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Saturday Update from 49ers HQ

Posted by Taylor Price on November 27, 2010 – 2:21 PM

In response to the NFL fining the Denver Broncos for a videotaping infraction that took place before the Oct. 31 game at Wembley Stadium, the 49ers released the following statement Saturday:

“The San Francisco 49ers organization is aware of the results of the league’s investigation involving the Denver Broncos. The situation has been addressed by the NFL, therefore, the team will not be commenting any further.”

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Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Nov. 15

Posted by Taylor Price on November 15, 2010 – 4:52 PM

“Well, as of right now, Smith will be the starter,” Mike Singletary said with a chuckle at the start of his Monday press conference. “We’re going to go with Troy.”

There’s pretty much all the talk you need to hear to understand the theme of Monday’s locker room availability. Troy Smith will be the 49ers starting quarterback this Sunday when the 49ers host the 6-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Sims: ‘It’s great to be back’

Posted by Taylor Price on March 23, 2010 – 2:55 PM

After signing a one-year deal on Tuesday, veteran tackle Barry Sims has returned to the 49ers for a third season. Sims was a hot commodity this offseason as reports had him being targeted by several NFL teams. But in the end, Sims felt home was where his heart was, and that’s with his teammates in San Francisco.

Following a nine-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, Sims crossed the Bay Area and found a home with the 49ers in 2008. The relationships built along the way were too hard for Sims to ignore. In the end, the chance for more playing time elsewhere couldn’t compete with the developing relationship Sims has in the Bay Area with his teammates.

“When you go away, it was a real eye-opening experience just to see that you have to re-establish relationships with everybody and I would really miss the guys here in San Francisco,” Sims said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “We have such a great group of guys, especially on the offensive line. I really look forward to working with those guys.”

Below you can read the highlights of Sims’ conference call with Bay Area reporters. You can also listen to the interview here.

On whether he sees himself in the swing tackle role that he had last season:
“Yes, I assume that would be the case, to provide depth and with my experience, be able to play both sides and really help the younger guys develop a little quicker.”

On the 49ers possibly using a first round pick on an offensive lineman:
“Well, I’ve always tried my best to guess in these situations of what’s going on, but I’m usually never right. If they do draft an offensive lineman, we would love to have him and I like working with the young guys and just try to mentor them a little bit like some of the older guys did for me when I first got into the league because it’s a lot different from college. To have someone who’s been there and done that to really take you in and show you how things work and how it’s supposed to go, it’s a fun role to have.”

On whether he was pleasantly surprised with his play after T Joe Staley went down with an injury:
“I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been a starter my whole career, so I didn’t have the big eyes. It wasn’t a concern from that standpoint, and as a backup, you really have to prepare yourself like you are going to play at any given time. In that case it just so happened, in the Indianapolis game, on the first play of the game. I was ready to go regardless of what happened. I think being a veteran and having that experience really helped me. I didn’t ever doubt myself at any point.”

On whether he’s gotten a feel for offensive line coach Mike Solari and how things might change from the past two seasons:
“I’ve talked to him a number of times on the phone and I met with him today. I really like the guy. I like his approach, working in the room with us as a line. I’m excited for where that goes. He’s got a great track record as an offensive line coach and has coached many good players. So, I’m excited to see that. Playing a new offensive line coach is not always easy, but sometimes when you play for guys that have been around a lot of great players, they bring a lot to the table just because of what they’ve seen. Maybe what they’ve taught or seen from somebody else that they can teach you that can take you to the next level. So I’m real excited about that.”

On whether they will be doing more zone blocking than they did under former offensive line coach Chris Foerster:
“That remains to be seen. I really don’t know to that extent. Today was the first time I met him in person. We still have a ways to go before training camp and before we get all our systems in place. You know never what’s going to happen as the offense goes, working with the guys to see what works best. It’s hard to say at this point.”

On whether it was a group meeting with the entire offensive line:
“Yes, I met with the whole offensive line. It’s great to be back in the room with those guys. It’s been a couple months since we’ve all been together so it’s always fun to get back into a routine working out and spending time with those guys.”

