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Niner Talk: 49ers-Cardinals Week 8

Posted by Taylor Price on October 26, 2012 – 4:20 PM

Bruce Miller has been an active, yet almost forgotten, contributor to the success of the San Francisco 49ers’ second-ranked rushing attack.

The second-year fullback (who converted to his position after being an acclaimed college pass-rushing defensive lineman) continues to create rushing lanes for 49ers all-time leading rusher Frank Gore. In last week’s 13-6 win over Seattle, Miller helped Gore pick up 131 yards in a winning effort.

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Willie Mays Visits 49ers Facility

Posted by Taylor Price on October 4, 2012 – 9:49 AM

Back on Sept. 17, Jim Harbaugh revealed a personal anecdote to the Bay Area media. A day after his team had A-list Hollywood actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crashing the locker room celebration for the team’s Week 2 win over the Detroit Lions, Harbaugh made it known he was seeking other well-known visitors.

“Hopefully someday we can get Willie Mays here and Muhammad Ali,” Harbaugh said. “That would be big.”

Asked if a meeting was in the works, Harbaugh replied that he’d been working on arranging a visit from “The Say Hey Kid,” and added that he wanted to have a simple interaction with the San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame outfielder.

“I just want to go up to him and shake his hand and tell him that me and my dad think he’s the greatest baseball player in the history of the game,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all I really want to do. Someday I’ll be able to, hopefully.”

That someday turned out to be Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2012.

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Miller, Whitner Discuss Texans Matchup

Posted by Taylor Price on August 17, 2012 – 1:14 PM

Oh, what a difference a year can make. Bruce Miller can certainly attest.

The confidence and poise the 49ers fullback exudes these days is all directly related to his time in the team’s offseason program, training camp included.

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Morning Tailgate: June 1

Posted by Taylor Price on June 1, 2012 – 9:58 AM

Justin Smith’s run of under-the-radar dominance is slowly starting to fade.

With NFL writers taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of San Francisco’s All-Pro defensive tackle, it’s clear that Smith’s name will continued to be mentioned in greater detail throughout the 2012 season.

In the latest offering of praise, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah listed Smith atop his interior defensive linemen rankings because of his ability to play the run and the pass.

“Against the run, he is too physically strong to move off the line of scrimmage and quick enough to shoot gaps and wreak havoc in the backfield,” Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, wrote.

“As a pass rusher, he might have the best bull rush of any defensive lineman in the league. He constantly pushes the pocket and forces the QB off his spot. He was always a solid player in Cincinnati, but he has taken his game to new heights in San Francisco. In four years with the 49ers, he’s compiled 29 sacks and made each of the last three Pro Bowls.”

In addition to NFL writers acknowledging Smith’s presence on the field, teammates have shed light on Smith’s behavior off of it. In fact, several 49ers have called Smith the funniest player in the locker room.

This is what Michael Crabtree had to say in a 49ers.com live chat when asked to name his funniest teammate.

“Justin Smith,” Crabtree said. “You know when you go to a comedy show and they’re telling the truth? He’s like that. It’s better when the truth is funnier than jokes.”

Fullback Bruce Miller had a similar response in his chat earlier this offseason.

“The funniest person on the team by far is Justin Smith,” Miller, the second-year player said. “He might be one of the funniest persons I’ve ever met. He’s so clever.”

It’s doubtful opposing offensive linemen find Smith to be so humorous, they’re too busy finding ways to slow down his never-ending motor.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 26 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: May 25

Posted by Taylor Price on May 25, 2012 – 9:37 AM

On Mario Manningham’s 26th birthday, it seems like much of the Bay Area media’s recent attention has been on the San Francisco 49ers’ other top wideouts: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.

That’s fine with the quiet, unassuming former New York Giants wide receiver, who’s happy to stay out of the spotlight after joining the 49ers this offseason on a two-year deal.

