Brent Jones says 49ers need to create a package for LaMichael James and call more runs for Kaepernick

Brent Jones spoke on KNBR Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said the 49ers have to do to make up for the loss of Kendall Hunter. Q: What do the 49ers do with Kendall Hunter out for the year? BRENT JONES: “That’s the thing. Frank carried the ball 23 times on Sunday, and he’s been more of a 17-to-18-carries type of guy. “Somebody’s going to have to step up. Is it…

December 5, 2012

Report: Hunter out for the season with ankle injury

Kendall Hunter will miss the rest of the season due the left ankle injury he sustained against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, according to USA Today. Update: Hunter tore his left Achilles according to Matt Barrows. How big of a blow is this for the 49ers. How much does it affect their Super Bowl odds? Brandon Jacobs, Anthony Dixon and LaMichael James will have the opportunity to step up and become…

November 27, 2012

Kyle Williams tears ACL, out for the season. Who will step up?

Monday morning on Twitter, Kyle Williams confirmed he tore his ACL Sunday against the Saints and will miss the rest of the season as he rehabs. Kendall Hunter hurt his ankle on the same play, but the extent of his injury is currently unknown. Due to these injuries, first and second round picks A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James may be activated next week against the Rams, but I do not…

November 26, 2012

Week 5 grades: 49ers demolish Bills 45-3

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are the grades for the 49ers 45-3 demolition of the Bills – a truly awful team. Quarterbacks: A. Alex Smith had the best statistical performance of his career. His QB rating was a near-perfect 156.2. He also rushed 3 times for 49 yards. He completed 18-of-24 passes, but only two passes were bad – a screen he threw too early to Kendall Hunter, and an overthrown…

October 7, 2012

Preseason Week 3 grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers preseason game against the Denver Broncos. QUARTERBACKS: B. Alex Smith and the first-team offense was 1-for-4 on third down and 0-for-1 in the red zone (Peyton Manning was 2-3 on third down and 2-2 in the red zone). Smith did complete 5 of 7 passes, including a deep TD to Vernon Davis. Smith also had one fumbled snap, one delay-of-game penalty and two…

August 26, 2012

Greg Roman on the matchup between Anthony Davis and Von Miller: “It will be great work for us.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is the full transcript of Greg Roman’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Opening Statement: “Good morning. Grinding through training camp right now. It’s a great opportunity for us to look at guys and how they deal with the day in and day out, week after week. So much of the NFL season is how consistent guys can be day-to-day, week-to-week. So many players over…

August 22, 2012

Training camp report: Saturday, the not-so-good – down goes Harbaugh

SANTA CLARA – The two people on this list didn’t have bad practices, just bad moments. Anthony Dixon ran very hard, caught passes and made some nice blocks, but he got absolutely blasted by a cornerback (Perrish Cox), and jeered at by the defense for the rest of practice. Every time he ran into the huddle the defensive backs yelled his name. Jim Harbaugh almost one-upped Dixon. It was the…

August 4, 2012

Training camp report: Friday, the good – the cornerbacks and an unexpected running back

SANTA CLARA — The Niners’ cornerbacks stood out at Friday’s practice. Tarell Brown beat Randy Moss both times he faced him in one-on-one drills. Brown also broke up two Alex Smith passes intended for Mario Manningham – one in a red zone seven-on-seven drill and the other at the very end of practice. Smith tried to throw a quick pass to Manningham but Brown tipped it out of the receiver’s…

August 3, 2012

Harbaugh breaks down the Niners running backs, plus more

How did your thud-ball session go yesterday? “Good. Lively, hard-hitting, aggressive, but I thought we worked well together and got a lot out of that first day in pads.”   There was one incident on the field where it appeared as if you sent off WR Brian Tyms. Can you explain what happened out there? “Yeah, it was an incident that, just the way we do things, how we do…

July 30, 2012

Top five Niners questions heading into training camp

Top five questions as we head into training camp, starting Monday: Will Dashon Goldson hold out? He wanted a multi-year extension from the Niners, but the July 16 deadline passed and the Niners didn’t give him one. All he can do now is sign the one-year franchise tender. The same situation happened to former Niners nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin two seasons ago. Franklin wanted an extension and didn’t get one,…

July 22, 2012

Anthony Dixon: “Just trying to be perfect.”