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Singletary Pleased With Offensive Balance

Posted by Taylor Price on December 15, 2009 – 3:06 PM

There was no locker room talk the day after the 49ers 24-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, only podium talk.

Players normally have Tuesdays off, and that meant an empty locker room following Singletary’s day after the game press conference.

But the 49ers head coach had plenty of quality notes and quotes to share with the gathered Bay Area media, including praise for his pass rush and his offense’s performance against Arizona.

Singletary began his presser by announcing the injuries suffered against the Cardinals. Running back Michael Robinson suffered a shoulder stinger in the game and is listed as day-to-day. Rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a hip contusion. Tackle Barry Sims will undergo an MRI after he complained of knee pain. Lastly, tackle Joe Staley remains day-to-day with a knee injury.

Staley worked out on Sunday, but Singletary said it was a “good idea to give him a little rest time.” Staley remains a day-to-day situation.

Singletary revealed that a point of the 49ers defensive game plan versus Arizona was to get Kurt Warner to move in the pocket. After sacking Warner four times, Singletary said the reason was due to the get-offs of the 49ers defensive line.

In particular, Singletary highlighted the performance of outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks who had a career-high 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles against Warner.

“It was nice to see Ahmad step into his own on a national stage,” Singletary said. “All the guys really got after the quarterback and made him move.”

Asked if Brooks could push for playing time as a starter at the outside linebacker position, Singletary responded, “Don’t know. That’s a next offseason question.”

Offensively, Singletary pointed to the balance established by the 49ers offense. Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes and Frank Gore rushed 25 times for 167 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run.

“I was happy to see our offense strike a balance,” Singletary said. “For the first time, we struck a nice balance with the run and the pass.”

Singletary was even happier to see a big smile on the face of his star running back.

“I thought Frank did a nice job running the ball. It was nice to see him smiling last night after the game.”

It was a perfect 50-50 split, with the 49ers running 36 times out of their 72 offensive snaps.

The only downside to the offense’s performance was two interceptions thrown by Smith. However, the first was not placed on Smith’s shoulders. Singletary credited Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett with making a great play at the line to tip the ball up in the air to himself. Smith’s second interception could be chalked up to “miscommunication,” Singletary said.

Smith thought tight end Delanie Walker would cut across the face of Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson, but instead ran up the field.

The 49ers hope to have those issues ironed out before they travel out to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in an important mid-December meeting this Sunday. The 49ers need help in order to pass the Cardinals in the division race, but also remain alive in the Wild Card race too.

Knowing that, the 49ers will give their best performance against the Eagles and let everything else play out.

“All I know is if we win out we have a chance. It’s a small chance, but we have a chance,” Singletary said. “I don’t really care about the other stuff, the tiebreakers. I don’t get into that. Let’s just see what happens.”

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49ers Reflect on Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Taylor Price on November 26, 2009 – 9:45 AM

Apparently the man known as “Samurai” Mike during his playing career isn’t very handy with a carving knife on Thanksgiving Day.

“I carve the turkey, I mess it up pretty much.” head coach Mike Singletary said with a smile when I asked him what his typical role was on the holiday. “My wife is still gracious enough to let me do it every year.”

Singletary enjoys helping out as much as possible, just as long as he’s able to spend quality time with his family.

“The biggest part is we just have a good time. It’s my day to serve and try to get my wife to sit down somewhere. That’s what that day is all about for me.”

The 49ers will hold practice on Thursday, but will have enough time in the day to spend time with family and friends. Singletary said in his Wednesday media session that the focus will remain the same while the players at team headquarters.

“We’ll just try and get everything done that we need to get done here in terms of keeping the focus on performing well this Sunday and trying to come away with a win. And at the same time, taking that day to enjoy your family, finding the balance between the two. That’s really it. I’m going to enjoy my family and encourage everybody else to do the same.”

Here’s what some of the players will be doing this year for Thanksgiving:

Wide Receiver Josh Morgan #84

-Plans for Turkey Day?

