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Crabtree Sums Up NFL Debut

Posted by Taylor Price on October 29, 2009 – 5:40 PM

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Rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree spoke to the media for just about 10 minutes on Thursday. Crabtree answered a variety of questions from Bay Area reporters ranging from his five-catch, 56-yard debut last Sunday against the Houston Texans to how he’s picking up this week’s game plan.

Here’s the transcript of his media session in the locker room from earlier today:

On if things are becoming more relaxed now that he’s heading into his second NFL game:

“Oh yeah, I’m feeling comfortable right now. I feel like we just have to push through this week. I feel like we’ve done a good job preparing for this game. We just have to keep it up today and smooth things out tomorrow. I’m just ready to go.”

On if he’s picking up the game plan faster this week:

“The second week is still kind of the same right now. It’s not too much of a difference from my first game. Once I get my second game out of the way, I’ll be ready.”

On who is helping him the most between coaches and teammates:

“Everybody, our receivers., the quarterbacks.  I’ve got good teammates and anything I ask, they’re going to give me the answers.”

On the chemistry he’s developed with Alex Smith:

“You know as quarterback and receiver, you kind of create that trust. After running so many routes with him, or anytime you’re doing one-on-one activity outside, you feel like you gain chemistry with that quarterback. It’s no different from Shaun [Hill], I’ve just worked more with Alex. I can’t wait to get out there and see how that goes.”

On if the 49ers can develop into more of a passing team:

“We can be whatever we want to be. We have the talent to do it. We’ve got our running backs. We’ve got our receivers. I think we’ve got the full package. We’ve just got to put things together and go out there and execute.”

On what grade he would give himself after watching film from his first game:

“It was alright. It was my first game. I feel like I could have done better. There are obviously things that I could have done better. That’s what I focus on for most of my time in the film room. I’m just trying to correct those mistakes and get better.”

On if he heard any trash talk from Texans during first game:

“There’s always trash talked out there. I really don’t pay too much attention to it. I’m focusing on my job.”

On how much of the playbook he was operating on against Houston:

“Most of it. I couldn’t get on the field if I didn’t know most of it. I would say I knew most of the playbook.”

102909-crabtree-subOn scoring points and keeping up with the Colts:

“We just have to do our job. Hopefully our defense does their job. It’s a team game. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

On ascending to be the go-to-guy from the start:

“It’s just a part of playing football. When the ball comes your way, you catch the ball. You do what you’ve got to do to get the first down. That’s kind of the rules I’ve lived by my whole life. “There shouldn’t be a difference.”

On embracing that responsibility, to be a big part, right away:

“My responsibility is to catch the ball. Any moment on the field, any time, any place, it’s just football.”

On if he feels that he’s made and immediate difference”

“I feel like I’m doing my job.”

On if changing quarterback right when he is coming into the offense makes it any harder:

“You’ve got to expect the unexpected in any situation. When anything goes wrong, you have to adapt to it. I feel like that’s what our team is doing. I feel like there are a lot of changes made day in day out. It’s just how you respond to it.”

On if any of his mentors checked in with him after his first game:

“I had a lot of people check in with me. I tell them to just give me the negative points on what happened and they all have no problem with doing that.”

On if he likes the attention he’s been getting:

“To tell you the truth, I don’t worry about it. I just stay in my own lane, and do what I’m supposed to do.”

On if he’s seen himself on sports highlight shows:

“I’m always up here and as soon as leave from the facility I’m going to sleep. I really don’t have too much time to watch a lot of TV.”

On how badly he wanted to work out in Indianapolis during the combine back then:

“I wouldn’t say I was frustrated. It was something I wanted to do so bad. I wanted to go out there and show what I had just like everybody else. I’m just glad that that part of it is over with, but I wish I could have done something to show guys what I can do in the 40 [yard-dash].”

On if having had that opportunity would have changed where he was drafted:

“I have no idea. I know where I’m drafted now. That’s the good part about it.”


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49ers Make World Series Picks

Posted by Taylor Price on October 28, 2009 – 3:47 PM

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There’s only so many times you can get asked the same question during an open locker room period. But I know our guys enjoy an occasional question out of left field.

Having said that, today I asked a question about left field, well sort of.

I asked a handful of guys who they were picking to win the World Series which kicks off tonight between the New York Yankees and the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

And for fun, I asked which players in the locker room would make up the best 49ers baseball team. The answers I got were somewhat surprising:

-“I would definitely have B. Jones [Brandon] as my center fielder,” cornerback Tarell Brown said of his wide receiver teammate, who was a one-time draft pick of the Yankees organization. “I would be a shortstop because I have good range. All the quarterbacks would be our pitchers.”

