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Throwback Thursday: 1990 Title Game

Posted by Taylor Price on November 29, 2012 – 2:16 PM

With 10 regular season games left to play at their historic stadium, the San Francisco 49ers are asking their Faithful fans to vote all month long on their favorite memories at Candlestick Park.

One of the moments to choose from involves this week’s opponent, the St. Louis Rams, who faced the 49ers in the 1990 NFC Championship game when they were known as the Los Angeles Rams.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 28

Posted by Taylor Price on August 28, 2012 – 9:37 AM

All offseason we’ve heard commentary and prognostications from members of the local and national media as it pertains to the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, we know how Hall of Famers from the team’s storied past feel. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana joined host Trey Wingo to discuss to their former team’s outlook in 2012.

“I think with that defense they can (be successful) because they brought all the guys back,” Rice, an ESPN analyst, said. “It’s going to be up to the offense. They brought in some additional weapons to help Alex Smith out, so now he has to put the ball in the hands of the playmakers, this team is going to go far.”

Montana said he was really impressed by Smith’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis in the team’s Divisional Playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.

“That showed me confidence in his ability to throw the ball,” Montana said of Smith. “He can make those throws, now it’s about managing the game.”

The legendary 49ers quarterback stressed that Smith has to distribute the ball to the playmakers and let them create big plays.

“They should be settled in, they understand what it takes to operate,” Montana said.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 27

Posted by Taylor Price on August 27, 2012 – 10:30 AM

Fresh off the San Francisco 49ers’ 29-24 come-from-behind win in Denver, the Morning Tailgate has all the top headlines from the team’s second preseason win of 2012.

Sunday’s win was a hard-fought effort that saw the 49ers score 19 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Broncos on the road. All four 49ers quarterbacks led scoring drives, leaving the coaches with plenty to contemplate as they put together the quarterback depth chart. By 1 p.m. PT, the team will trim its roster to the mandatory 75-man limit. Currently, the 49ers have 89 players on the team.

Many of those 89, including running back Anthony Dixon, were singled out by Jim Harbaugh following Sunday’s victory. Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Dixon’s hard-running in his game notebook. The 49ers coach mentioned many of his hard-workers, a list that featured 355-pound guard Leonard Davis, who lined up as an extra blocker with the first-team offense.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted Dixon and Davis’ efforts in his game notebook.

“(Davis) is eager to please,” Maiocco wrote. “And he likes his new role, which was unveiled on Sunday when he was used throughout game at tight end as an extra blocker.”

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Morning Tailgate: July 19

Posted by Taylor Price on July 19, 2012 – 9:31 AM

Let’s begin Thursday’s Morning Tailgate by talking golf. It’s only right. After all, it’s the first day of The Open Championship and the American Century Celebrity Golf Championships in Lake Tahoe.

The celebrity tournament, of course, is relevant to the 49ers because Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice is in the field once again and is joined by a first-time 49ers participant, current starting quarterback Alex Smith.

If you happen to be in the Lake Tahoe area over the weekend, click here for tournament information which features a Thursday celeb pro-am. The actual tournament begins on Friday and will be televised on NBC Sports Network from 1-4 p.m. PT, and by NBC on Saturday and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. PT.

NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport also happens to be on the scene covering all things NFL-related. Rapoport ran into Smith as the quarterback was walking from the 18th green to the first tee box.

“In between signing autographs and dodging stray carts, Smith came off as a guy pumped to get going,” Rapoport wrote. “Considering his team added weapons like Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, I can’t blame him.”

Rapoport also noted that Smith crushed his tee shot. Thatta’ boy Alex.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: July 6

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 6, 2012 – 11:12 AM

Training camp is just around the corner and 49ers QB Alex Smith has plans to unwind at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe on the final weekend before camp begins at 49ers headquarters. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee recently spoke to Smith about the upcoming American Century Championship, which will also feature fellow NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo. The star-studded field also includes 49ers legend Jerry Rice and Michael Jordan among others.

This doesn’t mark the first time that Smith has taken part in a high-profile celebrity golf tournament this offseason, as he caddied for coach Jim Harbaugh at the Pebble Beach Pro Am in February shortly after playing the Giants in a charity shootout. But don’t be looking for Harbaugh to be carrying Smith’s bags next week in Lake Tahoe, as he won’t be caddying anytime soon.

