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2012 Plays of the Year: Final Five

Posted by Alex Espinoza on March 8, 2013 – 1:33 PM

The 49ers Faithful have spoken. Now it’s time for one final vote.

In recent weeks, 49ers.com has brought you the top 5 takeaways, touchdowns, sacks, big hits and big plays and asked for the Faithful to vote for their favorite plays of the year. For the last round of voting, a winner will emerge from the Final Five candidates as picked by the 49ers Faithful.

The Final Five features a great mix of breakneck offensive plays, bone-crushing defensive plays and game-changers. Until 5 p.m. PT on Monday, you can vote for the 2012 Play of the Year at the bottom of this blog post. Let’s take a look at the top play for each category.

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2012 Plays of the Year: Takeaways

Posted by Taylor Price on February 12, 2013 – 1:40 PM

We need your help in selecting the top plays from the 2012 season. We’re asking our Faithful fans to choose the top takeaway, touchdown, sack, big play and biggest hit of the season. Next, the winning five plays (one from each category), will move on to the championship round to determine 49ers.com’s “Top Play of 2012.”

Watch our “Top 5” video highlights on the best plays for each category, then vote in the poll section of the corresponding blog post to see which top play will reach the championship.

Help us crown the top play of 2012 by first choosing your favorite takeaway from this past season. You can vote for your favorite takeaway up until Thursday at noon. Let’s take a look at the five nominees.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 30

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 30, 2013 – 5:35 AM

The 49ers enjoyed the light mood of media day on Tuesday as they were peppered with football and non-football questions by thousands of credentialed media members on the turf of the Superdome. There was a super hero, free tattoo sleeves for the players, 49ers Kaepernicking and more.

Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com offered his take on the best and worst of media day for Super Bowl XLVII.

“This is the new normal at Super Bowl Media Day, an NFL cultural and journalistic melting pot that puts Miss Alabama and Brent Musberger favorite Katherine Webb, in the same room as 84-year-old Hall of Fame journalist Edwin Pope,” Schrager wrote. “It’s no longer about the players’ answers; it’s about the folks asking the players the questions.”

The 49ers would also like to announce that Vernon Davis is holding a charity raffle to win an all expense paid trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. The deadline for the drawing is on Thursday (tomorrow).

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features the top quotes and story lines from the hectic media day scene.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 23

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 23, 2013 – 11:22 AM

San Francisco and Baltimore are two proud football towns with rich histories of football. 49ers fans and Ravens fans alike will descend on New Orleans in the coming days as the teams gear up for Super Bowl XLVII.

San Francisco and Baltimore also feature a tradition of football competition that dates back to the 1950s and the days of Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle took a historical look back at past battles between football franchises from the two cities.

“There was a time when ‘San Francisco vs. Baltimore’ meant something entirely different than the matchup we’ll get in this Super Bowl,” Jenkins wrote. “It meant antiquated, neighborhood stadiums in the middle of town. It meant some of the most riveting, free-wheeling NFL games ever played.”

Did you know Jim Harbaugh, Randy Moss and Ray Lewis also played in the same game back in 1998? Today’s Morning Tailgate features that backstory, highlights the contributions of the York family and more.

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Week 13 #Vote49ers Pro Bowl Update

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 27, 2012 – 11:28 AM

The 49ers boast arguably the best quartet of linebackers in the NFL. Ahmad Brooks might not get the national publicity of the other players in his position group — Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith — but those around the 49ers know how valuable Brooks is on the left edge of the defense.

On Sunday, the seventh-year veteran showed why the 49ers signed him to six-year extension in the offseason, recording five tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown. Brooks, who is vying to be named to his first Pro Bowl, is among a host of 49ers that are making strong cases to be nominated to the NFL’s annual All-Star game. You can vote for San Francisco’s finest at 49ers.com/ProBowl.