-“Put me at catcher, I swear I’d be a great catcher. I’d be amazing,” cornerback Marcus Hudson explained. “I’d cover the plate and nobody would steal on me. I would gun them out if they tried to steal on me!”

-“I think Arnaz [Battle] might be a second baseman because he has quick feet and quick hands,” Jones said of the players who would play beside him. “I see Alex [Smith] and our other quarterbacks as our pitchers. We’ll go with a three-man rotation. And on offense, our cleanup hitter would probably be big Mo, Moran Norris.”

-“I don’t know about that – I don’t think Mo has any bat speed!” Battle joked in response to Jones’ opinion.

-“I think Justin Smith would be our first baseman. He seems like he’d be a power hitter,” long snapper Brian Jennings said.

-“Ooh, that’s a pretty good question! I don’t know if Justin could be our first baseman though. He’s a slugger, maybe a DH,” Shawntae Spencer said. “I’m not putting him on the field. I’d put guys with really good ball skills in my infield. Dre’ Bly, Nate Clements they both have good ball skills, the receivers do too.

-“Then, I would go with the coordinators as our bench coaches, because they are good with hand signals. Our base coaches could be special teams coordinator Al Everest and secondary coach Vance Joseph because they send in signals too.”

-“I would be a pitcher, because I’d want to throw the ball. In football I love hitting people and in baseball if I was mad at someone – I could throw the ball at them,” defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga joked.

Here are some of the picks from the 49ers locker room, note that only one player [Spencer] chose the defending champs:

Josh Morgan: Yankees in five games.

“I think it’s the Yankees year.”

Tarell Brown: Yankees in five games.

“Really to be honest with you, it doesn’t mean a whole lot that the Phillies won it all last year. At the end of the day the Yankees are playing great baseball and they have solid pitching. Really, that’s what it’s going to come down to – pitching. Pitching and defense. The Yankees have always been a great offensive team, but their pitching is amazing this year. I’ve been a Yankees fan forever though….”

Shawntae Spencer: Phillies in six games.

“I don’t really like either one of these teams. If the Pirates aren’t in it – I don’t really care! But I guess I got a little bit of love for Philly, but then again, I don’t want them to win because if they do I won’t see the end of it. I have a lot of friends from Philadelphia, so I don’t really want to hear that. I’m just going to watch as a fan. I think it’s going to be a great series, I’ll take the Phillies, since nobody else has.”

Brandon Jones: Yankees in six games.

“You have to figure the Phillies can get a couple of games. They can hit. And, they might even wear Andy Pettitte out in game three. C.C. [Sabathia] might have to come back on short rest and get another win for them. It might go to six, if that happens.”

Barry Sims: Yankees in six games.

“A-Rod is hitting this year and they’re getting good pitching – I think it’s their year.”

Brian Jennings: Yankees in six games.

“If I played baseball I’d for sure want to play for the Yankees.”

Isaac Sopoaga: Yankees in six games.

“I want it to be less games, but I think it would be more exciting if it goes to six or seven games. Then, you’d have more games to watch on TV.”

Andy Lee: Yankees in six games.


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49ers Faithful Live Here

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 28, 2009 – 2:41 PM

faithful_live_here_thumb2Is your house a shrine to the 49ers? The TV program, 49ers Total Access is holding a contest in an attempt to find the best 49ers decorated house in the Bay Area. The contest is entitled, “49er Faithful Live Here”. The winners will be interviewed on the show by hosts Joe Fonzi and Kim Yonenaka, and their home will be the featured throughout the program.

The winners will also receive a prize package including 4 tickets to the 49ers game on Monday night, December 14th, 4 Alumni Tailgate Party passes and a parking pass to the same game, plus 49ers gift bags and other special surprise gifts.

To enter, email contest@49ersTotalAccess.com. Attach photos to the email showing off your house and all your 49ers memorabilia. Also in the email, give us a short description of your history as a 49ers fan. Tell us how many years you’ve been following the team, your favorite all-time 49ers player, your favorite current player and your favorite 49ers collectable.

There will also be second and third place winners. Second place will receive 2 tickets to a game and 3rd place will receive a 49ers gift bag.

Contest entries will be accepted now through Monday, November 23rd. The winners will be notified on Wednesday, November 25th and it will be announced on the show the weekend of November 28th. The winner and their house must be available Tuesday, December 1st from 10am to 1pm for the production of the show. The house will be featured on 49ers Total Access airing the weekend of December 5th.


