Training camp 1st day: The key topics

Training camp starts Friday and here are the top-five people I’m interested to watch. 1. Jim Harbaugh. It’s important to see how he runs a practice. Does he teach? Does he delegate work to his other coaches? Does he spend most his time with the quarterbacks? 2. Colin Kaepernick. How comfortable is he running the offense? What are his strengths and weaknesses? How does he interact with his teammates? Does…

July 28, 2011

Question to Ponder: Will Niners trade up to get QB?

In this article, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports quotes an unnamed NFL coach as saying he prefers Ponder to Auburn’s Cam Newton. Ponder’s stock is rising as he’s put to rest questions regarding lingering arm issues. In addition, he presumably impressed teams in one-on-one meetings at the combine with his Xs-and-Os smarts.

March 28, 2011

Lombardi identifies Bulger as likely Niners’ QB target

In looking beyond the draft at the Niners’ quarterback situation, Lombardi sees San Francisco as potential players for Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer, assuming he’s on the trade market. And he also “fully expects” the Niners to pursue free agent Marc Bulger, not a name that’s generally been linked to San Francisco.

March 24, 2011

Harbaugh suggests Gore will be his latest workhorse

Harbaugh has twice had running backs returning after 1,000-yard seasons. In each case those backs have ranked among the top three in the nation in carries per game, averaging more than 26 a contest (perspective: Kansas City’s Larry Johnson set the NFL record for single-season carries in 2006 with 416, or 26 a contest).

February 15, 2011

The latest Niners legend: Patrick Willis

Maybe it’s because he bolted into the backfield with an impossibly large black cast on his broken right hand. And maybe it’s because, looking back, I know he suffered further damage to his hand and needed a second surgery following the game. Or maybe it’s just because, in my mind, everything about the Niners was substandard and embarrassing in that game until Willis, like a Porsche surrounded by Pintos, made that play.

January 24, 2011

Willis, Justin Smith named to Pro Bowl

Patrick Willis, who was named as a starter, became the first 49ers player since Ronnie Lott to begin his career with four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. Willis said it was an honor to be linked with the Hall of Fame safety.

December 28, 2010

Patrick Willis’ phone call to Singletary

Back home in the South Bay after the loss at St. Louis, Patrick Willis unwound by surfing the Internet on Sunday night. It was when Willis clicked over to ESPN that he saw the news: his organization had fired Mike Singletary. “I called him right away, you know, because I wanted to hear it from him as opposed to hearing it in the news and all that stuff,” Willis said to the reporters still hanging around the media trailer Monday afternoon.

December 27, 2010

Keaton Kristick is having a blast, man

Most of the 49ers are polite when fielding questions from the media. Keaton Kristick, happy to discuss wrestling moves once the tape recorder is turned off, might be the only one who could accurately be described as eager.

December 20, 2010

The Niners and their knack for not making plays

Geez, I spent nearly 1,000 words trying to describe the 49ers’ performance and my non-writer, NFL-mad friend captured it perfectly in a concise in-game e-mail. His message: Puke. Evidently RB DeShawn Wynn wasn’t the only one with an upset tummy after the Niners’ 34-7 faceplant against San Diego:

December 17, 2010

Willis, Spikes in; Gates, Floyd out

Pregame notes leading up until kickoff: • ILBs Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes, who were questionable with hand injuries, will play tonight. CSN Bay Area has reported that both Willis and Spikes have broken hands. UPDATE: A Niners spokesperson has confirmed that Willis had surgery Monday and had a pin inserted. Spikes did not have surgery. • 49ers inactives: David Carr (3rd QB), K Joe Nedney, CB Tramaine Brock, CB…

December 16, 2010