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NinerCam: Pro Bowl Reaction

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 29, 2009 – 5:48 PM

It was a hectic afternoon at 4949 Centennial Blvd. as the Pro Bowl rosters were released. Head coach Mike Singletary called Vernon Davis (1st Pro Bowl) and Andy Lee (2nd Pro Bowl) to tell them the good news.

Watch Singletary’s call with Vernon Davis

Watch Singletary’s call with Andy Lee

Singletary didn’t have success reaching Patrick Willis right away as he was on his way to visit children at a Santa Clara hospital.  Willis eventually received the news and TV49 caught up with him to get his reaction.

The 49ers also had several alternates – first-alternate Frank Gore and second-alternates Justin Smith and Michael Robinson.


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Posted in NinerCam | 16 Comments »

Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on December 28, 2009 – 3:42 PM

If Vernon Davis catches one more touchdown pass this week against the St. Louis Rams, he’ll tie Antonio Gates’ single-season record of 13 touchdown catches set back in 2004.

But the 49ers aren’t looking at it like it’s a one-man accomplishment for their starting tight end. It’s really more of a team feat.

“It’s a credit to the guys around him. We all depend on each other. But we’re happy for him, he’s worked really hard,” quarterback Alex Smith said.

In Davis’ first three seasons, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2005 draft had 103 catches for 1,132 yards (11 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. To put his breakout year into further perspective, already this season Davis has 72 catches for 876 yards (12.2 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.

With numbers like that, Davis has the support of all his teammates in being a strong candidate to make the 2010 Pro Bowl.

“I’d love to see him on that list,” Smith said. “I’d love to see as many guys as possible, but especially him. He’s worked hard and had a lot of the stats this year to back it up.”

Davis and the rest of the 49ers will have to wait until 4:15 PM PT on Tuesday when Pro Bowl rosters are announced.

And while Smith was unaware of what Davis needed to pass the league milestone, the 49ers signal caller said he wouldn’t press the issue in St. Louis.

“I don’t think we’re going to force anything. We’re just going to let it happen. We’re going to try and win the game,” Smith said. “I think there’s something to be said about him and the work he’s put in over the last few years as well as this season.”

According to Smith, Davis’ development has forced opposing defenses to game plan for the 49ers versatile tight end.

“Definitely his speed up the field is something that causes problems,” Smith said. “I think you can see in these last few weeks defenses have acknowledged [that] and are making adjustments too.  I think they’re more conscious of him.”

Smith was pretty aware of Davis on a 2-yard rollout touchdown pass in which the quarterback could have kept the ball for a touchdown run. Ultimately, Smith decided to throw his 17th touchdown pass of the season.

“It looked better on film than what it looked like in my head,” Smith said. “It definitely would have been a bang-bang play at the goal line. I don’t think it would have been a walk in like I kind of had in my mind. Either way, it turned out the way it did.”

Asked if he’d taken up Davis on his offer to pick up a dinner tab this week, Smith replied, “Not yet, I’ll hit him up on that.”

More Monday Notes

-Mike Singletary opened his press conference by announcing the 49ers injury report following the Lions game. Right guard Chilo Rachal will undergo an MRI later on Monday on his knee, left tackle Joe Staley is day-to-day with a knee contusion, Glen Coffee remains questionable with a hamstring injury and cornerback Shawntae Spencer has a wrist sprain. “Should be fine,” Singletary said of Spencer’s injury.

-Later, Singletary said kicker Joe Nedney and cornerback Nate Clements will not return to action this season. Ricky Schmitt will get another chance to kick for the 49ers. He made 2-of-3 field goals against Detroit.

-Singletary said the offense planned on getting the ball early and often to running back Frank Gore, but Detroit countered by stacking the box with eight defenders. Singletary said the 49ers played a “cat and mouse” game early on and that’s why Gore only had seven carries in the first half.

-Singletary wasn’t happy that his offense struggled to convert the Lions six turnovers into points of their own. “It’s not acceptable. It’s never acceptable,” he said.

-The head coach also has reservations about continuing to use starting wide receiver Josh Morgan as a kick returner. It’s not just offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye who feels that way. “That’s a priority for us this offseason, to find a return guy,” Singletary revealed.

-The 49ers are the only team in the league to force five or more turnovers in three games this season. Singletary said the credit goes to the team maturing on defense. In particular, he highlighted the growth of free safety Dashon Goldson and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. This season, both players are playing the most they ever had in any points of their career. Goldson leads the team with four interceptions while Brooks leads the team with 6.0 sacks.

-“Goldson has gotten more comfortable back there. He’s really doing a good job of reading the quarterback better,” Singletary said. “Ahmad has really stepped up in the second half of the season.”

-Singletary was asked if other linebacker had more range than 49ers two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, he responded, “No.”

-Singletary made a great point to close out his press conference when fielding a question on the importance of finishing the season 8-8. The head coach reminded the media that beating the Rams is not a foregone conclusion. “You have to go earn 8-8,” he stated.


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NinerCam: Monday’s Locker Room

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 28, 2009 – 3:39 PM

The NinerCam team was in the locker room on Monday.  We also had to film our 49ers.com MVPs segment which will air on TV49 later today.

In the meantime, you can also watch the full archived version of Singletary’s Monday press conference as well as this NinerCam interview with linebacker Patrick Willis.


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Posted in NinerCam | 6 Comments »

NinerCam 49ers vs. Lions Postgame

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 27, 2009 – 7:37 PM

Starting this week, we’re going to try something new.  Instead of having to wait to see our edited video package on TV49, we’ll upload some Flip videos as soon as possible.