-“I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to one of these people’s houses and eating something. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m going to go to somebody’s house and eat some good food. Whoever calls me first, that’s where I’m at. Or from my position, I can pick and choose. I can go to one house and eat something, then go to another house and eat something different. I could go to about six houses and eat different meals! I know a lot of people who can cook, so I’m going where the food’s at!”

-Favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?

“My favorite food on thanksgiving is the turkey of course. I also love the stuffing and macaroni and cheese. I like all of that. I like food period.”

-Any Thanksgiving traditions?

“As a kid, we would play football all of the time on Thanksgiving. All my cousins were there. After we come in, they would wash all of us up. Then we would watch whatever football game was on. It usually was the Lions. We’d watch Barry Sanders go crazy on Thanksgiving. That was our ritual. Both Vernon Davis and I have played on Thanksgiving before. That’s when the high school football championship was in D.C. It’s called the Turkey Bowl. We won of course. I remind Vernon all of the time. He’s upset right now, because my school is in the Turkey Bowl again tomorrow and his school didn’t make it this year. He’s a little upset right now, but he’ll get over it.”

Center Cody Wallace #59

-What’s it like having your birthday on Thanksgiving Day?

“It’s cool. It’s happened a few times in the past. We’ve always been off for school, so I haven’t gotten to fully enjoy it.”

-What are your plans?

“Practice, then head over to my girlfriend’s house and spend time with the family. Then I get to meet all of them and hang out.”

-What do you do to help out?

“I don’t think they should let me be near the food when it’s getting prepared. I’ll wait until it’s all done.”

-What’s your favorite food?

“Just the turkey and the dressing. That’s the big thing every year and my favorite thing to eat.”

Cornerback Dre’ Bly #31

-What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?

“There are going to be a lot of guys in the “hot box” (sauna) on Friday and might be doing some extra cardio to try and burn off some of that extra fat that they gained from Thursday night.”

-What are your memories of playing on Thanksgiving while playing in Detroit?

“Normally on that Wednesday you want to eat as light as you possibly can going into a game. You don’t want to go into a game full. But after that game, it was on.”

- Favorite food on Thanksgiving?

“Everything. I always have my in-laws come in to town and help my wife cook. I pig out. I would probably say sweet potato pie. That’s my downfall. Banana pudding too.”

Tackle Barry Sims #65

-What’s the team’s mindset on Thursday?

“The plan is to get our work done obviously, that’s the most important thing. After that, we’ll get a chance to spend some time with our families and be thankful for what we have.”

-What are you thankful for?

“I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have to play football in the National Football League. To be healthy, there is a lot to be thankful for and too many things to mention. Those are the top of the list right there. I’m thankful that my wife is doing the cooking. But in our house, each person contributes in their own way. We’ve got certain people who run to the grocery store. We have helpers to help. Everybody’s going to contribute. It’s not just her cooking. But, she cooks a mean ‘bird and we’ve got a big one this year.”

-Do you carve the turkey?

“I’m not a carver. I have carved in the past, but I’m not very good at it. It’s not that fun for me. I worry about cutting my fingers off and I worry about sweating into the food. My role is to bring humor to the situation. I like to come in from a long day and tell everybody that I’ve been working while they’ve been doing nothing. We have fun and enjoy being together as a family. I enjoy having a nice sit down meal. There are only a couple times in the year when we can do that.”

Guard Chilo Rachal #62

-What are Plans for Thanksgiving?

“Just to spend time with my family; my son, my mother, and my father and to be appreciative for everything I’m thankful for.”

-What are you thankful for?

“My son. The opportunity to have this job that I love doing the most. Having time to spend with my family.”

-What’s your role on Thanksgiving?

“I’m the person who has to bring in the grocery bags from the car and into the house. I also take all of the trash out. I’ve got to be the handy man since I’m the big man.”

-How much food does an offensive lineman like yourself actually eat on Thanksgiving?

“I do some damage now. It depends on how I approach it. I start with a little bit, then come back with another little bit. Then I go full force, throttle in, goggles on and everything. I knock it down.”

