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Morning Tailgate: All About QBs

Posted by Taylor Price on July 17, 2013 – 9:38 AM

There’s a clear theme in today’s Morning Tailgate. Several articles about the quarterbacks on the San Francisco 49ers have been published in the last 24 hours and it’s our job to share those writeups

First, Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com examined Colin Kaepernick’s standing as one of the elite young quarterbacks in the National Football League and how the 49ers starting signal-caller’s prospects compare to some of the best young passers in the game today.

Kaepernick’s breakout season in 2012 is also up for a prestigious award. In fact, there’s only a few hours left to vote for Kaepernick to win a 2013 ESPY award.

Kaepernick enters training camp as the unquestioned starter, but the coveted backup quarterback roles have not been determined just yet.

More on the upcoming quarterback battles can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Morning Tailgate: Kaepernick Evaluation

Posted by Taylor Price on July 15, 2013 – 10:40 AM

Colin Kaepernick’s performance on the field continues to be analyzed by NFL experts across the country.

The latest evaluation comes from ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski. The former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller has named San Francisco’s current quarterback as his No. 11 passer in his annual countdown of the league’s top 32 passers.

“Kaepernick has a chance to be very special,” Jaworski said via Mike Sando of ESPN.com. “He has a complete throwing skillset with a powerful arm that I absolutely put at gun level. His ball comes out with a lot of energy and velocity. And Kaepernick can drive the ball down the field, on the move, with accuracy.”

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

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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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MT: Adam Snyder Brings Versatility

Posted by Taylor Price on May 7, 2013 – 9:55 AM

Adam Snyder has made 83 starts during his eight-year NFL career and he’s played at every position on the offensive line during his seven seasons with the 49ers and one-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals.

Snyder, the 6-foot-6, 325-pound guard, re-joined the 49ers on Monday to bring veteran depth on the offensive line. San Francisco’s former third-round pick in 2005 will join his teammates at 49ers Football School on Tuesday and get right back to work with his new, old team.

Snyder, 31, will get an opportunity to compete for a backup role this upcoming season, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

If that’s the case, it shouldn’t be a concern to Snyder, a respected teammate who has been known to put the team-first in everything he does.

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Anquan Boldin Will Wear No. 81

Posted by Taylor Price on April 19, 2013 – 3:06 PM

The San Francisco 49ers announced uniform numbers for several newcomers to the 2013 roster.

Most notably, Anquan Boldin will wear No. 81, which was previously worn by tight end Garrett Celek. No. 81 has been Boldin’s uniform for all 10 of his seasons in the NFL, seven with the Arizona Cardinals and the last three years with the Baltimore Ravens.

Boldin’s new jersey is available now on shop49ers.com.

Celek will change to No. 88 this season. He’s not the only member of the 49ers wearing a new number in 2013. However, new cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has not officially selected a uniform number for his 11th season in the league and first with the 49ers.

Here are the new uniform numbers:

QB Colt McCoy – 2

K Phil Dawson – 9

WR Marlon Moore – 19

S Craig Dahl – 43

LB Dan Skuta – 51

G Wayne Tribue – 62

G Joe Looney – 78

TE Cameron Morrah – 84

DT Glenn Dorsey – 90


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MT: 49ers Offseason Workouts Begin

Posted by Taylor Price on April 15, 2013 – 9:00 AM

It’s the first football activity the San Francisco 49ers can hold in 2013. Voluntary offseason conditioning work begins today at team headquarters in Santa Clara.

In Phase One of the offseason program, the 49ers will hold two weeks of conditioning work under the supervision of the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

When the two weeks have passed, Phase Two of the program will allow coaches on the field to work on drills with the players before the start of 10 days of offseason team activities (OTAs) and minicamps to be held in May and June.

The first OTA sessions will be held on May 21-23, May 28-30 and June 3-6.

A rookie minicamp will be held after the 2013 NFL Draft. Rookies, however, must finish their spring semester or fourth quarter of school before participating in the OTA sessions with veteran teammates. Last offseason, second-round pick LaMichael James had to finish school at Oregon before taking part in offseason workouts with the 49ers.

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

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Morning Tailgate: Greg Roman Profile

Posted by Taylor Price on April 3, 2013 – 11:51 AM

There’s a lot to like about San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. I repeat, a lot.

He’s energetic, he’s thoughtful and perhaps most important of all, he knows how to put his players in position to win.

Twenty-seven victories in two seasons later, those impressive traits were recently documented by esteemed Yahoo! Sports writer Michael Silver, who wrote a solid profile on the 49ers play-caller. Silver and Roman spoke for so long over lunch recently, the 49ers coordinator’s car was impounded. Not to worry, Roman picked his car up and got back to doing what he loves.

Silver went into detail on how Roman is moving on from Super Bowl XLVII and how the game’s final sequence overshadowed a stellar season in 2012.

“The upshot is especially cruel,” Silver wrote. “Roman, the man who probably dialed up more brilliant calls than anyone in the business last season, the audacious innovator who overhauled the Niners’ offense on the fly in midseason and literally and figuratively unveiled formations that turned the football world upside down, is the guy getting blasted by half the folks who’ve ever held a Madden joystick.”

But don’t only take Silver’s words. Consider the comments from two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley.

“I’ve never been around a coordinator who understands everything,” Staley told Silver. “Not just X’s and O’s and how you draw it up, but the bigger picture, too. Watching games [on tape], I find myself saying, ‘This is a perfect call here.’ It seems seamless to him. There are a lot of guys who are really smart with plays and who run creative schemes, but it’s the way you call those plays that makes all the difference. He’s great at both. He’s very innovative.”

Roman continues to find ways to make the 49ers better in 2013 and is surely eager to work with recently acquired quarterback Colt McCoy, in addition to installing more wrinkles to the hybrid offense the 49ers ran last season.

Roman can analyze the Super Bowl outcome all he wants, but in the back of his mind he knows there’s more to come from his offensive unit.

“The reality is, if you’ve got a guy who can throw the ball like [Colin Kaepernick] can and run it like he can, it eventually becomes a numbers game,” Roman told Silver. “What do you want to stop? Then we turn to something we call play-action, and it’s a huge advantage.

“So yeah, (defenses are) gonna be spending a lot of time on this. They should. This is real. And we’re just getting started.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in the Morning Tailgate.

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