After the team huddle break down in the locker room, I caught up with Ricky Schmitt and Dre’ Bly.

It was certainly a day that Schmitt will remember for years to come.  Picked up earlier in the week after Joe Nedney sustained a hamstring injury, Schmitt didn’t have much time to prepare mentally and physically for his first NFL regular season game.  Schmitt finished the day with two field goals of 33 and 39 yards to go along with two extra points.

“It was exciting,” Schmitt said.  “I was more excited that nervous, so going out there it was great knocking that first on through.”

Special teams coordinator Al Everest was pleased with Schmitt’s effort, especially considering the limited amount of preparation time.

“When you have a veteran guy, preparation’s not so bad,” Everest said.  “They know what’s up and they know what to expect.  For Ricky being in a regular season game, he has a 280 blood pressure.  The bottom line is he played pretty well and we’ll go from there.”

You can view the full interview with Schmitt below or on Twitter.


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Posted in NinerCam | 9 Comments »

Week 16 Live Game Blog: 49ers vs. Lions

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 27, 2009 – 10:59 AM

It’s fan appreciation day here at Candlestick as the 49ers conclude their home schedule against the Detroit Lions.  Earlier in the week, the forecast called for rain, but it’s a beautiful day at the ball park.  I’ll be heading out to the parking lots in a few minutes to film the judging and announcement of the 2009 Tailgater of the Year.  If you want to see what the competition’s all about, take a look at the video from last year.

The 49ers are relatively healthy.  The only two players who have been ruled out for the game are Joe Nedney and Nate Clements.  Check out the injury report to see everyone’s status.  Without the services of Nedney, the 49ers signed Ricky Schmitt who will handle the kicking duties today.  Schmitt showed some promise during his time with the 49ers during the 2008 preseason.  Schmitt was with the Raiders during training camp this season and has had a year full of workouts for various teams.

49ers inactives: K Joe Nedney, QB Nate Davis (3rd qb), CB Keith Smith, CB Nate Clements, RB Glen Coffee, T Chris Patrick, G Tony Wragge, and WR Isaac Bruce

Lions inactives: QB Patrick Ramsey (3rd qb), WR Eric Fowler, CB Phillip Buchanon, LB Larry Foote, DT Joe Cohen, C Dan Gerberry, G Roy Schuening, and OL Corey Hillard

I was down on the field and shot this video of the pregame huddle.  You can watch it and comment on Twitter or view the YouTube video below.

FIRST QUARTER:

The 49ers will kickoff to open the game.  A great tackle my Marcus Hudson on the kickoff pinned the Lions Deep. 1st and 10, Calvin Johnson took the end around for a 19-yard gain.  1st and 10, Marice Morris got the carry to the left side for 9 yards.  2nd and 1, Drew Stanton rolled right but was chased down and sacked by Takeo Spikes.  3rd and 4, Stanton hit Bryant Johnson on a comeback to the right side, just enough to move the chains.  1st and 10 from the DET 46, Morris took the handoff up the middle for a gain of 5.  2nd and 5, Manny Lawson got in the backfield to drop Morris for a loss of 2.  3rd and 7, Stanton found a hole in the middle and had enough running room to scramble for the first down and a gain of 11.  1st and 10 from the SF 40, Morris got the carry behind the left guard and was tackled my Michael Lewis after a 3-yard gain.  2nd and 7, Stanton stepped up and fired just behind Johnson who made a good adjustment for a 16-yard gain.  1st and 10 from the 21, Morris couldn’t find any running room to the left side as the hole closed quickly for a 1-yard loss.  2nd and 11, Stanton hit Johnson on a quick screen for a gain of 13.  1st and goal from the 9, Aaron Brown got the carry up the middle, but only for a gain of 1.  2nd and goal from the 8, Stanton looked for Johnson in the corner of the end zone against Shawntae Spencer who turned and got a hand on it to knock it away.  3rd and goal, Stanton looked for Johnson between the coverage of Bly and Goldson who knocked it down incomplete.  Jason Hanson hit the 27-yard field goal to give the Lions the early lead.

Lions 3 – 49ers 0

Josh Morgan broke a few tackles on the kick return, but only got back to the 12.  1st and 10 from the 12, Jason Hunter beat Adam Snyder on the right side quickly to bring Alex Smith down for the sack.  2nd and 14, Gore got the delayed handoff, but couldn’t get going and picked up just 1 yard.  3rd and 13,  Gore was brought down behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 5.  After Lee’s punt, the Lions will get the ball at their own 48.

1st and 10 from the 48, Morris bounced around the left sideline and was pushed out after a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Derrick Williams to the end around out left for a gain of 4 after he was drilled by Willis.  3rd and 3, Smith drilled Stanton as he threw and Lawson made a good play to arrive right as his pass got to Heller.  The 49ers will start their second drive at their own 22.

1st and 10 from the 22, Gore still found room to run against 8 men in the box as he rumbled ahead for a 14-yard gain.  1st and 10 from the 36, Smith faked the handoff and had Crabtree wide open down the field for a gain of 50.  1st and 10 from the 14, Gore couldn’t find any running room straight ahead and was stopped for a short loss.  2nd and 11, Smith looked for Walker on the seam route, but the pass was a bit too high.  3rd and 11, Smith was hurried by the blitz and had to throw it away.  Newly signed Ricky Schmitt hit his first regular season field goal.  The 33-yarder ties things up.

49ers 3 – Lions 3

Witherspoon returned the kick to the 30, where he was brought down by Reggie Smith.  1st and 10 from the 31, Stanton hit Johnson on a slant for a gain of 9.  2nd and 1, Morris had good running room up the middle for a gain of 6.  And that’s the last play of the first quarter.