More headlines — including stories on Kendall Hunter, Donte Whitner and Joe Montana — can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: June 18

Posted by Alex Espinoza on June 18, 2012 – 11:08 AM

The 49ers Faithful celebrated Father’s Day this weekend and shared their favorite photos of their #NinerDads on Twitter. Check out @49ers to see some of the best pictures submitted on Sunday.

The holiday also held a special meaning for sixth-year CB Tarell Brown, who lost his father to a heart attack shortly before being drafted by the 49ers in 2007. Brown spoke to Nate Kuester of National Football Authority recently and spoke about the strong relationship Brown had with his late father, who inspired him to play football at a young age.

Things are a bit quieter now around 49ers headquarters with the conclusion of veteran minicamp, but 49ers.com has you covered with a wrap up of the last team-wide action until training camp. Those headlines — plus a trip down memory lane with Joe Montana and Steve Young — can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: June 11

Posted by Taylor Price on June 11, 2012 – 9:38 AM

Thanks to productive efforts in free agency and in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have added depth to numerous position groups on both sides of the ball.

The added depth figures to keep key veterans like Frank Gore and Justin Smith fresher throughout the upcoming season.

According to a recent report from Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, Gore handled 57-percent of San Francisco’s rushing attempts last season. Following up on Barrows’ initial findings, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com believes Gore’s volume of carries will decrease based on the team’s backfield additions this offseason. Maiocco notes that Gore finished seventh in the NFL in terms of running back playing time.

In addition, Maiocco notes: “Part of the 49ers’ strategy for keeping Gore fresh will be getting comfortable with other running backs on the roster to take on the duty of blitz pickup.”

A similar conundrum is presented by Maiocco in regards to All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith, who rarely spent time on the sideline in 2011.

Though the 49ers did not draft, nor sign any defensive line free agents this offseason, several young linemen (Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams) are expected to see the field more often in 2012 with the hopes of resting key contributors like Smith and fellow starting defensive tackle Ray McDonald.

According to Maiocco, Smith played the third-most snaps (91.12-percent) of any defensive linemen in the league.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: June 1

Posted by Taylor Price on June 1, 2012 – 9:58 AM

Justin Smith’s run of under-the-radar dominance is slowly starting to fade.

With NFL writers taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of San Francisco’s All-Pro defensive tackle, it’s clear that Smith’s name will continued to be mentioned in greater detail throughout the 2012 season.

In the latest offering of praise, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah listed Smith atop his interior defensive linemen rankings because of his ability to play the run and the pass.

“Against the run, he is too physically strong to move off the line of scrimmage and quick enough to shoot gaps and wreak havoc in the backfield,” Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, wrote.

“As a pass rusher, he might have the best bull rush of any defensive lineman in the league. He constantly pushes the pocket and forces the QB off his spot. He was always a solid player in Cincinnati, but he has taken his game to new heights in San Francisco. In four years with the 49ers, he’s compiled 29 sacks and made each of the last three Pro Bowls.”

In addition to NFL writers acknowledging Smith’s presence on the field, teammates have shed light on Smith’s behavior off of it. In fact, several 49ers have called Smith the funniest player in the locker room.

This is what Michael Crabtree had to say in a 49ers.com live chat when asked to name his funniest teammate.

“Justin Smith,” Crabtree said. “You know when you go to a comedy show and they’re telling the truth? He’s like that. It’s better when the truth is funnier than jokes.”

Fullback Bruce Miller had a similar response in his chat earlier this offseason.

“The funniest person on the team by far is Justin Smith,” Miller, the second-year player said. “He might be one of the funniest persons I’ve ever met. He’s so clever.”

It’s doubtful opposing offensive linemen find Smith to be so humorous, they’re too busy finding ways to slow down his never-ending motor.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: March 16

Posted by Taylor Price on March 16, 2012 – 10:01 AM

All six of the 49ers teams represented in the NFL.com’s greatest team of all-time tournament have advanced to the second round.

However, Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young will be pitted against each other as the 1988 team quarterbacked by Montana will face the 1994 team quarterbacked by Young. Both teams won Super Bowls.

The 49ers vs. 49ers matchups don’t end there.

In addition, the 1989 team faces the 1990 team.

More on the tournament, 49ers free-agency headlines and 49ers players attending that other March tournament after the jump.

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NFL, Smith Honor Jim Harbaugh

Posted by Taylor Price on February 5, 2012 – 10:52 AM

On the eve of Super Bowl XLVI, the National Football League held its inaugural postseason “NFL Honors” award show Saturday night. The primetime television event, hosted by Alec Baldwin, saw a blend of current and former stars of pro football being highlighted throughout the show.

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