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Enter Josh Morgan’s Essay Contest!

Posted by Taylor Price on October 27, 2009 – 3:48 PM

As a poet, who enjoys all kinds of different writing, 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan knows great reading material when he sees it.

It looks like Morgan will be seeing a lot more reading material after he agreed to be the judge of the 2009 49ers Kids Club Presented by See’s Candies Essay Contest.

Kids Club members (ages 14 and under) can submit an essay in 500 words or less to describe what characteristics a football player would need to be a great 49ers player. If you’re not yet a member of the 49ers Kids Club, you can click here to sign yourself or your child up for the Kids Club presented by See’s Candies to enter the contest.

“It’s a cool thing to be involved with,” Morgan said of his role with the contest. “I think it’s going to be fun to read somebody else’s writing and it’s going to be interesting to see what the kids have to say.”

The contest’s winner will get to meet Morgan at team headquarters, as well as receive an autographed authentic NFL football signed by Morgan and two-tickets to watch the 49ers take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov., 29 at Candlestick Park.

Second place will receive two tickets to the Jacksonville game and a 49ers gift bag, and the third best essay will receive a 49ers t-shirt and hat.

“It’s going to be exciting for me to meet the winner. I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience for both of us,” Morgan said with a big smile.

At the end of your essay, please include your name, age, mailing address, and phone number so that we may contact you if you are the lucky winner. All essays must be submitted to the 49ers Kids Club by Friday, November 20, 2009.

You can submit your essay online by sending an email to 49erskidsclub@niners.nfl.com, title your email “Josh Morgan Essay Contest – and your full name.”

Or you can mail your essay to:

Josh Morgan’s Essay Contest

49ers Kids Club

4949 Centennial Blvd.

Santa Clara, CA 95054

*Winners selected who are outside the San Francisco area will have the option to receive a 49ers Prize Pack.

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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on October 26, 2009 – 5:40 PM

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There were a couple of topics of conversation in the 49ers open locker room on Monday, but none more important than coach Singletary’s decision to name Alex Smith as the team’s starting quarterback.

According to starting left tackle Joe Staley, the 49ers players didn’t find out about the decision to swap signal callers on Sunday until Smith greeted them in the huddle with nothing more than a simple, “Let’s Go!”

There wasn’t much hoopla about the permanent change on Monday, just players looking to get back to the team’s winning ways.

“I’m excited for him, but it doesn’t change what we’re going to do on offense,” Staley said.

For Smith personally, the news will not change the way he’s carried himself either.

“I was just as proud of myself three days ago as I am today,” said the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. “I don’t think anything’s changed because I went out there and played. I’m the same player I was two weeks ago as I am today. I just continue to work at it and get better. With the ups and downs of this game a lot gets made of it, but I just keep playing.”

The man, who Smith’s replacing, also spoke with the media on Monday. And while it may not have been the decision he was looking for, Shaun Hill answered every question like the stand-up individual that he is.

Hill, who was a groomsman at Smith’s offseason wedding, said the relationship between the 49ers top-two quarterbacks will not change because of Monday’s news.

“This is a tough business,” Hill explained. “You’re very fortunate to find friends in this league. The business part of this league won’t change that friendship.”

The two found out about Singletary’s decision this morning when he called them in separately to discuss his reasoning.

“I don’t know if I’d say surprised, but I don’t know if I was anticipating it either,” Smith said.

Earlier in the day, Singletary said the time on the bench might have done Smith some good. But Smith has been patiently waiting to play for quite some time.

“I’ve been out for two years, so I don’t know if I was getting any hungrier.”

Smith has missed most of the last two seasons with shoulder injuries and has never been able to build off his 2006 season where he led the team to a 7-9 record and became the first 49ers quarterback to take every snap from scrimmage in a single-season.

“I’ve always wanted to play this game at a high level. Every time I step on the field, I try to do that,” Smith explained. “That’s always been the goal, try to help this team win and that’s never going to change.”


Vernon Thanks Joseph Luna

 

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Vernon Davis was another popular topic of conversation on Monday.

Davis was asked about the quarterback change and his three-touchdown performance against the Texans, but all the 49ers tight end wanted to talk about was his inspiration for his career-day on Sunday.

As a player who prides himself on being prepared emotionally and physically for every game, Davis was taken back by a meeting he had with Joseph Luna, a 13-year-old cancer survivor, who met Davis at the lobby of the team hotel on Saturday.

102609-luna-blog-subLuna and his family met up with Davis again before the start of Sunday’s game, and Davis showed Joseph that he was wearing the bracelet Luna had given him the day before.

