Here he goes again: Sims ready for start at LT

When Barry Sims re-signed with the 49ers in the offseason, he knew he wouldn’t be a starter, but an insurance policy. Now the Niners will find out just what kind of protection that policy will provide. Mike Singletary hedged slightly today, but it appears certain that Sims will replace Joe Staley (fractured fibula) at left tackle for Sunday’s game against visiting Tampa Bay. Sims has taken the majority of the…

November 19, 2010
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Troy Smith, Brett Favre and Ken Cote

After two stellar starts, no one is about to compare Troy Smith to Brett Favre. But references to Favre have popped up in regards to Smith, who has shown some of the Old Gunslinger’s penchant for rolling out and chucking it downfield.

November 18, 2010
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Another elite young QB to face Niners

In the past three years, five quarterbacks have been selected with a top-17 pick in the NFL draft. The Niners have faced of two of those signal callers — Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and St. Louis’ Sam Bradford — in their past six games. And here comes No. 3.

November 18, 2010
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Two 49ers make Bottom 100

Inspired by the NFL Network’s recent list of the 100 best players in NFL history, SI.com columnist Jeff Pearlman released his worst 100 players in league history this week. Mr. Pearlman agrees with those of you Niners fans who always contended that Kwame Harris (No. 48) and Renaldo Nehemiah (No. 18) weren’t just bad, but historically awful. I would humbly offer, however, that Nehemiah should be swapped out for Rashaun…

November 17, 2010
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Bucs coach, Troy Smith shared Senior moment

Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris has been on the same team with Niners quarterback Troy Smith before, but they had a playfully adversarial relationship at the 2007 Senior Bowl. Morris was the defensive backs coach and the Smith was a quarterback on the North team, which beat the South, 27-0, in the college exhibition for draft prospects. During practice that week, Morris, then a 30-year-old Bucs assistant, and Smith, the…

November 17, 2010
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Tampa Bay’s Blount coming to SF, finally

LeGarrette Blount is coming to town. For real this time. Blount, the running back who caused a brief stir in Ninersville when he spurned San Francisco after the NFL draft, is flourishing in his rookie season with the Buccaneers, who will visit the 49ers on Sunday. In his past four games, the undrafted free agent from Oregon has collected 329 yards, averaged 5.1 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns.

November 17, 2010
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QBs and the fear factor

By his own admission, Alex Smith played too cautiously this season and committed too many turnovers. In stark contrast, Troy Smith has a bit of reckless streak, but has been mistake-free. Not a trick question: Which style has been better? In watching both quarterbacks this season, it’s clear Troy Smith takes more chances, realizing you can’t make a play if you don’t throw a pass.

November 16, 2010
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Staley’s injury a reminder of NFL rigors

Near the end of games at Candlestick Park, the media leaves the press box and watches the final minutes from the sideline. On Sunday, as I watched safety Reggie Smith and linebacker Takeo Spikes tackle Rams running back Steven Jackson — nearly 700 pounds of humanity colliding, loudly, several yards in front of me — I was reminded just how violent NFL games are and what kind of physical punishment…

November 15, 2010
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Troy Smith will start Sunday vs. Tampa Bay

Mike Singletary said today what the statistics have screamed: The 49ers have been better with Troy Smith at quarterback. In making the formal announcement that Smith has wrested the starting job from Alex Smith, Singletary alluded to the bottom line. The Niners are 2-0 in games Troy Smith has started and 1-6 with Alex Smith.

November 15, 2010
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Defense set the stage for last-minute magic

Before Troy Smith could come to the rescue Sunday, the defense had to save the 49ers. Again. And again. And again. And again. On four straight fourth-quarter drives, the Rams had the ball and a 17-10 or 17-13 lead, needing a touchdown to likely put both the game– and the Niners’ season — away.

November 15, 2010
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Troy Smith and his merry band of believers

To his credit, Mike Singletary didn’t lose the locker room after the Niners started 0-5. But Singletary might have a full-scale mutiny on his hands if he doesn’t start quarterback Troy Smith against the visiting Buccaneers next week at Candlestick. After Smith’s performance in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win against St. Louis, the players’ sense of excitement was palpable. Smith gave them 356 passing yards, their second straight win and, perhaps…

November 14, 2010
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Pregame notes: Niners, ’70 Bengals and Bill Walsh

Greetings from Candlestick, a place filled with memories and gunk from the Steve DeBerg era. (Really, how much would it cost to take a high-pressure hose to the outside of The Stick?) Anyway, I’ll be posting inactives, tidbits, fun facts and stuff that never wriggled free from my notebook here leading up until kickoff. Please feel free to borrow any of the below to impress friends and family during the…

November 14, 2010
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Gametime Live: 49ers vs. Rams

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=0d13e4f41b” >49ers vs Rams</a>

November 14, 2010
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Same QB, but a new plan for Niners vs. Rams?

As expected, Mike Singletary made it officially official: Troy Smith will start Sunday against the Rams. And in contrast to Smith’s debut against Denver, Vernon Davis expects the Niners to attempt more than 19 passes — their fewest since 2007 — in his second start. “I definitely see it opening up, especially with him getting more familiar with all the wide receivers and Frank Gore out the backfield,” Davis said….

November 12, 2010
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What’s motivating Mad Manny?

Many employees who feel underpaid and underappreciated sulk. Manny Lawson isn’t pouting. Instead, to borrow the word used by linebacker Takeo Spikes and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, he’s “pissed.” Neither Spikes nor Manusky delved into what’s making Manny mad, but it doesn’t take a sleuth to determine what’s driving the outside linebacker.

November 12, 2010
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Mays needs rest, but is that the whole story?

The company line is that Reggie Smith will start sharing time with rookie Taylor Mays at strong safety to give Mays, who plays on every special-teams unit, a breather during games. Perhaps that assertion is entirely accurate — defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has mentioned Mays’ heavy workload prior to this week. But does the move have anything to do with Mays’ performance? When Mike Singletary revealed on Wednesday that Smith…

November 11, 2010
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In the crunch, Spikes stayed put vs. Denver

The game was on the line and Niners linebacker Takeo Spikes wasn’t on the sideline during the fourth quarter of San Francisco’s 24-16 win over the Broncos. It was a bit of a contrast from the previous week when Spikes wasn’t on the field — and rookie NaVorro Bowman struggled — on Carolina’s game-tying, fourth-quarter drive in the Panthers’ 23-20 win. Prior to the game against Denver, Spikes had mentioned,…

November 11, 2010
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Bradford will see more of old teammate, nemesis

Back at Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., Niners safety Reggie Smith intercepted a pass from Sam Bradford, then playing at Putnam City North in Oklahoma City. No telling if Smith can repeat the feat Sunday when San Francisco meets surprising St. Louis, which is 4-4 in Bradford’s rookie season. But his odds of again victimizing his former teammate at the University of Oklahoma improved this week.

November 10, 2010
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Alex Smith doesn’t sound ready

Mike Singletary suggested there was a slight possibility Alex Smith would be healthy enough to play Sunday against the Rams. After Smith spoke with reporters today, however, it appears that his chances of playing are lingering somewhere between microscopic and nonexistent. Smith said he felt confident he could play Sunday – if, you know, he wasn’t participating in an official NFL game.

November 10, 2010
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Troy Smith will likely start Sunday

Troy Smith will likely start at quarterback Sunday against the Rams. But based on what Mike Singletary said today, Smith might just be keeping the seat warm until Alex Smith is fully healed from his separated non-throwing shoulder. Singletary said he did not think that Alex Smith has been medically cleared to practice.

November 10, 2010
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