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.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com relays the comments of Jets Coach Rex Ryan about Vernon and Anthony Davis. Maiocco: “The 49ers traded up two spots in the 2010 NFL draft to select Anthony Davis at No. 11 overall. In his third season, Davis has gotten off to a good start. But Ryan is the first person to single him out for such lavish praise.”
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group shares the humorous story of Ryan confusing Alex Smith for Aaron Rodgers at an awards banquet earlier this year. Inman: “But confusing people is something Ryan has learned to live with. His brother, Rob, is the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. Ryan’s advice to Smith: be prepared for further identity mixups.”
Michelle Smith of ESPNW.com spoke to rookie tight end Garrett Celek about the support of his older brother, Eagles tight end Brent Celek. Smith: “But Celek thought the 49ers — with Harbaugh’s penchant for using tight ends in his power offense — would be the best fit. All along, big brother Brent, in his sixth season with the Eagles, has been giving Garrett advice.”
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle describes the security measures the 49ers have used during their unique stay in Ohio. Branch: “On Wednesday, the team held its morning walkthrough practice in a parking lot behind the hotel, the same locale that they held walkthroughs last year. On Wednesday, however, four team buses were fanned out across the perimeter of the parking lot to discourage interested onlookers (including members of the Jets’ espionage team?)”
The Associated Press wrapped up the 49ers’ first day practicing in rainy Youngstown. AP: “Now in his second season and after a trip to the NFC championship game, Harbaugh doesn’t want distractions derailing the same atmosphere from developing. It was business as usual, with an extra helping of hard work.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com examines the impact of injured Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Sando: “The injury means Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and the 49ers’ other receivers won’t have to worry about getting stranded on “Revis Island” this week.”
Branch also examined the 49ers passing game and noted Smith has thrown most of his passes to short or intermediate receivers. Branch: “Of Smith’s 92 pass attempts, four have traveled 20 yards or more downfield and tight end Vernon Davis was targeted with the other three deep balls.”
Inman shared the thoughts of the 49ers players, who are eager to welcome back the veteran NFL referees this weekend. Inman: “(Donte) Whitner agreed that the ‘tipping point’ in the NFL’s lockout of officials surely came Monday night, when the Seattle Seahawks were awarded a controversial winning touchdown on the final play against the Green Bay Packers.”
Barrows notes the current 49ers who are represented at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Barrows: “Every time a player sets a record, the Hall asks for the ball. The one that Jerry Rice caught to set the NFL receptions record, for instance, is in one of the hundreds of boxes being housed in Canton.”
49ers.com also provided a complete roundup of the day’s action (story/photos) and video of Jim Harbaugh’s press conference. Mario Manningham’s return to his hometown area was also featured along with the comments of Ryan and Jets QB Mark Sanchez.
TV49’S CLIP OF THE DAY
TWEET ABOUT IT
Looks like Jonathan Goodwin is happy to see the regular NFL refs.
Tags: Anthony Davis, Brandon Jacobs, Garrett Celek, Vernon Davis
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