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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on November 30, 2009 – 6:19 PM

Moments after Mike Singletary thoroughly explained how several members of the offense met with him last week to express opinions about the offense’s direction – players in the locker room were also asked to comment.

But according to quarterback Alex Smith the matter was blown out of proportion.

“This is not something that is new. It’s always been there,” Smith explained. “I know a lot has been made of this – I just think with the more you play in an offense – the better you play in that system.”

Smith said that Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye’s office doors have always been open for players to express themselves. Those visits picked up, ever since the 49ers used more of a shotgun attack in the second half of the Green Bay game. From that point on, the offense grew increasingly excited about its potential in a spread attack.

With players communicating that with the coaching staff, Smith said it spoke volumes about the steps the team has taken recently.

“I think the more comfortable we get with things, you’re going to get a little more input to maybe what you like, maybe what you think you can do. I just think that comes with growth, with experience.”

Tight end Delanie Walker also felt those discussions were critical.  

“It says a lot. Our philosophy is that we’re a family. We’ve been a family since training camp. Now it’s just bringing us together even more. You tell a couple guys something. Then one of them goes up there for the offensive team. Then a change comes around and we have a great change and can win games in the spread offense. I think it brings us together closer.”

More Monday Notes

-Singletary announced the following injury report at the conclusion of his press conference, something he normally opens with. “[WR] Josh Morgan: Hip contusion, taking it day-to-day he should be fine.  [DT] Kentwan Balmer: Right shoulder sublex, his shoulder went out, went back in and that’s day-to-day. [LB] Parys Haralson: thumb contusion and [S] Curtis Taylor is having an MRI today: hip strain.

-Singletary again was pleased with the play of his quarterback. “Alex Smith, I thought, did a very nice job,” he explained. “I thought he took a big step yesterday. This is an offense that he talked about and envisioned and was able to step in and not just talk about it but produce, find receivers, have a blitzing linebacker or end coming right at him and still focus downfield and make a throw.”

-Singletary said Smith’s two best throws were on a fourth-and-one pass to Vernon Davis for a 30-yard gain and an incomplete pass to Michael Crabtree in the back of the end zone. “He made some really nice throws yesterday. The one throw to Vernon on the fourth-and-one was outstanding. He didn’t even break stride. Of course, the possible touchdown to Crabtree, that was an outstanding throw. So, he’s really doing some things that are very nice to see.”

-Singletary was asked again about his philosophy in using a spread attack, to which he replied, “I just feel like going forward, it’s just a matter of continuing to look at our offense and look at what helps us win. I think there are a lot of philosophies out there. I’m hearing a lot about, well, the philosophy should be to throw the ball more. Sometimes, it’s run the ball. The only thing I can say is this: My overall philosophy is to win.

“I think that’s the thing that I’ve said from the very beginning. I want to win. I think it’s one thing when you look at this is what I’d like to do, but I think you have to look at what you have and go with that, make the most of it, and be excited about having it. To me, that’s what I am. I talked many times about when we run the ball, I want to run the ball. I don’t want to tip-toe. I don’t want do any of those things. I want to hit people. I want to go forward and I want to run the ball. When we pass the ball, I want to do the same thing. I want to see our receivers going downfield and adding on, hitting somebody. Don’t just look at the guy. Run with the ball. Go hit somebody. To me, that’s what it’s all about. That’s football. So, that’s not going to change.”

-Singletary complimented the play of offensive line which gave up zero sacks against the Jaguars. In particular, he singled out the right side with guard Chilo Rachal and tackle Adam Snyder and left tackle Barry Sims.

-Lastly, Singletary said that starting left tackle Joe Staley will begin running and weight lifting this week. Singletary is hopeful that Staley will return for the 49ers home game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in two weeks. As for the status of cornerback Nate Clements, Singletary hopes to have the veteran defensive back healthy be the season finale at St. Louis.


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Week 12 Blog: 49ers vs. Jacksonville

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 29, 2009 – 11:27 AM

The 49ers (4-6) are set to square off against the Jaguars (6-4) at 1:05 PT.  The game can be seen locally on CBS.

It’s another gorgeous day at Candlestick as well.  In the four seasons I’ve been with the team, it still has not rained on a game day at home (knock on wood).

The 49ers have a lengthy injury report this week, but only Nate Clements and Joe Staley are listed as out for the game.  The list of inactives will be posted on this blog roughly 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

49ers Inactives: QB Nate Davis (3rd QB), CB Nate Clements, RB Michael Robinson, C Cody Wallace, T Joe Staley, WR Arnaz Battle, WR Isaac Bruce, DT Ricky Jean Francois

Jaguars Inactives: WR Nate Hughes, CB Rashean Mathis, DT Derek Landri, T Tra Thomas, G/T Maurice Williams, T Paul McQuistan, DT Greg Peterson

FIRST QUARTER:

Josh Morgan was back deep for the 49ers and they received the ball first.  Morgan let the ball bounce in the end zone for the touchback.  1st and 10 from the 20, Alex Smith hit Frank Gore out of the backfield picking up 7.  That’s what the 49ers will have to do – get good gains on early downs.  2nd and 3, Smith’s arm was hit as he threw and it was ruled an incomplete pass as his arm was going forward.  3rd and 3, Smith hit Delanie Walker crossing who had beaten his man, turned upfield and would have gone even further if he hadn’t been tripped up after a gain of 21.  1st and 10 from the SF 48, Gore took the handoff and plunged up the middle for a gain of 4 before being tackled by Derrick Harvey.  On 2nd down, Smith hit Gore on a swing pass.  gore tiptoed along the sideline and picked up 3.  3rd and 3, Smith bought some time and found Morgan along the sideline for a nice grab.  The 11 yard gain gives the 49ers the first down.  1st and 10 from the JAX 34, Gore took the inside handoff but didn’t have much room and picked up just 2.  2nd and 8, Gore got the carry and seemed to hesitate a bit.  For a while it looked like it would be a loss, but gore cut back for a gain of 3.  3rd and 5, Smith threw for Jason Hill who slipped as the pass sailed high.  Joe Nedney came on and connected from 46 yard out to put the 49ers up early.

49ers 3 – Jaguars 0

Montell Owens took the kickoff out to the 29 where the Jags will begin their drive.  1st and 10, Garrard connected with Tory Holt on a quick slant for a gain of 11.  1st and 10 from the 40, Jones-Drew was stopped by Justin Smith for no gain and there wasn’t any running room.  2nd and 10, Garrard tried to set up the screen, but Smith read it and came back to tackle MJD for no gain.  3rd and 10, Willis came in unblocked and drilled Garrard as he got the pass away to Holt.  It’s only a gain of 8 and the Jaguars will bring on the punt team.  Brandon Jones fielded the punt and was brought down immediately at the SF 8.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from their own 8, Smith stepped up as the pocket started to collapse and hit Gore for a short gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Gore got the carry and was stopped by Harvey for no gain.  3rd and 7, Smith threw too high for Crabtree along the left sideline and the 49ers go 3 and out.  Good coverage by the 49ers as they stretched Brian Witherspoon out wide.  A 55 yard punt by Lee and the Jaguars will get the ball at their own 37.

