The "Official 2008 San Francisco 49ers Thread"

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Props Slaps
 9 years ago '04        #221
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Frank looked real good last night. Hopefully Martz will get him more in the screen game and more chance at receiving.

I won't comment on the QB situation. Too painful
 9 years ago '05        #222
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Nolan names JTO as regular-season starter

J.T. O'Sullivan is starter going into the regular season, 49ers coach Mike Nolan announced on conference call with reporters this afternoon.

Nolan said the focus is on getting ready for the season. O'Sullivan got the better command of the offense right now. Moved ball as a unit and scored points with him as QB.

--Nolan said he still has a lot of confidence in Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. Smith will be the backup and Hill will be the No. 3 QB.

--Nolan said there is no thought to cutting Alex Smith. He said the organization has not had that discussion.

--Nolan said he had that conversation with the QBs about an hour ago. He said JTO was quiet when he told him the decision. He said both Alex and Shaun handled it about as well as they could. He stressed the importance of their backup roles with the team.

--Arnaz Battle, Bryant Johnson and Ashley Lelie might be back (probably two of the three will be back) for the final exhibition game. Nolan said he'll want to get that first-team offense a little more work that usual in the final tuneup.

--David Baas is expected to practice this week. Nolan is not sure about Adam Snyder or Jonas Jennings. Also a chance that Michael Robinson could return to practice in the coming week.

--When asked if Smith will be considered a bust? "The perception is wrong if that's the perception," Nolan said. He said Alex is getting better and better. He's getting a lot of detailed-coaching by a detailed coach. Nolan said he has a lot of confidence in Alex. He said Alex is optimistic about his possibilities of being a good quarterback.

--"We want to play our best players to give us the best chance to win," Nolan said of the quarterback position. Nolan said, "He's just not there at this point." This is a case of J.T. O'Sullivan playing very well, not Smith and Hill underperforming.

--Nolan said yesterday coming back on the flight was when the club solidified the decision to go with O'Sullivan.

--Said he spoke to each QB and told that he's backing JTO 100 pecent and he expects him to succeed. But everyone has to stay ready to be able to do their very best.

--When asked if this was a decision he had to explain to the Yorks, Nolan said ownership has been kept abrea$t of the QB competition throughout. They have been fully aware of what's been taking place.

* * *

--Nolan said he's not sure Allen Rossum (back) will be out. He's pretty sore today, and might miss a practice or two. He should be able to play in the next game.

* * *

--Nolan said it's good they got a win. Helps the team learn how to win. Putting points on board to show offense is getting better. Offensively, moved the ball well. Thought all three QBs did a good job. Ran the ball pretty good. Everybody played hard.

--Defensively, gave up some big plays. Weren't as detailed on responsibilities on pass plays as they should've been. Disappointing they didn't execute as well as usually do, Nolan said.

--Special teams, coverage units, were a concern. Need to make those tackles. When you get a return man pinned down, have to make those plays. It wasn't a case of a bunch of backups. Those guys will be players during the regular season.

* * *


J.T, O'Sullivan 20 of 33 (60.6 percent) for 351 yards (10.6 yds per attempt) with 2 TDs and 2 Ints. Passer rating of 91.8. (13 drives: 27 points; 3 TDs, 2 FGs, 2 Ints, 1 fumble).

Alex Smith 16 of 38 (42.1 percent) for 196 yards (5.2 yds per attempt) with 1 TD and 0 Ints. Passer rating of 67.4. (11 drives: 27 points; 3 TDs, 2 FGs, 1 blocked FG).

Shaun Hill 18 of 32 (56.3 percent) for 164 yards (5.1 yds per attempt) with 0 TDs and 1 Ints. Passer rating of 57.3. (10 drives: 16 points; 1 TD, 3 FGs, 1 Int).
 08-25-2008, 07:13 PM         #223
Myles Away  OP
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'Bust' label is too strong for 49ers' Smith

Former No.1 pick Alex Smith has thrown 19 TD passes and 31 INTs in 32 career games.

Of all the terms you could use to describe Alex Smith's NFL adventure so far, there is one term that is truly best avoided.


Smith is no bust. He might be playing Clipboard Guy to J.T. O'Sullivan, but he's no bust. A disappointment to this date, sure. A frustration, certainly, a.ssuming your view of things begins and ends around Candlestick Point. A mystery, perhaps, if one hasn't been paying close attention to the ways in which Smith's career has been made to spin sideways.

But a bust? Not here, and absolutely not now. Smith is still just 24 years old. Strong arm, though not always accurate. Good head, though a tendency to over-intellectualize. Honest guy, though that'll get you in trouble in the NFL if you get carried away with the whole truth-telling thing.

In short, Smith remains an imperfect (but useful) product in a professional league that is made up almost entirely of flawed (but useful) products. He'll deliver for someone, and it won't take forever -- as long as that someone isn't the 49ers. The sooner San Francisco moves Smith, the sooner he can get on with the NFL career he's supposed to have.

Smith is, of course, responsible himself for some of what he's dealing with in his fourth season since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft -- a turn of events that led to his signing a contract that included $24 million in guaranteed bonus money, in case the previous 45,000 mentions of his bank account this month somehow slipped your notice.

The intervening years have been ones of hope, followed by perplexity, followed by the usual rush to figure out whom to blame for the fact that Smith didn't take this ragtag franchise by the scruff of the neck and lead it to glory.

