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MT: Bowman Hosts Football Camp

Posted by Taylor Price on July 1, 2013 – 9:34 AM

All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman hosted his first annual football camp last week. He also did it with a little help from his friends.

San Francisco 49ers teammates Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis and Anthony Dixon all joined Bowman to teach football fundamentals to children in Bowman’s hometown of District Heights, Md.

Bowman shared photos and videos from the event on his social media accounts.

Today’s Morning Tailgate features some of the top 49ers-related headlines to close out the month of June.

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MT: The Colin Kaepernick Experience

Posted by Taylor Price on June 19, 2013 – 9:44 AM

Colin Kaepernick’s name and face continue to pop up leading up to the 2013 NFL season. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is arguably one of the league’s breakout stars leading up to the coming season.

ESPN the Magazine placed Kaepernick on their annual fantasy football issue. The magazine also shared an interesting note, if you prorated Kaepernick’s stats for the entire 2012 season, he would have been the eighth-best fantasy quarterback.

Robert Mays of Grantland.com took the Kaepernick phenomenon one step further by examining “The Colin Kaepernick Experience.” Mays believes that Kaepernick’s ascending play is one of the many reasons to start getting hyped for the upcoming season.

“Kaepernick is only 10 starts into his career, but already, he feels like one of the more important assets in all of football,” Mays wrote. “He’s capable of plays only Robert Griffin III can match, and the idea of seeing it over a 16-game season should be enough to have anyone outside of Seattle looking forward to Sundays… Colin Kaepernick is likely here for the long haul, and by the end of this year, my guess is that we’ll all very used to it.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: 49ers Depth Chart Preview

Posted by Taylor Price on June 18, 2013 – 11:38 AM

The 49ers won’t reveal an official depth chart until preseason games begin in August, but Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee gave a preview of what San Francisco’s depth could look like when training camp begins.

Barrows placed fourth-year wideout Kyle Williams ahead of last year’s first-round pick A.J. Jenkins to start opposite of Anquan Boldin.

The wide receiver positions will certainly be evaluated closely all through camp. But for now, the speculation game will continue.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: Minicamp Day 3 Recap

Posted by Taylor Price on June 14, 2013 – 10:39 AM

An aerial display concluded the final day of 49ers minicamp. Colin Kaepernick completed his final five passes of camp and A.J. Jenkins turned in another standout reception.

The 49ers will return in late July for training camp. The minicamp previewed the upcoming competitions for 53 coveted spots on San Francisco’s roster.

Today’s Morning Tailgate recaps the final camp session and the standout performances.

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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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MT: Jim Harbaugh’s Bucket List

Posted by Taylor Price on June 6, 2013 – 11:06 AM

He just might be the closest thing to the world’s most interesting man.

Jim Harbaugh’s off the field activities as the San Francisco 49ers coach are unique to say the least. It speaks to his wide-ranging interests when he’s not working with professional football players.

On Tuesday, Harbaugh told Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News that his bucket list included the wish of purchasing a motor home.

Harbaugh’s only driven an RV once, but would like to own one at some point.

After the 49ers coach made a cameo on Judge Judy this week, Inman noted the numerous activities Harbaugh has taken part in during his tenure in San Francisco:

– Drive the pace car in last month’s Indy 500. (Harbaugh has been a co-owner of a racing team since his late-1990s playing days with the Indianapolis Colts.)

– Meet baseball idol Willie Mays. He did so last year when Mays attended a 49ers practice (and later hosted Harbaugh and his father Jack at his house to watch a Giants game).

– Play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He’s done that the past two years, even placing a respectable 13th this year with partner Jason Day.

– Receive inspirational speeches from military heroes, including Gen. Martin Dempsey (Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman), Marine Corps Col. Jim Minnick, four-star Army Gen. Bob Cone, Sgt. Dontae Skywalker (at Arlington National Cemetary) and an anonymous Navy SEAL.

– Moonlight as a team manager at an Indiana University men’s basketball game, which he did last year for Hoosiers coach (and brother-in-law) Tom Crean.

