Big news from Jim Harbaugh came at the conclusion of Thursday’s minicamp finale: The San Francisco 49ers will once again spend a week in Youngstown, Ohio, to prepare in between Week 3 and 4 East Coast road matchups against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.
But before the Morning Tailgate dives into the announcement from the 49ers coach, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks offered a must-read review of the 49ers recent veteran minicamp.
According to Brooks, Alex Smith’s play continues to evolve.
“Smith was more decisive in the pocket and appeared to have a strong grasp of where to go with the ball on each play,” Brooks wrote.
Brooks referenced a short red zone touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree that demonstrated the quarterback’s willingness and confidence to drive the football into tight throwing windows. In addition to Smith, Brooks praised San Francisco’s revamped receiving corps, including Randy Moss’ contributions, and the creative play-calling from coordinator Greg Roman.
Brooks’ report is summed up best with his closing line: “The Niners showcased clever strategies last season, but now they have the pieces to really give opposing defenses fits.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes that Harbaugh confirmed the Youngstown trip is back on for 2012. Maiocco: “After the 49ers play at Minnesota on Sept. 23, the team will practice mostly at Youngstown State in preparation for their Sept. 30 game at the New York Jets. The 49ers will replicate the schedule from last season when they stayed in Ohio between Week 3 and 4 games at Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Youngstown is the hometown of the DeBartolos and Yorks.”
Dan Arkush of ProFootballWeekly.com writes that Moss couldn’t be making a better impression with the 49ers.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando shares Donte Whitner’s comments on who is primed to be the 49ers breakout player in 2012.
Mark Emmons of The San Jose Mercury News offers notes from the minicamp finale, including Harbaugh’s comments on the backup quarterback competition. Emmons: “Alex Smith is the 49ers’ unquestioned starting quarterback. But as the team ended minicamp Thursday, coach Jim Harbaugh indicated that the backup position remains wide open. Last season’s No. 2, Colin Kaepernick, newcomer Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien all looked good during the three days of workouts, Harbaugh said, and should have a spirited competition next month when training camp begins.”
Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle shares Harbaugh’s positive comments on Kaepernick, as well as notes from the coach’s conversation with the media. Branch: “About 30 players had perfect attendance during the offseason program, Harbaugh said. Ray McDonald, Justin Smith, Will Tukuafu, Isaac Sopoaga and Tramaine Brock are players Harbaugh mentioned as having attended every practice, meeting and weightlifting session.”
49ers.com minicamp coverage included: A minicamp finale recap, a story on the emphasis of Harbaugh’s “work, not worry,” mantra, A.J. Jenkins’ continued development, Justin Smith’s relentless work ethic, Whitner’s comments on the offseason program, Harbaugh’s press conference and photos from the minicamp session.
TWEET ABOUT IT
Matt Maiocco is on the scene for former 49ers offensive lineman Harris Barton’s charitable work that attracted five Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks to lend their support to a great cause, profiled by Dan Brown of The San Jose Mercury News.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Alex Smith, Donte Whitner, Harris Barton, Jim Harbaugh, Randy Moss
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