SECOND QUARTER:

1st and 10 for the Lions from their own 46, Takeo Spikes knifed pass a blocker and hauled down Morris on the toss play.  2nd and 14, Stanton hit Morris on the screen pass for a 14-yard gain.  1st and 10 from the SF 44, Brooks got around the right tackle and knocked the ball out of Stanton’s hands.  It was recovered by Takeo Spikes and the 49ers will get the ball.

1st and 10 from the SF 47, Gore got a nice block from his fullback and picked up 6 yards on the straight ahead run.  2nd and 4, Smith rolled to his right and threw back left for Davis who made the low catch down to the DET 34.  1st and 10, Smith tried to find Morgan, but the pass was tipped at the line.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Walker on a quick out to the left side.  The Lions had good coverage and read it nicely to stop him after a 3-yard gain.  3rd and 7, Smith hit Gore who had some space on the left side to get down very close to the 1st down marker.  4th and 1, Gore got the carry and looks to be just short.

1st and 10 for the Lions from the 24, Morris was stopped for a short gain by Takeo Spikes who wrapped up his ankles.  2nd and 8, the defensive line closed quickly on Morris who couldn’t find much room to run up the middle.  3rd and 6, the blitz by Willis came late as Stanton got the ball to Calvin Johnson.  Brooks closed on the receiver and knocked it loose as it was recovered by Roman.

1st and 10 from the 48, Smith’s pass was tipped at the line.  2nd and 1o, Smith threw back to his left for Walker after rolling right.  The blocks were set up well and Walker made some nice moves after the catch for a 12-yard gain.  1st and 10 from the DET 40, Gore got the carry up the middle for a gain of 2.  2nd and 8, Eric Heitmann was called for a hold and the offense will move back 10 yards.  2nd and 18, Smith hit Gore out of the backfield for a gain of 7.  3rd and 11, Smith hit Morgan down the right sideline, but the safety came and knock him out of bounds before he could get his feet down.  Lee’s punt took a nice bounce and was downed by Battle at the 4.

1st and 10 from the 4, Justin Smith stood up Morris at the line and he just picked up 1.  2nd and 9, Morris found a hold to the right side and was tackled by Lawson after a gain of 6.  3rd and 3, Roman came of the blitz off the right side to sack Stanton for a loff of 2. Harris’ punt was short and Battle let it bounce.  It rolled down to the SF 46.

1st and 10 from their own 46, Smith hit Norris in the left flat for a gain of 2.  2nd and 8, Smith hit Morgan on the quick screen to the right side for a gain of 7.  3rd and 1, Smith showed nice touch, floating it over the linebacker Levy to Walker for a gain of 22.  1st and 10 from the 23, Smith threw too high for Crabtree on the comeback down the right sideline.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Morgan on that same WR screen, but only for a gain of 1.  3rd and 9, Smith hit Crabtree on the short cross who was upended by Louis Delmas after a gain of 1.  Schmitt connected on the 39-yard field goal.  His second field goal of the day and the second of his career is a new career long…

49ers 6 – Lions 3

Witherspoon took the kick back out to the 23.  1st and 10 from the 23, Morris took the draw for a gain of 1 yard.  That brings up the two-minute warning.  2nd and 9, Stanton hit BJ (Bryant Johnson) for a gain of 13.  1st and 10, Stanton’s pass was behind Morris who couldn’t hang on.  2nd and 10, Stanton threw the ball right to Willis who picked it off.  I really don’t know who that pass was meant for as Bryant Johnson was well behind Willis.  1st and 10 from the DET 40, Smith threw the ball away towards Josh Morgan.  2nd and 10, Smith tried to hit Gore over the middle but the defensive lineman made a good play to knock it down.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Crabtree for a 11-yard gain.  Delmas was called for illegal contact, but that’s waived off.  1st and 10 from the 29, Smith hit Robinson over the middle for a gain of 4.  2nd and 6, Smith hit Davis on a quick out for a gain of 2 and the 49ers use their second timeout with 35 seconds left in the half.  3rd and 4, Smith hit Morgan on an out route and he got out of bounds after a gain of 7.  1st and 10 from the 16, Smith looked for Hill, but the linebacker dropped and tipped it away.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Morgan in the right flat for a gain of 6 and he got out of bounds to stop the clock with 20 seconds left.  3rd and 4, Smith’s pass was batted at the line of scrimmage.  The Lions called timeout to ice the kicker.  Landon Cohen drove into the backfield and blocked the kick.

1st and 10, the Lions take a knee to end the half.

THIRD QUARTER:

The 49ers struggled to start the half, going three and out.  Lee’s punt was nearly blocked, but bounced short of the returner and rolled down to the 18.

1st and 10 from the 18, Morris was tripped up as he tried to run behind the left tackle – gain of 1.  2nd and 9, Stanton hit Morris on a swing route and Spencer tripped him up after a gain of 4.  3rd and 5, Stanton hit Northcutt over the middle for a big gain.  Heller was called for offensive PI though and that negates the play.  3rd and 15 from the 13, Stanton scrambled but was brought down from behind by Parys Haralson.  The gain of 3 will force the Lions to punt.  The punt bounced and rolled down at the DET 49.

