The "Official 2008 San Francisco 49ers Thread"

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Props Slaps
 05-18-2008, 11:03 AM         #121
Myles Away  OP
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^^^^ Count me in...
 10 years ago '08        #122
Jeans&Sneakers 158 heat pts158
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sucks that im stuck here on an island can't even drive to these events and games but hopefully ill get go to my 1st niner game sometime
 05-25-2008, 08:59 PM         #123
Myles Away  OP
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Taylor to 49ers? The stars would have to align

Pass-rusher/dancing star Jason Taylor apparently will not be back with the Dolphins next season. Many 49ers fans are interested whether there's a chance he can end up with the 49ers. At this point, there is no indication the organization plans to make a play for his services.

Taylor will be 34 when the season begins. He is coming off a season with the Dolphins in which he recorded 11 sacks and 56 tackles. Certainly, that is production the 49ers could use this season.

Since Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan took over the 49ers in 2005, the organization has made several trades. Generally, it's been a player for a player, or a draft pick for a player. The 49ers have been reluctant to send a pick to receive a veteran in return.

The only times they've given up a draft pick for a player was when they sent a seventh-round pick and Ken Dorsey to the Browns for Trent Dilfer, and when they sent a fourth-rounder to the Seahawks for Darrell Jackson.

They have also paid big money to several free agents, such as Jonas Jennings, Nate Clements, Michael Lewis and Justin Smith. But the 49ers have never given up a draft pick AND paid a large sum of money to the player. That's what they'd be doing to acquire Taylor.

The organization's stated philosophy is to build through the draft and supplement with free agency. But let's suppose the 49ers are interested in dealing for Taylor. What are the chances Taylor would be willing to play for the 49ers? After all, he is a high-profile player who has never won a championship.

A lot of players of his stature will only move to another team with realistic Super Bowl aspirations. If Taylor is looking to get a ring before his career ends, it's only logical he might prefer some 20 teams ahead of the 49ers.

He is signed through 2009, which means he does not necessarily control his destiny. But the 49ers would not trade for a player who is not keen on joining the team.

So the stars would have to align for Taylor to join the 49ers. First, the 49ers would have to want him badly. Then, the Dolphins would have to agree on compensation from a team that values its draft picks. Lastly, Taylor would have to be fired up to join the 49ers. Those three variables don't seem too realistic.

* * *

Now I turn it over to you. Thanks for following Instant 49ers to this new redesigned page. What topic would you like to read about? Make a suggestion in the comments section. I'll take the topic(s) that interests me the most and write about it Monday.

* * *
 05-26-2008, 04:40 PM         #124
Myles Away  OP
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Top Ten Feuds: Steve Young vs Joe Montana

 10 years ago '05        #125
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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In retrospect, Niners did select offensive tackle early in draft

The 49ers wanted to take an offensive tackle in the first or second round of the draft, but nobody was there.

Seven tackles (not including guard/tackle Brandon Albert) were selected in the first round. The 49ers had their eyes on Virginia Tech's Duane Brown, whom they thought would last until pick No. 29 or, maybe, until No. 39 of the second round. However, the Texas selected Brown at No. 26.

The 49ers took defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer in the first round.

When it came time to pick in the second round, the 49ers had written the names Chilo Rachal and Limas Sweed on two separate cards while a small debate ensued in the draft room. The 49ers handed in the card that read "Rachal" instead of selecting the Texas wide receiver.

"Someone said he could play right tackle," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said of Rachal later that day. "We're looking more for him to be a guard, but if that's something he cold do, we'll certainly visit that because it's tougher to find. We've got some depth inside."

Turns out, the 49ers selected an offensive tackle on the first day of the draft, after all.

After seeing Rachal on the field for one three-day minicamp, the 49ers have decided the time is now to see what he can do at right tackle. As reported last week, Rachal will play right tackle during the 12 offseason practices over the next three weeks.

* * *

Currently, the 49ers have Joe Staley and Jonas Jennings at the tackle spots. Damane Duckett has never played offensive line in an NFL game, and Qasim Mitchell has seen action in three NFL games as a reserve since starting 14 games for the Bears in 2004.

The 49ers have to go into this season figuring their backup right tackle is going to see some action. After all, Jennings has missed all or parts of 32 games (out of 48) in three seasons with the 49ers. Before coming to the 49ers, Jennings never played all 16 games with the Bills.

The word from USC is that they were reluctant to play Rachal at right tackle because they figured he would be such hot commodity and leave for the riches of the NFL after his junior season. Rachal wanted to play his senior season with the Trojans (he probably would've played right tackle). But his mother developed a tumor in her stomach. Because she does not have health insurance, Rachal needed to turn pro to help in the medical expenses.

* * *

Certainly, moving Rachal to right tackle gives the team more flexibility. They'll probably keep eight or nine linemen on the roster and, already, they appear to have eight pretty good bets to be on the 53-man roster: Rachal, Staley, Jennings, Adam Snyder, Eric Heitmann, David Baas, Cody Wallace and Tony Wragge.