SANTA CLARA – Last season, Anthony Dixon was the 49ers’ short-yardage running back. Now, he’s competing for that job with Brandon Jacobs, whom San Francisco signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in March. Dixon caught up with reporters today to talk about his mentality this offseason, the improvements he’s made to his game and his no-gain carry on third-and-one in the NFC championship game. Q: What specifically do you…

June 7, 2012

Rathman breaks down the Niners running backs

SANTA CLARA – 49ers running backs coach, Tom Rathman, spoke to a group of reporters after practice this afternoon. I transcribed the interview below. Here are Rathman’s main points: Brandon Jacobs “is a very physical runner” who “has the ability to pack it up inside and run over guys…If we want somebody to run outside, we’ll put somebody else in.” The Niners want to keep Frank Gore “fresh so he’s…

June 6, 2012

The 49ers top-10 offseason battles

With rookie mini camps around the corner and OTAs around the bend too, let’s rank the Niners top-10 offseason battles in reverse order. 10. Michael Crabtree vs. his left foot. Will Crabtree win the battle against his left foot this offseason? He’s 1-2 in his professional career when he’s faced the foot in the summer. It beat him in ’09 when it sustained a stress fracture and held him out…

May 4, 2012

Grading the 49ers: Running backs

Before: Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon. Grade: B Why: Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter were one of the best rushing duos in the league last year. They got the bulk of the Niners’ carries, and the offense finished eighth in rushing. However, the trio was collectively bad in short yardage. Anthony Dixon was supposed to be the goal line guy, but he failed. Now: Add Brandon Jacobs and…

April 29, 2012

Brandon Jacobs is really, really excited to be a Forty-Niner

This afternoon the 49ers officially announced they’ve signed Brandon Jacobs to a one-year deal. Trent Baalke had this to say: “The 49ers are pleased to add a player with Brandon’s wealth of experience and talent. He has been productive throughout his career, and provides our offense a different dimension. We look forward to incorporating Brandon into our system.” Jacobs answered questions just now on a conference call, and here’s what…

April 6, 2012

49ers sign Brandon Jacobs

The Niners have signed 265-pound running back Brandon Jacobs, according to an ESPN report. Jacobs is 29 years old and he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season as the Giants’ backup RB. During the season Jacobs made it clear he wanted to go to a team in 2012 where he could start. For him to sign with the Niners he must feel he has a good chance to take…

March 28, 2012

Why the 49ers will not draft a running back

I say the Niners will not take a running back in the upcoming NFL Draft, and here’s why. This season, Frank Gore will be the starter and Kendall Hunter will be the backup. Any running back the Niners could draft would be a third-stringer this season (with the exception of Alabama’s Trent Richardson. He’d be the Niners’ best RB right now, but they’re not getting him – he’s a top-five…

March 26, 2012

Why the 49ers should get Tebow

The Niners are a “team to monitor” in the Tim Tebow trade talks, according to Adam Schefter. Chris Mortensen also confirmed the Niners as a front runner. The rumor is Tebow costs nothing more than a fifth or a sixth round pick. If Baalke can get Tebow for that paltry price, he should do it and here’s why. Besides sucking on third downs, the Niners offense sucks in the red…

March 20, 2012

Grant’s top-five favorite 49ers

This year the beat writers voted Donte Whitner the Garry Niver award winner for the player most accommodating with the press. Garry Niver covered the championship 49ers teams for the San Mateo Times. He died in the early ‘90s of a heart attack. My dad knew him very well and says he was a lovely man. The award is named in his honor. Whitner was a great choice for the…

January 31, 2012

Scarface at the ‘Stick

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat just posted my article for Friday. It’s about how these 49ers set the tone in their football games. It’s also about Tony Montana vs. Joe Montana, in a sense. I spoke to Anthony Dixon and Blake Costanzo for the piece. To read it, click here. To set the tone for yourself, listen to ‘Tony Montana’ here. (Warning: Curse words)

January 19, 2012