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49ers Sign CB Brock to Practice Squad

Posted by Taylor Price on September 15, 2010 – 4:01 PM

The San Francisco 49ers announced they have signed CB Tramaine Brock to the team’s practice squad. Brock originally made the team’s 53-man roster this season, but was released Tuesday to make room for WR Jason Hill on the roster.


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Hill’s Passion for Classics

Posted by Taylor Price on February 10, 2010 – 10:14 AM

During the regular season 49ers wide receiver Jason Hill spends six out of seven days of the week heavily focused on football. In the NFL, players only get one day off each week during the season for personal time, and that typically comes every Tuesday.

While most, including Hill, usually see some part of the 49ers practice facility that day getting treatment, meeting with coaches or watching film, they try to get some “Me” time in too.

This season, Hill spent several Tuesdays at Troy’s Body and Paint in Tracy, CA, where his passion for classic cars grew with each visit. Troy’s specialized in restoration, repair and customization of cars of all years, makes and models – giving Hill everything he needed to recreate a classic automobile of his own.

“When I was a kid I got a race car that was an old Mustang, and ever since then, whenever I saw them I remembered that. I always wanted one but never could afford it. Finally I have the opportunity so I got one.”

During the season Hill bought a 1967 Mustang convertible that needed a lot of work to restore back to its original condition. But through a recommendation from a friend, Hill headed over to Troy’s to get his clunker restored into a classic in just 21 days.

“That is a five-star shop, I was lucky to find them,” Hill said. “I went up there every Tuesday to see the work they were doing and they turned it around real quick. I felt like they were only working on my car they did it so fast. It was a great experience.”

Once the car was finished, Hill was in awe of his new Mustang.

“It came out great, second to none. I showed some guys on the team, like Delanie (Walker) and some of the classic car people, and they loved it. There are a lot of people who I see around who tell me how much they love it.”

But it wasn’t an easy job.

Hill’s car needed a full remodel, including new flooring and new parts of the body of the car along with exterior parts. It needed to be repainted, sanded and polished. It also needed a new interior kit for the car, new carpet, new seat covers and new door panels. Troy’s staff even took apart the dash, and replaced all the mechanisms around the gages. Around the exterior they replaced all the chrome exterior including door handles and headlamps and put the wheels and tires on the car as well.

Troy’s staff left no detail unnoticed.

“We’ve done promotional cars before but Jason was the first football player we’ve ever done,” said shop owner Troy Gaskins. “We are huge 49ers fans but this was more of an emotional experience for us.

“When we met Jason, he’s such a humble person. The guys all got a chance to talk to him and I think just the experience of meeting him and being such big 49ers fans. He came all the way out into Tracy, especially for a guy who doesn’t have a lot of experience in restoring an old car; it really meant a lot that he chose us.

The opportunity for Gaskins and his employees was one they relished.

“The car was in pretty rough shape, normally it would take us a couple months but it was a challenge and something that was presented to us. We had a shop meeting and we decided this is something we wanted to do.”

Hill plans to keep his main focus on football but one day he may be the owner of many restored classic cars.

“Maybe one day I’ll own more. I wanted to see how this first one went, but it went well, so wouldn’t rule it out.”

This off-season, Hill plans to spend a lot of time with his Mustang and might even be found trying to learn a thing or two, if Troy has any influence.

“We’d love to have Jason, or anyone for that matter who is passionate about classic cars, come into our shop and learn more about it.”

Hill would like to thank Troy’s Body and Paint and their employees for their hard work and dedication to the project: Owner- Troy Gaskins, GM- Chris Jones, Front Office Assistant- Shannon Jones, Head Painter- Dario Hernandez, Preper- Robert Gonzales, Preper- Andrew Alexander, Bodyman/Fabricator- Steve Ambrose, Bodyman/Fabricator- Chris Fink, Detailer- Doug Beardsley.


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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on November 23, 2009 – 4:20 PM

A day after his team dropped its fifth game of the season by less than seven points and sixth overall, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary hinted personnel changes were on the horizon.

“I am confident that there may be one or two [changes], but I am still looking at the film,” Singletary said.

Although he would not show his cards on the potential changes, Singletary vowed his players would perform better in the remaining games.

“I am confident that this season will be a good season,” Singletary said. “We’ve got six games left. I am convinced that we will play better.”

Despite dropping another game behind the division leading Arizona Cardinals and the rest of the NFC teams muddled in the Wild Card race, Singletary believes the 49ers can still reach their goals.

“At the very start of this season, our goal was to win enough games to go to the playoffs. That is still our goal. That has not changed, will not change. In my mind, we’re good enough to do that,” he said. “We just have to get it done.”