– Have his silhouette depicted on a T-shirt. OK, he never publicly opined for this, but Nike has come out with a $28 shirt featuring a side view of Harbaugh in a black top and khaki pants.

– Phone into John Madden’s daily radio segment, which he did in January for advice on being a first-time Super Bowl coach.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: Eric Mangini Bolsters 49ers Staff

Posted by Taylor Price on June 5, 2013 – 11:58 AM

The 49ers haven’t had much turnover in the coaching ranks since Jim Harbaugh signed a five-year contract in February of 2011.

That’s not to say the coaching staff can’t be improved mid-offseason. Harbaugh’s staff received a boost on Tuesday with the announcement of veteran coach Eric Mangini joining the 49ers as a senior offensive consultant.

Mangini has 15 years of NFL coaching experience and is looking to become a head coach once more after stints with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.

For now, San Francisco’s new consultant is focused on growing his offensive knowledge. Mangini comes to the 49ers with plenty of defensive awareness. In his new role, he’ll use his defensive background to help the 49ers offensive coaches scheme against opposing teams and understand how the opponent will attack.

Jim Harbaugh felt like the hiring of Mangini makes the 49ers “better” in 2013.

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle shared five examples of how Mangini can help the team.

More 49ers headlines and OTA notes can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Justin Smith ‘Indispensable’ on Defense

Posted by Taylor Price on June 3, 2013 – 9:45 AM

He’s absolutely essential to San Francisco’s overall success. Without Justin Smith in the lineup, it wouldn’t be the same 49ers defense. Smith leads by example, inspires teammates and dominates in the trenches.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle means that much to the 49ers defense, as noted by Adam Schein of NFL.com.

When compiling nine of the most indispensable players in the NFL today, San Francisco’s stout defensive tackle was placed at No. 4 on the list.

“Both NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, the best linebacker combination in the league, have told me Smith is the most important player on the Niners’ defense,” Schein wrote. “He’s tough. He’s clutch. He takes on blockers and frees up other players.

“Smith sets the tone in practice and in games. He’s the Energizer Bunny on one of the truly elite defenses in the league.”

Smith is on the mend this offseason. He hasn’t taken part in Organized Team Activities, but has been around to help out younger teammates on the defensive line. Currently, Smith’s working his way back from offseason triceps surgery. Smith, however, is back in the weight room getting himself ready for his 13th season.

In regards to the offensive side of the ball, Schein placed 49ers tight end Vernon Davis at No. 5 on the key offensive figures list.

Today’s Morning Tailgate features additional 49ers-related headlines and the latest on Levi’s® Stadium.

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MT: Kaepernick Attends HS Graduation

Posted by Taylor Price on May 31, 2013 – 10:03 AM

Colin Kaepernick shocked Pittman High School’s Class of 2013 with an appearance at his alma mater’s graduation last night.

The 49ers quarterback, who graduated in 2006, popped up on stage unannounced in Turlock, Calif., to pay tribute to his former coach, Brandon Harris.

“He was the first person to let me run the ball a couple of times,” Kaepernick joked at the podium. “What did I run for, negative two yards?”

Harris is returning to his home in Idaho to take a position closer to his mother, who is battling cancer. Kaepernick wanted to personally and publically thank one of the most impactful teachers in his football career.

“I wanted to come back and wish him well as he goes back home,” Kaepernick went on to say over the loud screams from the Turlock students.

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MT: Kaepernick Among Top Young QBs

Posted by Taylor Price on May 30, 2013 – 9:11 AM

Colin Kaepernick ranked No. 3 on NFL.com’s Top-10 quarterbacks 25 or under list.

San Francisco’s signal-caller earned the nod over Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are presumably the top 2 selections.

Kaepernick earned the No. 3 spot because of his impressive 10 starts in 2012, including his impressive comeback rally that nearly earned the 49ers a victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

“Kaepernick makes difficult throws look so easy,” NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote. “Early mistakes did not stop Kaepernick from squeezing the ball into tight windows requiring his considerable arm strength. His outstanding overall performance got ignored because of how the game ended.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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