Our annual pre-draft series marches on with a look at the top prospects hailing from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The ACC was competitive as ever in 2012 with Florida State taking home the conference crown. The Seminoles were also dominant in the BCS Orange Bowl, beating Northern Illinois 31-10. FSU capped an impressive 12-2 record that saw them finish as the nation’s No. 10 overall team in the AP’s final Top 25 rankings.
Tags: Joe Looney
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The 49ers are scheduled to practice on Wednesday, the first of the week in preparation for Monday’s NFC showdown against the Chicago Bears.
Players will be available to the media in the afternoon. However, it is not known if Alex Smith will speak to the media, but reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicate Smith might return to action this week after suffering a concussion in a 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams. Smith has not spoken to the media since the injury.
“They feel pretty good that Smith should be able to go,” Schefter said on ESPN this morning in comments relayed by Evan Silva of NBC Sports.
The news comes after Tuesday’s report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who said Smith was seeking a second opinion on the injury according to a league source.
Perhaps Smith will be around to share insight on the concussion evaluation process. If not, the speculation leading up to Monday night will continue for both teams as Jay Cutler is in the same boat as Smith.
Stay tuned to 49ers.com for more updates on the quarterbacks.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Jed York, Joe Looney
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The first 49ers Gameday Magazine cover story of 2012 discusses this year’s incoming rookie draft class and their quest to learn “The Forty Niner Way.” Seven players from all over the country have been chosen to be the next batch of great players, but before they get there, coaches and veterans have schooled the NFL newcomers on what it takes to truly become a 49er.
This year’s rookies posed for the cover after a recent training camp practice. They also stood close to Jim Harbaugh’s “Forty Niner Way” street sign, recently installed by San Francisco’s coach prior to the start of camp. Graphic designer Ben Mayberry touched up the image to give the cover its final look.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming, Jason Slowey, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Looney, LaMichael James, Trenton Robinson
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The San Francisco 49ers announced that G Joe Looney has passed a physical and therefore was activated from the active/non-football injury list. Looney was a fourth-round draft pick out of Wake Forest in April after suffering a foot injury at the Senior Bowl, but has already garnered praise from coach Jim Harbaugh for his attitude and football knowledge.
Tags: Joe Looney
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The San Francisco 49ers announced that LB Darius Fleming has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list. G Joe Looney and RB Jewel Hampton have been placed on the active/non-football injury list. Players placed on either list count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated at any time prior to the final cuts of training camp.
Tags: Darius Fleming, Jewel Hampton, Joe Looney
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In just a few hours, 49ers rookies and a few early arriving veterans will speak with the media to discuss their mindset heading into training camp. Rookies officially reported over the weekend, and many were in awe once they arrived at team headquarters to discover game jerseys hanging in their lockers.
The 49ers will utilize the game jerseys to increase practice tempo, and to allow players to get a feel for proper blocking technique in game equipment.
As for the veterans, many have already made their way to team headquarters in Santa Clara. The group, however, won’t officially report until Thursday. Practices begin promptly on Friday.
But before camp can officially get underway, let’s examine the top storylines heading into camp after the jump.
Tags: Alex Smith, Darius Fleming, Jed York, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Looney, Kyle Williams, Randy Moss
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It didn’t take long for fans of the New York Giants to express remorse for losing running back Brandon Jacobs to the San Francisco 49ers via free agency.
Kyle Ratke of USA Today shares the story of a 6-year-old Giants fan named Joseph who recently reached out to Jacobs to express his desire to have the power running back return to New York for an eighth season. After Joseph’s mother explained to her son that Jacobs left the Giants because the team didn’t have enough money to pay him, Joseph, with the help of his mother, sent Jacobs $3.36 with the hopes Jacobs would return to The Big Apple.
The gesture was appreciated by the new 49ers running back, who just so happens to be New York’s all-time rushing touchdown leader with 56 scores on the ground.
“Here’s what I am thinking for the kid,” Jacobs tweeted last night. “I have a 5 year old, I will go and pick Joe up at his home in jersey and take him and my son 2 chucky cheese, what y’all think about that?”
More on the 49ers backfield and additional team headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Anthony Davis, Brandon Jacobs, Donte Whitner, Joe Looney, Ricky Jean-Francois, Scott Tolzien, Tom Rathman, Trenton Robinson
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While he can’t line up in the trenches with his new 49ers teammates, Joe Looney has still been putting in work since being drafted in April.
Selected with the No. 117 pick in the fourth round, the talented guard from Wake Forest is recovering from a foot injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl in January. But you don’t need two good feet to learn the playbook.
Aside from burying his nose in the 49ers playbook, Looney has also been watching the team practice from the sidelines.
“It’s tough not being able to be out there running around with my friends,” Looney said. “But I’m taking it all in, learning and asking guys questions when I don’t understand something. I’m definitely enjoying it.”
Tags: Joe Looney
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If three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances weren’t enough recognition for the efforts of 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith, the first-team All-Pro can take pride in being honored recently in another way.
ProFootballFocus.com has listed Smith as the No. 2 overall player in the National Football League and top-ranked defensive player in the entire league.
It’s not hard to see why the football analysis site has Smith so high on the list. In 2011, Smith became the third player in 49ers history to record at least 6 sacks in four consecutive seasons. Smith finished the year with 105 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Beyond the weekly production, everyone will remember his two clutch plays that sealed wins against the Philadelphia Eagles (fourth-quarter forced fumble on unsuspecting Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin) and against the New York Giants (batting down an Eli Manning fourth-down pass in the closing moments of a Week 10 win). However, PFF has chosen Smith’s Week 6 outing against the Detroit Lions as his best game in 2011.
Sam Monson writes that Smith’s two sacks, six quarterback pressures, quarterback knockdown and strong performance against the run made it an all-around dominant effort. Monson also notes that Smith finished the year with 15 more combined sacks, hits and hurries than any other defensive end in a 3-4 system.
Smith’s presence on the 49ers has certainly benefited the team’s interior offensive linemen who face him in practice. More on the 49ers upcoming position battle at right guard can be found after the jump.
Tags: Joe Looney, Justin Smith
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The 2012 49ers draft class is one marked with intrigue and excitement. From traditional powerhouses like Notre Dame to up-and-coming programs like Oregon and even Division II schools like Western Oregon, the new crop of 49ers bring their own share of interesting stories to the team.
In his third year at the helm of the 49ers draft room, general manager Trent Baalke was able to add some explosive offensive weapons while adding some back-end depth on the final day. Above all, the 49ers are excited to bring another group of high character players in the locker room at 4949 Centennial Blvd.
Baalke and his staff felt good about the 49ers prospect board heading into the draft and are even happier with the seven players they added to the roster.
“It creates competition,” Baalke said. “I can’t say it enough, that’s what this game’s all about, is competing and developing this roster from the top down and the bottom up. And as those things come together, that’s when you start to develop a team that we feel we can play long into the year with.”
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming, Draft, Jason Slowey, Joe Looney, LaMichael James, Trenton Robinson
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