The "Official 2008 San Francisco 49ers Thread"

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Props Slaps
 9 years ago '05        #341
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The truth is, a win is a win -- even against lowly Rams


A word of caution: We don't really know what today's game meant, other than it was a victory and we haven't seen one of those from the 49ers in quite a while. Well, we also know that the 49ers beat a very, very bad football team today at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers took it to the Rams, 35-3, in the first half. Then, they called off the dogs in the second half and slopped their way to a 35-16 victory to break a six-game losing streak.

Of course, it's much too early to say what kind of future interim coach Mike Singletary might have with the 49ers. My suspicion is that he'll get a chance after the season to present a plan for the organization that will include his thoughts on keeping (or putting together) a coaching staff, as well as his thoughts on maintaining continuity on the offensive side of the ball.

But one thing that has become quite apparent is his respect within the locker room. The first three players I spoke with after today's game - David Baas, Nate Clements and Walt Harris - each mentioned Singletary's truthfulness. All I did was ask about being able to present Singletary with his first NFL coaching victory, and they all independently brought up that attribute when describing their interim coach.

Baas said, "He speaks the truth. We all believe in what he's saying."

Said Clements, "He spoke the truth, and I take it as motivation for me to improve my game."

Roman was the person in the locker room who presented Singletary with the game ball. Roman said he has no special connection to Singletary, other than he views him as an unselfish person who truly wants his players to succeed.

"He would never think about doing it for himself," Roman said. "He just tells the truth."

Tight end Vernon Davis, who caught his second touchdown pass in two games, even became the first to give him an unconditional vote for the permanent job.

"I want coach Singletary around for as long as he wants to be here," Davis said. "I think he's a great coach."

* * *

After seeing Singletary handle himself after his first game here at Candlestick three weeks ago, I must admit to thinking that he might be in way over his head.

But I thought Singletary handled himself a whole lot better after the game in Arizona - when it would have been easy for him to experience another postgame meltdown. The 49ers' coaching staff blew it in the final-minute meltdown, but I thought Singletary showed the kind of composure a coach needs in delivering a message after that game.

Today, he left another positive impression.

Now, the big test is how the 49ers respond when they hit the road for four of their next five games. Singletary said he thinks it's "outstanding" that the 49ers have to hit the road for difficult games at Dallas, Buffalo, Miami and St. Louis over the next five games.

"That's only going to help us get better," Singletary said.

* * *

Singletary spoke after the game about the importance of finishing the job. The 49ers fell short of a complete performance, as the 49ers were outscored 13-0 in the second half. During one sequence the 49ers had three consecutive false-start penalties.

"I wanted to make sure that I told them that I was very, very proud of the fact that they played hard and we won the game," Singletary said. "But here are some things we need to work on going forward if we're going to be a great team. So, no, I was not displeased. I just pointed those things out that we have to correct."

* * *

But let us not forget: The 49ers' three victories this season have come against Seattle, Detroit and St. Louis - teams with a combined 4-26 record. And, heck, one of Seattle's victories came against the 49ers, too.

* * *

The injury report was minimal. Cornerback Tarell Brown (neck strain) did not return; while running back Michael Robinson (stinger) and safety Michael Lewis (left knee) both returned to action.

* * *

And here is the always popular quickie report card:

Quarterback
A: Shaun Hill did all his damage in the first half. He threw just two incomplete passes in the first half, and his passer rating was perfect. He threw for two touchdowns and ran another.

Running back
C-minus: Frank Gore rushed for 106 yards. But both Gore and DeShaun Foster lost fumbles in the game, and Gore was responsible for both sacks. Michael Robinson had a 36-yard reception to set up one TD, and Foster added a 31-yard grab.

Receiver
B: Bryant Johnson had a solid day with four catches for 56 yards. He and Vernon Davis caught short touchdown passes. Jason Hill did another fine job with three catches for 33 yards.

Offensive line
A-minus: The line thoroughly dominated the Rams' defensive front in the first half. There were good games throughout, including rookie Chilo Rachal, who shared time with right guard Tony Wragge.

Defensive line
B: The line generally did a good job. Other than a couple big plays in the run game in which the Rams caught the 49ers in shifts, they line pretty much had its way with the Rams' banged-up offensive front.

Linebacker
B: Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes both broke up passes. Willis made an exceptional play to keep a pass to Kenneth Darby from going for a first down on a third-and-2 in the first half.

Secondary
A-minus: Nate Clements and Walt Harris recorded interceptions with nice returns on back-to-back possessions, leading to touchdowns. Harris and Michael Lewis added sacks. Mark Roman had a big hit to force an incomplete pass.

Special teams
B: Allen Rossum did nice job in the return game, giving the 49ers good field position. Andy Lee had a solid game with a 51.8-yard average (45.3 net) on six punts.

Coaching/overall
B-plus: The grade would be an A-plus if the game ended at halftime. The 49ers did not score a point in the second half. But they got all they needed with a 28-point outburst in the second quarter to supply coach Mike Singletary with his first victory.

* * *

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Continued VVV
 9 years ago '05        #342
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Notes and quotes from the 49ers' PR staff

*The 49ers were leading 35-3 at halftime. The 49ers 35 first half points are the most they have scored in the first half since the 49ers scored 42 points vs. Atlanta (10-18-92), which is the most points they ever scored in a half.

*The 35-3 halftime lead was the 49ers largest since they took a 34-0 lead into the half vs. Arizona (12-7-03) in a 50-14 win.

