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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 18

Posted by Taylor Price on January 18, 2013 – 11:41 AM

In the final weeks of the regular season, the San Francisco 49ers wisely hid the quarterback running element of the “Pistol” offense. Colin Kaepernick didn’t leave the pocket often on designed-runs, but unleashed the quarterback scrambles against Green Bay to the tune of 181 rushing yards, the most by a quarterback in any NFL game. Ever.

Do the 49ers have more weapons to unleash this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons with a  Super Bowl appearance on the line? CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco believes Vernon Davis is the one that fits the bill.

“After the victory over the Packers, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman pointed out that the 49ers like to keep their ace card hidden until they need it,” Maiocco wrote in a Friday mailbag offering. “This would appear to be the time for Davis to emerge.”

Davis hauled in a 44-yard pass against the Packers last week on a perfectly thrown touch pass from Kaepernick. The 49ers tight end ran by A.J. Hawk’s coverage to make the over-the-shoulder reception.

Could that happen against the Falcons in the NFC title game? It’s certainly possible. Seahawks tight end Zach Miller caught eight passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in last week’s Divisional Playoff defeat.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 234 Comments »

Niner Talk: 49ers-Falcons NFC Playoffs

Posted by Taylor Price on January 18, 2013 – 10:40 AM

The San Francisco 49ers are set to make the franchise’s 14th appearance in the NFC title game and second in as many seasons this Sunday in Atlanta.

It will also be a homecoming for Augusta, Ga., native Carlos Rogers, one of San Francisco’s starting cornerbacks.

Rogers joined our Niner Talk podcast this week to discuss his return to his home state in addition to a number of topics. The veteran defensive back also touched on his relationship with fellow starting corner Tarell Brown, plus discussed the matchup against Atlanta’s talented receiver tandem of Roddy White and Julio Jones.

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Posted in Niner Talk | 13 Comments »

On the Phone with Dunta Robinson

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 17, 2013 – 11:46 AM

The Atlanta Falcons have already faced mobile quarterbacks like Cam Newton (twice), Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick this season, going 3-1 in the process. But when Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense invade the Georgia Dome for the NFC Championship on Sunday, the Falcons will be trying to contain a different beast.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson discussed Kaepernick’s skills as a runner and a passer, saying his raw speed is something that separates him from other quarterbacks in the league.

“The biggest difference between him and the all of the rest of the running quarterbacks we’ve seen, is the fact that he’s faster than those quarterbacks,” Robinson said on a nationwide conference call. “Which goes back to me saying how fundamentally sound (we have to play). If we give creases up, he can take a play that looks like a broken play, what looks like we have a play that’s covered up pretty well, and he can turn it into a 70-yard touchdown run.”

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 17

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 17, 2013 – 10:54 AM

For most running backs in the NFL, their production starts to dip as they approach their 30th birthday. But 49ers rushing king Frank Gore isn’t like most running backs.

The franchise’s all-time leader in yards, touchdowns and carries is still a workhorse in the backfield at the age of 29. Last week against the Packers, the eight-year veteran ran for 119 yards, joining Colin Kaepernick (181 rushing yards) and Michael Crabtree (119 yards receiving) as the only trio in NFL playoff history to feature two, 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver on the same team.

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated traced Gore’s career and his ability to bounce back from devastating injuries and still be one of the game’s most productive backs.

“His resiliency is largely due to genetics and toughness, but there is an ample dose of passion in the recipe,” Trotter wrote. “It might not be as public as a Ray Lewis pre-game dance or speech, but it’s obvious behind the closed doors of the locker room, where the soft-spoken 5-foot-9, 217-pound veteran has been known to cry at his locker after losses, or on the practice field, where during training camp in 2007 coaches had to hide his helmet because he kept sneaking onto to the practice field despite having a broken hand.”

Do you want to see the NFC Championship game in Atlanta? 49ers Faithful have until Noon today to enter to win a trip to Atlanta that includes airfare, lodging and game tickets.

Today’s Morning Tailgate also focuses on Colin Kaepernick in the national spotlight, NFC Championship matchups to watch and more.

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Posted in Announcements | 102 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Jan. 16

Posted by Taylor Price on January 16, 2013 – 9:36 AM

Looking for an unsung hero on the San Francisco 49ers defense? Look no further than sixth-year cornerback Tarell Brown.

The 5-foot-10, 193-pound cornerback continues to be one of the key contributors on a 49ers defense that stands one win away from reaching the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl.

Brown recorded a career-high 59 tackles in the regular season to go with 14 pass breakups and two interceptions.

Quietly, Brown has come up big all season for the 49ers. The fundamentally-sound defensive back intercepted a pass in San Francisco’s Week 17 win and followed it up two weeks later with an impressive interception in the 45-31 Divisional Playoff win over the Green Bay Packers.

For a second consecutive postseason, Brown turned in a key interception.

