Vernon Davis on the 49ers’ final four plays of the Super Bowl: “I can’t even recall that situation.”

SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. Q: You’re old teammate, Randy Moss, said he wasn’t sure about the rhythm or rapport you have with Colin Kaepernick. Do you feel like you guys have something beyond what you had last year? VERNON DAVIS: I do. I feel like me and Colin are on a different level than we were last year. When…

September 5, 2013

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

The Jim Harbaugh Game: The coach and his world of contradictions

Here is my Monday column on Jim Harbaugh. SANTA CLARA – Here’s how you play The Jim Harbaugh Game: Listen to his next interview. Write down the exact time he sets himself up for future contradiction. Then, predict how long it will take for the contradiction to occur – a year, a month, a day, an hour, a minute, etc. Harbaugh most recently set himself up on June 11. One…

July 29, 2013

49ers facing a summer of questions

This is my Monday column on the top-five questions the 49ers face this summer. Even though the 49ers are among the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl, like any other team, they confront certain issues. Two of their best players – Justin Smith and Frank Gore – are in their 30s and declining. The 49ers’ offensive MVP last season – Michael Crabtree – tore his Achilles tendon in OTAs….

July 22, 2013

Ranking the 49ers’ offensive skill players against the rest of the NFL

We know Colin Kaepernick is a rising star at quarterback, and we know the 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in football. Let’s take stock of the 49ers’ offensive skill players – wide receivers, tight ends and running backs – now that they’ve lost Delanie Walker and Randy Moss, and Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham are injured. I count 18 teams having better offensive skill players than the…

July 7, 2013

Could Vernon Davis play more wide receiver this season?

It’s worth noting that Vernon Davis participated exclusively with the wide receivers, not the tight ends, during the 49ers’ past mini-camp. Do you think that means Davis will play more wide receiver this year? The Niners probably need him to play more wide out because their best receiver, Anquan Boldin, is a much better slot receiver than outside receiver at this stage in his career. During team drills, Boldin lined…

June 17, 2013

A.J. Jenkins: “In college, you’re wide open all the time. In the league, you’ve really got to have strong hands.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what A.J. Jenkins said Tuesday afternoon. Q: Did your mindset change when Michael Crabtree got hurt? JENKINS: My mindset going into this offseason was just trying to play more, regardless of whether Crabtree was hurt or not. It’ s unfortunate that he got an injury, but my mindset didn’t waver at all because he got hurt. Q: Roman said last week was the best you’ve practiced…

June 11, 2013

Boldin’s good work adds to Davis puzzle

Here is my Thursday column on the 49ers’ offense, sans Michael Crabtree. SANTA CLARA –Without Michael Crabtree, the focal point of the San Francisco 49ers’ passing attack last season, the 49ers need all of their receivers to step up – Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, A.J. Jenkins and anyone else who can run and catch and breathe. At an afternoon OTA session this week, Boldin stepped up. He was unstoppable. He…

May 30, 2013

Putting Michael Crabtree’s 2012 production into perspective

There’s been a great deal of debate over how big of a loss of Michael Crabtree is to the 49ers. Some people say the loss is no big deal, others say it’s quite a big deal. To inform the debate, let’s look closely at Crabtree’s 2012 stats.   Michael Crabtree Catches: 85 (tied for 13th best in the NFL) Yards: 1,105 (14th) Touchdowns: 9 (tied for 11th) Deep catches (passes traveling…

May 24, 2013

Trent Baalke’s mid-offseason progress report

In my humble opinion, you’re doing pretty well so far this offseason, Trent. I’m not going to give you a final grade today. That wouldn’t be fair. You still have the draft in a few weeks, and that’s when you need to perform your best. You have 14 picks. You may feel this year’s rookies will be better and cheaper long term than what’s available on the free agent market,…

March 24, 2013

Marvin Lewis on Randy Moss: “He did nothing. He got in the way of a younger player performing.”