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Morning Tailgate: Nov. 26

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 26, 2012 – 11:28 AM

The 49ers are simply spoiled at quarterback. Second-year signal-caller Colin Kaepernick is gaining believers nationwide after he helped lead the 49ers to a 31-21 road victory at New Orleans in his second career start on Sunday, following San Francisco’s 6-2-1 start to the season with Alex Smith.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group examined the big 49ers win, while his colleague Mark Purdy focused on the quarterbacks situation after the game.

“It’s all quite entertaining to discuss,” Purdy wrote. “We keep learning more about Kaepernick with every passing day. Donte Whitner, the 49ers safety who also scored on an interception return, has become friendly with Kaepernick because the two often find themselves working out simultaneously at the team’s practice facility in Santa Clara. Whitner said that Kaepernick is often the first man to show up on the premises.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up more headlines from New Orleans and shows you why it pays to wear a 49ers jacket when walking around the Bay Area.

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Morning Tailgate: Nov. 14

Posted by Taylor Price on November 14, 2012 – 10:21 AM

The 49ers are scheduled to practice on Wednesday, the first of the week in preparation for Monday’s NFC showdown against the Chicago Bears.

Players will be available to the media in the afternoon. However, it is not known if Alex Smith will speak to the media, but reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicate Smith might return to action this week after suffering a concussion in a 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams. Smith has not spoken to the media since the injury.

“They feel pretty good that Smith should be able to go,” Schefter said on ESPN this morning in comments relayed by Evan Silva of NBC Sports.

The news comes after Tuesday’s report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who said Smith was seeking a second opinion on the injury according to a league source.

Perhaps Smith will be around to share insight on the concussion evaluation process. If not, the speculation leading up to Monday night will continue for both teams as Jay Cutler is in the same boat as Smith.

Stay tuned to 49ers.com for more updates on the quarterbacks.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 35 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Nov. 7

Posted by Taylor Price on November 7, 2012 – 10:34 AM

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a mid-season awards list without members of the San Francisco 49ers.

Several 49ers were listed on mid-season awards released earlier in the week and continue to be named on recently released All-Pro teams from various media outlets.

ESPN.com’s respected NFL writer John Clayton took a break from rocking out to heavy metal music in his parents house and listed three 49ers among his mid-season All-Pro team, naming Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati and Patrick Willis on his first-team unit.

Davis and Iupati were also selected by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah and ESPN.com’s Mike Sando’s All-NFC West team (along with several 49ers teammates). Sando listed four members of the 49ers offensive line on his first-team unit, with Jonathan Goodwin being left out. The 49ers center, however, received praise from Yahoo! Sports.

More on that in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 72 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Oct. 12

Posted by Taylor Price on October 12, 2012 – 11:11 AM

Alex Smith’s had a whirlwind seven-day stretch to say the least.

John Branch of the New York Times summed it up succinctly in a recent story.

“In this, the eighth chapter of The Many Lives of Alex Smith, the San Francisco quarterback leads the league in passer rating, coolly commands a high-scoring offense that sets a single-game yardage record, is deemed such a local celebrity that he tosses the ceremonial first pitch of a baseball playoff series and talks football with the president,” Branch wrote.

The week could get even better if the 49ers quarterback wins the FedEx Air Player of the Week award. And, if he beats the New York Giants this Sunday at Candlestick Park.

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Gameday Story: Crushing It

Posted by Taylor Price on September 4, 2012 – 8:54 AM

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 35-3 in the 2012 preseason finale. Seventh-year linebacker Ahmad Brooks received a lot of exposure last Thursday night. And, he did so without stepping foot on the playing field.

With Jim Harbaugh electing to rest his entire starting defense, Brooks’ attention was largely through the team’s Gameday Magazine where he served as the second cover story of the team’s 10 home programs. The story examines Brooks’ rise in recent years as a member of San Francisco’s feared defensive attack. Photographed by Kym Fortino and designed by Ben Mayberry, the cover story also looks at the positive comments made by Brooks’ coaches this offseason after he signed a six-year contract extension with the club.

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