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Morning Tailgate: Super Bowl Bid

Posted by Alex Espinoza on March 7, 2013 – 8:34 AM

49ers CEO Jed York addressed the media on Wednesday at Northwest Plaza of the new Santa Clara Stadium to update reporters on the region’s latest efforts to secure Super Bowl L in 2016. York was joined by Santa Clara mayor Jamie Matthews, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and San Joe mayor Chuck Reed to promote the region-wide collaboration that will make the Bay Area a premier Super Bowl host for years to come.

Want to see the latest construction progress? Book a tour of the new Santa Clara Stadium site.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee attended Wednesday’s media session and shared his thoughts on the Bay Area’s bid for the big game.

The 50th game holds the most prestige, and that’s the one the 49ers are gunning to get. Team CEO Jed York said he hoped the stadium’s hallmarks – its technology and its sustainable design – catch the eye of the owners. “We have enough solar panels for our 10 games to be powered by the sun,” he said.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the latest new stadium headlines and David Akers’ release from the 49ers.

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2012 Plays of the Year: Big Plays

Posted by Alex Espinoza on February 26, 2013 – 2:29 PM

We need your help in selecting the top plays from the 2012 season. We’re asking our Faithful fans to choose the top takeaway, touchdown, sack, big play and biggest hit of the season. Next, the winning five plays (one from each category), will move on to the championship round to determine 49ers.com’s “Top Play of 2012.”

Watch our “Top 5” video highlights on the best plays for each category, then vote in the poll section of the corresponding blog post to see which top play will reach the championship.

Help us crown the top play of 2012 by choosing your favorite big play from this past season. You can vote for your favorite big play up until Thursday at noon. Let’s take a look at the five nominees.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 22

Posted by Taylor Price on January 22, 2013 – 11:15 AM

The Harbaugh brother talk has officially started, but it hasn’t reached overdrive just yet. There’s still plenty of other storylines to dissect as the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens embark on Super Bowl XLVII preparations.

For starters, Colin Kaepernick’s role on the 49ers offense is one to discuss. Furthermore, Kaepernick’s strong relationships with his teammates is quite remarkable after considering he will make start No. 10 in the biggest singular game in professional sports.

The respect Kaepernick’s teammates have already shown the second-year player was recently noted by ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox.

“There’s the conflict Kaepernick creates for opponents, and then there is the love that his teammates have for him,” Fox wrote. “It was obvious when (Frank) Gore interrupted Kaepernick’s postgame news conference, answering a question for him.

‘He can do whatever.’ Gore said. ‘He’s a hard worker. He’s a different quarterback, how he takes pride and leads us. He’s started [nine] games. Hey, he’s football. If it weren’t for him, it would’ve been a tough game for us.’

Gore looked at Kaepernick and added, ‘You deserve it.’”

It’s not hard to see why the second-year player has earned such praise from veterans.

After leading the 49ers to a 28-24 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game, Kaepernick finished his second come-from-behind postseason win completing 76.2 percent of his passes, good for the third-best single-game outing in 49ers postseason history.

Kaepernick has already showcased maturity and poise and enters Super Bowl XLVII with seven regular starts, tied for the third fewest for a starting quarterback to reach the Super Bowl in NFL history.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 15

Posted by Taylor Price on January 15, 2013 – 10:14 AM

Get used to hearing about Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco’s starting quarterback continues to become a household name now that the second-year player is gracing one of four regional covers for Sports Illustrated.

It’s certainly well-deserved. The youngest starting quarterback in 49ers postseason history had a game for the ages  against the Green Bay Packers – 181 rushing yards – the most by a quarterback in any game. Ever.

Furthermore, Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two more, joining Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham and Jay Cutler as the only players to throw and rush for a pair of touchdowns in a postseason game.

Now, Kaepernick is 6-2 as a starter with a 98.7 QB rating to go with 12 touchdown passes , four interceptions, as well as 419 rushing yards and four rushing scores.

Find out more about Kaepernick’s postseason mindset by picking up a copy of the cover story written by SI’s Austin Murphy.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 11

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 11, 2013 – 11:38 AM

In the past seven games, Colin Kaepernick has led the 49ers to a 5-2 record and closed out their run as NFC West Champs and the No. 2 seed in the conference. But it’s a whole new ballgame now.

Heading into his first postseason action, Kaepernick will have a chance to show why Jim Harbaugh elected to make the quarterback switch to the young, athletic signal-caller in Week 11. Kaepernick has approached the 5 p.m. Saturday kickoff as business as usual, but realizes the magnitude of the NFC Championship bid that’s on the line.

Daniel Brown of the Bay Area News Group said it’s time to see if Harbaugh’s decision will pay off for the 49ers in earnest.

