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Morning Tailgate: May 22

Posted by Taylor Price on May 22, 2012 – 9:50 AM

The wait is over. Organized Team Activities kick-off Tuesday at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara. The players will take part in 10, voluntary OTA sessions that will allow veteran players to wear helmets for the first time this offseason.

Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley displayed his new look for the upcoming season by posting an Instagram photo of his new face-mask/dark grey visor combination.

As Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes, it’s the first offseason with the league’s new governing rules from the recent collective bargaining agreement taking effect. An emphasis on player safety stands as the biggest change.

However, it won’t be a completely full house for Tuesday’s opening OTA session. Notable rookies like second-round pick LaMichael James and undrafted wide receiver Chris Owusu can’t participate until their school graduation. According to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, safety Michael Thomas (Stanford), offensive lineman Al Netter (Northwestern) and defensive lineman Patrick Butrym (Wisconsin) can take part in the OTAs because they’ve graduated.

James, however, has been around fellow rookie A.J. Jenkins. Only, it was away from team headquarters. The duo took part in last weekend’s NFLPA Rookie Premiere event and seemed to be creating an instant bond.

Find more on James, the latest 49ers headlines and more after the jump.

In a video posted by SB Nation, Jenkins interviewed James at the NFLPA event. Jenkins: “What can fans expect from you?” James: “They can expect excitement.”

Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle examines comments made by coach Jim Harbaugh after the 2012 NFL Draft that compared James to Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. Branch: “Based on their size, the James-Rice comparison appears apt. They had nearly identical height/weight measurements during their visits to the NFL combine and due to size concerns they both slipped to the bottom of the second round (Rice was selected 55th overall; James was No. 61) despite rushing for more than 4,900 yards in three college seasons.”

Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News shares the locker room layout inside team headquarters. Inman: “One of coach Jim Harbaugh’s methods to form a family-like bond among the 49ers last year was to shuffle up the locker stalls. And for the second straight season, offensive players often are sandwiched between defensive players, or vice versa.”

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com includes All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith among his seven most dominant players in the league today. Jeremiah: “I think the cat might finally be out of the bag: Justin Smith is one bad dude! It’s hard for a 5-technique in a three-man front to dominate a football game, but Smith does just that on a weekly basis. He has rare strength, power and balance to hold the point of attack against the run. Simply put, he’s immovable. He also has the quickness and awareness to shed blockers, locate the football and make the tackle. As a pass rusher, he makes it close to impossible for the offensive line to establish a clean pocket. He constantly gets push and offers a wide variety of hand moves to create pressure. The term walk-off usually applies to baseball players, but Justin made it relevant in the NFL last season. He made key plays to clinch wins over the Eagles, Lions and Giants (in their regular season matchup).”

Lastly, 49ers Football School sessions concluded on Monday, but not before young players shared insight on how the practices aided their development. Center Jonathan Goodwin reported to the Football School session and spoke with TV49 about his goals for 2012. Pro Bowl long snapper Brian Jennings, too, attended the work out and spoke about his continued focus on mechanics.


OTAs are here, looks like Aldon Smith’s ready to go.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 66 Comments »

66 Responses to “Morning Tailgate: May 22”

  1. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    now it no longer is a dream,,it has become reality,,the new stadium piles have been set,WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A NEW STATE OF THE ART STADIUM,,my tickets are secure,,the only thing left to do is wait,,

  2. By jeromy on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    not sure if its a good idea for Alex to have his locker between two defense players, they might get tired of carrying him & let him know about it?

  3. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    and a quick word to all the media outlets,,,STOP SAYING JUSTIN SMITH IS A DEFENSIVE TACKLE,,HE IS OUR RIGHT D-END IN OUR MIGHTY 3-4 BASE DEFENSE,,,what?? are you guys looking at the website roster before you do your piece??,,justin smith has been THE most dominant defensive right end in the league for the last 3 years,,GET IT RIGHT OR DONT TALK ABOUT IT!!!

