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49ers Fan Forum Recap

Posted by Taylor Price on February 16, 2011 – 12:28 PM

February is a crucial month on the NFL calendar. Coaches and scouts are preparing like mad men to get their draft boards ready, all while analyzing their own roster and how it compares to 31 other teams. And with the 49ers ushering in a new head coach and a recently promoted general manager, there’s plenty of work to be done around the facility.

But that didn’t stop Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke from taking time to speak directly to the fans last night. The new coach and GM fielded an hour’s worth of questions (from 4,000 submissions) as part of the team’s latest Fan Forum.

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Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Aug. 30

Posted by Taylor Price on August 30, 2010 – 4:51 PM

Back in OTAs, Mike Singletary said the final players to make his 53-man roster would be the ones who contribute the most on special teams.

On Monday, the 49ers head coach reiterated those intentions days after his team put its best special teams performance together in a 28-24 win over the Oakland Raiders.

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Faithful Vote: Best Sack of 2009

Posted by Taylor Price on January 26, 2010 – 11:57 AM

February 2, 2010 Update:

Congratulations to Justin Smith who won with 40% of the vote. Ahmad Brooks finished a close second with 38% of the vote. Aubrayo Franklin (12%) and Parys Haralson (9%) rounded out the top four sacks of the season in the polls.

                     
This week’s 49ers.com poll asks our Faithful fans to decide which sack was the best in 2009.

The 49ers totaled 44 sacks this past season, tied for third most in the NFL and tied for second most in the NFC. It was the best sack totals the team has posted since 1998 in which they racked up 51.

Picking the top four sacks was no easy task.

Manny Lawson led the team with 6.5 sacks and 13 other 49ers registered at least one sack in 2009. But without further delay, let’s take a look at your choices for best 49ers sack of 2009.

Our first nominee is matchup nightmare Justin Smith’s game-ending sack of Kurt Warner.

Smith out-worked and dominated the Arizona Cardinals offensive line in the 49ers Week 1 road victory over the division champs. The defensive tackle totaled an amazing 13 quarterback pressures and nine hits on Kurt Warner.

Smith hit Warner so many times, I’m not even sure this is the picture of the sack that closed Arizona’s chances for a comeback in the season opener. But it just might be the image of Smith sacking Warner with less than 10 seconds at midfield.

The man referred to as “Cowboy” inside the 49ers locker room, lassoed Warner and through him to the ground in a decisive manner. It was the perfect exclamation mark to a solid win.

Our next hopeful is last week’s 49ers.com poll winner, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin.

Franklin gets the nod this week for his sack of four-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning. Franklin was one three 49ers to take down the never-sacked signal caller. Manning was only brought down 13 times during the regular season.

Franklin’s sack was impressive on a number of fronts. It showed all the tools that gave him a breakout season in 2009. First, he beat a double team of center Jeff Saturday and left guard Ryan Lilja to get to Manning which demonstrated Franklin’s non-stop motor. It also displayed his amazing hands as he swatted away Lilja’s block and broke through the two blockers to get to Manning.

Franklin picked up honors for best interception in 2009, will he get another award for best sack? It’s up to you to make the call.

Our third nominee is more of a group nominee, but really since one of the primary participants was already nominated (Smith), outside linebacker Parys Haralson will get the call as our third choice.

Out of the 49ers six sacks against David Garrard and the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 29, Haralson’s was easily the most memorable, and perhaps the most violent.

On the first play of the fourth quarter with the 49ers leading 20-3, Haralson made sure those numbers remained as the final score with a devastating sack on Garrard with the help of some friends.

Jaguars rookie left tackle Eugene Monroe decided it would be better to leave Haralson unblocked even though he was lined up directly across from him. Instead of disrupting Haralson’s route to his quarterback, Monroe looked outwards to kick out 5-10, 188-pound cornerback Dre’ Bly.

From there, Haralson corralled Garrard by the shoulder pads until Smith came over to finish the play off, knocking the ball out in the process. Defensive tackle Ray McDonald rallied to the ball and fell right on top, giving possession and momentum back to the 49ers.

Our final nominee is another outside linebacker, Ahmad Brooks, who also turned in another sack-forced fumble play.

One of Brooks’ three sacks of Warner on “Monday Night Football” took the air right from under the Cardinals’ wings.

Brooks’ performance added to the 49ers 27 sacks in the final eight games of the season which led the NFL.

The outside linebacker was also a matchup nightmare for all of Arizona’s tackles, especially left tackle Wayne Gandy.

