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Morning Tailgate: Greg Roman Profile

Posted by Taylor Price on April 3, 2013 – 11:51 AM

There’s a lot to like about San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. I repeat, a lot.

He’s energetic, he’s thoughtful and perhaps most important of all, he knows how to put his players in position to win.

Twenty-seven victories in two seasons later, those impressive traits were recently documented by esteemed Yahoo! Sports writer Michael Silver, who wrote a solid profile on the 49ers play-caller. Silver and Roman spoke for so long over lunch recently, the 49ers coordinator’s car was impounded. Not to worry, Roman picked his car up and got back to doing what he loves.

Silver went into detail on how Roman is moving on from Super Bowl XLVII and how the game’s final sequence overshadowed a stellar season in 2012.

“The upshot is especially cruel,” Silver wrote. “Roman, the man who probably dialed up more brilliant calls than anyone in the business last season, the audacious innovator who overhauled the Niners’ offense on the fly in midseason and literally and figuratively unveiled formations that turned the football world upside down, is the guy getting blasted by half the folks who’ve ever held a Madden joystick.”

But don’t only take Silver’s words. Consider the comments from two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley.

“I’ve never been around a coordinator who understands everything,” Staley told Silver. “Not just X’s and O’s and how you draw it up, but the bigger picture, too. Watching games [on tape], I find myself saying, ‘This is a perfect call here.’ It seems seamless to him. There are a lot of guys who are really smart with plays and who run creative schemes, but it’s the way you call those plays that makes all the difference. He’s great at both. He’s very innovative.”

Roman continues to find ways to make the 49ers better in 2013 and is surely eager to work with recently acquired quarterback Colt McCoy, in addition to installing more wrinkles to the hybrid offense the 49ers ran last season.

Roman can analyze the Super Bowl outcome all he wants, but in the back of his mind he knows there’s more to come from his offensive unit.

“The reality is, if you’ve got a guy who can throw the ball like [Colin Kaepernick] can and run it like he can, it eventually becomes a numbers game,” Roman told Silver. “What do you want to stop? Then we turn to something we call play-action, and it’s a huge advantage.

“So yeah, (defenses are) gonna be spending a lot of time on this. They should. This is real. And we’re just getting started.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in the Morning Tailgate.

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Niner Talk: Super Bowl XLVII

Posted by Taylor Price on February 1, 2013 – 2:15 PM

NEW ORLEANS – We’ve come full circle on the Niner Talk podcast on 49ers.com. Week 1 of the regular season featured Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley and now that the San Francisco 49ers have reached the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl, we’ve welcomed Staley back to the show.

Staley discussed a number of topics on this week’s show. The left tackle detailed the amazing meal he had Monday night with teammates as well his thoughts on this year’s American Idol, an admitted guilty pleasure for the offensive lineman. There was football talk, too. Staley said he’s looking forward to a rematch against the Baltimore Ravens who totaled nine sacks the last time they faced each other.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 31

Posted by Taylor Price on January 31, 2013 – 8:54 AM

Justin Smith’s hard-working ways come into greater focus thanks to a remarkable story from ESPN.com’ Elizabeth Merrill. San Francisco’s four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle doesn’t seek out attention, but this story certainly explains the roots of Smith’s work ethic.

Smith owns the Railwood Golf Club in Holts Summit, Mo., a course that costs $25 to play 18 holes with a cart.

“Just Smith wanted it this way,” Merrill wrote. “He didn’t want to gouge the working man who couldn’t take a Monday off to hit golf balls. Smith would prefer, though, that you didn’t know he’s the owner of this golf course nestled in the rolling hills of Central Missouri.

“His name is not on the voicemail, or the website, and that seems typical. Smith is 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, and one of the most important players on the San Francisco 49ers’ vaunted defense, but he prefers to remain in the background. When his teammates are getting sacks, it means Smith is doing his job. Smith has a goal. When he’s finished with football, he’d like to be able to go to the grocery store without anyone recognizing him.”

Check out more of the top Super Bowl XLVII headlines after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 28

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 28, 2013 – 12:18 PM

NEW ORLEANS – The 49ers touched down in New Orleans on Sunday and greeted the national media in the Big Easy before getting preparations underway for Super Bowl XLVII. Jim Harbaugh and a few of the team’s biggest leaders addressed reporters on Sunday night, discussing the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl run.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com broke down the trip for the 49ers and compared it to the two trips to Youngstown, Ohio, that the team has taken in the regular season since Harbaugh took over as coach.