  4. By gary potter on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    jeromy: can’t resist it can you?? if what you post made any sense then you might be taken with a grain of salt. for you and 11 not possible. back to bed my boy. LOL

  5. By ron on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    hit squad a 3-4 d end is basically a d tackle an im a huge justin smith fan but the best right end in the game is jared allen but j smith is the best 3-4 end

  6. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    wow,,two thumbs down for pointing out to the media that justin smith is not a defensive tackle,,I must have upset them,,,hahaha

  7. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    just because he played DT in the pro bowl doesnt mean he is a DT in our BASE defense,,our base defense is a 3-4,cover 2 scheme,,in which smith lines up exclusively at RIGHT DEF.END,,when we stunt or run a perimetetr blitz pkg,he will stunt to DT,,but his roster spor is RIGHT DEF.END,,THESE GUYS FROM THE MEDIA GET PAID TO COVER OUR TEAM,,AT LEAST BE ACCURATE WITH YOUR REPORTS,,,GEEZ,,PAY ME TO COVER THE TEAM,,AT LEAST I KNOW WHAT EACH PLAYERS RESPECTIVE ROSTER POSITION IS,,c’mon media guys,,reply to me and tell me how wrong I am,,I will gladly eat a plate of crow if you can prove me wrong

  8. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    and dont come at me with “well,the 49ers website lists him as a DT” that website roster hasn’t been updated since singletary took over for nolan,,some players are still listed that aren’t even on the team anymore

  9. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    @ ron I was speaking ONLY of teams that run a 3-4 and justin smith has NEVER played DT at the pro level,,his position on OUR team is RIGHT D END,,,in our BASE 3-4,,,and I get what you mean,,an end in a 3-4 scheme is protoype height and weight guy for a 4-3 scheme,,my whole point was the media keep calling him a DT,,and that is what he IS not in our BASE defense,,just keeping it real,,and yes allen is the best right end in a 4-3 scheme,,,I think some folks get confused when I say,, “IN OUR BASE 3-4″,,that was my whole point

  10. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    some people really have personal issues,,I will leave it at that,,,if you look at the 49ers website roster ALL of our D-linemen are listed as DT’S,,getting voted thumbs down for pointing out that justin smith is a defensive right end is pathetic,,leave your personal issues at home and fix the incorrect statistics

  11. By jeromy on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    wherever he plays, hes awesome

  12. By everything 49ers on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    wow jeromy,,we agree on something,,yup the dude is a beast!!!@ 49ER HIT SQUAD,,you hit the nail on the head about the media,,some of these guys seem to only know about the team from what they read on the 49ers home page,,todays topic of discussion should be about the OTA’S that started today,,,how about that you guys?,,loving me some 49er football ,,,cant wait for the 2012 season so we can show everyone that last year was no fluke and the 49ers are back on top again,,,TO STAY,,,

  13. By dave g. on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    The Justin Smith comment by Daniel Jeremiah is a no-brainer. Everyone and their mother knows HE IS DOMINANT. The cat has been out of the bag! Where has he been? How much to they pay these guys to state the obvious?

  14. By rjdniner on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    When we play the Viking’s Joe Staley will take care of Jarred Allen and another thing we shut down Peterson, remember the def wasn’t as strong as it is now .

  15. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    hit squad, it is less about the name of the position than how the player is utilized against a particular offensive formation. There are times Justin Smith is playing what you would describe as a DE, but when Aldon Smith has his hand in the dirt, he is taking on the role of DT. If you feel that he has to be called a DE, great, but you got to remember that his role changes. Maybe it would just better to call him a 5-technique D-lineman?

  16. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, and by the way, “Hi, fanster!” The double commas gave you away! That and the attitude when somebody doesn’t agree with you and gives you a thumbs-down and you have a fit!

