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NinerCam 49ers vs. Lions Postgame

Posted by Scott Kegley on December 27, 2009 – 7:37 PM

Starting this week, we’re going to try something new.  Instead of having to wait to see our edited video package on TV49, we’ll upload some Flip videos as soon as possible.

After the team huddle break down in the locker room, I caught up with Ricky Schmitt and Dre’ Bly.

It was certainly a day that Schmitt will remember for years to come.  Picked up earlier in the week after Joe Nedney sustained a hamstring injury, Schmitt didn’t have much time to prepare mentally and physically for his first NFL regular season game.  Schmitt finished the day with two field goals of 33 and 39 yards to go along with two extra points.

“It was exciting,” Schmitt said.  “I was more excited that nervous, so going out there it was great knocking that first on through.”

Special teams coordinator Al Everest was pleased with Schmitt’s effort, especially considering the limited amount of preparation time.

“When you have a veteran guy, preparation’s not so bad,” Everest said.  “They know what’s up and they know what to expect.  For Ricky being in a regular season game, he has a 280 blood pressure.  The bottom line is he played pretty well and we’ll go from there.”

You can view the full interview with Schmitt below or on Twitter.


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49ers Reflect on Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Taylor Price on November 26, 2009 – 9:45 AM

Apparently the man known as “Samurai” Mike during his playing career isn’t very handy with a carving knife on Thanksgiving Day.

“I carve the turkey, I mess it up pretty much.” head coach Mike Singletary said with a smile when I asked him what his typical role was on the holiday. “My wife is still gracious enough to let me do it every year.”

Singletary enjoys helping out as much as possible, just as long as he’s able to spend quality time with his family.

“The biggest part is we just have a good time. It’s my day to serve and try to get my wife to sit down somewhere. That’s what that day is all about for me.”

The 49ers will hold practice on Thursday, but will have enough time in the day to spend time with family and friends. Singletary said in his Wednesday media session that the focus will remain the same while the players at team headquarters.

“We’ll just try and get everything done that we need to get done here in terms of keeping the focus on performing well this Sunday and trying to come away with a win. And at the same time, taking that day to enjoy your family, finding the balance between the two. That’s really it. I’m going to enjoy my family and encourage everybody else to do the same.”

Here’s what some of the players will be doing this year for Thanksgiving:

Wide Receiver Josh Morgan #84

-Plans for Turkey Day?

-“I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to one of these people’s houses and eating something. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m going to go to somebody’s house and eat some good food. Whoever calls me first, that’s where I’m at. Or from my position, I can pick and choose. I can go to one house and eat something, then go to another house and eat something different. I could go to about six houses and eat different meals! I know a lot of people who can cook, so I’m going where the food’s at!”

-Favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?

“My favorite food on thanksgiving is the turkey of course. I also love the stuffing and macaroni and cheese. I like all of that. I like food period.”

-Any Thanksgiving traditions?

“As a kid, we would play football all of the time on Thanksgiving. All my cousins were there. After we come in, they would wash all of us up. Then we would watch whatever football game was on. It usually was the Lions. We’d watch Barry Sanders go crazy on Thanksgiving. That was our ritual. Both Vernon Davis and I have played on Thanksgiving before. That’s when the high school football championship was in D.C. It’s called the Turkey Bowl. We won of course. I remind Vernon all of the time. He’s upset right now, because my school is in the Turkey Bowl again tomorrow and his school didn’t make it this year. He’s a little upset right now, but he’ll get over it.”

Center Cody Wallace #59

-What’s it like having your birthday on Thanksgiving Day?

“It’s cool. It’s happened a few times in the past. We’ve always been off for school, so I haven’t gotten to fully enjoy it.”

-What are your plans?

“Practice, then head over to my girlfriend’s house and spend time with the family. Then I get to meet all of them and hang out.”

-What do you do to help out?

“I don’t think they should let me be near the food when it’s getting prepared. I’ll wait until it’s all done.”

-What’s your favorite food?

“Just the turkey and the dressing. That’s the big thing every year and my favorite thing to eat.”