“It was good to see him on the field,” Davis said of seeing Joseph before the game. “I have to thank Joseph for inspiring me. I think he’s a great kid and I really enjoyed the time we shared.”

Davis was still wearing Luna’s bracelet in the locker room on Monday and plans to keep it close by forever.

“Joseph and his family really touched me,” Davis revealed. “I want to pay tribute and honor his courage. He helped me play great ball on Sunday, so I owe him a lot for that.”


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Singletary Names Smith Starting Quarterback

Posted by Taylor Price on October 26, 2009 – 12:48 PM

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Mike Singletary began his Monday press conference by announcing that two starters in right tackle Tony Pashos and inside linebacker Takeo Spikes will undergo MRI’s today on the shoulder injuries they sustained against the Texans.

Singletary went over the rest of the 49ers injury report from the Houston game and then made an announcement on the team’s starting quarterback position for the 49ers next game at Indianapolis and for the foreseeable future.

“As far as this upcoming week in terms of quarterback, Alex Smith will be the quarterback,” Singletary said.

“As far as, ‘Will Shaun Hill be back?’ and all this other stuff… we’re not going to be a flavor of the month kind of team,” he added. “I wanted to make the decision based on who gives us the best chance to win.”

More Notes from Monday

-Singletary said Pashos suffered a left shoulder contusion, outside linebacker Marques Harris suffered a hamstring strain, defensive tackle Justin Smith suffered a left calf strain, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin suffered a right knee sprain and Spikes suffered a right shoulder sprain.

-The 49ers head coach touched on the play of his offensive line again on Monday, but he sounded confident that the group would improve its play and reestablish Frank Gore and the 49ers running attack.

“We want to run the ball, but usually they have 8.5 guys in the box, sometimes nine. Sometimes that makes it a little more difficult. When you have an offensive line that has been banged up and is trying to get things right, it makes for not a good combination. But as we build confidence and continue to get better, it will work itself out.”

-If Pashos is unable to return in time for Sunday’s game against the Colts, Singletary said the team would “figure it out,” in naming a replacement.

-Singletary sat in on the team’s defensive meeting this morning to cover some communication issues that have been hampering the unit’s play. Singletary wants to see better results from that side of the ball, but was sure to remind them know how highly he thinks of them.

“We’re a good defense with the opportunity to be a great defense,” he said of his message to the defense. “But because of the communication factor, particularly in the last couple of games, you get guys starting to do their own thing. That’s when you really have to communicate very well, to make sure guys don’t start doing their own thing. We just have to get on one page, relax, settle down and let’s go from there.”

-Singletary said nothing stood out to him from watching the film in regards to the play of Michael Crabtree.

“Nothing jumped out to me, it was very evident yesterday,” Singletary said. “I just wanted to see it on film, just like when you see a good movie; you want to see it again.”

-Singletary spoke with Crabtree earlier this morning to let him know how he appreciated all the work Crabtree did while he was away from the team.

“All of the work he did, all of the studying he did while he wasn’t here – it showed,” Singletary said.


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Week 7 Blog: 49ers @ Texans

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 25, 2009 – 8:24 AM

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I just found my seat in the press box at Reliant Stadium.  I looked up at the press box from the field and it looked incredibly far away because it’s so high.  The set up is very nice, but I’m glad I don’t have a fear of heights.  The picture above was taken from my seat actually.

As always, I’ll post the inactives when the PR staff gives them to me around 90 minutes before the start of the game.  You can view the injury report for both teams and once the game starts, make sure to view our gameday section for live play-by-play information and stats.

Inactives for San Francisco: QB Nate Davis, WR Micheal Spurlock, S Reggie Smith. S Michael Lewis, C Cody Wallace, WR Brandon Jones, WR Jason Hill, DE Ricky Jean Francois

Houston: QB Dan Orlovsky (3rd), WR Glann Martinez, S Nick Ferguson, CB Fred Bennett, LB Jamie Winborn, G Tutan Reyes, TE Anthony Hill, DT Frank Okam

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FIRST QUARTER:

Andre Davis took a short opening kick out to the 31 where the Texans will start their drive.  Parys Haralson flushed Matt Schaub from the pocket on first down and was stopped by Patrick Willis for a short game.  Schaub scrambled again on 3rd and 5 but was one yard short of the sticks.  Houston punted and the 49ers will begin from the 20.