Kicker Joe Nedney #6

-How do NFL players typically spend Thanksgiving?

“I’ve never spent Thanksgiving on the football field. I haven’t done that yet and it was kind of one of those little goals. My in-laws do an amazing, big, family spread. There’s the table that’s really long and one person’s on one side yelling for the salt and pepper and all that. All you see are hands and spoons and forks and all of that. There’s a lot of action, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. That’s Thanksgiving in my family now. It was given to me from my wife’s family. It’s a pretty amazing deal. My mother in-law takes any stragglers off the road; anybody who has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner and brings them to her house and cooks an amazing meal. It’s a lot of fun and there’s about four generations of people who are at the meal.”

-What is Joe Nedney doing to help out on Thanksgiving?

“There is a head of the table that the Patriarch sits at and I’m at the butt of the table. My job is to basically keep wine in people’s glasses. Sometimes I’ll go and do some dishes after. I’ll make sure if anybody needs any color commentary during the football games that are going on, I’ll provide some insight because kickers are so knowledgeable about that stuff. That’s my day. Eat a lot of food. Unbuckle the top button. You kind of fall unconscious for a while, and that’s it.”

-What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

“I love a well cooked Turkey obviously. I’m a big stuffing fan. One of the staples in my families Thanksgiving is ravioli. Ever since I’ve been married we’ve eaten ravioli’s for dinner and it’s become a holiday staple in the family. My daughter, whatever’s on the plate, she’s going to eat. My son sticks to the rolls and anything with cheese in it, then he’s happy.”

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Sims is Playing ‘Outstanding’ Football

Posted by Taylor Price on November 17, 2009 – 3:31 PM

Coach Singletary had a pretty direct answer in responding to a question regarding the play of Barry Sims.

“Outstanding. It’s a pleasant surprise,” the 49ers head coach said of the 11-year veteran who has filled in nicely at left tackle for injured tackle Joe Staley. “I think he’s done a great job. I’m really excited about what he has been able to bring to that position. I think he’s done a phenomenal job.”

Outstanding, check. Great, check. Phenomenal, you can check that too.

Definitely some high praise for Sims, who has given up just a half sack in two starts this season. Sims practically had three starts, considering that Staley was injured on the first play of the game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Sims’ experience (129 starts in 159 games) has been a big plus in helping the 49ers offense the past couple of weeks.

Upon learning that his coach had called Sims’ play ‘outstanding,’ quarterback Alex Smith agreed with his coach’s opinion.

 “I think just that, he stepped right in and hasn’t missed a beat. He has played really well,” Smith said of his fellow University of Utah alum. “That’s hard to do, come in and play left tackle in this league where you are getting matched up every week against big-time pass rushers; the way he’s played has been great. I don’t think twice back there, I trust those guys up front.”

The rest of the 49ers offensive linemen also have a lot of trust in Sims.

“He’s a salty vet, so he knows what it takes to be successful,” said left guard David Baas, the man who lines up directly next to Sims on the line. “That’s what we expected out of him and we’re glad he’s doing well. We trust each other a lot out there, so that’s a good thing.”

Teammates like tight end Delanie Walker said Sims’ experience is exactly what the 49ers offense needed when Staley went down.

“He’s been doing a great job of executing his assignments and he’s been communicating well with the tight ends on certain blocks that we have to accomplish,” Walker said. “He’s been doing a great job. He’s been a leader for us.”

Walker said one of his favorite things about playing with Sims is how the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman enjoys what he’s doing on the field.

“He’s the same guy; he doesn’t change on or off the field. I think that’s what makes him a great person,” Walker said. “He goes out there and does what he has to do. I like to see how he acts, I’ve seen him on the field smiling after a big play and I think when other players see that – it puts a smile on your face.”

Losing a player like Staley might have damaged the mindset of some teams, but the 49ers felt confident in Sims, knowing they had a player who has experienced practically everything a player could experience in the NFL.

