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Spikes Appreciated Every Minute of Camp

Posted by Taylor Price on August 31, 2009 – 7:07 PM

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Out of all the players who have Twitter accounts, veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes’ commentary on the social networking site has been the most memorable.

Take one of his Tweets from Aug. 5, as an example.

“We just finished a 3-hour practice; if some1 filmed out camp it would be titled: Junction Boys 2.”

But now that players will check out of their hotel rooms on Tuesday, training camp is practically officially over for Spikes and the rest of the 49ers “Junction Boys.”

Looking back on this year’s camp experience, Spikes would “definitely,” call a documentary of the camp by the same name.  He also felt like it would have been watched by many.

“If HBO would have come here this year, the ratings would have been off the chain!” he said with a smirk.

As if he were breaking down the opening scenes of the fictional show, Spikes followed his statement by recalling all that he and his teammates had gone through this summer.

“It started from the first day with the nutcracker. [Before that] We were going into the meeting rooms the first couple of days while everybody [in the NFL] was practicing,” he said.

After the ninth or so day of camp, Spikes said most head coaches give their players a bone by canceling practice to take the team out to the movies.

“It’s kind of like the national [rest] day at training camp,” Spikes said.

But for the 49ers, there was no movie trip this year. Coach Singletary told the players to “Bring it up,” but he didn’t mean it like the players were finished for the day. Instead, the players went back out to practice.

And although it was a lot of work without much time away from the facility, Spikes said it was worth all the labor.

“When you look back on it now and you appreciate every minute of it.”

A 3-0 preseason record tends to do that.

Practice Notes

Guard Dave Baas and tackle Adam Snyder returned to practice on Monday but did not participate in team drills. Backup quarterback Alex Smith participated in one team period and threw a couple of passes.

083109-goresteams-subOutside linebacker Ahmad Brooks successfully underwent a procedure on his knee to remove a bone fragment. Singletary said Brooks is “day-to-day.”

Frank Gore got some extra work in at practice, more so than usual. While watching special teams practice, Gore decided to jump in the drills and participate in the gunner drills. While special teams assistant coach Dave Fipp held the blocking bags, Gore tried his best to avoid the block and run down the field. He even had special teams ace Marcus Hudson offering him tips.


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Singletary Announces Roster Moves

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 30, 2009 – 3:41 PM

Head coach Mike Singletary spoke to the Bay Area media on Sunday following the 49ers 20-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys.   Singletary began his conference call by announcing five roster cuts in order to get the team down to 75 players on the roster.  The players who were release0de were kicker Alex Romero, cornerbacks Jahi Word-Daniels and Carlos Thomas, and wide receivers Chris Francies and Mark Bradford.

Singletary was asked several questions regarding his view on the game now that he’s watched the game film.

“It starts with the quarterback situation.  I’m thankful that Shaun was able to come in after the week that he had,” Singletary said. “Obviously he wasn’t as sharp as we wanted him to be.  We’re also missing Snyder and it will be nice to get Baas back as well… I thought the running game was decent.  It wasn’t all bad, it just wasn’t what it had been.”

Reporters also asked about his evaluation of his team’s pass rushing efforts in Dallas.

“Right now, we’re not really game planning and we’re just letting our guys go with their best rush,” Singletary said. “It’s something we have to have in order to be a successful defense.  As we get closer to the season, I look for more of those things to happen.”

Singletary later complimented the play of rookie quarterback Nate Davis.

“Nate continues to do a decent job.  I think he’s settling down and the game is slowing down for him just a bit.  Nate has done a good job finding guys and that’s always good to see.”

Lastly, Singletary was asked if the team would consider bringing in a new tackle to replace Marvel Smith, who retired prior to the Cowboys game.

“We continue to look at what we need in order to be successful on the offensive side of the ball.  If we need to get another guy, then we’ll do that.”

Singletary also announced that outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks has a left knee contusion that caused him to be limited in action against Dallas. Also, wide receiver Arnaz Battle suffered a shoulder contusion in the game and safety Michael Lewis suffered a concussion.