Cornerback Dre’ Bly #31

-What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?

“There are going to be a lot of guys in the “hot box” (sauna) on Friday and might be doing some extra cardio to try and burn off some of that extra fat that they gained from Thursday night.”

-What are your memories of playing on Thanksgiving while playing in Detroit?

“Normally on that Wednesday you want to eat as light as you possibly can going into a game. You don’t want to go into a game full. But after that game, it was on.”

- Favorite food on Thanksgiving?

“Everything. I always have my in-laws come in to town and help my wife cook. I pig out. I would probably say sweet potato pie. That’s my downfall. Banana pudding too.”

Tackle Barry Sims #65

-What’s the team’s mindset on Thursday?

“The plan is to get our work done obviously, that’s the most important thing. After that, we’ll get a chance to spend some time with our families and be thankful for what we have.”

-What are you thankful for?

“I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have to play football in the National Football League. To be healthy, there is a lot to be thankful for and too many things to mention. Those are the top of the list right there. I’m thankful that my wife is doing the cooking. But in our house, each person contributes in their own way. We’ve got certain people who run to the grocery store. We have helpers to help. Everybody’s going to contribute. It’s not just her cooking. But, she cooks a mean ‘bird and we’ve got a big one this year.”

-Do you carve the turkey?

“I’m not a carver. I have carved in the past, but I’m not very good at it. It’s not that fun for me. I worry about cutting my fingers off and I worry about sweating into the food. My role is to bring humor to the situation. I like to come in from a long day and tell everybody that I’ve been working while they’ve been doing nothing. We have fun and enjoy being together as a family. I enjoy having a nice sit down meal. There are only a couple times in the year when we can do that.”

Guard Chilo Rachal #62

-What are Plans for Thanksgiving?

“Just to spend time with my family; my son, my mother, and my father and to be appreciative for everything I’m thankful for.”

-What are you thankful for?

“My son. The opportunity to have this job that I love doing the most. Having time to spend with my family.”

-What’s your role on Thanksgiving?

“I’m the person who has to bring in the grocery bags from the car and into the house. I also take all of the trash out. I’ve got to be the handy man since I’m the big man.”

-How much food does an offensive lineman like yourself actually eat on Thanksgiving?

“I do some damage now. It depends on how I approach it. I start with a little bit, then come back with another little bit. Then I go full force, throttle in, goggles on and everything. I knock it down.”

Kicker Joe Nedney #6

-How do NFL players typically spend Thanksgiving?

“I’ve never spent Thanksgiving on the football field. I haven’t done that yet and it was kind of one of those little goals. My in-laws do an amazing, big, family spread. There’s the table that’s really long and one person’s on one side yelling for the salt and pepper and all that. All you see are hands and spoons and forks and all of that. There’s a lot of action, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. That’s Thanksgiving in my family now. It was given to me from my wife’s family. It’s a pretty amazing deal. My mother in-law takes any stragglers off the road; anybody who has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner and brings them to her house and cooks an amazing meal. It’s a lot of fun and there’s about four generations of people who are at the meal.”

-What is Joe Nedney doing to help out on Thanksgiving?

“There is a head of the table that the Patriarch sits at and I’m at the butt of the table. My job is to basically keep wine in people’s glasses. Sometimes I’ll go and do some dishes after. I’ll make sure if anybody needs any color commentary during the football games that are going on, I’ll provide some insight because kickers are so knowledgeable about that stuff. That’s my day. Eat a lot of food. Unbuckle the top button. You kind of fall unconscious for a while, and that’s it.”

-What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

“I love a well cooked Turkey obviously. I’m a big stuffing fan. One of the staples in my families Thanksgiving is ravioli. Ever since I’ve been married we’ve eaten ravioli’s for dinner and it’s become a holiday staple in the family. My daughter, whatever’s on the plate, she’s going to eat. My son sticks to the rolls and anything with cheese in it, then he’s happy.”


