As the No. 43 overall player in the game today, according to NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, tight end Vernon Davis is pleased to see so many teammates joining him on the list.
As last year’s No. 88 overall player, Davis made the biggest leap from last year’s bunch, climbing 45 spots to his current ranking.
You might think Davis is excited with the increased respect from the NFL players who voted, but that’s really not the case.
“I’m more excited about my teammates being on the list,” Davis told 49ers.com.
“It’s nice,” Davis also said. “But like anyone, I always want better.”
In the mind of the versatile 49ers tight end, joining teammates NaVorro Bowman, Carlos Rogers and Joe Staley (so far) on the list is special.
To Davis, it’s a testament to the improvements made by the 49ers.
Tags: Alex Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis
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When the 49ers began crafting their 90-man roster following the draft in late April, it was littered with connections from Jim Harbaugh’s college days. Among the familiar faces recently added this offseason was linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, who earned a tryout for the rookie minicamp and was signed to a two-year deal shortly thereafter.
Though he’s only played in three NFL games, making six special teams tackles in 2009 with the Tennessee Titans, Bakhtiari knows the league well having bounced around on several practice squads.
“San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa, Tennessee, Miami, Cleveland, Kansas City,” Bakhtiari said. “I think that’s it.”
Tags: Eric Bakhtiari, Michael Thomas
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It’s safe to say many of Vernon Davis’ peers in the National Football League were tuned in for the San Francisco 49ers Divisional Playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.
After all, Davis broke the league’s postseason record for single-game receiving yards by a tight end. Davis’ seven receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns (including the “Vernon Post” game-winning touchdown play), surely earned him even more recognition amongst the NFL players.
That performance, along with several other memorable moments in 2011, represent the many reasons why the 49ers starting tight end checked in at the No. 43 spot on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, as voted on by the players themselves.
Davis joined the network’s reaction show to share his feelings on moving up 45 spots from last year’s list, the highest jump from any returning player on the list.
“I’m very honored to be at this spot,” Davis told host Lindsey Rhodes. “Like most people, you always want more, but I can’t be greedy. I’ll take what I can get. I’m very excited. I want to thank all the players, and everybody who voted me.”
Rhodes informed Davis that two tight ends remain on the list, presumably Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots and Jimmy Graham of the Saints.
Davis said he didn’t feel disrespected by being named the third-best tight end. Instead, he offered praise for his fellow position mates.
“I like Gronkowski,” Davis said. “He’s a tremendous player. Also like Jimmy Graham. I think he does a lot of good things when he’s lined up, one-on-one matches, he knows how to separate and get open.”
Teammate David Akers weighed in on Davis’ selection on Twitter last night.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Aldon Smith, David Akers, Jim Harbaugh, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis
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It was another Jim Harbaugh press conference, until it turned into a press conference unlike any other from the San Francisco 49ers head coach.
Following Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, Harbaugh fielded nine minutes worth of questions about his current team before going out of his way to set the record straight on one of the biggest NFL storylines of the offseason.
Harbaugh reiterated that the 49ers never “flirted” with Peyton Manning, the longtime Indianapolis Colts quarterback who signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason. In his estimation, the team was “evaluating” a future Hall of Fame quarterback and doing its due diligence.
In talking with reporters, the 49ers coach made sure to explain that there was no circumstance that Alex Smith would not be in the mix in San Francisco. The conversation began after Harbaugh was asked an off-the-grid question about the throwing abilities of nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga. Soon after, the 49ers coach gave reporters something to write about that they surely weren’t expecting.
“Oh, one other thing,” Harbaugh began, “there’s the perception out there, and it’s an erroneous perception, that we were flirting with Peyton Manning… It’s silly. And, it’s untrue. It’s phony.”
“Even the perception that we were pursuing him,” Harbaugh continued, “we were evaluating him.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Jim Harbaugh
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Following an offseason of speculation regarding the future of the Pro Bowl, the NFL and the NFL Players Association jointly announced Wednesday that football’s annual All-Star game will return to Honolulu in 2013.
The Pro Bowl became a hot topic after many questioned the value of the game and the effort of the players involved, but 49ers punter Andy Lee said he was happy to hear it would be returning to Aloha Stadium.
“Who doesn’t enjoy going to Hawaii? It’s awesome,” Lee said.
Tags: Andy Lee, Pro Bowl
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In an ideal world, Brandon Jacobs will be feasting in mid-February of next year as the 49ers celebrate their sixth Super Bowl title. But in order to get there, Jacobs will be watching his weight to become a more explosive weapon for San Francisco’s offense.