Snyder, Heitmann, Baas, Wallace and Wragge are interior players. Snyder has played a lot of tackle in the past, but the 49ers want to keep him at left guard. Staley and Jennings are solely tackles. That's why the 49ers would like to see Rachal (6-4, 319) prove his present and future is at tackle.
 05-31-2008, 06:54 PM         #126
Myles Away  OP
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I hope we see more outta Jason Hill this season. My friends went to school with him out here at Sacred Heart, plus my brother lives in Seattle and said dude was a beast in College. We hope that he sees WAY more playing time(what did he have like two catches last year? lol), cause he could help us with a deep threat that we've been desperately lacking for the past.... holy sh*t, 5 years? Hopefully Martz finds a way to utilize him.
 06-03-2008, 12:35 PM         #127
Myles Away  OP
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Alex Smith, Mike Martz and the never-ending playbook

Alex Smith was asked Monday what percentage of Mike Martz's offense has already been installed.

"I'd like to say a lot," Smith said.

Smith is the wrong person to ask, but he knows this is the most he has been asked to learn at this stage in the offseason.

Smith took the reps with the No. 1 offense on Monday, the first day of the club's organized team activities. Smith is competing for the starting job at quarterback against Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan.

Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, is the prohibitive favorite to win the job. On the practice field, he clearly stands out as the most talented player. He continues to round into shape after surgery in December. Though he is not quite 100 percent, Smith is making steady progress and says he can make all the throws required of him.

Now, Martz has to find a way to get more production from Smith during the games.

Martz is Smith's fourth offensive coordinator in four NFL seasons, and Martz is different unique in his approach. This is the most work the 49ers' offensive players have been a.ssigned for an offseason. Smith said playing football will require hours and hours of study at home.

As far as learning the playbook . . . well, that might never happen. It's a never-ending process - a book that never ends, one reporter suggested. Martz is always adding plays and making adjustments.

"He demands a lot and expects a lot," Smith said.

* * *

Here are some of the questions-and-answers from Smith's meeting with the media after the first day of the 49ers' organized team activities:

QUESTION: How have you tried to learn this new system?

SMITH: Anyway you can. Obviously, you go over it. You're obviously listening to the coaching. Coach Martz is there with everyone, going over it. Then, obviously, (we) look at quite a bit of film - a lot of cutups. And then coming out here and practicing it. Coming out with receivers and throwing routes. So when we come out and do some team reps, we can execute it.

QUESTION: When you watch film are you watching Warner, Bulger, Kitna?

SMITH: Yeah, everybody - a lot of different quarterbacks. There's a lot of Rams footage out there, a lot of Lions as well. It's a mixture of all of it.

QUESTION: Are you at the point when you see a play on film, you know exactly what it is?

SMITH: The stuff we've done. Right now, there are a lot of cutups. With as much as we've put in, yeah, you can definitely recognize it and recognize a lot of what we've put in.

QUESTION: It looks like you're rolling out and moving more than those other quarterbacks with the Rams and Lions. Is that the case?

SMITH: Maybe. It's just something where you're trying to play to different strengths, maybe. It's something we've done here in the past. We have rolled out a lot and done a lot of movement. I think (Martz is) maybe incorporating that and watching some of the stuff we've done and been successful with. It adds another dimension. He doesn't want to be cookie-cutter. He's trying to mold it to the strengths here.

QUESTION: What are the things you emphasize in your mind that you have to do well in this offense?

SMITH: Executing is No. 1. For the quarterback, it's the clarity - understanding and being comfortable with it. So when we come out here and take these reps, you're really letting go and cutting loose and playing fast. You don't want to be out here thinking. I'm battling that right now. (I) try to be prepared to come out here and play fast.

QUESTION: Are you at the point where you can cut loose?

SMITH: With some stuff. Some of the stuff that's been in since the jump, I feel more comfortable with, for sure. Some of the stuff that was new today, that'll come with time.

QUESTION: Technique-wise, how much has Mike worked with you and does the stuff he's thrown at you still feel foreign?

SMITH: Yeah, we've all worked hard on the fundamentals and worked hard on the things he's emphasizing at the quarterback position - things he wants to see out here. Some are more comfortable than others and some are more foreign than others. That's the stuff you try to come out here and work on your own on our stuff, so when you're doing team reps, you're just playing. You don't want to be out there thinking about fundamentals. You want to be thinking about offense and defense.

QUESTION: How is the new offense different than the old one?

SMITH: It's hard to say. I think we do a lot. We do everything. Every style of offense you can imagine, we have a piece of that in there, it seems like. We're trying to incorporate as many different things as possible and give defenses as many different looks as possible. We're pushing that envelop.

QUESTION: There was an article about Tom Brady and Tom Martinez, his personal QB coach, around Super Bowl time that noted the lack of fundamentals you'd been taught at the NFL level. Do you expect that to change with Mike Martz here?