Brown’s efforts, however, aren’t going unnoticed. ProFootballFocus.com reviewed the 49ers dominant victory over the Packers and singled out Brown’s performance. According to PFF, Brown was thrown against on four different occasions by Green Bay’s high-powered passing attack. In the end, Brown allowed two receptions for 16 yards. His interception, a quality over-the-shoulder reception of a deep Aaron Rodgers throw, was also returned 39 yards.

With the NFC title game just around the corner, the 49ers defensive back will be counted on once more against Atlanta’s impressive passing arsenal.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 88 Comments »

Aldon Smith Voted NFL 101 NFC Def. POY

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 15, 2013 – 2:46 PM

Aldon Smith’s scintillating 2012 season has been recognized by a nationwide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, as he was named the NFL 101 NFC Defensive Player of the Year.

Smith’s 19.5 sacks in the regular season helped him earn the honor, which he was awarded in just his second year in the league by a group of 101 media members who cover the NFL. The 43rd annual NFL 101 Awards will be handed out in Kansas City on March 2, a short drive from Smith’s high school in Raytown, Mo. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh attended the event last year after being named 2011 NFC Coach of the Year.

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Posted in Announcements | 6 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Jan. 15

Posted by Taylor Price on January 15, 2013 – 10:14 AM

Get used to hearing about Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco’s starting quarterback continues to become a household name now that the second-year player is gracing one of four regional covers for Sports Illustrated.

It’s certainly well-deserved. The youngest starting quarterback in 49ers postseason history had a game for the ages  against the Green Bay Packers – 181 rushing yards – the most by a quarterback in any game. Ever.

Furthermore, Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two more, joining Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham and Jay Cutler as the only players to throw and rush for a pair of touchdowns in a postseason game.

Now, Kaepernick is 6-2 as a starter with a 98.7 QB rating to go with 12 touchdown passes , four interceptions, as well as 419 rushing yards and four rushing scores.

Find out more about Kaepernick’s postseason mindset by picking up a copy of the cover story written by SI’s Austin Murphy.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 59 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Jan. 14

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 14, 2013 – 11:48 AM

For several minutes on Sunday afternoon, it looked like the 49ers would be hosting the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC Championship game.

Following Marshawn Lynch’s 2-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds left in the Divisional Round matchup against top-seeded Atlanta, the NFC West foes looked destined for a third tilt of the season. But two quick passes from Matt Ryan and a last-second field goal by Matt Bryant gave the Falcons a 30-28 victory, meaning the 49ers will pack their bags and head to the Georgia Dome for Sunday’s NFC title game.

The 49ers fell short in last year’s NFC Championship with a 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. After the 45-31 win over the Packers on Saturday, players spoke about overcoming last year’s mistakes and reaching Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Peter King of Sports Illustrated took a look ahead to the NFC title game between the 49ers and Falcons and the AFC title game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.

“Now the storyline the world will be bludgeoned with this week is how Atlanta will defend (Colin) Kaepernick, who appeared indefensible against Green Bay behind the best offensive line in the league,” King wrote. “At least if Kaepernick were playing at Candlestick in January, there’d be a chance he’d be slowed by a muddy field. But on the indoor FieldTurf carpet at the Georgia Dome? Look out.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks ahead to the NFC Championship as the 49ers will try to reach their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.

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Posted in Announcements | 45 Comments »

Gameday Story: We Live for This

Posted by Taylor Price on January 14, 2013 – 10:34 AM



San Francisco’s pair of Pro Bowl inside linebackers live for competition. So much so, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman would do anything in their power to win a Super Bowl.

More importantly, the 49ers dominant defenders want nothing more than to win the ultimate prize together.

The tight-knit relationship of San Francisco’s play-making linebackers came into greater focus in our latest Gameday magazine cover story. The cover, designed by team graphic designer Ben Mayberry, depicts the bond between two of the NFL’s most versatile defenders.

In true fashion, both primetime players brought their best effort in the 49ers 45-31 Divisional Playoff win over the Green Bay Packers. The tandem combined to make 12 tackles with Willis leading the team with seven tackles and a crucial sack on Aaron Rodgers. It stood as San Francisco’s only sack of the game and forced a Packers punt to start the second half.

Get to know more about the tight bond between the two linebackers and their all-out approach to this year’s postseason in our latest Gameday feature.

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Posted in Gameday | 14 Comments »

Introducing Alex “The Rhino” Boone

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 12, 2013 – 9:31 AM

RHINO-HEADER

Rhinos are hard-charging and consume roughly 50 pounds of food in a typical meal. But the similarities between that species and offensive linemen don’t end there.

One four-year old black rhino at the San Francisco Zoo will forever be linked to 49ers guard Alex Boone. The rhino is now named “Boone” and Boone has likewise taken on the nickname of “The Rhino.”

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Posted in Community | 4 Comments »
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