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MT: The Colin Kaepernick Experience

Posted by Taylor Price on June 19, 2013 – 9:44 AM

Colin Kaepernick’s name and face continue to pop up leading up to the 2013 NFL season. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is arguably one of the league’s breakout stars leading up to the coming season.

ESPN the Magazine placed Kaepernick on their annual fantasy football issue. The magazine also shared an interesting note, if you prorated Kaepernick’s stats for the entire 2012 season, he would have been the eighth-best fantasy quarterback.

Robert Mays of Grantland.com took the Kaepernick phenomenon one step further by examining “The Colin Kaepernick Experience.” Mays believes that Kaepernick’s ascending play is one of the many reasons to start getting hyped for the upcoming season.

“Kaepernick is only 10 starts into his career, but already, he feels like one of the more important assets in all of football,” Mays wrote. “He’s capable of plays only Robert Griffin III can match, and the idea of seeing it over a 16-game season should be enough to have anyone outside of Seattle looking forward to Sundays… Colin Kaepernick is likely here for the long haul, and by the end of this year, my guess is that we’ll all very used to it.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: 49ers Host Local Pro Day

Posted by Taylor Price on April 17, 2013 – 9:16 AM

CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco reported on Tuesday that a son of a 49ers Hall of Famer will visit team headquarters on Wednesday to take part in the team’s local pro day.

Nate Montana would be the player in the report. And yes, he’s the son of you know who.

Montana played as a backup quarterback at three different schools (Pasadena City College, Notre Dame and the University of Montana), before finding a starting role at West Virginia Wesleyan.

Montana started nine games at the NCAA Division II school, completing 51.6 percent of his passes with 19 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Montana averaged 275.6 passing yards per game. He’s also been preparing for the NFL Draft with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr.

It’s important to note that several pro day attendees have made their way on to the 49ers practice squad. For example, former Stanford safety Michael Thomas went undrafted, but made the practice squad in 2012 and has been signed to a reserve/future contract with the club. Wednesday’s pro day also marks the last day draft eligible players can visit the team’s Santa Clara headquarters.

49ers.com will cover the team’s annual pro day later in the afternoon and will have a full report on the workout.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 25

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 25, 2013 – 11:01 AM

As the 49ers make their Quest for Six, it’s appropriate to remember the central figures who were behind previous five Super Bowls in franchise history. Along with former owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., coach Bill Walsh was the face of the 49ers as they became one of the NFL’s most storied organizations.

Walsh, who was also a friend and mentor to Jim Harbaugh, has left his fingerprints all over the league. From his teachings of the West Coast Offense to his impressive coaching tree of former assistants who have shaped the NFL over the years, Walsh will always be remembered as one of the sport’s greatest innovators.

Seth Wickersham of ESPN the Magazine detailed Walsh’s legacy and how a book written by Walsh captures the coach’s dedication to his craft.

“Walsh began writing alone at his beach house in Monterey, Calif., always at 8 a.m., on yellow legal pads, in pencil, in all caps, his penmanship so clean that it could be its own font,” Wickersham wrote. “He would tear off sheets and stack them neatly in piles on the floor. This was in 1995, and Walsh didn’t know what kind of book he wanted. A leadership guide? A playbook? A coaching manual? A blueprint for front offices? Walsh told (Roger) Craig he wanted it to be a ‘real football book,’ not some light autobiography, waxing poetic about Super Bowls and Montana-to-Rice touchdown passes. He wanted his first book to motivate coaches, not delight fans.”

The 49ers would also like to announce that the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority is offering a Super Bowl special on pet adoptions. Select cats can be adopted for $4 and select dogs can be adopted for $9.

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate also features the latest Super Bowl headlines, Patrick Willis’ strong relationship with his foster family, a historical look at the biggest games in 49ers postseason history and more.

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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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Gameday Story: Five Guys

Posted by Taylor Price on December 31, 2012 – 10:28 AM

Thanks to a pair of Pro Bowl starters and a trio of Pro Bowl alternates on the offensive line, the San Francisco 49ers boast the league’s No. 4 rushing attack.

The 49ers running game excelled in 2012 thanks to the hard work of Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone and Anthony Davis.

Those efforts were chronicled in our season finale Gameday magazine. The “Five Guys” on the offensive line came into greater focus thanks to team photographer Terrell Lloyd and team graphic designer Ben Mayberry, who used an outdoor setting to showcase the unique personalities on the offensive line.

