Whitner explains what it takes for a first-round pick to succeed

SANTA CLARA – Donte Whitner spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: Does it put a strain on you when you’re working with a new free safety? WHITNER: It’s not really a strain, but I have to do most of the vocal stuff back there. When Dashon was here, he had his side of the football field and I had my side of the football…

August 5, 2013

Baalke’s top-five moves of 2011

Trent Baalke is having a monster year. On Friday, the 49ers extended his contract through the 2016 season, this coming a few weeks after he won the NFL’s Executive of the Year award. Almost every move he made in 2011 worked out. It was like he was on a heater at a craps table in Vegas and he was hitting ten the hard way over and over again. Here are…

February 11, 2012

Should the 49ers sign Asomugha?

SANTA CLARA – Yesterday on a conference call Jed York made clear the 49ers’ strategy for free agency. It is, in his words: “making sure that we resign our own guys.” They’ve accomplished that with quarterback Alex Smith, but they’ve failed elsewhere on the roster. Takeo Spikes agreed to a contract with the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, and David Baas agreed to terms with the New York Giants Wednesday morning….

July 27, 2011

The 49ers’ five sure things

Thanks for your generous responses to my earlier post. Our discussion of the top 49er storylines turned into a lengthy list of concerns. Adam, among other readers, pointed out the defensive backfield and the offensive line as two more areas of anxiety for the 49ers. Thank you, Adam. Let’s look at the team from the opposite angle now. Injuries aside, what are the Niners’ locks? Where are they strong? What…

July 24, 2011

Spikes nominated for NFL Man of the Year Award

In 2003, Spikes launched 51 Ways, Inc. with former NFL linebacker Carlos Emmons. Spikes and Emmons have lost family members to cancer and their foundation provides financial, spiritual and physical support to families of children with cancer and blood disorders.

January 22, 2011

Keaton Kristick is having a blast, man

Most of the 49ers are polite when fielding questions from the media. Keaton Kristick, happy to discuss wrestling moves once the tape recorder is turned off, might be the only one who could accurately be described as eager.

December 20, 2010

911 call for secondary: Is there a CB in the draft?

Late in the second quarter of the Niners’ 34-7 loss to San Diego on Thursday night, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers spotted the mismatch — wide receiver Vincent Jackson on linebacker Takeo Spikes — and lofted a pass to Jackson for a much-too-easy 11-yard touchdown. After the game, Spikes didn’t reveal whether he was supposed to receive help on the play. Instead, he focused on Rivers, who made the play happen….

December 18, 2010

Singletary playing familiar tune with The Smiths

Given the circumstances, 49ers coach Mike Singletary said quarterback Alex Smith “handled himself about as well he could” in a 34-7 loss to the Chargers on Thursday night. Even so, Singletary said he considered benching Smith during the game. And today he reiterated what he said after the loss: He hasn’t made a decision on whether Alex Smith or Troy Smith will start at St. Louis on Dec. 26. Just…

December 17, 2010

The Niners and their knack for not making plays

Geez, I spent nearly 1,000 words trying to describe the 49ers’ performance and my non-writer, NFL-mad friend captured it perfectly in a concise in-game e-mail. His message: Puke. Evidently RB DeShawn Wynn wasn’t the only one with an upset tummy after the Niners’ 34-7 faceplant against San Diego:

December 17, 2010

Willis, Spikes in; Gates, Floyd out

Pregame notes leading up until kickoff: • ILBs Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes, who were questionable with hand injuries, will play tonight. CSN Bay Area has reported that both Willis and Spikes have broken hands. UPDATE: A Niners spokesperson has confirmed that Willis had surgery Monday and had a pin inserted. Spikes did not have surgery. • 49ers inactives: David Carr (3rd QB), K Joe Nedney, CB Tramaine Brock, CB…

December 16, 2010