How important is Frank Gore?

According to reports, Frank Gore ended his holdout and showed up at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara this morning. How important is his return? He’s 28 years old, he’s got mileage, and he’s coming off a hip fracture. Those are the down sides to Gore. On the other hand, he’s the best player on Jim Harbaugh’s offense. Vernon Davis may be younger and bigger and faster, but Gore is more…

August 1, 2011

Practice patterns

SANTA CLARA – The third practice of training camp started nearly an hour ago. Now that I’ve seen three, I’d like to share some trends I’ve noticed. The big activity to begin practice is special teams, and Ted Ginn has returned most of the kickoffs so far. Coach Jim Tomsula works with the defensive line in the back-left corner of the property, not technically on a playing field, just beyond…

July 31, 2011

Is Harbaugh hard-hearted?

I want to take you back to a scene from practice yesterday. Second-year tight end Nate Byham landed wrong on his left knee and he was writhing in pain on the ground. Two trainers ran over to him immediately, and Vernon Davis ran over too. Jim Harbaugh did not run over. He blew his whistle and ordered the team to run to the other end of the field to complete…

July 31, 2011

Day 1: The Harbaugh and Kaepernick Show

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the first scene from the 49ers’ first practice of the 2011 training camp. New quarterback Colin Kaepernick lined up under new center Adam Snyder, and took snaps as new head coach Jim Harbaugh watched on a knee like an umpire calling balls and strikes. It was these three men in the middle of the field. Harbaugh’s attention was focused completely on Kaepernick, and the rookie was…

July 29, 2011

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

Alex + Vernon = 124.0

San Francisco quarterbacks had a whopping 113.8 rating in 2010 when they targeted Vernon Davis, who had a particularly good rapport with Alex Smith (124.0 rating).

March 10, 2011

TEs a towering presence in Harbaugh’s offense

Vernon Davis (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) and backups Delanie Walker (6-0, 242) and Nate Byham (6-4, 268) are the type of big-bodied, athletic and versatile tight ends that Harbaugh targeted at Stanford: The Cardinal’s tight-end trio this past season featured Coby Fleener (6-6, 244), Zach Ertz (6-6, 249) and Konrad Reuland (6-6, 257).

February 3, 2011

Davis on McNabb: ‘That would be outstanding’

But Davis’ excitement over the thought of teaming with the six-time Pro Bowler is understandable. During Davis’ five seasons in San Francisco, the Niners starting quarterbacks have included Hill, Alex Smith, Troy Smith, J.T. O’Sullivan, Trent Dilfer and Chris Weinke.

January 11, 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

Singletary tight-lipped; QBs invisible

In the latest twist in Operation Sealed Lips, quarterbacks Alex Smith and Troy Smith weren’t in the locker room during the nearly hour-long media availability today. A team spokesman said the signal-callers were in meetings.

December 21, 2010