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Morning Tailgate: Nov. 9

Posted by Taylor Price on November 9, 2012 – 10:38 AM

Behind the scenes and on the gridiron itself, Randy Moss has endeared himself to teammates and coaches with the San Francisco 49ers.

The veteran wideout with a resume worthy of inclusion into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is coming off his best performance with his new team, a Week 8 effort on “Monday Night Football” that saw Moss level a Cardinals defensive back and score a 47-yard touchdown within span of four plays.

Moss’ hard-work in the run game was recently spotlighted by offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who had plenty of positive things to say about some of the guys on offense who are doing the dirty work behind the scenes, Moss included.

Truth be told, Moss has added value to the 49ers in the run game, not just the pass game. That aspect was covered in depth by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

“Moss has been only a small part of the 49ers’ success on the field. He has 13 catches – fifth on the team – for 235 yards and two touchdowns,” Barrows wrote. “He’s been the team’s third- or fourth-most used wide receiver, depending on the game. On many plays, he’s merely a decoy, lining up far wide of the formation and taking a cornerback and safety downfield with him as Alex Smith hands the ball to Frank Gore.

Barrows went on to write, “The fear heading into the season was that a disengaged Moss would be a disruptive Moss. That he hasn’t had a large role in the passing game, however, doesn’t mean he’s not plugged in. Along with everyone else – the media, opposing coaches, opposing linebackers – Moss appears to be rapt by the 49ers’ complex running attack.”

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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: 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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49ers Earn Mid-Season Accolades

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 6, 2012 – 2:50 PM

The 49ers are 6-2 atop the NFC West at the halfway point of the season, and are eager to get back between the lines on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. San Francisco has emerged as an NFL powerhouse once again behind Coach Jim Harbaugh and the talented roster assembled by general manager Trent Baalke and his staff.

Members of the media across the country have weighed in on the 2012 season through nine weeks and offered their mid-season awards. To no one’s surprise, the lists are littered with 49ers.

Third-year tackle Anthony Davis, in particular, has been recognized for his stellar season in the trenches, earning All-Pro honors from Sports Illustated’s Peter King and Pro Football Weekly. Davis has anchored the right side of the offensive line since being drafted No. 11 overall by the 49ers in the 2012 Draft, and has emerged as one of the game’s top talents in both run-blocking and pass protection.

“Entire Niners line playing well,” King wrote, “but Davis is one of the NFL’s most improved tackles.”

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49ers O-Line Wins Madden MVP Award

Posted by Alex Espinoza on October 10, 2012 – 10:12 AM

The San Francisco 49ers gained a franchise-record 621 yards as they cruised to a 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers’ offense became the first team in NFL history to amass over 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in a single game. The 49ers had two receivers who eclipsed 100 yards on the day.  Led by superb protection by the offensive line, quarterback Alex Smith (Utah) was not sacked and was hit three times as he threw for a season high 303 yards and three touchdowns.  Sunday’s solid performance establishes the San Francisco 49ers offensive line as a contender for the fourth annual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award.

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Morning Tailgate: Oct. 5

Posted by Alex Espinoza on October 5, 2012 – 11:17 AM

The 49ers roster is littered with playmakers. Team photographer Terrell Lloyd and Kym Fortina were in New York to capture the 34-0 shutout victory over the Jets and collaborated to make this great photo gallery. Don’t forget to check out their “Biggie Head” gallery from Green Bay either.

San Francisco has jumped out to a 3-1 start in the competitve NFC West, where Arizona (4-1), St. Louis (3-2) and Seattle (2-2) have .500 records or better. Much of the 49ers’ success has to do with their offensive line, which has developed a strong rapport in its four games as a unit. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com discusses the growth of the o-line and how they’ve improved since last year.

“Nobody is questioning the 49ers’ offensive line now,” Maiocco wrote. “In fact, the line might be the team’s strongest position on that side of the ball.”

Up next, the 49ers will have to try slow down Mario Williams and Buffalo’s defensive line, which is one of the best San Francisco will face all year. Tickets for Sunday’s 1:25 p.m. kickoff are still available through NFL Ticket Exchange. More stories about this weekend’s matchup can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 28

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 28, 2012 – 10:46 AM

The 49ers are about to wrap up their time in Ohio and that means no more Handel’s ice cream. The ice cream shop has been a hit with the 49ers — especially the team’s Pro Bowl specialists — given its location across the street from the team hotel in Boardman. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle stopped by for a scoop on Thursday night to see David Akers, Andy Lee and Brian Jennings. By the time he left, a few of the team’s linemen showed up.

Thursday’s practice session at Youngstown State University also featured a high-profile guest, University of Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean. Crean is Jim Harbaugh’s brother-in-law, and the two coaches already have a history together, as the 49ers coach served as an Indiana game manager at a Hoosiers game earlier this year. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com spoke to Crean about his observations from the 49ers practice at Stambaugh Stadium.

“Crean said he likes to watch defensive backs and offensive linemen in football, in particular, to develop ideas on how he can refine some of the drills for his basketball team,” Maiocco wrote. “He said he formulates ideas from watching defensive backs change direction and offensive linemen use leverage.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines about Week 4 Niner Talk guest Anthony Davis, the Hall of Fame, NFL referees and more.

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Niner Talk: 49ers-Jets Week 4

Posted by Taylor Price on September 28, 2012 – 7:34 AM

This year on 49ers.com’s Niner Talk podcast, we’ve spoken with Joe Staley, NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson – three well-known contributors to the recent success of the San Francisco 49ers.

In Week 4, we’ve found an unheralded guest who’s been earning a lot of praise in recent days. He also just so happens to be from the state of New Jersey, site of the team’s next road matchup against the New York Jets.

This week, it’s time to get to know starting right tackle Anthony Davis, who will return to his home state to play in front of friends and family. He’ll also be playing in front of Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who called Davis, “one of the premiere right tackles in the game.”

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 27

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 27, 2012 – 10:25 AM

The 49ers were back on the field Wednesday afternoon as they took over Stambaugh Stadium at Youngstown State University. Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the regular season practice debut of running back Brandon Jacobs, who has returned to the field on a limited basis for the first time since being injured in Week 3 of the preseason.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee observed the beginning of Wednesday’s practice session and said Jacobs looked like he was moving well.

“If Jacobs is fully healthy Sunday, he likely would be worked into games as a short-yardage runner,” Barrows wrote. “Through three games, only two running backs – Gore and Kendall Hunter – have carried the ball for the 49ers. Gore has 45 carries for 264 yards, and Hunter has 18 carries for 64 yards.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines about the rain-soaked practice, referees, Rex Ryan, Darrelle Revis and more.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 23

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 23, 2012 – 10:47 AM

Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are more than teammates. They’ve become fixtures on the 49ers offensive line since being drafted in 2010 and have formed a brotherly bond in their two-plus seasons in San Francisco.

Heading into 2012, Davis and Iupati are benefitting from their first true NFL offseason together. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com discussed the two young linemen and their high expectations for the season.

“This season,” Maiocco writes, “the 49ers fully expect to receive full dividends from Davis and Iupati as first-round picks because of the large amounts of mental and physical preparation time they’ve finally been allowed.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate also features headlines on Jim Harbaugh’s inspiring coaching style, the latest news from Training Camp presented by HP and more.

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