“Harbaugh pushed in all his chips this season with a midseason change of starting quarterbacks and, on Saturday against the Green Bay Packers, the coach finds out if lucky No. 7 comes up a winner,” Brown wrote. “That’s the jersey number of Colin Kaepernick, the boundlessly talented, minimally experienced quarterback who earned Harbaugh’s endorsement over the cautiously efficient Alex Smith.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features all the latest links on the Packers matchup, Eddie DeBartolo’s bid for the Hall of Fame and the 49ers kicker situation.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 4

Posted by Taylor Price on January 4, 2013 – 9:53 AM

The 49ers will do a lot more scoreboard watching this weekend, just like Pro Bowl safety Donte Whitner was doing after the regular season finale in the photo atop this post.

The game San Francisco is most focused on features the two teams they anxiously watched at the conclusion of a Week 17 win over Arizona. On Saturday night, if the Green Bay Packers are victorious at home over the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Jan. 12 in the Divisional Playoff round.

For what it’s worth, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Peter King is predicting a Packers win.

If the Vikings win, however, the winner of the Seattle Seahawks-Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon tilt will travel to Candlestick Park for a primetime postseason clash.

Tickets for the Jan. 12 Divisional matchup presented by State Farm will be made available on Monday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. PT via Ticketmaster.  Quantities will be limited, so fans will be encouraged to visit NFL Ticket Exchange for additional seats.

But before the 49ers can find out who they’ll play next week, the team will hold one last workout this week that figures to impact San Francisco’s decision at kicker for the postseason.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 2

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 2, 2013 – 11:18 AM

The New Year is here and the 49ers are already back at team headquarters getting ready for their Divisional Round matchup next week. Players were given Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off this week, but it hasn’t stopped some 49ers from working out at team headquarters on their own time.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group relayed comments from Jim Harbaugh’s appearance on KNBR Wednesday, when he said the 49ers are preparing to play in “three Super Bowls.” Harbaugh also touched on other topics like Justin Smith’s health and the Stanford victory in the Rose Bowl.

“Watching Stanford win the Rose Bowl on Tuesday also gave Harbaugh a thrill, and fondly recounted how he sat in some of those Stanford players’ living rooms while recruiting them in his days as the Cardinal’s coach,” Inman wrote.

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at the potential impact of newly-signed kicker Billy Cundiff and a look at 49ers front office members and assistant coaches who could be candidates to fill positions for other organizations.

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Week 16 Game Notes

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 24, 2012 – 12:43 PM

A 42-13 loss at Seattle moved the 49ers’ record to 10-4-1 on the season, but San Francisco still leads the NFC West heading into the regular-season finale against Arizona. 49ers Public Relations presents the following game notes from the Week 16 matchup.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 20

Posted by Taylor Price on December 20, 2012 – 9:48 AM

The San Francisco 49ers have several Pro Bowl-worthy candidates on this year’s roster. The 2013 All-Star teams for both the NFC and AFC will be announced on Dec. 26, but five members of this year’s club can lay claim to leading the NFC fan-vote at their respective positions.

The vote leaders, released Thursday morning by the NFL, were as follows: DT Justin Smith (257,020), LB Patrick Willis (226,791), G Mike Iupati (177,817), K David Akers (140,847) and ST C.J. Spillman (89,797).

Smith, in particular, will be a much-discussed player this week. The 49ers defensive co-captain is nursing an elbow injury and has not practiced yet this week. Smith might not play against Seattle as discussed by Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 4

Posted by Taylor Price on December 4, 2012 – 10:06 AM

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San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins was active for the second time this season in Sunday’s 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams. Jenkins, however, did not play. Second-round pick LaMichael James wasn’t active for the 12th time this year, but that could soon change.

The speedy running back could see action late in the season according to Jim Harbaugh in comments shared by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

The 49ers coach visited with the KNBR Morning Show as he does every Tuesday and explained that the running back, who’s yet to be active in 2012, could see playing time in December.

“I think that’s a real possibility, and he’s worked hard for an opportunity,” Harbaugh said. “And that’s something that’s definitely a possibility that’s coming.”

Trent Baalke, the team’s general manager, also hinted at a possible December debut for James. Baalke visited with 95.7 The Game on Monday as part of his weekly show, his comments were discussed by CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

If James is active and can contribute to a 49ers win over the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, the team could clinch a playoff spot with some help from NFC playoff contenders. There’s actually two scenarios in play for the 49ers to be guaranteed of postseason football for consecutive seasons.

Here are the scenarios:

1. San Francisco win + DAL loss + MIN loss + TB loss + WAS loss + SEA loss or tie.

2. San Francisco win + DAL loss + MIN loss + TB loss + WAS loss + STL loss or tie.

The Vikings host the Bears. The Buccaneers host the Eagles. The Redskins host the Ravens. The Seahawks host the Cardinals. The Rams visit the Bills. The Cowboys visit the Bengals.

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