“It’s tough replacing Joe, because Joe is a great tackle and a big part of this offense,” Walker said. “But I think Barry stepped in and has done a great job. We know he could do it because he had been doing it for a long time. Nobody doubted him, we knew he was going to step in and take care of the big shoes he had to fill.”

More Tuesday Notes:

-Singletary announced on Tuesday that rookie running back Glen Coffee will return this week after missing the Bears game with a concussion. Defensive tackle Demetric Evans will also return to action against Green Bay after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury.

-Other injury news: Takeo Spikes is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. If unable to play, linebacker Matt Wilhelm will step in as Spikes’ replacement. Only Staley (knee) and cornerback Nate Clements (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

-Singletary said that veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce would return to action this Sunday after missing the Bears game (ankle), but would be behind Josh Morgan, who will start opposite of Michael Crabtree against the Packers. The 49ers head coach was non-committal in naming Bruce as his No. 3 receiver, citing that the coaching staff would have to determine the usage of receivers based on the personnel package.

-Asked if having the weekend off was a good thing for his players, Singletary answered: “I think any time you have an extra day or two for guys to get their legs back underneath them, some of the pounding that they’ve taken, to heal and use it wisely, I think it can do nothing but help us.”

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Singletary and Teammates Applaud Franklin

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


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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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on November 2, 2009 – 4:14 PM


A day after a frustrating 18-14 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers pointed the blame at themselves for not being able to snap their two-game losing streak, which now stands at three games.

“It was a tough game,” head coach Mike Singletary said at his day after the game press conference. “It was one of those things where we did more than they did. Yesterday was a classic case of an immature team shooting itself in the foot.”

Singletary spoke of penalties and missed assignments that caused the 49ers to come up short, and his players agreed.

“We have the tools, we have the people, we just have to learn how to finish,” running back Frank Gore said.

Although it wasn’t the outcome he was looking for, Singletary felt his team did improve on Sunday by nearly defeating the undefeated Colts.

“We didn’t win yesterday, but we did get better,” he said.

In Singletary’s eyes, his players improved, despite suffering injuries to two key players, one on each side of the ball.

On the game’s very first offensive play, left tackle Joe Staley went down with a sprained knee. Staley underwent an MRI earlier today and the time table for his return will be announced by the team later. Staley was in good spirits in the locker room and was noticeably limping, but able to put weight on his leg.

Staley said it was the first knee injury of football career and the first significant playing time he’s missed since spraining an ankle as a college freshman.

Staley added that he was able to watch the play of his replacement Barry Sims and right tackle Adam Snyder throughout the game and offered tips to them as well.

“I thought Barry did a good job,” Staley said.

Sims, an 11-year NFL veteran with 127 regular season starts, was ready to go when his number was called after the game’s first offensive snap.

“I always draw from my experience,” Sims said of what helped him be ready. “As a backup you prepare yourself as a starter and I started my whole career. I’m aware of what it takes to be the starter. It was unfortunate that Joe went down as early as he did, but at the same time, it was good to be able to get into a rhythm at the beginning and then go from there.”

The 49ers other major injury news on Monday involved cornerback Nate Clements’ fractured right scapula.

“We will not put him on IR,” Singletary said. “If we’re in the playoffs, he deserves to play.”

Clements becomes the third 49ers player to fracture his shoulder this season.

In training camp wide receiver Brandon Jones suffered a fractured scapula and was back in five weeks. Tackle Tony Pashos also suffered the same injury against the Texans, but was placed on IR after.

With this injury, the 49ers expect Clements to be back in time for the end of the season and a possible playoff run.

Clements only has his focus on rehabbing his shoulder to get back on the field.

“I’m just going to focus everything on rehabbing and still staying in on what’s going on with the defense,” he said. “Right now, I have to focus on rehabbing and getting my arm stronger.”

More Monday Notes

-Singletary said a sprained shoulder to defensive tackle Demetric Evans was the only injury to come out of the Colts game, besides the injuries to Staley and Clements.

