Grading the 49ers: Pass catchers

Now that the draft is over, I’m going to grade each area of the Niners offense, starting with the pass catchers. Before: Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Delanie Walker, Kyle Williams, Ted Ginn Jr., Brett Swain and Joe Hastings. Grade: C- Why: Vernon Davis is a stud, so this group couldn’t have a failing grade. But everyone else is ordinary at best. Swain and Hastings probably won’t be in the league…

April 29, 2012

Free agency live blog No. 2: Wednesday

Here’s the news this morning: 1. Adam Snyder is visiting the Cardinals according to Darren Urban of Matt Maiocco reports that the Niners offered Snyder an extension during the season but it was “low-ball.” 2. Ted Ginn Jr. is visiting the Lions today, according to Booth Newspapers. Don’t be surprised if both Snyder and Ginn sign with those teams today. The Cardinals seem to value Snyder much higher than…

March 14, 2012

49ers sign Cox to 2-year deal. Rogers and Ginn on way out?

The 49ers signed 25-year old cornerback and return specialist Perrish Cox this morning to a two-year contract. This could signal the end for Carlos Rogers and Ted Ginn Jr. in red and gold. Cox will most likely compete with Tramaine Brock for the third CB job, while Chris Culliver and Tarell Brown will start. On special teams, Cox could take Ginn’s job as the primary returner. He returned punts and…

March 13, 2012

Niners franchise tag Dashon Goldson. Will they re-sign Alex Smith next?

The 49ers just franchise-tagged Dashon Goldson, a move that will cost the team about $6.2 million in 2012. Will the Niners re-sign any more of their free agents before free agency starts? It seems pretty clear at this point that Carlos Rogers will “test the waters” and see what other teams can offer him. Same with Ted Ginn Jr., and Adam Snyder, and maybe even Joshua Morgan, too. If there’s…

March 2, 2012

The top-five best and worst moments of the 49ers 2011-2012 season

Here’s my list of the top five and bottom five 49er moments from the 2011-2012 season. The Best Moments 5. Justin Smith’s forced fumble v. Jeremy Maclin in Philadelphia to beat the Eagles in Week 4. The Niners’ record was 2-1, and although they had just stormed back from a 17-point deficit to take a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had plenty of time to drive…

January 30, 2012

Harbaugh and 49er tradition

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat just posted the article I wrote for their Sunday paper. It’s about the art gallery that’s growing on the hallway outside the team’s meeting rooms. Not just everyone can view the gallery, though. Only players and coaches and certain football-related personnel can. 49ers public relations director Bob Lange graciously invited me in to see it this week. In my article, I describe it and I…

January 21, 2012

East Coast vs. West Coast: The Battle of the Wide Receivers

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s sports section is doing a special playoff package every day this week, and for Wednesday we’re focusing on the Giants and 49ers wide receivers. The great Phil Barber was assigned to write on the Giants wide outs. I got the Niners wide outs. Quite a contrast. To read about the Bi-Coastal Battle of the Wide Receivers, please click on the following two links. Phil on…

January 17, 2012

How the Giants defense will play the Niners offense

Part of the reason the Saints lost to the Niners on Saturday is that their defensive game plan was too simple. They acted as if stopping Frank Gore would stop the entire Niners offense. They committed eight, nine, sometimes ten defenders to the box to shut down Gore and they left every single receiver in single coverage – even Vernon Davis. This was a bad strategy. You can’t single cover…

January 15, 2012

Harbaugh says Ginn is “coming along very well,” and more

Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said today at his Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Have you guys made a decision yet (on who will fill the open roster spot)? “No, we haven’t made an announcement yet. We won’t until tomorrow, most likely.” What’s the purpose of waiting until Saturday for that move? “Until we know exactly how we want to do it. [WR] Ted [Ginn] had a good workout…

December 30, 2011

Braylon Edwards cut

The 49ers cut Braylon Edwards, according to multiple reports. Edwards made this statement on his website: “I was released today by the 49ers due to my injury that required more time to rehab and hasn’t allowed me to re-sync with the offense. I wish the 49ers organization the best of luck during the Playoffs. “I will be working hard this off season to strengthen my knee and prepare for the 2012…

December 27, 2011

Ginn Jr.: “It kind of feels like my college days at Ohio St.”