*The 49ers had a 28-point second quarter to match the team record for most points scored in one quarter. The team has scored 28 points in a quarter five other times. It is the first 28-point quarter since the 49ers scored 28 points in the fourth quarter vs. Chicago (12-23-91) in a 52-14 win.

*QB Shaun Hill had the longest pass completion of his career when he connected with WR Bryant Johnson for a 42-yard gain in the second quarter. His previous best was a 31-yard touchdown pass to WR Josh Morgan at Arizona last Monday night (11-10-08).

*Hill became the first 49ers starting QB to post a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the first half. The previous best was Steve Young's 156.5 rating vs. New Orleans (9-14-97).

*Hill's 192 yards in the first half are the most by a 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia threw for 221 first half yards against Arizona (12-7-03).

*RB Frank Gore recorded his 15th NFL 100-yard game and his third of the season with 106 yards on 18 carries. He had 130 yards rushing vs. Detroit (9-21) and 101 vs. Philadelphia (10-12) earlier this season.

*The 49ers are now 11-4 when Gore has at least 100 yards rushing in a game.

*Gore became the first 49ers running back to rush for two first half touchdowns since Kevan Barlow scored two touchdowns vs. Carolina (11-14-04).

*Gore rushed for two touchdowns for the sixth time in his career. It was his first two-touchdown performance since he had two at Arizona (11-25-07).

*Gore had a 37-yard run in the first quarter. That run is Gore's second longest of the year to a 41-yard touchdown run he had in the season-opener vs. Arizona (9-7).

*Gore entered the game with 728 yards rushing and added 106 for a season total of 834 rushing yards. He is on pace for 1,334 yards. He needs 166 more rushing yards to become the first 49ers player ever to have three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

*Gore now has 4,239 yards rushing as a member of the 49ers and needs 50 yards to move past Hall of Fame RB Hugh McElhenny into sixth place on the 49ers all-time rushing list.

*Newly acquired TE Sean Ryan played in his first game with the 49ers. Ryan has played in three games so far in 2008 and all three games have been with a different team. He played in one game with Miami and one game with New Orleans before joining San Francisco.

*LB Patrick Willis entered the game with a team-leading 108 total tackles and added eight to give him 116 for the year. He is on pace to finish with 186 total tackles.

*KR Allen Rossum is averaging 27.9 yards per kickoff return. He is on pace to finish with a career year. His best average of 25.8 during his third NFL season in 2000 with Green Bay.

*Rossum is averaging 16.9 yards per punt return. He is on pace for best his best season in that category as well. His best season so far was a 14.0 average in 2003 with Atlanta.

* * *

49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary

Q: Is that the kind of effort you are looking for in the first half?
Singletary: "The first half: I thought we did a decent job in the first half. We talked about coming out and starting fast, executing, doing the things we need to do in order to win the game. So we were very excited about what happened in the first half. We came in at halftime and we talked about going out and finishing what we started in that first half."

Q: What does that mean: finishing?
Singletary: "Finishing meant that at some point in time the offensive line, when we're backed up, that we could put it in their hands and they drive it out. Finishing means that we don't jump offside two, three, four times in a row. Finishing means that we don't walk off the field. We jog off the field. Finishing means that however we started the game, we need to end the game stronger than we started. That's finishing."

Q: You mentioned a bunch of things you guys didn't do. Are you displeased?
Singletary: "No, I wouldn't use the word displeased. I told the guys before one of the things I didn't do when I played was focus on what we didn't do well. So I wanted to make sure that I told them that I was very, very proud of the fact that they played hard and we won the game. But here's some things we need to work on going forward if we're going to be a great team. So, no, I was not displeased. I just pointed those things out that we have to correct."

Q: Can you give your evaluation of Shaun Hill's performance?
Singletary: "I thought the first half was outstanding. Once again, I thought he did a great job. For the most part in the second half I thought he did a pretty decent job. And then some things started to break down a bit, not all his fault. But we just have to continue to work on it: offensive line, running back, everybody. And we'll do that."

Q: The defense in the first half, especially with the turnovers, how important was that?
Singletary: "It was really important going into the game that we really handled their vertical game well. Of course they got some runs early which shocked me a bit. I talked to Greg [Manusky] about it and we weren't getting moved quick enough. We would slant one way and they'd adjust and we would not. And guys were getting caught in the slide and getting cut off, and it caused us to get gashed so that made sense, and we corrected that going into the second half. But there were a lot of good things that happened in this game. A lot of positives to come out with and continue to work on, work forward with."

Q: In this league historically it's often tough for teams to play on Monday night and come back on Sunday, especially after something like what you guys had Monday night. What did you do to get prepared for this?
Singletary: "I wish I could take the credit for that. We just have really good coaches and some really good players. We really do. We talked about mental toughness throughout the week and being able to put a devastating loss behind you and not look in the rearview mirror and have a wreck this Sunday. So that was the biggest thing that we focused on and they really pushed hard, pushed through it and it came out today and I thought they did a good job being focused for the most part."

Q: Is this more what Mike Singletary's team looks like?
Singletary: "I would just say this: I think that's what we did when we came out and we started fast, we were executing, we were doing the little things that we needed to do, we were getting turnovers, we were making sure that we protected the ball. All of those things are things that the 49ers...that's what we want to do going forward. The thing that I talked about a lot this week was this not being Mike Singletary's team. This is our team. And if we don't understand that then Mike Singletary's going to come up really short."