-Singletary said Tarell Brown will be fine in stepping in for Clements. Asked if Brown can handle those duties, Singletary responded, “Oh yeah, he’s ready.”

-Players on offense were asked about the state of the team’s offense and if going to a spread attack from the shotgun formation would help the team move the ball. Quarterback Alex Smith said answered it best: “I think you want to retain balance. I think you want to be physical, run the ball, as well as at times change the tempo, and spread it out a little bit and then go back to the run. I think those are the things you need to do to be a successful offense.”

-Along those lines, Singletary was asked if he supported the play-calling from offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, to which he responded: “I 150-percent back what he’s doing, absolutely. There’s not one iota that I’m wavering here or there, whatever. Jimmy knows there are some things going forward that he has to learn about our players, what they can and cannot do.”

smith-colts-blog-Singletary was also pleased with Smith’s play.

-“I thought Alex did very well. I was very pleased to see him make some throws. I was very excited and anticipated this game for him because I knew the rush was going to be coming at him. I knew that it was just a situation where he wasn’t going to sit back there and be comfortable and he got outside of the pocket a few times and he made some good decisions, made some really nice throws. Outside throws, up the field throws, post throws, I thought he made all the throws that he needed to make and he just needed to be more consistent. I thought he handled himself very well in pressure situations and I thought he did a good job.”

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49ers Make World Series Picks

Posted by Taylor Price on October 28, 2009 – 3:47 PM


There’s only so many times you can get asked the same question during an open locker room period. But I know our guys enjoy an occasional question out of left field.

Having said that, today I asked a question about left field, well sort of.

I asked a handful of guys who they were picking to win the World Series which kicks off tonight between the New York Yankees and the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

And for fun, I asked which players in the locker room would make up the best 49ers baseball team. The answers I got were somewhat surprising:

-“I would definitely have B. Jones [Brandon] as my center fielder,” cornerback Tarell Brown said of his wide receiver teammate, who was a one-time draft pick of the Yankees organization. “I would be a shortstop because I have good range. All the quarterbacks would be our pitchers.”

-“Put me at catcher, I swear I’d be a great catcher. I’d be amazing,” cornerback Marcus Hudson explained. “I’d cover the plate and nobody would steal on me. I would gun them out if they tried to steal on me!”

-“I think Arnaz [Battle] might be a second baseman because he has quick feet and quick hands,” Jones said of the players who would play beside him. “I see Alex [Smith] and our other quarterbacks as our pitchers. We’ll go with a three-man rotation. And on offense, our cleanup hitter would probably be big Mo, Moran Norris.”

-“I don’t know about that – I don’t think Mo has any bat speed!” Battle joked in response to Jones’ opinion.

-“I think Justin Smith would be our first baseman. He seems like he’d be a power hitter,” long snapper Brian Jennings said.

-“Ooh, that’s a pretty good question! I don’t know if Justin could be our first baseman though. He’s a slugger, maybe a DH,” Shawntae Spencer said. “I’m not putting him on the field. I’d put guys with really good ball skills in my infield. Dre’ Bly, Nate Clements they both have good ball skills, the receivers do too.

-“Then, I would go with the coordinators as our bench coaches, because they are good with hand signals. Our base coaches could be special teams coordinator Al Everest and secondary coach Vance Joseph because they send in signals too.”

-“I would be a pitcher, because I’d want to throw the ball. In football I love hitting people and in baseball if I was mad at someone – I could throw the ball at them,” defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga joked.

Here are some of the picks from the 49ers locker room, note that only one player [Spencer] chose the defending champs:

Josh Morgan: Yankees in five games.

“I think it’s the Yankees year.”

Tarell Brown: Yankees in five games.

“Really to be honest with you, it doesn’t mean a whole lot that the Phillies won it all last year. At the end of the day the Yankees are playing great baseball and they have solid pitching. Really, that’s what it’s going to come down to – pitching. Pitching and defense. The Yankees have always been a great offensive team, but their pitching is amazing this year. I’ve been a Yankees fan forever though….”

Shawntae Spencer: Phillies in six games.