Michael Crabtree was in the game for the 49ers on their first play.  Shaun Hill was sacked by Mario Williams on first down for a loss of 6.  On 3rd and 14, Hill threw a screen to Vernon Davis who couldn’t hang on to the ball and the 49ers quickly go three and out.  A holding call will back the 49ers up half the distance to the goal.  They’ll punt from the 8.  Great coverage by Delanie Walker who timed his hit on Davis up perfectly and the Texans’ second drive will begin from their own 43.

Steve Slaton moved the chain on 3rd and 1 for the Texans as they move into SF territory.  Slaton reversed his field several times, but was stopped for a 5 yard loss on 1st down.  Justin Smith tipped Schaub’s pass on 2nd down and on 3rd, Schaub was under a ton of pressure by Haralson and threw the ball away.

Hill hit Gore for a gain of 6 on first down and then Gore ran for a gain of just 1 on 2nd.  On 3rd and 3, Hill’s pass was nearly intercepted along the sideline by Glover Quin.  The pass was intended for Davis.  Good coverage once again by the 49ers punt team as Michael Robinson brought down Jacoby Jones at the 39.

Schaub hit Owen Daniels for a gain of 31 as he ran a skinny post down the middle.  Schaub then hit Kevin Walter for a gain of 9 over the middle.  Slaton was stopped for a loss as Spikes and Evans closed on him on 2nd down.  On 3rd and 5, Schaub hit Daniels on a crossing route and was brought down by Hudson after a gain of 12.  On 3rd and 9, Schaub hit Slaton on a quick swing pass and Slaton got down to the 1 for the first down.  Slaton then ran wide right and cut through the defense for the first score of the game.  It was an 8 play, 61 yard drive.

Texans 7 – 49ers 0

Robinson returned the kickoff out to the 25.  Gore gained just 1 yard on a 1st down run.  Jeff Zgonin went past Rachal on 2nd down and brought down Hill.  Hill found Crabtree on 3rd and 15, but was stopped for just a 3-yard gain.  The 49ers have yet to pick up a first down.  A false start on the punt will back them up 5 more yard.  Jacoby Jones ran the punt back for a would-be touchdown, but the Texans were flagged for holding and a block in the back.  The block in the back call was enforced and will back the Texans up 15 yards.  That also brings an end to the first quarter.

SECOND QUARTER:

The Texans will back up to the SF17 after a false start penalty.  Schaub hit Daniels wide left, who was puched out by Goldson after a gain of 6.  Spencer continues his strong play, knocking down a pass deep down the left side intended for Slaton.  Bly was called for illegal contact on 3rd down and that will bail Houston.  I looked up at the replay on the TV and I can’t say that it was a blatant penalty.  Schaub tried to hit Joel Dreesen on 2nd down but overshot him.  On 3rd and 12, the 49ers rushed just three and Schaub had plenty of time to hit Andre Johnson for the first down.  Harlson got in the backfield and stopped Slaton for no gain.  Schaub tried to hit Davis deep over the middle, but it was knocked away by Clements.  The 49ers stopped the Texans on 3rd down and will force the punt.  They won’t get the ball back however as Battle fumbled the punt and the Texans recovered the ball at the 10.  On 2nd down, Willis was held and brought down by one of the Texans lineman.  No call on the play and it was an easy touchdown for Slaton.  Correction, Willis wasn’t held, he was tackled.

Texans 14 – 49ers 0

Hill hit Davis on a short out route for a pickup of 6.  Gore lost a couple yards on second down as he searched for a hold to the left.  A false start will make the conversion even more difficult as Rachal was called for a false start.  On 3rd and 11, Hill hit Crabtree for the first down and a gain of 18.  So Crabtree gets the 49ers first 1st down of the game.  Gore dragged a defender as he bounced the ball out left for a gain of 5.  Hill hit Walker who was brought down quickly by Pollard.  Wow, another call goes against the 49ers.  I though for sure the Texans would be called for PI against Isaac Bruce, but the call instead went against the 49ers receiver.  After Lee’s punt, the Texans will get the ball at the 22.

Schaub hit Walter over the middle to pick up a quick first down.  THe 49ers defense was called for a delay of game and I can’t say I’ve seen that penalty called that often.  Slaton bounced the ball out left, running very hard through some tacklers and was brought down by Willis.  On 2nd and 1, Chris Brown hit a big hole in the middle and got into SF territory down to the 42.  On the next play, the 49ers bit big on a play fake and Owen Daniels was wide open behind just about everybody.  It couldn’t have been easier and the 49ers go down by three scores.