Q: It might not be Mike Singletary's team but this is Mike Singletary's first win as a head coach. How does it feel standing up there?
Singletary: "I'm very humbled by it. My mom and my dad passed away in the last four years. Dad last year. Mom about four years ago. And I just thought about them and if they could see that. But I'm very thankful and very proud of that, more so for the guys than for myself because they deserve it. They've been working their tails off. I'm telling you they've been working their tails off and doing a lot of things right. I'm really excited about them. But going forward it has to be all of us. It has to be the coordinators. It has to be the position coaches. It has to be the quarterback. It has to be the defensive line. It has to be every one of us in order to get out of this thing what we want to get out of it."

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 9 years ago '05        #343
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Jennings on IR, time with 49ers likely finished


The 49ers placed Jonas Jennings on injured reserve today, likely bringing a close to the oft-injured tackle's career with the club.

Jennings missed all or parts of 47 games due to injuries in four seasons with the 49ers. He sustained a dislocated shoulder Sept. 14 in the 49ers' second game of the season. Adam Snyder has played well at right tackle the past two games.

Jennings underwent surgery today to repair his right shoulder.

He is scheduled to earn $4.2 million in salary in 2009 as part of the original seven-year, $36 million contract he signed on the first day of free agency in 2005. He has three years remaining on his contract, which includes non-guaranteed salaries totaling $13.65 million. (Actually, 2011 is an option year, so he has two years and a non-guaranteed $8.5 million remaining on his original deal.)

If Jennings is released in the offseason, he will still count $3.5 million against the 49ers' 2009 salary cap, but the 49ers would realize a cap savings of more than $3 million from his scheduled cap figure of $6.59 million.

The 49ers replaced Jennings on the 53-man roster with second-year tackle Jacob Bender, who was signed from the Patriots practice squad. Bender (6-6, 315) was originally selected by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2007 draft out of Nicholls State.

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 9 years ago '05        #344
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Rachal might get first start on Sunday


Rookie Chilo Rachal might get his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, 49ers coach Mike Singletary said this morning. Rachal has split time in the past two games at right guard with Tony Wragge.

Singletary said Rachal, the No. 39 overall pick, is doing a good job. He said the coaching staff will meet this morning, and that Rachal "might have a chance to start. We'll see how it goes."

* * *

The following players are not scheduled to practice today:

LB Patrick Willis (hip strain)

S Mark Roman (groin)

S Dashon Goldson (knee)

WR Arnaz Battle (foot)

WR Josh Morgan (groin)

Also, CB Walt Harris and DE Justin Smith don't have injuries, but they will rest today.

CB Tarell Brown (neck strain), RB Michael Robinson (shoulder stinger) and TE Delanie Walker (shoulder) are scheduled for limited practice. T Barry Sims returns to full practice.

* * *

Singletary was amusing this morning talking about the good cop/bad cop handling of quarterback Shaun Hill. He said Hill probably looks forward to games because he does not have Mike Martz badgering him at close range.

Singletary said Martz is constantly looking over Hill's shoulder during practice and nit-picking his performance. Singletary said he regularly calls Hill into his office to prop him up and bolster his confidence. Singletary said he experienced the same dynamic as a player.

When asked if he believes Martz's hard-coaching style is good for Hill, Singletary said, "I think it's outstanding."

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 9 years ago '05        #345
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Finalyst commented on Roger Craig becomes Hall of Fame semifinalist:



Six former 49ers, including running back Roger Craig, took a step closer to induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

The Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors chose 25 semifinalist from the list of 133 preliminary nominees. This is the first time Craig has been a semifinalist despite being eligible for the Hall of Fame since 1999.

Other former 49ers who made the list are Charles Haley, Chris Doleman, Rod Woodson, Kevin Greene and Richard Dent.

The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era candidates. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee.

The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are Bob Hayes (a seventh former 49ers player) and Claude Humphrey. Hayes, a three-time All-NFL pick spent 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1965-1974) and one season with the San Francisco 49ers (1975).

The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January.

The Class of 2009 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, January 31, 2009, in Tampa, Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIII. The election results are announced immediately following the meeting at a press conference at the Super Bowl media headquarters.

Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of seven enshrinees can only be achieved if both senior nominees are elected.

Here is the complete list of the Hall of Fame semifinalists:

Cris Carter, WR - 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Roger Craig, RB - 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings,
Terrell Davis, RB - 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C - 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Richard Dent, DE - 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Chris Doleman, DE/LB - 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LB/DE - 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Russ Grimm, G - 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Ray Guy, P - 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Charles Haley, DE/LB - 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Lester Hayes, CB - 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Cortez Kennedy, DT - 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Bob Kuechenberg, G - 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins
Randall McDaniel, G - 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Art Modell, Owner - 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
John Randle, DT - 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Andre Reed, WR - 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Shannon Sharpe, TE - 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Bruce Smith, DE - 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000-03 Washington Redskins
Ken stabler, QB - 1970-79 Oakland Raiders, 1980-81 Houston Oilers, 1982-84 New Orleans Saints
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner - 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, Special Teams/WR - 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Derrick Thomas, LB - 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Ralph Wilson, Owner - 1960-current Buffalo Bills
Rod Woodson, CB/S - 1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders

To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.

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 12-05-2008, 03:38 PM         #346
Myles Away  OP
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Matt Maiocco just said on the radio that Nate Clements might not be starting on Sunday. I'll also just heard Mike Martz is more than likely headed to San Diego State next year...
 12-09-2008, 05:56 PM         #347
Myles Away  OP
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Niners confirm Martz is not a candidate at SDSU




The 49ers have confirmed a Press Democrat report that offensive coordinator Mike Martz is no longer a candidate for the San Diego State head-coaching position.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, citing a team spokesman, reported this morning that Martz is not in the running to replace Chuck Long, who was fired Nov. 22.



