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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 28

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 28, 2012 – 10:46 AM

The 49ers are about to wrap up their time in Ohio and that means no more Handel’s ice cream. The ice cream shop has been a hit with the 49ers — especially the team’s Pro Bowl specialists — given its location across the street from the team hotel in Boardman. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle stopped by for a scoop on Thursday night to see David Akers, Andy Lee and Brian Jennings. By the time he left, a few of the team’s linemen showed up.

Thursday’s practice session at Youngstown State University also featured a high-profile guest, University of Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean. Crean is Jim Harbaugh’s brother-in-law, and the two coaches already have a history together, as the 49ers coach served as an Indiana game manager at a Hoosiers game earlier this year. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com spoke to Crean about his observations from the 49ers practice at Stambaugh Stadium.

“Crean said he likes to watch defensive backs and offensive linemen in football, in particular, to develop ideas on how he can refine some of the drills for his basketball team,” Maiocco wrote. “He said he formulates ideas from watching defensive backs change direction and offensive linemen use leverage.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines about Week 4 Niner Talk guest Anthony Davis, the Hall of Fame, NFL referees and more.

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Niner Talk: 49ers-Jets Week 4

Posted by Taylor Price on September 28, 2012 – 7:34 AM

This year on 49ers.com’s Niner Talk podcast, we’ve spoken with Joe Staley, NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson – three well-known contributors to the recent success of the San Francisco 49ers.

In Week 4, we’ve found an unheralded guest who’s been earning a lot of praise in recent days. He also just so happens to be from the state of New Jersey, site of the team’s next road matchup against the New York Jets.

This week, it’s time to get to know starting right tackle Anthony Davis, who will return to his home state to play in front of friends and family. He’ll also be playing in front of Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who called Davis, “one of the premiere right tackles in the game.”

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Bryant Young Leads 49ers HOF Hopefuls

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 27, 2012 – 2:54 PM

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its 2013 inductee candidates on Thursday and the list is littered with 49ers. All-time San Francisco great Bryant Young is one of 13 first-year candidates on the ballot, which features 127 nominees from the field and the front office.

Young played his entire career for the 49ers from 1994-2007 and etched his name among the franchise’s greatest defensive players. The four-time Pro Bowler started 208 games, recording 89.5 sacks en route to becoming one of the best defensive linemen in 49ers history.

49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York took to Twitter to voice his support for Young shortly after the announcement was made.

“Bryant Young is eligible for the HoF this year,” York wrote. “He deserves to be there. One of the best D-linemen ever. Good luck BY!”

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Frank Gore Puts in Overtime

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 27, 2012 – 2:18 PM

Frank Gore spent his Wednesday night at the team hotel in Boardman, Ohio, with second-year offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore. The two spent some extra time in the make-shift 49ers film room, studying the various blitz calls that are trademark of a Rex Ryan-coached team.

Ryan and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine have been frequent users of extra pass-rushers this season, so Gore and his teammates are using the unique setting in Ohio to better prepare for their assignments.

“Usually when we’re back home, we get to go home and do our own thing,” Gore said. “Now, it’s basically all football. Wake up to it, leave practice, go right upstairs and watch film. It’s a good thing.”

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 27

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 27, 2012 – 10:25 AM

The 49ers were back on the field Wednesday afternoon as they took over Stambaugh Stadium at Youngstown State University. Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the regular season practice debut of running back Brandon Jacobs, who has returned to the field on a limited basis for the first time since being injured in Week 3 of the preseason.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee observed the beginning of Wednesday’s practice session and said Jacobs looked like he was moving well.

“If Jacobs is fully healthy Sunday, he likely would be worked into games as a short-yardage runner,” Barrows wrote. “Through three games, only two running backs – Gore and Kendall Hunter – have carried the ball for the 49ers. Gore has 45 carries for 264 yards, and Hunter has 18 carries for 64 yards.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines about the rain-soaked practice, referees, Rex Ryan, Darrelle Revis and more.