Texans 21 – 49ers 0

On 1st down, Hill faked to Gore and then found him over the middle for a gain of 9.  Glen Coffee moved the chains, going up the middle for a short gain.  Coffee was met hard at the line of scrimmage by a wall of defenders for a gain of 1 on 1st down.  The 49ers will get a first down thanks to a PI call this time against the man defending Bruce.  on 1st down, Hill handed the ball to Morgan on the end around.  Morgan raced left and was tripped up after a gain of 6.  Hill’s 2nd down pass was incomplete intended for Crabtree.  Hill scrambled for a gain of 2 and that will bring up 4th and 2.  On 4th down, Hill was pressured and tried to get the ball away as he was dragged down.  the ball was nearly intercepted and the 49ers will turn it over on downs.

Manny Lawson got to Schaub on 2nd down for a 9-yard loss.  Justin Smith tackled Slaton on 3rd down and forced a fumble which was recovered by Clements.  Every review I saw was not conclusive, but that was good enough to convince the officials that Slaton was down.  Another call goes against the 49ers and Nedney will not get the chance to get the 49ers on the board before halftime.

*** Injury update: T Tony Pashos has a left shoulder contusion and his return is questionable.

THIRD QUARTER:

Two lineup changes to start the 2nd half as Alex smith is in at QB and Barry Sims is in at RT.  Smith hit Crabtree over the middle for a first down conversion on 2nd down.  Houston was called for encroachment and Gore was stopped for no gain to bring up 2nd and 5.   Gore bounced out left behind a block by David Baas and picked up 9 for the first down.  Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis for a 29-yard touchdown.  Houston was called for offsides and the penalty was declined.  Great opening drive by Smith in the second half.

Texans 21 – 49ers 7

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*** Injury update as Tony Pashos has been ruled out for the game. Also, Vernon Davis had the wind knocked out on the touchdown pass.

Steve Slaton had one of his best ruuns of the day, hitting a big hole to the right for a gain of 12. On 1st down, Manny Lawson tracked down a shifty Slaton who caught a pass underneath from Schaub.  On 3rd down, Schaub hit Anderson who was stopped by Hudson short of the first down marker. Battle called for the fair catch and the 49ers will start their drive from the 12.

On first down, Gore picked up three up the middle.  On 3rd and 6, the 49ers were slow to break the huddle and the play clock hit 0.  They’ll back up 5 yards and have a 3rd and 11.  Smith hit Davis over the middle, but only for a gain of 4.  The 49ers were called for holding which will be added to the end of the run.  The Texans will begin their drive from the SF47.

McKillop tracked down Schaub who was scrambling on first down, bringing him down after a gain of 2.  Schaub ran for the first down on 3rd and short.  Slaton coughed up the ball on the next play.  The fumble was forced and recovered by Goldson.  49ers ball at their own 34.

Smith shrugged off a would-be sack on first down and raced out just past the 1st down marker to move the chains.  A nice run by Gore as he slithered up the middle for a gain of 7.  Gore took the snap in the wildcat formation, going up the middle for a gain of 4 and a first down.  Smith hit Crabtree for a nice gain, but SF was flagged for illegal motion.  Smith hit Davis on a crossing route left for a gain of 8.  Smith hit Brice wide right, but for a minimal gain of 1 after he was wrapped up quickly.  That’s the end of the third quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER:

On 3rd and 6, Smith hit Crabtree right by  the sticks on a comeback and picked up the first down.  On 3rd and 7, Smith hit Morgan crossing over the middle.  morgan was wide open and picked up 17 down to the HOU14.  Smith hit Davis on a double move, slant inside for the score.

Texans 21 – 49ers 14

Houston will begin their drive from the 15.  Big play by Andre Johnson who streaked down the middle of the field and somehow came up with the ball between 2 defenders.  On 3rd and 6, Schaub hit Daniels for the 1st down.  Schaub then found Daniels again down to the SF 11.  Justin smith stopped Brown for no gain on 1st down.  On 2nd and 10, Ahmad Brooks came off the left edge and dropped Schaub for a loss of 9.  On 3rd and 19, Slaton picked up a couple, but Houston was called for a personal foul after the play, making it a 50-yard field goal attempt.  Brown hits the field goal anyways and Houston goes up by two scores.

Texans 24 -49ers 14

Robinson fielded the kick out to the 27.  Smith was under pressure on first down but was able to avoid the sack and throw the ball away.  Smith hit Morgan on the right sideline who got past the sticks after a gain of 12.  The 49ers were called for a delay of game and will have 1st and 15 from the 34.  Smith hit Davis who found a hole in the zone over the middle for a gain of 9.  On 3rd and 6, Smith hit Crabtree just past the sticks.  I have to run down for postgame now, but stay tuned to Twitter for updates.