1st and 10 for the Jags, Garrard threw to Ernest Wilford quick right and was wide open.  Willis closed after a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, MJD sidestepped Takeo Spikes in the backfield and found a whole to move the chains.  1st and 10 from the 48, Mike Sims-Walker was called for a false start.  1st and 15, Garrard hit Mike Thomas wide left and Goldson closed for the tackle after Thomas picked up 6.  2nd and 8, Garrard threw the ball away and was in the pocket still.   Late flag by the officials and the Jags will be called for intentional grounding – 10 yard loss and a loss of down.  3rd and 19 from the JAX 44, the 49ers just rushed 3 and Garrard found Marcedes Lewis for a gain of 12.  Podlesh will punt for the Jags and Jones calls for the fair catch at the SF 9.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from their own 9, Smith hit Davis quick left who escaped a face mask tackle for a gain of 9.  The personal foul will tack on an additional 15 yards.  1st and 10 from the SF 33, Smith hit Gore on kind of a slip screen.  The play was read by the big man, John Henderson for no gain.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Davis on a short comeback fro a gain of 5.  3rd and 5, Smith was right on target for Davis who couldn’t haul in the pass for a would-be first down.  Lee hit a great punt, but the Jags set up a nice return down the right sideline out to the SF 47.  Curtis Taylor was shaken up on the play.

*** S Curtis Taylor was carted off the field.  He has a hip strain and his return is doubtful.

1st and 10 for the Jags from the SF 47, Lawson dragged down Garrard who pushed the ball to MJD before he hit the ground for a gain of 17.  That ends the quarter.

SECOND QUARTER:

1st and 10, Garrard threw deep for Sims-Walker but the 49ers had good coverage and the pass sailed long.  2nd and 10 from the 30, MJD tried to find some room on the left sideline, but Lawson made a nice play to hold him to 1 yard.  2nd and 9, Garrard hit Jones-Drew out of the backfield.  Michael Lewis made a great play to wrestle him down aggressively before he could get to the sticks.  Josh Scobee pushed the field goal attempt wide left and the 49ers will stay on top.

1st and 10 for the 49ers after the missed field goal from the SF 30, Smith hit Crabtree on the wide receiver screen.  Crabtree made some good moves to break two tackles for a gain of 8.  2nd and 2, Delanie Walker took the end around handoff and got a great block by Morgan along the left side.  A gain of 11 and the 49ers are near midfield.  1st and 10, Gore took the carry straight up the middle but didn’t have much room and will only pick up 1 yards.  2nd and 9, Smith hit Davis just past the sticks.  The Jags were flagged for illegal contact but will deny it as the play resulted in a first down.  1st and 10 from the 36, Smith hit Davis on their patented seem route, but Davis couldn’t hand on as the safety jarred it loose.  2nd and 10, Smith threw for Gore as the ball bounced off his hands and was nearly picked off.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Crabtree on a post.  A nice catch and some yards after the catch will give the 49ers a first down at the 9.  1st and goal, Smith hit Morgan on a short comeback down to the 3.  2nd and goal, Smith tried to hit Gore or Davis after the play action, but both were covered well by the Jags so he threw it away.  3rd and goal from the 3, play action by Smith and Vernon Davis couldn’t have been more open as Smith rolled left.  Smith could’ve ran it in too.  Heck, I could have ran it in.  The well executed play put the 49ers up 10-0.

49ers 10 – Jaguars 0

Witherspoon fielded the kickoff and appeared to have a decent hole, but Scott McKillop close the hole and made the tackle just past the 10.  Right now, the 49ers have yet to be flagged for a penalty which has been emphasized I’m sure as they’ve talked about not beating themselves.  1st and 10 from the JAX 22, Spikes tackled MJD on a 4-yard carry up the middle.  2nd and 6, Willis drilled Garrard who just floated the pass.  The ball should have been intercepted by Lawson, but he wasn’t able to haul it in.  On 3rd down, Garrard looked for Sims-Walker and the pass wasn’t close.  Jones took the punt and returned to the 34.

*** S Curtis Taylor has now been ruled out for the remainder of the game.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from their own 34, Smith’s pass was intended for Crabtree on a comeback, but it was batted down at the line.  2nd and 10, Smith looked for Davis wide left, but he couldn’t make the catch.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Morgan wide left.  The Hokie made one man miss, but couldn’t get to the chains.  Lee will come in to punt.  Brown downed the punt at the 15, but was called for illegal touching and will take the 5-yard penalty.

1st and 10 from the 20, MJD found a good hole inside and rushed ahead for a 6-yard gain.  2nd and 4, MJD had a small window to the right, but center Brad Meester was called for holding.  2nd and 14, Garrard hit his tight end over the middle for a moderate gain of 6 yards.  3rd and 8, Garrard hit Sims-Walker, but it looks like he was called for a push-off.  That’ll be a 10-yard penalty and the down will be replayed.  3rd and 18 from the 12, Garrard hit Jenning on the screen, but Haralson and Willis stopped him after a gain of 12.  Podlesh will punt.  Jones has hid best return so far, getting around the edge and out to the SF 41.

1st and 10, Smith hit Morgan crossing.  Morgan gave the DB a nice stiff arm, but only gained 3.  2nd and 7, Smith escaped the pocket and then had a lot of running room.  The refs threw the flag as Ingrim hit Smith, but they waved it off.  1st and 10 from the JAX 46, Gore got the carry, but couldn’t find a lane for no gain.  2nd and 10, Smith threw for Morgan, but a great play by Brackenridge as he flew in to break up the pass.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Morgan wide left and the 49ers won’t get a very good spot by the official after a 9-yard gain.  The clock will stop at the two-minute warning and the offense will stay on the field.  4th and 1, Smith faked the handoff and hit Davis on man coverage down to the 7.  The 30-yard gain looks like a great aggressive call.  The 49ers will take their first timeout with 1:10 left in the half.  1st and goal from the 7, Smith threw for Morgan on the slant, but #84 couldn’t make the grab.  2nd and goal, Smith handed to Gore from the shotgun.  Gore got down just inside the 5.  The Jags will take their first timeout to stop the clock with 1:00 left.  3rd and goal from the 4, Smith rolled right and thought about running it in.  The Jags all looked at Smith who backed up and then found Gore all alone with his feet just inside the line – great awareness by Gore to keep his feet in.  The refs will review the play, but I looked up and saw the replay on the TVs and I would think this one would stand…but I don’t make the calls.  The refs agree though and the touchdown is good.

