I can remember it like it was yesterday. Well, it was last April, but the memories associated are quite vivid. There I was in the 49ers locker room on my way to interview a player when I came across a very frazzled, un-Joe Nedney like, Joe Nedney.
The 49ers veteran place kicker was not himself that day, initially at least. The 15-year pro was asked to take part in the Robo Games, specifically to compete in a field goal kicking contest against a robot named Ziggy.
Having no idea on what he had gotten himself into, Nedney braced for the unknown. But hours later, his demeanor changed quite a bit.
Tags: Joe Nedney
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According to 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel Trent Baalke, kicker Joe Nedney will have his injured knee reevaluated this Monday. In the mean time, the 49ers announced the signing of veteran kicker Jeff Reed to a one-year contract.
Tags: Andy Lee, Brian Jennings, Jeff Reed, Joe Nedney, Trent Baalke
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In response to the NFL fining the Denver Broncos for a videotaping infraction that took place before the Oct. 31 game at Wembley Stadium, the 49ers released the following statement Saturday:
“The San Francisco 49ers organization is aware of the results of the league’s investigation involving the Denver Broncos. The situation has been addressed by the NFL, therefore, the team will not be commenting any further.”
Tags: Barry Sims, Joe Nedney, Shane Andrus, Will James
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In his Monday press conference, Mike Singletary repeatedly took the blame for his team’s 3-7 record with six games remaining. After opening his remarks with the injuries from Sunday’s 21-0 loss to Tampa Bay, Singletary took full responsibility for the team’s performance Sunday too.
“As you look at our team, in particular as we talk about the game yesterday, why we lost the game? That would be on me.”
“Anything that happened in the game is on me because it all ultimately comes back to me. I understand that.”
Tags: Dashon Goldson, Joe Nedney, Josh Williams, Kyle Williams, Troy Smith, Vernon Davis
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After trying out Wednesday morning with two other kickers, K Shane Andrus was signed by the 49ers to a one-year contract. Andrus will step in for 15-year veteran Joe Nedney, who injured his right knee last week against St. Louis. MRI results showed a right knee strain and a bone bruise. Nedney is out this week and will be reevaluated next week.
Tags: Joe Nedney, Shane Andrus
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“Well, as of right now, Smith will be the starter,” Mike Singletary said with a chuckle at the start of his Monday press conference. “We’re going to go with Troy.”
There’s pretty much all the talk you need to hear to understand the theme of Monday’s locker room availability. Troy Smith will be the 49ers starting quarterback this Sunday when the 49ers host the 6-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tags: Alex Smith, Barry Sims, Frank Gore, Joe Nedney, Joe Staley, Michael Crabtree, Tony Wragge, Troy Smith
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Although Anthony Nunez’ 14th birthday is on Friday, the Tracy native received an early birthday gift in the form of a personal kicking lesson from 49ers kicker Joe Nedney.
Nunez’ father Randy purchased the training session in support of the 49ers Foundation during a visit to the team’s annual Celebrity Winter Fest in Lake Tahoe. With Anthony approaching his freshman year at Tracy High School, Randy wanted to get his son the best coaching around, as well as contribute to a valuable cause like the 49ers Foundation which focuses on keeping kids safe, on track and in school.
After Anthony’s kicking tutorial concluded, Randy marveled over the experience he and his son were able to have. During the hour-long kicking session on the 49ers practice fields, the 15-year NFL veteran gave the aspiring kicker numerous tips on how to play his position.
“I’m pretty excited because it could take me a long way,” Anthony said. “But I’d have to decide between baseball and kicking, but still, it’s been a pretty good experience with the 49ers.”
In addition to the time spent on the field, Anthony also received Nedney’s home No. 6 jersey, which the veteran kicker happily signed at the conclusion of the lesson.
“It’s nice to be out here with a kid who wants to learn,” Nedney said. “I felt he was a sponge, listening to everything I would say. Hopefully a little bit of technique help and a little words of wisdom will help him out and maybe down the road he’s playing in the NFL, comes back and thanks me!”
Tags: Joe Nedney
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Joe Nedney was pacing the 49ers locker room Monday morning like he was on an NFL sideline about to kick the biggest field goal of his life.
Well, he wasn’t that nervous, but you could see somewhat of an anxious look on the face of the 49ers kicker.
At the time Nedney was hours away from competing against a 340-pound robot named “Ziggy” at Kezar Stadium, all in the name of promoting the upcoming RoboGames in San Mateo.
“I had to come out and see what it’s all about,” Nedney said prior to the competition.
Nedney admittedly was nervous about the event, but felt much better once he saw the 14-inch tall robot miss a few kicks in warmups. When it was all said and done, Ziggy’s best kick came from 45-yards out. The 49ers 15-year veteran calmly responded by winning the event with a 50-yarder of his own.