The athletic edge rusher closed out the first half with a sack and forced fumble on Warner that silenced Arizona’s comeback bid. He did it in style by blowing past Gandy and knocking the ball out of Warner’s right arm at the top of the pocket. Smith again was involved in another one of our nominees, as he recovered the fumble.

The turnover enabled the 49ers to keep their 17-point lead intact as they head into the locker rooms for halftime. They went on to keep that lead and finish the season sweep of the Cardinals.

You can vote as many times as you’d like all week long by finding the poll on the bottom left corner of the 49ers.com home page. The winner will be announced next Monday, along with a new “Faithful Vote” for 49ers fans to debate on.


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Faithful Vote: Best Interception of 2009

Posted by Taylor Price on January 19, 2010 – 1:11 PM

January 26 Update:Congratulations to Aubrayo Franklin who won with 33% of the vote.

With 40 percent of the vote, Frank Gore ran away with last week’s “Faithful Vote” for the 49ers Best Touchdown of 2009.

But a new week opens up a new competition and a new fan poll on 49ers.com: Best Interception of 2009.

Just like with TV49’s touchdown nomination video, you can check out the top interceptions in this TV49 clip.

The 49ers had 18 interceptions in 2009, but after careful thought, we trimmed it down to the best four. Here’s a closer look at the finalists for this year’s best interception.

Our first nominee is the biggest. Not necessarily by reputation, but by stature. At 6-foot-1, 317-pounds, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin was easily the largest competitor in this category.

He was also the only 49ers defensive linemen to intercept a pass this season.

Franklin’s takeaway was crucial for a number of reasons. First, it was at an important early stage of the 49ers Thursday night primetime home matchup against the Chicago Bears on the NFL Network. The game was scoreless just under the 10-minute mark of the second quarter.

Second, the interception happened at the 49ers goal line with the Bears needing more than a yard to score on third and goal.

With Chicago lined up in a goal line formation with multiple tight ends it appeared as if the Bears were content to try and pound the ball for the game’s first points. But that wasn’t quite the case.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler sold a play-fake to running back Matt Forte and then tried to find tight end Kellen Davis.

But instead he threw it to Franklin.

The nose tackle was blocked initially but scraped down the line where he found himself in perfect position to disrupt Cutler. Franklin read the play and put his hands up to block the ball, but somehow he plucked ball out of the air. Even more impressive than the interception from close range, was Franklin’s 11-yard return after.

Second on the list of nominees is strong safety Michael Lewis for his interception in the same game.

Lewis’ interception put a capper on the 49ers five-interception performance against Cutler and the Bears. It also literally ended the game.

With eight seconds on the clock and the Bears in need of 12 yards to give them the win (trailing 10-6 at the time) Cutler was again trying to force a pass to a tight end, this time it was to his starter, Greg Olsen.

But his pass did not have enough air under it and Lewis stepped right in front of the line drive intended for Olsen. By the time Lewis’ knee went to the ground in his own end zone, the game was over.

Our third interception nominee comes from first-year starter, free safety Dashon Goldson.

Goldson gave us the most interceptions to choose from, as he led the 49ers with four.

As for which one we selected as a finalist, Goldson’s game-changing interception against the Arizona Cardinals on “Monday Night Football” was certainly a worthy choice.

With the Cardinals needing 20 yards on second down, Goldson showed some serious play-making ability. Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner locked on to Steve Breaston one of his four wide receivers out in the play and Goldson immediately recognized it.

Not only did Goldson out-leap Breaston for the ball down the right sideline, he stepped in front of one of his teammates too. Cornerback Tarell Brown was also in position to make a play on the ball, but Goldson came instantly in the picture and took the ball right out of the air. After the play was over, Goldson (pictured above) celebrated in style.

It was key considering that the score was 10-0 late in the second quarter and Arizona was in need of points to stay in the game. The 49ers went on to win 24-9, clinching a season sweep of their division rivals.

Goldson finished the game with two forced fumbles to go along with his interception.

Our final candidate is quite familiar, mainly because he was nominated in our last category.

Patrick Willis’ interception against the St. Louis Rams was the only interception to be returned for a touchdown.

It was Willis’ second consecutive season with a pick-6, as he silenced the St. Louis Rams with a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown.

With the Rams facing a third-and-eight from their 20, Willis ended any hope for a Rams comeback with an amazing defensive play which showcased all of his physical tools. St. Louis came out in a shotgun formation with four receivers, but ultimately Boller found a receiver from the wrong team.

