The San Francisco 49ers announced that the following players have been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list: WR Michael Crabtree, FB Bruce Miller and WR Dominique Zeigler. Players placed on the physically unable to perform list count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated at any time prior to the final cuts of training camp.
The team also announced it has released QB David Carr.
Tags: Bruce Miller, David Carr, Dominique Zeigler, Michael Crabtree
Posted in Breaking News, Injury News, Transactions | 62 Comments »
Frank Gore’s season is officially over. The 49ers placed the two-time Pro Bowl running back on Injured Reserve Monday after he fractured his right hip against the Cardinals on Monday night.
Tags: Chris Maragos, DeShawn Wynn, Dominique Zeigler, Frank Gore
Posted in Announcements | 43 Comments »
The life of an intern… Most of us remember having such a gig. Make copies, fax documents, answer phones and occasionally get an interesting assignment. Can’t you remember it like it was yesterday?
Well… Josh Morgan and Dominique Zeigler certainly can. That’s because it was yesterday for them. Literally.
But the pair of blossoming 49ers wide receivers haven’t signed up for your typical apprenticeship. They finished up another day of their offseason internships at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Tuesday night, helping out in the production of Chronicle Live. They also appeared as guests on the show. Host Greg Papa even let Morgan do the interviewing.
The internship idea first came up when Morgan approached 49ers Director of Player Development Ty Knott about getting involved in broadcasting. From there, Knott found an opportunity that worked best with Morgan’s busy offseason schedule.
Once a “special” unpaid internship opportunity arose, Morgan jumped at the chance to learn more about sports broadcasting. And after hearing from his teammate on the quality of his experience, Zeigler asked to be an intern at Comcast as well.
Now, both wideouts are assisting Comcast SportsNet at various sporting events in the Bay Area and have photo credentials with their names written on them to prove it. They visit Comcast headquarters once a week to take part in the special internship.
“It’s been great so far,” Morgan said. “We did the pregame show for the (Oakland) A’s – I was one of the stage managers. I had the headset on, counting the hosts down, five, four, three… all that.”
In addition to getting up close experience in the production of various sports telecasts, the players are getting a better understanding of the business and ultimately if it’s something they’d like to pursue after their football careers.
“I like sports a lot, so getting to find out how they make highlights was great for me,” Zeigler said. “It was pretty neat getting to be back there with the production people. I didn’t know it really took that much just to make a 30-minute show. There’s a lot of yelling if things don’t go right, because if one person is telling someone to “cue B” and he cues “A,” then maybe it messes up the next six clips.”
Just like how football players depend on the other 10 players on the field to execute the coach’s play call?
“Exactly. It might look like they’re just doing TV, but there’s a lot of work that they put into it,” Zeigler said.
The players won’t have too much availability as the offseason rolls along. The duo only have four weeks left in their broadcasting crash course, but will value each new experience as they come.
“Next week we’re going to work on the camera stuff and it’s just a good experience,” Zeigler added. “If you have all day to lift weights, might as well to do something at the end of the day.”
Zeigler’s passion for all sports has rubbed off on Morgan throughout the process. Morgan, a self-described football and basketball lover has opened up room in his heart for other sports because of his internship.
“I don’t know a whole lot, but I’m learning about hockey and baseball. I’ve always been into basketball and football and that type of stuff,” Morgan said. “Zeigler is teaching me a lot about baseball. I’m learning on the run.”
Being on the run shouldn’t be too difficult for Morgan. After all, it’s a big part of his current job.
Tags: Dominique Zeigler, Josh Morgan
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The 49ers have officially begun preparation for the first preseason game of the 2009 season against the Denver Broncos on Friday night at Candlestick Park. While the team will focus more on what they need to accomplish rather than matching up against the opposition, there is still a good amount of game planning taking place in the film room.
“Where not going to overdo it, because all of these games are in preparation for the game at the beginning of the season,” head coach Mike Singletary said, following the team’s morning practice. “It’s just making sure you don’t focus on the minor [things] and lose the big picture. We certainly want to go out and do the things that we need to do. All of the fundamentals we’ve worked on here can carry over into the game. And, we’ll get what we want out of that game.”
Singletary said he has not yet made a decision on who will start at quarterback against Denver, but no matter who takes the first snap, the coaching staff will keep a close eye on both Shaun Hill and Alex Smith, with hopes of naming a starter sometime in the coming weeks.