I've contacted the 49ers, and they confirm that they confirmed the report for the Union-Tribune. Got it? In other words, Martz is not going to SDSU.



* * *



Quarterback Shaun Hill is a candidate for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week. He's the first 49ers candidate for one of these awards this season. Fans can vote for Hill - or anyone they choose - by going to NFL.com/FedEX until 9 a.m. PST on Friday. If Hill wins, the local Safe Kids coalition in San Francisco will receive $1,000.



* * *



From the pages of today's Press Democrat . . . "Singletary's job status hovering over 49ers." We might have a litlte more to add on this subject later. Also, columnist Lowellcohn writes about Shaunhill: Click on the link, "49ers still not sold on Hill; why not?" and it'll all make sense.



* * *

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49ers still not sold on Hill; why not?


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By LOWELL COHN
Press Democrat Staff Columnist

Published: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:29 p.m.

SANTACLARA

After the 49ers beat the Jets, Mike Singletary came to his postgame news conference and, naturally, someone asked if Shaun Hill, who played brilliantly, has made the case to be starting quarterback next season.

Everyone expected Singletary to endorse Hill right then and there. He didnít. He said Hill has improved but Singletary never took the next step. He allowed the topic to drift off into silence.

That brings me to Singletaryís Monday news conference. Here is our dialog:

Cohn: In the postgame press conference (on Sunday) you were asked if you think Shaun Hill might be the starter next year and you were cautious in your answer. You said heís improving but you didnít commit. Iíd like to ask again. Iím more interested in why youíre being cautious than a repeat of what you said yesterday.

Singletary: I wouldnít say the word is cautious. I would say wise. Weíre playing right now. After the season I donít know what will happen. There are a lot of uncertainties. Iím not going to get into next season, talking about what I think Shaun Hill is going to be. Iím going to talk about right now. Iím going to talk about next week. As far as Shaun Hill is concerned, Iím very excited about what I see, very excited about what heís doing. Iíve asked Shaun Hill to establish himself as an NFL starting quarterback, establish himself as a championship quarterback. At the appropriate time, weíll address it. The most important thing for Shaun Hill to do is continue the progression, continue to get better.

It was a fascinating answer, partly because Singletary always referred to Hill as Shaun Hill. Itís as if Hill has one compound name Shaunhill. Itís like calling Mike Singletary Mikesingletary.

So, why isnít Mikesingletary anointing Shaunhill? Mikesingletary doesnít even know if heíll be the coach next season and heís in no position to anoint or appoint anyone. That decision gets made over his head, just as the decision about his own future gets made over his head. Mikesingletary was merely being prudent when he refused to commit himself, and he was honoring the chain of command, praiseworthy behavior.

Thereís something else. It appears the 49ers still are not sold on Shaunhill, still believe heís OK, but over the long haul is not a winning quarterback ó at least not a big winner ó and canít take them where they need to go. It seems clear no one in that quiet building in Santa Clara is about to say Shaunhill is next seasonís starter, or even that next seasonís starter currently works in the building.

It is fair for the Niners to have their doubts about Shaunhill. They pay the money, but are they correct? I say, no. I say they have a prejudice against him, a prejudice that started long ago on the practice field, a prejudice the decision makers have not been able to put aside. Iím saying the 49ers are prisoners of old thinking, of what used to be. Iím also saying Shaunhill already has done enough to be seriously considered as next seasonís starter. At the very least, he should be the front-runner in any quarterback competition.

But thatís exactly the problem ó a quarterback competition. Itís a big problem for Shaunhill. Put him in any quarterback competition and he automatically comes in last. Coaches look at him missing receivers on the practice field and they look at that doughy body and they think this guy should be carrying the water bucket, certainly not carrying the team.

He is a crummy practice player, for whatever reason. Before this season he came in a distant third to J.T. OíSullivan and Alex Smith in the quarterback competition. JTO, it turns out, is allergic to footballs ó thatís why heís always fumbling them. Smith was on the verge of a broken shoulder. And Shaunhill still looked worse than both of them.

That led the Niners to undervalue him ó a clear example of old thinking. Surely, Shaunhill has been terrific in real games. On Sunday his passer rating was a gaudy 98.8, and the guy on the other side ó someone by the name of Favre ó got a 60.8. Thatís a dazzling comparison.

Hereís what the 49ers need to understand. Many guys are good practice players ó JTO comes to mind. When they are playing against their teammates, when there is no pass rush, they can stand back and zing the ball all over the place. Real games arenít so comfortable. Angry opponents try to disrupt plays and rip the quarterbackís head off. Suddenly the practice genius is a chump ó like JTO.

Not Shaunhill. He loves chaos, thrives in chaos. Why? I donít have the slightest idea. But he is the genuine article ó has presence, the knack, the feel ó whatever you want to call it. This indefinable, wonderful thing separates him from mere practice quarterbacks who canít embrace footballís glorious turmoil.

Shaunhill has been the biggest difference on offense in the Mikesingletary tenure. Thatís what you can call current thinking. The Niners need to wise up.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at . You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at 521-5486 or

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Last edited by Myles Away; 12-09-2008 at 05:58 PM..
 12-10-2008, 03:29 PM         #348
Myles Away  OP
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Willis punishes linemen and receivers alike


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December 10, 2008 12:07 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Before we take a closer look at the 49ers, please heed this quick public-service announcement: If you see coming toward you a large man wearing a red shirt with "52" emblazoned in white across the front and back, buckle your chinstrap, bite down on your mouthguard and call for the trainer. Patrick Willis is about to annihilate you.