Get to know those “Five Guys” in this story.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 10

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

Aldon Smith now owns the San Francisco 49ers single-season sack outright record thanks to a two-sack performance against the Miami Dolphins. With 19.5 sacks on the season, Smith leads the NFL in sacks and has the team’s single-season sack record, distancing himself from Fred Dean’s 17.5 sacks set in 1983.

Now, it remains to be seen whether or not the second-year linebacker can record 3.5 sacks in his last three games to break Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season sack record (22.5).

Smith’s also including himself into the league’s Defensive Player of the Year conversation according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.

“A factor that must be considered, obviously, is Smith threatening the NFL sack record,” King wrote in his weekly MMQB column. “He has 19.5 after getting two Sunday against Miami. The record is 22.5 by Michael Strahan. With three games left — at New England and Seattle, then home against the leaky Arizona line — Smith needs 3.5 sacks. Today I’ll take Watt, with his 16.5 sacks and league-record 15 passes batted down, four of which resulted in Houston interceptions. Three weeks from today, who knows?”

King also ranked San Francisco as the league’s No. 4 overall team heading into Week 15.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 7

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 7, 2012 – 11:32 AM

The 49ers are frequent inductees to Hall of Fames. Brent Jones was the latest alumni to be recognized for his stellar career, as he was recently elected to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame along with Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti, ex-Raiders receiver Tim Brown and the late Oakland A’s owner Walter Haas, Jr.

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Jones and Righetti about their Bay Area upbringings and what it means to be a part of the 2013 BASHOF.

“Jones played on three Super Bowl champions, earned four Pro Bowl berths and caught 417 passes in his career,” Kroichick wrote. “Now he’s going into a Hall of Fame filled with childhood heroes (including Willie Mays, Nate Thurmond and Fred Biletnikoff) and his 49ers teammates (including Montana, Young and Jerry Rice).”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Jim Harbaugh’s value to the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick vs. RGIII and more.

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49ers Named Week 12 Top Protectors

Posted by Taylor Price on November 28, 2012 – 11:10 AM

For the second time in an eight-week span, the San Francisco 49ers offensive line has been selected as the Week 12 Madden Most Valuable Protectors by Hall of Fame coach John Madden.

San Francisco’s  line allowed no sacks in a 31-21 win over the New Orleans Saints. It was the first no-sack effort turned in by the line since a Week 5 win over Buffalo. Coincidentally, it was the last time the 49ers won Madden’s award.

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Morning Tailgate: Nov. 8

Posted by Taylor Price on November 8, 2012 – 11:20 AM

There’s no question that the San Francisco 49ers are off to a great start this year, several players deserve recognition for it, too.

But so does the football staff. Without the efforts of equipment manager Steve Urbaniak, there’s no way the team would function on gameday.

Urbaniak and his staff make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. The efforts of the tenured equipment man were profiled recently by Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. In the piece that ran earlier this week, Baxter explained the challenges that come along with a under publicized role in the NFL.

“Although many NFL teams — including the Raiders — train a short distance from their home stadium, the 49ers’ practice facility is 40 miles south of Candlestick Park, meaning Urbaniak and his crew must pack a semi-trailer two days before every game and unpack it again when the game is over,” Baxter wrote.

Urbaniak’s role is further described in the story. But for fans looking for visual aid, check out this 2010 TV49 video of our own Scott Kegley spending “A Day in the Life” as an equipment intern.

Trust me, it’s good stuff.

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Morning Tailgate: Oct. 23

Posted by Taylor Price on October 23, 2012 – 9:52 AM

Many would argue that the San Francisco 49ers’ all-time rushing leader will wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day.

But still, even in the short term, Frank Gore will be represented in Canton, Ohio.

The Hall of Fame recently received items to display from the team’s history-making performance in a Week 5 win over the Buffalo Bills. In a 45-3 victory, the 49ers became the first team in league history to rush and pass for more than 300 yards in the same game.

To celebrate the achievement, the Hall of Fame is preserving the milestone in the form of a game ball signed by Alex Smith and Frank Gore, plus Gore’s game-worn gloves and shoes.

Gore’s pink Breast Cancer Awareness cleats picked up 106 yards on 14 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run. Smith posted his best outing of his eight-year career that day, finishing the game with 303 passing yards, three touchdowns and a career-best passer rating of 156.2.

49ers.com visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this season and put together a blog with photos and a recap of the experience.

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