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49ers at Cowboys Live Blog

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 29, 2009 – 3:05 PM

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I’m all set up in the pressbox awaiting the 49ers 7:00 CT kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys.  The fans are just now starting to pile into this huge stadium.  They’re playing photos on the video screens of the construction which are very impressive.

Stay tuned to this blog throughout the game.  I’ll try to keep you updated on the scoring drives, an injury news and stats.

The 49ers allowed one first down, and got a second on third down as Tony Romo completed a pass to Kevin Ogletree over the middle.  Get pressure from Takeo Spikes on the next first down, forcing Romo from the pocket who then threw it out of bounds.  On 3rd and 10, Romo found Jason Witten over the middle but was stopped short of the marker.  Nick Folk came on and connected on the 49-yard attempt, but the Cowboys were called for holding and brought out the punting unit.

On first down, Hill found Frank Gore out of the backfield who picked up about 8 yards.  Gore then picked up the first down running up the right side.  The 49ers picked up another first down thanks to a run by Gore and a short pass to Michael Robinson.  Offsides by NT Jay Ratliff gave the 49ers their third first down out to the Cowboys 44-yard line.  The 49ers tried to run with Gore on 3rd and 10 but picked up only 4 yards.  Lee came on to punt.

After the Cowboys picked up a first down on their second run behind the legs of Marion Barber, Justin Smith pressured Romo who wasn’t able to hook up with the receiver thanks to blanket coverage by Clements.  3rd and 10, Romo has all day to throw and finds Miles Austin deep down field in the middle of the zone.  The 49ers only rushed 3 linemen.  INTERCEPTION by Mark Roman who returned it into Dallas territory.

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The 49ers offense couldn’t get anything going and was forced to punt.  At the end of the first quarter, the game is still scoreless.

Romo started the 2nd quarter with a quick strike to Crayton.  Haralson was called for illegal hands to the face and the Cowboys will have a first down at their own 46.  On third and short, it appears that the 49ers defense was able to hold, but Dallas went for it on 4th and Barber picked it up. Play by Romo who found Austin on the left sideline just past the sticks.  Cowboys are now down to th 30.   Barber carried for another 1st down, breaking tackles straight up the middle.  Great play by Kentwan Balmer who dragged down Barber in the backfield.  Dallas is now 6 of 7 on3rd down with the completion to Witten.  1st and goal for the Cowboys at the 5.  The Cowboys get on the board first on a draw to Felix Jones.

Cowboys 7 – 49ers 0

The 49ers will start their drive at the 18-yard line.  I apologize but I lost internet connection, but the 49ers went three and out.  Dallas returned the ball to the 15 and tacked on another five yard because of a penalty on the 49ers.  The defense was able to hold and force the field goal.

Cowboys 10 – 49ers 0

The 49ers were only 1-4 on third downs but gained 19 yard on a pass to Battle on third down to keep the chains moving.  the 49ers couldn’t get in the end zone but did get on the board with a field goal.

Cowboys 10 – 49ers 3 (That’s the score at half)

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Michael Spurlock fielded the opening kickoff in the secon half and took a knee for the touchback.  Hill will start the second half at QB. A nine yard pass from Hill to Coffe will give the 49ers a first down at the 34.  The 49ers are now 4-8 on third down conversions.  Electing to pass on third and short, Hill was under pressure but was able to throw it away.  Andy Lee came on to punt.  The 49ers were called for a false start on the kick, which really could have gone either way against the offense or defense.  Crayton returns the punt to the 23-yard line.

Tarell Brown made a nice pass breakup on first down and nearly picked it off as he went out of bounds.  In at RB, Tashard Choice carried for 4 yards on 2nd down.  Martellus hauled in the pass from Jon Kitna to pick up the third down conversion.  The Cowboys are now 5 of 9 on third downs.  No such luck for Kitna on the next third down, missing badly on a pass intended for Miles Austin.