Apologies to the New York Jets for failing to pass along this warning a week ago. Willis, the 49ers' Pro Bowl inside linebacker, punishes offensive players of all positional denominations. He strikes me as a more athletic version of his head coach, Mike Singletary.

Two plays involving Willis stood out Sunday. On one, Pro Bowl Jets guard Alan Faneca failed to keep a low base when trying to remove Willis from a running play. Willis jolted Faneca hard enough to lift the 307-pound lineman off the ground. Willis discarded Faneca and took down the runner for a short gain almost in one movement. Not many linebackers can do that.

The other memorable play featured Willis blasting Jets receiver Brad Smith hard enough to knock Smith from the game after a late 7-yard reception. Safety Michael Lewis was chasing Smith from behind when Smith seemed to notice Willis approaching from the front side. Smith slowed and started to duck as Willis closed the distance. Lewis was tackling Smith from behind when Willis lowered his shoulder and hit Smith high.

Smith initially got up, seemingly on instinct, then dropped to his knees after about 13 seconds. He spent the next 93 seconds on the ground while medical personnel tended to him. Smith then rose with help. Nearly another 30 seconds elapsed while Smith left the field.

CBS analyst Phil Simms said he thought the hit was a clean one. Replays showed helmet-to-helmet contact. This did not appear to be a dirty play, in my view, but it was certainly violent.

San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Willis, Brad Smith, Alan Faneca, Jets-49ers, New York Jets, Phil Simms

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Gore's status for Sunday does not look great



Coach Mike Singletary met with the media this morning to discuss several topics of interest with the 49ers set to play the Dolphins on Sunday.

The 49ers are scheduled to practice from 1:45 to 3:45 today. Here's the 49ers preliminary injury report:



RB Frank Gore (ankle) is not scheduled to practice today. Singletary already said it would be a game-time decision and that practice-squad running back Thomas Clayton would make the trip to Miami, in case he's needed.



Gore's sprain was on the inside of his ankle, Singletary said. In speaking with a physical-therapist friend of mine, it means the ankle rolled inside (that occurred when a couple players fell on him while he was on the ground). There's less range of motion that way. The ligament is very broad, thick and stable so it's harder to sprain. Thus, that makes it a little more difficult to return quickly.



CB Nate Clements (right thumb) he is having (or had) a pin removed from his thumb. He is not likely to practice today, but Singletary described his status for Sunday's game as "questionable."



WR Arnaz Battle (foot), C Eric Heitmann (abdomen), CB Marcus Hudson (concussion) are not scheduled to practice. Veterans Walt Harris, Justin Smith and Takeo Spikes are scheduled to get rest days.



KR/PR Allen Rossum (ankle) is scheduled for limited practice, and S Dashon Goldson might have a full slate of practice. WR Josh Morgan is no longer listed on the injury report.

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 12-10-2008, 03:34 PM         #349
Myles Away  OP
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Niners prohibited from hiring Singletary during the season



In an article I wrote for Tuesday's paper, I suggested the 49ers could lose Mike Singletary to another organization if the club wanted to wait until after the season to name him head coach for 2009 - and beyond.

Two different individuals in the 49ers organization informed me that NFL rules prohibited the 49ers - or any other team - from promoting an interim coach to permanent coach during the season.



I did not write about that rule because, frankly, I was skeptical.



So I contacted the NFL office for confirmation. Initially, I was told from an official in the league office that the rule does not apply because Mike Singletary is a minority. That seemed to make sense. After all, per the Rooney Rule, teams have to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a head coach.



But the NFL representative told me that he would check around and get back to me for official-official word.



This afternoon, NFL office got back to me.



And the official word is that the rule still applies to the 49ers. The club - all clubs - have to wait until after the season to make an interim coach the permanent coach.



The rule states that a "club may name an interim from its staff without going through a formal interviewing process. However, the club must follow the mandatory interviewing process in choosing a new permanent head coach. No club may make a commitment to a coach retained during the season that extends beyond the end of the club's playing season. Any contract that seeks to make such a commitment will not be approved."



A 49ers official told me that the 49ers would hold exclusive negotiating rights with Singletary for a period of time. I'm checking now to see exactly how long that window would remain open before other teams would be able to get involved and make Singletary an offer.



* * *

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 9 years ago '05        #350
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Willis makes NFC Pro Bowl team


Linebacker Patrick Willis made the NFC Pro Bowl team for the second time in his two-year career. He has been elected as a starter.

Willis was the only 49ers player selected to the team, but there are some alternates:

Michael Robinson is a second alternate for special teams.

Allen Rossum is a second alternate return man.

Tight end Vernon Davis is a third alternate.

And punter Andy Lee is a third alternate.

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 12-16-2008, 06:47 PM         #351
Myles Away  OP
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^^^^ :applause:
 12-17-2008, 11:15 PM         #352
Myles Away  OP
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Alex Smith 'absolutely' open-minded about return in '09



Quarterback Alex Smith said he is open-minded about returning to the 49ers next season, realizing full well that he would have to accept a dramatic paycut.

He said he hopes to begin throwing after Christmas, and expects to rbe ready to go during minicamp in the spring -- regardless of where he might be in the spring.



Here is an excerpt from what he had to say this afternoon.



Q: Have you talked much to the organization about the plan for you?

Smith: We have not gotten much into that. I still stay in close contact with everyone. I talk to Scot (McCloughan) a lot, but we haven't gotten into anything like that.



Q: Do you want to be back here next year?

Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I'm still under contract for two years. I'm still a part of this team and working toward that.