Pressure from outside linebacker Manny Lawson combined with great downfield coverage caused Boller to roll to his right and then errantly throw back across his body towards the middle of the field. Boller’s pass was intended for wide receiver Keenan Burton, but it found its way in Willis’ arms, who reached to his right and plucked the ball out of the air.

Willis slightly bobbled the interception initially, but his focus allowed him to take the ball untouched for the 49ers first defensive touchdown of the season. It also put an exclamation mark on the defense’s only shutout of 2009.

You can vote as many times as you’d like all week long by finding the poll on the bottom left corner of the 49ers.com home page. The winner will be announced next Monday, along with a new “Faithful Vote” for 49ers fans to debate on.


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 15

Posted by Taylor Price on December 16, 2009 – 3:53 PM

Pro Bowl balloting is open so make sure you go to nfl.com/probowl to send you favorite 49ers to South Florida.  For the first time since 1980, the Pro Bowl is being held somewhere other than Hawaii.

Several players are having great seasons such as Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis and Aubrayo Franklin, but don’t forget to vote for special teamers like Andy Lee and Michael Robinson.  You can vote as many times as you want, so make sure to vote often!  Here’s a look at what some of the 49ers standouts have done so far:

TE VERNON DAVIS - Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 66 catches for 815 yards and 11 TDs. His 11 TD receptions rank 1st in the NFL among all pass catchers and are the most by a 49ers tight end in a single-season in franchise history. He ranks 1st among NFC TE’s in yards. and tied for 3rd in receptions.

-“There should be no excuse for him not making the Pro Bowl this year because he is definitely, in my eyes, far and beyond any tight end in the league,” – 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary, 11/30/09.

LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers in tackles to go along with 4.0 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 3 FFs and 11 PDs. According to NFL stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (132).

P ANDY LEE - Lee leads the NFC and ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.5 net punting avg. and 47.8 gross punting avg.

LB MANNY LAWSON- Lawson ranks 4th in the NFC among LBs with 5.5 sacks, while his 3 FFs rank tied for 2nd in the NFC among LBs.

NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN - Franklin leads the D-Line with in tackles and TFLs. He recorded a crucial INT against Chi. (11/12) and has a career high 2 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.7 yards per carry (3rd in NFL) and the 5th-fewest rushing yards per game (95.0).

RB FRANK GORE
- Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for835 yards and 7 TDs, while ranking tied for 2nd in the NFC in scoring among running backs (60 points).


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 14

Posted by Taylor Price on December 8, 2009 – 4:34 PM

Pro Bowl balloting is open so make sure you go to nfl.com/probowl to send you favorite 49ers to South Florida.  For the first time since 1980, the Pro Bowl is being held somewhere other than Hawaii.

Several players are having great seasons such as Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis and Aubrayo Franklin, but don’t forget to vote for special teamers like Andy Lee and Michael Robinson.  You can vote as many times as you want, so make sure to vote often!  Here’s a look at what some of the 49ers standouts have done so far:

TE VERNON DAVIS
- Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 63 catches for 781 yards and 10 TDs. His 10 TD receptions rank 1st among NFL TE’s, tied for 1st in the NFL among all pass catchers and are the most by a 49ers tight end in a single-season in franchise history. He ranks 1st among NFC TE’s in yards and tied for 2nd in receptions.

There should be no excuse for him not making the Pro Bowl this year because he is definitely, in my eyes, far and beyond any tight end in the league,” – 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary, 11/30/09.

LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers with 136 tackles to go along with 3.0 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 2 FFs, 9 TFLs and 11 PDs. According to NFL stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (123).

P ANDY LEE
- Lee leads the NFC and ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.8 net punting avg. and 48.3 gross punting avg.

LB MANNY LAWSON
- Lawson ranks 3rd in the NFC among LBs with 5.5 sacks, while his 3 FFs rank tied for 2nd in the NFC among LBs.

NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN
- Franklin leads the D-Line with 68 tackles and 7.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial INT against Chi. (11/12) and has a career-high 2 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.6 yards per carry (4th in NFL) and the 5th-fewest rushing yards per game (95.8).

RB FRANK GORE
- Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 668 yards and 6 TDs, while ranking tied for 3rd in the NFC in scoring among running backs (54 points).


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 13

Posted by Taylor Price on December 3, 2009 – 3:21 PM

Pro Bowl balloting is open so make sure you go to nfl.com/probowl to send you favorite 49ers to South Florida.  For the first time since 1980, the Pro Bowl is being held somewhere other than Hawaii.

