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Sims is Playing ‘Outstanding’ Football

Posted by Taylor Price on November 17, 2009 – 3:31 PM

Coach Singletary had a pretty direct answer in responding to a question regarding the play of Barry Sims.

“Outstanding. It’s a pleasant surprise,” the 49ers head coach said of the 11-year veteran who has filled in nicely at left tackle for injured tackle Joe Staley. “I think he’s done a great job. I’m really excited about what he has been able to bring to that position. I think he’s done a phenomenal job.”

Outstanding, check. Great, check. Phenomenal, you can check that too.

Definitely some high praise for Sims, who has given up just a half sack in two starts this season. Sims practically had three starts, considering that Staley was injured on the first play of the game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Sims’ experience (129 starts in 159 games) has been a big plus in helping the 49ers offense the past couple of weeks.

Upon learning that his coach had called Sims’ play ‘outstanding,’ quarterback Alex Smith agreed with his coach’s opinion.

 “I think just that, he stepped right in and hasn’t missed a beat. He has played really well,” Smith said of his fellow University of Utah alum. “That’s hard to do, come in and play left tackle in this league where you are getting matched up every week against big-time pass rushers; the way he’s played has been great. I don’t think twice back there, I trust those guys up front.”

The rest of the 49ers offensive linemen also have a lot of trust in Sims.

“He’s a salty vet, so he knows what it takes to be successful,” said left guard David Baas, the man who lines up directly next to Sims on the line. “That’s what we expected out of him and we’re glad he’s doing well. We trust each other a lot out there, so that’s a good thing.”

Teammates like tight end Delanie Walker said Sims’ experience is exactly what the 49ers offense needed when Staley went down.

“He’s been doing a great job of executing his assignments and he’s been communicating well with the tight ends on certain blocks that we have to accomplish,” Walker said. “He’s been doing a great job. He’s been a leader for us.”

Walker said one of his favorite things about playing with Sims is how the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman enjoys what he’s doing on the field.

“He’s the same guy; he doesn’t change on or off the field. I think that’s what makes him a great person,” Walker said. “He goes out there and does what he has to do. I like to see how he acts, I’ve seen him on the field smiling after a big play and I think when other players see that – it puts a smile on your face.”

Losing a player like Staley might have damaged the mindset of some teams, but the 49ers felt confident in Sims, knowing they had a player who has experienced practically everything a player could experience in the NFL.

“It’s tough replacing Joe, because Joe is a great tackle and a big part of this offense,” Walker said. “But I think Barry stepped in and has done a great job. We know he could do it because he had been doing it for a long time. Nobody doubted him, we knew he was going to step in and take care of the big shoes he had to fill.”

More Tuesday Notes:

-Singletary announced on Tuesday that rookie running back Glen Coffee will return this week after missing the Bears game with a concussion. Defensive tackle Demetric Evans will also return to action against Green Bay after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury.

-Other injury news: Takeo Spikes is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. If unable to play, linebacker Matt Wilhelm will step in as Spikes’ replacement. Only Staley (knee) and cornerback Nate Clements (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

-Singletary said that veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce would return to action this Sunday after missing the Bears game (ankle), but would be behind Josh Morgan, who will start opposite of Michael Crabtree against the Packers. The 49ers head coach was non-committal in naming Bruce as his No. 3 receiver, citing that the coaching staff would have to determine the usage of receivers based on the personnel package.

-Asked if having the weekend off was a good thing for his players, Singletary answered: “I think any time you have an extra day or two for guys to get their legs back underneath them, some of the pounding that they’ve taken, to heal and use it wisely, I think it can do nothing but help us.”


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Singletary and Teammates Applaud Franklin

Posted by Taylor Price on November 13, 2009 – 3:35 PM

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A day after beating the Chicago Bears 10-6 at Candlestick Park, Mike Singletary said nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin has been his most consistent player this season.