Q: Is it a much more positive environment for you after what's transpired?

Smith: You know . . . not much has changed after the injury. I'm just working toward getting healthy. I've tried to stay focused on that. That's my job right now. It's my job to get healthy as soon as possible.



Q: Probably what the question referred to was the head coach (Mike Nolan) isn't around. And occasionally he'll still take a few more jabs seemingly directed at you. Do you think that will help you if you wanted to stay here long term?

Smith: I don't know. I think that'll depend on how things shake out around here -- and what happens. And, obviously, what happens in the coming months, that'll dictate a lot of things. As far as things changing for me, I haven't been able to do much anyway because of the injury.



Q: What is your relationship like with Mike Singletary? Does he ever talk to you?

Smith: Good. Yeah, absolutely. I see him around whenever I do my lifting or rehab. I talk to him whenever I can. It's hard for a player on IR. I like to be around as much as I can. But all these guys have a lot bigger job at hand, and a lot more time constraints. You hate to be a distraction at the same time. The things that have to do with me can be put off until after the season. Now, the objective is to beat St. Louis.



Q: Why did you make it a point to want to stay here and rehab?

Smith: I think just doing it right. It all comes back to that. You know, finishing things, and things I've been taught since I was a little kid. I don't want to do anything half-ass, just getting everything done, doing it right and working hard and achieving a goal. And I came here to be a great player, and to accomplish that. And, obviously, I've had some setbacks and things have gotten in my way, and I'm working my way around them. I want to get back out here, and that's something that really inspires me, that really gets me going. I think it's easy to look at some alternative choices. It's easy to take those. But I really feel the right thing to do is to do it the right way.



Q: You think your future will hinge on the direction the team goes?

Smith: I think. I guess that's what I think. Everything will start from there.



Q: Of course, you'll be asked to make some sacrifices (pay cut), too . . .

Smith: Yeah, potentially, absolutely. I mean . . . yes.



Q: Is that something you're willing to do?

Smith: Absolutely. Absolutely, I think . . .



Q: Do you think you have to re-invent yourself as a quarterback?

Smith: I think you learn from things you go through, so I don't know if it's necessarily re-inventing myself, but I'm constantly trying to get better -- constantly re-evaluating things. I'm far different than I was four years ago in a lot of ways, going through what I've gone through. I have a different appreciation of things, a different outlook on things, a greater understanding of the game at this level -- at the NFL level -- what it takes and what it takes to play quarterback at this level. I think it's not necessarily re-inventing but changing. You're always evolving and trying to get better. And trying to improve.



Q: Do you feel like you have to change? Because after two seasons you were making progress, and then the injuries happened.

Smith: Yeah, absolutely. As much as you're trying to let that shine through, I haven't had that chance to let that shine through. It's been kind of blocked out by injuries and not being able to play, and take those steps. It's that as much as anything, just trying to show my true colors. I do think I'm constantly trying to learn it. I think I was naive in some ways as a rookie, coming into this league, about the game and a lot of different aspects. In that way, I think I've become better.



Q: Would it be hard to re-invent yourself here?

Smith: It would be harder, absolutely, without a doubt.



Q: Because of the fans?

Smith: Everything. When you come with that type of expectations, especially with me, coming with the expectations, and for the fans, as well. It comes with part of the territory, so absolutely I think it would be harder.



Q: Is that a challenge you might embrace?

Smith: It is. At the same time it'll be difficult. I think it is something that gets me going. You start to get that chip on your shoulder, trying to prove everybody wrong.



Q: How has the culture changed here under Mike Singletary?

Smith: You know, it is difficult because I am a little more on the outside looking in, in that sense. I think Coach Singletary has done a great job from the sense of eliminating gray. If that makes sense. He's doing a great job of . . . the players have a better understanding of what they're being asked (to do) and what they're responsible for, and what's expected of them. I think in that sense, there's less gray. He's made it more black and white. Guys are a little more sure of what's expected out of them, what their responsibilities are, what their job is and what they have to go do. That gets told to them pretty often by Coach Singletary. So I think that's a good thing. Guys feel more comfortable with that. They know what they have to do, instead of always wondering. That might sound odd, considering we're playing football, but I think it's a very good thing.



* * *



When asked again, specifically, about comments Nolan made about Smith, in regard to Antonio Bryant, Smith said:



"Yeah, that's, uh . . . it's not even pertinent enough to comment on. But, uh . . . it was news to me, I guess. I'll say that. Definitely, news to me."



* * *



[pic - click to view]






I'm for him coming back if he takes a paycut...





Soft-spoken receiver Isaac Bruce was announced as the winner of the Len Eshmont Award today, this team's most prestigious honor.

The other award winners were:



Bill Walsh Award: defensive end Justin Smith

Bobb McKittrick Award: center Eric Heitmann

Hazeltine/Iron Man Award: linebacker Takeo Spikes

Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: receiver Dominique Zeigler



The Eshmont Award, voted on by the players, is given annually to the 49ers player who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Eshmont, an original member of the 49ers from the 1946 team.



The Bill Walsh Award, voted on by coaches, is given to the 49ers team MVP.



The Bobb McKittrick Award is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by McKittrick, who served as a 49ers a.ssistant for 21 years. (Heitmann is the winner for the third straight season.)



The Hazeltine is named for Matt Hazeltine, who played 13 seasons for the 49ers. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player.



And the Thomas Herrion Award is given to the rookie or first-year player who has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into reality.