Truth is, Alex Smith is no savior -- and never was. His No. 1 status, like some other No. 1s over the years, was a fluke, owing to the simple fact that the 49ers had to draft a quarterback in '05. The franchise narrowed its choice to Smith and Aaron Rodgers and took Smith. Even back then, his college coach at Utah, Urban Meyer, said it would take awhile for Smith to shake off Meyer's tricked-up offensive scheme and learn the NFL way of things.

Well, let's talk about that for a minute. Four years later, Smith is on his fourth offensive coordinator in San Francisco, from Mike McCarthy to Norv Turner to Jim Hostler and, now, Mike Martz. The quarterback who will start for the 49ers this season, O'Sullivan, came into camp having spent all last year learning Martz's system in Detroit. One can argue Smith ought to be able to rise above such mundane matters as who is drawing up the plays in the dirt, but that's not the reality of the NFL.

The reality, in fact, isn't kind to the 49ers and head coach Mike Nolan from any angle where Smith is concerned. Top pick or no top pick, Nolan rushed Smith into the job as a rookie, promoting him over Tim Rattay after a 1-3 start. Smith's reward? His first NFL start, against the Indianapolis Colts, who came into the game with one of the best defenses in the league. Four interceptions and a fumble later: Welcome to the show, kid.

It went like that. McCarthy left for Green Bay after year one, replaced by Turner, under whom Smith had his best season to date. Turner promptly left to become the Chargers' head coach, and Nolan, with the blessing of the front office, brought in the unproven Hostler to replace him. Hostler was promptly ditched after a single, disastrous season, yet somehow Smith is the one on the hook for the damage.

It's easy to forget Smith's 58 percent completion average under Turner in 2006, especially in light of the gear-stripping year of '07. Again, look at the role the 49ers played in this debacle. Smith limped out of the gate, trying to make Hostler's anemic system work on offense. Nolan, already feeling the pressure of a third-year coach who hadn't achieved a franchise turnaround, just had no patience on any level.

When Smith separated his shoulder, Nolan tried to say it was no big deal. Even as neutral observers could easily spot Smith sailing passes that he'd never missed before, Nolan essentially implied that Smith wasn't tough enough to handle the usual in-season injuries that all players face. Smith made things infinitely worse by answering truthfully reporters' questions about his condition, admitting his shoulder was "killing" him, and thus violating Rule No. 1 in the locker room (don't tell a reporter anything, ever).

The team wanted Smith to rehab the injury, clearly underestimating its severity. Smith didn't finally have surgery until December, a ridiculous mistake. Fault Smith for not simply taking over and going for the surgery himself sooner; he tried to play it the 49ers' way, and he lost.

The question of whether Smith will ever be a dominator is something else again. It's mostly silly, but it comes with the territory of being the top draft pick and being paid by the duffel bags full of cash. Smith ultimately is the guardian of his own career, a lesson he undoubtedly has learned several times over while going through the meat-grinder of the NFL life in San Francisco.

But a bust? It's way too early in the game for that. What Smith needs is a new zip code, not a gold watch.

Mark Kreidler's book "Six Good Innings," about the pressure-filled season of one Little League team intent on upholding its town's championship tradition, will be released July 1 and can be ordered now. His book "Four Days to Glory" has been optioned for film/TV development by ESPN Original Entertainment. A regular contributor to, Kreidler can be reached at .

Last edited by Myles Away; 08-25-2008 at 07:14 PM..
 08-26-2008, 02:32 AM         #224
Myles Away  OP
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Mike Nolan talks

Here is a transcript of Lowell's interview with Mike Nolan at 11:30 a.m. on Monday:

Q: What are your goals for the season for the team?

A: Our team goals haven't changed but most important we're just focusing on what's immediate. But obviously our goals haven't changed. We want to win the division, those kinds of things. We can't do that without beating Arizona. We want to keep our focus on the one at a time.

Q: Does that mean you think there is a chance to win the division?

A: It means like I said I don't go there. We've got a decent football team, but we can't take care of any of that stuff until we do the first thing.

Q: Was the quarterback back decision an exhilarating process or an upsetting process for you?

A: Just the whole process?

Q: Yeah, it was a big deal to the media. It was a big deal to the fans.

A: I enjoy the competition that takes place on a football team and any time there's competition at a position it's encouraging to know you've got people f!ghting to get the job. It's the first time since I'm here we've actually had competition at the position. That's why I said we have three guys we can win with. I still feel that way. So, if anything it was a feeling of encouragement that we have three guys and that whoever came out at the end as the guy, the other two would still give us a chance to win. I don't know that I've had that sense since I've been here.

Q: I just read a quote you gave Peter King at Sports Illustrated. You're talking about O'Sullivan and you say, "His play's been better at the position than what we've had at any point in the last three years." Why did you say that?

A: My comment to Peter was talking about the entire position, and I'll talk to Peter because I know him well. As the conversation was going, I said the position is playing better than it has at any time since I've been here, not any one in particular. I have been pleased with the way the individuals have played. But Alex is playing at a very high level as well, in my opinion. So it was a position comment.

Q: I want to clarify this. You were speaking about the position. You were not saying O'Sullivan is better now than Alex was at any time in the last three years.

A: (Nolan frowns.) We haven't played a game yet.

Q: What is your plan for the future with quarterbacks? Does it look to you like O'Sullivan is the quarterback of the future and in that case what happens to Alex Smith?