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Davis ‘Blessed’ to Meet His Biggest Fan

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 24, 2009 – 12:41 PM

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It was a dream come true for 13-year old Joseph Luna, who got to meet his favorite player, Vernon Davis, on Saturday.  Joseph was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma when he was just 5-years old and then at age 11, he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.

Joseph had always wished to come to San Francisco to see his favorite team play, but as it turns out, he didn’t have to travel all that far.  While the 49ers were in town to play the Texans, Joseph and his family drove from Austin to Houston to meet Davis at the team hotel.

Davis walked over to a smiling Joseph who was surprised at the size of his football hero.

“He was telling me that he didn’t know I was that big,” Davis said.  “I put my arm up and he was amazed.  His grandpa put his arm next to mine and asked whose was bigger.”

Even bigger than Davis was the smile on Joseph’s face after the two began talking.  Shaun Hill, Frank Gore, Moran Norris and Glen Coffee also stopped by to see Joseph as well.

“Joseph has been a 49ers fan since as long as we can remember,” said José Luna, Joseph’s grandfather.  “Last year for his dog, we got him a leash and harness for Christmas.  We also got him a jersey with 85 on it.”

Joseph’s Chihuahua was actually the first member of the family that he was able to convert to be a 49ers fan.  Slowly but surely, the family of Cowboys fans has started to change allegiances.

“He’s been working on us forever,” Luna said with a smile.  “First he converted his dog.  He has a framed picture on his wall of the San Francisco helmet.  I think he knew that the beauty of it would convert us.”

Davis was pleased to hear of Joseph’s passion for his team.

“I thought that was a genuine thing that he could convert the whole house that was mostly Dallas fans,” Davis said.

While Joseph had a day that he will surely remember for a long time, the same can be said for the 49ers talented tight end.

“When you look at a kid like that and you start to think, it makes you feel for them because you don’t know how much time they have,” Davis said.  “All you want to do is embrace them and have love for them.”

102409-joseph-sub The two talked for several minutes as Davis gave Joseph an autographed hat, several photos and some field passes to come down and say hello before Sunday’s game against the Texans.

“Joseph’s always looked up to Vernon,” Luna said.  “A lot of us didn’t know who Vernon was.  Being from Texas, it’s hard to root for and follow players outside of the state.  I think that’s where Joseph has been such a good teacher to me because it’s not where you’re at, it’s where you want to be.”

Joseph taught Davis something as well.

“It makes me feel blessed,” Davis said. “It was honor for me to be able to come down here and see the little fellow after I heard about his situation.  It was meant for me to come down here.  I hope I was able to touch his heart because I heard he was a big fan of mine.  It was a blessing for me to be able to do this.”


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Goldson and Snyder’s Take on UW vs. OU

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 24, 2009 – 11:40 AM

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This weekend’s matchup between Washington and No. 11Oregon pits two 49ers Pac-10 alums against one another.  Adam Snyder played tackle at Oregon before being drafted by the 49ers in the 3rd round in 2005.  Dashon Goldson is a proud Huskies alum, drafted in the 5th round in 2007.

When I asked Goldson about the matchup, he didn’t hesitate and said, “21-0, U-Dub.”

Why so confident?  Oregon is a highly ranked team that has won its last three games at Husky Stadium.

“USC was ranked too and we beat them,” Goldson said.

Snyder also showed strong support for the Ducks saying the score would be “35-0 by halftime.”

Well somebody has to be wrong here.  The score predictions are 56 points apart and Snyder only gave a halftime score.

Each team does have several playmakers that the other team will have to account for.  Snyder admitted that he doesn’t stay up to date on Oregon football as much as he should, but stand by his team regardless.

Washington hasn’t exactly been a model of consistency this season, beating USC 16-13 and then losing to Arizona State 24-17 with 5 seconds left on the clock.

“My boys are coming off what I would call a heartbreaking loss last week,” Goldson said.  “They fell short in the final minutes, final seconds.  We own Oregon.”

Goldson still keeps up with the Huskies, highlighting those who now play his former safety position.

“I like their safeties,” Goldson said.  “They come up and they bring it.  They just have to make sure though that no one gets behind them and they don’t get beat deep.  It’s up to them to really take charge of the defense.”

With Washington vastly improved under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, Snyder knows that despite his lopsided halftime prediction, it’s more than likely going to be a close one.