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49ers Make World Series Picks

Posted by Taylor Price on October 28, 2009 – 3:47 PM

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There’s only so many times you can get asked the same question during an open locker room period. But I know our guys enjoy an occasional question out of left field.

Having said that, today I asked a question about left field, well sort of.

I asked a handful of guys who they were picking to win the World Series which kicks off tonight between the New York Yankees and the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

And for fun, I asked which players in the locker room would make up the best 49ers baseball team. The answers I got were somewhat surprising:

-“I would definitely have B. Jones [Brandon] as my center fielder,” cornerback Tarell Brown said of his wide receiver teammate, who was a one-time draft pick of the Yankees organization. “I would be a shortstop because I have good range. All the quarterbacks would be our pitchers.”

-“Put me at catcher, I swear I’d be a great catcher. I’d be amazing,” cornerback Marcus Hudson explained. “I’d cover the plate and nobody would steal on me. I would gun them out if they tried to steal on me!”

-“I think Arnaz [Battle] might be a second baseman because he has quick feet and quick hands,” Jones said of the players who would play beside him. “I see Alex [Smith] and our other quarterbacks as our pitchers. We’ll go with a three-man rotation. And on offense, our cleanup hitter would probably be big Mo, Moran Norris.”

-“I don’t know about that – I don’t think Mo has any bat speed!” Battle joked in response to Jones’ opinion.

-“I think Justin Smith would be our first baseman. He seems like he’d be a power hitter,” long snapper Brian Jennings said.

-“Ooh, that’s a pretty good question! I don’t know if Justin could be our first baseman though. He’s a slugger, maybe a DH,” Shawntae Spencer said. “I’m not putting him on the field. I’d put guys with really good ball skills in my infield. Dre’ Bly, Nate Clements they both have good ball skills, the receivers do too.

-“Then, I would go with the coordinators as our bench coaches, because they are good with hand signals. Our base coaches could be special teams coordinator Al Everest and secondary coach Vance Joseph because they send in signals too.”

-“I would be a pitcher, because I’d want to throw the ball. In football I love hitting people and in baseball if I was mad at someone – I could throw the ball at them,” defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga joked.

Here are some of the picks from the 49ers locker room, note that only one player [Spencer] chose the defending champs:

Josh Morgan: Yankees in five games.

“I think it’s the Yankees year.”

Tarell Brown: Yankees in five games.

“Really to be honest with you, it doesn’t mean a whole lot that the Phillies won it all last year. At the end of the day the Yankees are playing great baseball and they have solid pitching. Really, that’s what it’s going to come down to – pitching. Pitching and defense. The Yankees have always been a great offensive team, but their pitching is amazing this year. I’ve been a Yankees fan forever though….”

Shawntae Spencer: Phillies in six games.

“I don’t really like either one of these teams. If the Pirates aren’t in it – I don’t really care! But I guess I got a little bit of love for Philly, but then again, I don’t want them to win because if they do I won’t see the end of it. I have a lot of friends from Philadelphia, so I don’t really want to hear that. I’m just going to watch as a fan. I think it’s going to be a great series, I’ll take the Phillies, since nobody else has.”

Brandon Jones: Yankees in six games.

“You have to figure the Phillies can get a couple of games. They can hit. And, they might even wear Andy Pettitte out in game three. C.C. [Sabathia] might have to come back on short rest and get another win for them. It might go to six, if that happens.”

Barry Sims: Yankees in six games.

“A-Rod is hitting this year and they’re getting good pitching – I think it’s their year.”

Brian Jennings: Yankees in six games.

“If I played baseball I’d for sure want to play for the Yankees.”

Isaac Sopoaga: Yankees in six games.

“I want it to be less games, but I think it would be more exciting if it goes to six or seven games. Then, you’d have more games to watch on TV.”

Andy Lee: Yankees in six games.


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49ers Regroup After Atlanta Loss

Posted by Taylor Price on October 12, 2009 – 3:42 PM

singatl-header

The way Shaun Hill sees it, there are two ways the 49ers can deal with Sunday’s 45-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. They can either dwell on the loss during the bye week or they can get back on the field and work things out.

