Ranking the Niners best players: Nos. 16-20

This is the fourth edition of my series ranking the Niners 25 best players. To read the previous edition, click here. 16. Chris Culliver, CB – Targeted 50 times in 2011 and allowed just 4.9 yards per pass, fourth best of all cornerbacks in the NFL (Carlos Rogers allowed 6.5 yards per pass – 19th best). Culliver played left cornerback in the Niners nickel defense, which is a tougher job…

June 27, 2012

Minicamp review

Here’s my minicamp review. Keep in mind, it was a non-contact minicamp. No pads, no tackling. It was basically two-hand touch. So I’m focusing on the players involved in the passing game – quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, cornerbacks and safeties. BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYERS Vernon Davis: He got open almost every time in one-on-one drills. He caught a few touchdowns every scrimmage. After he scored I often heard defenders say…

June 16, 2012

Minicamp notes: Alex Smith shines in Wednesday’s afternoon practice

SANTA CLARA – Here are some unofficial stats from today’s minicamp. Alex Smith completed 27 of 32 passes. In red zone drills he completed two touchdowns. For about an hour he didn’t miss a single pass. Most of his throws were short and intermediate ones to open receivers. Smith is clearly the most confident Niners QB when it comes to making decisions in the pocket. He was throwing the ball…

June 13, 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

49ers sign Cox to 2-year deal. Rogers and Ginn on way out?

The 49ers signed 25-year old cornerback and return specialist Perrish Cox this morning to a two-year contract. This could signal the end for Carlos Rogers and Ted Ginn Jr. in red and gold. Cox will most likely compete with Tramaine Brock for the third CB job, while Chris Culliver and Tarell Brown will start. On special teams, Cox could take Ginn’s job as the primary returner. He returned punts and…

March 13, 2012

Niners sign Ahmad Brooks to six-year extension. What about Carlos Rogers?

The Niners just announced that they re-signed outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks to a six-year contract extension. The contract is worth $44.5 million, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Now, the Niners have every member of their elite defensive front-seven signed for multiple seasons. They’ve solidified the strength of their team, which is always a good strategy. It’s interesting that the Niners gave Brooks the first long-term contract of the offseason, and…

February 28, 2012

The top-five most important free agents for the 49ers to re-sign

Trent Baalke reiterated this morning at the NFL Combine that the 49ers want to keep their guys in place, as in re-sign their free agents. Baalke said there’s no priority list for who he wants to re-sign, which is baloney, probably. Let’s try to guess that priority list. Which of the 49ers free agents are most important to resign? And in what order? Keep in mind, no free agent is…

February 23, 2012

East Coast vs. West Coast: The Battle of the Wide Receivers

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s sports section is doing a special playoff package every day this week, and for Wednesday we’re focusing on the Giants and 49ers wide receivers. The great Phil Barber was assigned to write on the Giants wide outs. I got the Niners wide outs. Quite a contrast. To read about the Bi-Coastal Battle of the Wide Receivers, please click on the following two links. Phil on…

January 17, 2012

Harbaugh heaps praise on Aldon Smith, Tarell Brown, Ahmad Brooks, and more.

SANTA CLARA – Here are more quotes I selected from Jim Harbaugh’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Larry Grant has played really well with Patrick Willis out. Have you thought about, are there different ways you’re going to look to get him involved when Willis comes back? Are there other ways to get Larry Grant on the field more than he had been before the last few weeks?…

December 20, 2011

Wednesday’s injury report: Carlos Rogers misses practice due to a knee injury

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Wednesday’s injury report looks like. 49ers: Did Not Participate in Practice: CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LB Patrick Willis (hamstring) Limited Participation in Practice: CB Tarell Brown (ankle), WR Braylon Edwards (knee) Cardinals: Did Not Participate in Practice: RB Chris Wells (knee, hamstring) Limited Participation in Practice: S Sean Considine (achilles), DT Darnell Docket (quadricep), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), LB Joey Porter (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (foot), P…

December 7, 2011

Jim Harbaugh on Patrick Willis’ injury: “I was more relieved that it wasn’t a knee.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said this afternoon about Patrick Willis, who injured his right hamstring on Sunday against the Rams. Q: Have you gotten any results from the MRI of Patrick Willis? HARBAUGH: No. Nothing to share. Q: What is your sense of the severity of that injury? HARBAUGH: I would not be able to tell you. I’m not in Patrick’s body. Q: But just the black…

December 5, 2011

Tarell Brown says Kevin Kolb is “most definitely” a bigger challenge for the secondary than John Skelton

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Tarell Brown said this morning about his injured ankle and the Niners upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals. Q: Did you tweak your ankle yesterday? T. BROWN: Yeah, I’m alright. Q: Is there a difference playing Cardinals with Kevin Kolb at quarterback rather than John Skelton? Bigger challenge for secondary? T. BROWN: Most definitely. Kolb is a gunslinger. He’s been a gunslinger since his college…

December 5, 2011

Jim Harbaugh on his offensive line’s breakdowns: “It was circumstances.”

Here’s the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday conference call. Q: After watching the film, what was your general impression of the breakdowns and why they occurred and what you can do to get it all fixed? HARBAUGH: First of all as I said last night it was a competitive game. Thought it was very evenly matched. The game turned on every play of the game, but there was also some…

November 25, 2011

Friday injury report: Frank Gore, Ray McDonald and Tarell Brown are Questionable

Here’s what Friday’s injury report looks like: 49ers: Questionable: CB Tarell Brown (knee), RB Frank Gore (knee), DT Ray McDonald (hamstring) Probable: LB NaVorro Bowman (neck), WR Michael Crabtree (foot), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), WR Braylon Edwards (knee), CB Shawntae Spencer (toe) Cardinals: Out: LB Joey Porter (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (foot) Questionable: CB Michael Adams (hamstring), T Jeremy Bridges (back), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), TE Rob Housler (groin), T…

November 18, 2011

Tarell Brown explains his improvement, and more

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Tarell Brown’s locker room Q&A from this morning. Q: What were your thoughts on the win? BROWN: I haven’t watched the film yet but I feel we can improve in a lot of areas. We did a lot of good things but we can also get better. Q: What was your reaction to the handshake? BROWN: I think a lot of people are…

October 17, 2011

Depth chart changes in the secondary

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers just sent out their depth chart for Saturday’s exhibition game against the Houston Texans, and there are some changes in the secondary. Dashon Goldson is officially the starting free safety while Reggie Smith is injured. Madieu Williams is officially second-string. Shawntae Spencer is still the starting right cornerback even though he’s injured. Tarell Brown is his backup, and Tramaine Brock is third-string. Chris Culliver is…

August 23, 2011