49ers 17 – Jaguars 0

The Jags return the kickoff out to the 28.  1st and 10 from the 28 with :46 remaining, Garrard faked the handoff and hit Sims-Walker for a 16-yard gain.  1st and 10, Garrard hit Sims-Walker again just past midfield and the Jags take their second timeout.  Garrard then hit Sims-Walker again down to the 30 and out of bounds.  With :11 left, Garrard hit Holt down to the 14.  Garrard just shredded the defense on this drive after the unit had played so well early on.  Singletary will try to ice the kicker by calling timeout.  Scobee will come on and get the Jags on the board after the 32-yard field goal as time expires.

49ers 17 – Jaguars 3

*** Alex Smith’s QB rating in the first half was 101.1

THIRD QUARTER:

Witherspoon returned to the 24.  Garrard took a shot deep for Wilford who came back on it against Goldson as the Jags quickly get inside 49ers territory.  1st and 10 from the 46, Garrard swung it wide to Thomas for a gain of 12.  1st and 10, Garrard hit Thomas again who avoided a tackle and got down to the SF 16.  1st and 10, Garrard looked for Jones-Drew on the screen but Franklin held his ground and MJD lost 2 yards.  2nd and 12, Lawson came around the left side and this time got Garrard down and stripped the ball in the process.  Justin Smith fell on it – 49ers ball!

1st and 10 for the 49ers from their own 27, Smith found Walker on an out route.  Walker avoided one tackler and nearly broke it before losing his balance 22 yards later.  1st and 10 from the SF 49, Smith hit Walker again over the middle.  Walker turned up field right away for a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, Gore took the toss right, but there wasn’t much room.  Gore though got just enough to move the sticks.  1st and 10 from the JAX 41, Gore took the handoff out of the shotgun formation and plunges straight ahead for a gain of 4.  2nd and 6, Smith threw for Crabtree who had a rare drop on a high pass that probably should have been hauled in.  3rd and 6, Crabtree made good after the drop catching the pass on the crossing route and cutting back against the defender for a couple more yards, 20 yards in all.  1st and 10 from the 17, Smith hit Walker who was tackled immediately for no gain – good coverage by the Jags.  2nd and 10, Smith floated it for Crabtree.  Good coverage though, but Crabtree could’ve made the catch in the end zone.  It was a perfect throw by Smith.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Morgan out left for a gain of 8.  The 49ers are short of the sticks so Nedney will come on a connect on the 27-yard field goal.

49ers 20 – Jaguars 3


Witherspoon took the kickoff after bobbling it, but was hauled down after a nice tackle by Keith Smith at the 10.  1st and 10 from the 10, Jones-Drew hit the middle of the line and looked like he would be stopped for no gain.  However, the short back kept his legs moving for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Garrard hit Lewis on a slant.  Lewis cut back outside but was chased down by Willis.  1st and 10 from the 35, Garrard looked for Holt who was blanketed by Spencer so the throw was a bit high and incomplete.  2nd and 10, Goldson initially hit Garrard , but couldn’t make the tackle.  Willis and Evans shared the sack.  3rd and 12, Garrard stepped up and hit Holt on another deep slant.  1st and 10 after the 15-yard gain, MJD took the handoff and bounced out left before being tackle by Lewis on the 9-yard gain.  2nd and 1, Jones-Drew plunged ahead for a gain of 6.  1st and 10 from the SF 37, Garrard bought some time getting out of the pocket and taking off before being chased down by Isaac Sopoaga after a gain of 5.  2nd and 5, Garrard threw for Lewis, but Spikes was in front and nearly intercepted it.  Spikes celebrated by kicking the ball – hilarious.  3rd and 5, Garrard hit Miller on another deep slant for the first down and a gain of 10.  1st and 10 from the 22, Jones-Drew had a huge running lane, tackled by Spencer after a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, MJD was hit in the backfield by Smith for no gain.  3rd and 1, Jones-Drew was wrapped up by Willis short of the sticks.  The Jags will let the clock run out in the 3rd quarter and they’ll have a decision to make on 4th down to start the 4th quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER:

The Jags’ offense will stay on the field on 4th and 1.  Spikes is dancing around getting the fans on their feet.  4th and 1, Garrard looked to throw, but Haralson flew in and then Smith came in to help.  Garrard coughed up the ball and McDonald fell on it.  Huge play!

1st and 10 for the 49ers from their own 34, Gore took the handoff and bounced outside of Adam Snyder on the right side of the line for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Smith threw for Walker and the ball bounced straight in the air and the Jags nearly got the turnover.  3rd and 7, Smith hit Gore on the screen who slipped.  He had nice blocking, but the slip hurt and he actually lost 1 yard on the play.  Andy Lee come in to punt and gets off a good one which was fair caught at the 22.

1st and 10 from the SF 22, Garrard threw too wide for Lewis in the right flat.  2nd and 10, Garrard escaped the pressure in large part because of a hold.  2nd and 20 from the SF 12, Jones-Drew took the draw straight ahead for a gain of 12.  3rd and 8, Garrard again escaped the blitz by the 49ers secondary.  Willis turned and ran him down though, pushing Garrard out of bounds after a gain of 5.  4th and 3, Garrard hit Jones-Drew on the swing pass for the first down and a gain of 13.  An aggressive call keeps the drive alive.  1st and 10, Garrard it Thomas on the route of the day – deep slant.  1st and 10 from the JAX 33, Jennings took the draw and was dragged down by Spikes after a gain of 8.  2nd and 2, Jennings was able to get the first down after a gain of 3.  1st and 10 from the 22, Jones-Drew nearly broke it out left.  it took 3 to bring him down.  2nd and 1, MJD got the carry up the middle for the first down.  1st and goal from the 7, MJD got the carry again, but was met by several defenders for a short gain.  2nd and goal, Brown broke up Garrard’s pass in the end zone and the ball bounced up and fell between Goldson and Bly.  3rd and goal, Singletary ran down the official in the middle of the field to get the timeout called.  That’s the furthest I’ve seen a coach run to call a timeout, but it worked!  3rd and goal from the 3, Garrard tried to hit Holt on the short slant and the Jags will settle for the field goal.  It’s a three score game so with 7:39 left, Scobee tries to tack on three, but drills the left upright.  That’s huge as the lead stays at three scores.

So after the chip shot field goal was missed, the 49ers will get the ball at the 20.  1st and 10 from the 20, gore plunges ahead for a 1-yard gain.  2nd and 9, Smith throws back across the field for Davis who picks up 8.  3rd and 1, Gore dives ahead for the first down. 1st and 10, Smith swings wide left to Gore who’s tackled for a loss.

I’m heading down to the field now, but stay updated by following SF_49ers on Twitter.


