49ers mini-camp: Phase 2 of a laid-back offseason?

Last year’s offseason was completely different than this year’s offseason. Last year was strenuous. Jim Harbaugh made every practice extremely competitive. Players got hurt. Michael Crabtree blew out his Achilles’ tendon right away. So, Harbaugh created an open competition for the No.2 WR job. That didn’t work out so well. Quinton Patton broke his finger during training camp. This year’s offseason has been much more laid back. Michael Crabtree, Anquan…

June 14, 2014

49ers’ top-5 position battles of the offseason

To get you prepped for Tuesday’s OTA, here are the 49ers’ top-five position battles. 1. Chris Culliver (6-0, 199 pounds, 25 years old) vs. Chris Cook (6-2, 212, 27) vs. Dontae Johnson (6-2, 200, 22) for No.2 cornerback Culliver is the favorite – the 49ers spent a third-round pick on him in 2011. But he tore his ACL a year ago and does not seem to have fully recovered yet…

June 1, 2014

Baalke: “I like long arms.”

Trent Baalke held a press conference Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here is a transcript. Q: Frank Gore will count $6 or $7 million against the salary cap this season. Is that reasonable? BAALKE: The simple is there is no reason it can’t be. We’re in a good shape from a cap standpoint. There really is no decision to be made. We can move forward exactly as is if…

February 21, 2014

49ers 23, Panthers 10: Grades

CHARLOTTE – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 23-10 divisional playoff win over the Panthers. KAEPERNICK: A-. He played terribly before the 49ers defense made their second goal line stand but, then again, most of the Niners played terribly before the second stand. After that, Kaepernick and the rest of the Niners were just about unstoppable. Kaepernick accounted for two touchdowns – a pass to Vernon Davis while rolling…

January 12, 2014

Kaepernick on Patton: “He’s going to make a lot more things viable to us.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick spoke in the locker room Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   You’ve played in cold-weather games. What was the coldest game you played at quarterback up there? “Probably 20 at kickoff.”   And how would you make an adjustment to the cold? Did it change at all about how you try to grip the ball or release, anything?…

January 1, 2014

49ers 23, Cardinals 20: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers. They beat the Cardinals 23-20 on a last-second field goal by Phil Dawson. KAEPERNICK: B+. Excellent in the first and fourth quarter, bad in the second and third quarter. He was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty on the final drive of the game, but he also made two beautiful throws on that drive – one to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards and one…

December 29, 2013

Roman says the 49ers’ offense needs “chunk plays” against the Seahawks

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript.   Opening comments: “Afternoon. Big division game this week. Very good defense we’re about to face starting with their D-line. They’ve got a lot of depth on their D-line. They roll them through, keep them fresh. Do a nice job starting with [Seahawks DT Brandon] Mebane in the middle. Not a guy you hear…

December 5, 2013

Harbaugh: “I support Jonathan Martin.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: What strikes you most about having Aldon Smith back? HARBAUGH: I wouldn’t say one thing strikes me most other than it’s good to have him back, good to be around him again. Q: Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks said they got pretty winded in a drill the other day and Aldon wasn’t even…

November 6, 2013

Harbaugh: “Aldon Smith’s mom was here, that was neat to see.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jim Harbaugh made an interesting digression in his postgame interview. Here it is. HARBAUGH: Great road win. Had a lot of families here for this game. Daniel Kilgore had close to 100 friends and relatives. Patrick Willis’ family was here. Quinton Patton is from here, his mom came over and cooked for us last night. It was a neat day. You could see it brewing when we…

October 20, 2013

49ers flaws were exposed and the rest of the league was watching

Here is my Tuesday column on the issues the 49ers currently face. The Week 1 win against the Packers masked issues on the 49ers, but the Seahawks just tore off the mask. What do we see? The offense is worse than it was last season. Let’s start there. They’re missing key players: Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Delanie Walker and Frank Gore. Yes, Gore is missing. More on him later. Crabtree…

September 17, 2013

Harbaugh: “I get a kick out of every week, watching our team compete.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   WR Kassim Osgood is back on the team, what do you expect from him? “He is. I expect major contributions on special teams.”   Will he be a gunner? “He’ll be a core player.”   What weighed into the decision to put LB Nick Moody on short-term IR rather than…

September 11, 2013

Brent Jones: “I’m focused on where we’re going to get output offensively from our WR position.”

Brent Jones spoke on KNBR Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: Will there be anything Scott Tolzien can tell the Packers that will make a difference? JONES: I think generally there could be a nugget or two. You know what he can do – and maybe they’ll change this up, but when you change stuff up that has been consistent, you kind of mess up your own team –…

September 3, 2013

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

Quinton Patton: “Kap has great legs, so I try to sneak in and get involved when he starts scrambling.”

SANTA CLARA – Quinton Patton spoke at his locker Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said. ME: Could you take us through your touchdown catch, how the play developed? PATTON: Colin called the play, I beat my man on the inside. I tried to set down for a second, I saw Kap scrambling and I just tried to run over there and get in Kap’s vision. ME: I notice you have…

August 26, 2013

Harbaugh says McCoy is Kaepernick’s backup

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said at the podium after Sunday night’s preseason game, courtesy of the 49ers.   Was that about everything you wanted to see for the third exhibition game? “Yeah. Saw a lot of good football and pleased with the way our guys worked, practiced all week and then came out and played in the game. I thought there was a lot of good football…

August 26, 2013

Colin Kaepernick says Quinton Patton “is a great player. He knows how to get open.”

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s what Colin Kaepernick said at the podium after Sunday night’s preseason game, courtesy of the 49ers.   Did this help you get back into the groove? “Yeah, I think when you get out there and you find your rhythm, that’s how you want to be playing.”   How did you feel when you first started and you had a few struggles? “It wasn’t perfect to start….

August 26, 2013

49ers 34, Vikings 14: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers in their 34-14 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings. QUARTERBACKS: B. Colin Kaepernick played 17 snaps and played well, although he failed in his first appearance in the red zone, getting his pass tipped away on third-and-11 from the 12 yard line. But Kaepernick succeeded in his second red zone appearance. On third-and-goal from the five, Kaepernick rolled right, spotted…

August 25, 2013

Harbaugh on Kaepernick’s lack of playing time: “I didn’t want anything freakish to happen.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Sunday morning. Here’s what he said. Q: What is the complexion of practices these final two weeks of the exhibition season? Will you still do some ones against ones, or will it be mostly scout team work? HARBAUGH: It will not change very much. It will still be one versus one, two versus two, one versus two, two versus one,…

August 18, 2013

49ers can’t catch a break when it comes to drafting wide receivers

This is my Saturday column on the 49ers’ recent history drafting wide receivers. By now, you’ve seen what I’ve seen from A.J. Jenkins the past two training camps: A wide receiver utterly overmatched by starting NFL cornerbacks. Friday night against the Chiefs, he faced their starting right cornerback Sean Smith and could not shake him. When Smith decided to press Jenkins, Smith swallowed him up. Jenkins couldn’t get past the…

August 17, 2013

Harbaugh on Kaepernick: “I dream about football. That’s how I look in some of those dreams, the way he plays.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: Do you expect the starters to play a little bit more in this preseason game? HARBAUGH: A little bit more than they played in the first game? Q: Yes. HARBAUGH: We won’t put any set number on it. It depends how the game goes. Q: Is it based on feel or is…

August 14, 2013