A: I'm not thinking past our first game. I'm certainly not going to the end of the season. It's the same question that could be applied to my status and every year we all face a new status. So I don't even think about the future. I know that right now we've had no conversations about Alex not being on our football team and I would hope they've had no conversations about me not being on this football team. From my standpoint I'm staying on the here and now, on the short-term focus.

Q: That was my next question actually, about you. Do you feel vulnerable, but I know what you're going to say.

A: Nolan smiles.

Q: Do you want me to say what you're going to say?

A: Yeah, go ahead.

Q: I'm only thinking about the here and now. I'm not thinking about my status at the end of the season.

A: Yeah, there's no time for feeling vulnerable. There isn't. As I always say, it's like parenting. You stay in the here and now. You do the best you can. That's where it ought to be, and you see a lot better on the short term than the long term. I can't tell you what's on the other side of that fence. All I can tell you is right here.

Q: I'm going to tell you something I think is paradoxical in your situation. If the team does badly they're going to blame you. If the team does really well, especially the quarterbacks, some people will say, "You see, Mike Martz came in and he saved Nolan." In a way, you're in a no-win situation. If the team does badly you're to blame. If the team does well, especially the offense, this other guy might get the credit. Have you thought about that?

A: No, because there's an entire building filled with a lot of people. There's a lot of other players on the team that would contribute to us winning. It's the way it always is. There's always going to be identification - "Oh, this is what's changed and this is why they're good." But as I always say, you don't want to change the problem. Our special teams need to remain good. Our defense will play a huge part in how we play this year. There's a lot of other areas. No question the quarterback position is one that we have to rectify because people have blamed them as the area that's taken us down. As one area can take you down it can get you back playing at the level you should. If our defense were to go to the level that our offense was last year and if our offense went to the defense's level, you'd see a bad season again. It does take an entire football team.

Q: The decision to go with O'Sullivan now, is that a Mike Martz decision or a group decision?

A: It was a collective decision, and with discussion and without discussion everybody was on the same page. I mean when we all came together it wasn't like someone had to be convinced, "Hey, you need to think like I'm thinking." There are decisions at times that that happens. In this particular decision that was not. Everybody on their own thought the same thing we thought collectively.

Q: Right after the season you were in long meetings with ownership. In the press trailer we were asking if Nolan is going to get fired. I think I might have fired you.

A: You did.

Q: I think I fired you three times.

A: You weren't alone.

Q: Did you feel your job was in jeopardy and did you have to talk your way back into it?

A: I at no time felt I had to talk my way back into the job. But at no time during those two days was I convinced I had a job. I was just asked questions on where I felt we went right and where we went wrong. Why? Could I correct it? All those questions. That's what was taking place at that time. At no time did I say anything or do anything with the intentions of keeping my job. I said it the way I saw it. The only people who knew if I'd be back, obviously, were John and Jed York. No one else knew. Those were the two I was meeting with. At no time did I do anything or say anything -- and since that time I've done nothing to try to save it. What I've done is try and get us back on track.

Q: It's interesting you interviewed for your job and you had a successful job interview.

A: (Nolan doesn't respond.)

Q: What do you like about coaching?

A: Hands-on teaching.

Q: Would you consider yourself a good leader, a tough guy?

A: I don't know what you mean by tough. But as a good leader, it's like parenting. Are you a good parent? There are times you feel, "I'm doing a pretty damn good job." There are other times you're thinking, "I need to do better in this area." It's the same thing with coaching. I'm very confident in my ability to lead, no question. But there's days you think, "I've got to do a better job in this area."

Q: When I say tough I don't mean you go f!ght with players, but I mean someone who makes hard decisions easily and can live with them.

A: Very much so. Without a question in my mind. I think I've had to do that since the day I got here. I'm not afraid of the tough decisions, but most important you have to be making those decisions for the best for your team not for the best for Mike Nolan or anybody else. Like I said, at the end of the season I could have made comments based on what's good for me. Everything I had to say had to do with us as a football team and an organization winning again not, "I sure hope to save my job."

Q: Last year there was controversy about Alex's hurt shoulder and how things were handled. Would you handle that the same or differently if you had to go through that again?

A: I would have communicated more, no question, because that's where it broke down on the communication level. I try to communicate with our team a lot but obviously sometimes it's not enough. That's the one area I think it would have helped a lot because Alex was going through a difficult time at the time also.

 08-26-2008, 02:32 AM         #225
Myles Away  OP
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Q: It struck me at the time impatience with someone who was not tough at your level. That's how it looked to me.

A: I would say that's wrong for this reason. I've got four children. None of those four children - I love them to death - are like me. They're very much like their mother which is good for them. But I recognize they're different. I don't expect them to be me. At no time did I disapprove of Alex because I thought he was some other way. That's not my job. My job is to motivate him to play. That was to me the accusation that was very false (that Smith was soft). At no time was it even said. I care about Alex and I don't want him to ever think me or his teammates think something like that. No player in there would want to be thought of like that - it's a man's game.

Q: I understand what the word communication means. What did you mean by needing to communicate better with Alex?

A: Alex was going through a difficult time because he was unable to perform at the level he wanted to. If I recall correctly - and I don't want to mess this up - at one point he said his shoulder wasn't all the way feeling well. But I was in turn told by him and by the trainers that he's well enough to play. And if you're well enough to play, then, "I think you're well. Let's go out and play you." That was the miscommunication. I actually felt, "Well, he shouldn't play." But I'm getting the sense he wants to play. That's where it got me confused.

