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Morning Tailgate: Training Camp Begins

Posted by Taylor Price on July 25, 2013 – 10:03 AM

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for – training camp is finally here.

The 49ers will hold the first camp session of 2013 later this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. PT. Padded practices will take place on Saturday.

The excitement of camp starting was celebrated in the form of 49ers.com’s first infographic for the 2013 season. Get to know more information on the team’s roster, plus unique facts on your favorite players.

Press conferences will air live throughout camp on 49ers.com/live. Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith and Colin Kaepernick are scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. PT.

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

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Morning Tailgate: Kaepernick Opens Up

Posted by Taylor Price on July 24, 2013 – 11:39 AM

Peter King’s new football website featured the 49ers quarterback in a major way. King’s “MMQB” site was all about San Francisco’s QB on Tuesday.

In a fascinating look at the much discussed 49ers play-maker, Colin Kaepernick opened up to the longtime NFL scribe when the two spent time together in the offseason. Kaepernick surprised his high school football coach with a farewell speech at Pittman High School and King was there to document the experience.

King also touched on topics that Kaepernick has rarely discussed in the media. It’s a must-read for those looking to get a better understanding of the 49ers quarterback.

An interesting aspect of the interview focused on Kaepernick explaining why he wants to be himself at all times.

“I want to try to break that perfect football mold. I don’t want to be someone who can be put into a category,” the 49ers quarterback said. “I want to be my own person. I want my own style. I want to be someone who can’t really be compared to anybody.

“And I want to have a positive influence as much as I can. I’ve had people write me because of my tattoos. I’ve had people write me because of adoption. I’ve had people write me because they’re biracial. I’ve had people write me because their kids have heart defects—my mom had two boys who died of heart defects, which ultimately brought about my adoption. So, to me, the more people you can touch, the more people you can influence in a positive way or inspire, the better.”

More headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.
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Morning Tailgate: NFC West Outlook

Posted by Taylor Price on July 19, 2013 – 11:05 AM

The wait for 49ers football is almost over.

As of Friday morning, the rookies have reported for training camp. The veterans will make their way in town next week.

But before the grind of camp begins on Thursday, July 24, the biggest question surrounding all four teams in the NFC West was examined by Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.

For the 49ers, finding a No. 2 wideout to start opposite of Anquan Boldin stands as the biggest storyline to track according to the NFL scribe.

In addition to wide receiver, intense competitions are set to take place at nose tackle and free safety. Camp is right around the corner, but for now, previewing the depth of the various position groups seems to be the common thread in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Morning Tailgate: All About QBs

Posted by Taylor Price on July 17, 2013 – 9:38 AM

There’s a clear theme in today’s Morning Tailgate. Several articles about the quarterbacks on the San Francisco 49ers have been published in the last 24 hours and it’s our job to share those writeups

First, Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com examined Colin Kaepernick’s standing as one of the elite young quarterbacks in the National Football League and how the 49ers starting signal-caller’s prospects compare to some of the best young passers in the game today.

Kaepernick’s breakout season in 2012 is also up for a prestigious award. In fact, there’s only a few hours left to vote for Kaepernick to win a 2013 ESPY award.

Kaepernick enters training camp as the unquestioned starter, but the coveted backup quarterback roles have not been determined just yet.

More on the upcoming quarterback battles can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: 49ers Depth Chart Preview

Posted by Taylor Price on June 18, 2013 – 11:38 AM

The 49ers won’t reveal an official depth chart until preseason games begin in August, but Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee gave a preview of what San Francisco’s depth could look like when training camp begins.

Barrows placed fourth-year wideout Kyle Williams ahead of last year’s first-round pick A.J. Jenkins to start opposite of Anquan Boldin.

The wide receiver positions will certainly be evaluated closely all through camp. But for now, the speculation game will continue.

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

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MT: 49ers Minicamp Preview

Posted by Taylor Price on June 10, 2013 – 9:53 AM

Starting Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers 90-man roster will get together for three days this week for a mandatory minicamp. The three practice sessions will conclude the 2013 offseason program.

The mandatory minicamp will be open all three days for the media to learn more about the progress being made by the defending NFC Champs.

Numerous storylines will be examined.

In the passing game, the 49ers will look to identify emerging performers to showcase in 2013.

Which wide receiver is stepping up to start opposite of Anquan Boldin? Will Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald be utilized more in the passing game to account for the loss of Michael Crabtree?