Hill and the 49ers will choose the latter.

“Generally you have another game to rebound in a week, in this case we have to sit out and have this taste in our mouth, but this is a good time to work on some things, without a doubt,” he said on Monday.

In Hill’s estimation the game came down to execution.

“By and large we didn’t execute as well as they did,” he said.

From the vantage point of head coach Mike Singletary, the 49ers didn’t respond to the Falcons solid start.

“As a team, we learned that preparation is everything and yesterday was one of those situations where on the defensive side of the ball, it felt like they had a great game plan and we had a difficult time getting on track.

“The preparation as a coaching staff, starting with me, was not great and we just did not do a good job overall. When that happens it makes it difficult.”

The players felt the same way about their performance.

“We didn’t get it done in any phase of the game,” cornerback Nate Clements said. “I always look at myself in the mirror first. I felt like I could’ve done a lot better across the board. You can’t just pinpoint one thing in this game.”

Clements will treat the next two weeks as if the 49ers won the game.

“I take the same approach win or loss. I’ll look at the film, see the corrections that need to be made and I’ll make those corrections on the practice field,” he said. “We all know we can play a lot better.”

A lot of Monday’s locker room talk went towards Dre’ Bly’s fumble on his interception return and his mid-return showboating. On Monday, Bly addressed the media alongside of Singletary.

Bly began with this statement:

“I wanted to come to you all and publicly apologize for yesterday. I apologized to coach. I’m not a selfish guy. I didn’t mean to embarrass him, my team, ownership, or the fans. I’m a prideful guy. I like to have fun and it was totally inappropriate. I got caught up in the moment and it was wrong.”

Bly’s teammates applauded him for owning up to his mistake to the media.

“That doesn’t surprise me at all, he’s a high character guy,” Hill said.

Singletary said Bly approached him early in the morning before he could talk to the veteran about his interception.

When Dre’ came in, it’s one of those things I didn’t really expect. I thought that I was going to have to go to him because I didn’t even notice all the other stuff, the hand behind the head and all of that. I didn’t even notice that yesterday. I just knew he caught the ball, and the next thing I knew, there was a fumble. But, when I saw him holding the ball the way he was holding it, I knew there was a good chance that it would come out.

“By him coming to me and saying the things that he said, it really took off a lot of the thought process, in terms of where I was going to go with it because we are – we’re not trying to – we are building something here, something that will be special, and it is going to be a process. But, yesterday, that was just something that, as a 49er, that’s just something that we won’t do. I think now he understands that.”

More Monday Notes

-Safety Michael Lewis sustained his third concussion of the season. While the news is serious, Singletary announced on Monday that the team received positive news in regards to Lewis’ latest injury.

“Afterwards, he cleared right away, meaning that he was coherent,” Singletary said. “He understood everything that was happening, which is a very good sign. So, now it’s one of those things we have to really look at and watch day-to-day and see where it goes.”

-Singletary didn’t have any new information on linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, who sat out of the Atlanta game because of a concussion he sustained against the St. Louis Rams.

 “The biggest thing about Jeff, as in Mike, we are continuing to evaluate there and we want to do all the testing we can just to make sure everything is right because everything is about them. When it comes to injuries, I want to make sure that there’s not a player on the field – practice field or playing field – that has some type of injury that could harm them going forward.”

-Singletary said there were a couple of factors in why Vernon Davis and Hill looked out of rhythm on Sunday.

“Vernon had to turn right now, but it was one of those things where the blitz was there and it didn’t get picked up and Shaun either got picked up, but Vernon didn’t have his head turned around. Or it didn’t get picked up and he had to let the ball go.”

­-Asked what the team’s biggest concern was headed into the bye week, Singletary said it was to make sure the team had the best 53 guys available.

“Whatever changes we need to make, that we make them now. Whatever things we need to clean up, we clean up then begin to go forward with that. I think that is the most important thing, to make sure we have the 53 guys that are going to be with us these next 11-plus games going forward.”