“There’s still a human element to the robot. Theres’ still a team of guys trying to adjust and move it around. Even with robotics, there’s still human error involved. But it definitely legitimizes my position, I feel really good right now,” Nedney said with a smile.
Tags: Joe Nedney
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If Vernon Davis catches one more touchdown pass this week against the St. Louis Rams, he’ll tie Antonio Gates’ single-season record of 13 touchdown catches set back in 2004.
But the 49ers aren’t looking at it like it’s a one-man accomplishment for their starting tight end. It’s really more of a team feat.
“It’s a credit to the guys around him. We all depend on each other. But we’re happy for him, he’s worked really hard,” quarterback Alex Smith said.
In Davis’ first three seasons, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2005 draft had 103 catches for 1,132 yards (11 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. To put his breakout year into further perspective, already this season Davis has 72 catches for 876 yards (12.2 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
With numbers like that, Davis has the support of all his teammates in being a strong candidate to make the 2010 Pro Bowl.
“I’d love to see him on that list,” Smith said. “I’d love to see as many guys as possible, but especially him. He’s worked hard and had a lot of the stats this year to back it up.”
Davis and the rest of the 49ers will have to wait until 4:15 PM PT on Tuesday when Pro Bowl rosters are announced.
And while Smith was unaware of what Davis needed to pass the league milestone, the 49ers signal caller said he wouldn’t press the issue in St. Louis.
“I don’t think we’re going to force anything. We’re just going to let it happen. We’re going to try and win the game,” Smith said. “I think there’s something to be said about him and the work he’s put in over the last few years as well as this season.”
According to Smith, Davis’ development has forced opposing defenses to game plan for the 49ers versatile tight end.
“Definitely his speed up the field is something that causes problems,” Smith said. “I think you can see in these last few weeks defenses have acknowledged [that] and are making adjustments too. I think they’re more conscious of him.”
Smith was pretty aware of Davis on a 2-yard rollout touchdown pass in which the quarterback could have kept the ball for a touchdown run. Ultimately, Smith decided to throw his 17th touchdown pass of the season.
“It looked better on film than what it looked like in my head,” Smith said. “It definitely would have been a bang-bang play at the goal line. I don’t think it would have been a walk in like I kind of had in my mind. Either way, it turned out the way it did.”
Asked if he’d taken up Davis on his offer to pick up a dinner tab this week, Smith replied, “Not yet, I’ll hit him up on that.”
More Monday Notes
-Mike Singletary opened his press conference by announcing the 49ers injury report following the Lions game. Right guard Chilo Rachal will undergo an MRI later on Monday on his knee, left tackle Joe Staley is day-to-day with a knee contusion, Glen Coffee remains questionable with a hamstring injury and cornerback Shawntae Spencer has a wrist sprain. “Should be fine,” Singletary said of Spencer’s injury.
-Later, Singletary said kicker Joe Nedney and cornerback Nate Clements will not return to action this season. Ricky Schmitt will get another chance to kick for the 49ers. He made 2-of-3 field goals against Detroit.
-Singletary said the offense planned on getting the ball early and often to running back Frank Gore, but Detroit countered by stacking the box with eight defenders. Singletary said the 49ers played a “cat and mouse” game early on and that’s why Gore only had seven carries in the first half.
-Singletary wasn’t happy that his offense struggled to convert the Lions six turnovers into points of their own. “It’s not acceptable. It’s never acceptable,” he said.
-The head coach also has reservations about continuing to use starting wide receiver Josh Morgan as a kick returner. It’s not just offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye who feels that way. “That’s a priority for us this offseason, to find a return guy,” Singletary revealed.
-The 49ers are the only team in the league to force five or more turnovers in three games this season. Singletary said the credit goes to the team maturing on defense. In particular, he highlighted the growth of free safety Dashon Goldson and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. This season, both players are playing the most they ever had in any points of their career. Goldson leads the team with four interceptions while Brooks leads the team with 6.0 sacks.
-“Goldson has gotten more comfortable back there. He’s really doing a good job of reading the quarterback better,” Singletary said. “Ahmad has really stepped up in the second half of the season.”
-Singletary was asked if other linebacker had more range than 49ers two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, he responded, “No.”
-Singletary made a great point to close out his press conference when fielding a question on the importance of finishing the season 8-8. The head coach reminded the media that beating the Rams is not a foregone conclusion. “You have to go earn 8-8,” he stated.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Alex Smith, Chilo Rachal, Dashon Goldson, Frank Gore, jimmy Raye, Joe Nedney, Joe Staley, Nate Clements, Patrick Willis, Ricky Schmitt, Shawntae Spencer, Vernon Davis
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With the playoffs out of the picture, the 49ers are vowing to finish the 2009 season on a strong note.
