49ers 41, Chargers 6: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers in their 41-6 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers. QUARTERBACKS: B+. Colin Kaepernick completed three short passes and then left the game. Colt McCoy was decent, completing 8-of-15 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.  His longest completion was a 12-yarder. B.J. Daniels played well, better than McCoy. Daniels completed 5-of-9 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, and he ran 6…

August 29, 2013

49ers 15, Chiefs 13: Grades

My grades for the 49ers’ 15-13 preseason victory over the Chiefs: QUARTERBACKS: D. Colin Kaepernick completed one of two passes for negative three yards. He overthrew the one pass he attempted downfield. Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien were horrible. McCoy threw an interception and Tolzien averaged just 3.8 yards per pass attempt. If those two keep playing like that, the 49ers won’t be able to trade either one for a…

August 16, 2013

Training camp report: Kaepernick improves in the red zone

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Sunday afternoon’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick – He was on fire today. He couldn’t miss the deep passes, he had touch on his shorter throws and he scored twice in the red zone. First, he threw a touchdown pass to Chad Hall in the back of the end zone. Next, Kaepernick threw a TD pass to Frank…

August 11, 2013

49ers 6, Broncos 10: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 10-6 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos. QUARTERBACKS: C. Kaepernick was perfect – four completions in four attempts for 38 passing yards. He also converted a third down with a six-yard scramble. His backups, Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien, played dreadfully. McCoy completed three-of-four passes, threw one interception and left the game with a neck stinger. Scott Tolzien completed 15-of-26…

August 8, 2013

Fangio says Brock has “been doing OK” in training camp

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.   What have you seen from CB Tramaine Brock here since he’s taken over that number thee job? “He’s been doing OK. He’s had some plays that he’s missed on his assignments and exact pickups, but, he’s been improving on that as we go through this whole entire week….

August 6, 2013

Training camp report: Justin Smith and Tarell Brown sidelined, Mike Iupati dodges bullet

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Friday evening’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Vernon Davis – Today was his best practice of the offseason. He was a dominant pass catcher at tight end, in the slot, at split end and at flanker. As an outside receiver, he beat cornerbacks on single and double moves with efficient footwork three or four times. He also blew past Perrish…

August 2, 2013

Training camp report: Eric Reid’s breakout day

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Sunday’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Eric Reid – He was the best free safety on the field by far. In 11-on-11 team drills, Reid knocked away a Kaepernick pass intended for Anquan Boldin running a slant. Also, Reid intercepted a Scott Tolzien pass intended for Garrett Celek. During individual drills, Ed Donatell had the safeties practice single-high coverage, having…

July 28, 2013

Training camp report: Ahmad Brooks commits encroachment, Colin Kaepernick finds Vernon Davis

SANTA CLARA – With 20 minutes remaining in practice, Jim Harbaugh set up a fourth down drill: Fourth and five from the opponent’s 20-yard line, the edge of the red zone. The offense had one chance to make a first down or a touchdown. The first-team offense faced the first-team defense and right away, Ahmad Brooks jumped offside like he did in the Super Bowl. The 49ers replayed the down…

July 26, 2013

Jenkins a sight not to be seen

Here is my Wednesday column on A.J. Jenkins. SANTA CLARA – Apparently, A.J. Jenkins is two different people. When there are no fans or media watching him, when Jenkins is all alone with his teammates and his coaches, the former first-round pick is a fantastic receiver. That’s what Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman said Tuesday. They said Jenkins had his best practices last Wednesday and Thursday, two practices which were…

June 12, 2013

Grant’s post-Combine 49ers mock offseason

Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is over, let’s try to predict what the 49ers will do this offseason. Here’s my best guess. I’m eager to read yours. FREE AGENCY OUT: Dashon Goldson, Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean Francois, Larry Grant, Leonard Davis, Tramaine Brock, Clark Haggans and Ted Ginn Jr. Goldson wants too much money, and the 49ers want a free safety with cornerback skills. Jean Francois signs with the…

March 1, 2013

Packers-49ers matchups: Part I – Cobb vs. Rogers and Cox

The 49ers play the Packers Saturday at the Stick. In the meantime, I’ll break down the key matchups. WR Randall Cobb vs. CB Carlos Rogers and CB Perrish Cox The 49ers have struggled to cover the best slot receivers all season. The 49ers faced Randall Cobb, Percy Harvin, Victor Cruz, Danny Amendola, Chris Givens, Wes Welker and Doug Baldwin. Against those receivers, the 49ers gave up 55 catches on 70…

January 10, 2013

Are the Packers equipped to run the ball on the 49ers? McCarthy: “We have to be.”

Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy spoke on a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Tuesday. Here’s what he said. Q: How different are both of these teams from the teams that faced each other in Week 1? McCARTHY: I think every team in the National Football League is different from Week 1 to when they get in the playoffs. I think that holds true for both the 49ers and…

January 9, 2013

Fangio on Justin Smith: “If he’s not playing up to his standard or close to it then we’ll put the next guy in.”

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Justin Smith and the rest of the 49ers defense, courtesy of the 49ers.   Is DT Justin Smith closer to full strength and how’s he looking out there? “He’s doing fine. I don’t think we’ll know for sure until Sunday comes.”   Saturday? “Saturday. Sorry.”   But, what has he shown you in…

January 8, 2013

Fangio says the 49ers offense must “move the ball, get first downs, score points” against the Patriots

SANTA CLARA – This is what Vic Fangio said about the 49ers’ upcoming matchup with the Patriots in the media tent on Thursday. Q: What jumps out at you about the Patriots offense? FANGIO: They’re not only the top rated offense in the league – they’re way ahead of who’s in second in all the important stats. It’s not like they’re just a little bit ahead of team 2 in…

December 13, 2012

Fangio to Goldson: “If the quarterback starts to slide, you’ve got to get off of him.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the 49ers media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.   What kind of problems do the Dolphins present? “Well, they’ve got a talented young quarterback who’s a good athlete, runs well. He’s a scrambler, got a strong arm. I think he’s gaining more and more confidence with every game that he’s played. I think they’re a much…

December 6, 2012

Fangio on the 49ers D’s problem covering quick slot receivers: “I don’t see it as an epidemic by any means.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Vic Fangio said at his Saturday press conference about the 49ers defense’s recent struggles covering slot receivers. ME: Your defense has struggled to cover quick inside receivers. What do you attribute that to, and has it had an effect on the overall defense? FANGIO: Everybody has a little bit of a hard time covering some of those guys. It’s just a tough position at times…

November 17, 2012

How to beat the 49ers

Now that we’re halfway through the season, there’s a book on how to beat the 49ers. We know it, the 49ers know it – it’s their job to know it — and the rest of the NFL knows it. Let’s explain that game plan and list the teams that can pull it off. Stop the run with seven defenders. If you can do that, you can beat the 49ers. You…

November 7, 2012

Midterm report card: Perrish Cox

The 49ers signed Perrish Cox this offseason to be the No.4 cornerback. He plays when offenses use four-wide-receiver formations – Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver cover the outside receivers, Carlos Rogers covers one slot receiver and Cox covers the other one. So far this season, Cox has played 117 snaps, he’s been targeted on 12 passes and he’s given up 11 catches for 133 yards according to Pro Football Focus….

November 6, 2012

Jets-49ers matchups: Part II

The 49ers play the Jets Sunday at the Meadowlands. In the meantime, I’ll break down one key matchup per day. Wide receivers Santonio Holmes (5-11, 192  pounds) and Jeremy Kerley (5-9, 188 pounds) vs. the 49ers defensive backs. The 49ers defense, as great as it is, does not match up well against big tight ends or small, explosive receivers who can line up all over the formation – in the…

September 26, 2012

Contest: How would you gameplan against the 49ers?

Put yourself in Leslie Frazier’s shoes. You’re the head coach of the Vikings, you have to play the 49ers this Sunday and you’re probably going to lose. Your offense doesn’t have one matchup advantage over the Niners’ defense. What would your game plan be? How would you strategize to pull off the upset? So I’m proposing a contest to you readers. Write your Vikings game plan in the comment section….

September 21, 2012