You’ve accomplished a lot. Seven All Pros, six Pro Bowl selections in an eight-year career. And there’s no doubt you can carry forward and accomplish great things on the football field, but you’ve got a new calling. And it’s a calling that we support. I know your teammates that are seated here, the teammates that are on this team now and have played with you in the past are going to support you in that calling. And we can promise you as an organization that we’re going to support you moving forward. There’s not much more to say than thank you. Thank you for being the person that you are. Thank you for being the player that you were. And thank you for taking your talents to the next calling. And trust me when I say that this organization will support you moving forward. Thank you, Pat.”


Head Coach Jim Tomsula opening comments:

“Well obviously, a lot of things are going to be said about Pat Willis. We talked about how great he is as a player. We’re going to talk about how great he is as a leader. We’re going to talk about all the things he did on the field and it’s well documented. He redefined his position. All that’s documented, it’s all there. We all know it. That’s a different man. Pat changed a lot of lives here, and Pat will change a lot of lives. Pat’s one of those guys that’s going to make a difference in the world on a greater scope than he was able to do now. You’ve have never met anybody more honest, more humble. We talk a lot about what a man looks like. That’s what a man looks like, in every sense of the word. Tremendous class. He is insightful. He has wisdom beyond his years. And I’ve never heard him complain. I’ve never heard Pat Willis complain. Anybody that knows anything about him knows that he’s a guy that could’ve. He’s loving, caring and honest. And he’s somebody that I respect greatly. And I think what he did on the football field is a small measure of what he’s about to do. And you know what? He’s not going to be standing there for the newspaper article. He’s not going to do it to get on the TV. He’s not going to do it for any other reason than he feels it in his heart. He’s given everything here. Everyday he’s given us everything he’s got, in every facet of his life. And I hope that someday I can help him with something. I love you. We all love you. And I just hope people spend a little bit of time on the man rather than the player. Thank you.”

LB Patrick Willis opening comments:

“I stand up here today, it’s tough. It’s hard, but it’s also easy at the same time because I knew there would be a day, the day that the San Francisco 49ers called me, I knew there would be a day that I would leave. And I always told myself that I wanted it to be on my terms. I wanted it to be in a way that was just amazing because, I’ll never forget being eight-years old and watching TV and seeing all these lights go off. We only had three channels, 7, 11 and 16 and on channel 7 the Dallas Cowboys would always come on. I will never forget this night,Monday night I’m watching and I see all these lights go off and I say to myself, in this small town that I grew up in you could hear the crickets outside and then you walk outside and you see the streetlights and you see the gravel roads and another thing you think to yourself is when I saw the lights go off was, ‘Man, one day I’m going to be special. All of those lights are going to be shining on me like that. I’m going to be special.’ And here I am today, standing before you guys, not as a perfect man, but as an honest man saying that I feel like I have no regrets standing up here today as I had no regrets yesterday and the day before, as I know I will have no regrets tomorrow. Because, one thing I’ve always lived by is giving everything you’ve got today so that when you look back tomorrow you don’t feel ashamed because you left anything on the table. And I feel like in my seven years, seven and a half, eight years, whatever you want to call it, I feel like there would not have been a day in my career that I don’t feel like, that I gave this game everything I had. What’s funny is that it’s amazing what we see with the eyes instead of what we actually know. And, man, if only you knew what it took to go out there on Sundays and play this game. Some of you really would sometimes probably just take a breath and be thankful that you get to have something to cover, that you get to have something to go out there and watch, that we do get to bring the kind of joy that we bring to this game. With all that being said, I would have never have thought in a million years that I would be standing up here on this podium as a San Francisco 49er saying to you all that I’ve had the most amazing eight years of football of my life being a part of this historic organization. I would like to thank Jed and the York family for the amazing opportunity and this journey that I’ve been on my whole life. I thank you all for everything. I thank you for just welcoming me in. I thank you all for just allowing me to be able to show you all that a kid that was told that he could do what people said that couldn’t be possible was possible because you guys took a chance on me. Because you guys took a chance, it made it hard on me to come in and just say, ‘You know what I was drafted. That’s good enough.’ You all took me at number 11 when people didn’t even have me going as a top middle linebacker. That put pressure on me. That made me say, ‘Man, they believe in me this much to take a chance on me at number 11? I’ve got to give something back.’ So, when you all see me out there going the way I’ve been going and practicing the way I’ve been practicing and treat others the way that I treat others, it’s because I am so humbled, so humbled to have had this opportunity. I’ve been so humbled to have played this game. I’ve been so humbled to have met as many great people that I’ve met. Even [Comcast beat reporter] Mr. [Matt] Maiocco, I remember when we had a little moment for a while. As much as I wanted to hold onto that, there something in me that said he was just doing his job and everybody has a job to do. And, I feel like when we learn to respect one another for who we are and for what we do as players, as reporters, as managers, as whatever, just society as well, I feel like we’ll start to make a difference in each other’s lives and we’ll start to see a difference in our own lives. And I feel like the Lord has put something so much, so much stronger in my heart than what I once felt was everything to me. This game will certainly continue to be a part of my life, but I feel like at this point in time, given the history, given what I understand, given my health today, and I’ll tell you all, these feet, boy, boy, boy, I’ve made no excuses, but I’ll tell you, these things have worked and they have worked and they have worked and they have worked to the point where today I am blessed to be able to say man I get to retire happy. I get to retire saying, ‘You know what, whatever I choose to get up and do tomorrow is because I have earned the right to do it because of the passion I have had and what it is I have believed in.’ I’ll take that same passion with me as I leave this podium as I’ll take in to tomorrow, as I’ll take in to the next day to say I am truly blessed and I have been truly blessed to be a part of this franchise, to be a part of this league, to be a part of the great friends I’ve met whether it’s been a hello, bye, hey how are you doing. I want to thank the custodians. I want to thank everybody that I’ve came in contact with over the last eight years, been a part of this life. And as I start my new journey, I look forward to life. I’m happy. I have my beautiful lady. I’ve got my senses back and I feel great. I have my friends. Life just feels amazing and I’ll tell you all, I told Trent earlier, I said, ‘Man, I don’t know if I feel happier today than the day that I came in.’ And that says something to me knowing the person that I am. And that’s why today I stand before you saying I’m happy and I pray for you guys to someday feel this kind of happiness. But, as I feel happy today, I know that tomorrow can be just as happy to me if I want it to be and I’m choosing it now. Here I stand, not as a perfect man, but as a honest man. Thank you guys.”