Posted in Gameday | 40 Comments »

Seven Former 49ers Named HOF Semifinalists

Posted by Taylor Price on November 28, 2009 – 3:14 PM

Seven former 49ers were named as semifinalists to be considered as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010. The list of 25 is led most noticably by Jerry Rice, but also includes prominent names of the past like Roger Craig, Charles Haley, Richard Dent, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman and Rickey Jackson.

Other notable players like Tim Brown, Emmitt Smith and Aeneas Williams are also in consideration. The Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee decided on 25 semifinalists out of a list of 131 preliminary nominees.

  • Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
  • Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
  • Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
  • Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
  • Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
  • Rickey Jackson, LB – 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
  • Jerry Rice, WR – 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks

  • Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

    Heitmann and Battle: Stanford vs. ND

    Posted by Scott Kegley on November 27, 2009 – 4:30 PM

    Center Eric Heitmann and wide receiver Arnaz Battle will have pride on the line this weekend when their Alma Maters clash in Palo Alto. With a 5 p.m. kickoff, both players won’t get the opportunity to go to the game as they have meetings at the team hotel to prepare for the Jaguars on Sunday.

    Nonetheless, both Heitmann and Battle will be sure to check their phones after the meetings wrap up.

    “When you think about Stanford football you have to think about their ground game and the power rushing attack they have with Toby Gerhart,” Heitmann said. “I think in the more recent games, what’s given another dimension though is the precision passing game from Andrew Luck at quarterback.”

    Battle acknowledged that Stanford has a solid running game, saying, “Gerhart is going to have to beat us.”

    But The Fighting Irish have some talent of their own.

    “Early on the offense was struggling and people were wondering if [quarterback] Jimmy Clausen was going to be what he was hyped up to be,” said the former Irish signal caller.  “He’s turned it around and he’s shown his talent and his capabilities.  They have a good wide receiver in Golden Tate and a good running back.  It’s a good group of guys.  The defense is getting a little better, too.”

    Battle’s Irish will also have another opponent beside the players in Cardinal and white jerseys.  They’ll also be battling the distractions that have surrounded the program in recent weeks as the heat has turned up on head coach Charlie Weis.

    “The coaching situation is getting national attention and they’re being hounded by the media so it’s going to be tough for them,” Battle said.  “I feel bad for those guys because I can kind of sympathize with what they’re going through.”

    Heitmann hopes that those distractions, combined with the home field advantage, can help his team improve to 7-3 on the season.

    “I definitely think Notre Dame has some distractions they have to deal with this week with all the talk about the job future of their head coach,” Heitmann said.  “It’s something that Stanford thankfully won’t have to deal with this week. It’s the last game of the season, Stanford has a lot of seniors and they’ll be playing hard for Coach Harbaugh.  I’m looking forward to a big victory for the Cardinal.”

    A Stanford win would be hard for Battle to swallow as he’s grown accustomed to the Irish dominating the rivalry throughout the years.

    “My mentality when I was a player was that we should never lose to Stanford,” Battle said.  “I hate to knock them, but that was our mentality because we were so confident.  The teams we felt like were tough games were the USC’s.  We went down to LSU as well and those were solid teams.  Expectations are set so high that this is a game we’re supposed to win.”

    Battle’s prediction: “28-24 Notre Dame with a touchdown in the last two or three minutes and our defense finally stops them.”

    Heitmann’s Prediction: “I’m going to say Stanford 27, Notre Dame 24.”


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    Raye Addresses Smith and Spread Offense

    Posted by Scott Kegley on November 27, 2009 – 1:38 PM

    Since Alex Smith took over as the 49ers starting quarterback, the offense has gone to more of a spread offense with up to four wide receivers while putting Smith, for the most part, in the shotgun.  While Smith and the 49ers seem to have had more success out of this formation, as evidenced by a three touchdown second half against Green Bay, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said the increased yardage from the spread can be attributed more to the situation rather than the scheme.

    “The quantity of the yards and quality of the yards has to be measured by the score and the time in the game,” Raye said.  “I don’t think the formation per se had a whole lot to do with it. The fact that we were in a semi-rally mode because we were down by four scores had something to do with it. We converted third downs, which meant we got more plays.”

    After the team’s first drive against Green Bay in which the offense got in position to tie the game at 3-3 following a field goal, Raye noted that “from that point on, it was downhill.”
    The main reason for the inconsistency in the offense according to Raye is that the unit hasn’t had time to work together and establish cohesion.

    “I think this offense has been in transition since I’ve been here,” Raye said.  “You name a week that we haven’t been in transition, from an injury standpoint, from a runner standpoint, a receiver standpoint, an offensive line standpoint. The thing we have been is in transition.”

    Despite the inconsistency from the offense as a whole, Raye has been pleased with the progress he’s seen from Smith.

    “I think Alex so far, his maturation in the 14 quarters, has been very good,” Raye said.  “I would anticipate going forward that as we improve in other areas of our play offensively, his growth will continue. He’s become a little more assertive.”

    One of the things Raye has been pleased with is how Smith has inserted himself into the game planning going into each week.  Smith talks to Raye frequently about some of the things the offense does and does not do well.

    “He has the opportunity to ‘red line’ his wish list,” Raye said.  “The quarterbacks get a wish list at the beginning of every week. They get to list in priority the things they like and the things they don’t like. They get to red line things they don’t want or don’t feel comfortable with, or they can suggest things they’d rather have. As I tell them and all of the players, it’s democratic, but it’s not 50-50 because they don’t spend as much time looking at it or preparing as we do.”

    With the great dialog between quarterback and coordinator, Raye believes it’s only a matter of time before things start to click.

    “Alex is a very bright individual. As he gains confidence, the more his intelligence plays to his physical ability. I hope that is what we’re witnessing. Only winning and time will tell that.”


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    49ers Reflect on Thanksgiving Day

    Posted by Taylor Price on November 26, 2009 – 9:45 AM

    Apparently the man known as “Samurai” Mike during his playing career isn’t very handy with a carving knife on Thanksgiving Day.

    “I carve the turkey, I mess it up pretty much.” head coach Mike Singletary said with a smile when I asked him what his typical role was on the holiday. “My wife is still gracious enough to let me do it every year.”

    Singletary enjoys helping out as much as possible, just as long as he’s able to spend quality time with his family.

    “The biggest part is we just have a good time. It’s my day to serve and try to get my wife to sit down somewhere. That’s what that day is all about for me.”

    The 49ers will hold practice on Thursday, but will have enough time in the day to spend time with family and friends. Singletary said in his Wednesday media session that the focus will remain the same while the players at team headquarters.

    “We’ll just try and get everything done that we need to get done here in terms of keeping the focus on performing well this Sunday and trying to come away with a win. And at the same time, taking that day to enjoy your family, finding the balance between the two. That’s really it. I’m going to enjoy my family and encourage everybody else to do the same.”

