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.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee writes that Anthony Dixon just might have worked his way on to the team’s 53-man roster. Barrows: “Dixon led all rushers Sunday in Denver with 58 yards on 13 carries, including a 26-yard touchdown run in the third quarter in which he followed key blocks by fullback Will Tukuafu and pulling guard Derek Hall. Earlier in the game, Dixon had followed a Tukuafu block to the outside for a minimal gain. When he returned to the sideline, position coach Tom Rathman told him to break inside the next time, and that’s what Dixon did.”
Barrows also shares his 47 “locks” to make the 49ers roster at this stage of the preseason.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes that seventh-round pick Cam Johnson returned to Thursday’s practice.
Maiocco, along with CSN Bay Area’s Mindi Bach, discussed Dixon’s recent surge in a “Matt and Mindi” video segment.
Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News caught up with Tolzien to find out how he’s approaching the preseason finale under unique circumstances. Inman: “A year ago, when these same teams met in San Diego, Tolzien played quarterback for the Chargers as an undrafted rookie. He didn’t survive the final cuts in San Diego, but that final audition caught the eye of the opposition and helped him land on the 49ers roster.”
Inman also shared the Madden ’13 player ratings for 49ers players, which includes 98-rankings for Patrick Willis and Justin Smith.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com predicts Kendall Hunter to be his breakout star of 2012. Rosenthal: “San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter can be the next Darren Sproles, but with more power between the tackles.”
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com shares 47 things to look for before team’s embark on reaching Super Bowl XLVII, including this item on Willis. Rapoport: “They’re over quickly, but those moments when San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis spots an opening in the line and darts through are truly special. The poor running backs on the other side of the collisions that follow probably don’t share the sentiment, though. Willis’ recognition skills and a well-tooled ability to close turn him into a missile on the field.”
Michael Lombardi of NFL.com lists his blue and red-chip defensive players, a list which includes many San Francisco defenders.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com predicts Aldon Smith to have 20 sacks this season. Schrager: “There’s an incredibly promising young crop of young pass rushers in this league right now. Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith are two of the best. Both will top 20 sacks, but will fall short of Michael Strahan’s single-season record.”
Esquire Magazine lists Alex Smith among the top 15 best-dressed NFL players. “Because, while many of his peers go for flash, he dresses like he plays: clean, understated, and reliable.”
49ers.com’s Tuesday coverage included a story on Michael Crabtree maximizing his first preseason action, a video on Dixon’s hard-working ways and a must-see highlight video from the team’s 29-24 win in Denver.
TWEET ABOUT IT
Looks like the 49ers made another best-dressed list.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Anthony Dixon, Cam Johnson, Josh Johnson, Kendall Hunter, Patrick Wiillis, Scott Tolzien, Tavares Gooden
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