The 49ers will begin their drive at the 21-yard line.  The 49ers will start with a new offensive line of Boone, Howard, Spanos, Toledo and Bender from right to left. Huard is in at QB.  Huard finds Battle for a pretty completion on the right sideline.  The 13-yard gain gives them a first down.  Anthony Spencer sacked Huard for a loss of 4. Huar’d next pass went off the hands of Walker who looked like he was held.  Walker wanted the flag but no such luck.  The third down pass missed Walker wide and the 49ers will have to punt.  Crayton returns the punt to the 45-yard line where the Cowboys will take over.

The 49ers defense held strong, forcing the punt.  They will take over at the 12.

Nate Davis is now in the game at QB.  Kory Sheets is now in the game at RB and picks up the first down.  Screen pass to Sheets who gets out close to the first down marker.  It will bring up a third and short.  Play action pass from Davis, who finds Delanie Walker across the middle  He is forced out of bounds after breaking a tackle for a gain of 20 yards.  Davis scrambles up the middle for a decent gain of 6 yards.  Sheet’s will take the handoff and plunge straight up the middle for a 5 yard gain and the first down.  Davis fakes the handoff, rolls right and finds Spurlock on the right sideline for the first down at the 20.  Davis hits Finley on a crossing route who slides down near the 1-yard line.  An illegal contact penalty is declined and the 49ers will have a first and goal from the 1.  Kory Sheets wastes no time getting in, hurdling the pile at the line of scrimmage and tumbling end over end for the score.

49ers 10 – Cowboys 10

Diyral Briggs made a possible TD saving tackle on the kickoff, bringing down Stanbach at the 31.  Chioce carries for a gain of 2, but that’s the end of the third quarter.  Big hole on the draw for Choice up the middle.  the 12-yard gain gives Dallas the first down. Kitna found Bennett on first down for a gain of 2.  Bennett was met quickly by Tarell Brown.  More success on the draw play as Choice had another huge hole to get the first down. Another draw and another big gain for Choice to the 9-yard line.  The 49ers held strong on 3rd and 1 as Mitchell made a nice stop.  The Cowboys are just a few chain links short and the fans at Cowboys stadium are letting it be know that they wanted to go for it.  Folk comes on to give the Cowboys the lead with a 26-yard boot.

Cowboys 13 – 49ers 10

Spurlock returns the kick to the 23.  Delay in the game as Dallas CB Alan Ball is down on the field.  It was a pretty violent collision on the kickoff and Ball is being attended to by the training staff.  Ball was able to walk off on his own.  a facemack penaly on Dallas give sthe 49ers a first down at the 36.  Good improvisation by Sheets who was initially stuffed at the line but broke it wide for a good gain.  The run was negated because of a block in the back by Jason Hill.  That will make it 1st and 15.  An illegal snap will back them up 5 more yards.  A sack by Jason Hatcher won’t help and it’s now 2nd and 24. Sheets picks up 5 yards, but it will still be 3rd and 19.  Davis tries to find Sheets for a screen pass, but he can’t hang on and the 49ers will have to punt.

Great hit by Carlos Thomas who lit up DeAngelo Smith who would have been wise to signal for the fair catch.  I’ll have to run down to film Singletary’s postgame presser in not too long so don’t forget to follow the end of the game action on Twitter.  Eric Green forced a fumble after a catch by Stanback.  Reggie Smith recovered and the 49ers will take over at the Dallas 31.

Under pressure, Davis rolled out and hit Brit Miller who dove to make the catch.  The defender never touched him and Miller got up and picked up a few more yards and the first down.  Davis fins Miller again in the left flat, but this time he’s met quickly for a gain of just 3.   Spurlock enters at QB and hands off to Sheets for a nice gain.  He’s stopped short and the 49ers will kick the FG.

49ers 13 – Cowboys 13


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49ers Gear Up For Dallas

Posted by Taylor Price on August 28, 2009 – 1:19 PM

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Head coach Mike Singletary made two important announcements on Friday, right before his team boarded a plane for Dallas.

One, Shaun Hill will start against the Cowboys this Saturday night. And two, tackle Marvel Smith will not travel with the team due to personal reasons.

Singletary added that Hill’s playing time has not been determined. “He’ll start the game and we’ll go from there,” Singletary said.