That’s certainly high praise, considering the player who lines up behind Franklin is two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Patrick Willis. But Singletary meant what he said in complementing the play of his nose tackle, who took points off the score board by intercepting Jay Cutler at the Bears 1-yard line.

Known in the locker room for being one of the best dressed players on the team, Franklin became a new kind of trendsetter by becoming the first of five different players to intercept Cutler last night.

“It was fun,” Franklin said of his first-career interception. “But I’m just glad they didn’t get in the end zone.”

Franklin was asked if defensive lineman such as himself imagined scenarios where they intercept a pass and the 6-foot-1, 317-pound nose tackle admitted such things were in fact true.

111309-franklin-sub“I think anybody does on the defensive line,” Franklin revealed. “We’re the guys who rarely get our hands on the ball; we’re trying to knock the ball down. Fortunately, God blessed me to get a pick and I held on to it.”

It was Franklin’s first interception since his high school days at Science Hill High in Johnson City, Tennessee. Back then Franklin was an all-state linebacker who recorded 180 tackles as a senior. Franklin said he would send the ball back home to his mother, Chantini Carter who lives back in Tennessee.

Franklin received even more praise from teammate Jeff Ulrbich who was recently placed on injured reserve. Ulbrich, who remains around the team in a daily basis, interrupted Franklin’s media session to openly share his thoughts on one of the 49ers most underrated players.

“I’m putting this out there right now, anybody that doesn’t recognize that he is one of the top-3 nose tackles in the game right now, doesn’t know anything about football. You know nothing and you shouldn’t be writing,” said Ulbrich as he put his right hand on Franklin’s shoulder.

Ulbrich was asked if Franklin should be in the Pro Bowl this year, to which the 10-year veteran said, “He should, without a doubt.”

More Monday Notes

-After having their longest injury list after the Tennessee game, the 49ers have a shorter injury list following last night’s game. The injury list is: Michael Lewis (stinger), Arnaz Battle (quad), Mark Roman (knee), Adam Snyder (AC sprain), Takeo Spikes (hamstring) and Isaac Bruce (ankle).
-Out of the names mentioned above, all figure to be active for the 49ers next game against the Green Bay Packers. Singletary added that the team will need to monitor Spikes on a day-to-day basis.

-Singletary made a decision in regards to the starting wide receivers for the duration of the season. Josh Morgan will remain in the starting lineup when Bruce regains full strength in his ankle. But Singletary reiterated that Bruce will remain a factor in the offense and will see plenty of playing time.

-One are of concern to Singletary was the kicking game. Joe Nedney missed a 39-yard field goal which could have been a useful three points given the close circumstances at the end of the game. Singletary also said that wind played a factor in him not letting Nedney attempt a 50-plus-yard field goal on the 49ers final possession. Singletary elected to let punter Andy Lee pin the Bears inside the 10-yard line, but Lee was unable to do so. “We have to make those kicks,” Singletary said.

- Singletary was pleased overall with his defense and how they were able to execute the game plan for the Chicago game. “I thought our defense did what we focused on which was creating turnovers,” he said. But Singletary found areas for improvement after watching the game again last night. “We have to continue to work on our tackling on the perimeter,” he added. “We have to continue to keep working at that.”

-In addition to Franklin and others on his defense, Singletary singled out linebacker Matt Wilhelm who filled in nicely for Spikes. “Matt has experience and that helps tremendously.” Wilhelm finished the game five tackles, one of which went behind the line of scrimmage.

111309-smith-sub-A day after he completed two impromptu shovel passes for big gains, Alex Smith said he too found himself asking himself why he was doing it too. “Those things seem to come in spurts like that. You don’t get them, then you do two or three of them and you even ask yourself the same question, ‘Why am I doing it?’ It just kind of happens when you’re playing in the game, you’re not thinking, you’re just reacting. And sometimes it’s just a quicker way to get the ball out. You can’ always set up and have a form throw so it’s easier sometimes just to shove it to the guy.