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On the Phone with Ryan and Sanchez

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 26, 2012 – 7:18 PM

The New York Jets have a grading system for each of their opponents as they game-plan during the week. They reserve “blue level” distinctions for players who perform at the All-Pro or Pro Bowl levels and on Wednesday Rex Ryan told Bay Area reporters that the 49ers possess seven blue level players in their starting 11.

Asked to describe the challenge of hosting the 49ers defense at home on Sunday, the Jets coach simply said, “Yikes.”

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 26

Posted by Taylor Price on September 26, 2012 – 7:59 AM

BOARDMAN, Ohio – I used to think Disneyland was the happiest place on earth. Maybe I was a pre-teen at the time, but as of Wednesday morning, my opinion has officially changed. That’s because a group of 49ers reporters (Cam Inman, Matt Barrows, Eric Branch, TV49’s Scott Kegley and myself) all jumped in a car and headed to the most wonderful place on earth – The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Where do I begin on this…

Let me see, the anticipation of driving up to the Hall of Fame was exciting in its own right. But once you pull up to the building and see the exterior (the same one you’ve seen on television for all those years) it hits you right then and there, this is a place unlike any other.

Joe Horrigan, the Hall’s Vice President of Communication and Exhibits and all of his staff members were more than accommodating to us on our visit. Upon entering the “bust room,” Matt Waechter, the Hall’s website coordinator, found us immediately and showed us the most amazing artifacts in the archive room.

From rare helmets, to unique game-worn cleats, to the first ever pylon used in NFL history, to Pat Tillman’s travel bag – there was history all over the room. 49ers.com’s photo gallery showcased some of the rare sights in the room and other 49ers-related images littered throughout the shrine to pro football’s proud history.

All the beat writers further documented their experiences, a must-read for die-hard football fans.

Inman shared the experience through a storify report, recapping his posts on social media. A highlight was the lunch photo of Taggart’s Ice Cream, a lovely Canton eatery that’s been in business since 1926 – 20 years before the San Francisco 49ers were even founded.

By the time we got back from lunch to finish seeing the rest of the hallowed grounds, the Hall of Fame staff notified us that David Akers’ NFL record-tying, 63-yard field goal ball was prominently displayed in the players of today section of the hall.

I also couldn’t help but hook Jerry Rice up with a 49ers New Era hat. Don’t worry, I held it up over Rice’s head, would never disrespect the bust itself.

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49ers Sign WR Lockette to P-Squad

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 25, 2012 – 9:50 AM

The San Francisco 49ers announced they have signed WR Ricardo Lockette to the practice squad.

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Jim Harbaugh Checks in From Ohio

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 25, 2012 – 9:16 AM

It’s been about 48 hours since the 49ers lost their first game of the 2012 season and the sting still lingers. Coach Jim Harbaugh joined Brian Murphy for an interview on KNBR Tuesday morning from Youngstown, Ohio, about an hour before meeting his team to get ready for Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets.

“You have a loss, you get that bad taste in your mouth, there’s only one mouthwash that can really get that taste out,” Harbaugh said. “That’s coming back and preparing and coming out and being victorious this week. That’s the challenge for us, that’s where we’ll put our mindset.”

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 25

Posted by Taylor Price on September 25, 2012 – 6:34 AM

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Good morning 49ers Faithful. By the time most of you on the West Coast are reading this, 49ers.com will be taking a journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

But first, let’s take a look at the top headlines from the team’s first day in the Youngstown area.

The team turned the page from a Week 3 loss in the best way possible by visiting the Akron Children’s Hospital and two schools in the Youngstown community. Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News has the details from the team’s uplifting hospital visit.

“The 49ers responded to their first loss of the season by doing some soul searching Monday. But this wasn’t your typical therapy,” Inman wrote. “Instead of flying home to the Bay Area after Sunday’s 24-13 upset loss at Minnesota, the 49ers began their five-day layover in this nondescript Midwest suburb by making community appearances, including a stop at the Akron Children’s Hospital.”

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