  17. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    sorry niners rock,,dont quit your day job,cuz you would starve as a detective,that fanster dude and I could no more be the same person than you and jeromy or 11 years,how many people drive around on radial tires,,what becuse they do they are all the same person?,because I use commas and remark about thumbs down? where do you see me having a fit?you sound like someones wife and like I explained earlier,,BASE defense roster postion,smith and mcdonald line up at DE,sopoaga lines up at DT,haralson and brooks line up at OLB,willis and bowman line up at MLB,and the our secondary,,JUSTIN SMITH lines up at right defensive end in our BASE 3-4 pkg.that is all I meant,,thanks dave g,,,,,at least you see my point about the media being paid for stating the obvious,,others dont understand that and try and attack me or something,,,,,,,and then call me some idiot because I use commas ina way that reminds them of someone??,pathetic

  18. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Well said…Ninersrock. We really are loaded & ready to do some serious damage! It feels good to finally know that we have the right Coach & GM making the decisions & putting us in the best situations they can.

  19. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    ninerstock, I wonder if you’re right? But I think squad was posting the same time fanster was. and you are talking to/about squad, yeah?

  20. By james on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Justin smith is a deFense of end point blank why the back and fourth look at the tapes when hes on the line isnt he at the end at all times come on now..do people know football…plus it doesent matter hes a beast for sure we going to dominate…so they call aldon smith a linbacker but where did he line up for them sacks??

  21. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    The over abundance of commas do look mighty familiar. I do not know anyone who does that with the commas peppered everywhere. {just saying it does seem like a unique trait}.

  22. By 49er hit squad on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    @ niners rock,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,oops,too many comma’s,I MUST be the fanster,I dont see anywhere someone disagree with me,and by the way,WHAT??so,when aldon smith lines up at right outside linebacker and puts his hand in the dirt you think that him makes a D-TACKLE because of that? go back to football 101 school,that would make him a defenseive end on the right side of the formation,at least have some football smarts before you try sounding so smart

  23. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    I said Justin Smith takes on the role of DT when Aldon puts his hand in the dirt, squad. Oh, and in Football 101 they taught me that Sop is a Nose Tackle, not a DT. So why don’t you know that since you think you know everything else?

  24. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Now, Now kids we’re almost there!And I’m pretty sure they were posting at the same time, but then the Cap’s aahhh new!

  25. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Also Justin Smith usually does line up as a DT in a true 3-4 base. Sapaoga in the NT (Nose Tackle) and on both sides of him is DT. In a 4-3, you have 2 DT and a DE on each side of them. BUT it really is ALL just technicalities. A true DE is built a little more leaner and athletic. A Nose Tackle is usually a 300-350lb monster. (see RAVENS). DTs are sturdy and stout & in the 3-4 are responsible for every single gap in the offensive line. Although the DTs get relatively few chances to sack the quarterback, anything bad that happens is still ultimately their fault. DE’s are usually the guys who get the most sacks in a 4-3. The OLB’s usually do in the 3-4. Thats why they are closer in built and speed to ends. LT made the position a more sack happy position back in the day in a 3-4. BUT its really all technicalities becuase there are subtle changes from play to play.

  26. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Ninersrock is right. I think there are others that need to go to football school. In the 3-4 defense, you need one really large nose tackle. This NT has to be a real monster of a guy, 350 pounds or so, because his job is to take on the center and one of the guards simultaneously on every single play. Then you get two more defensive tackles around each side of him at 280-300 pounds each, and play them up against the offensive tackles. All three of the defensive tackles have what is called two-gap responsibility. They are expected to hit the offensive linemen head on, and watch the play to make sure the running back doesn’t come through on either side of them. Also, they’re expected to hold their block so that the offensive linemen can’t get out and block a linebacker. That helps the OLB get all the glory plays!

  27. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    The inside ILB’s usually make a lot of tackles and the OLB’s get their sacks

  28. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    let face it Justin Smith is a hybrid and a pretty darn good one at that, matter of fact the best one on the market, eh?

  29. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    SHIP, you’re right – and that was the point of my original comment – before something familiar struck me funny – anyway, getting uptight with the writers of these blogs because of a name that is really interchangable depending on formation, is just nonsense. When somebody feels they have to correct everybody, it reminds me of a guy named “The Fanster” that did exactly the same thing.