* * *



Preliminary injury report

Not expected to practice: RB Frank Gore (ankle), RT Adam Snyder (ankle), S Michael Lewis (abdomen) and CB Walt Harris (rest). Coach Mike Singletary said that they'd monitor Gore's progress day to day, and he hopes he'll be available.

Limited practice: LT Joe Staley (ankle).

Full practice: RS Allen Rossum (ankle)



* * *



Tying up loose ends: On that final play against the Dolphins, running back Michael Robinson was split out wide to the right. When I watched the TV copy of the tape, I had a.ssumed it was Dominique Zeigler. However, Zeigler was not on the field. There were four WRs on the field: Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Jason Hill and Josh Morgan.

* * *

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 12-22-2008, 12:12 AM         #353
Myles Away  OP
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Singletary changed mind about benching Hill


Coach Mike Singletary said he wanted to choke his quarterback. Instead, he decided to bench him.

Then, Shaun Hill insisted he should remain in the game. He made a convincing argument.



Singletary said he saw something in Hill's eyes, so he told J.T. O'Sullivan go to sit down. He was sticking with Hill.



What a decision that was. Hill threw for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the 49ers to an incredible 17-16 victory over the Rams. The game was brutally boring through more than three quarters until the 49ers came to life.



In playing so poorly for as long as he did, Hill turned it around. He unquestionably deserves a lot of praise for the way he was able to somehow pull out this victory. That shows a lot about this guy.



Hill said he might have put too much pressure on himself to make plays with a large contingent of family and friends at the stadium. He also wanted to help Isaac Bruce reach a couple milestones. Bruce finished with seven catches for 61 yards to go over 1,000 receptions in his career and move into second place, past Tim Brown, in career receiving yards.



When asked how difficult it would've been to get benched, Hill said, "It would've been real tough. It was tough when it was being considered."



Hill had three interceptions in the first three quarters.



"I was even going to take him out," Singletary said. "The only thing that stopped me was the look in his eyes. He said, 'Don't do that, coach. I'm going to be OK.' I said, 'All right, let's go.' I'm really proud of him."



* * *



Singletary told the story about why he changed his mind about Hill in the locker room. He also called up Josh Morgan, who made the game-winning TD catch, Bruce and cornerback Tarell Brown, who clinched the game with a last-second interception.



When Bruce was called, his teammates broke into cheers of "Bruuuuuce!"



As for the final TD, both Morgan and Jason Hill were running deep fades. Both could have made the catch, but Morgan went up and got it. Shaun Hill insists he was throwing to Morgan.



* * *



INJURY REPORT: S Michael Lewis (shoulder stinger) went back in the game. OLB Parys Haralson had his ankle re-taped after sustaining a sprain. He's expected to be fine.



* * *



What?



OK, this does not seem to make a bunch of sense, but a 49ers source tells me that former baseball player Darryl Strawberry was a guest in the Yorks' luxury suite. I don't know where to start with that one.



* * *



Here are my quickie grades, which are influenced a lot by the victory:



QB

B-minus

Shaun Hill was about as bad as an NFL quarterback can be for most of the game. But when it mattered most, he found a way to pull out the victory. For that display of perseverance, he deserves a lot of credit and he gets a higher grade than the numbers show he deserves.



RB

C

DeShaun Foster gained just 36 yards on 12 carries. He also got beaten for a sack in blitz pickup. Michael Robinson kept the ball in "Wildcat" once and gained just 2 yards.



WR

B-plus

Isaac Bruce made history with a couple milestones as part of his seven-catch, 61-yard day. But rookie Josh Morgan made the play of the game when he went up to make a 48-yard scoring grab with 82 seconds remaining in the game.



OL

B-minus

Although there were four sacks allowed, the line did a solid job most of the time. Shaun Hill held the ball too long some times and could have avoided sacks. Some sacks were not the line's fault.



DL

B-minus

The line jumped offside four times in the first half. Although Steven Jackson gained 108 yards, it took him 32 rushing attempts to get there. Justin Smith had six tackles and a sack.



LB

B

Patrick Willis had 13 tackles, including a big stop for a 3-yard loss in the final minute when the Rams needed just 10 yards for a game-winning field-goal attempt. Takeo Spikes also had a tackle for loss.



DB

B-plus

The 49ers had a mess up in the secondary on a 30-yard TD, but Michael Lewis, Walt Harris and Nate Clements broke up two passes apiece. Tarell Brown clinched the game with an interception in the final minute.



ST

B

Andy Lee had an outstanding 54.8 average (47.2 net) on five punts. Joe Nedney's 48-yard field goal in the opening quarter gave the 49ers a lead. The 49ers did nothing great or bad in the return game.



Coaching/overall

B-minus

Without the final 4:03 of the game, in which the 49ers scored 14 points, this game easily would've been an "F." But the 49ers somehow found a way to win a game on the road that it had no business winning. There was a lot of questionable stuff, but a win covers up a lot of blemishes.



* * *

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 9 years ago '05        #354
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Mike Singletary is officially the 49ers head coach, signs 4 year deal :applause::applause:


It's official. Mike Singletary has signed a four-year contract to remain as 49ers head coach for 2009.

Team president Jed York made the announcement to the team shortly after the 49ers' 27-24 victory over the Redskins on Sunday. There was already euphoria in the locker room, and the players erupted with cheers after they were told that Singletary would be the coach.

"I think all the guys who are happy today are going to regret it," Singletary quipped.

Singletary is known as a straight-talking taskmaster who works his players hard. The 49ers better get prepared for a long offseason of work and a grueling training camp.

"This is the last time our season ends in December," York said.