*** Joe Staley has a knee contusion and his return is doubtful.

1st and 10 from the DET 49, Smith hit Gore on a well setup screen.  Gore was patient and waited for Baas to get down field and followed the block for a gain of 19.  *** Cliff Avril was shaken up on the play *** 1st and 10 from the 30, despite 8 men in the box, Gore slipped up the middle for a gain of 7.  2nd and 3, Gore had a nice cutback after starting to the right side for a gain of 15.  1st and goal from the 8, Gore ran up the gut for a gain of 5.  2nd and goal from the 2, Gore was stopped at the line for no gain.  3rd and goal from the 2, Smith rolled out and could have ran it in, but tossed it to Davis for the score.  Jim Schwartz is challenging the ruling that Smith was beyond the line of scrimmage before the throw.  The ruling on the field is upheld and the 49ers go up by two scores.

49ers 13 – Lions 3

1st and 10 from the 20 after the touchback, Morris bangs ahead for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Stanton was flushed from the pocket and scrambled up the middle for a gain of 6.  3rd and 1, Stanton pitched to Morris but Lawson got into the backfield and brought him down for a loss of 4.  Battle called for the fair catch at the 36.

1st and 10 from the 36, Gore got the carry to the right side and picked up 3.  2nd and 7, Gore got the carry up the middle for a gain of 5.  3rd and 2, Gore ran straight ahead and will be less than a half yard short of the sticks.  4th and inches, Smith play faked and then hit Gore who was wide open.  The LB Levy didn’t even know who had the ball as Gore got down to the 6.  1st and goal from the 6, Gore plunged ahead for no gain.  2nd and goal, Gore ran straight ahead and was marked just short of the end zone.  *** Chilo Rachal was shaken up on the play *** 3rd and goal from the 1, Gore plunged up the middle and barely got in for the score.

49ers 20 – Lions 3

Witherspoon returned the kick out to the 27.  1st and 10 from the 27, Morris ran up the middle for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Stanton hit C. Johnson who spun, but couldn’t outrun Willis out to the SF 40.  1st and 10 from the 40,  Felton gained 1 yard on the inside carry and that’s the last play of the third quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER:

2nd and 9 from the SF 39, Stanton hit Heller in the right flat, but Lawson closed and threw him down violently for a gain of 1.  3rd and 8, Stanton threw for B. Johnson in the end zone, but Tarell Brown was right there wil perfect coverage.  4th and 8, Goldson was called for a questionable pass interference penalty on C. Johnson.  1st and 10 from the 29, Goldson got some revenge for the penalty, picking off Stanton and returning it to the 42.

1st and 10 from the SF 42, Smith handed to Morgan on the end around for a 16-yard gain.  1st and 10, Gore was stopped for a short loss up the middle.  2nd and 11, Gore ran right for a gain of 2.  3rd and 9, Delmas flew in to wrap Gore up before he could get outside on the toss play for a loss of 1.  Lee’s punt bounced and rolled to Battle who was waiting for it at the 2.

1st and 10 from the 2, Morris plunged up the middle for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Tarell Brown made a good play to leap over B. Johnson to tip away the pass.  Bly was called for a hold though so that gives the Lions 5 yards and a first down.  1st and 10 from the 12, Stanton hit Heller over the middle for a gain of 16.  1st and 10, Stanto looked for Heller again on an out route, but the ball was too wide and went off his fingers.  2nd and 10, Stanton was under pressure and barely got the pass off.  It was intended for Northcutt, but sailed wide.  3rd and 10, Stanton scrambled and was hit hard by Goldson after a gain of 6.  Battle fielded the punt and spun to get out to the 27.

1st and 10 from the 27, Gore lost the football as hit ran up the middle.  Lions ball.

1st and 10, it’s the second straight play with a turnover as Bly picked off Stanton’s pass and returned it to the SF 45.

1st and 10 from the SF 45, Gore plunged ahead and picked up 2.  2nd and 8, Gore got wide right, but didn’t find a hole as he gained just 1.  3rd and 8, Anthony Henry stepped in front of Michael Robinson and nearly picked off Smith’s pass.  Lee’s punt sailed into the end zone for a touchback.

Culpepper is in at QB for Detroit and hits C. Johnson for a 9-yard gain.  2nd and 1, Culpepper had some room and took off on the right side for a gain of 12.  1st and 10, Culpepper hit Morris over the middle for a gain of 7.  2nd and 3, Culpepper hit C. Johnson along the right sideline for a gain of 9.  1st and 10, Culpepper couldn’t find Morris on the screen pass.

We have to run down to the field now, but stay updated on Twitter.


Posted in Gameday | 51 Comments »

Dialing in with Detroit

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 23, 2009 – 5:55 PM

As is customary, the Bay Area media got a chance to speak with with the head coach and a key player from the visiting Detroit Lions.  The two men on the conference call this week were Jim Schwartz and linebacker Julian Peterson.

Peterson knows the 49ers very well, having played in San Francisco from 2000-2005.  He also had plenty of opportunities to suit up against the 49ers while playing with their NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks from 2006-2008.  The Pro Bowl linebacker had positive things to say about Alex Smith, who Peterson said is playing better than he ever has.

Schwartz talked about some of the challenges his team has faced this season as well as his decision to give Drew Stanton his first-career start this Sunday against the 49ers.  The rookie head coach was also a candidate for the 49ers vacancy in 2005 when the organization ultimately hired Mike Nolan.  He described the 49ers coaching search as very professional and was pleased to get his first head coaching interview with San Francisco.

Make sure you listen to the conference calls with Peterson and Schwartz.