Q: Never in my life have I seen the coach's wife at a postgame press conference. I think your wife is at all or most of them, so it's a new behavior for me. How did it come about that Kathy is there and why is she there?

A: My wife travels to all the games with me. In every city I go to I have family. I don't have time for them. She does. So she takes care of that for me. I also think it's an important representation to your football team because a lot of these guys don't come from two parents. My wife is very extroverted. I'm not. So there's people that would like to talk to me but I'm not easy to approach. She's very easy so they feel if they go to her they can get to me. They're right. And I like it that way because I don't like people not to approach me and then I never get the information that should be coming to me. So if they give it to her I get 100 percent of it. She's very good at that. But if she was just Miss Happy and not good with the information and didn't understand the business, that would be a bad choice. But she's extremely good at taking in information and giving me what I need. It kind of creates two Mike Nolans. It creates an introverted one and an extroverted one that they can actually touch. When she goes to the press conferences she does take in a lot of the information that goes down and she decides what I need to know about, what I don't. If there's something that's written she might say, "I think you need to talk to Alex," for example. "I think he's really down." If someone else doesn't have the courtesy to come in and say that to me, when Alex doesn't feel comfortable to come in and say that to me, I already know to go to him. As much as I am introverted I talk to a lot of our players. Some just feel more comfortable than others. So there's a lot of reasons she's always there. I think she's extremely good at a.ssisting. I know that for one reason. I was a coach's kid. I grew up with it. It's no different from her responsibilities with the other coaches' wives and the players' wives. She makes the players feel it's not a sterile environment where you just play football. It's an environment where you actually feel people care about you.

Q: Let's say she's at a press conference, afterward she might say, "That was a very good answer, but next time you might think about including this."

A: In my family, they're more critical than nice. If she says, "You did a nice job," there's always a but. I trust her opinion. She's heard every one that I've ever given. She knows what I mean when I say things. Everyone's trying to read into things. She can read in the best. She knows exactly what I'm saying. She knows what I'm not saying.
 08-26-2008, 03:07 AM         #226
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Jennings blocks out the negative
S.F. tackle should return for opener

Tom FitzGerald, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jonas Jennings knows the first thing reporters are going to mention in interviews are the injuries and the 27 games he has missed in his three years with the 49ers.

At the moment, he's talking while wearing a hard cast on his right hand, a trophy he received after one of the Green Bay Packers stepped on his hand in an exhibition game. He didn't play in Chicago on Thursday and probably won't play in Friday's exhibition finale, but he is expected back for the season opener.

Jennings, 30, doesn't mind when reporters bring up his numerous injuries, but he wishes they would point out that when he was placed on injured reserve in early November of last season, it wasn't his idea. He wanted to keep playing, although he says it wasn't arthroscopic surgery on his ankle that shelved him; the surgery was more extensive than that.

"That wasn't my choice, but you still take all the flak from it," he said. "What can I do about it?"

Another thing that wasn't his idea was being moved this year from left offensive tackle - the spot he had played the previous six years - to the right side. Joe Staley switched places with him and is now entrusted with protecting J.T. O'Sullivan's blind side, so it was a demotion of sorts for Jennings.

"I like left better - I can say that much," he said.

Was it a disappointment? "I'm a team guy," he said. "After awhile, you've gotta do what you gotta do and do the best at where you're at."

That he would bring up the "team guy" label probably wasn't coincidental. There were published reports last year that he was an outcast in the locker room. He was accused of lacking toughness, of not playing hurt. In the NFL, no criticism is more demeaning.

"Who were their sources?" he asked. "(In such stories) they never say a name, just 'sources.' "

He was joking with some defensive linemen just before Monday's interview started. He didn't seem like an outcast.

"You can ask every guy in here," he said. "Do they seem like they don't like me? If I was an outcast and a bad guy, why would I still be around?"

It bothered him when 49ers Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott said during a radio interview last year that he was a disruptive force in the locker room. Lott thought Jennings was a little too quick to absolve himself - though correctly - from blame for a sack by the Giants' Osi Umenyiora on Trent Dilfer that resulted in a fumble and a 75-yard touchdown return by Umenyiora.

"I've never met him personally," Jennings said. "How could you speak about somebody you didn't know?"

He added, "Did you hear anything after that? Where was the big ripple (from Lott's comments)? He said, 'his sources said ...' I've never seen the man in the locker room."

In 2005, Jennings was the first big free-agent signing of the Mike Nolan era, landing a $12 million signing bonus. Since then, he has played in only 21 games. He played the first three games that first year before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

The next year, he played all but three games and helped Frank Gore rush for a franchise-record 1,695 yards, but last year, he played in only five games before going on IR. He also was gone for a week because of a personal matter that he hasn't discussed publicly.

He could have played more games last year but said it was beyond his control. In previous years, "it was one thing after another - bad breaks."

It was disturbing to him because he had been an iron man at Georgia, starting 34 games. During four years with the Buffalo Bills, he had helped Travis Henry rush for 1,438 yards in 2002 and Willis McGahee gain 1,128 in 2004.

"The same thing carried on with Frank," he said. "So I've had success with every running back that I've had. (Gore's big year) was more of a high point because we're good friends. He's like a little brother to me."