Veteran tackle Barry Sims will get the start in place of Smith and Adam Snyder, as the team’s two top right tackles on the depth chart are both unavailable. Snyder will be resting a knee injury he sustained against the Oakland Raiders.
 
Singletary said he doesn’t know how long his starters on both sides of the ball will play. He said the coaches will see how the game is going then they’ll make playing time decisions from there.

With this being the 49ers third preseason game, Singletary wants to see his players “continue to make steps.”

Making this game even more crucial is how backups will be making their final push for roster spots. But the same thing can be said for the entire team.

“For the guys that are on the edge every game is very important, every snap is,” Hill said. “That doesn’t just go for them, that goes for everybody. It’s a very important game for everyone on this team. For the guys that are going to be starting, we need to establish a tempo, do some good things, and get some confidence. As far as the backups are concerned, this is a huge opportunity for them.”

Patrick Willis said the chance for backups to compete against a talented team like the Cowboys would only be beneficial to everyone in the long run.

“I think it’s very big,” Willis said.  “To go out there and have a good game against a good-caliber team like the Cowboys, it means a lot across the board from the ones to the twos. Coach [Mike Singletary] will say all the time, ‘We don’t have backups. We have guys who come in and when they’re in there, they’re starters at that point in time.’ So, it’s going to be really big across the board.”

Rookie Waiters

It’s hard enough to prepare yourself for your first preseason road game in the NFL when you’re a rookie. But when veteran players are demanding you buy them food for the plane ride, life can become a lot more difficult.

Tackle Alex Boone is getting to learn what rookie life in the NFL is all about.

Alex Boone found himself in that situation after Friday’s “mock game” practice. As soon as the players trotted off the practice fields, Boone began fielding lunch orders from all the offensive linemen.

After ordering six pizzas and 12 sandwiches, Boone was relieved to get his order in.

“My pizza order was ridiculous,” Boone said. “I’m excited though, I got a medium pizza.”

Boone said he wasn’t irritated that he had to order pizza. “I guess that’s what rookies have to do,” he said.

Rather, he was annoyed with the pizza parlor’s manager.

“The guy seemed so flustered he kept telling me to, ‘Slow down, slow down!’” Boone said. “I kept telling him he had to hurry with my order because if the delivery was late, my teammates would be so mad at me.”

But Boone got his order in and now it’s time for him to get a lot of playing time against the Cowboys, which is an opportunity he’s relishing.

“I’m not at all nervous or excited about this game; I’m just going to do what I do best and have some fun with it.”


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“Do Over” Rule in Dallas

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 28, 2009 – 9:10 AM

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Commissioner Roger Goodell notified NFL clubs of a change in rules for the 2009 season relating to the video board over the field at the new Cowboys Stadium but that will also potentially apply in other situations.

Goodell consulted with the Competition Committee and NFL staff, coming up with the following set of rules which will be in effect starting this weekend when the 49ers travel to Dallas.

1.    If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.

2.    If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the two-minute warning.  If, prior to the two-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach’s challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.

3.    In the event the down is replayed:

(a)  The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred.
(b)  All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls which will be administered prior to replaying the down.

“We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved,” Commissioner Goodell said.

49ers punter Andy Lee will be the first kicker affected by the new rule change, but it shouldn’t have much of an impact on the way he approaches Saturday’s game.

“I’m not going to change anything,” Lee said.  “I’m going to put my best punt out there.  If it hits it, it hits it.  I’ll apologize to my guys and do it again.  We’re not going to have to play there again the rest of the year; it’s not something we’re going to have to worry about the rest of the year.  I’m going to go in there and try to hit my best ball and get ready for the season.”


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Brown Turns His ‘Swag’ On

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 26, 2009 – 2:36 PM

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After spraining his toe at the start of training camp, cornerback Tarell Brown has had to watch many practices from the sidelines.  That was a difficult thing for Brown to do considering he’s in the middle of a fight for the starting cornerback position opposite Nate Clements.

“I just want to compete,” said Brown, who is entering his third season.  “I think every guy out here is just trying to compete for a starting job.”

After spending the last few weeks rehabbing his toe, Brown will get his chance during the last two weeks of the preseason to do compete for a starting spot.