As far as the timing, how much of this is physical? How much is it about where you are with football? How much of it is spiritual? How can you quantify what drove you to this decision at this particular time?

“Honestly, I’ve always studied life. I’ve studied, I’ve always wanted to know why things happen, change, why change, timing, what all that stuff meant. And to each person it’s different. That’s why they say to each his own. Other people spend their time how they may spend it, thinking about what they think about. But, I know what I’ve spent my time thinking about. I know what I believe and I know what I understand. And I know that for me, if I had anything left in these feet, you all have seen me. You all have seen me have surgery, break my hand on aSunday, have surgery on a Monday and play on a Thursday with a cast on. Not one time, but I’ve done it numerous times and you all have seen it, but it’s something about these feet. When you don’t have your feet, and for me it’s what made me who I am, that’s why I really believe in the Bible verse, Psalm 18:32-33 it says, ‘It’s the Lord who makes my way perfect. Even when we’re standing on heights he makes my feet like the feet of a deer.’ I really believe when people say, ‘Man how does he run like that, did you see him chase that guy down, did you see him do this?’ I don’t know what it is about these feet, but they’ve got you all saying, ‘Wow, who was that guy? Wow, where did he come from?’ And that’s the kind of stuff that I understand and that I no longer have that in these feet to go out there and to give you guys that kind of wow. I came in with it and I feel like I’ve done my best to go out with it. And I know for me that I don’t have too much more left in these toes and honestly I pay attention to guys when they’re finished playing, walking around and they’ve got no hips or they can’t play with their kids or they can’t play a pickup basketball game or they can barely walk or their fingers are all like this and people see that and feel sorry then, but nobody knows it’s because you played those few extra years and for whatever reason, he chose to play. And for me, I just feel like my life, there’s more to football than this and football has been everything to me and it has provided an amazing platform for me to build upon now. So, that’s been in my heart. It’s my health first and everything else kind of just makes sense around it. So, I can’t ignore that.”