SMITH: All coaches coach fundamentals, and obviously each coach is different. Yeah, (I'm being taught) quarterback fundamentals, especially things that coach Martz wants to see that will help us be successful in this system. Coach Martz has spent a lot of time analyzing what it takes to play well in this and what you need to do and stressing those fundamentals -- what your feet need to look like, body posture, different things like that. You're constantly getting coached out here in all that stuff.

QUESTION: Is there a need now to seek outside coaching on your fundamentals?

SMITH: No. Obviously, I have enough coaching as I can handle out here. This is what I need to be focusing on. I don't need to be working on any fundamentals outside of this. This is where I need to be focusing my attention.

* * *

The 49ers will host 49ers Family Day at Candlestick Park on Saturday. Admission and parking is free to the public. Doors will open to F Plaza at 9 a.m. and activities will start at 10 a.m. The day will feature contests, games and appearances by 49ers players and alumni. The cheerleaders, the drummers and Sourdough Sam will also be there. The first 500 youth, 15 and under, accompanied by a parent or adult, who complete a youth football clinic or Gatorade Junior Training Camp Clinic will receive two complimentary tickets to a 49ers preseason game. For more information about the 49ers Family Day, please log onto , or call the 49ers at (408) 562-4949. Media interested in attending Family Day, contact Jason Jenkins at (408) 562-49587 or . * * *


Last edited by Myles Away; 06-03-2008 at 12:36 PM..
 06-03-2008, 12:37 PM         #128
Myles Away  OP
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No explanation for Battle's mysterious absence

Where is Arnaz Battle?

And why hasn't he informed coach Mike Nolan of his whereabouts?

What does all this mean?

Word is that Battle remains in Dallas, where he makes his offseason home. Neither agent, Brad Leshnock, nor Battle responded to inquiries Monday. Therefore, we are left to speculate why Battle has decided to remain away from the team - at least for the first day of the "voluntary" organized team activities.

It is surprising Battle has not participated in the offseason program up to this point - other than the mandatory minicamp last month. Battle has a chance to really thrive in Mike Martz's offense this season. However, he can't post big numbers if he does not put in the time to learn all the intricacies of the complex scheme.

Battle is slotted to play the "Z" position or flanker. Isaac Bruce lines up at the same spot. Bruce also did not participate in the offseason program, but he is on hand for the beginning of OTAs. There is one major difference: Bruce already knows the system. Clearly, Battle has more reason to put in the prep work necessarily to get comfortable with the offense.

Battle is a solid player. He is also a hard-worker whom receivers coach Jerry Sullivan has regularly praised for his all-around game, including his skills and commitment as a blocker. Battle has been the 49ers' most reliable wideout the past two seasons.

But - at least for a while - he was bumped to the second unit after the club signed free agents Bruce and Bryant Johnson. Could it be that Battle sees this as a slight?

Nolan said he is not aware of any problems Battle has with the organization. This is a bizarre development that the 49ers do not need when there is considerable pressure this season to show dramatic improvement in the passing game.

Whether it's as a starter or the No. 3 man, Battle was expected to be a big part in the team's offense. At least until some answers are supplied, Battle's future with the club appears murky.

* * *
 06-05-2008, 01:41 AM         #129
Myles Away  OP
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Niners, ex-Raider Sims share mutual interest



The 49ers are interested in signing free-agent offensive tackle Barry Sims, who started 119 of the 136 games in his nine-year career with the Raiders. Sims was released at the beginning of free agency. The interest is mutual on Sims' side, his agent said.

The 49ers do not have much depth behind presumptive starting tackles Joe Staley and Jonas Jennings. The club this week moved rookie Chilo Rachal to right tackle after drafting the USC guard in the second round. The second-team right tackle during OTA workouts has been Damane Duckett, who made the transition from defensive line a year ago.

The 49ers have an obvious need for a veteran tackle. Kwame Harris left for the Raiders as a free agent this year, and the club plans to move Adam Snyder to guard on a full-time basis. Snyder is slated to start at left guard, as the 49ers expect Larry Allen to retire after 14 NFL seasons.

The 49ers and Sims' representative, San Francisco-based agent Ken Vierra, have been in contact for a couple months. There is mutual interest in a Sims-49ers union. Vierra said he expects things to heat up next week. He added that there are "other teams involved," in addition to the 49ers.

"There is definitely interest on both sides," Vierra said. "With veterans, there is certainly an evaluation on tape, but it's important to get in for a visit. There's a feeling-out process. With a guy off the street, he takes what he can get. But there is definite interest on both sides."

Sims, 33, played nine seasons for the Raiders after being acquired as an undrafted free agent from Utah in 1999.

The Raiders drafted three players in the first round who were earmarked to play left tackle in the past decade. But Sims won the challenge each time against Mo Collins (1998), Matt Stinchcomb (1999) and Robert Gallery (2004).

Sims spends his offseason training in Tempe, Ariz., and Los Angeles. He lives in San Ramon.

Click here to read the newspaper article, "Ex-Raider Sims may be SF-bound."

* * *
 06-05-2008, 01:42 AM         #130
Myles Away  OP
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Spikes' asking price too high for 49ers


Veteran free-agent linebacker Takeo Spikes, who visited the 49ers on March 13, is seeking a contract that will pay him $2.5 million annually, a league source said. Apparently, the 49ers are not willing to go that high.

Spikes, 31, is a 10-year veteran who has twice been selected to the Pro Bowl. The 49ers are seeking a starter at the strong inside linebacker position to alongside Patrick Willis.

Jeff Ulbrich is lining up with the first team at the strong inside position ("ted") with Dontarrious Thomas going with the No. 2 unit. Coach Mike Nolan has said the 49ers lack a true "ted" linebacker -- someone whose job description is to take on blockers to keep things uncluttered for Willis.

It's uncertain whether Spikes would be able to adapt to that role. He started 14 games for the Eagles last season at the weakside linebacker spot. Spikes sustained a torn rotator cuff and underwent season-ending surgery.

The 49ers remain interested in Spikes' services, but only if he lowers his asking price. If Spikes does not get the money he is seeking, he is likely to remain unsigned into training camp to choose the most opportune situation.

* * *

The five 49ers unrestricted free agents - including guard Larry Allen and defensive end Bryant Young -- were "not asked to re-sign." The distinction allows those players to remain free to sign with any team even after training camp begins.

It is considered an insult to a player if he is "asked to re-sign" because clubs get restrictive rights over those players if they remain unsigned.

Young has announced his plans to retire. He has cleaned out his locker at the 49ers' practice facility in Santa Clara. Meanwhile, Allen is believed to be leaning toward retirement. The other 49ers free agents who were not asked to re-sign are receiver Bryan Gilmore, return specialist Michael Lewis and quarterback Chris Weinke.

* * *

Veteran offensive tackle Barry Sims remains on the 49ers' radar. The Raiders released Sims at the start of free agency for salary-cap purposes. He was reportedly scheduled to account for approximately $6.8 million on the Raiders' salary cap.

Sims had extensive talks with the Dolphins and Panthers early in the free-agent process.

UPDATE: Sims is scheduled to work out for the 49ers on Monday, said his agent Ken Vierra.

* * *

There was a question last week about the support system for players within the 49ers organization. On Wednesday, Jed York sent an email to 49ers employees announcing the addition of former 49ers linebacker Keena Turner to the position of vice president of football affairs.

"In his new role, Keena will be in charge of all programs related to player well-being and success including counseling, faith-based and player development programs," York wrote in the memo. "As part of his role he will serve as an advisor to the coaching staff to help players reach their full potential. Reporting to Keena will be Guy McIntyre and (Rev.) Earl Smith.

"Keena will also have responsibility for the 49ers Alumni Relations program working with marketing and community relations to further engage alumni players by involving them in game day activities and other team events throughout the year. In addition, Keena will serve as the gatekeeper and advisor for all current player involvement in marketing, foundation and community outreach activities. Responsibilities include acting as the approval authority for all player appearances for events."

York added, "Under Keena's leadership, I am confident that we will be able to build on the foundation that we have already established to create one of the best player development programs in the NFL. Our goal is to have each member of our 49ers team reach their full potential as an NFL player, and after their playing days are over, for each of them to have the education and life skills necessary for a successful and productive life after football."

* * *

Regardless of the successful vote in S.F. yesterday, the City still faces an uphill climb to build a new home for the 49ers on that Hunters Point site. The 49ers have stated in the past that there are a lot of issues with the area around Candlestick -- mostly that it does not give the fans a satisfactory "game day experience." The 49ers remain focused on trying to get something done across the street from their headquarters in Santa Clara.
 06-05-2008, 01:57 PM         #131
Myles Away  OP
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Battle Back
Battle's battle is over. Coach Mike Nolan spoke with Arnaz Battle on Wednesday and the apparently disgruntled wide receiver will end his holdout from a voluntary organized team activity-practice. Battle is expected to join his teammates next week.

This is a fine move on Battle's part. Even though he's now seen as a third receiver, he could still win the starting job back. Ever since he entered the lineup two-and-a-half years ago the 49ers have been trying to replace him and it hasn't worked. Even if Battle isn't a starter, as a third wide receiver he'll probably get plenty of opportunities in coordinator Mike Martz's pass-friendly offense.

The mini-holdout from minicamp probably won't affect Battle's status. Martz, who's in charge of the offense, probably doesn't care. If Battle proves to be the best receiver during the rest of OTA's and in training camp, he'll start. Even if Battle is on Nolan's bad side, it will likely be up to Martz who starts. Nolan has made it clear that it's Martz offense and Nolan has said Martz will make the decision on who starts at quarterback. If Martz is making that decision, he'll certainly determine the starting receivers as well.

KEENA TURNER JOINS THE TEAM .... AGAIN: The former 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker was first drafted by the team in 1980 and spent 11 years as a player. He then joined the team and had a permanent office at the team's facility in the late 1990's working on player development.

