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.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group passes along Frank Gore’s comments about Davis. Inman: “When Davis heard running back Frank Gore’s praise of him, well, now that elicited a huge laugh and smile from the 49ers’ third-year tackle. The adjective Gore used to aptly describe Davis: ‘Dogness.’”
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee also discussed Davis’ return to his home state of New Jersey this week. Barrows: “At Rutgers, Davis played for hard-noses coach Greg Schiano and gained a reputation for his feisty play. He’s taken that east-coast mean-streak to the Bay Area. He teams with guard Alex Boone on the right side of the offensive line, giving that unit an edginess it hasn’t had since Derek Deese, Ron Stone and Jeremy Newberry played in San Franciscoa decade ago.”
Maiocco also wrote about Davis and his humble attitude despite the recent lofty praise he’s received. Maiocco: “(Greg) Roman said Davis has benefitted greatly from his first full offseason with the club. After being the No. 11 overall draft pick in 2010, his first full offseason of work with 49ers coaches was postponed a year due to the lockout.”
Barrows notes how the 49ers players and coaches are taking advantage of the unique setting in Ohio to put in extra work. Barrows: “Running back Frank Gore said he has had more time to study this week, too. Instead of going home in the evening, which he’d do if the 49ers were practicing in Santa Clara, he stayed up with backup center Daniel Kilgore on Wednesday night to look at film of the Jets and to work on pass-protection assignments.”
Branch writes that he expects Gore to be the focal point of the 49ers offense on Sunday vs. the Jets. Branch: “For his part, Jets coach Rex Ryan is braced for plenty of Gore on Sunday. Despite last week’s emphasis on the pass, the 49ers rank seventh in the NFL in rushing (141.0) and third in yards per attempt (5.4). Gore is averaging 88.0 yards a game and 5.9 yards a rush.”
Maiocco lists the 2013 Hall of Fame candidates, including all those with 49ers ties. Maiocco: “Former 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young and offensive guard Larry Allen, who played his final two NFL seasons with San Francisco, are among a group of 13 first-time eligible nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Barrows wrote a column to welcome back the regular NFL referees. Barrows: “More than anything, the brief but turbulent reign of the replacement refs shows how good the regular refs have been. It also shows how mind-bogglingly fast the NFL game is and how much blown calls are magnified when there are 10 camera angles and everyone watching at home has a high-definition television.”
Rich Cimini of ESPN.com takes a look ahead to the 49ers vs. Jets matchup. Cimini: “Basically, the 49ers are what the Jets (2-1) aspire to be — a Ground-and-Pound team that controls the ball, makes the quarterback a game manager and plays great defense and special teams. Let’s see if the Jets can out-49er the 49ers.”
49ers.com’s coverage included a Cover 2 Preview of the Jets matchup presented by AAA and a photo gallery of Thursday’s practice. We also discussed Patrick Willis and the 49ers defense, coaching ties between the 49ers and Jets, Frank Gore’s work ethic, 49ers Hall of Fame hopefuls and press conferences from Vic Fangio and Greg Roman.
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Tags: Anthony Davis, Frank Gore, Hall of Fame, Jim Harbaugh, Tom Crean
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