-Singletary said first-round draft pick Michael Crabtree will remain close to the facility during the bye week so he can better prepare himself for his NFL debut in two weeks.

-Singletary had a special guest at his press conference in his former college defensive coordinator at Baylor University, Corky Nelson. Singletary introduced Nelson at the end of his presser and praised him for teaching him “everything he knows about linebacking.”

“As a matter of fact, he about killed me in college and I hated him in college because he hurt me. He’s the best coach that I know to teach the fundamentals of linebacking. I can honestly say that everything that I know about linebacking, I learned from him. He wanted to come out and I’m very thankful, I’m very blessed by him, his wife, and some other friends from Baylor. I wanted to allow him to come in and listen to this. He said he wanted to it, I don’t know why, but he said he wanted to listen to it.”

-Singletary finished his press conference by leaving a message to the 49ers Faithful:

 “The last thing that I want to say is this – I’m not going to apologize to the fans again, but the one thing that I want you to know after a game like yesterday it’s a situation in where you kind of sit back and go ‘Wow, I didn’t really know that could happen again.’ And the thing I will say is this, this team will be a special team, this year will be a special year. It’s unfortunate as to what happened yesterday. As a staff, we did not do a good job preparing for a team [coming off of] a bye week, but going forward, we will come back and we will get better and we will be a team for our fans to be proud of.”


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Singletary Moves on From Minnesota

Posted by Taylor Price on September 28, 2009 – 1:30 PM

092809-sing-blog

The 49ers heartbreaking defeat didn’t have their head coach down on Monday. Mike Singletary seemed to be in usual spirits during his annual day after the game press conference.

“They just make a football play, that’s what happened,” Singletary said of Minnesota’s last second touchdown pass that helped the Vikings win 27-24.

Rather than dwell on the disappointing loss, Singletary wants his players to learn from the experience and use it to get better.

“I think you take it, you learn for it and you get ready for the next game,” he said. “Winners let it go – they move forward. Losers wallow in it.”

Singletary said his team got better in “some areas” but refused to specifically single them out.

Besides fielding a number of questions relating to the game’s surprising finish, Singletary was also asked about the status of running back Frank Gore.

Singletary said that Gore would have an MRI on his strained right ankle later today. Other than Gore, tackle Joe Staley had a knee contusion and will have an MRI later today as well. Also, safety Reggie Smith suffered a groin injury, linebacker Jeff Ulbrich had a right quad contusion, cornerback Dre’ Bly injured a toe, guard David Baas sprained his ankle, tackle Adam Snyder sprained his thumb and linebacker Takeo Spikes suffered a left leg contusion.

Asked more specifically about Gore, Singletary said the injury was not related to the ankle sprain he sustained against the Seattle Seahawks.

Singletary said he hasn’t determined how long Gore will be kept out of action.

“I’m going to do what’s best for him first, then I’m going to do what’s best for the team next,” Singletary stated.

More Notes From Monday:

-Staley looked good to Singletary earlier this morning and the MRI is more of a precautionary measure.

-Singletary said there was a point in the game where he felt the 49ers running game was getting into a rhythm, but Percy Harvin’s 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown stifled all of that. “We were starting to get what we were looking for in the running game.” After the kick, Singletary said the 49ers “had to get back to the drawing board.”

-Singletary on Vernon Davis’ seven catch, two-touchdown performance: “Yesterday was an improvement for him. I think he’s capable of a lot better than yesterday. Hopefully we will see more of that in the future.”

-Singletary also said the 49ers were not in a prevent defense on the game’s final drive. “We were playing a get to the quarterback defense,” he said.


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Singletary: ‘Today was one of our better practices’

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 5, 2009 – 12:55 PM

spikes-gore-header

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.


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Bly Gets #31

Posted by Scott Kegley on July 20, 2009 – 9:18 PM

Defensive backs Reggie Smith and Terrail Lambert received permission from the league to change their numbers.  Smith will now be wearing #30 instead of #31 and Lambert will wear #41 instead of #30.

CB Dre’ Bly will also be wearing a new number – #31.


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