    Here’s what some of the players will be doing this year for Thanksgiving:

    Wide Receiver Josh Morgan #84

    -Plans for Turkey Day?

    -“I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to one of these people’s houses and eating something. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m going to go to somebody’s house and eat some good food. Whoever calls me first, that’s where I’m at. Or from my position, I can pick and choose. I can go to one house and eat something, then go to another house and eat something different. I could go to about six houses and eat different meals! I know a lot of people who can cook, so I’m going where the food’s at!”

    -Favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?

    “My favorite food on thanksgiving is the turkey of course. I also love the stuffing and macaroni and cheese. I like all of that. I like food period.”

    -Any Thanksgiving traditions?

    “As a kid, we would play football all of the time on Thanksgiving. All my cousins were there. After we come in, they would wash all of us up. Then we would watch whatever football game was on. It usually was the Lions. We’d watch Barry Sanders go crazy on Thanksgiving. That was our ritual. Both Vernon Davis and I have played on Thanksgiving before. That’s when the high school football championship was in D.C. It’s called the Turkey Bowl. We won of course. I remind Vernon all of the time. He’s upset right now, because my school is in the Turkey Bowl again tomorrow and his school didn’t make it this year. He’s a little upset right now, but he’ll get over it.”

    Center Cody Wallace #59

    -What’s it like having your birthday on Thanksgiving Day?

    “It’s cool. It’s happened a few times in the past. We’ve always been off for school, so I haven’t gotten to fully enjoy it.”

    -What are your plans?

    “Practice, then head over to my girlfriend’s house and spend time with the family. Then I get to meet all of them and hang out.”

    -What do you do to help out?

    “I don’t think they should let me be near the food when it’s getting prepared. I’ll wait until it’s all done.”

    -What’s your favorite food?

    “Just the turkey and the dressing. That’s the big thing every year and my favorite thing to eat.”

    Cornerback Dre’ Bly #31

    -What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?

    “There are going to be a lot of guys in the “hot box” (sauna) on Friday and might be doing some extra cardio to try and burn off some of that extra fat that they gained from Thursday night.”

    -What are your memories of playing on Thanksgiving while playing in Detroit?

    “Normally on that Wednesday you want to eat as light as you possibly can going into a game. You don’t want to go into a game full. But after that game, it was on.”

    - Favorite food on Thanksgiving?

    “Everything. I always have my in-laws come in to town and help my wife cook. I pig out. I would probably say sweet potato pie. That’s my downfall. Banana pudding too.”

    Tackle Barry Sims #65

    -What’s the team’s mindset on Thursday?

    “The plan is to get our work done obviously, that’s the most important thing. After that, we’ll get a chance to spend some time with our families and be thankful for what we have.”

    -What are you thankful for?

    “I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have to play football in the National Football League. To be healthy, there is a lot to be thankful for and too many things to mention. Those are the top of the list right there. I’m thankful that my wife is doing the cooking. But in our house, each person contributes in their own way. We’ve got certain people who run to the grocery store. We have helpers to help. Everybody’s going to contribute. It’s not just her cooking. But, she cooks a mean ‘bird and we’ve got a big one this year.”

    -Do you carve the turkey?

    “I’m not a carver. I have carved in the past, but I’m not very good at it. It’s not that fun for me. I worry about cutting my fingers off and I worry about sweating into the food. My role is to bring humor to the situation. I like to come in from a long day and tell everybody that I’ve been working while they’ve been doing nothing. We have fun and enjoy being together as a family. I enjoy having a nice sit down meal. There are only a couple times in the year when we can do that.”

    Guard Chilo Rachal #62

    -What are Plans for Thanksgiving?

    “Just to spend time with my family; my son, my mother, and my father and to be appreciative for everything I’m thankful for.”

    -What are you thankful for?

    “My son. The opportunity to have this job that I love doing the most. Having time to spend with my family.”

    -What’s your role on Thanksgiving?

    “I’m the person who has to bring in the grocery bags from the car and into the house. I also take all of the trash out. I’ve got to be the handy man since I’m the big man.”

    -How much food does an offensive lineman like yourself actually eat on Thanksgiving?

    “I do some damage now. It depends on how I approach it. I start with a little bit, then come back with another little bit. Then I go full force, throttle in, goggles on and everything. I knock it down.”

    Kicker Joe Nedney #6

    -How do NFL players typically spend Thanksgiving?

    “I’ve never spent Thanksgiving on the football field. I haven’t done that yet and it was kind of one of those little goals. My in-laws do an amazing, big, family spread. There’s the table that’s really long and one person’s on one side yelling for the salt and pepper and all that. All you see are hands and spoons and forks and all of that. There’s a lot of action, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. That’s Thanksgiving in my family now. It was given to me from my wife’s family. It’s a pretty amazing deal. My mother in-law takes any stragglers off the road; anybody who has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner and brings them to her house and cooks an amazing meal. It’s a lot of fun and there’s about four generations of people who are at the meal.”

    -What is Joe Nedney doing to help out on Thanksgiving?

    “There is a head of the table that the Patriarch sits at and I’m at the butt of the table. My job is to basically keep wine in people’s glasses. Sometimes I’ll go and do some dishes after. I’ll make sure if anybody needs any color commentary during the football games that are going on, I’ll provide some insight because kickers are so knowledgeable about that stuff. That’s my day. Eat a lot of food. Unbuckle the top button. You kind of fall unconscious for a while, and that’s it.”

    -What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

    “I love a well cooked Turkey obviously. I’m a big stuffing fan. One of the staples in my families Thanksgiving is ravioli. Ever since I’ve been married we’ve eaten ravioli’s for dinner and it’s become a holiday staple in the family. My daughter, whatever’s on the plate, she’s going to eat. My son sticks to the rolls and anything with cheese in it, then he’s happy.”


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    Jaguars Conference Calls

    Posted by Scott Kegley on November 25, 2009 – 5:09 PM

    This morning Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and head coach Jack Del Rio both took some time to dial in to the 49ers media trailer for conference calls.  Jones-Drew, a native of Antioch, CA and product of De La Salle high school reflected on his time growing up in the East Bay and getting to the level where he is today.  He also told reporters that his waist is only 1 inch wider than his thighs – 34 inches compared to 33 inches!  Apparently he spends a lot of the time at the tailors as he needs his clothes custom-made.

    Del Rio, a former linebacker himself, addressed the impact Bill Walsh had on his career and the matchup against the 49ers.

    Click here to listen to the conference calls from Jones-Drew and Del Rio.


    Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

    Pro Bowl Update: Week 12

    Posted by Taylor Price on November 24, 2009 – 4:56 PM

    The 49ers players need your support to get to the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  Here’s a recap of what some of the 49ers top Pro Bowl candidates have done through the first eleven weeks of the season.  You can vote as many times as you like at nfl.com/probowl.

    TE Vernon Davis - Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 51 catches for 601 yards and 8 touchdowns. His 8 touchdown receptions rank 1st among tight ends and is tied for 2nd in the NFL among all pass catchers. He ranks 1st among NFC tight ends in yards and 3rd in receptions.

    LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers with 107 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 2 FFs, 6 TFLs and 10 PDs. According to league stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (96).

    RB FRANK GORE - Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 610 yards and 6 TDs (tied for 4th in NFC), while ranking tied for 2nd in the NFC with 5.4 yards per carry. Gore ranks 3rd on the team with 29 catches (220 yards. and 2 TDs).

    P ANDY LEE
    - Lee ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 42.0 net punting avg., 2nd in the NFL in gross punt avg. (47.9) and tied for 7th in the NFL with 19 punts downed inside the 20-yd. line.

    NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN
    - Franklin leads the defensive line with 60 tackles and 6.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial INT against Chi. (11/12) and has set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.5 yards per carry (3rd in NFL) and the 6th-fewest rushing yards per game (94.7).

    RB MICHAEL ROBINSON - Robinson ranks 4th on the team in special teams tackles (16) and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.


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    Monday’s Locker Room Talk

    Posted by Taylor Price on November 23, 2009 – 4:20 PM

    A day after his team dropped its fifth game of the season by less than seven points and sixth overall, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary hinted personnel changes were on the horizon.

    “I am confident that there may be one or two [changes], but I am still looking at the film,” Singletary said.

    Although he would not show his cards on the potential changes, Singletary vowed his players would perform better in the remaining games.

    “I am confident that this season will be a good season,” Singletary said. “We’ve got six games left. I am convinced that we will play better.”

    Despite dropping another game behind the division leading Arizona Cardinals and the rest of the NFC teams muddled in the Wild Card race, Singletary believes the 49ers can still reach their goals.

    “At the very start of this season, our goal was to win enough games to go to the playoffs. That is still our goal. That has not changed, will not change. In my mind, we’re good enough to do that,” he said. “We just have to get it done.”

    Singletary’s press conference included several questions pertaining to the shotgun formation that the team predominantly used in the second half against Green Bay to score three touchdowns.

    “I think, as we go forward, we have to really look at what’s working for him and what works for the offense and continue to do more of those things,” Singletary said of tailoring the offense to quarterback Alex Smith.

    Smith too was asked a high volume of questions regarding the shotgun attack, but insisted that the second half rally had more to do with desire than the shotgun formation. (You can watch video from his interview right here.)

    “When you’re down that much, there wasn’t much left to do but to go after those guys and try to mount a comeback,” Smith said. “We finally made a few plays and got ourselves going.”

    The one play that clearly kick-started the 49ers offense and the entire team for that matter, was Smith’s 38-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a third-and-20.

    “I think it did a lot,” Smith said of Crabtree’s first NFL touchdown. “That whole drive, we made a couple of plays and then we were in third-and-long and Crabtree made a big play for the score – I think that got us going. That’s a little bit of what we needed.”

    The 49ers added two more touchdown passes in the second half, but never could get the run game going because they were trailing heavily for most of the game.

    Looking back at the film, one could infer that the team is best suited to throw the ball from the shotgun formation on every play – but not so says Smith.

    That would require the 49ers entering another ‘world.’

    “It’s easy to say let’s go live in that world [spread offense] – but I don’t think it’s realistic. I don’t,” Smith said. “That’s something you evolve to down the road maybe. Right now, it’s about finding that balance. Maybe it’s something you go in and out of, but you still have to have balance.

    “We have one of the top running backs in the NFL and we need to find a way to continue getting him the ball and put him in situations to succeed.”

    Gore rushed for 59 yards on just seven carries, with his best run coming on a 46-yard gain on a delayed draw with Smith not in the shotgun formation, but rather under center.

    More Monday Notes:

    -The 49ers had their longest injury report of the season following Sunday’s defeat. (Note that names with a * next to them will undergo an MRI Singletary said). *Michael Robinson (stinger), Michael Lewis (quad), Arnaz battle (leg strain), Jason Hill (left ankle sprain), Delanie Walker (forearm contusion), David Baas (right ankle sprain), Patrick Willis (trap spasm), *Marcus Hudson (back strain), Tarell Brown (left knee contusion) and Reggie Smith (abdominal strain) were all named by the head coach to start his press conference.

    -According to Singletary, Smith’s injury was not related to the groin injury that has hampered him all season.

    -Josh Morgan’s 76-yard kickoff return late in the game impressed Singletary but wouldn’t commit to naming Morgan as the team’s starting kick returner. “Obviously we liked what we saw yesterday. If Josh Morgan is the kickoff returner, then hopefully he’s not returning too many of them in a game so we don’t have to worry about it too often. I just think that yesterday, he did a nice job when called upon. We’ll have to look at that a little bit more.”


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    Week 11 Blog: 49ers @ Packers

    Posted by Scott Kegley on November 22, 2009 – 9:28 AM

    The 49ers are in Green Bay to take on the Packers and this is my first time in Lambeau Field.  My seat in the Press Box is next to our PR intern Ryan who commented, “It’s not as big as it looks on TV.”  It’s a classic bowl stadium and definitely a great setting for football.

    As usual, you can check out the injury report for the game and get all the info for today’s game.  The inactives will be posted roughly 90  minutes prior to the game.

    49ers Inactives: QB Nate Davis (3rd QB), CB Keith Smith, CB Nate Clements, LB Takeo Spikes, C Cody Wallace, T Joe Staley, WR Brandon Jones, DT Ricky Jean Francois

    Packers Inactives: WR Biren Ealy, RB Ahman Green, S Matt Giordano, T Breno Giacomini, T/G Allen Barbre, DE Michael Montgomery, LB Jeremy Thompson

    *** LB Matt Wilhelm will start in place of Takeo Spikes

    FIRST QUARTER:

    Green Bay won the toss and elected to receive first.  Jordy Nelson is deep for the Packers and returned the kick out to the 26.  1st and 10, Rodgers hit Driver along the right sideline who made a nice diving grab.  2nd and 7, Grant got the carry and picked up a couple on the left side.  3rd and 3, Rogers was pressured and escaped the pocket and bought some time for Finley to come open for the first down.  1st and 10, Rodgers tossed to Grant who cutback in the middle for a gain of 10.  1st and 10 from the SF 37, Grant had another good run as he got around the corner and down to the SF 11.  1st and 10, Grant took the handoff from the shotgun set for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Grant rumbled down to the SF 5 straight up the middle into a pile of 49ers.  3rd and4, Rodgers had all the time in the world and looked for Finley in the end zone.  Roman had very tight coverage and was able to knock it down.  Mason Crosby gave the Packers a 3-0 lead after a 23-yard field goal.