-Smith praised backup running back Michael Robinson, who converted two first downs on the 49ers final offensive drive. “It was huge, especially when you’re trying to run down the clock,” Smith said. “We had the lead and it was important for us to change field position and take as much time off the clock as we could. To get those third down conversions to eat up quite a bit of that clock… in the end, those are things that help you win the game.”

-The maligned 49ers offensive line put together a solid performance, helping Frank Gore surpass the 100-yard mark for the 17th time in his career.

-“I think as the game went on we got better,” left tackle Barry Sims said. “It would have been nice to finish some drives off, we moved the ball well at times, but we needed to finish drives better than we did and give our defense a better chance where they do not have to win it on the last play of the game.”

-Sims, an avid golfer, will not step foot on a golf course this weekend with the 49ers having the weekend off. “I’m just going to relax, keep my body fresh and get ready for Green Bay,” he said.


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Singletary: ‘This is when I’m at my best’

Posted by Taylor Price on November 9, 2009 – 4:09 PM

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One day after his team suffered a fourth consecutive loss, the third to an NFC South opponent, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary didn’t abandon his desire to get his team into the playoffs.

“In these moments – this is when I’m at my best,” Singletary said. “I think in these situations, you just have to rise above. You have to put your best foot forward. You have to look at where things are you just have to call it like it is. I can’t get lost in the reality of the four losses. It’s not something that you want. It’s not a place where you want to be. But that’s where it’s at.”

Despite seeing his offense turn the ball over four times on Sunday (three interceptions and a fumble), Singletary was still pleased with how his offense looked at times against Tennessee.

“When I look at the offense for the most part, if you take away the turnovers, we really had a chance to have a nice offensive game, have some excitement and momentum going forward. But it didn’t happen. We did have the turnovers and I just think that’s something that we need to work on.”

Singletary came back to team headquarters Sunday night to watch film and ultimately analyze what went wrong with the turnovers. After his film study, Singletary was satisfied with the play of Alex Smith and that only one of the four turnovers was solely on his starting quarterback.

110909-int-sub“I thought Alex did a good job of throwing the football. I thought the first turnover he had; the ball just took an unlucky bounce. That doesn’t happen too often. The last turnover where he threw to Josh [Morgan], there were a couple of things that could have happened [differently]. Josh could have made a better play on the ball coming back to it and I thought the defender got there a little bit early, but we didn’t get that call.

“Other than that, I just think Alex had one play that was really on him. I thought he did a good job.”

Singletary said Smith’s second interception to Titans safety Chris Hope was caused by Smith’s confusion with Tennessee’s coverage on that particular play.

“He thought it was cover-4, and the defensive back [Hope] came off. Alex was trying to get it in on time and the guy made a nice play,” Singletary said of the crucial takeaway.

Also from his film evaluation, Singletary was happy with the strides his offensive line continues to make despite being without the services of two starting tackles.

“Our O-line I thought did a heck of a job. I was very encouraged,” he said.

Singletary also singled out Frank Gore for running hard and the blocking from his receivers downfield.

Asked why Jason Hill replaced Isaac Bruce as the 49ers third wideout in the second half, Singletary said it was because of a sore ankle had been hampering Bruce.

Hill caught four passes for 50 yards with two touchdown catches in his first offensive action all season.

Singletary revealed that he would meet with his entire coaching staff to evaluate the wide receiver position. “We have to figure out the right combination,” Singletary said.

More Monday Notes

-Rookie running back Glen Coffee suffered a concussion on the game’s final kickoff return and has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s primetime home game against the Chicago Bears. (Here is the link to injury reports for both teams).

-With Singletary hosting his former team, there was a lot of questions for him regarding that particular storyline, but Singletary wouldn’t classify this game as any more important than his team’s other 15 regular season games.

“Not in particular,” he said of having any extra emotions for Thursday’s game. “I’m just excited for the game, but no emotions outside of the emotions that I have for any other team.”