He later became one of the team's alumni coordinators for a few years and then left to tend to his Toyota dealership in Tracy. Now he's back as the team's seventh vice president. As VP of football affairs, Turner will handle alumni matters and player programs, such as the acquisition of college degrees.

The team let the media know about Turner's hiring by releasing an internal memo by Jed, not John, York.

RESPONSES TO RESPONSES: Sidewinder asks if Battle has said or done anything like this before and the answer is no. Sidewinder, I'm surprised also.

Nofear asked about a paraphrase used in Tom Fitzgerald's story on Wednesday and a post I wrote May 2 on Yahoo reporting that Doug Smith, father of Alex, saying his son hasn't received any instruction on mechanics since becoming a 49er. Nofear wanted to know if I originally reported that and I did not. Mike Silver of Yahoo did.

The 49ers don't have any more media access until next week, so I haven't asked Alex about it. Unfortunately, I can't shed more light on it.

Kmac535 asked about rookie free-agent wide receiver Cam Colvin and I have to say he hasn't stood out. Rookies don't get a lot of action in the first week or two of OTA's because Nolan doesn't want them slowing down practice for everyone else. I haven't seen much of Robert Jordan at receiver either, but he has returned a lot of punts. Josh Morgan has been the most active. He received a good tongue lashing from Martz on Tuesday after he failed to run a precise route.

I'll be out next week, but I will follow Colvin the last week of OTAs.

Brmgd30 asked about Takeo Spikes. The 49ers are still waiting on what he's going to do. It might not happen until training camp if at all. I would doubt the 49ers would have much interest in Lito Sheppard. With Reggie Smith and Terall Brown, they have younger, more promising prospects to look at.

Barry Simms would be a fair signing on a team that's desperate for tackles.

Posted By: Kevin Lynch (Email) | Jun 05 at 12:07 AM
 06-07-2008, 09:31 PM         #132
Myles Away  OP
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Ratto: Willis has earned the title of 'Mr. 49ers'

The 49ers have struggled in the post-Super Bowl era (13 years and running) to find and hold "the face of the franchise." Indeed, it became the first official justification for the hiring of Mike Nolan - because the team needed that face, and more to the point because John York was tired of being that face.

They've gone through the Mariucci face, the Owens face, the Garcia face, the Donahue face, the York face, the Nolan face, the Smith face, the Gore face, and most recently the Clements face. None have stuck for any particular period, because losing typically does that to you. This, despite the Raiders having landed on the same hard times as the 49ers and never having had a problem identifying the face of their franchise, since it's been the same guy since 1963.

But the 49ers have a new "face," and though people have not yet seized upon it, it will be thrust upon them. It is neither York nor Nolan nor Smith nor Gore nor Clements, nor can it be.

It is, based on play, presence, vision and intent Patrick Willis, the linebacker who started his pro career last April as the 11th draft pick and finished in December as one of the game's best 11 players. There is no other candidate, and that allows that 49er fans obsess upon the quarterback to an almost unnatural degree. Willis is it, because he earned it, and because nobody else has his credentials.

Not even Andy Lee, the punter.

And while Willis is loath to say so because his background and upbringing prevent him from doing so, he knows it. So much so that he spent a couple of hours earlier this week with Ronnie Lott, getting what might best be termed "face" lessons from someone who has all the face a head can bear.

"We were sitting next to each other at a community promotion signing things, and I thought I should sit down with him some time and talk about wanting to be great, and the things it took to get there," Willis said. "So we set it up, and we talked for a couple of hours about a lot of things, some football, some not. Like making the right decisions, about thinking ahead, about wanting to be the kind of person whose grandchildren say, 'He was a great football player and an extraordinary person.' "

Well, as long as he's keeping the bar low, why not shoot for governor of Mississippi?

Truth is, Willis has outsized long-term aspirations, and even allowing for his remarkable jump start (he was defensive rookie of the year, and the first defensive rookie to make the All-Pro team since Lott did it in 1981), he has an unusual grasp on what he did, and what he didn't.

"I had an OK year," he said of his league-high in tackles and his collection of plaques for exemplary work as a first-timer. "I did well. Last year was all right. But I didn't do good. I kind of look at it like, first you do well, then you're good, then you're great. This year, I want to be good. I have to do better."

Better than All-Pro as a rookie? This should be interesting.

"I made a lot of tackles, and the stats looked good, I guess," he said. "But I want to be a game-changer. I want to make the big hit, force the fumble that gets taken back for the touchdown that wins the game, or make the timely interception and run it back. I want us to earn the right to have a swagger when we take the field."

Being 6-10 doesn't do it. Being the best player on a defense that ranks in the lower half of the league in all the significant categories doesn't do it. Being the face means being the face the other players rally around and look to for leadership and mentoring. And Patrick Willis is 23.