“I think all of our guys, Tarell Brown, who’s had the toe, Dre’ Bly, Shawntae [Spencer], they’re just going to continue to compete just like they do when they come out here,” head coach Mike Singletary said on Wednesday. “And, they understand that.  They’re going to continue to compete for that position and we’ll go from there.”

Brown was one of the front-runners for a starting job after last year’s starter Walt Harris tore his ACL and will miss the 2009 season.  But the job was not given to Brown as the 49ers signed Bly, a two-time Pro Bowler, to compete at the position.

Brown was not discouraged, but knew that he would have the opportunity to fight for the job once being medically cleared to practice last week.

“It was a great thing they brought in a veteran like Dre’,” Brown said.  “He’s a great player who’s done an amazing job since he came into the league.  For me, it’s another opportunity for me to step my game up and learn from an older veteran.  I’m a competitor and I won’t shy away from competition regardless of who they bring in.”

In Brown’s absence, the defense has played extremely well, notching six interceptions in the first two preseason games.  Adding Brown to the lineup will only help those numbers.

“We’re clicking.  We’re all on the same page.  Our attention to detail is amazing right now,” Brown said.  “We’re holding everybody accountable.  Our d-line is doing a great job of getting off the ball, putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback.  The linebackers are scrapping, hitting the edges.  That’s making our job a lot easier.”

The defense must play as a collective unit to force turnovers and the secondary prides itself on trying to hold up its end of the bargain, especially some of the younger players who are starting to develop in the scheme.

“As young guys, we try to go out there and add a little swag to the game,” Brown said.  “As a whole, I think our entire secondary has that swagger.  We push each other every day.  We battle every day.  We compete every day.  It’s the little small things that you really don’t see like us competing in the classroom, as far as who can answer the question the fastest or competing on who can get the playbook the fastest.  It’s the little small things that are helping us out a lot.  The young guys like myself are going to bring that swagger out of the old ones too.”

The plan is to have that “swag” in full effect this weekend when the 49ers travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.  It’s fitting that Brown’s first game back will also be in his home state, making his friends and family all the more eager to ask for tickets.

“But I’m not buying tickets for everybody,” Brown said with a smile.  “That’s too much.”

Looks like Brown doesn’t consider tickets S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get).


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Hill Named Starter For ’09 Season

Posted by Taylor Price on August 24, 2009 – 3:50 PM

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Head coach Mike Singletary announced Monday that Shaun Hill will be the 49ers starting quarterback when the regular season begins. The 8-year pro finished the 2008 season with a 5-3 record as the starter, including wins in four of the last five games. In his career, Hill has a 7-3 record with 2,547 yards passing and 18 touchdowns through the air.

“This morning I brought them (Hill and Alex Smith) in together and had them understand why we made the decision and how important it is for them to continue to push each other and compete,” Singletary said. “I thanked them for how they’ve been throughout this whole process. I feel very fortunate to have both of them. They both made great strides. I’m very excited about how Shaun ended last season and how he’s progressed through the offseason.”


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No Decision Made on Starting QB

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 23, 2009 – 1:49 PM

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In his conference call with the media on Sunday, head coach Mike Singletary did not name a starting quarterback.  Singletary and the coaching staff will review the film from the game and be very detailed in their evaluation before coming to such a decision.

“I have to look at some more film,” Singletary said. “It takes me a little longer than some other people.”

Alex Smith injured his thumb against the Raiders making a tackle after his pass intended for Josh Morgan was intercepted by linebacker Ricky Brown.  Smith will be evaluated and is day-to-day.  Singletary insisted that the injury will have no impact on which quarterback is ultimately selected to start against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13.

Other notes from the conference call included:

-  The main thing that jumped out to Singletary after watching the game was the physicality. “The execution of the offensive line was a challenge going into the game. We had to have it in order for our quarterbacks to develop. The running game allowed them to have a bit of a comfort zone.”

- Adam Snyder injured his right knee and ankle in the game.  He will be evaluated before any update is given on his condition.