What are you doing now? What’s your goal now? I know you’ve been wanting to and your desire to work with kids. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

“When it comes to what will I do now, it will be the same thing that I once told myself when I first came in. I said, ‘Wow, what do all retired people do when they’re finished?’ If they’ve done it right, they get to choose what they want to do. They get to be their own boss so to speak. I understand everybody has a role. I’m not saying a retired person is going to be crazy. But, I’m saying that when you retire it’s not that you’re dying, it just means that you kind of put to rest something else and you’re going on to do other things that you want to do at the will that you want to. I just feel like for me, that’s where I am. If I want to go fishing tomorrow, I can go fishing tomorrow. If I want to go and speak at a jailhouse I can go speak at a jailhouse. If I want to go and speak to kids I can speak to kids. If I want to go home and watch my little brother play baseball, I can go do that. If I want to go and spend time with my lady and we want to go on vacation, I don’t have to be looking at her like, ‘You just don’t understand. I need to work out. I need to practice. Football is everything.’ I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t care if somebody tells you for others that I won’t say to my wife and this and that. I promise you I once understood after my first year having a meeting with Mr. [former 49ers CB] Ronnie Lott and he told me, we had an amazing conversation and at the end of the whole conversation in my head I was expecting him to say, ‘If I tell you anything, or if you hear anything I tell you, I want you to hear this.’ And I’m thinking man he’s going to tell me always go hard. Always practice hard and always get in guys’ face and this and that. He said, ‘I know I’ve done what I’ve done’ and ‘I had to be responsible for him.’ He said, ‘But, if I could tell you anything, you’ve heard anything we’ve talked about today.’ He said, ‘You can never be as fully great as you want to be as long as you have a significant other or a lady.’ And I was thinking to myself, ‘What do you mean? I can’t have companionship? I can’t have a lady?’ And he was like, ‘No I’m not saying that. Enjoy life.’ And to each his own that’s what it means. He can’t tell me how to live life. He said, ‘Whatever enjoyment you have in life, you live that way.’ And I never understood why sometimes I had a hard time really trying to focus on one thing but I know something else would drive me to what I am today. I can honestly say that if I didn’t put all of the energy and effort and force that I knew how into this game of football, I doubt you guys would be so shocked today that after seven years, given the reasons that I’m up here, you would be this interested in me. So, now I understand what he meant when he said that my second year. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now and that’s the beauty of standing up here today answering these questions because I can stand behind my decision.”


Almost two months ago, your last words to us in the exit interview after the last game was that you were very confident in the five, six years you had left in you. What happened during that time? Did you wake up and stub your toe or did you run and said this is it? Or did you talk to somebody?

“What happened was I learned an important lesson and a value in life was that, ‘Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose that prevails,’ Proverbs 19:21. And I learned that the hard way. I’m saying to myself, ‘Man, I would love nothing more than to win a Super Bowl. I would love nothing more than to bring number six back here. I would love nothing more than to be able to lace up those cleats and not worry about Lord Jesus are my feet going to be alright today just to practice so I don’t look old at 30.’ I think about all that. And I think about, ‘Man I would love nothing more than for [LB] NaVorro [Bowman] and I to really come back this year.’ When he went down and I was out there practicing, I was thinking, ‘Buddy just get right, we’re going to be alright.’ But, again, that’s what we don’t understand what we don’t know. We have desires when we play, but when the Lord has something for you, he’s going to make sure it gets it done. And my feet, as much as I want to go out there and play with NaVorro and as much as I want to go out there and play with [LB] Chris [Borland], as much as I would love for us to be on the field and wreaking havoc and bringing number six back here along with the other guys, I have to be honest. And I’ve said it before, I don’t stand up here as a perfect man, but as an honest man is to tell you all that if I don’t have what I know I need to give my teammates, this organization the best chance to win, than I can’t be out there doing that. And, to be sitting on the sideline and just only being words and just collecting a paycheck, I feel like that would be wrong. So, I stand up here today, again with a conviction of saying I understand the magnitude in what I’m doing today. I understand what this means for me and to me it doesn’t mean the end to life. It means something greater as I’ve always felt, each year had to be greater for me than the year before. And I just felt like this was another facet, step of life.”


So, you were predicting your future as to how you compete as a player versus feeling any discomfort to come to your decision?

“No, it wasn’t that. It’s just the same thing that got me here, the same thing that got me to do what less than one-percent said that could be done. It’s the same thing that allows you all to snap your pictures and come and ask me for the interviews. We worked together and we all understand and build together. The same thing that allowed me to get here from there is the same thing that I’m speaking on and speaking with today, it’s just stronger.”