"I was thinking about it yesterday," he said, "and I think about times when maybe I say things and I am more vocal, and then sometimes I think my actions should speak for me. I'm still learning that part. It's hard to give a big spiel to your teammates about what you have to do when you haven't done it yourself yet.

"I was talking about that with Ray (Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens' face) at the Pro Bowl, and he talked to me about a lot of things like that, and then he sort of stopped and said, 'I'm telling you too much.' It wasn't like he didn't want to give away all his secrets. I thought he was being like a teacher who could tell you to read the whole chapter and come back tomorrow to discuss it, or a teacher who gives you one section today and one section tomorrow, and then discuss it when you've learned everything about the chapter. I think he didn't want to give me too much all at once, before I was ready to understand it. He didn't want to overwhelm me."

Besides, Willis also has linebackers coach Mike Singletary to lean on as a mentor. While Singletary's lessons sound a lot like Lewis' and Lott's ("their terminology's different, that's all," Willis said with a laugh), it's the nuance in the delivery that makes the difference. And Willis is a voracious learner - while he was picking Lewis' brain in Honolulu, he also went to school on veteran fullback Lorenzo Neal. "He was giving me knowledge about what comes at what stage of your career, and Ray was giving me wisdom," he said.

Through it all, Willis knows that his chosen career can end in a moment. He wants to play as long and with as much impact as Lott and Lewis and Neal and Singletary, but the actuarial tables for football players make that rather a longshot.

But Willis is preparing as though he will be a model of permanence. After all, he knows that you can't be a face if you're a short-timer, and he has every intention being a face not just now but for the duration.

And after that, maybe the governor thing. After all, it's good to have goals.

E-mail Ray Ratto at .
 10 years ago '05        #133
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Did you end up going to the 49ers Family Day???
 06-07-2008, 11:07 PM         #134
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 iCON216 said:
Did you end up going to the 49ers Family Day???
Nah, my punk a.ss job scheduled me from 10-7 so there was no way of me catching it today. :banghead: Did you go? If so how was it? I heard Nate clements was supposed to be there plus a majority of KNBR people. Damn I'm pissed that I missed it.
 10 years ago '05        #135
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 Myles Away said:
Nah, my punk a.ss job scheduled me from 10-7 so there was no way of me catching it today. :banghead: Did you go? If so how was it? I heard Nate clements was supposed to be there plus a majority of KNBR people. Damn I'm pissed that I missed it.
Naw my nephews baptism was at 10am...gotta wait til next year...:(
 06-10-2008, 12:12 PM         #136
Myles Away  OP
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GIVING RECEIVER
Onetime nemesis is ready to make a difference for 49ers

Tom FitzGerald, Chronicle Staff Writer


With just less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl x*xIV, Isaac Bruce caught a deep pass from Kurt Warner down the right sideline, ducked inside a Titans safety and outran the defense for a 73-yard touchdown that made the St. Louis Rams a 23-16 winner over Tennessee.

For any other receiver, that would have been the highlight of his career. Not Bruce.

His personal highlight - in a 14-year career in which he has averaged 1,000 yards a season - was a play on which he didn't touch the ball.

"Ricky Proehl's catch putting me in that Super Bowl was the highlight of my career," Bruce said after a workout with the 49ers, who hope some of Bruce's magic rubs off on them.

His choice of highlights didn't surprise Mike Martz, the 49ers' offensive coordinator and the former Rams coach who capitalized on the receiving talents of Bruce and Torry Holt.

"That's Isaac," Martz said. "He's probably one of the most unselfish people you'll ever meet."

The 49ers have had Terrell Owens; now they have the "anti-T.O." Bruce doesn't do a lot of commercials and doesn't yearn for the spotlight. He has to be one of the least flamboyant big-time receivers in recent NFL history.

A St. Louis columnist said that over the years, though Warner was the most popular player and Marshall Faulk the most talented, Bruce "commanded the most respect."

"I was taught to seek the praise of God and not the praise of men," Bruce said. "That's the approach I take."

The Rams released him in February, preferring to spend elsewhere the $5 million he was due in the last year of his contract. Was he upset? "Not at all," he said. "It was strictly business."

He was the last Ram to have played in Los Angeles, having joined the team in 1994, a year before it moved to the Midwest.

He declined to accept a pay cut, and so here he is on a two-year, $6 million deal. He has been reunited with Martz, who was fired by the Rams after the 2005 season and by the Lions this year despite two years of improving numbers as their offensive coordinator.

"Most receivers do lose a step at 36 (which Bruce will turn in November)," Martz said, "but I haven't seen that with him. Isaac has always been an exception. If he's lost a step, I don't see it. He's like Jerry Rice; he's always kept himself in impeccable shape."

Rice, whose No. 80 has yet to be retired by the 49ers (ditto for Steve Young's No. 8), offered to let Bruce wear the number because he had worn it throughout his Rams career. Bruce and the club didn't think it would be a good idea, so he'll wear No. 88.

Receiving was one of the many sore spots for the 49ers last year. They hope his example and leadership will help lead to a cure.