    Packers 3 – 49ers 0

    Arnaz Battle fielded the kickoff in the end zone and took a knee for the touchback.  1st and 10 from the 20, Alex smith looked for Frank Gore out of the backfield, but got pressure from the middle and the pass was low.  2nd and 10, from the offset I, Gore hit a nice hole in the middle and got outside and down to the GB 38.  On that carry, Gore became the 5th player in franchise history with 5,000 rushing yards. Gore then got the carry on 1st down and was tackled by Aaron Kampman for a gain of 1.  1st and 10, Josh Morgan took the handoff on the end around for a gain of about 9, close to a first down.  The spot was short and it will be 3rd and 1.  Norris got the carry and the officials will have to measure.  It looks about a yard short still.  4th and 1 and the 49ers will send on Nedney to try to hit the 46-yard field goal.  The kick is good and the 49ers tie it up.

    49ers 3 – Packers 3

    Nelson took the kickoff about 2 yards deep in the end zone and returning it out past the 20 before he was met by Delanie Walker who made a nice tackle.  1st and 10 from the 23, Rodgers hit Finley who found a hole in the zone for a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, Willis got good penetration and Haralson stopped Grant for a loss.  3rd and 2, Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings who ran a deep comeback along the right sideline for a gain of 11.  1st and 10, Rodgers found Grant who ran out of the backfield for a gain of 6.  2nd and 4, Lawson nearly got Grant in the backfield, but the back was able to escape and pick up 1.  3rd and 3, Rodgers hit Jenings who was 1-on-1 with Spencer for a 37-yard completion.  1st and 10 from the SF 14, Green Bay was called for a delay of game.  1st and 15, Rodgers tried to set up the screen, but Balmer got good pressure and forced a bad throw.  2nd and 15, Rodgers was able to hit Grant on the screen, this time to the right side for a gain of 10.  3rd and 5, Rodgers looked for Brandon Jackson who was looking the other way and the pass fell incomplete.  Crosby came on for the 27-yard field goal and connected.

    Packers 6 – 49ers 3

    Battle took the kickoff and was met hard at the 16-yard line.  1st and 10, Gore took the handoff up the middle with the Packers stacking the line.  gore managed to pick up 3 on the play.  Michael Robinson was shaken up on the play and the 49ers training staff came on to look at him. Robinson was able to be helped to his feet and walk off.  2nd and 7, Smith rolled right and threw for Morgan who was out of bounds.  3rd and 7, Smith was brought down by Kampman for the sack.  David Baas was injured on the play.  Baas was able to walk of the field. Andy Lee came in to punt to Tramon Williams.  Williams returned the kick to the GB 37.  There was a flag on the play for running into the kicker, but it wouldn’t have been a first down so the 49ers declined it.

    *** Michael Robinson has a stinger and his return is questionable.

    *** David Baas has an ankle sprain and his return is questionable.

    1st and 10, Grant had a good carry up the middle and was tripped up after a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, Grant picked up the first down on a run off right tackle, but was met hard by Michael Lewis.  That will bring and end to the first quarter.

    SECOND QUARTER:

    Packers ball, 1st and 10 from their own 49-yard line.  Grant took the toss inside, but was stopped by Justin Smith for a gain of 1.  2nd and 9, Rodgers hit Finley short right who was pushed out of bounds by Lawson after a gain of 4.  3rd and 5, Rodgers threw too wide for Jennings, but Tarell Brown was called for holding.  1st and 10, Rodgers found James Jones who made a diving grab for a gain of 8 along the left sideline.  2nd and 2, Sopoaga chased Rodgers down and Rodgersjust threw the ball away and he will be flagged for intentional grounding.  3rd and 17 from the GB 48, Harlson made Rogers pay as he stepped up and threw incomplete.  The punt by Kapinos sailed into the end zone for the touchback.

    49ers ball, 1st and 10 from the 20, Smith couldn’t find an open receiver, tried to run, but was brought down by B.J. Raji.  2nd and 11, Gore hit the hole hard but was stopped by A.J. Hawk after a gain of 4.  3rd and 7, Smith was hit as he threw and the offense will go 3 and out for the second straight drive.  Lee’s punt bounced short of Williams and rolled down to the GB 22.  It’s a net of 55 yard on the punt.

    1st and 10 for Green Bay, Rodgers hit Driver wide right who was wrestled down by Michael lewis after a gain of 5.  2nd and 5, the 49ers brought the blitz so Rodgers hit Finley quickly was was hit hard by Goldson for no gain.  3rd and 5, Rodgers hit Jennings for the first down and the Packers continue to convert effectively on 3rd down.  1st and 10,  Rodgers hit Jennings on a deep slant who escaped a tackle for a 64-yard score.

    Packers 13 – 49ers 3

    Battle took a knee in the end zone for the touchback.  1st and 10 from the 20, Smith was sacked by Jenkins who got in the backfield quickly for a loss of 9.  2nd and 19, Smith tried to hit Crabtree on a quick slant but the ball was knocked away.  3rd and 19, Smith hit Crabtree on a WR screen to the right.  Crabtree made some nice moves, but picked up only 6.  That’s the third straight 3 and out.  Lee had another good punt as it rolled down to the GB 28.  The Packers were called for a block in the back on the punt.

    1st and 10 from the GB 19, Rodgers faked the handoff and threw for Driver who was matched up with Brown.  Brown had good coverage and the pass was behind the receiver.  2nd and 10, Grant fumbled the handoff and fell on it for a loss of 1.  Rodgers was credited with the fumble on the play.  3rd and 11, Rodgers hit Jackson on the screen for a 16-yard gain.  1st and 10, Rodgers hit Driver who was wide open on a deep post.  1st and 10 from the GB 49, Rodgers threw quick to Nelson who gained 6 down the right sideline before being pushed out by Brown.  2nd and 4, Rodgers hit Driver who was open with a lead blocker and gained enough for the 1st.  Grant got around the right tackle and scampered down the sideline for a gain of 15.  1st and 10 from the SF 18, Rodgers threw for Finley who couldn’t hand onto the pass.  2nd and 10, Rogers escaped the pocket and rand for a gain of 11.  1st and goal from the 7, Rodgers hit Nelson quick right.  Nelson was able to avoid the tackle of Brown for the score.

    *** Mark Roman has a rib contusion and his return is questionable.

    Packers 20 – 49ers 3

    Glen Coffee took the kickoff out to the 19.  1st and 10, Smith hit gore who was dragged down immediately by Jenkins for a loss of 5.  2nd and 15, Gore picked up 6 off the draw.  The clock will stop with the two-minute warning.  3rd and 9, Smith hit Davis crossing from right to left for a gain of 5, not good enough for the first down.  Green Bay called a timeout with 1:53 remaining in the half.  This punt will be fielded by Williams who got outside of the 49ers coverage and down to the SF 45.