- Singletary praised the play of both the offensive line and running backs.  “I think it goes hand in hand. If you put a running back behind an offensive line that is not good, he could be the greatest in the world and you’d never know. For a rookie, the more [Glen Coffee] plays the better he’s going to get.”

- Singletary was pleased with the effort of the defense which has forced six interceptions in the first two preseason games.  “It’s nice to see that early on. We certainly would like for that to be a trademark of the defense. The most important thing is do your job, the reason those turnovers happen is because guys are in the right place.”

- Linebacker Scott McKillop, guard Chilo Rachal, safety Reggie Smith and cornerback Carlos Thomas were a few of the young players who stood out to Singletary. “There are a few guys who did a nice job.  Scot McCloughan and his staff have done a great job of bringing in guys who can play, so I take my hat off to him.”

- The 49ers will travel to Dallas next Saturday, a game in which the starters will probably see more playing time.  “For us, the thing I really want to focus on is it’s our first road game and we’re playing a talented football team. I know they’re considered an elite team. We have to continue to take steps and move forward in being the team we want to be.”


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49ers vs. Raiders Live Blog

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 22, 2009 – 3:08 PM

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Players are beginning to warm up for tonight’s game against the Oakland Raiders.  Kickoff will be in a couple hours at 5:15 pm.  Stay tuned to this blog for drive sumaries and game updates as they happen.  Click here for more game information including television and radio brodcasts.  Tonight’s game is presented by Bud Light.

There’s no inactive list in the preseason, but the players who are not suited up are David Baas, Parys Haralson, Ray McDonald, Tarell Brown, Brandon Jones, Michael Lewis, Patrick Willis and Eric Green.

The players are about to take the field.  I’ll post the starting lineups once the game begins.

The 49ers game captains are CB Nate Clements, C Eric Heitmann and P Andy Lee.

Defesnive starters:
DE Justin Smith
NT Aubrayo Franklin
DE Isaac Sopoaga
OLB Ahmad Brooks
OLB Manny Lawson
MLB Jeff Ulbrich
MLB Takeo Spikes
CB Nate Clements
CB Dre’ Bly
S Mark Roman
S Dashon Goldson

The 49ers looked stout against the run to start the game.  After a short pickup on first down, Manny Lawson made the tackle in the backfield to force third and long.  Russel’s third down pass fell incomplete forcing the punt.

Offensive starters:
QB Alex Smith
RB Frank Gore
FB Moran Norris
WR Josh Morgan
WR Isaac Bruce
LT Joe Staley
LG David Baas
C Eric Heitmann
RG Chilo Rachal
RT Adam Snyder

Rossum couldn’t gain any yardage on the punt return and the 49ers will take over rom the 24-yard line.  Alex Smith kept the chains moving, finding Vernon Davis over the middle of the field for the third down conversion.  Smith couldn’t hook up with Davis on the next third down and the 49ers will punt.

All the defensive startes are still in the game for the second drive.  Russel found Tony Stewart on the second play of the drive.  I’m surprised he was able to hang on to it after Goldson upended him.  Russel tripped up during his drop and the defense was able to touch him down.  That brings up the punt.

Good coverage by the Raiders punt team and the 49ers will take over from their own 16.  Looks like Gore was just limited to the first drive as Glen Coffee is now in at running back.  And Coffee wastes no time breaking a long run, gaining 16 yards down the right side on 2nd down.  Nice play on 3rd down as Smith found Battle who picked up the 1st down by a yard.  Wow!  I’ve never seen a better block by a QB.  After the Raiders D swarmed Arnaz Battle on a reverse, Alex Smith absolutely leveled Greg Ellis who didn’t see Smith coming.  On third down, Smith’s pass went of Morgan’s hands and was picked off by Ricky Brown.  Brown raced down the left sideline and only Smith could make the tackle – which he did nicely.  Raiders ball at the 7-yard line.

Good coverage by Mark Roman on third don and the Raiders will go for it on 4th down.  Pass is incomplete, intended for Louis Murphy.

After a great hold by the defense, Alex Smith and the offense will take over at the 4.  The 49ers picked up a first down thanks to a nuetral zone infraction on Oakland and two runs by Coffee.  Big gain by Coffe on 2nd down, gaining 18 yards straight up the middle.