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Posted in Game Preview | 7 Comments »

1981 NFC Championship to be Re-Aired

Posted by Taylor Price on December 22, 2009 – 12:44 PM

On Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24 at 8:00 PM ET with an encore at 10:00 PM PT, NFL Network will televise for the first time since its original airing one of the most historic playoff games in league history, as NFL Classic Games encores the 1981 NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

In a matchup of teams with the best regular-season records in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game on January 10, 1982. In one of the most iconic plays in NFL history, San Francisco receiver Dwight Clark caught the game winning six-yard scoring pass from Joe Montana with 51 seconds remaining as the 49ers won 28-27. It was the sixth and final lead change in this back-and-forth game.

The 49ers won Super Bowl XVI two weeks later. It was the first of San Francisco’s four Super Bowl titles in the 1980s.

This NFL Classic Games telecast features the complete CBS broadcast with announcers Vin Scully and Hank Stram calling the action along with all of the network’s original graphics. 


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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on December 21, 2009 – 4:23 PM

With the playoffs out of the picture, the 49ers are vowing to finish the 2009 season on a strong note.

“You’re disappointed, but we still have two games left. We’re going to prepare just like we have a chance of going [to the postseason],” outside linebacker Parys Haralson said. “When you play this game, you always play like you’re going to give it your best all the time. We’re upset about the playoff situation, but we still have two games to play. We enjoy playing football and we want to go out and play for each other.”

Head coach Mike Singletary elaborated that point even further by emphasizing the importance of the 49ers finishing the season 8-8. The team can do that with wins at home this Sunday over Detroit and the following Sunday on the road in St. Louis.

Asked if he would use the final two weeks to evaluate backups on the 53-man roster, Singletary said that would not be on top of his agenda.

“The last message I want to send is: we want to evaluate before we want to win. We want to win. Every time we step on the field, I want our guys to know we want to win and we want to compete.”

However, Singletary said young players could get valuable experience in limited playing time without having to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. According to Singletary, backups could be involved for a series at a time, but not at the cost of winning.

“Both these games are definitely important, no question,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “I’ve been here five years now and [8-8] would be the best record.”

Despite the frustration of losing another game because of “self-inflicted wounds,” Smith said he undoubtedly feels something special developing in the 49ers locker room.

“I’m not just saying this to say this, but I do feel like there’s been a bit of a mindset change around here, an expectation level, a confidence in what we can do,” Smith added.
More Monday Notes

-Singletary opened his press conference by sharing an exchange he had with quarterback Alex Smith last night. “I owe him an apology,” Singletary said a day after he was critical of his quarterback’s performance in a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. “I talked with him after the game and we had a conversation where I really kind of challenged him on some things, some of those throws or whatever. After looking at it, I have a better perspective.”

-Smith said the talk between the two was a positive one for him as well. “He did [apologize]. He doesn’t owe me an apology though,” Smith added. “We were all disappointed with yesterday. That wasn’t the only thing we talked about. The point is to get better moving on. It was a good talk. I did take a lot away from it.”

-Singletary went on to detail each of Smith’s first-half interceptions. According to the head coach, tight end Vernon Davis could have made a better play on Smith’s first interception that was picked off deep over-the-middle by Eagles safety Quintin Mikell. “I think the ball was there. It’s just one of those situations where Vernon either has to make that play, or either he has to stop that DB from making that play. He’s got to help the quarterback as well,” Singletary said.

-The second interception was due to a “trap coverage,” in which the Eagles baited Smith into throwing to Davis. “It’s a trap coverage where you’re throwing the ball on timing, and it looks like the receiver, or the defender is going with that receiver, and you come back and get in front of the second guy that the quarterback is going to try and throw the ball to because he feels that either the corner or the safety has run off, but they come back.”

-Singletary had no grandiose explanation for the final Smith turnover, other than it “was just a poor decision.” Smith tried to dump the ball off while he was getting hit in the pocket. Singletary said it was Smith’s fault for trying to force the issue.

-The 49ers head coach expressed remorse for not getting the ball in the hands of Frank Gore more often, who finished with a game-high 16 carries for 107 yards. ‘I thought Frank ran the ball well when he had the opportunity,” Singletary said. “It’s a shame we couldn’t have gotten him the ball more last night. That’s kind of the way we were built in thinking this week, running the ball a little bit more this week because they’re a smaller front. When we got behind – which is what they’re built for, coming from behind, rushing the passer, stunting, those kinds of things – they got to do what they do more than we did. That’s kind of the situation there.”

 -The game’s injury report included, kicker Joe Nedney who re-injured a hamstring injury on a kick-off following his 25-yard field goal. Nedney underwent an MRI on Monday, with results to be determined. Singletary said if Nedney can’t play against Detroit, the team would likely bring someone in to handle the kicking duties. Singletary noted that he didn’t think punter Andy Lee could handle duel kicking responsibilities.

-Other than Nedney, rookie running back Glen Coffee had a thigh strain and also underwent an MRI on Monday. Singletary noted that left tackle Joe Staley was feeling fine after his first start in months.

-In other injury news, cornerback Nate Clements is unsure if he’ll return this season. He has been rehabbing diligently to return to the 49ers lineup, but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to participate in either of the final two games of the season. He’ll have to undergo one last MRI to make sure his fractured scapula is completely healed. “I’m taking it one day at a time, just doing what the trainers having me doing for rehab. I’m trying to get my shoulder back right,” Clements said. “Right now the range of motion is good, strength-wise; I’m kind of weaker there. I think it comes with time and the healing of the bone.”

-It’s been the longest period of games missed in Clements’ nine-year NFL career. “I missed one game last year, but this is the first time where I’ve been out a consistent period of time. It’s been frustrating not being out there to help the team.”