  30. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    The OLB’s are more the highbreeds or tweeners cuz they are OLB & DE’s in the 3-4. AKA: Aldon Smith

  31. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    There are not many guys on these blogs who truly know football. I mean really know. Dave & Ninersrock are two that come to mind BUT there ain’t many.

  32. By rjdniner on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Ship you keep thinking that .

  33. By SHIP on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Don’t get hurt feelings if I left someone out. I just said the ones that come immediately to mind based on what I have read on these blogs. I may have left a few out BUT its based more on memorable blogs that are immediately in my memory. Now RJDNINER you said some smart things too. It will be ok. Its all good.

  34. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    When I watch my 9ers playing on Defense I watch Justin, and what I think is it doesn’t matter where he lines up, it just doen’t matter. Nolan did a couple of good things for this team and Gore’s the other. Its just a pleasure to watch him play, and now the way our defense is playing, Justin shines even brighter!

  35. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    yep its all good! and that my friends is the way things should be handled, pretty cool really, pretty cool!

  36. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Well, as one of my coaches once told me: “The only thing you can truly ever know about football is that the playing field will stay the same size – all else is subject to change.” PC

  37. By Basil on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    had you coach ever been to Canada ?

  38. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Not that I know of, he is currently a HC in the NFL.

  39. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Basil, I think you were missing the point which was that the game of football evolves and you are always learning.

  40. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Or maybe, he didn’t consider the CFL to be the same as American Football. Is your next question going to be about Arena Football? Just in case, this quote is from about 1978 when there was no such thing as indoor football. Thanks

  41. By dave g. on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    On this site the ONLY football that matters is NFL.

  42. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    That’s the way I see it, too, Dave!

  43. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    same bat time …same bat channel ……every time you all get into it …it reminds me of the days when the niner defense was feared and drove coordinators batty……back in business again …we shall see if alex can keep up with the defense this year …..last year was really bad

  44. By ninersrock on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    LOL, that was just a little dust-off. I frequent blogs where there are real wars – but most of those are against Seahawk fans, not fellow 49er fans. I don’t really address the AS battle between 49er fans because it has all been said a thousand times before and it has long become a boring subject. Plus, I refuse to be labled a hater or a lover because I am a 49er fan, not a single player fan. Have fun with those that do, though.

  45. By Hmrhead on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    Cracks me up how someone thinks they know football because they post on a blog every day. You watch too much Gruden’s QB Camp. Next thing you’ll be recording games so you can quality that as “film study”.

  46. By 49fSINCE '67 on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    OK, which of you want to audition for “fansters old job” officially, ninersrock is correct…if you want to hold onto any hostility keep it for fans of other teams not in the niner family. I would presune like myself everyone else, certain two excluded, are hear to speak thier thoughts on just how good we are going to be and how the NFL pretenders are going to sweat it out..do not be surprised if we are better than last year or just good enough to take to the playoffs again

  47. By rjdniner on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Let talk about other’s match up, when we play the packers, I truly believe that mike is going to take care of RAJA and Goodwin will take care of there rookie Perry and then there Mathews if he lines up over Joe no problem, Anthony is going to get a lot of Mathews and he will take care of him ……

  48. By 49fSINCE '67 on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    I’ll tell you when I am most interested is when you guys actually speak about the system, the players, and where it is going to get us..c’mon man keep it real

  49. By Basil on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Please! … didn’t miss anything ,, just saying … !

  50. By 49fSINCE '67 on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    o’line key to the offense, it all starts there

  51. By Basil on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    “not fellow 49er fans.” here here !

  52. By rjdniner on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Am overqualified that leaves me out and besides can’t do it from the east coast …. HAHAHA….and I think that’s just temporary

  53. By 49fSINCE '67 on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    RJ, smooth but I like it on East coast myself, and yes you are overqualified

  54. By rjdniner on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Am hopping that after all the prep and camps that Dobbs is able to make the 53 man roster. Local favorite