“I don’t really like either one of these teams. If the Pirates aren’t in it – I don’t really care! But I guess I got a little bit of love for Philly, but then again, I don’t want them to win because if they do I won’t see the end of it. I have a lot of friends from Philadelphia, so I don’t really want to hear that. I’m just going to watch as a fan. I think it’s going to be a great series, I’ll take the Phillies, since nobody else has.”

Brandon Jones: Yankees in six games.

“You have to figure the Phillies can get a couple of games. They can hit. And, they might even wear Andy Pettitte out in game three. C.C. [Sabathia] might have to come back on short rest and get another win for them. It might go to six, if that happens.”

Barry Sims: Yankees in six games.

“A-Rod is hitting this year and they’re getting good pitching – I think it’s their year.”

Brian Jennings: Yankees in six games.

“If I played baseball I’d for sure want to play for the Yankees.”

Isaac Sopoaga: Yankees in six games.

“I want it to be less games, but I think it would be more exciting if it goes to six or seven games. Then, you’d have more games to watch on TV.”

Andy Lee: Yankees in six games.

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49ers Gear Up For Dallas

Posted by Taylor Price on August 28, 2009 – 1:19 PM


Head coach Mike Singletary made two important announcements on Friday, right before his team boarded a plane for Dallas.

One, Shaun Hill will start against the Cowboys this Saturday night. And two, tackle Marvel Smith will not travel with the team due to personal reasons.

Singletary added that Hill’s playing time has not been determined. “He’ll start the game and we’ll go from there,” Singletary said.

Veteran tackle Barry Sims will get the start in place of Smith and Adam Snyder, as the team’s two top right tackles on the depth chart are both unavailable. Snyder will be resting a knee injury he sustained against the Oakland Raiders.
Singletary said he doesn’t know how long his starters on both sides of the ball will play. He said the coaches will see how the game is going then they’ll make playing time decisions from there.

With this being the 49ers third preseason game, Singletary wants to see his players “continue to make steps.”

Making this game even more crucial is how backups will be making their final push for roster spots. But the same thing can be said for the entire team.

“For the guys that are on the edge every game is very important, every snap is,” Hill said. “That doesn’t just go for them, that goes for everybody. It’s a very important game for everyone on this team. For the guys that are going to be starting, we need to establish a tempo, do some good things, and get some confidence. As far as the backups are concerned, this is a huge opportunity for them.”

Patrick Willis said the chance for backups to compete against a talented team like the Cowboys would only be beneficial to everyone in the long run.

“I think it’s very big,” Willis said.  “To go out there and have a good game against a good-caliber team like the Cowboys, it means a lot across the board from the ones to the twos. Coach [Mike Singletary] will say all the time, ‘We don’t have backups. We have guys who come in and when they’re in there, they’re starters at that point in time.’ So, it’s going to be really big across the board.”

Rookie Waiters

It’s hard enough to prepare yourself for your first preseason road game in the NFL when you’re a rookie. But when veteran players are demanding you buy them food for the plane ride, life can become a lot more difficult.

Tackle Alex Boone is getting to learn what rookie life in the NFL is all about.

Alex Boone found himself in that situation after Friday’s “mock game” practice. As soon as the players trotted off the practice fields, Boone began fielding lunch orders from all the offensive linemen.

After ordering six pizzas and 12 sandwiches, Boone was relieved to get his order in.

“My pizza order was ridiculous,” Boone said. “I’m excited though, I got a medium pizza.”

Boone said he wasn’t irritated that he had to order pizza. “I guess that’s what rookies have to do,” he said.

Rather, he was annoyed with the pizza parlor’s manager.

“The guy seemed so flustered he kept telling me to, ‘Slow down, slow down!’” Boone said. “I kept telling him he had to hurry with my order because if the delivery was late, my teammates would be so mad at me.”

But Boone got his order in and now it’s time for him to get a lot of playing time against the Cowboys, which is an opportunity he’s relishing.

“I’m not at all nervous or excited about this game; I’m just going to do what I do best and have some fun with it.”

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