“Being that it is one of our toughest rivals, it will be good game,” Snyder said.  “I don’t know if I can predict the score, but it is a tough place to play.  Washington-Oregon is probably a bigger rivalry for Oregon than Oregon State.”

I asked Goldson if he was willing to back his team up with the customary routine where the loser has to wear the winning team’s gear.

“I’m willing to do that,” Goldson said.  “I’m really confident about this week.  I’m going to have to talk to Snyder after this and see what he wants to do.”

Snyder agreed and the bet was officially on.

“I have a jersey, my helmet, a hat,” said Snyder.  “Yeah, I have some gear we can switch for sure.  I don’t know how I’ll look in purple, but I won’t have to worry about it.”

With Goldson listed at 200 pounds and Snyder up around 325, the exchanging of any jerseys might not be that easy considering the size disparity.

“That’s the whole thing, it don’t matter,” Goldson said about wearing the wrong size.  “He’ll have to wear what I give him, no matter how tight or how small.  Even if it doesn’t fit him, he has to wear it just like I would have to wear his stuff that won’t fit me.”


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Crabtree Looks Ready

Posted by Taylor Price on October 22, 2009 – 5:25 PM

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After watching two hours of practice at 49ers team headquarters on Thursday, I didn’t see Michael Crabtree drop a pass, but that doesn’t mean the rookie wide receiver did not have an active practice.

He looked explosive and deceptively fast while running his routes. He also displayed strong hands and an innate ability to come back to the football.

But don’t take my words as proof of his impressive play.

Here’s what the man responsible for covering him in practice the last couple of days had to say about the 49ers 2009 first-round draft pick.

“He’s got real strong hands and he fights for the ball. I like that about him,” cornerback Tarell Brown said. “Great receivers have strong hands and they really fight for the ball, so I think he’s on the right path.”

Brown, a fellow Texas native like Crabtree, was pleased to add another “Dallas cat” to the 49ers locker room.

“I liked his game in college and I like him now,” Brown added. “He’s a good player.”

Initially offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said Crabtree would primarily play in a limited role against the Texans, but after an impressive first couple of weeks with the team, Crabtree is now being considered as a possible starter as the team’s “X” receiver.

And while Raye has been pleased with what he’s seen on the practice fields from his young receiver, the veteran coach knows that game day is an entirely different animal.

“I think, at this point, he hasn’t flinched on anything, but I’m going to gauge that based on the game, the speed of the game and how it starts,” Raye said.

Pressed to give an estimation of Crabtree’s playing time, Raye answered, “I think he would play half of the time.”

Considering that he missed training camp, four preseason games and five regular season contests, Crabtree has fresher legs than his new teammates. The same can be said for his opposition, the Houston Texans defense.

Physically, Crabtree looks the part, standing at 6-1, 214-pounds. He stayed in great shape despite being away from the team and that dedication has paid off in practice. Mentally, Crabtree has shown that he has his head focused on the right things.

While he was away from the game he loved, Crabtree would run routes against friends who would line up in a Cover 2 defense to give him a scenario he would see on a football field.

“I was just reading defenses [in my head] and trying to run routes against [them],” Crabtree explained.

Although he won’t be responsible for learning the entire 49ers playbook by Sunday, Crabtree will have to have the game plan for the Texans down.

“The whole process has been big on me so, I’m just taking it one step at a time and just trying to get better every day,” he said. “I don’t think that anything is easy. I just think that you’ve got to watch a lot of film and hopefully I can get it by the time it is game time. “

Instead of going away for the bye week, Crabtree spent most of his time off at the team facility working with teammates and coaches to prepare for his NFL debut.

“I was really trying to get as much as I could get in,” Crabtree detailed. “I was trying to get that step over everybody. I was just trying to work hard.”

Crabtree said being surrounded by “good players and good teammates” has significantly helped his transition to the NFL. Crabtree added, “I couldn’t ask for anything else.”

Typical rookie nerves combined with the timing of Crabtree’s debut and the location of his first game – should make this Sunday a stressful experience – but not so according to Crabtree.

“When you’re out on that field, it’s just football,” he said. “I’m not really too worried about where I’m at or who I’m playing. It’s just football.”

Crabtree, a Dallas native, expects to have 20-30 friends and relatives in attendance.

“I’m very excited to see those guys. I haven’t seen them in months,” he said.

Now that he’s put in a heavy amount of work to prepare himself for his NFL debut, Crabtree is pleased with the groundwork he’s put in so far.

“Preparation is a big part of football and what I do as a receiver; I feel that by going hard on Wednesdays and Thursdays, it’ll be easier on Sundays.”


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