With a strong camp, Jennings appears to have fended off the challenge of ex-Raider Barry Sims for a starting spot. Jennings is not sure when he'll get rid of the cast on his hand. He kept playing after he got hurt against Green Bay, then underwent surgery in which three screws were inserted.

So things are looking up. Mike Martz is "the best offensive coordinator I've had," he said. In an allusion to his quote when he joined the 49ers, he's still "rollin' with Nolan," he said. "I'm going to still roll as long as I'm on the field."

The Raiders move running back Michael Bush to fullback. C2

E-mail Tom FitzGerald at .

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
 08-27-2008, 06:40 PM         #227
Myles Away  OP
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Fair competition? There's nothing fair about it, Martz says

There was a nice, uncomfortable verbal exchange today between 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz and KGO's Mike Shumann, who played receiver for the 49ers from 1978 to '81, when the topic turned to the "fairness" of the QB competition:

Shumann: It's supposed to be a fair competition and you almost feel like Alex (Smith) should've been able to play a half with the starters . . .

Martz: First off -- let me tell you this - let's get this straight. There's nothing fair about this league.

Shumann: Right.

Martz: All right? If you establish yourself as an incredible player within a quarter of a game, that's just the way it goes. There's nothing fair about it. Understand that, first of all. OK?

Shumann: I played the game. I understand that.

Martz: OK, then you know it's not (fair).

Shumann: I also know in preseason you can do real well and that might not translate to the regular season.

Martz: There's no question all. But we'll find out, won't we?

After Martz spent several more minutes answering questions from reporters, Shumann went up to him afterward to introduce himself. The two shook hands.

* * *

Please, nobody tell my boss. I'm buzzing through my work today. Lincecum tickets fell in my lap for this evening. (For the uninitiated, that would mean I'm going to the Giants game).

Here's what's happening in 49erland:

--RS Allen Rossum (back contusion), LG Adam Snyder (ankle), RT Jonas Jennings (hand), WR Josh Morgan (illness) and S Keith Lewis (illness) are out for Friday's game.

--The starters will play one series to one quarter in Friday's game against the Chargers. This is just a hunch. I think Ashley Lelie is going to make this team, but of course he can solidify his chances with a strong showing Friday. He needs to remain healthy. He gives the 49ers something they don't necessarily have: a deep threat on the outside. Lelie and Bryant Johnson will play split end Friday.

--One of the major issues will be in projecting who will be the best during the regular season. Josh Morgan has played very well, but he will not suit up Friday. Lelie, Johnson, Battle and Bruce all have experienced varying degrees of success in the NFL. Morgan is still an unknown in that regard.

--Coach Mike Nolan said he likes having four exhibition games and does not want to see that number shrink. He said he can still evaluate personnel and get the team ready for the season opener with four games. With fewer games, there would be more emphasis on just getting the team ready.

--Nolan will again wear suits on the sideline for home regular-season games. He has been approved to wear a shirt and tie for road games, but would have to wear a Reebok jacket. Yours truly proudly called that the "Mister Rogers look." Nolan said after hearing that description, "You just talked me out of it."

--Martz called J.T. O'Sullivan's play this summer "unusual" - in that he played so well.

--Martz also raved about the 49ers' offensive line, saying it was the best unit he's been around in a "long, long time." He said Eric Heitmann is playing "exceptionally well." He also mentioned the three guards - David Baas, Snyder and Tony Wragge - as giving the 49ers "some thump up front."
 9 years ago '08        #228
$22 | Props total: 0 0
i was sketchy about JT O'sullivan, but when I watched him play against the Bears first team defense...I feel much better, especially watchin Frank Gore tore up that defense haha, this season might not be terrible...wishful thinking?
 08-30-2008, 03:24 PM         #229
Myles Away  OP
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Niners make moves to get to roster limit

The 49ers have to trim 22 players from their roster today to get to the 53-man limit. But this does not necessarily mean that everyone who survived today is safe. GM Scot McCloughan said Friday night the club will continue to scour the waiver wire for players who can help the team.

Here is how they did it:


OLB Jay Moore (Nebraska): He sustained a torn right biceps while trying to make a second-quarter tackle of the Chargers' Mark Jones on a kickoff return Friday night. It is the second time in his two-year career that an injury in the final exhibition game put him out for the regular season. Moore, a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft, sustained a high-ankle sprain last year. Moore will not be able to practice with the team this season.


WR Ashley Lelie (Hawaii): He missed most of training camp with a calf strain and did not catch a pass in the exhibition finale. It's possible that the 49ers could re-sign him to the active roster before the first game of the season. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

RB Thomas Clayton (Kansas State): The sixth-round pick in the 2007 draft came on strong for a second summer in a row. However, he was not going to be able to crack into the team's top three running backs with Frank Gore, DeShaun Foster and Michael Robinson in front of him. He improved greatly as a runner but needs to work on his blocking and special-teams play. He finished the exhibition season with a 186 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries for a 4.4-yard average. It's possible, but not likely, he'll get picked up. But he could find his way onto a 53-man roster this season with some injuries around the league. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

FB Moran Norris (Kansas): He was instrumental as a lead-blocker to Frank Gore in 2006 (when Gore rushed for 1,695 yards). But Norris' play fell off last season, and Zak Keasey overtook him for the one fullback job. The Chiefs have expressed some interest in him, so he could find a job somewhere else. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

WR Jerard Rabb (Boise State): Did not get much action during the exhibition season after spending the final two weeks on the 49ers' practice squad last season. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