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Week 15 Live Game Blog: 49ers vs. Eagles

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 20, 2009 – 11:54 AM

Whew, we made it!  It snowed 23 inches yesterday in Philadelphia, which is the most in one day in the city since 1909.  So, I guess I’m glad to have been a part of history.  It would have been nice to see some of this historic sites on Saturday.  We were next to them, we just couldn’t see them in the white-out weather conditions.  I posted this picture on Twitter yesterday when we braved the storm to grab lunch.

We still have a little over two hours until kickoff and it’s a scene seeing all of the stadium staff frantically trying to clear the piles of snow from the seats.  Just outside of the stadium, they were filling up dump trucks with snow to try to clear parking spaces.  Unbelievable!  The field looks to be in great shape though so the playing surface shouldn’t impact the game.  It’s actually a pretty nice day, a little cold, but that’s about it.

Check out the 49ers and Eagles injury reports.  Joe Staley should play for the first time since injuring his knee against the Colts.  He’s listed as questionable.  I’ll also post the inactives around 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

49ers Inactives: QB Nate Davis (3rd QB), CB Keith Smith, CB Nate Clements, LB Diyral Briggs, C Cody Wallace, T Chris Patrick, DT Baraka Atkins, WR Isaac Bruce

Eagles Inactives: QB Kevin Kolb (3rd QB), WR Jeremy Maclin, CB Geoffrey Pope, RB Brian Westbrook, G/T Stacy Andrews, G Mike McGlynn, TE Martin Rucker, DT Trevor Laws

FIRST QUARTER:

The Eagles won the coin toss and will receive to start the game.  Quentin Demps got a good return to open things up out to midfield.  Donovan McNabb hit Leonard Weaver on a screen to the left for a 6-yard gain.  2nd and 4, McNabb bought time as he got out of the pocket to the right.  The pass was incomplete as it appeared to hit the ground.  The Eagles are challenging the ruling though that the ball hit the ground.  The call was reversed, giving Philly the 1st down.  It was a gain of 12.  1st and 10 from the 32, Weaver took the pitch and he was able to get around the edge for a pickup of 7.  2nd and 3, McCoy plunged ahead for a gain of 6 and a 1st down.  1st and 10 from the 19, McNabb bought some time and hit DeSean Jackson who got free on a crossing route.  Jackson outran Willis to the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

Eagles 7 – 49ers 0

Josh Morgan fielded the kickoff and ran left out to the 29-yard line.  1st and 10, Alex Smith hit Delanie Walker on a quick out to the right side for a gain of 7.  2nd and 3, Gore got the carry from the shotgun and ran inside for a gain of 6.  1st and 10 from the 42, Smith put the ball right on the money as Vernon Davis turned back for the ball in between defenders for a gain of 19.  1st and 10 from the PHI 39, Gore had a small hole right up the middle and made the most of it to pick uo 6.  2nd and 4, Smith’s pass was deflected at the lone by Juqua Parker and fell incomplete.  3rd and 4, Smith hit Jason Hill for what would’ve been close to the 1st down.  Hill couldn’t hang on and Nedney will attempt the 51-yard field goal.  Nedney’s kick would have been good from even further back as he drilled it

Eagles 7 – 49ers 3

After Demps’ return, Philly will start from the 18.  1st and 10, McCoy ran ahead and was taken down by Spikes after a gain of 5.  2nd and 5, McNabb’s pass was nearly picked off by Justin Smith who dropped into coverage.  Smith appeared to see it late.  3rd and 5, McNabb’s pass was a bit low for Avant who couldn’t adjust.  Good 3 and out for the 49ers defense.

Battle was met immediately on the punt.  1st and 10 from the 30, Gore picked up 4 on the carry up the middle.  2nd and 6, Smith threw the ball away as the pressure came from the right side.  There was a flag on the play as Asante Samuel was called for illegal contact.  1st and 10 from the 39, Smith tried to hit Davis on the seam.  He floated it up too high and Demps came over the top for the interception.

1st and 10 from the 32, McCoy ran straight ahead without much room for a gain of 2.  2nd and 8, Vick lined up at QB and ran the wildcat straight up the middle for a short gain.  Good defense by the 49ers on the play as they stayed in their gaps.  3rd and 7, Spencer had great coverage as McNabb tried to hit Reggie Brown on the left sideline.  Prefect coverage and here comes the punt team.  Battle couldn’t get much on the return though as the Eagles had good coverage.

1st and 10 from the SF 27, Smith tried to hit Walker deep, but the pass was just a bit long and the TE couldn’t catch up to it.  2nd and 10, Gore had a great run up the middle.  He broke some tackles and nearly broke it for a huge gain.  It will move the chains though after a gain of 12.  1st and 10 from the 38, Gore couldn’t go anywhere as Parker dragged him down as he tried to get around the right side.  2nd and 9, Gore again plunged ahead and was stopped by Patterson for no gain.  3rd and 9, the Eagles brought pressure from the left side with a defensive back.  Smith got outside the pocket and threw it away.  Lee avoided Jackson’s return as he drilled one low that rolled into the end zone for the touchback.

1st and 10 from the 20, McNabb had some time, but he was flushed as the pocket collapsed and his pass was too high for Weaver.  2nd and 10, Weaver picked up a couple yards on the second effort for a gain of 4.  3rd and 6, Ahmad Brooks was called for a neutral zone infraction.  3rd and 1, Vick was under center and bounced out right where Spikes stopped him close to the line of scrimmage.  The spot was a bit short and the Eagles are going for it.  McNabb ran out to the huddle late and had to burn a timeout as the play clock was winding down.  Weaver was rocked by the former Eagles Takeo Spikes and that’ll give the 49ers outstanding field position!