Singletary’s press conference included several questions pertaining to the shotgun formation that the team predominantly used in the second half against Green Bay to score three touchdowns.

“I think, as we go forward, we have to really look at what’s working for him and what works for the offense and continue to do more of those things,” Singletary said of tailoring the offense to quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith too was asked a high volume of questions regarding the shotgun attack, but insisted that the second half rally had more to do with desire than the shotgun formation. (You can watch video from his interview right here.)

“When you’re down that much, there wasn’t much left to do but to go after those guys and try to mount a comeback,” Smith said. “We finally made a few plays and got ourselves going.”

The one play that clearly kick-started the 49ers offense and the entire team for that matter, was Smith’s 38-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a third-and-20.

“I think it did a lot,” Smith said of Crabtree’s first NFL touchdown. “That whole drive, we made a couple of plays and then we were in third-and-long and Crabtree made a big play for the score – I think that got us going. That’s a little bit of what we needed.”

The 49ers added two more touchdown passes in the second half, but never could get the run game going because they were trailing heavily for most of the game.

Looking back at the film, one could infer that the team is best suited to throw the ball from the shotgun formation on every play – but not so says Smith.

That would require the 49ers entering another ‘world.’

“It’s easy to say let’s go live in that world [spread offense] – but I don’t think it’s realistic. I don’t,” Smith said. “That’s something you evolve to down the road maybe. Right now, it’s about finding that balance. Maybe it’s something you go in and out of, but you still have to have balance.

“We have one of the top running backs in the NFL and we need to find a way to continue getting him the ball and put him in situations to succeed.”

Gore rushed for 59 yards on just seven carries, with his best run coming on a 46-yard gain on a delayed draw with Smith not in the shotgun formation, but rather under center.

More Monday Notes:

-The 49ers had their longest injury report of the season following Sunday’s defeat. (Note that names with a * next to them will undergo an MRI Singletary said). *Michael Robinson (stinger), Michael Lewis (quad), Arnaz battle (leg strain), Jason Hill (left ankle sprain), Delanie Walker (forearm contusion), David Baas (right ankle sprain), Patrick Willis (trap spasm), *Marcus Hudson (back strain), Tarell Brown (left knee contusion) and Reggie Smith (abdominal strain) were all named by the head coach to start his press conference.

-According to Singletary, Smith’s injury was not related to the groin injury that has hampered him all season.

-Josh Morgan’s 76-yard kickoff return late in the game impressed Singletary but wouldn’t commit to naming Morgan as the team’s starting kick returner. “Obviously we liked what we saw yesterday. If Josh Morgan is the kickoff returner, then hopefully he’s not returning too many of them in a game so we don’t have to worry about it too often. I just think that yesterday, he did a nice job when called upon. We’ll have to look at that a little bit more.”


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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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49ers Introduce Special Guest on Punt Team

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 7, 2009 – 5:52 PM

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Outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver usually works with the gunners on punt team during the special teams portions of practice.  Tarver will hold a blocking pad, playing the role of the opposing jammer as the gunners try to release off the line of scrimmage.

Tarver gave way though to a “special guest” as head coach Mike Singletary walked over and picked up the blocking pad to the chagrin of the gunners.

“I was scared to death,” said cornerback Shawntae Spencer.  “His eyes got big with the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and everything.  I’m like, ‘It’s Mike Singletary!’  And he was serious too.”

Singletary was definitely making the players work hard.  In fact, some of the gunners started joking with their coach for hitting them after they were already out of bounds.  During a game, such a play would result in a penalty.

“I think he hit me a little late,” said wide receiver Jason Hill.  “A couple of times I was out of bounds and he hit me a little late.  I told him, ‘I’m going to have to talk to the refs about that one.’”

The players don’t usually go one-on-one with their coach, so some of the players tried to take advantage of the situation.  With Singletary shading towards the outside to prevent a good outside release, Spencer stepped outside before cutting back to the middle untouched, faking out his coach.

100709-sing-jammer-sub“I saw him cheat!” Spencer exclaimed.  “He was cheating because he knew we had to go outside.  So I released outside and then cut under him and then he got mad and threw the bag!”

Regardless of the friendly competition or the penalties that went unnoticed (there were zero refereed on the field), the gunners enjoyed the spirited session.

“I’ll tell you what, he really got us going today,” Spencer said.  It was a very, very funny moment.  It was one of the funniest moments of this season.  He just really showed his lighter side at the same time he gave us a good workout.  He showed us that he still likes to hit!”

For Hill, it was a great opportunity to go up against one of the game’s all-time greats.

“That’s a dream come true to line up against him,” Hill said.  “I’ll remember this day.  Hopefully when it’s all said and done we’ll look back on it and laugh and say that he got us better.”


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