WR Cam Colvin (Oregon): His best day of practices might have been on Aug. 4 when the made a nice impact during the 49ers' joint session with the Raiders. He did not see much action during the exhibition season, as he did not have any receptions (one pass was nullified by a penalty). He missed two weeks of OTAs due to school obligations, and he had a difficult time catching up. Still, the former De La Salle prep star showed some promise. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

WR Dominique Zeigler (Baylor): He led the 49ers in the exhibition season with 15 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown. Zeigler spent last season on the practice squad before sustaining a knee injury in December and going on IR. There is no denying his hands are NFL quality. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

WR Robert Ortiz (San Diego State): He came to the team a week into training camp after Cal's Robert Jordan left the team. Ortiz caught one pass for 8 yards during the exhibition season. His muffed punt late in Friday's game gave the Chargers the opportunity for victory in the final minute. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

TE J.J. Finley (Oklahoma): The undrafted rookie did not catch a pass during the exhibition season. It was going to be nearly impossible for him to break into this group with holdovers Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Billy Bajema back for another season. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

OG Brian de la Puente (Cal): The undrafted rookie played about as well as could've been expected this summer. He got the start at LG in the 49ers' third exhibition game, and he definitely held his own against Bears three-time Pro Bowler DT Tommie Harris. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

OT Alan Reuber (Texas A&M): Saw action at RT during the exhibition season, but did not show enough to convince the squad to keep a 10th offensive lineman. He's been bouncing around the league since 2004, so clearly his window of opportunity is running out. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

OT Joe Toledo (Washington): He played left tackle with the second team through the exhibition season. After getting off to a slow start, he ended up playing pretty well. However, the 49ers believe they have enough versatility from their backups on the offensive line. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

OT Chris Patrick (Nebraska): He was picked up after the first exhibition game when Damane Duckett went down with a season-ending knee injury. Patrick showed some promise during his time with the team, though he was beaten for a sack Friday night. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

DE Walter Curry (Albany State): The 49ers were very high on him, but it simply came down to the numbers. They felt as if they could keep no more than six defensive linemen (including Justin Smith). Curry worked his way up to the second team, but there just wasn't another spot available. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

NT Atiyyah Ellison (Missouri): He was signed off the Ravens' practice squad leading up to the first game of the regular season, but he never suited up for a game. The 49ers wanted to keep him around for an entire season to see what he could do. There might be a job for him somewhere in the NFL. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

DE LaJuan Ramsey (USC): The 49ers picked him up as a waiver claim before the opening of training camp from the Eagles. He showed some good things, but could not crack into the rotation on the line. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

DE Louis Holmes (Arizona): It's no surprise that he was released, but he showed plenty for the 49ers to keep him around on the practice squad. As long as he continues working and progressing, Holmes could eventually be ticketed for the 53-man roster. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

LB Larry Grant (Ohio State): His shining moment during the preseason came on the Chargers' game-winning drive. He made a couple of goal-line tackle and also broke up two passes. The seventh-round pick showed enough good things this summer and figures to return to the 49ers' practice squad. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

LB Dennis Haley (Virginia): The 49ers have a lot of good inside linebackers, so it was difficult for Haley to break into that group. He played well throughout the exhibition season, and finished his 49ers career with five tackles, including one for a loss, and a forced fumble. Practice-squad eligibility: No.

CB Markus Curry (Michigan): He really showed some good things in pass coverage during the exhibition season - his second summer with the 49ers. Originally signed by the Chargers as a rookie free agent, he played a couple regular-season games for the Chargers in 2006. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

S D.J. Parker (Virginia Tech): He saw a lot of action in the exhibition season. He finished Friday's game with two tackles and a pass defensed. Parker received the largest signing bonus of any of the 49ers' undrafted players ($6,000), so they might want to keep him around. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

K/P Ricky Schmitt (Shepherd): His versatility saved the 49ers a roster spot during training camp when teams generally keep a backup punter AND a backup kicker. Schmitt filled both backup roles. He averaged 43.7 yards on three punts, while making 3 of 4 FG attempts and all five PATs. Practice-squad eligibility: Yes.

* * *

2008 49ers roster (as of Aug. 30)

Quarterback (3): J.T. O'Sullivan, Alex Smith, Shaun Hill.

Running back (4): Frank Gore, DeShaun Foster, Michael Robinson, Zak Keasey.

Wide receiver (5): Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Arnaz Battle, Josh Morgan, Jason Hill.

Tight end (3): Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Billy Bajema.

Offensive line (9): Joe Staley, Eric Heitmann, Jonas Jennings, David Baas, Adam Snyder, Tony Wragge, Barry Sims, Chilo Rachal, Cody Wallace.

Defensive line (6): Justin Smith, Isaac Sopoaga, Ray McDonald, Aubrayo Franklin, Ronald Fields, Kentwan Balmer.

Linebackers (8): Manny Lawson, Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Jeff Ulbrich, Parys Haralson, Dontarrious Thomas, Tully Banta-Cain, Roderick Green.

Secondary (11): Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Michael Lewis, Mark Roman, Shawntae Spencer, Dashon Goldson, Reggie Smith, Donald Strickland, Tarell Brown, Keith Lewis, Marcus Hudson.

Specialists (4): Joe Nedney, Andy Lee, Brian Jennings, Allen Rossum.

