Haloti Ngata vs. the 49ers’ offensive line

The 49ers play the Ravens Sunday at the Super Dome in Super Bowl XLVII. In the meantime, I’ll break down the key matchups. DT Haloti Ngata vs. The 49ers’ offensive line As good as Justin Smith is, Haloti Ngata might be a better defensive tackle right now. He’s younger – Ngata is 29 years old and Justin Smith is 32 years old. Ngata is bigger – Ngata weighs 340 pounds…

January 30, 2013

49ers divisional playoff grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers massacred the Packers 45-31 on Saturday night. Here is the grade for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: A. Joe Staley gave up the one and only sack. He injured his arm in the game and did not play particularly well. But the other four offensive linemen sure did. Mike Iupati, Alex Boone and Anthony Davis all were terrific run blockers. Jonathan Goodwin only had one…

January 13, 2013

Roman: “We’ve just got to execute at a higher level and finish drives better.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening statement: “Good afternoon, we’ve got a tough opponent this week, Arizona. Their defense, we have a lot of respect for, we know pretty well. You saw what they did to Detroit a couple of weeks ago. They’ve got good players, some guys we really think are among the…

December 27, 2012

Staley on the Seahawks: “Their defensive front is the fastest in the NFL, especially those two guys on the edge.”

SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley spoke at his locker Friday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: The Seahawks have the third ranked defense in the league. What makes them so good? STALEY: Very, very fast. Their defensive front is the fastest in the NFL, especially those two guys on the edge (Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin). They want to get you in third-and-long situations, so we have to do a…

December 21, 2012

Roman says Gore got “too many plays last week.”

SANTA CLARA — This is what Greg Roman said about the 49ers running game at his Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Have you been impressed with G/T Alex Boone’s development and in particular his ability to pull and use his athleticism for a 6’7” guy? “Yeah Alex, I though, had one of his best games, if not his best game last week. Technically, from an assignment standpoint,…

December 6, 2012

Boone calls Kaepernick “calm,” “cool,” “collected,” “awesome” and “unbelievable.”

NEW ORLEANS – Here’s what Alex Boone said about Colin Kaepernick after the 49ers beat the Saints 31-21. Q: How did Colin play? BOONE: Awesome. Q: What was your impression of some of the throws he made? BOONE: Unbelievable. I think he did a great job. He had some pressure today, but he got out of it and made some great plays. I’m proud of him coming to this stadium…

November 25, 2012

Harbaugh explains the 4 sacks allowed vs. Cardinals defense

SANTA CLARA — Here’s how Jim Harbaugh explained the four sacks allowed by the 49ers offense against the Cardinals last night, courtesy of the 49ers. Four sacks seemed to be the only question mark. Overlooking it together, do you see a trend, it looks like a couple times Alex pulled it down something wasn’t there right away and he had no other choices. What accounts for the four sacks, was…

October 30, 2012

49ers Week 8 grades: Offense

Here are the grades for the 49ers offense from their 24-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterbacks: A. Alex Smith played one of the best games of his life. He only attempted 19 passes, but he completed 18 of them, and Delanie Walker dropped the one incompletion. That’s a 95 percent completion percentage. Smith broke Fran Tarketon’s record for the most completed passes in a game in which he threw…

October 29, 2012

Harbaugh on Gore, Jacobs, Iupati and Boone

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about a few of his own players. Q: Frank Gore has 103 carries through seven games. Is that about what you want from him workload-wise? He’s carried the ball considerably less than he had at this point last year. HARBAUGH: No, didn’t have a number in mind. Q: Generally speaking, did you want him…

October 22, 2012

Pro Football Focus ranks 49ers

I’m passing along Pro Football Focus’ player rankings for the 49ers because I think you’ll find them fascinating. If you want to know how PFF grades players, you can read that here. If you want to see the grades, you have to purchase their premium stats. According to Pro Football Focus, Joe Staley currently ranks as the best run-blocking tackle in the NFL by far. Alex Boone and Mike Iupati…

October 22, 2012

Week 7 grades: The offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Seahawks 13-6. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: D. Alex Smith did not have a good game, but he did lead one touchdown drive in the third quarter and that was all the 49ers needed to beat the Seahawks. Smith was five-of-five on that drive for 60 yards and a touchdown. On the other drives, he was 9-of-18 for 90…

October 18, 2012

Goodwin: “When you get behind, you have to throw the ball a little bit more. That’s not what this team is about.”