That’s the end of the first quarter with the game still scoreless.

The 49ers will have a new QB with the start of the quarter as Shaun Hill goes under center.  Another great run by Coffee down the right sideline as the 49ers get into Raiders territory.  Josh Morgan somehow caught Hill’s pass on third down, but he’s just shy of the first down.  They 49ers will go for it on 4th down.  Tommy Kelly batted down the pass at the line of scrimmage.  Turnover on downs.

Good pressure by a blitzing Takeo Spikes as Russel’s pass falls incomplete.  After an 11 yard gain from a pass to Justin Fargas, the Raiders will have a first down at th 37.  Higgins beat Clements down the right sideline and Clements hung onto his jeresy to prevent the touchdown.  First down for the Raiders at the 14.  After an illegal man down field and a holding penalty, the Raiders will back up to the 26-yard line.  After making a tackle, Dre’ Bly is down on the field.  I’ll keep you posted on his status.  The Raiders score first thanks to a 24 yard TD pass from Russell to Murphy.

Raiders 7 – 49ers 0

Good news on Bly who just got the wind knocked out of him.  His return is probable.

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Coffee continues to have a strong game, busting a 35 yard run down the right sideline and getting to Oakland’s 45-yard line.  With that carry, Coffee has 100 yards on 8 carries.  Hill found Battle on second down over the middle for a 12 yard gain.  First down at the 17.  The 49ers pick up another first down as carry follows Chilo Rachal to the 4-yard line.  The 49ers can’t punch the ball in and will bring in Nedney for the short field goal.

Raiders 7 – 49ers 3

After playing for the first time this preseason, Frank Gore said, “I was happy to be going through it with y teammates.  We’re doing great, especially in the run game.  Our team is moving the pile.”

Injury update on Adam Snyder – he has a right ankle and knee sprain.  His return is questionable.

Raiders are moving the ball well in the two-minute offense, taking the ball down to the 28-yard line.  The 49ers secondary comes up big again.  Rossum picked off Garcia’s pass after it deflected of Higgins’ hands.

That’s the end of the first half – Raiders 7 – 49ers 3

Coffee had 129 yards rushing in the first half.

Nate Davis is now in at QB for the 49ers.  The 49ers continue to have success on the ground, four carries by Robinson and the 49ers are out to the 45-yard line.  The 49ers continue with Robinson and have not thrown a pass on this drive.  First down at the 36.  The 49ers drive stalled and Nedney wasn’t able to connect on the long field goal.

Bruce Gradkowski is now in at QB for the Raiders.  Deep pass to TE Brandon Myers who beat the coverage of Reggie Smith.  Raiders get the first down at the 12-yard line.  Raiders get the touchdown as Gradkowski finds Myers again alone in the end zone.

Raiders 14 – 49ers

Touchback on the kickoff and the 49ers will begin the drive at th 20.  Nice grab by Joe Jon Finley hauling in a pass from Davis with the defenser draped all over him.  Robinson coverted on thihrd and short.  Another first down as Davis finds Jason Hill for a gain of 13 yards.  Big play on third down as Davis rolled to his right and found Delanie Walker in the middle of a zone.  Walker picked up more yards after the catch for a gain of 26.  22 yard gain by #24 as Robinson gets the 49ers down to the 5-yard line.

That brings an end to the third quarter.

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2nd and goal from the 1-yard line.  Play action from Davis who finds Walker in the end zone.  The 49ers will try to make it a field goal game, going for 2.  Conversion is good as Davis finds Walker again.

Raiders 14 – 49ers 11

The Raiders will begin the drive from the 22-yard line.  Good pressure from Marques Harris as he bats down Gradkowski’s pass.  Rookie Scott McKillop got his first interception.  49ers ball at the 29-yard line.

New running back and more success on the ground.  Sheets carried the ball for 15 yards down to the 11-yard line.  Alex Romero ties the game at 14-14 with the field goal.