* * *

Practice squad

The 49ers are allowed to establish their eight-man practice squad after 9 a.m. on Sunday.

OL Ramiro Pruneda: He is a.ssured a spot as part of the NFL's international practice-squad player program.

* * *

Some quick thoughts: I've stated the past few days I thought Lelie would make the 53-man roster. I swung and missed on that one. The 49ers took an unnecessary risk in not cutting Lelie earlier in the week after he passed his physical. If he had re-injured his calf injury, the club would've been on the hook for a good chunk of money (and cap space). . . . Thought Grant might make it at the expense of either Green, Banta-Cain, Hudson or Lewis. But I dont think Grant is going anywhere. He should be on the practice squad tomorrow. . . . As expected, there are a lot of questions about Clayton. His problem is that he has Gore and Foster ahead of him, and he doesn't do enough other stuff to warrant suiting up for games. Robinson is a Pro Bowl-caliber special teams player, so he'll always be kept ahead of Clayton (unless Clayton becomes a starter). No question, I'd rather have Clayton as my running back over Robinson on first and second downs. But third downs (blitz pickup) and special teams is where Robinson easily wins his roster spot.
 9 years ago '05        #230
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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$7,647 | Props total: 42 42
Im glad both Keith L. & Hudson made the squad...

Heres who I would like to see in practice squad...

RB Thomas Clayton
WR Cam Colvin
WR Dominique Zeigler
OG Brian de la Puente
OT Joe Toledo
DE Louis Holmes
LB Larry Grant
S D.J. Parker

Last edited by iCON216; 08-31-2008 at 02:24 AM..
 9 years ago '07        #231
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
$47,257 | Props total: 1609 1609
I'm hyped about the season ...being optimistic...hoping the D-line and the O-line performs this year
 08-31-2008, 02:19 PM         #232
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  

[pic - click to view]

 08-31-2008, 10:06 PM         #233
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Niners claim LB Ahmad Brooks

The 49ers reached the 53-player limit on Saturday, but any player who squeezed onto the roster was still holding his breath today when waiver claims came through.

The 49ers claimed LB Ahmad Brooks (Bengals) and released Dontarrious Thomas, who had a tough game on Friday with several missed tackles.

The 49ers named RB Thomas Clayton, DL Atiyyah Ellison, TE J.J. Finley, LB Larry Grant, DL Louis Holmes and WR Dominique Zeigler to the practice squad. The team has two practice squads remaining to fill. The 49ers also have OL Ramiro Pruneda as part the NFL's international practice squad program.

Also, OG Brian de la Puente was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs.

* * *

The 49ers were interested in Brooks (6-3, 259) of Virginia during the 2006 supplemental draft. The Bengals acquired him with a third-round draft pick. The 49ers were believed to be willing to spend a fourth-rounder for him. He played in 11 games as a rookie and just two last season due to a torn groin muscle.

Brooks was considered a first-round talent but a player who presented a character risk. He received some notoriety several months ago due to an allegation in northern Kentucky.

* * *

Thomas was a disappointment after the 49ers thought he might be able to win a starting job at inside linebacker. The club signed him March 3 to a two-year, $1.75 million contract that included a $400,000 signing bonus. He played 59 games with the Vikings over his first four NFL seasons after being selected in the second round of the 2004 draft. Thomas will count $200,000 against the cap this season and next (and that's a yearly savings of $650,000).

* * *
 9 years ago '05        #234
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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$7,647 | Props total: 42 42
Niners name their four season-long captains
Four 49ers players will wear the "C" patches on their uniforms this season, as the club voted Eric Heitmann, Patrick Willis, Walt Harris and Michael Robinson as team captains for the season.

Heitmann, Willis and Robinson will represent offense, defense and special teams, respectively. Harris is also included because he's the team's player representative.

Last season, the 49ers did not utilize the option to have the "C" patches. Instead, the club had 11 players as their "shop captains". But Nolan said, in retrospect, that the team was not represented as well as it could've been. He said that experiment failed, prompting him to install the traditional four captains.

The 49ers will also name three captains for every week during the season. Those players will represent the team at the midfield coin toss.

* * *

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks joined the team and went through his first practice with the 49ers. The club was prepared to select Brooks in the fourth round of the 2006 supplemental draft, but the Bengals claimed him in the third round.

Brooks said he heard via his agent that the 49ers tried to acquire him in a trade last week. Brooks became available to the 49ers on Saturday after the Bengals waived him in a move he called "devastating."

Brooks has experienced some issues off the field. Coach Al Groh kicked him off the Virginia team in the spring of '06 after he failed drug tests, Brooks confirmed.

Brooks said he spoke with Nolan about his past again when he joined the team.

"He told me what he expected out of me and gave me detailed rules, and I'm going to follow them," Brooks said. "I've been in the NFL. I've been clean. I don't have any worries. As long as I'm doing the right thing, I don't have anything to worry about."

Nolan said he has confidence in the team's structure to offer support to Brooks, too, including vice president of football affairs Keena Turner, Rev. Earl Smith, Dr. Harry Edwards and team medical director Dr. Dan Garza.

Brooks will line up at middle linebacker behind Patrick Willis. He said he still feels some lingering effects from the groin injury that knocked him out of all but two games last season, but he said it should not prevent him from making an impact this season.

* * *

Competition recap

QB: J.T. O'Sullivan over Alex Smith and Shaun Hill.

FB: Zak Keasey over Moran Norris, who was released.