The Cincinnati Bengals have not signed any free agents from any other teams this offseason. Their head coach, Marvin Lewis, spoke about the team’s inactivity in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore, the site of the league meetings. “You are not a positive in making your team better when you keep adding old guys,” said Lewis, who was standing at a podium. “What did Randy Moss do for those guys…

March 18, 2013

Report: Moss will not re-sign with 49ers

Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, just reported the 49ers will not re-sign Randy Moss this offseason. Pro Football Talk says the 49ers made it clear to people at the NFL Scouting Combine they would not be bringing Moss back to the team in 2013. This suggests the 49ers will look to add at least one wide receiver this offseason. I have two questions for you. 1) Will the…

March 2, 2013

Baalke: “We have to have a good draft. We have to have a good free agency period.”

Trent Baalke held a press conference on Thursday, and here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   [Question inaudible but was in regards to the 49ers use of the read option offense.] “You’ve got to do what the skill sets of your quarterback allow you to do. As long as you do that, I think you’ve got a chance.”   Did QB Colin Kaepernick scream “franchise-caliber” to you when you…

February 21, 2013

Grant’s 49ers mock offseason: 1.0

Many of you have asked me for my best guess about what the 49ers will do in free agency and the draft. This is my first best guess. I’ll make subsequent best guesses in the coming weeks. The 49ers will cut David Akers and Parys Haralson to create cap space to give the franchise tag to Dashon Goldson. Goldson probably wants a five-year contract worth about $8 million per year….

February 19, 2013

Young: “You could make a case that this was the season that the 49ers, with Colin Kaepernick, needed to win the Super Bowl.”

Steve Young spoke on KNBR Thursday afternoon. This is what he said. Q: Let’s start off with the first half. What did you see that had the 49ers behind for a second straight week? YOUNG: It was little stuff. It was things that you hadn’t seen before. You got the feeling like, not only the penalties, but the miscues and even the plays getting in. We’ve talked about this for…

February 7, 2013

How the 49ers should use their draft picks

The 49ers have four picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft: The 31st, the 61st, the 74th and the 93rd pick. How would you like the 49ers to use those picks? Should they package them or some of them in a trade for an elite player, like Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis? Or should they package the picks to trade up in the draft? Or should they stand…

February 6, 2013

49ers Super Bowl XLVII grades: Coaching

The 49ers lost the Super Bowl 34-31 on Sunday. Here are the grades for the coaches. Coaching: D. The 49ers got outcoached across the board. Jim Harbaugh did not prepare his team well. The 49ers were flagged for an illegal formation on the very first play of the game, a mind-boggling feat. The first play of the game is the play they practice dozens of times all week. It is…

February 4, 2013

49ers Super Bowl XLVII grades: Offense

The 49ers lost the Super Bowl 34-31 on Sunday. Here are the grades for the offense. Offensive line: A-. This group struggled in the first half when Haloti Ngata was healthy. They couldn’t open up any holes for Frank Gore, who had 11 carries for just 29 yards. And Anthony Davis gave up a sack on third and goal from the eight yard line. But the 49ers’ O-line dominated in…

February 4, 2013

Jerry Rice on Randy Moss

Jerry Rice, the 49ers’ Hall of Fame wide receiver, had a few pointed responses when asked what he thought of current 49er receiver Randy Moss calling himself this week the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. “Randy could have been the greatest player in NFL history,” Rice said. “But you gotta have it here in your heart.” Rice pointed to his thumper. “I never ever took a play off,” Rice…

January 31, 2013

Shannon Sharpe blasts Randy Moss

By BOB PADECKY As reported on this blog earlier, 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss said Tuesday during Super Bowl Media Day that he is the greatest wide receiver of all time. Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, now an analyst, is working the Super Bowl for CBS. His reaction to Moss’ statement bordered on outrage. “Moss is out of his mind,” Sharpe said. “I mean you can debate every position…

January 29, 2013