"I see him interact with the young guys quite a bit and talk with them," coach Mike Nolan said. He said it's important for a veteran player "to convey a message that's not coming from a coach. Bryant Young (the retired defensive tackle) was that way. The older guys with a lot of pelts on the wall, the good ones anyway, seem to show that."

Bruce has enough pelts that Nolan agreed to let him skip the last two weeks of the recent three-week voluntary practices. He knows the Martz offense well enough that his absence from the workouts apparently doesn't bother the coaches.

Martz is delighted that he has Bruce back in his complex offense. "He's probably a Hall of Fame receiver, and he works harder at it than probably any other player in that room," he said.

It remains to be seen whether Candlestick fans will serenade him with "Bruuuuce!" when he makes a big play. They no doubt hope he'll do for the 49ers what he has been doing for years against them.

He has been on teams that have struggled, teams that won only four or five games, so coming to another isn't a new experience.

"There's always two or three pieces missing off every team, either a coach or a player," he said.

Can he be one of the missing links for the 49ers?

In about as close to chest-beating as he'll come, he said, "I believe I will be."

Briefly: Arnaz Battle joined the workouts after missing last week, a move that didn't please the coaches. Battle seemed a little miffed that his absence drew so much attention.

"There's no negativity between me and the coaching staff," he said. "Everything's good and we're moving forward."

The receiver said he spent the week working with a trainer in his hometown of Dallas and blamed a "lack of communications" for his failure to show up at a time when Martz is installing a new offense. "I put it on my shoulders," Battle said.

He added that he wasn't disappointed that the club brought in receivers Bruce and Bryant Johnson in the offseason. "If you look at the history, every year I've been here, they've brought somebody in to compete for a starting job," he said.

He said he's excited to be part of the Martz offense. "Look at the history of this offense: Guys have had great numbers in it."
Bruce on the loose

Isaac Bruce ranks among the all-time receivers in career catches and receiving yardage (he's also tied for 13th in TD catches with 84):

Leaders in receiving yardage

1. Jerry Rice 22,895

2. Tim Brown 14,934

3. Isaac Bruce 14,109

4. James Lofton14,004

5. Marvin Harrison13,944

6. Cris Carter13,899

Leaders in catches

1. Jerry Rice 1,549

2. Cris Carter 1,101

3. Tim Brown 1,094

4. Marvin Harrison 1,042

5. Andre Reed 951

6. Isaac Bruce 942

E-mail Tom FitzGerald at .


 10 years ago '05        #137
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Bruce is very motivated and should look solid...

Very interesting on the latest TV49 video at sf49ers.com (video: Pogress made in OTAs second week) Rookie WR Josh Morgan is getting a lot of praise...Jason Hill & Josh Morgan as the future productive duo? Lets hope so...
 9 years ago '05        #138
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Hot reads are the hot thing at 49ers OTAs
During 49ers practice today at their organized team activities, there was something obvious about the team's offense that had not been seen in a while. When a blitz was coming, the quarterback got rid of the ball quickly.

"The hot thing is new around here," 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill said.

In the recent past, whenever the 49ers saw a blitz coming, they'd try to adjust the blocking a.ssignments to pick it up so they could stick with the same play. Now, if the 49ers under new coordinator Mike Martz recognize a blitz is coming, they can also get rid of the ball quickly in hopes of making a big play.

Coach Mike Nolan said he sees quarterback Alex Smith working on some things during practices that he's never seen before -- things he'd like to see carry over into the exhibition games. The first thing he mentioned was getting the ball out quickly against blitzes. A lot of the responsibility for beating the blitz falls on the shoulders of the quarterback to get the ball out quickly -- before the rush arrives.

Smith said this offense relies a lot anticipation and timing. Smith said when he watches film he admits that it looks like he's adopted more of a "gunslinger" mentality.

"It looks like that from an outsider's perspective, but it is structured," Smith said.

Tight end Vernon Davis, who is the target of some of those hot reads, said this is a different mentality than in the past. He said he couldn't remember being the target of any hot reads in the past.

* * *

Offensive tackle Ramiro Pruneda (6-6, 317) has been a.ssigned to the 49ers as an international practice squad player. He will join the club at the beginning of training camp.

The 49ers are one of 16 teams in the league who will have a ninth practice squad player this season.

Pruneda, who led Monterrey Tech to four Mexican national championships, went to training camp with the Chiefs last season and spent the 2007 season on the practice squad for the Chiefs and the Eagles. He was named the best offensive lineman in Mexico three times, and was scheduled to play in NFL Europa last season, but pulled out due to a knee injury.

* * *

Incumbent fullback Moran Norris did not see a whole lot of practice time, as Zak Keasey worked a lot at that position. When asked about the role of the fullback in this offense, Nolan said some of the fullback responsibilities are filled by the tight ends and H-back.

* * *

There was no update on free-agent linemen Barry Sims and Larry Allen. Sims visited the 49ers last week. He is weighing the merits of four clubs: 49ers, Patriots, Rams and Ravens. Meanwhile, Allen, who is expected to retire, has not spoken with the 49ers about his plans for the coming season.