49ers 14 – Raiders 14

Another interception by the secondary.  Jahi Word-Daniels tipped Frye’s pass and Carlos Thomas hauled it in.  Thomas’ fellow rookies loved it.  That’s the third interception for the 49ers.

Davis found Jason Hill for a gain of 15 yards.  First and goal at the ten.  Great blocking by Finley, Brit Miller and Alex Boone, who sealed the right side of the line and allowed Sheets to get in for the score.

49ers 21 – Raiders 14

Diyral Briggs was offsides, negating a fumble recovery by Scott McKillop who ran the ball back for a would-be score.  That gave the Raiders a first down.  Another big play by Myers who beat McKillop’s coverage for a 31 yard gain.  Frye roles to hits right and finds Nick Miller for a first down at the 8-yard line.  Illegal formation by the Raiders backs them up 5 yards.  Frye scrambles down to the 1-yard line.  The Raiders are challenging the ruling on the field.

We have to run down to the field now, but you can follow the rest of the action on Twitter.


Posted in Breaking News | 69 Comments »

Gore Gives Oakland Linebackers a Crash Course

Posted by Taylor Price on August 18, 2009 – 2:01 PM

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With the 49ers up in Napa for two days of practices with the Oakland Raiders, a heightened competitive energy is to be expected.

And if Frank Gore is on the field, there’s no question he’s the one leading that liveliness.

Such was the case Tuesday morning, as Gore dominated the Raiders linebackers in 1-on-1 blitz pickup drills.

On Gore’s very first rep against Raiders linebacker Ricky Brown (6-2, 235 pounds) he flattened the fourth-year ‘backer instantly as if he were doing his best impersonation of an offensive lineman making a pancake block.

“Frank was outstanding. He was exceptional,” head coach Mike Singletary said of his star running back’s performance on Tuesday. “Frank gets excited about what he’s doing and to me, his heart, his emotion and his enthusiasm is what this game is all about.”

Afterwards, Gore praised his running back coach Tom Rathman for helping him with the smaller details of picking up blitzing linebackers.

“He wants us to be very aggressive and he’s helped me a lot,” Gore said of Rathman. “He’s helped me with the small things like taking (proper) angles and I’m trying to do my best to do whatever he tells me to do.”

Gore has made sure to improve on all aspects of his game under the guidance of Rathman.

“I feel that anyone can run with the ball, but to be a complete back you have to catch the ball and block and a lot of people don’t like doing it because it’s tough,” Gore said.

So far in training camp, Gore has yet to take a practice off. But when lined up facing a different team, Gore found himself especially fired up.

“It was my first time going up against another club,” Gore said of his increased enthusiasm. “I just love doing what I’m doing. I love the game and I’m having fun out there.”

Gore was asked if he would play against the Raiders this Saturday night at Candlestick Park, to which he responded, “Yeah, I think I will.”

But if Gore doesn’t suit up on Saturday, he understands the reasons for it.

“My coaches know what they’re doing,” he said. “I didn’t get a break during the practices, I never ask for a day off. I guess they see how hard I’m working.”

Morning Practice Notes

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi watched Tuesday's practice.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi watched Tuesday's practice.

Because the two Bay Area teams were practicing each other, several well-known faces were in attendance. Recently retired Hall of Fame coach/broadcaster John Madden watched practice as did another retiree in former 49ers and Raiders offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry. New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi also attended practice as his club is in town playing the Oakland A’s.

During 1-on-1 drills, Reggie Smith picked off Raiders quarterback Charlie Frye after the ball was initially tipped by Carlos Thomas.

When the 49ers first-team offense competed against the Raiders first-team defense in a 7-on-7 period, Alex Smith completed two nice deep balls to Isaac Bruce, who beat the coverage of Oakland cornerback Chris Johnson.

Later, Shaun Hill found tight end Vernon Davis down the right hashmarks for a 25-yard gain.

One of the funnier sights of practice was seeing Raiders and 49ers coaches argue over a possible interception by free safety Dashon Goldson during a two-minute drill drive simulation. With the Raiders coaches acting as referees, they ruled Goldson’s interception as an incompletion, citing the ball touched the ground before Goldson had full possession.


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