When did you make your decision?

“Honestly, it was one of those things where I’ve learned that watching guys like [former NFL QB] Brett Favre, and I respect Brett Favre’s game to the utmost. Watching other guys retire, come back out of retirement, guys you’ve played with. You’ve seen all those situations. So, to me, I understand that getting up here today is not for me to say, yeah, I’m going to leave you all with a little bit just in case I get bored at home, or I want to come back or I might need a pay check, just in case. No, I am leaving this with closure. Saying that I am happy today, more happy today at this press conference than the day I was drafted. And that says something to me. And again, this is not the end; this is just the beginning of what we talked about earlier, greatness. And I’m just not talking about me, and I said it before, it’s bigger than me and always has been and always will be. And I stand beside that.”


What have you told your teammates about this decision?

“I haven’t really talked to a lot, other than when they hear it, they’ll probably not believe it but it’s one of those things that we hear a lot of things a lot of times and we just choose to hear what we want to hear. And if anybody has known me for the last eight years and really some of my college years, I was talking to one of my homeboys yesterday and he was like, P, you’ve been talking about your feet since college and I’m like, I know, that’s what I’m saying. And it’s funny because now when I’m really talking about it and whatnot, nobody wants to hear it and it sounds brand new. But, no, there are some people that’s probably hearing me talk about my feet and they’re like man, you’re talking about your feet again? But then other people just now are really understanding that it’s serious to me. So, it’s just funny that’s all.”


What will you miss the most?

“What I will miss the most is what I told my teammates before, just walking in each day and listening to somebody tell a crazy story or just building camaraderie. Me, I just love understanding people. I just love trying to understand, all right, he come from here, I come from here, but yet, we both like this and this person is like that. But, why is he like that? I just love trying to figure people out. For me, not coming in now every day and listening to some of those crazy stories and just listen to guys make you laugh. I’m not going to lie to you, some of my teammates when I look at their feet, I say to myself, your feet don’t hurt looking like that? And they’re like no. And I’m like, man how do my feet hurt like this? And they’ll be like, I don’t know what kind of feet you have. But I’m like, your feet look worse than mine, your feet don’t hurt? And that’s the kind of stuff you can’t explain. I’m looking at my feet like OK, your feet look 10 times worse than mine, your feet don’t hurt but my feet look like this and my feet hurt? Somebody’s telling me something. So, the way I associate stuff, something just makes sense to me and I can’t ignore it because it just feels too wrong to. That’s why today I’m emotional because I’m going to miss these guys. They’ve been a part of my life for a long time, and you guys have. And I’m sure we’re going to see each other again at some point in time again. But, it’s easy when you know every day, it’s time, they’re going to be in here, get ready, lets hide over there for a bit. But, you’re going to miss all the times about this strategic fun game it has been for me and now it will just be a different side of life, just a little less physical. And don’t worry about me. You’re going to see me have some pickup games, some fundraisers, some me being me. And you’re going to be like, well if he can still do this, why isn’t he playing football? And I’m like, well if you’ve ever played at the National Football level you would understand that it takes a lot more than a pickup game to be able to perform and to be able to perform at a level that’s like, hey, we like you man. You can play ball. So, that’s all, and everything is all good. And I just appreciate you all for coming out here today and letting me go out like this. And just so you all know, people talk about the Hall of Fame and all that kind of stuff. And just to let you all know, I’m so blessed to be up here today to be able to have this opportunity again. I thank the 49ers and [Director of Communications] Bob [Lange] and them for allowing this, but I honestly feel, and I told my dad this earlier, people talk about the Hall of Fame and all that good kind of stuff and don’t get me wrong, the Hall of Fame to me would be amazing to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But, there are going to be some people who are going to look at me and already think I’m a Hall of Famer. And the way I went and approached the game, every year I said to myself, if I’m going to be in the Hall of Fame someday then I’ve got to play like it, right. So, if I only just continue to be OK, be OK, be OK, and then all of a sudden my last year, I have an amazing year and now that’s enough to get me to the Hall of Fame, I’m not like that. I want to be continuously great, from the time I come in from the time I end. That’s why it’s important for me to understand what is going on with me now so that I don’t take that away from myself. Because, in my head, I’m already in the Hall of Fame. This today, this closure of this chapter to me feels like a Hall of Fame-type environment to me already. So, if the Hall of Fame is anything more than this and I get to be a part of it, hooray. But if not, this right here has been truly amazing. So, I thank you guys.”