49ers ball, 1st and 10 at the PHI 29, with an empty backfield, Smith hit Walker quick for a gain of 13.  1st and 10 from the 16, Gore got the carry from the offset I, but was stopped for no gain.  *** Michael Vick is headed to the locker room *** That’s the end of the first quarter.

SECOND QUARTER:

Smith’s hit Delanie Walker who was stripped from behind – Eagles ball.

*** Michael Vick has a thigh injury and his return is questionable.

1st and 10 from the PHI 6, McNabb hit Jackson who was pushed out by Spencer after a 3-yard gain.  2nd and 7, the 49ers called timeout.  2nd and 7 from the 9, McNabb threw for Celek, but Michael Lewis was called for pass interference.  1st and 10 from the 24, Brooks came around the edge and up the middle to bat McNabb’s pass down with some authority – good play.  2nd and 10, McNabb had all the time in the world and hit Celek who got behind Spikes for a 43-yard gain.  1st and 10 from the SF 33, McNabb hit Jackson on a comeback for a gain of 10.  The 49ers NEED to get more pressure on McNabb or he’s going to have drives like this all night.  1st and 10, McCoy carried up the middle for 5 yards.  2nd and 5, McNabb his Curtis out left for 5 yards and a 1st down.  1st and 10 from the SF 11, McNabb hit Smith who was tracked down by Willis after a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, McNabb turned and called timeout.  2nd and 7, McNabb hit McCoy on the shovel pass, but Spikes sniffed it out for no gain.  3rd and 7, McNabb scrambled and got in for the score.  The 49ers were called for illegal contact, but that won’t matter and the 49ers get the score.

Eagles 14 – 49ers 3

Coffee let the kickoff bounce into the end zone for a touchback.  1st and 10 from the 20, Smith hit Gore on the screen who was just tripped up by Bunkley after a gain of 6.  2nd and 4, Gore showed patience after the handoff from the shotgun and allowed his blocks to develop up front for a gain of 9.  1st and 10, from the 35, Smith hit Morgan who couldn’t get by Samuel on the outside to pick up 1.  2nd and 9, Smith threw it away as the Eagles came with the corner blitz.  3rd and 9, Smith threw it right to Samuel instead of Vernon Davis for the easy interception.

1st and 10 from the 28, McNabb hit Celek who turned back over the middle to pick up 5.  2nd and 5, McCoy got some room up the middle for 8 yards.  1st and 10 from the 15, Weaver strung the run out wide right for a 5-yard gain.  2nd and 5, Franklin dropped and leaped in the passing lane to knock down the pass.  3rd and 5, Bly was called for holding – a tough, tough call.  1st and goal from the 5, the 49ers defense did a nice job to string Weaver out to the right side as he only picked up 1.  2nd and goal from the 4, McNabb couldn’t fine anyone open and threw it out of the end zone over the head of Celek.  3rd and goal from the 4, Lawson had McNabb in his grasp, but the QB escaped and then threw it away as the 49ers maintained coverage.  Akers hit the 22-yard field goal to put his team up by 14.

Eagles 17 – 49ers 3

Morgan took the kickoff and leaped over one man who was down and got hit hard, but held onto the ball.  1st and 10 from the 23, Gore took the direct snap and followed some good blocks on the right side (kudos to Adam Snyder) for a nice gain out to the SF 40.  1st and 10, Smith hit Josh Morgan quick left who spun and got 10 yards.  Sndyer was called for illegal man downfield though so that’ll back things up.  1st and 15, Gore took the inside handoff for a gain of 2.  2nd and 13, Smith got out of the pocket as the pressure got there and threw it away.  3rd and 13, Smith looked for Vernon who couldn’t get up for the catch.  Brown closed on Jackson who let the ball bounce.  It stopped right there and the 49ers downed it at the 16.

1st and 10 for Philly from their own 16, McCoy wiggled up the middle for a gain of 6.  TWO MINUTE WARNING. 2nd and 4, McNabb looked for Curtis along the right sideline, but his pass was low.  3rd and 4, McNabb hit Jackson crossing who sprinted ahead for a gain of 39.  1st and 10 from the 39, McNabb hit McCoy on a screen pass for a pickup of 11.  1st and 10 from the 28, McNabb tried to hit Jackson on a go route on the right sideline, but dropped it as Goldson closed in on him.  2nd and 10, Haralson got in the backfield to tackle Weaver for a loss.  3rd and 11, Spencer undercut the route and picked it off and took a knee in the end zone.

1st and 10 from the 20, Smith hit Gore over the middle for a gain of 7.  Philly helped out the 49ers as they stopped the clock with a timeout. (:36) 2nd and 3, Smith floated it for Gore as he was pressure by Parker and that pass was picked off by Tracy White.

1st and 10 from the SF 29, McNabb hit Avant down to the 8.  McNabb spiked the ball to stop the clock with 5 seconds left.  Akers will come on for the 26-yard field goal.

Eagles 20 – 49ers 3

Morgan took the kickoff on a bounce out near midfield as the clock will wind down on the 1st half.

THIRD QUARTER:

Josh Morgan got things on track early with a nifty return down the right sideline to the PHI 43.  Gore had nowhere to go on first down as Patterson got in the backfield and stopped him for a loss.  2nd and 11, Delanie Walker was called for a false start.  2nd and 16, Gore got up the middle for a gain of 2.  3rd and 14, Smith hit Crabtree crossing short for a gain of 11.  4th and 3, Smith hit Morgan in the right flat who turned and got upfield for a gain of 22.  1st and 10 from the 14, things weren’t on the same page as Smith rolled and had nobody on that side so he threw it away.  2nd and 10, Gore ran to the right side and lowered his head for a gain of 3.  3rd and 7, Smith hit Morgan in the flat, but he was stopped after a gain of 4.  Nedney’s 25-yard field goal is good.