SE: Bryant Johnson is likely to start over Josh Morgan, though Nolan said all the receivers will see action Sunday in the opener. Nolan added that three receivers will play a lot of special teams: Morgan, Jason Hill and Arnaz Battle.

LG: Adam Snyder and David Baas are still competing.

RG: Tony Wragge won this spot with his strong play while Baas was out.

SILB: Jeff Ulbrich still has the edge over Takeo Spikes.

FS: Mark Roman over Dashon Goldson.

* * *

Nolan said he enjoyed the time Larry Allen was on the team. Allen signed a ceremonial contract with the Cowboys on Friday and plans to retire after 14 NFL seasons.

"I have a lot of respect for Larry," Nolan said. "He was a real pro -- other than he couldn't seem to park his car where I wanted him to."

(Back story: Allen's Rolls Royce could almost always be found in a no-parking zone at the team's practice facility.)
 9 years ago '07        #235
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
$47,257 | Props total: 1609 1609
Willis a captain??...second year...u dont think thats kinda early
 9 years ago '07        #236
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
$47,257 | Props total: 1609 1609
 Myles Away said:

[pic - click to view]

:agreement6: :agreement6:
 09-01-2008, 10:34 PM         #237
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
 BxCastro said:
Willis a captain??...second year...u dont think thats kinda early
Son.... This kid should have been a captain over Derrick Smith half way through the season last year... Trust me, this guy is a special player and a born leader. I honestly can't think of one guy that deserves it over him...
 9 years ago '05        #238
Sivraj 327 heat pts327
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$45,924 | Props total: 10785 10785
Alex Smith=Biggest bust in 49er history.

  48 - 18 STRK: 3 w in a row WIN PCT: 72% 38 (+1) 
  Career: | Aug 17: 20-14, Rank #101 | Aug 16: 163-114, Rank #57 | Aug 15: 638-305, Rank #25 | Aug 14: 350-224, Rank #32 | Aug 13: 442-331, Rank #18 | Aug 12: 1015-657, Rank #9 | Aug 11: 2019-1239, Rank #4 | Aug 10: 1992-1221, Rank #6 | Aug 09: 767-342, Rank #8 *
 09-04-2008, 02:21 PM         #239
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
LMAO, check out Peter King's prediction for Sunday's game.

Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0)

The best game of the weekend. The most fun and highlight-filled game of the weekend, with 82 passes by Kurt Warner and Mike Martz's latest version of Warner, J.T. O'Sullivan. TiVo this game on "Sunday Ticket,'' and I guarantee you'll be watching it sometime Monday or Tuesday. It'll be electric.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 33, Arizona Cardinals 30
 09-07-2008, 09:21 AM         #240
Myles Away  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Its official, we should've never drafted him....

Smith has a fracture in his throwing shoulder

September 6, 2008

Just received information that confirms ESPN's Chris Mortensen's earlier report that Alex Smith has a fracture in his throwing shoulder. Smith apparently felt a pain at the end of Friday's practice that led to him receiving an MRI. The MRI revealed the fracture. That's all I know for sure.

This next part is getting into the area of speculation but it's certainly not wild speculation: It's entirely possible that the repetitive stress of throwing a football has resulted in one of Smith's reattached ligaments tearing a piece of bone from the shoulder. That's all I've got for tonight but should learn more details tomorrow ...

-- Matt Barrows

Posted by Matthew Barrows at 11:31 PM | Comments

Will Smith ever attempt another pass with 49ers?

One would have to think that Alex Smith has played his final game with the 49ers.

First, he lost his starting job to J.T. O'Sullivan. Now, Smith appears to have a serious problem with his throwing shoulder.

Smith does not fit into the 49ers' future plans. So why would he want to hang around this season? Why would the 49ers want him around when he did not even clearly beat out Shaun Hill for the No. 2 job during training camp?

If the 49ers would have released Smith last week like I suggested six weeks ago, the Yorks would've saved about $800,000, and Smith would be able to go to a team and start learning their system now so that he has a chance to be productive in 2009. It would've been the best move for both sides.

Of course, I also stated several times in that blog that I expected Smith to win the job over Hill. The argument for releasing Smith was even stronger after O'Sullivan won the job. Here's the link to that post in which I suggested the team release Smith if he's not the starter. Be sure to read the comments, too.

Hill is going to open the season tomorrow as O'Sullivan's backup, and that's where Hill should remain for the rest of the season.

UPDATE: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the MRI examination showed that a piece of bone in Smith's shoulder broke off in the area of the surgery from December.

(I tried to contact both Smith and his agent, Tom Condon, but neither responded to messages left for them on Saturday.)

* * *

And now we move onto some required reading on a Sunday morning before I start blogging live from Candlestick Park later this morning:

--The 49ers' offensive players were pretty excited early in the week when they caught their first glimpses of Mike Martz's game plan.

--An orthopedic surgeon some time ago told Lowell Cohn that Smith might never be the same.

--Ronnie Lott is doing a blog about college football and he's helping raise awareness for ALS. His friend and former USC and 49ers teammate Eric Scroggins was diagnosed with the disease in 2007.

--And, finally, PD columnist Bob Padecky wrote a column about Larry Allen's days at Sonoma State. I've often talked about how I'm expecting Larry to have the shortest speech in the history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Be sure to read the final anecdote of this column, as it supports my prediction. It's a hoot.

* * *


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