    1st and 10, Rodgers dumped the ball off to Jackson underneath for a gain of 4.  Rodgers dumped it off to Jackson again on 2nd down for a gain of 16.  1st and 1o from the 25, Rodgers hit Finley crossing for a gain of 7.  2nd and 3, Rodgers’ passed skipped short of Greg Jennings.  3rd and 3, Rodgers hit Jones on a comeback for a first down as he got out of bounds.  1st and 10 from the 13, Rodgers looked for Jennings in the end zone, but Brown made a nice play to turn and break it up.  2nd and 10, Rodgers scrambled and stepped out of bounds with :01 left in the half.  Crosby’s field goal was good.

    Packers 23 – 49ers 3

    *** Arnaz Battle has a right leg strain and is out.

    THIRD QUARTER:

    1st and 10, Smith hit Davis for a gain of 8 over the middle.  2nd and 2, Smith’s pass for Morgan sailed high.  3rd and 2, Smith scramble right and picked up the 1st down on a 2-yard run.  1st and 10 from the 32, Gore was hauled down by Nick Barnett for no gain.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Davis on a seem route down the middle for a gain of 32.  1st and 10 from the GB 36, Smith’s pass for Davis was knocked down.  Smith’s pass for Crabtree was knocked down on 2nd down.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Hill for a gain of 8 and the 49ers will go for it on 4th and 2.  The 49ers will turn it over after Smith’s pass was incomplete for Gore.

    1st and 10, Rodgers’ pass for Lee was incomplete low.  2nd and 10, Green Bay was called for holding.  2nd and 20 from the GB 20, Rodgers hit Nelson for a gain of 8 on the left sideline.  3rd and 12, Rodgers hit Jackson on the slip screen, but will be short of the sticks.

    The 49ers will begin their drive from the 32.  1st and 10, Smith’s pass was tipped at the line.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Vernon Davis for an 11-yard gain.  1st and 10, Smith hit Davis on another go route for a gain of 29.  1st and 10 from the GB 28, Smith looked for Davis again down the middle, but the pass was long.  2nd and 10, Smith found Bruce on a short cross, but there was a flag on the play.  It will go against Davis for offensive pass interference.  2nd and 20, Smith floated it for Bruce in the end zone, but the pass was incomplete.  3rd and 20 from the 38, Smith hit Crabtree for a 38-yard score.  Crabtree made a good leaping grab for his first career touchdown.

    Packers 23 – 49ers 10


    After the touchback on the kickoff, Green Bay will get the ball at the 20.  1st and 10, Rodgers hit Jennings on a quick slant for a gain of 5.  2nd and 5, Grant got around the right end and was knocked out of bounds by Lewis after getting the 1st down.  1st and 10, Grant againt ggot around the right tackle with good blocking for a 9-yard gain.  2nd and 1, Grant plunged straight ahead to move the sticks.  1st and 10 from the 42, Jackson bounced the ball out left, but was hit by Willis after a gain of 4.  2nd and 6, Rodgers’ pass deep for Driver went of his fingertips, incomplete.  3rd and 6, Rodgers’ pass for Jones looked like it was nearly picked off by Spencer.  Reggie Smith didn’t have much room on the punt return and the 49ers will have a long field, starting from their own 17.

    1st and 10 from the 17, Smith hit Gore on the slip screen for a gain of 4.  2nd and 6, the 49ers were called for a false start.  2nd and 11, Gore took the handoff on the draw and made a nice move to bounce outside for a gain of 3.  3rd and 8, Smith was nearly sacked, but was able to throw the ball away.  A good punt by Lee will bounce and roll out of bounds at the GB 35.

    1st and 10, Grant took the toss for a gain of 11.  1st and 10 from the 46, the 49ers strung Grant out wide left and Lewis got the tackle for loss.  2nd and 11, Rodgers hit Jones for a gain of 9.  3rd and 2, Rodgers didn’t like what he saw and called a timeout.  3rd and 2, Rodgers moves the chains, hitting Jackson on a short cross.

    FOURTH QUARTER:

    Haralson sacked Rodgers for a loss of 12.  2nd and 22, Rodgers’ pass went off the hands of Donald Lee.  3rd and 22 from the SF 49, Rodgers hit Jackson over the middle for a gain of 10.  The Packers will bring on the punt team.  The punt was downed at the 2.

    1st and 10 from the 2, Smith’s pass was high of Davis and picked off by Nick Collins.

    1st and 10 for Green Bay from the SF 11, Grant took the handoff up the middle for a gain of 1.  2nd and 9, Rodgers hit Jones wide left as Spencer tackled him for no gain.  3rd and 9, Rodgers hit Finley at the 1.  1st and goal from the 1, Grant plunged ahead for the TD.

    Packers 30 – 49ers 10

    Josh Morgan sparked the 49ers with a nice kick return and nearly broke it, tripped up at the GB 24.  1st and 10, Smith threw for Gore quick left, but he was hit immediately and couldn’t hang on.  2nd and 10, Smith escaped the pressure and threw the ball away.  3rd and 10, Smith threw a rope to Davis down the middle.  A great throw and a great catch give the 49ers the touchdown.

    Packers 30 – 49ers 17

    Nelson took the kick for Green Bay and returned it to the 23.  1st and 10, Grant carried up the middle and was tackled by Haralson after a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Rodgers hit Driver for a gain of 5.  3rd and 2, Rodgers was brought down by Lawson and Evans.  A much needed 3 and out for the defense.  Reggie Smith caught the punt and was tripped up at the 32.  A block in the back by the 49ers will back them up 10 yards.

    1st and 10 from the SF 17, Smith hit Crabtree on a quick screen.  Green Bay was flagged for a face mask penalty.  1st and 10 from the SF 30, Smith stepped up in the pocket and hit Bruce on a deep in around midfield.  1st and 10 from the 50, Smith hit Crabtree who came back for the ball at the 15.  Green Bay challenged the call, but to no avail.  1st and 1o from the GB 15, Smith looked for Davis on the qucik screen but it was incomplete.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Morgan on a comeback for a gain of 5.  3rd and 5, Smith’s pass was knocked down at the line and that will bring up a critical 4th down.  4th and 5 from the GB 10, Smith hit gore who was wide open on the right sideline.  Gore made the grab and dived in for the score.

    Packers 30 – 49ers 24

    *** Delanie Walker has a forearm contusion and his return is questionable.

    That’s it for me from the press box as I have to run down to the locker room for postgame.  Follow the rest of the game on Twitter.


    Posted in Gameday | 133 Comments »
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