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49ers announce Patrick Willis’ retirement Tue, 10 Mar 2015 15:15:09 +0000 The 49ers just sent out an e-mail announcing that Patrick Willis will announce his retirement in a press conference this afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

Here’s a written statement from Jed York:

“On behalf of the entire San Francisco 49ers organization, my family, and our Faithful fans, I would like to thank Patrick for everything he has brought to this team and our community. Some of the greatest memories in the history of our franchise have come from his passion, dedication and sacrifice.

“Patrick epitomizes everything you could ever want in a San Francisco 49er. What he brought to this team goes much further than his athletic abilities. His leadership and infectious love for the game helped propel this team. I consider myself very lucky to have grown up around some of the greatest players in the history of this franchise, and Patrick has certainly secured his place among that elite group of men. As a member of our family, Patrick holds a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to supporting him as he moves on from his playing career.”

Willis’ press conference is scheduled for noon. No word yet on whether Trent Baalke will make himself available, too.

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Rumor: Patrick Willis to retire Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:24:22 +0000 The 49ers are expecting Patrick Willis to announce his retirement, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports.

If this is true, this is a tremendous blow to  the 49ers now and in the future. Willis is the Niners’ third-best player after Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman.

Willis turned 30 on January 25. He missed 10 games last season because he had a strained left big toe.

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Frank Gore (hip) is limited in practice Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:20:56 +0000 This is Wednesday’s Week 10 practice participation report, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Did not participate: LB Dan Skuta (ankle), DE Justin Smith (not injury related), LB Patrick Willis (toe)

Limited participation: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), RB Frank Gore (hip), WR Brandon Lloyd (hamstring), NT Ian Williams (shin)


Did not participate: LB David Hawthorne (hand), RB Khiry Robinson (forearm), T Zach Strief (chest), RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder)

Limited participation: C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle), RB Mark Ingram (shoulder), WR Kenny Stills (thigh)

Full participation: TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder)

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Jim Harbaugh: “We’re not going to be concerned about what other people think or point out.” Mon, 03 Nov 2014 22:23:37 +0000 SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Have you had a chance to talk to RB Marcus Lattimore about his future yet?

“He’s weighing his options and we’ll have an announcement about that, as we said yesterday. Still to come.”


Do you want to just give him space and let him have plenty of time to kind of sift through what he wants to do?

“He’s going to talk to his family. Awaiting the process of that right now.”


Has he had other points over his comeback, had doubts, has he ever come to you and expressed any doubts prior to now?

“That’s the information we have and when we have more information, exact information, we’ll release that.”


Going back on the game yesterday, what really stands out to you and what led to your guys’ demise?

“Didn’t win the football game. Tough loss for us. Several things that I really want to talk to our team, have everybody together, before we (discuss them publicly). Well, probably won’t. What we’re going to do is take action to improve and get on to the next ball game.”


Does that include any dramatic shifts in how you are going to coach this team?

“As always, we’re going to address the areas we need improvement and attack it.”


The offense had success with counter runs yesterday. Twenty-six rushing yards on three counter runs. Why not call more than three?

“Again, rather than pick through each thing publicly, I’d rather talk to our team about that.”


You guys haven’t scored a rushing touchdown in the last five games. That’s the longest stretch since you’ve been here. Is that concerning to you? Does that exemplify, is there something going wrong with the run philosophy with this team now?

“No. We’re going to attack where we need improvement. There’s a lot of fingers that I’m sure will be pointed. We’re not going to be concerned about what other people think or point out. It’s got to be the men that are in the room that have to address it and have to make the necessary improvements.”


Well, RB Frank Gore was one of those guys last night. He was concerned that this team needs to make its mind up about what it wants to do offensively. Is there a sense of confusion among the players of what you guys want to get accomplished?

“As I said earlier, I want to get with our ball club and address it.”


Are you satisfied with the job that offensive coordinator Greg Roman is doing as offensive coordinator?

“Yes. That’s when I say it’s up to the men in the room. Coaches, players, we’re the ones that have to make the improvements and attack the areas that we can.”


Last night, T Joe Staley said that there were some dumb penalties, some dumb techniques and some dumb scheme. Was that a fair assessment?

“I don’t have a comment on the talk until, I want to talk to our ball club and address it.”