How is Colin Kaepernick developing as the team’s full-time starting quarterback? Will Colt McCoy continue to solidify himself as the No. 2 signal-caller? How will Scott Tolzien and B.J. Daniels perform with their opportunities?

Then there are questions to be resolved with the team’s newcomers.

Which rookie has made the biggest leap in a short time this offseason? Will Eric Reid insert himself into the conversation to start Week 1? How is undrafted defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye performing in his first offseason playing football in his entire life?

Defensively, the 49ers appear to have less unresolved situations. But those questions will mostly be decided in training camp where physicality stands out. When the players put pads on, we’ll learn which member of the team deserves to start at nose tackle. We’ll also learn the pecking order for the team’s cornerback roles.

In the short term, the 49ers will hold three days of practice to get ready for training camp and showcase the improvements they’ve made through “Football School” workouts and Organized Team Activities.

We’ll watch it unfold and report back on 49ers.com.  Jim Harbaugh, plus coordinators Greg Roman and Vic Fangio, will all speak to the media this week. Several players will talk as well.

But until then, more 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Boldin Passes on White House Visit

Posted by Taylor Price on June 4, 2013 – 10:36 AM

Loyalty to the fullest.

Anquan Boldin is not visiting the White House this week with his former club, the Baltimore Ravens. Instead, the new 49ers wide receiver is sticking around in the Bay Area to finish out the final three sessions of OTAs.

Boldin explained through his verified Twitter account.

Young receivers on the roster like fourth-round pick Quinton Patton (pictured right) have learned a great deal from the 11-year veteran receiver already this offseason.

“Since Anquan Boldin’s been out here,”  Patton told 49ers.com, “he’s been helping me with my releases.”

The 49ers wideouts will continue to soak up knowledge with Boldin being a solid teammates and bypassing a trip to Washington D.C.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate and be sure to check back in the afternoon for OTA coverage on 49ers.com.

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Justin Smith ‘Indispensable’ on Defense

Posted by Taylor Price on June 3, 2013 – 9:45 AM

He’s absolutely essential to San Francisco’s overall success. Without Justin Smith in the lineup, it wouldn’t be the same 49ers defense. Smith leads by example, inspires teammates and dominates in the trenches.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle means that much to the 49ers defense, as noted by Adam Schein of NFL.com.

When compiling nine of the most indispensable players in the NFL today, San Francisco’s stout defensive tackle was placed at No. 4 on the list.

“Both NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, the best linebacker combination in the league, have told me Smith is the most important player on the Niners’ defense,” Schein wrote. “He’s tough. He’s clutch. He takes on blockers and frees up other players.

“Smith sets the tone in practice and in games. He’s the Energizer Bunny on one of the truly elite defenses in the league.”

Smith is on the mend this offseason. He hasn’t taken part in Organized Team Activities, but has been around to help out younger teammates on the defensive line. Currently, Smith’s working his way back from offseason triceps surgery. Smith, however, is back in the weight room getting himself ready for his 13th season.

In regards to the offensive side of the ball, Schein placed 49ers tight end Vernon Davis at No. 5 on the key offensive figures list.

Today’s Morning Tailgate features additional 49ers-related headlines and the latest on Levi’s® Stadium.

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MT: Kaepernick Among Top Young QBs

Posted by Taylor Price on May 30, 2013 – 9:11 AM

Colin Kaepernick ranked No. 3 on NFL.com’s Top-10 quarterbacks 25 or under list.

San Francisco’s signal-caller earned the nod over Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are presumably the top 2 selections.

Kaepernick earned the No. 3 spot because of his impressive 10 starts in 2012, including his impressive comeback rally that nearly earned the 49ers a victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

“Kaepernick makes difficult throws look so easy,” NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote. “Early mistakes did not stop Kaepernick from squeezing the ball into tight windows requiring his considerable arm strength. His outstanding overall performance got ignored because of how the game ended.”

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

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MT: Joe Staley Temporarily Sidelined

Posted by Taylor Price on May 29, 2013 – 11:25 AM

The 49ers starting left tackle was not practicing at Organized Team Activities on Tuesday. Joe Staley was in attendance, but not participating in the two-hour workout.

After the open OTA session, Jim Harbaugh informed reporters that Staley had a minor procedure done this offseason.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported it was a minor meniscus tear in Staley’s left knee.

Staley went to Twitter to alleviate any concerns from the team’s fan base.

“Procedure I had this offseason was very minor but necessary,” Staley wrote. “I will be 100 percent and better than ever by training camp.”

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

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