SANTA CLARA – Offensive linemen Jonathan Goodwin and Alex Boone spoke in the locker room Monday afternoon. Here’s how each player summed up the offense’s performance against the Giants on Sunday. GOODWIN: We were moving the ball and I think once we got behind, that kind of changed some things up. It was a seven-point game at halftime, and then they were able to come out and get a touchdown….

October 15, 2012

Harbaugh: “We’ve just been using Colin as an added weapon. We feel like we’re getting plenty of everything from Alex Smith.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers 26-3 loss to the Giants. Q: How do you think Alex Boone did at left tackle after Joe Staley got hurt? HARBAUGH: Did fine. I don’t think any of us had our best day. It certainly wouldn’t be very human if it didn’t hurt today. But there’s no time. You’ve…

October 15, 2012

Week 6 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers just lost 26-3 to the New York Giants. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: F. This was Alex Smith’s worst game under Jim Harbaugh. Smith threw three picks – the most he’s thrown since 2007. In the first half he missed a handful of open receivers. Then he tried to force a few passes and got picked off. At the end of…

October 14, 2012

Roman says Alex Smith and the 49ers offense are “getting that synergy going.”

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Greg Roman said about Alex Smith and the 49ers offense at the Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Can you just talk a little bit about QB Alex Smith and the improvement you’ve seen in him and what may have allowed him to take what looks like a pretty big leap this year? “I think Alex is performing exactly as we hope any…

October 11, 2012

Harbaugh on Bills: “Statistically a very good football team.”

SANTA CLARA – Wednesday in the media tent, Jim Harbaugh answered questions about the Buffalo Bills, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Boone, the rookies, Randy Moss and more. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   The Bills obviously had a pretty rugged second half last week against the Patriots. What do you see from them? Obviously, they have challenging players on that side of the ball. What did you see from…

October 3, 2012

Harbaugh on the 49ers third-down offense: “We’d like to make it sensational this week.”

SANTA CLARA – Friday in the media tent, Jim Harbaugh compared Frank Gore to Walter Payton, evaluated Kyle Williams’ Week 1 performance and the offense’s third down production. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers. I’m not trying to be fresh when I ask this, but how did WR Kyle Williams do? I think he had six punts in Green Bay? “Yeah, he did really well. Got to love it…

September 14, 2012

Roman on the Lions: “They do a great job destroying blocking schemes.”

SANTA CLARA – The transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Opening Statement: “Getting ready for a good Detroit team, playoff team. The strength of their front, probably lies with their front four, they bring a lot of D-linemen to the game. They roll them through there to keep them fresh. There’s times when they’ll load up the front, it’s no secret. Kind of an old…

September 13, 2012

Harbaugh on The Handshake: “There’s nothing I can possibly add.”

I was in an airplane somewhere above Nebraska or Colorado when Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media in Santa Clara Monday afternoon. He reiterated all the good things his players did against the Packers on Sunday, and he spoke about the upcoming opponent – the Detroit Lions – and the “mini-controversy” surrounding last year’s slap handshake with Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz. Here’s a complete transcript, courtesy of the 49ers….

September 10, 2012

Alex Boone: “If I don’t get low enough, it could be trouble.”

Alex Boone, the 49ers’ new right guard who had never played guard before Friday night’s exhibition opener, spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. He talked about his transition from tackle to guard, the advantages and disadvantages of being tall and long-armed, and more. Here’s a transcript. Q: How’s the transition from tackle to guard going for you? BOONE: A lot easier than I thought it would be. The biggest…

August 14, 2012