Eagles 20 – 49ers 6

Marus Hudson tripped up Macho Harris on the return at the 30.  1st and 10 from the 30, McNabb looked for Jackson as Bly undercut him and picked it off.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from the PHI 35, smith was sacked by Cole who came untouched.  2nd and 20, Smith rolled right and hit Gore short for a gain of 6.  3rd and 14, Smith hit Morgan on a quick slant, but he’ll be short of the 1st despite the gain of 9.  4th and 5, Smith hit Davis who made a nice leaping grab on the crossing route.  The 49ers are now 0 for 7 on 3rd downs and 2 for 2 on 4th downs.  1st and 10 from the 15, Gore cutback as he bounced it to the right side for a 3-yard gain.  2nd and 7, Smith hit Morgan who was all alone on the crossing route.  Morgan split the defenders and got in for the score.

Eagles 20 – 49ers 13


The kickoff was short and the Eagles will begin their drive from the 34.  1st and 10 from the 34, Weaver got the carry up the middle and gained 3.  2nd and 7, McNabb found Jackson who was wide open on the right sideline for a gain of 10.  1st and 10 from the PHI 47, McNabb had Jackson deep, but the throw was a bit long.  2nd and 10, McCoy got around the right side and was tackled by Sopoaga after gaining 8.  3rd and 2, McNabb scrambled for a big gain, but there was a flag in the backfield for holding so that play will come back.  3rd and 12 from the PHI 45, McNabb hit Celek who was stopped just short of the sticks so out comes the Eagles’ punt team.  The punt was downed at the 1, but there’s laundry on the field.  One was for illegal touching on the Eagles and the second was for a hold on the 49ers.  Those will offset and they Eagles will have to punt again.  This punt looked good from the start, but a good bounce for the 49ers allowed it to roll into the end zone for the touchback.

1st and 10 from the 20, Gore got loose up the middle for a huge gain past midfield for a gain of 37.  1st and 10 from the PHI 43, Gore had another nice run, but Rachal was called for a hold.  1st and 14 from the PHI 47, Robinson was met in the backfield and stopped for a loss.  2nd and 14, Smith hit Crabtree crossing who cut back, but was tripped up.  3rd and 8, Smith was pressured and threw it away.  The punt was fair caught at the 11.

1st and 10 from the 11, McCoy got the carry and picked up 6.  That wraps up the 3rd quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER:

2nd and 4 from the 17, McCoy escaped the tackle of Franklin, but couldn’t escape Willis and gained 2.  3rd and 2, McNabb hit Jackson deep for a huge gain as he ran by the corner and was pushed out by Lewis.  1st and 10 from the SF 22, McNabb hit Avant in the right flat and he was stopped quickly by Brown.  2nd and 6, weaver bounced to the left side for a gain of 7.  1st and 10 from the 11, Weaver ran threw a big hole down close to the 1st down marker.  2nd and 1 from the 2, Spikes got in the backfield and hit Weaver who looks to be just short of the sticks.  3rd and 1 from the 2, McCoy got the carry and plowed in for the score.

Eagles 27 – 49ers 13

The kickoff was very short and was muffed by Norris, but was able to fall on it and maintain possession.  1st and 10 from the 33, Smith rolled right and tried to hit Vernon Davis short, but the pass fell incomplete.  2nd and 10, Smith was hit as he threw and it was incomplete.  3rd and 10, Smith was sacked for a loss of 8. Lee hit a bomb of a punt and good coverage held Jackson in check.  The Eagles were called for a block in the back so that’ll back them up 10 yards.

1st and 10 from the 15, Willis shot into the backfield and stopped Weaver for a gain of about a half a yard.  2nd and 9, Spencer dove and tipped the pass, but it stayed up for Avant who made the grab and picked up the first down.  1st and 10 from the 29, McNabb hit Avant again as he found a hole in the zone for a gain of 19.  1st and 10 from the PHI 48, Spikes sniffed out the screen to McCoy and dropped him for a loos of 3.  2nd and 13, Jackson took the end around for a gain of 9.  3rd and 4, McNabb’s pass skipped low and the Eagles will have to punt.  The punt will roll to the 13 where the Eagle downed it.

1st and 10 from the 13, Smith hit Crabtree quick for a short loss.  2nd and 14, Smith hit Crabtree along the left sideline for a gain of 12.  3rd and 2, Smith floated it deep for Crabtree who was interfered with as he came back for the ball.  That’s a spot foul so the 49ers move out to the PHI 35.  1st and 10, Smith floated it for Hill, but the ball was tipped away at the last moment.  2nd and 10, Baas was called for a false start.  2nd and 15, Smith hit Davis over the middle on the cross for a gain of 9.  3rd and 6, Smith hit Morgan who made the grab at the chains and was then pushed back.  4th and 1, Smith called his own number and picked up the first down.

That’ll be it for me as I have to run down for postgame.  Stay tuned on Twitter.


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Posted in Gameday | 52 Comments »

49ers-Eagles Kickoff Pushed Back to 1:15 PM PT

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 19, 2009 – 11:16 AM

The kickoff time for this Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field has been moved to 1:15 PM PT from 10:00 AM PT due to the threat of a major snowstorm in Philadelphia.

In anticipation of the storm and as a public safety concern, the change was made to accommodate fans and allow more time for city and stadium personnel to clear streets and walkways in and around the stadium.

The game will be televised on FOX as originally scheduled.


Posted in Breaking News | 81 Comments »
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