“Hopefully, as we’ve said before, by the third preseason game, we’ll have a pretty decent idea,” Singletary said of who will start the regular season opener. “There is no guarantee that we will name someone then. But, hopefully at that time, we will. I think the preseason games; they play a big role. We’re going against somebody totally different, and we have to see how they respond, how the team responds to them, how they respond to the pass rush, all of those little things.”
One person who will not be receiving much playing time is running back Frank Gore. Singletary hopes to keep him fresh heading into the season and give increased reps to some of the younger running backs.
“I would think that [Glen] Coffee is certainly going to have some time,” Singletary said. “Before game time, we will know; we’ll play it by ear. All I know right now as far as the running backs are concerned is that Frank will not be going a whole lot.”
The matchup with the Broncos will also bring a familiar face to Candlestick as former 49ers head coach Mike Nolan returns as Denver’s defensive coordinator. Singletary still maintains a close relationship with Nolan, who he learned a great deal from during their time with the 49ers as well as with the Baltimore Ravens.
“The most important thing that I learned from Coach Nolan is the work ethic,” Singletary said. “I saw Mike come in and roll up his sleeves and go to work, trying to bring a structure to this organization and trying to bring about a mental toughness and trying to bring about character and all of those things. Mike will always be a great friend.”
Morning Practice Notes:
The 49ers completed the longest pass so far of training camp so far, as Alex Smith found Arnaz Battle deep down the right sideline. The play began from the offense’s own 30-yard line and Smith’s pass hit Battle in stride around the opposite 30-yard line. Battle raced in for the long score.
Fellow receivers Josh Morgan and Dominique Zeigler also made spectacular catches during one-on-one drills. Overall, the receiving corps has continued to impress during camp.
Follow SF_49ers on Twitter and get all the highlights from practice as they happen.
Tags: Alex Smith, Arnaz Battle, Dominique Zeigler, Frank Gore, Josh Morgan, Shaun Hill
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Wide receiver Brandon Jones will miss an extended period of time after suffering a slight fracture of his right shoulder, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary disclosed on Friday.
The free agent addition was turning heads throughout training camp prior to being injured during red zone 7-on-7 work in Thursday’s afternoon practice.
“It’s going to be a little longer than we anticipated,” Singletary said of Jones’ injury. “But, we’ll work through it. The receivers that we have, we’re very confident in our guys here.”
Jones’ injury opens the door for the rest of the 49ers talented wideout group. In particular, Dominique Zeigler, Jason Hill and Arnaz Battle could be the main beneficiaries. The way Singletary sees it, the injury doesn’t jeopardize the production from the receivers this season.
“It doesn’t do anything to be honest,” Singletary added. “As I’ve said before, this is not a political speech, it’s the truth. We’ve got wide receivers that (receivers coach) Jerry Sullivan is working his tail off with them. They’re growing, progressing. We’re fine for right now.”
So far at camp, Jones had been lining up at three different spots. Without his versatility, others within the group will have to fill the void.
“I think that is something that Jerry Sullivan and myself along with Coach Raye will sit down and talk about,” Singletary said of who will step in for Jones as the team’s No. 3 wideout behind Isaac Bruce and Josh Morgan.” Thankfully, as I’ve said before, we have some receivers and I know we have some who are capable of stepping and doing a good job. I hate that we lost Brandon Jones. He’s making great strides. He’s doing a great job (and) he will be back.”
The good news for Jones is that his fracture will not require surgery. Only time is necessary to heal the injury.
Asked if Zeigler could be the man capable of stepping in for Jones, Singletary was complimentary of the lanky wideout from his alma mater, Baylor University.
“Certainly Dominique has continued to make strides since he’s been here. We’ll just have to sit down and talk about it and see what we’re thinking.”
Now that the 49ers have been at training camp for almost a week, Singletary has been pleased with his team’s progress. After Friday morning’s workout, Singletary gathered his team to discuss the strides that were made throughout the week.
“Right now we’re on track. We’re not executing the way we want to execute right now. But I don’t think anyone is outworking us. As long as you continue to work, game progress and confidence, the execution will come. But I’m very proud of the guys, in terms of the work ethic. In terms of the execution, we’re not there yet; we have to just keep plugging away.”
Morning Practice Particulars
Outside linebacker Jay Moore returned to practice after suffering a nasty cut on the middle finger of his left hand. Moore’s hand was heavily taped like he had a boxing glove on his hand.