110909-vd-sub-A national reporter, (who doesn’t cover the team on a regular basis) asked Singletary what Vernon Davis is doing to be so successful this season, and got this response from the 49ers head coach: “What he’s doing now is just the investment he made in the offseason. He continues to get better and he’s going to help this team win a lot of football games. He is committed – that’s why he’s a captain. He’s making a difference on the team.”

-As a Hall of Fame linebacker, Singletary has played against some of the best running backs in Pro Football history. After seeing Tennessee’s Chris Johnson up close and in person, the 49ers head coach was thoroughly impressed. “What you saw there was real speed. I don’t think there’s ever been a running back as fast as him.”

-Singletary added that his defense did a “pretty decent job” overall against Johnson, but struggled to contain the perimeter at times as well as get off blocks. “When you see the guy turn the corner and Patrick Willis is running after him – you don’t see that too often. Pat is going to catch the guy, and he did a few times, which is a credit to him. But the guy [Johnson] made some good plays. They locked on to us and we didn’t do a great job of getting off blocks yesterday.”


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Bruce is “Taking it to the Bank”

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 20, 2009 – 4:56 PM

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Isaac Bruce is teaming up with the San Francisco Food Bank for their “Take It To the Bank” food collection day.  On Tuesday, November 3 from 4-6 p.m., Bruce will be on hand to sign autographs, take pictures and mingle with those who bring five or more food items to the Food Bank.  The food collection will take place at the San Francisco Food Bank at 900 Pennsylvania Ave. at 23rd St. in San Francisco.

Isaac Bruce is serving as the spokesman for the San Francisco Food Bank’s holiday food drive. With your help, the Food Bank can provide much-needed food to more than 79,500 low-income seniors, adults and children during the holiday season. The San Francisco Food Bank supplies meal programs like St. Anthony’s and Glide, and it also distributes free holiday groceries at 200 locations across the city. Food items needed at the collection include: rice and pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, canned meats, soups, stews and chili, peanut butter and cereal.

The Isaac Bruce Foundation focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education.  Through his foundation, Isaac reaches out to youth and teaches them at an early age the importance of a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on education.  For more information on the Isaac Bruce Foundation, visit www.isaacbruce.org or call 314-369-4074.

The San Francisco Food Bank is the critical link between food and people. We provide food to 22,000 households each week through 400+ community partners. Hunger impacts people in all walks of life. We reach them all – from working families to senior citizens. Together, we will distribute over 36.5 million pounds of food this year to meet an ever-growing need in our community.  For more information, visit www.sffoodbank.org.


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Bruce and Staley Up For Public Service Award

Posted by Taylor Price on October 9, 2009 – 3:25 PM

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Ever wondered what wide receiver Isaac Bruce and tackle Joe Staley have in common?

Besides playing for the 49ers, they’ve both been named semi-finalists for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service – Outstanding Athletes in Service.  Please click on the links below to vote to support their nomination.  As two of the 49ers most prolific volunteer service providers, they are certainly deserving of the recognition and it would be wonderful to see them win!

Click here to vote for Isaac!

Click here to vote for Joe!


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Singletary Pleased After Week 1

Posted by Taylor Price on September 14, 2009 – 1:28 PM

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Head coach Mike Singletary just concluded his weekly Monday press conference with the Bay Area media. The 49ers head coach answered a number of questions pertaining to the 49ers 20-16 season opening victory from one day earlier.

“It was indeed an ugly game,” Singletary said. “But it was beautiful to see our guys work through all of the stuff and come out with a win. We fought together and ended up winning together.”

Singletary was pleased that his team was able to go into a hostile environment and come out with a win against a good football team. He also expressed his disbelief in rushing for under 30 yards as a team but still coming out victorious.

“I find it hard to do but that’s we ended up doing,” he said.

Singletary praised several of his player’s performances on both sides of the ball, but called out the play of his offensive line.