With Lattimore, did he come to you or how did that go? And to see a guy who’s worked so hard to come back, unclear about whether he can continue playing, how hard is that to see?

“Rather than speculate and talk now about what the conversations have been or what the options are, I’m sure within the next day, two, we’ll have an official announcement.”


What was your opinion on some of those replay reviews and how they went down?

“How I saw it? Would have seen it differently. That’s probably understandable.”


The last play, upon looking at that replay, was it as inconclusive to you whether QB Colin Kaepernick had the ball or not? Because that’s what the league was ruling, that there was no visual evidence to overturn it.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen anything conclusive on the last play.”


Did the coach’s film show anything conclusive on any of those plays that were reviewed, anything different than what we saw on television?



They were all very close, close judgment type calls?

“Yeah, I think they’re opinion calls.”


Did you have any words with Colin after the game, in terms of just support or even with Frank, just have one-on-one chats with guys or was it just general with the team?

“It was with the team.”


And do you, I don’t know how much you are willing to reveal, but do you blow your stack after a game like that or is it, are you able to maintain your composure and just tell them to move on to the next one?

“I don’t have a way to define it or characterize it. What we will do is move on to the next game and attack improvements, doing the things that are going to help us win football games, eliminate the things that are not going to help us win football games.”


How was C Marcus Martin in his first game?

“I thought he handled his business well. There will be things to learn and grow from with that first start.”


Was there anything at issue with the exchange on that last offensive play that you guys had? Did he rush it? Did Colin rush it? What was the issue there with handling the ball?

“There seemed to be a bit of a bobble of the snap. But Colin got the ball back. And then, hard to tell exactly what made the ball come out the second time.”


Did they have any issues as far as the center-quarterback exchange during the week of practice?

“No. No. And I thought for the most part it was good. As you watch the tape, you see where we all have fingerprints on this from the offensive perspective.”


Obviously, the eight sacks allowed was a big story. It seemed like on, I’d say five to six of those, the Rams just won one-on-one matchups. Is that what you saw? Is that an accurate assessment?

“As I just said, we all had fingerprints on this. It wasn’t just one guy. It wasn’t just one player, wasn’t just one coach. That’s what I saw and that’s what we’ll attack, improvement.”


You’ve had the same coaching staff together four years, really the same core players together since you’ve been here. Is this performance kind of surprising to you to see, like you said, fingerprints across the board, because this team has been in some tough situations before, but it hasn’t really had a performance like that before?

“It’s a tough loss whether you characterize it as some guys are frustrated or surprised or we didn’t get the job done. That’s on the men in the room. That’s us.”


Do you typically watch that film afterward, night of or last night and again today or how’s that routine go?

“Yeah, the night of, afterwards, today.”


Just back to the last snap again, you said the botch on the snap, was there a chance that he had it and the ball got dislodged? It looked like Marcus got pushed back into him, may have dislodged it. Did the film show any evidence of that?

“I don’t know exactly what dislodged it.”


CB Tramaine Brock was active for the game against the Broncos and not two weeks later yesterday. Was he rushed back to soon? Did he sustain a setback in that game against the Broncos?

“We’ll continue to assess that.”


And how close was LB Patrick Willis? Was Willis literally a game-time decision or did you plan beforehand to not play him yesterday?

“We were monitoring it during the week and it wasn’t there for Sunday.”


Were either LB Dan Skuta or WR Brandon Lloyd’s injuries serious yesterday?

“We’re getting those looked at.”


You referenced wanting to talk to the team. Is that a standard meeting, a clear-the-air meeting?

“No, it’s the men in the room. That’s our responsibility. We discuss where we’re at, what we can learn from what we did and where we’re going.”


That’ll be tomorrow?



Anything on LB Aldon Smith?


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Patrick Willis, Tramaine Brock and Aaron Donald are questionable for the 49ers-Rams game Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:19:46 +0000 Here is the Week 9 game status report for the 49ers and Rams, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Questionable: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), LB Patrick Willis (toe)

Probable: CB Chris Culliver (hamstring), S Jimmie Ward (quardricep)


Questionable: DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee)

Probable: C Tim Barnes (shoulder), WR Kenny Britt (hip), S Cody Davis (concussion), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), S Lamarcus Joyner (hip), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle), T Rodger Saffold (shoulder), C Scott Wells (elbow)

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