During 1-on-1 wide receiver defensive back drills, Zeigler made another impressive catch in front of veteran cornerback Dre’ Bly. Zeigler appeared to have no chance of catching a pass headed towards the sideline, but Zeigler reached out and grabbed the pass. The catch was so impressive; all of the defensive backs on the sideline watching the drill couldn’t help but look at each other in amazement after what they had just witnessed.
Before the team met for their final 11-on-11 portion of practice, 10-year linebacker Jeff Ulrbich gathered everyone to remind them to finish the practice strong.
“I just felt like occasionally about this time of camp, people start to get tired,” Ulbrich said. “They start losing their legs a little bit and the energy starts to fizzle. I just felt like we needed to finish strong and that was basically all I was saying to the group.”
Tags: Brandon Jones, Dominique Zeigler, Jay Moore, Jeff Ulbrich
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No penalty went unnoticed at the 49ers training camp practice on Thursday as an NFL officiating crew was on hand to oversee the proceedings.
The officials are in town as part of their annual tour. But rules change each year, so it’s important for the players as well as the coaching staff to understand what is or is not a penalty.
There are four key changes to the 2009 rulebook. The first and most publicized is the elimination of low hits on quarterbacks. This has been referred to as “The Tom Brady Rule,” preventing defenders from rolling up on the quarterback similar to the hit that caused the Patriots signal caller to miss almost all of the 2008 season.
“Everybody saw the hit on Tom Brady last year, which was a legal hit,” league referee Carl Cheffers said. “This year, if a player or defender is on the ground, he cannot lunge into the knees of a quarterback. Again, we’re just tightening that rule to try and eliminate injuries.”
The second major rule change also resulted from a season-ending play last year when Steelers receiver Hines Ward stunned Bengals rookie linebacker Keith Rivers with a devastating up-field crack-back block. Rivers never saw Ward coming and missed the rest of the year with a fractured jaw.
“Those kinds of plays, they’re trying to eliminate,” Cheffers said. “They want them to hit them, they want them to hit them hard, but they don’t want them to hit helmet-to-helmet, because that player is not looking at the blocker and that’s a potentially injurious block.”
While the helmet-to-helmet rule may be new for offensive players, it’s well known by those on the defensive side of the ball. Even that rule has been tweaked however, expanding the rule to include arm- and elbow-to-helmet contact.
As Cheffers explained, the goal is to limit hits on “defenseless receivers to be below the shoulders.”
“It’s good on both sides,” safety Reggie Smith said. “You don’t want a lot of injuries. Then again you have to be aware of where you’re hitting. You’ve got to use that shoulder, I guess, from now on and keep your head on a swivel for receivers also.”
The special teams rules have also been modified, prohibiting teams from using “wedge blocks,” where three or more players line up shoulder-to-shoulder, during a return.
“We require guys to be outside the numbers, outside the hash marks now,” Cheffers said. “The whole idea is that the kicking team is not allowed to bunch up. When they bunch up and there’s an onside kick, there’s been injuries with the blocks and the collisions that happen after that.”
While that may be a big change for many NFL teams, it could actually benefit teams like the 49ers.
“We never really did three man wedges,” explained Smith, a key contributor on the 49ers special teams units. “But for us as a kickoff team, going against other people’s kickoff returns, it makes it easier for people like me and Hud [Marcus Hudson]. We’re on the inside where all those big guys are, so it makes it easier to get down when you don’t have big men, teamed up as wedges.”
While it may be hard to get accustomed to some of the new rules, having the officials out during camp is extremely beneficial.
“It helps us as DBs because we do a lot of press coverage with the wide receivers,” Smith said. “When we were doing one-on-ones that helped, if we were pressing them too long. It gives us the little ins and outs that we don’t know that we can do during the game.”
Morning Practice Updates:
It was an interesting morning in terms of weather. It was pouring rain right before stretch only to have the sun come out minutes later.
Takeo Spikes didn’t take long to heat up either, picking off Alex Smith’s first throw during team drills.
Dominique Zeigler also made one of the most impressive plays of camp. During drills, Zeigler broke his route to the sideline and despite tight coverage, Zeigler adjusted to the throw over his right shoulder and pulled it down with one hand.
The team will be back on the field this afternoon. Follow SF_49ers on Twitter and we’ll keep you updated on any more highlight reel catches like Zeigler’s.
Tags: Dominique Zeigler, Reggie Smith, Takeo Spikes
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Vernon Davis, Isaac Bruce and Delanie Walker all hauled in long touchdown passes during the first of two practices on Wednesday, prompting head coach Mike Singletary to praise his team’s effort and tempo.