SANTA CLARA – Ted Ginn Jr., who sprained his left ankle on a second-half kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers, spoke at his locker this morning. Here’s what he said. Q: Do you think you’re going to play this Sunday against the Rams? GINN JR.: I don’t know right now. I’ll leave it up to the players and the coaches. Q: When you were warming up in Seattle did you think…

December 26, 2011

The southwest corner

SANTA CLARA — For what it’s worth, the Niners really like each other. They may or may not man up against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Monday night – I think they will – but regardless, they get along. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are best friends. Parys Haralson and Aldon Smith act like brothers. Colin Kaepernick and Bruce Miller joke around with everyone. But there’s a cool section of the…

December 18, 2011

Alex Smith explains the difference between deep throws over the middle and down the sidelines, plus more

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Alex Smith said this afternoon in his Wednesday press conference. Q: Greg Roman said the other day that the red zone was the last thing to come together for an offense. Do you feel like that’s still forming with this offense? Is that an area that can improve? ALEX SMITH: I certainly hope so, yeah. No question. The situational football are the last things that…

December 7, 2011

Scott Tolzien breaks down fellow Wisconsin Badgers Peter Konz and Nick Toon

SANTA CLARA – Right guard and wide receiver are two of the Niners biggest needs. They will most likely draft towards the end of the first round in April, and the University of Wisconsin has a pair of late-first-round prospects Trent Baalke and the Niners might covet – interior offensive lineman Peter Konz (6’5” 315 lbs.) and wide out Nick Toon (6’3” 220 lbs.). I asked former Wisconsin Badger Scott…

November 30, 2011

Jim Harbaugh on his offensive line’s breakdowns: “It was circumstances.”

Here’s the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday conference call. Q: After watching the film, what was your general impression of the breakdowns and why they occurred and what you can do to get it all fixed? HARBAUGH: First of all as I said last night it was a competitive game. Thought it was very evenly matched. The game turned on every play of the game, but there was also some…

November 25, 2011

For the Love of Boobie Dixon

Here’s the transcript of an interaction that took place yesterday in the locker room between Anthony “Boobie” Dixon, Ted Ginn Jr., Kendall Hunter, Gwen Knapp and me. Knapp first approached Dixon to ask him about Frank Gore, and I came in to ask follow-up questions. KNAPP: How do you relate to Frank Gore on the sideline and on the field? DIXON: I’m like his boxing coach on the sideline. KNAPP:…

October 13, 2011

QB competition heats up, Smith pulls ahead

SANTA CLARA – Practice ended with Colin Kaepernick leading the first team offense against the first team defense in a 2-minute drill. Kaepernick was 4-6 on the drive, but Aldon Smith sacked him on the last play, and the offense put up zero points. Over the last 90 minutes of practice, Kaepernick took 22 reps with the first team while Alex Smith took 20. This was the first time in…

August 16, 2011

Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams on the Jugs machine

SANTA CLARA — Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams started practice by fielding punts one-handed from a Jugs machine. This was running backs coach Tom Rathman’s idea. He stood next to the punt returners and made the exercise a competition. Ginn really struggled. On his first rep, he dropped the ball completely. Williams, on the other hand, made it look easy. He tracked the ball like an outfielder, lining up…

August 15, 2011

Day 3: Practice assessment

SANTA CLARA – Practice is over for the day and I will post two interviews shortly, but first here are the good things and the not-so-good things I saw on the field. THE GOOD Colin Kaepernick. By my count he was 15-23 with one interception and one fumbled snap in 11-on-11 scrimmages. He connected with Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker repeatedly on crossing routes and deep outs. Kaepernick makes throwing…

July 31, 2011