Moss made headlines twice this week when Jenkins shared insight on the veteran receiver’s training tips, which includes an affinity for swimming after practices. The 14-year-veteran also was discussed when 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis told the media that the two have formed a bond from fishing outings with former San Jose Sharks All-Star Owen Nolan.

Crabtree’s improved health, according to quarterback Alex Smith, has been a big positive for the passing game’s development this offseason.

It’s a great development considering a recent post from Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle, who explained that Crabtree was one of the game’s best wideouts over the final 11 games of the 2011 regular season. Branch: “In the season’s final 11 games, Crabtree had 61 catches for 742 yards and four touchdowns, which would translate to 89 catches for 1,079 yards and six touchdowns over a 16-game season.

“During that stretch, Crabtree had more receptions than Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe and then-Dolphins wideout Brandon Marshall had in their final 11 games. He also had more yards than Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace and as many touchdowns as New England’s Wes Welker.”

More on the 49ers offense and the latest OTA headlines after the jump.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 40 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: May 3

Posted by Taylor Price on May 3, 2012 – 10:07 AM

San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman has gone from the No. 91 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft to the No. 85 ranking on the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2012.

“#85 gotta work harder,” Bowman tweeted last night after he was announced as the 85th best player in the game. “Thanks Niner Faithful for the support.”

In his first year as a starter, Bowman racked up a team-leading 173 tackles to go along with 2.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries and eight pass breakups. Bowman joined NFL Network following his selection, where he discussed his working relationship with All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis. Bowman said he felt they were the best linebacker duo in the NFL today.

Meanwhile, the 49ers linebackers were hard at work in Football School, the second phase of the team’s offseason program.  Willis, Bowman and a handful of defensive players took turns in the gauntlet drill. Willis said the linebackers joined in the drill because they don’t want to have any weaknesses in their game.

More team headlines can be found after the jump.

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Posted in Announcements | 23 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: March 23

Posted by Taylor Price on March 23, 2012 – 9:52 AM

Thursday, March 22, 2012, might go down as one of the busiest days in 49ers.com history.

Where do we begin.

First, there was the announcement of former New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham signing a two-year contract with the 49ers, complete with a reveal of the top of Manningham’s contract.

Then, we attended the 2012 Stanford Pro Day to see potential No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck perform in front of representatives from every NFL team. Luck even went out of his way to showcase the talents of his teammates who caught passes in his workout.

As soon as 49ers.com returned from Palo Alto, news broke out on two key free agency signings: we first reported wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. signing a one-year contract and later shared the news of quarterback Josh Johnson reuniting with his college coach Jim Harbaugh on a two-year contract.

And don’t forget about the team’s annual Celebrity Winter Fest. We sure didn’t. Scott Kegley filed his first report from Lake Tahoe where the team hopes to raise $1 million dollars at the team’s 12th annual charity event.

All that took place, and we profiled West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin in our “49 in 49” series.

Safe to say, it was a busy day.

And yet, there are still more 49ers-related headlines to check out after the jump.

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Posted in Announcements | 55 Comments »

Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Jan. 2

Posted by Taylor Price on January 2, 2012 – 2:35 PM

In the 49ers regular season finale Sunday in St. Louis, running back Kendall Hunter totaled a career-high 76 rushing yards among many contributions from the team’s rookie class.

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Posted in Announcements | 60 Comments »

Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Nov. 28

Posted by Taylor Price on November 28, 2011 – 3:32 PM

Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.

There’s no question by now, Jim Harbaugh keeps his cards close to the vest. But this Sunday, the 49ers coach will look to win out big in the form of clinching San Francisco’s first playoff berth since 2002 by defeating (or tying) the visiting St. Louis Rams. In fact, the 49ers could also clinch with a loss to the Rams, just as long as the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks both lose in Week 13.

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Posted in Announcements | 38 Comments »

Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Oct. 31

Posted by Taylor Price on October 31, 2011 – 2:59 PM

Bruce Miller has been in disguise for most of the 2011 season. It’s just funny how it’s seemingly come into focus on Halloween for that matter.

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Posted in Announcements | 35 Comments »

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