Joe Nedney, who kicked the winning 39-yard field goal on the game's final play, said the announcement caught nobody by surprise. He was asked what it would've been like if Singletary has been passed over for the job.

"I don't even want to comment on that because I knew it wasn't going to happen," Nedney said. "He's honest, intense and forthright. You have to have those qualities to bring together the chemistry of a team."

* * *

The Press Democrat has learned Singletary's contract is four years, $10 million. In the contract he has the right to hire and fire his a.ssistant coaches.

Singletary did not say whether he plans to retain offensive coordinator Mike Martz. When asked if he has made a decision, Singletary said, "No, not 100 percent."

All the team's a.ssistant coaches are signed through the 2009 season.

Singletary said he would meet with general manager Scot McCloughan to discuss what he wants to do with Martz, who presided over a significant improvement in the team's offense this season.

* * *

The team has made not commitment to quarterback Shaun Hill, who compiled a 5-3 record as the starter this season. In his career, Hill's record as a starter is 7-3.

* * *

McCloughan said the decision to hire Singletary was made prior to the game and would've been announced regardless of whether the 49ers won Sunday's season finale. He said there was nothing in particular that led to the hiring, but rather the "body of work."

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 12-29-2008, 01:49 PM         #355
Myles Away  OP
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Good sh*t, anybody else agree that we should bring back Martz?
 9 years ago '05        #356
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Tom Rathman hired as RB's Coach


Tom Rathman has accepted the 49ers' offer to take over as the club's running backs coach, he confirmed just moments ago as he was leaving Alameda after clearing out his belongings at the Raiders' complex.

The National Football Post reported the 49ers have named Rathman as the team's new RB coach. The club has yet to make any announcement because Rathman has not signed a contract. The 49ers do not announce contract agreements until the deal has been signed.

But Rathman said the club has offered him the position, and he has accepted. He said he will probably sign the contract in Santa Clara tomorrow.

Rathman interviewed for the position earlier today with coach Mike Singletary and general manager Scot McCloughan. Rathman takes over for Tony Nathan, whom Singletary fired after his only season on the 49ers' staff.

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 01-07-2009, 11:27 PM         #357
Myles Away  OP
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:applause: Welcome back Woody!!!!!!!!! :applause:
 9 years ago '05        #358
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Scott Linehan and Rob Chudzinski interview for O.C. this weekend


The NFL Network is reporting the 49ers are scheduled to interview Scott Linehan and Rob Chudzinski this weekend for their offensive coordinator position. The 49ers are saying the report is "speculation at this point."

So here is my take on this . . .

Niners fans should be pretty darn excited.

These are two really good candidates for the job. In fact, I would list Linehan and Chudzinski as THE TOP TWO candidates of the available coaches. If the 49ers hired either of these men, they will have done very well for themselves.

Sure, Linehan did not fare well as Rams head coach. But Linehan is a proven coordinator, having experienced successes with the Vikings and Dolphins. (And, let's remember, there are a lot of really good coordinators who have not been sensations as head coaches.)

Linehan had the impossible situation of following Mike Martz with the Rams - a team that was in obvious decline when he arrived. It was a nearly impossible situation. Following Martz this time - as O.C. with the 49ers - would not be as difficult. The personnel on the 49ers is better suited to Linehan's more-standard style than Martz's. And, I think the 49ers' offense is young enough at certain key spots (offensive line and receivers) that it will be ascending, not declining.

As for Chudzinski, I've been on his bandwagon for more than a year. When it looked as if Mike Nolan's job was in jeopardy toward the end of the 2007 season, I began making phone calls about possible head-coaching candidates. Chudzinski is someone who checked out repeatedly as a "rising star."

He did a fantastic job in his first season (2007) with the Browns. The Ravens wanted to interview him for their head-coaching position last year, but he turned down their request to sign a lucrative contract extension with the Browns. Obviously, things did not go as smoothly this season, as the Browns struggled throughout the season with injuries and other problems.

The one concern with Chudzinski is that if he does a good job, he will immediately become a head-coaching candidate. But if he does a good job, will it be worth it to the 49ers to have had his services for a short period of time?

Meanwhile, Linehan will probably need a couple years to rebuild his stock to the point that he becomes a head-coaching candidate again.

If Linehan and Chudzinski walk through the doors of the 49ers' Santa Clara facility . . . and if the 49ers can have their pick of which one to hire . . . I really don't think they can go wrong.

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 9 years ago '05        #359
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Source: Linehan is 49ers' top choice


Scott Linehan is the leading candidate for the 49ers' offensive coordinator position, and there is a strong chance he will be offered the job this evening, a league source said.

"That's the way it's heading," the source said.

Linehan, the former St. Louis Rams head coach, arrived in the Bay Area this afternoon to meet with coach Mike Singletary and general manager Scot McCloughan for the second time in a week. Linehan has a scheduled return flight tomorrow, and the source said he believes the 49ers' goal is to have a contract agreement with Linehan before he leaves town.

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 9 years ago '05        #360
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Linehan declines 49ers offer


Scott Linehan has declined the 49ers offer to become the team's offensive coordiantor.

Linehan was one of four candidates who have already interviewed for the job to become the 49ers' seventh offensive coordinator in seven years. Coach Mike Singletary fired Mike Martz as O.C. on Dec. 30.

One of the other candidates for the job, Rick Dennison, is no longer available, as he has accepted a job to remain on the Broncos' staff under new coach Josh McDaniels.

The other candidates who have interviewed for the job are former Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Colts receivers coach Clyde Christensen. It is not known in which direction Singletary and the 49ers plan to take the search.

[pic - click to view]



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