“You’re disappointed, but we still have two games left. We’re going to prepare just like we have a chance of going [to the postseason],” outside linebacker Parys Haralson said. “When you play this game, you always play like you’re going to give it your best all the time. We’re upset about the playoff situation, but we still have two games to play. We enjoy playing football and we want to go out and play for each other.”
Head coach Mike Singletary elaborated that point even further by emphasizing the importance of the 49ers finishing the season 8-8. The team can do that with wins at home this Sunday over Detroit and the following Sunday on the road in St. Louis.
Asked if he would use the final two weeks to evaluate backups on the 53-man roster, Singletary said that would not be on top of his agenda.
“The last message I want to send is: we want to evaluate before we want to win. We want to win. Every time we step on the field, I want our guys to know we want to win and we want to compete.”
However, Singletary said young players could get valuable experience in limited playing time without having to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. According to Singletary, backups could be involved for a series at a time, but not at the cost of winning.
“Both these games are definitely important, no question,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “I’ve been here five years now and [8-8] would be the best record.”
Despite the frustration of losing another game because of “self-inflicted wounds,” Smith said he undoubtedly feels something special developing in the 49ers locker room.
“I’m not just saying this to say this, but I do feel like there’s been a bit of a mindset change around here, an expectation level, a confidence in what we can do,” Smith added.
More Monday Notes
-Singletary opened his press conference by sharing an exchange he had with quarterback Alex Smith last night. “I owe him an apology,” Singletary said a day after he was critical of his quarterback’s performance in a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. “I talked with him after the game and we had a conversation where I really kind of challenged him on some things, some of those throws or whatever. After looking at it, I have a better perspective.”
-Smith said the talk between the two was a positive one for him as well. “He did [apologize]. He doesn’t owe me an apology though,” Smith added. “We were all disappointed with yesterday. That wasn’t the only thing we talked about. The point is to get better moving on. It was a good talk. I did take a lot away from it.”
-Singletary went on to detail each of Smith’s first-half interceptions. According to the head coach, tight end Vernon Davis could have made a better play on Smith’s first interception that was picked off deep over-the-middle by Eagles safety Quintin Mikell. “I think the ball was there. It’s just one of those situations where Vernon either has to make that play, or either he has to stop that DB from making that play. He’s got to help the quarterback as well,” Singletary said.
-The second interception was due to a “trap coverage,” in which the Eagles baited Smith into throwing to Davis. “It’s a trap coverage where you’re throwing the ball on timing, and it looks like the receiver, or the defender is going with that receiver, and you come back and get in front of the second guy that the quarterback is going to try and throw the ball to because he feels that either the corner or the safety has run off, but they come back.”
-Singletary had no grandiose explanation for the final Smith turnover, other than it “was just a poor decision.” Smith tried to dump the ball off while he was getting hit in the pocket. Singletary said it was Smith’s fault for trying to force the issue.
-The 49ers head coach expressed remorse for not getting the ball in the hands of Frank Gore more often, who finished with a game-high 16 carries for 107 yards. ‘I thought Frank ran the ball well when he had the opportunity,” Singletary said. “It’s a shame we couldn’t have gotten him the ball more last night. That’s kind of the way we were built in thinking this week, running the ball a little bit more this week because they’re a smaller front. When we got behind – which is what they’re built for, coming from behind, rushing the passer, stunting, those kinds of things – they got to do what they do more than we did. That’s kind of the situation there.”
-The game’s injury report included, kicker Joe Nedney who re-injured a hamstring injury on a kick-off following his 25-yard field goal. Nedney underwent an MRI on Monday, with results to be determined. Singletary said if Nedney can’t play against Detroit, the team would likely bring someone in to handle the kicking duties. Singletary noted that he didn’t think punter Andy Lee could handle duel kicking responsibilities.
-Other than Nedney, rookie running back Glen Coffee had a thigh strain and also underwent an MRI on Monday. Singletary noted that left tackle Joe Staley was feeling fine after his first start in months.
-In other injury news, cornerback Nate Clements is unsure if he’ll return this season. He has been rehabbing diligently to return to the 49ers lineup, but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to participate in either of the final two games of the season. He’ll have to undergo one last MRI to make sure his fractured scapula is completely healed. “I’m taking it one day at a time, just doing what the trainers having me doing for rehab. I’m trying to get my shoulder back right,” Clements said. “Right now the range of motion is good, strength-wise; I’m kind of weaker there. I think it comes with time and the healing of the bone.”
-It’s been the longest period of games missed in Clements’ nine-year NFL career. “I missed one game last year, but this is the first time where I’ve been out a consistent period of time. It’s been frustrating not being out there to help the team.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Joe Nedney, Joe Staley, Nate Clements, Parys Haralson
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