“I thought that today was one of our better practices,” Singletary said. “I think that this is a practice that we can build on. If we can get this much better each day, I think that puts us where we need to be. I just complimented the guys; I thought they did a nice job. We’re excited about today.”
But the morning session wasn’t all about flashy passes and solid play by the defense as Singletary and special teams coordinator Al Everest began practice by demonstrating and expressing the importance of a few football fundamentals – ball security and form tackling.
The players were first split into groups based on body size where one player would try to strip the ball while the other held the ball “high and tight.”
“It serves both sides of the ball,” cornerback Shawntae Spencer said. “For us, our objective is to get the ball back for the offense. When the ball carrier is running, you have to strip the ball and we work on a few different techniques. On the other end were the receivers, who we worked with, and their job is to protect the ball. To be honest with you, they did a better job because you didn’t see too many balls on the ground.”
The next drill lined up two players with a five yards between them, forcing the defender not to bite on the juke and secure the open field tackle. Such basic skills are second nature to defenders, but offensive players must also know how to wrap up.
“We’re used to that on the defensive end,” Spencer said, “But it was interesting to see the wide receivers do it. It was kind of funny. A lot of those guys did pretty well, but they don’t practice that a lot, so that was entertaining. I heard [secondary coach] Johnnie Lynn coaching up Brandon Jones, telling him to stay low, but Ziggy [Dominique Zeigler] was the funniest I think. It just didn’t look right.”
Cornerback Dre’ Bly, who’s locker is next to Spencer’s, laughed in agreement with that assesment.
Tackling did not look foreign for all of the offensive players however. Linebacker Jeff Ulbrich even noted that Zeigler and a lot of the receivers do well tackling when they are on kickoff or punt teams. In fact, it was one of the running backs that caught Ulbrich’s eye in the drill.
“I thought Frank looked like a pretty good tackler,” Ulbrich said. “He’s just one of those old school football players who can do it all.”
The 49ers have one more practice this afternoon that will focus solely on special teams.
Tags: Dominique Zeigler, Dre' Bly, Jeff Ulbrich, Shawntae Spencer
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Earlier in the week, Mike Singletary promised his team would be in pads come Saturday. And he meant it.
Once the 49ers wrapped up stretches and individual position drills at their first training camp practice of the 2009 season at team headquarters in Santa Clara, it was time to put the pads to use.
Singletary did so, by introducing a drill he dubbed “The nutcracker.”
His pad-thumbing drill featured seven groups of players pitted at different stations. Some of which saw cornerbacks vs. receivers, offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen, running backs vs. linebackers and tight ends vs. linebackers.
Only quarterbacks and specialists were spared from the drill.
“I think we got some good work out of that (drill),” Singletary said after the first of two Saturday practices. “The fundamental part of what we’re trying to achieve, I think we took a step today in that area. And we’re going to do that a few times. I just think it’s important we understand contact, but even more importantly, it’s not just coming out here and hitting people. It’s coming out here and learning how to engage and win in a competitive environment. And that’s really what we did in that drill.”
The players got more out of than just fundamentals. They understand that it’s a mentality that their head coach is trying to instill.
“There is just a mindset Coach Sing wanted us to get out of that (drill),” Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis said. “Not only is it about being tough, but it’s about the mindset he wants our team to have – and that is we are going to go through people. No matter who stands in our way, we are going to go through them. That drill helps with that mentality.”
After the leverage drill, the team went on to work on special teams drills. The rest of the morning practice rounded out with various team work: 11-on-11, 9-on-7 and 7-on-7 scrimmages.
Some quick highlights of the first practice:
-A fan wearing a Tony Romo jersey was escorted out of the bleachers by 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam.
-Wide receiver Arnaz Battle, cornerback Shawntae Spencer and tackle Marvel Smith practiced for the first time this offseason.
-Alex Smith completed a deep pass to wide receiver Dominique Zeigler over the middle on a seam route after Smith faked a reverse handoff to wide receiver Brandon Jones.
-Seventh-round draft pick Curtis Taylor intercepted a pass from fellow rookie Nate Davis to end the morning practice.
MVP of the morning practice honors goes to defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga, who made several plays behind the line of scrimmage. The best was when he batted down a pass from Smith.
Stay tuned to our Twitter page for more updates and photos from the practice field. The players are just about to head back on the field for the second practice which will begin a little after 4pm.
Tags: Alex Smith, Arnaz Battle, Curtis Taylor, Dominique Zeigler, Marvel Smith, Patrick Willis, Shawntae Spencer
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »