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Posted by Taylor Price on October 29, 2010 – 6:14 AM

I caught up with rookie running back Anthony Dixon before we took off on our 10-day trip and after Friday’s practice in Hertfordshire. Dixon is one of the most energetic, entertaining guys on the team. He’s always good for a solid quote, enjoy this NinerCam video of “A.D.”

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More Sights, More Sounds from OTAs

Posted by Taylor Price on May 24, 2010 – 1:41 PM

The 49ers hit the practice fields last week for four consecutive days of organized team activities and NinerCam was there to record the action for you, the Faithful fans of the 49ers. Although team policy prohibits us from shooting the team and 7-on-7 periods of practice, you can enjoy sights and sounds from the OTAs with plenty of action photos.

We’ll be rolling out several more “Sights to Sounds” videos all summer long, but until then, let us know what you want to see more of in the coming months!

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Photo Blog: Gold Rush Finals

Posted by Scott Kegley on April 1, 2010 – 5:48 PM

The field of over 400 women has been narrowed down to the final 70, all with hopes of becoming a member of the 2010 world-famous 49ers Gold Rush presented by Coors Light.  All the ladies have gone through two rounds of preliminary auditions on Sunday, a practice on Monday and interviews Wednesday night.  Tonight, they will all be asked to perform their routine one more time in addition to a dance they choreographed themselves.

Stay tuned to the blog all throughout the evening for photos.

The judges just had their meeting to go over how the scoring process will work and what they will be looking for when ultimately selecting the squad.

“As a judge, I’m looking for someone who is just going to wow the fans at the stadium,” said Gold Rush director Erin Olmstead.  “We want someone who is going to bring some extra energy to their performance.  They’ve all been practicing really hard.  It’s going to be tough to pull out the standouts, but that’s my job tonight.”

Even the veterans from previous squads have to audition as well and even though they’ve been through this process before, it doesn’t minimize the nerves.  Their experience does help them though during the routine that they had to choreograph on their own.

“I’m using some of my old stuff (from past routines),”  Johanna said, a former Gold Rush member who had to take last year off.  “I have to get that in there.  The funny thing is that when you practice it over and over, it automatically changes because you want to put so much into it.  Hopefully it come out well.”

Be the first to find out who made the 2010 Gold Rush on Monday right here on 49ers.com.

All photos are courtesy of David Gonzales.



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Photo Blog: I Can See Clearly Now

Posted by Scott Kegley on March 30, 2010 – 4:34 PM

The NFL offseason is hardly a time of rest and relaxation.  Yes, players have a chance to let their bodies heal, enjoy some time with friends and family away from the team’s facility and then quickly get back to work preparing for the next season.

Tackle Joe Staley also took advantage of the down time to go under the knife….well, laser.  Don’t worry, the procedure was not major and not even a result of playing football.  After having lasik eye surgery, Staley can now throw away the contacts that have been a part of him for so long.

“I’ve worn contacts since I was in seventh grade and it really became annoying,” Staley said.  “The opportunity came to my attention to get lasik eye surgery with Dr. Scott Hyver.  My dad had it done four years ago and he has been really happy.  He told me how easy the procedure was so I though it would be a good idea.”

Though playing with contacts is common in the NFL, the third-year lineman recalled times when he got frustrated after opponents’ hands would get inside his face mask and knock out his contacts.  But his decision solves much more than having to head to the sidelines for a new pair of lenses.

“I didn’t just think about it benefiting my football career, it’s just benefited my life,” Staley said.  “It’s good not to have to wake up an put contacts in and not have to worry about getting an eye infection if I forget to take my contacts out.”

Staley still has to be careful initially as he’s been given a long list of do’s and don’ts.

“I can’t rub my eyes, which I’ve done about 47 times already,” joked Staley.  “It’s really hard not to rub your eyes, especially when you’re in the shower and you have to get the water out.  I keep freaking out that I’m going to go blind whenever I cant myself rubbing my eyes.  They told me that my lens would come off, but I wouldn’t go blind.  They would just have to do the surgery again.”

One of the items Staley has been given to help prevent him having to go in for a second procedure is a pair of goggles similar to those worn by former NBA start Horace Grant.

“They’re these plastic specs,” Staley said.  “I have to wear them at night for this first week so I don’t rub my eyes without knowing it.  I’ve also been really good though about using my eye drops.  I have artificial tears that I can put in my eyes to prevent them from drying out.”

As a result, Staley can see clearly now…even if the rain wasn’t gone at Tuesday’s OTA session.  Below is a video as well as a few photos from Tuesday. For more photos, view our photo gallery.

QB Alex Smith

Team Stretch

Team Stretch

WR Brandon Jones

LB Scott McKillop

Secondary Coach Vance Joseph

Secondary Coach Vance Joseph

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Photo Blog: Ahead of Schedule

Posted by Scott Kegley on March 29, 2010 – 4:12 PM

Scott McKillop and John Wall

In the spirit of March Madness, linebacker Scott McKillop paid tribute to Kentucky’s dynamic freshman point guard during Monday’s first OTA practice session of the 2010 offseason.  While making “reload” calls in reaction to shifts by the offense, the second-year player from Pittsburgh not only called out the change in assignments, he did so with flare.

“I did the John Wall dance a couple of times, he’s the guard from Kentucky,” linebacker Scott McKillop said.  “I also did a little Spiderman, a little bowling and a few leg kicks.  I just wanted to make it fun so when the offense watches film, we can laugh about it.”

McKillop and the rest of his teammates are much more relaxed at this point of the year than any other season in recent memory.  The offense will be running the same system for two years in a row while McKillop will play in a defense that will be headed up by Greg Manusky for the fourth straight season.

“I’ve got about a month head start compared to last year and I’m familiar with the guys, familiar with the system,” McKillop said.  “I’m more comfortable so you can have fun.  If you can’t have fun out there, you shouldn’t be playing.”

Like McKillop, the rest of the players went through a very lively practice, especially considering training camp is roughly five months away.  Below is a video and several photos from Monday.

QB Alex Smith

WR Michael Crabtree

TE coach Pete Hoener with the tight end group

LB Takeo Spikes

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NinerCam: Pro Bowl Postgame

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 31, 2010 – 10:17 PM

The NFC fell 41-34 to the AFC in South Florida in a highly entertaining Pro Bowl.  Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub won the game’s MVP award after completing 13 of 17 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.  Several of the 49ers players shined as well.

Vernon Davis made an impact early in the game, hauling in a pass from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for 36 yards.  He finished with three catches for 67 yards.  Justin Smith also saw some significant playing time, finishing with three tackles and a sack.

I caught up with our players after the game.  Watch below or visit our YouTube page.

For all of our coverage of the Pro Bowl, visit our Pro Bowl Central page.

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Blog: Pro Bowl Practice Kicks Off

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 27, 2010 – 1:29 PM

The AFC and NFC squads hit the field at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in South Florida on Wednesday for their first practices of the 2010 Pro Bowl.  The Cowboys and Chargers coaching staffs ran the drills for their respective conferences.

The NFC’s practice was a little longer than what I expected for a Pro Bowl session.  Players don’t go full speed during the drills, focusing more on mental reps and learning the offensive and defensive schemes.  The schemes are usually pretty basic so all of the players can pick things up during the week. (Click here to view a 49ers.com photo gallery of Wednesday’s practice).

Donovan McNabb was easily the most vocal player on the field, laughing and joking with teammates.  Every time McNabb would throw a pass to Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, Austin would bat it down, refusing to catch anything from McNabb.  The two kept laughing at each other for most of the morning.

He also joked with Vernon Davis.  McNabb seemed shocked to see Davis’ short hair.

“He told me he was glad I shaved of my six dreads,” Davis told reporters after practice.

Justin Smith was the only 49ers Pro Bowler not present at practice.  He learned that he would replace the Vikings’ Kevin Williams yesterday so he should be arriving by tomorrow.