On Tuesday, Jacobs told reporters he plans to cut about 10 pounds off his current weight, which stands at about 266 pounds. When Jacobs does shed the extra weight, it will mark the first time he’s played under 260 pounds since college.
“I remember a coach my sophomore year telling me, ‘If you get up to 260, they’re going to move you to defensive end,’” Jacobs said. “I remember that in the back of my head.”
Tags: Brandon Jacobs
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With Organized Team Activities in full swing at 49ers headquarters, there’s plenty of headlines to examine.
Bay Area media attended Tuesday’s and provided several details from the voluntary workout. Without wasting time, let’s get right to the “deets” as the beat writers like to say.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passes along notes, including insight on a two-minute drill that concluded practice. Maiocco: “Quarterback Alex Smith hit Randy Moss on a 45-yard pass down the right sideline against unsuspecting rookie cornerback Deante’ Purvis. Moss gave no indication the ball was en route and Purvis never turned around as Moss gently reached up to catch the pass and stepped out of bounds. The 49ers’ first-team offense scored on Smith’s short-pass to Kyle Williams on fourth down.”
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, writes that Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams have been the best-looking wide receivers in the offseason. Barrows: “Williams looked quick and fluid last year. If it’s possible, he looks more so this year. Having said that, first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins appears decidedly more comfortable than he did during the rookie minicamp three weeks ago. He made a nice diving catch in traffic on a throw from Scott Tolzien during 7-on-7 drills.”
Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News shares his notes and quotes from practice, too. Inman: “ Odd scene: Patrick Willis returning a kickoff. No, seriously, he did. But don’t make anything more of it than a fun sideshow on a May day.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Andy Lee, Brandon Jacobs, Brian Jennings, Brian Pontbriand, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley, Kyle Williams, Patrick Willis, Randy Moss, Tarell Brown, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 12 Comments »
The San Francisco 49ers are looking for some talented local singers to perform the national anthem at 2012 home games.
In recent years, Huey Lewis and the News, Brian McKnight and several American Idol stars have kicked off games at Candlestick with their renditions of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” If you would like the opportunity to perform this season, submit your application online.
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Fresh off Memorial Day Weekend, it’s time to start up the Morning Tailgate here on Goal Posts, not like you guys didn’t have the grills on all weekend anyway…
The first, and perhaps most noticeable headline of the weekend, came from Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, who has submitted his Super Bowl XLVII winner in late May.
Maiocco has the San Francisco 49ers hoisting up the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
“The 49ers exceeded all reasonable expectations in Jim Harbaugh’s first year as head coach,” Maiocco wrote. “That will not happen this season.”
According to the longtime 49ers beat writer, San Francisco is his choice for many reasons. Chief among them, the team returns every key player from last year’s dominant defense and added key upgrades on the offensive side of the ball. It remains to be seen if Jim Harbaugh can have his team race off to a Super Bowl title in his second season in San Francisco, but the 49ers coach continues to guide his players through offseason workouts with the mantra of getting better every day.
More on the latest 49ers headlines, including Harbaugh’s interest in motorsports can be found after the jump.
Tags: David Akers, Jewel Hampton, Jim Harbaugh, Ted Ginn Jr.
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 42 Comments »
On Mario Manningham’s 26th birthday, it seems like much of the Bay Area media’s recent attention has been on the San Francisco 49ers’ other top wideouts: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.
That’s fine with the quiet, unassuming former New York Giants wide receiver, who’s happy to stay out of the spotlight after joining the 49ers this offseason on a two-year deal.
Moss made headlines twice this week when Jenkins shared insight on the veteran receiver’s training tips, which includes an affinity for swimming after practices. The 14-year-veteran also was discussed when 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis told the media that the two have formed a bond from fishing outings with former San Jose Sharks All-Star Owen Nolan.
Crabtree’s improved health, according to quarterback Alex Smith, has been a big positive for the passing game’s development this offseason.
It’s a great development considering a recent post from Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle, who explained that Crabtree was one of the game’s best wideouts over the final 11 games of the 2011 regular season. Branch: “In the season’s final 11 games, Crabtree had 61 catches for 742 yards and four touchdowns, which would translate to 89 catches for 1,079 yards and six touchdowns over a 16-game season.
“During that stretch, Crabtree had more receptions than Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe and then-Dolphins wideout Brandon Marshall had in their final 11 games. He also had more yards than Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace and as many touchdowns as New England’s Wes Welker.”
More on the 49ers offense and the latest OTA headlines after the jump.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Bruce Miller, LaMichael James, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Patrick Willis, Randy Moss
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 40 Comments »