Several players are having great seasons such as Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis and Aubrayo Franklin, but don’t forget to vote for special teamers like Andy Lee and Michael Robinson.  You can vote as many times as you want, so make sure to vote often!  Here’s a look at what some of the 49ers standouts have done so far:

TE VERNON DAVIS – Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 57 catches for 670 yards and 9 TDs. His 9 TD receptions rank 1st among TE’s and tied for 1st in the NFL among all pass catchers. He ranks 1st among NFC TE’s in yards and is tied for 2nd in receptions.

“There should be no excuse for him not making the Pro Bowl this year because he is definitely, in my eyes, far and beyond any tight end in the league,” – 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary, 11/30/09.

LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers with 120 tackles to go along with 3.0 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 2 FFs, 7 TFLs and 11 PDs. According to NFL stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (107).

RB FRANK GORE
- Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 643 yards and 6 TDs, while ranking tied for 3rd in the NFL in scoring among running backs (54 points). Gore is 2nd on the team with 36 catches (234 yards and 3 TDs).

P ANDY LEE - Lee ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.6 net punting avg. and 48.1 gross punting avg. (48.1). He is tied for 4th in the NFC with 20 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN - Franklin leads the D-Line with 65 tackles and 7.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial INT against Chi. (11/12) and has a career-high 2 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.6 yards.


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 12

Posted by Taylor Price on November 24, 2009 – 4:56 PM

The 49ers players need your support to get to the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  Here’s a recap of what some of the 49ers top Pro Bowl candidates have done through the first eleven weeks of the season.  You can vote as many times as you like at nfl.com/probowl.

TE Vernon Davis - Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 51 catches for 601 yards and 8 touchdowns. His 8 touchdown receptions rank 1st among tight ends and is tied for 2nd in the NFL among all pass catchers. He ranks 1st among NFC tight ends in yards and 3rd in receptions.

LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers with 107 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 2 FFs, 6 TFLs and 10 PDs. According to league stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (96).

RB FRANK GORE - Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 610 yards and 6 TDs (tied for 4th in NFC), while ranking tied for 2nd in the NFC with 5.4 yards per carry. Gore ranks 3rd on the team with 29 catches (220 yards. and 2 TDs).

P ANDY LEE
- Lee ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 42.0 net punting avg., 2nd in the NFL in gross punt avg. (47.9) and tied for 7th in the NFL with 19 punts downed inside the 20-yd. line.

NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN
- Franklin leads the defensive line with 60 tackles and 6.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial INT against Chi. (11/12) and has set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.5 yards per carry (3rd in NFL) and the 6th-fewest rushing yards per game (94.7).

RB MICHAEL ROBINSON - Robinson ranks 4th on the team in special teams tackles (16) and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 11

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 18, 2009 – 3:18 PM

The 49ers players need your support to get to the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  Here’s a recap of what some of the 49ers top Pro Bowl candidates have done through the first ten weeks of the season.  You can vote as many times as you like at nfl.com/probowl.

TE Vernon Davis: Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 45 catches for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns. His 7 TD catches rank 1st among tight ends and tied for 3rd in the NFL among receivers. He ranks 3rd among NFC tight ends in both yards and receptions.

LB Patrick Willis: Willis leads the 49ers with 98 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 returned for TD), 2 forced fumbles, 6 TFLs and 9 PDs. According to league stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (88).

RB Frank Gore: Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 551 yards and 6 touchdowns (tied for 4th in NFC), while also leading the NFC with 5.2 yds. per carry. Gore ranks 2nd on the team with 26 catches (211 yds. and 1 TD).

P Andy Lee: Lee ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.7 net punting avg. He also ranks 3rd in the NFL in gross punt avg. (47.6) and tied for 5th in the NFL with 19 punts downed inside the 20-yd. line.

NT Aubrayo Franklin: Franklin leads the defensive line with 56 tackles and 6.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial interception against Chicago (11/12) and has set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.3 yds. per carry (1st in NFL) and the 3rd-fewest rushing yards per game (87.7).

RB Michael Robinson: Robinson ranks 2nd on the team in special teams tackles (16) and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.


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Singletary and Teammates Applaud Franklin

Posted by Taylor Price on November 13, 2009 – 3:35 PM

111309-singletary-header

A day after beating the Chicago Bears 10-6 at Candlestick Park, Mike Singletary said nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin has been his most consistent player this season.

That’s certainly high praise, considering the player who lines up behind Franklin is two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Patrick Willis. But Singletary meant what he said in complementing the play of his nose tackle, who took points off the score board by intercepting Jay Cutler at the Bears 1-yard line.