* * *

Former Redskins defensive tackle Joe Salave'a, currently on d*ck Tomey's staff at San Jose State, is working for the 49ers during the three-week OTAs. Nolan said he wanted to speak with Tim Ryan last week about a spot as a coaching intern during training camp. Ryan is a former player who now is a co-host of a show on Sirius NFL Radio.

* * *

Check back later. I'll have more recaps from the practice field.

* * *

UPDATE: The Super Bowl champs wanted him, but the 49ers got LaJuan Ramsey, a defensive tackle whom the Eagles released June 12. The Giants put in a waiver claim for Ramsey, but he was awarded to the 49ers based on their worse record from last season. Ramsey (6-3, 300) was a sixth-round pick of the Eagles in 2006 out of USC. He played nine games for the Eagles and was inactive seven times last season. Ramsey was credited with nine tackles and one QB hurry.


It took this long for the offensive crew to start using Hot reads on the regular...


Last edited by iCON216; 06-17-2008 at 10:40 PM..
 06-23-2008, 12:53 PM         #139
Myles Away  OP
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Sims decides to go with 49ers
Veteran offensive tackle Barry Sims has decided to sign a two-year deal with the 49ers, agent Ken Vierra said just moments ago. Sims picked the 49ers over the Rams. Sims also visited the Ravens and Patriots recently.

"What maybe tips it a little bit is the money is a little bit better and you don't have to move to play here," said Vierra, who declined to reveal terms of the deal. "All I can tell you is he had a good feel in San Francisco."

The 49ers made no promises to Sims, 33, other than he will be allowed to compete for playing time at right tackle against Jonas Jennings. Sims can play both tackle spots for the 49ers. This is Joe Staley's first season at left tackle after playing right tackle as a rookie. And Jennings has missed all or parts of 32 games since joining the 49ers three seasons ago.

The Raiders released Sims at the start of free agency. He was scheduled to earn $4.5 million in base salary this season. Coincidentally, the Raiders replaced him with Kwame Harris, who played just a handful of snaps last season for the 49ers but still wrangled $14 million for three years out of Al Davis.

In nine seasons with the Raiders, Sims played in 136 games, starting 119 times. He played mostly left tackle. Sims was an undrafted player out of Utah in 1999. While with the Raiders, he beat out three first-round picks for the left-tackle job: Mo Collins, Matt Stinchcomb and Robert Gallery.

With Sims' arrival with the 49ers, the club is likely to move rookie Chilo Rachal back to guard. The 49ers tried Rachal at right tackle the past three weeks during organized team activities because they were desperate for depth.

Sims gives the 49ers another experienced offensive tackle. After all, the other top tackles on the roster are:

--Damane Duckett, a coverted defensive tackle, who has never played offensive line in an NFL game.

--Joe Toledo, a newly acquired player, who was seeing action at left tackle. Toledo was a Dophins draft pick in 2006, but has been plagued by injuries and has never played in an NFL game.

--Alan Reuber, who was also freshly signed during OTAs. Reuber has seen action in three NFL games, but none as a starter. He's 27, and entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

* * *


I guess we traded Kwame for Sims? It worked out for everybody then...
 06-23-2008, 12:58 PM         #140
Myles Away  OP
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Walker signs extension through 2012 season
A while back when it surfaced that Michael Robinson signed a contract extension, we reported it appeared tight end Delanie Walker would be the next 49ers player to get a new deal. Well, it happened all right.

Walker, who originally received $102,000 to sign as a sixth-round draft pick in 2006, received a three-year extension worth $6 million this offseason. The deal included a $1.8 million signing bonus. He is now signed through the 2012 season.

The 49ers' decision to reward Walker is interesting because he has just 23 career receptions in 23 NFL games. Last season, he caught 21 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown. But it might be an indication the 49ers expect Walker to flourish with Mike Martz as offensive coordinator.

Robinson signed a three-year, $3.525 million extension in March that included a $1.2 million signing bonus. He is also signed through 2012.

* * *

Here is a list of the upcoming scheduled free agents:

Signed through 2008: TE Billy Bajema, T Damane Duckett, DL Atiyyah Ellison, DL Ronald Fields, RB DeShaun Foster, OLB Roderick Green, C Eric Heitmann, WR Bryant Johnson, FB Zak Keasey, WR Ashley Lelie, QB J.T. O'Sullivan, RS Allen Rossum, CB Donald Strickland, G Tony Wragge.

Signed through 2009: G David Baas, OLB Tully Banta-Cain, WR Arnaz Battle, WR Isaac Bruce, NT Aubrayo Franklin, OLB Parys Haralson, CB Walt Harris, CB Marcus Hudson, LS Brian Jennings, S Keith Lewis, K Joe Nedney, DE Melvin Oliver, LB Dontarrious Thomas, LB Jeff Ulbrich.

* * *
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