  55. By rjdniner on May 23, 2012 | Reply


  56. By Basil on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    1978 hmm Moon?

  57. By rjdniner on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    BASIL… And that, s referring to what, explain

  58. By 49er hit squad on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    you guys and your DT on the outside are incorrect and when I said sopoaga I meant NT,,but whatever,,attack me all you want,,at least I know that a 3-4,cover two scheme has one NT,two DE’s,two OLB’S,two MLB’S,two CB’s,one SS and one FS,,that is the base scheme we run,,not every frigging down,,and what? Im wrong becuse that is what fangio says we run? his words not mine,and I was posting the time as that fanster dude,and yet you compare me to him,all I did was make a point about the media being wrong as to where justin smith lines up in our,,here we go,I’ll say it again for those who dont get,,,”our base 3-4 scheme”,what? didnt you guys read my WHOLE post before you started bagging on me?,,that was all I meant,and yet I am some stupid non-intelligent 49er fan beacuse someone didnt read my whole post about the media being wrong about justin smiths BASE position?,geez,you guys treat jeromy and 11 years better than you treat your fellow TRUE 49er fans,,you all ought to be ashamed of yourselves

  59. By 49er hit squad on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    up above james is the ONLY person who saw my point,,and yet he is spared any bashing,you folks are like birds of carrion fowl,just because your saying Im wrong doesnt make you right,,I wasnt trying to more right than anyone else,Iwas just poitning out that the media is wrong as to where justin lines up in our BASE 3-4 scheme,,what? you guys didnt see smith line up primarily on the right end? fangio says he is our RE in our 3-4 scheme,so? you guys going to say fangio is wrong and needs to go back to footbal 101? some 49er fans a few of you turned out to be,

  60. By Basil on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Warren moon 1978? went to Canada sure we all know what that was about Black QB! Came back HOFer

  61. By Basil on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    “Or maybe, he didn’t consider the CFL to be the same as American Football.”

    American Football? Last time I looked Canada is still a part of America, I’m just saying …..

  62. By dave g. on May 23, 2012 | Reply

    Look the 3-4 argument is getting old. NinersRock & Ship said it right. It cracks me up how sensitive some people get when they wrong about something. Rarely if ever does someone just say, “I was wrong” and “you were right”. Instead they were misquoted or they meant this or that. They were attacked, blah, blah, blah. Do you people NOT read what you write? You do realize it is not what you meant to say?…BUT what you actually wrote that we have to go on. I suggest you really read it before you hit “submit comment” and realize that the reader reads exactly what you wrote. It is not his or her fault if you did not write what you thought. I am not sure that ever occurs to people. If it did they would really realize how stupid some of the stuff they typed was & how illogical it may come off. {just saying}

  63. By ninersrock on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    Justin Smith, in 2011 was named All-Pro team at two different positions: he was named a First-team All-Pro at Defensive Tackle, and also received enough votes to make the Second team as a Defensive End. He was eligible for the honor at both positions because the 49ers used him as a DE in their 3-4 base defense, while frequently moving him inside to DT for their 4-2 nickel defense. So, since you said Justin Smith has never played DT in the NFL you’re just plain dead wrong. If you want to argue that he should be listed as a DE on the roster fine, but the rest of use were trying to point out the difference between what appears on the roster vs how he is actually utilized is not the same thing.

  64. By ninersrock on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    BASIL, why don’t you ask somebody from Canada if he considers himself an American or a Canadian? Yes, Canada is part of the North American continent, but if you live in the US you call yourself an American, hence american football. Geez.

  65. By 49er hit squad on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    WOW,now you agree with my arguement to the media that smith plays right end for us in our base pkg,,you f%cking correction nazi,

  66. By 49er hit squad on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    the post was addressed to the media in the first place,,wasnt meant for 49er fans to answer,,ya dave,,the right wrong blah,blah blah,,most people on the lousy blog dont talk about any current 49er football anyway,,whatever

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