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

Week 1 grades: The 49ers upset the Packers 30-22

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Here are my grades for the 49ers, who upset the Packers 30-22 at Lambeau Field in the season opener. QUARTERBACKS: A. Alex Smith may have played the best game of his life, even better than his comeback win against the Saints in the playoffs. Granted, the Packers secondary was horrendous, but Smith threw 2 TDs and no picks. He averaged a stellar 8.1 yards per attempt….

September 9, 2012

Aaron Rodgers on Alex Smith: “I think he plays the position pretty well.”

SANTA CLARA – Aaron Rodgers spoke to Bay Area reporters this afternoon on a conference call. He spoke about the Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Alex Smith and the term “game manager.” Here’s a transcript. Q: What makes the 49ers’ defense stand out among the NFL’s defenses? RODGERS: They have the best players. Front the front-seven to the back end they’re solid. They don’t have any weaknesses. A lot of Pro-Bowl…

September 5, 2012

Five questions for the defense

SANTA CLARA – Tuesday was a defense-dominated day in the 49ers’media tent – Vic Fangio, Larry Grant and Ricky Jean Francois all spoke at the podium, and I spoke one on one to Chris Culliver in the locker room. I asked each guy the same few questions, and here are their responses followed by my conclusions. Question 1: How would you characterize this defense? FANGIO: To me it’s in the…

August 21, 2012

The importance of Perrish Cox

I was reading a Greg Cosell article this morning called “The Evolving Chess Match” and I found it interesting, so I’m passing it along to you. Here’s the key excerpt from the article: “There are always exceptions, but defensively, if you expect to beat the top passing games, you must be able to stop shotgun offenses with five receivers than can align at any position. That’s the next frontier.” The…

July 6, 2012

Minicamp notes: Breaking down Alex Smith’s third down and red zone performance from Tuesday

SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith threw two touchdowns and converted one third down in Tuesday’s afternoon practice. He threw his first touchdown to Vernon Davis. The offense lined up in the red zone, Davis ran toward the end zone and Smith threw the ball high over Davis’ back shoulder. Davis leaped in the air, caught the pass and landed on his back. It was the catch Wes Welker couldn’t make…

June 12, 2012

Harbaugh praises Vernon Davis, Tukuafu, Cox and more

SANTA CLARA – Below is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Tuesday post-practice interview, courtesy of the 49ers. Here are Harbaugh’s main points: Will Tukuafu is playing defensive tackle and full back in practice, like Isaac Sopoaga did last season. Vernon Davis has improved his route running and he’s having an excellent offseason. Rookie defensive end Cam Johnson did not attend practice due a minor procedure but he should be ready…

June 5, 2012

The top-five 49ers under contract

Who are the top-five Niners under contract right now? Recently, we’ve focused on players who don’t have contracts, like Coby Fleener and Carlos Rogers and Alex Smith, to name a few. What about the players the Niners have currently? Who are the best ones? Here’s the top-five. 1. Justin Smith – He’s the best player on the team, arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. He’s a great run…

February 27, 2012

Baalke’s top-five moves of 2011

Trent Baalke is having a monster year. On Friday, the 49ers extended his contract through the 2016 season, this coming a few weeks after he won the NFL’s Executive of the Year award. Almost every move he made in 2011 worked out. It was like he was on a heater at a craps table in Vegas and he was hitting ten the hard way over and over again. Here are…

February 11, 2012

Eight Niners selected to Pro Bowl

It turns out Jim Harbaugh overshot his Pro Bowl prediction. Eight Niners made the NFC Pro Bowl team – one or two or three short of his prediction. Six Niners ended up making the team as starters, and two made it as reserves. The starters are Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Carlos Rogers, David Akers and Andy Lee and the reserves are are Frank Gore and Dashon Goldson. Not one…

December 27, 2011

Who’s the Niners MVP?

The great Matt Barrows made his case on KNBR a few days ago for DT Justin Smith as the Niners’ 2011 MVP. That’s a terrific selection, and it’s hard to argue with it – Justin Smith has been the best player on the league’s best defense this season. He’s certainly been the Niners most excellent player. But if I were picking their most valuable player, I’d go with Alex Smith….

December 11, 2011

Vic Fangio: “Our pass rush was not an issue in that game.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s Thursday afternoon press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. [LB] Patrick [Willis] was talking about the goal line stand that you guys had in Baltimore a week ago, how he was able to call out the drop there with QB Joe Flacco in, said that was something you showed them on film, even though Baltimore hadn’t run it all season….

December 1, 2011

Ray Rice breaks down the Niners defense

Here’s the transcript of Ray Rice’s Monday morning conference call. Q: The 49ers haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher or a rushing touchdown this season. What are your thoughts on facing them? RICE: You look at the other side of the ball and you look at what’s going on over there and it kind of reminds us of our own defense. They take a lot of pride in not only stopping the run,…

November 21, 2011

Wednesday’s injury report

Here’s what Wednesday’s injury report looks like. 49ers Limited Participation in Practice: LB NaVorro Bowman (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (foot), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), WR Braylon Edwards (knee), RB Frank Gore (ankle), DT Ray McDonald (hamstring), RB Moran Norris (fibula), DT Justin Smith (not injury related) Full Participation in Practice: S Dashon Goldson (knee), RB Kendall Hunter (ankle), CB Shawntae Spencer (toe), TE Delanie Walker (knee), S Donte Whitner (thigh)…

November 9, 2011

Bowman the lion: “I wouldn’t say I knew I was this good.”

SANTA CLARA — NaVorro Bowman reclines at his locker like a lion lying in the grass. He sits on a stool and leans back with his eyes closed, almost like he’s sleeping. He doesn’t waste a single movement – he’s all potential. In a sense, he’s waiting to happen, and we’ve seen this year what happens when he happens. He spoke this morning about his on-field mentality and his locker…

October 31, 2011

Browns HC Shurmur on Niners D: “They’re so good against the run they don’t have to be overly heroic in coverage.”

Here’s the transcript of Cleveland Browns head Coach Pat Shurmur’s morning conference call with Bay Area reporters. Q: Are you going to keep the same travel schedule from when you came out here a couple weeks ago? SHURMUR: Yeah, we’re actually going to stay right there at the Westin SFO. We’ll come out on Friday. Q: Have you talked to the NFL about these West Coast trips back to back…

October 26, 2011

Greg Cosell on Alex Smith and Carson Palmer

Here’s the transcript of Murph and Mac’s Q&A with NFL Film’s analyst Greg Cosell from this morning on KNBR. Murph and Mac asked Cosell about Carson Palmer first and then the 49ers second. I’m giving you the whole interview, but I’m putting the Niners stuff at the top. Q: Jim Harbaugh and Vic Fangio called the 49ers defensive performance in Detroit last week the best one they’ve ever coached. Did…

October 20, 2011

Greg Cosell on the Niners’ comeback: “The player they exploited was Nnamdi Asomugha.”

Here’s what NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell said about the 49ers this morning on the Murph and Mac Show. Q: Did you have any inkling that the 49ers could pull off that comeback? COSELL: The best way to answer that would be I was surprised Alex Smith started the second half. Q: I’d say the same thing, and that’s coming from a fan. COSELL: I’ve got to tell you, I…

October 6, 2011