It’s an especially meaningful week for running back Frank Gore, who hasn’t played in his hometown of Miami since his days at “The U.”

“It’s a great opportunity to play in front of my family,” Gore said.  “That’s the best part about this.  My family hasn’t been able to see me play since I’ve been in the NFL so that makes this week really special.  I wasn’t able to play last year when we came out to play the Dolphins so this is great!”

One of the family members Gore is most excited to play in front of is his son, Frank Jr., who is becoming quite a good football player himself.

“He’s really excited to see me play,” Gore said.  “He’s taking after his dad so far.  I’m proud of him because he’s continued working really hard.”

Gore grew up in Coral Gables and attended Coral Gables High School so it seemed weird to him to be practicing on the field of his former rival school, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Some of the high school students were allowed to take some time away from class to come out and watch the practice.  It also made the practices more lively the students would cheer after good plays and yell encouragement for their favorite players.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to see a lot of NFL guys, especially players who made the Pro Bowl who are supposed to be the best at their position,” Gore said.

Gore said he’s really looking forward to see how his teammate and good friend Vernon Davis plays with the best players in the business.

“I want to see how Vernon does.  I think he’s going to play fast like he always does and turn some heads.”

Gore admitted he probably wasn’t playing as fast as he normally does during the first session of the practice.  During special teams drills, Gore lined up on kickoff coverage and proceeded to sprint down the field and get into tackling position on the return man.

“That was crazy,” Gore said with a grin.  “I had no idea what I was doing.”

I caught up with some of our guys after the NFC practice.  Watch the video below:

The AFC players had some interesting things to say following their practice as well.  Here’s my report following their practice:

For all of our coverage of the Pro Bowl, visit our Pro Bowl Central page. And for more videos like the ones above, check out our new YouTube page.

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2010 Pro Bowl: Tuesday

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 26, 2010 – 6:25 PM

Things started off great for the 2010 Pro Bowl.  My flight actually got in a half hour ahead of schedule so I dropped things off at my hotel and headed down the street to the players’ hotel.

I was also well taken care of by the rental car company!!!  Ok, that’s not my car…you never know what you’re going to see at the Pro Bowl.  That’s actually the car of the Bengals’ Chad Ochocinco.

With the addition of Justin Smith to the Pro Bowl roster, we now have five representatives here in South Florida.  Smith should be arriving sometime tomorrow, but I did run into Patrick Willis, Andy Lee, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis.  They had several meetings starting at 7:00 pm to go over how the whole week will work, where they need to be and when.  Practices start tomorrow morning so it’s important to get everything off to a good start.

Here’s my interview with Willis right before he stepped into meetings:

And here’s my interview with Lee:

For all of our 2010 Pro Bowl coverage, check out our Pro Bowl Central page. And for more videos like the ones above, check out our new YouTube page.

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49ers.com at the Pro Bowl

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 25, 2010 – 4:57 PM

Starting Tuesday, 49ers.com will bring you exclusive coverage of the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  The 49ers will send four players to the NFL’s all-star game, the most since the team sent six players in 2002.  Vernon Davis will be filming a video diary as will Amy, our Pro Bowl Gold Rush cheerleader.

Throughout the week, I’ll be following all of our players around as they go through practices and attend various events in the area.  I’ll be posting daily updates with exclusive NinerCam videos and photos so stay tuned to this blog and visit our new Pro Bowl Central page to view all of our Pro Bowl content.

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NinerCam: Morgan Performs with Globetrotters

Posted by Scott Kegley on January 22, 2010 – 5:21 PM

NinerCam followed Josh Morgan last weekend when he performed with the Harlem Globetrotters at HP Pavillion.  As expected, the athletic wide receiver showed that his ability translates well to the hardwood, dunking the ball with ease.  Click here to watch the video on our brand new 49ers YouTube Channel.  Subscribe to our channel and watch many of your favorite TV49 videos.

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