“We did not play well up front, but it will get better,” he said.

Despite not being able to move the ball efficiently in the first three quarters, Singletary was pleased that his offense put together a 15-play drive in the fourth quarter that put the 49ers up for good.

“I think the best thing that helped us offensively was that fourth quarter,” Singletary said. “Shaun [Hill] did a good job, everybody settled down and we took it down the field. They really did what they had to do when they had to do it and that’s the sign of something special.”
 
Other notes from Singletary’s presser:

-According to Singletary, Hill did a good job of managing the game and taking what the defense gave him.

-Vernon Davis, Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan and Arnaz Battle were highlighted for making “critical plays” during the 49ers fourth quarter go-ahead touchdown drive.

-Arizona’s penetrating defense was a bigger factor than Singletary and the 49ers anticipated. “I think it got to our guys early on but it didn’t on that 15-play drive,” he added.

-Defensively, Singletary thought his guys played relentless. “We did things we needed to do in order to win. Our defense challenged their wideouts,” he said.

091409-willis-blog-Patrick Willis was everywhere. Singletary said his first quarter interception was a result of tremendous coverage that was very well played.

-Singletary also complimented the play of his secondary as well as the pass rush supplied by the likes of Justin Smith, Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson.

-Recently signed tackle Tony Pashos will begin sharing snaps with Adam Snyder this week, so Singletary and the rest of the 49ers staff can evaluate the 49ers new tackle.

-The 49ers suffered no major injuries against the Cardinals.

-Also, wide receiver Brandon Jones will return to practice this week. But, it has not been determined if he will play against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at Candlestick Park.


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Shaun Hill Named Starter for Friday Night

Posted by Taylor Price on August 13, 2009 – 1:54 PM

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Head coach Mike Singletary announced that Shaun Hill will be his starting quarterback this Friday night when the 49ers host the Denver Broncos at Candlestick Park.

Shaun Hill will start the game,” Singletary said on Thursday after the team held a “mock game” practice. “I do not know who will start next week.  Really it could have been Shaun Hill or Alex Smith.  We chose Shaun Hill.  Don’t read anything into it.”

Hill didn’t hear the news until he walked off the practice field, but no matter the timing of the announcement, he was pleased with the outcome.

“I’m just excited to get out there and play again,” Hill said. “I agree there’s no reason to read into this in any way, but obviously, my goal is to start every regular season game and go from there. I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

Other news from Singletary’s press conference included Frank Gore and Isaac Bruce’s playing time on Friday. Both players will not play against Denver. Rookie Glen Coffee will get the nod in the backfield, but Singletary said a replacement for Bruce has yet to be determined.

Singletary also said Hill’s playing time also hasn’t been finalized.

Right now we’re just going to get into the flow of the game,” Singletary said. “I think the flow will dictate more or less, how much they (quarterbacks) will get to play.”

Although Hill’s getting the first crack with the first-team offense, Singletary said he’s more concerned with the end of the quarterback competition than the day-to-day details.

“I don’t care about today,” he said. “What I care about is at the end of it.  One can go a little bit ahead and a little bit behind.  In all fairness to them, that’s the only thing that I want to comment on is when we know what it is.  But in terms of who it is, who’s ahead, who’s not, it really doesn’t matter right now for us.” 

Fifth-round draft pick Nate Davis isn’t guaranteed playing time, but Singletary said he’d like to get the Ball State product into the game at some point.

Now that the first preseason game is one day away, the entire 49ers locker room is itching to compete against a different colored jersey.

“Everybody is very excited,” Hill said. “When you’ve been facing each other and going as hard as we’ve been at each other for a couple of weeks, you’re very excited to see a different uniform across from you. There’s a lot of excitement and optimism in that locker room heading into this season, without a doubt.” 

Singletary canceled the team’s afternoon practice to let the players rest up for Friday.

You can purchase tickets for Friday’s game by clicking here!


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