Known in the locker room for being one of the best dressed players on the team, Franklin became a new kind of trendsetter by becoming the first of five different players to intercept Cutler last night.

“It was fun,” Franklin said of his first-career interception. “But I’m just glad they didn’t get in the end zone.”

Franklin was asked if defensive lineman such as himself imagined scenarios where they intercept a pass and the 6-foot-1, 317-pound nose tackle admitted such things were in fact true.

111309-franklin-sub“I think anybody does on the defensive line,” Franklin revealed. “We’re the guys who rarely get our hands on the ball; we’re trying to knock the ball down. Fortunately, God blessed me to get a pick and I held on to it.”

It was Franklin’s first interception since his high school days at Science Hill High in Johnson City, Tennessee. Back then Franklin was an all-state linebacker who recorded 180 tackles as a senior. Franklin said he would send the ball back home to his mother, Chantini Carter who lives back in Tennessee.

Franklin received even more praise from teammate Jeff Ulrbich who was recently placed on injured reserve. Ulbrich, who remains around the team in a daily basis, interrupted Franklin’s media session to openly share his thoughts on one of the 49ers most underrated players.

“I’m putting this out there right now, anybody that doesn’t recognize that he is one of the top-3 nose tackles in the game right now, doesn’t know anything about football. You know nothing and you shouldn’t be writing,” said Ulbrich as he put his right hand on Franklin’s shoulder.

Ulbrich was asked if Franklin should be in the Pro Bowl this year, to which the 10-year veteran said, “He should, without a doubt.”

More Monday Notes

-After having their longest injury list after the Tennessee game, the 49ers have a shorter injury list following last night’s game. The injury list is: Michael Lewis (stinger), Arnaz Battle (quad), Mark Roman (knee), Adam Snyder (AC sprain), Takeo Spikes (hamstring) and Isaac Bruce (ankle).
-Out of the names mentioned above, all figure to be active for the 49ers next game against the Green Bay Packers. Singletary added that the team will need to monitor Spikes on a day-to-day basis.

-Singletary made a decision in regards to the starting wide receivers for the duration of the season. Josh Morgan will remain in the starting lineup when Bruce regains full strength in his ankle. But Singletary reiterated that Bruce will remain a factor in the offense and will see plenty of playing time.

-One are of concern to Singletary was the kicking game. Joe Nedney missed a 39-yard field goal which could have been a useful three points given the close circumstances at the end of the game. Singletary also said that wind played a factor in him not letting Nedney attempt a 50-plus-yard field goal on the 49ers final possession. Singletary elected to let punter Andy Lee pin the Bears inside the 10-yard line, but Lee was unable to do so. “We have to make those kicks,” Singletary said.

- Singletary was pleased overall with his defense and how they were able to execute the game plan for the Chicago game. “I thought our defense did what we focused on which was creating turnovers,” he said. But Singletary found areas for improvement after watching the game again last night. “We have to continue to work on our tackling on the perimeter,” he added. “We have to continue to keep working at that.”

-In addition to Franklin and others on his defense, Singletary singled out linebacker Matt Wilhelm who filled in nicely for Spikes. “Matt has experience and that helps tremendously.” Wilhelm finished the game five tackles, one of which went behind the line of scrimmage.

111309-smith-sub-A day after he completed two impromptu shovel passes for big gains, Alex Smith said he too found himself asking himself why he was doing it too. “Those things seem to come in spurts like that. You don’t get them, then you do two or three of them and you even ask yourself the same question, ‘Why am I doing it?’ It just kind of happens when you’re playing in the game, you’re not thinking, you’re just reacting. And sometimes it’s just a quicker way to get the ball out. You can’ always set up and have a form throw so it’s easier sometimes just to shove it to the guy.

-Smith praised backup running back Michael Robinson, who converted two first downs on the 49ers final offensive drive. “It was huge, especially when you’re trying to run down the clock,” Smith said. “We had the lead and it was important for us to change field position and take as much time off the clock as we could. To get those third down conversions to eat up quite a bit of that clock… in the end, those are things that help you win the game.”

-The maligned 49ers offensive line put together a solid performance, helping Frank Gore surpass the 100-yard mark for the 17th time in his career.

-“I think as the game went on we got better,” left tackle Barry Sims said. “It would have been nice to finish some drives off, we moved the ball well at times, but we needed to finish drives better than we did and give our defense a better chance where they do not have to win it on the last play of the game.”

-Sims, an avid golfer, will not step foot on a golf course this weekend with the 49ers having the weekend off. “I’m just going to relax, keep my body fresh and get ready for Green Bay,” he said.


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