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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 30

Posted by Taylor Price on August 30, 2012 – 10:12 AM

The San Francisco 49ers conclude the 2012 preseason tonight at home against the San Diego Chargers, with the 41st all-time preseason meeting between the clubs serving as a preseason rubber match of sorts. Both California franchises have faced each other in the preseason for 26 consecutive seasons and have played each other 40 times all-time in the exhibition season with the series tied at 20 games apiece.

The 49ers (2-1) will look to end the Chargers (3-0) undefeated run this preseason. If the 49ers win, you can look forward to another 49ers.com “Remix” video just like the one from last week’s 29-24 victory in Denver.

As for Thursday’s preseason finale, many roster questions remain for the 49ers. How many players to carry at certain positions could be decided based on impressive performances against the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh said the playing time for starters will be on an individual basis.

Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News lists 20 questions that remain entering the final preseason matchup, a primer for the 7 p.m. kick-off that can be watched on CW44.

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49ers Sign DT Masifilo; Waive C Beeler

Posted by Taylor Price on August 29, 2012 – 12:11 PM

The San Francisco 49ers announced they have signed DT Matthew Masifilo to a two-year contract. The team also announced it has waived C Chase Beeler.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 29

Posted by Taylor Price on August 29, 2012 – 9:56 AM

There’s nothing Tavares Gooden wouldn’t do to bring down an opposing ball carrier, or make a block to spring one of his players (See photo atop this post). The 49ers special teams standout has endeared himself to teammates and coaches for his relentless pursuit to the football whether it’s on kickoff or punt coverage teams. Gooden’s unselfish play as a blocker is also well-respected.

The 49ers linebacker explained his all-out mindset in the latest Niner Talk podcast on 49ers.com. In addition, the 6-foot-1, 242-pound, fifth-year pro also explained how the birth of his newborn son, Kadence, has already made a major impact on his life.

Also on the show, San Francisco Chronicle 49ers beat writer Eric Branch previewed two of his feature stories set to hit the newspaper this week. Branch also previewed things to look for in Thursday night’s preseason finale, including the No. 3 quarterback competition between Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 28

Posted by Taylor Price on August 28, 2012 – 9:37 AM

All offseason we’ve heard commentary and prognostications from members of the local and national media as it pertains to the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, we know how Hall of Famers from the team’s storied past feel. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana joined host Trey Wingo to discuss to their former team’s outlook in 2012.

“I think with that defense they can (be successful) because they brought all the guys back,” Rice, an ESPN analyst, said. “It’s going to be up to the offense. They brought in some additional weapons to help Alex Smith out, so now he has to put the ball in the hands of the playmakers, this team is going to go far.”

Montana said he was really impressed by Smith’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis in the team’s Divisional Playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.

“That showed me confidence in his ability to throw the ball,” Montana said of Smith. “He can make those throws, now it’s about managing the game.”

The legendary 49ers quarterback stressed that Smith has to distribute the ball to the playmakers and let them create big plays.

“They should be settled in, they understand what it takes to operate,” Montana said.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 27

Posted by Taylor Price on August 27, 2012 – 10:30 AM

Fresh off the San Francisco 49ers’ 29-24 come-from-behind win in Denver, the Morning Tailgate has all the top headlines from the team’s second preseason win of 2012.

Sunday’s win was a hard-fought effort that saw the 49ers score 19 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Broncos on the road. All four 49ers quarterbacks led scoring drives, leaving the coaches with plenty to contemplate as they put together the quarterback depth chart. By 1 p.m. PT, the team will trim its roster to the mandatory 75-man limit. Currently, the 49ers have 89 players on the team.

Many of those 89, including running back Anthony Dixon, were singled out by Jim Harbaugh following Sunday’s victory. Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Dixon’s hard-running in his game notebook. The 49ers coach mentioned many of his hard-workers, a list that featured 355-pound guard Leonard Davis, who lined up as an extra blocker with the first-team offense.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted Dixon and Davis’ efforts in his game notebook.

“(Davis) is eager to please,” Maiocco wrote. “And he likes his new role, which was unveiled on Sunday when he was used throughout game at tight end as an extra blocker.”

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 45 Comments »

49ers Use Smash-Mouth Style of Play

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 24, 2012 – 3:27 PM

Joe Staley is walking around with a bandaged nose these days and he’s proud of it.

A couple of days into Training Camp, Staley’s helmet gashed his nose during a battle in the trenches and it’s been a recurring issue ever since. Not that Staley minds.

“I don’t miss time for this,” Staley recently told reporters while pointing to his nose. “No time is missed for this. I’m a tough guy.”

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 24

Posted by Taylor Price on August 24, 2012 – 9:38 AM

The 49ers players have the day off, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be heard from this Friday on 49ers.com.

Our latest Niner Talk podcast features an interview with starting cornerback Tarell Brown who discussed the team’s Sunday preseason contest against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Brown said the first-team defense is excited for the challenge and as always, looking to hit everything moving.

The interview also covered Brown’s road trip necessities which included Welch’s fruit snacks and a round neck pillow for long cross-country naps. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, a writer frequently linked in the Morning Tailgate, also joined the latest podcast to discuss 49ers storylines heading into Week 3 of the preseason and the frontrunners for his yearly “Iron Bee” award.

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49ers Offer Preseason Live Promo

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 23, 2012 – 2:04 PM

Sunday’s 49ers-Broncos preseason matchup will be televised nationally, but for those 49ers Faithful unable to catch the live showing, NFL’s Preseason Live offers the on-demand broadcast hours after its original airing.

Fans outside the United States can also watch the game live through Preseason Live. Use code 49ERS33 to receive a 33-percent discount on the subscription service.

With the NFL’s regular season right around the corner, you can also watch all the 49ers regular season games online in HD with the NFL’s Game Pass or Game Rewind subscription products.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 23

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 23, 2012 – 10:47 AM

Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are more than teammates. They’ve become fixtures on the 49ers offensive line since being drafted in 2010 and have formed a brotherly bond in their two-plus seasons in San Francisco.

Heading into 2012, Davis and Iupati are benefitting from their first true NFL offseason together. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com discussed the two young linemen and their high expectations for the season.

“This season,” Maiocco writes, “the 49ers fully expect to receive full dividends from Davis and Iupati as first-round picks because of the large amounts of mental and physical preparation time they’ve finally been allowed.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines on Jim Harbaugh’s inspiring coaching style, the latest news from Training Camp presented by HP and more.

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Posted in Announcements | 28 Comments »

Mike Iupati Develops with Offense

Posted by Jacob Most on August 22, 2012 – 2:28 PM

Mike Iupati has had an eventful offseason by a third-year offensive lineman’s standards.

Iupati turned a few heads when he showed up to 2012 offseason workouts with a buzz cut. The guard had been known for long hair, which reached the middle of his back for each of his first two NFL seasons.

The former first-round selection, No. 17 overall in 2010, donated his freshly sheered hair, grown over six years, to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Iupati’s new haircut has morphed into a “modified Mohawk” more recently and it seems to be catching on, especially with the offensive line. Fellow offensive lineman Alex Boone, also a third-year pro, has been sporting a similar look the past few days.

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