Observations from Day 3 of 49ers training camp

Here is what stood out during the 49ers’ third practice of training camp. As will be the case for the first five sessions, the team was in only helmets. The first padded practice is scheduled for Tuesday. Quarterback playJimmy Garoppolo finished the day 6-11. Three of Garoppolo’s completions came on checkdowns with another off an RPO. His best pass of the day was a strike to George Kittle on the…

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Does a Xavien Howard trade make sense for the 49ers?

On Tuesday, cornerback Xavien Howard requested a trade from the Miami Dolphins. There are a number of teams across the NFL that are in need of building depth at the position. Among those teams are the 49ers, but does a big move like this make sense for them? At first glance, the cornerback position appears to be well stocked for the 49ers. They have two corners with starting experience lined…

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49ers 2021 53-man roster prediction

The 49ers will take to the field for the first practice of the 2021 season today. There are a number of interesting battles throughout the roster, especially at quarterback, wide receiver, running back and in the secondary. In addition, the news from yesterday that Dee Ford and Jalen Hurd will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). The versatility that both players bring to the team…

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49ers finalize rookie contract with Trey Lance

When the San Francisco 49ers hit the practice field later today they will be doing so with their entire draft class present including third overall draft pick, Trey Lance. According to his representatives, CAA, Lance put pen to paper this morning on a $34.1 million fully guaranteed contract which includes a signing bonus of $22.2 million. San Francisco will also have the option to pick up a fifth-year option shortly…

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Will big upfront investment pay off for 49ers in 2021?

Any discussion of the 49ers’ offense usually revolves around the skill position players. That’s understandable when you consider the glory days of the franchise featured back-to-back Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Steve Young, along with wide receivers like Dwight Clark, Freddy Solomon, Jerry Rice, John Taylor and Terrell Owens, not to mention explosive running backs like Roger Craig and Ricky Watters. Fast forward to the current team…

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49ers’ top five position battles

The 2021 NFL season is fast approaching. While the San Francisco 49ers will report to training camp on Tuesday, things won’t heat up until later in the week. That is when the players will finally hit the practice field to begin preparations for the upcoming season. With a full slate of rookies and free agents set to fight for spots on the final 53-man roster, here are the top five…

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The 49ers push in all the chips. They’d better be right

The 49ers better be right about this. Friday’s draft deal-making was a real roll the dice moment for the franchise. One way or another we’re going to be talking about this push-in-all-the-chips moment for years to come. As you know, the Niners have arranged a deal in which they traded three – count them three – first round draft choices (and a third rounder) for the third choice in this…

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The 49ers surprise Arizona . . . and us. Also, is the “Kittle effect” real?

I guess everyone saw the 49ers’ 20-12 win over the Cardinals coming, right? At kickoff, we had the floundering, 5-9 Niners, losers of the last three in a row, and defeated in six of the previous seven. They were on a month-long camping trip to Arizona. They had so many injuries the team bus is an ambulance. They were dis-invited to the playoffs last week. They were basically playing for…

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As hard as he tries, you’d think Nick Mullens would get a break. That’s not how this works

By now it almost seems cruel to keep running Nick Mullens out there as the 49ers quarterback. Everyone can sense the poor guy is giving it everything he’s got. He’s energetic and enthusiastic. He is cooperative and honest in interviews. And he just can’t do it. Asked to assess Mullens’ performance in Sunday’s 23-15 loss to Washington, former 49er QB Jeff Garcia said he was “very sporadic, late on throws,…

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49ers can’t lose again – it’s just math

Win or go home. It’s that simple after the 49ers 34-24 loss to Buffalo. Don’t buy it? Check with the coach. “We’ve got four more games . . . and we’ve got to win all of them,” said Kyle Shanahan. You know the calculation. The Niners were 5-6 coming into Monday night’s nationally televised game. Ten wins is a perfectly acceptable total for an invitation to the playoffs. To get…

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At a moment when it would have been easy to quit . . . the 49ers make a stand

You’d have to say the 49ers’ season has been a disappointment. Super Bowl participants are supposed to roar out of the gate the next year, establish themselves as one of the favorites and then expect to do some damage in the playoffs. Instead, the Niners lost the opener to Arizona and have been on a frustrating quest to get to .500 for most of the year. It has begun to…

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49ers in the playoffs? Seriously?

It keeps popping up. You’re watching the 49ers’ game on TV, and at some point the playoff possibilities are flashed on the screen. It lists the sure-fire contenders and a short list of teams “on the bubble” to make the playoffs. And listed, week after week, are the hard-luck, much injured, losers-of-three-in-a-row 49ers. Do they really have a chance to make the playoffs? Yes. And probably no. It is true…

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Reality bites the 49ers. It looks like this is who they are

In a way maybe the loss to Seattle was for the best. You know what would have happened if the 49ers had pulled off the upset and beaten the Seahawks. Irrational exuberance. We saw it after the back to back wins over the Rams and the Patriots. Don’t sleep on the Niners, people said. They’re pulling it together. The playoffs are not out of reach. Instead, they went to Seattle,…

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49ers stick together – and win

  You can drop passes. You can fumble. You can blow a coverage or miss a tackle. Those can be fixed. But if a team loses its chemistry –  its cohesion –  it is cooked. And let’s don’t pretend the 49ers weren’t headed that direction coming into Sunday night’s game with the Rams.  They had a losing record, a series of why-us? injuries and were coming off a defeat that…

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Yanking Garoppolo sets up a whole list of possible consequences for Shanahan

We don’t do it often here, because we’re usually big fans, but we’re going to have to call out Kyle Shanahan. His performance in Sunday’s embarrassing loss to Miami was not impressive. Others have run down the list of whiffs, misses and sacks the team allowed and committed. I recommend that you read them. I’d just say I hope Shanahan went through all the possible scenarios when he yanked quarterback…

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Yes, Nick Mullens imploded. But others aren’t off the hook.

Nick Mullens had a tough day against the Eagles. But so did the 49ers defense. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron Let’s take a break from bashing Nick Mullens for a moment, although I am sure we will get back to it. Sunday’s 25-20 loss to Philadelphia was the first time this year the 49ers looked shell-shocked. This was supposed to be the glide path of the schedule. And although they lost…

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