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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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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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Walsh’s Legacy Continues with 49ers

Posted by Taylor Price on July 30, 2011 – 11:34 AM

With Saturday, July 30, marking the four-year anniversary of the passing of legendary 49ers Hall of Fame Coach Bill Walsh, the 49ers would like to recognize the legendary coach’s legacy and lasting impact on the organization as training camp continues.

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‘We’ll just pick Jerry Rice’

Posted by Taylor Price on April 7, 2010 – 1:39 PM

Speaking on a conference call with national football writers on Wednesday, NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi answered a number of questions on the different draft scenarios for  NFL teams. Lombardi was a great source of information as he has spent over 22 years in the league working in various personnel departments. Of the five clubs he’s worked for, Lombardi spent time with the 49ers in the 80s working under legendary Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh.

Twenty minutes into the call, Lombardi shared this fascinating story in how Jerry Rice became the No. 16 overall selection in the 1985 NFL Draft:

“I was fortunate enough to be in the draft room when we selected (Jerry). Coach Walsh called me in his office about three months before the draft. Actually, back in November, we were playing the Houston Oilers in Houston and he called me to his hotel suite on the Saturday night before the game and I thought I was in trouble which wouldn’t be out of the norm. He called me in his room and said, ‘Who is this kid on the TV-set I’m watching? He’s incredible! Can you get me every tape on this guy? And I said, ‘Sure coach, that’s Jerry Rice. I’ll see what I can do.’

“And at this time, we were on 16-milimeter tape which was expensive and hard to find, especially for the smaller schools, they held on to those tapes like gold. So I went back to San Francisco, got three tapes and gave them to Coach Walsh. He watched them and I had to send them back out. It took a lot of nerve for me to ask him questions, my hands still sweat when I think of him. I said, ‘Coach, I have to send those tapes back out, would you mind if I get them off your desk? And he said, ‘Sure, go up and get them, you can send them out.’ So I went up there and he had a little note attached to them, and in his left-handed handwriting he had, ‘John Jefferson… with speed.’ That’s how he described Jerry Rice.

“When we got into the draft, we had plans to possibly select Eddie Brown. We thought he’d be the guy who would come to us. With Jerry, we moved up from 28 to 16. We traded our first, second and third-round picks to the New England Patriots and we ended up getting their first and third-round picks for that trade. When we got to 16 we thought we’d get at least one of the receivers and maybe we’d get Brown. Then, we were on the phone with the Cincinnati Bengals trying to work out a trade with them, and they decided to take Brown. Coach handed me the phone and said, ‘Don’t worry about it; we’ll just pick Jerry Rice.’

“What we had to do was sweat out the Kansas City Chiefs who were picking at 15, and they ended up picking Ethan Horton, the running back from North Carolina. Then we picked Jerry. We went out to practice that following week for our first minicamp and Dwight Clark came off the field and said, ‘Smooth and rich.’ Those were his comments and I think he’s been proven correct.”

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