“But the 49ers’ week-long stay at the site of Super Bowl XLVII is bringing back memories of the road trips the club has taken the past two years during the regular season,” Maiocco wrote. “Yes, there will be a lot more media and hype surrounding the 49ers’ game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, but it is also a time for the team to focus on football — just as they’ve done in Youngstown on week-long trips.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features more 49ers arrival news and more.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 9

Posted by Taylor Price on January 9, 2013 – 10:36 AM

Patrick Willis’ potential role against the Green Bay Packers has already been discussed at great length this week. But to his credit, the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers said he’s eager to carry out whatever responsibilities are asked of him from defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

If the Packers elect to use four wide receivers at a time in Saturday night’s Divisional Playoff matchup, Willis could very well be on the sideline in the 49ers dime defense in favor of fellow Pro Bowl linebacker, NaVorro Bowman. San Francisco’s “Mike” linebacker, played by Bowman, covers the middle of the field in the 49ers dime defense.

However, the likelihood of the Packers throwing even more against the 49ers isn’t a guarantee. After all, Green Bay has evolved into more of a balanced offense ever since San Francisco opened up the 2012 regular season with a solid, 30-22 road victory at Lambeau Field. Furthermore, wide receiver Jordy Nelson was reportedly missing at Tuesday’s open portion of Green Bay’s practice. Nelson suffered a leg injury in Week 17 and later limped off the field late in Green Bay’s Wild Card win over Minnesota. Both teams will release the first injury reports of the week later today.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers test their improved running attack against the 49ers or utilize their numerous playmakers at the wide receiver position. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee both examined the possibility of Willis being on the sideline in situational packages against Green Bay.

Regardless of the personnel Green Bay utilizes on Saturday, Willis will surely find ways to impact the game.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 8

Posted by Taylor Price on January 8, 2013 – 10:16 AM

Frank Gore heads into his second postseason fresher and more determined than ever.

The Pro Bowl running back rushed 258 times in the 2012 regular season, 24 fewer attempts than his 2011 output.

Come Saturday night when the 49ers host the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Divisional Playoff round, the eight-year veteran will look to build on his solid postseason debut where Gore rushed 29 times for 163 yards and caught 13 passes for 83 yards in two postseason games.

Gore averaged 5.6 yards per carry in the 2011 postseason, a full yard more than his career average of 4.6.

Gore, San Francisco’s all-time leader in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, comes into greater focus thanks to a recent story from San Jose Mercury News beat writer Cam Inman who discussed Gore’s leadership and determination to win his first Super Bowl.

According to Inman, Gore bought his offensive linemen Breitling watches, an encore to last season’s Louis Vuitton travel bags.

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Gameday Story: Five Guys

Posted by Taylor Price on December 31, 2012 – 10:28 AM

Thanks to a pair of Pro Bowl starters and a trio of Pro Bowl alternates on the offensive line, the San Francisco 49ers boast the league’s No. 4 rushing attack.

The 49ers running game excelled in 2012 thanks to the hard work of Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone and Anthony Davis.

Those efforts were chronicled in our season finale Gameday magazine. The “Five Guys” on the offensive line came into greater focus thanks to team photographer Terrell Lloyd and team graphic designer Ben Mayberry, who used an outdoor setting to showcase the unique personalities on the offensive line.

Get to know those “Five Guys” in this story.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 27

Posted by Taylor Price on December 27, 2012 – 9:31 AM

Nine Niners made the 2013 Pro Bowl on Wednesday. However, it is now a goal for those members of the San Francisco 49ers to not play in the game.

Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner all would rather play in the Super Bowl than the league’s annual All-Star game.

Nonetheless, it was still remarkable for the 49ers to send nine players to the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season. Furthermore, San Francisco led the NFL with nine Pro Bowl selections.

“The 49ers sent two-fifths of their starting offensive line and six members of their defense to the Pro Bowl,” noted ESPN.com’s Mike Sando.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 21

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 21, 2012 – 11:53 AM

Many 49ers are creatures of habit. For Michael Crabtree and Joe Staley, it’s all about looking good and feeling good on gameday. Abe Schwadron of TDDaily.com spoke to Crabtree and Staley about their pre-game rituals.

“For 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, everything has to feel—and look—perfect,” Schwadron wrote. “‘Aw man, the preparation of getting dressed, the clothes, the fashion. You’re looking at your shoes, your socks, making sure your pants are right, your jersey, all of that stuff,’ says Crabtree, now in his fourth NFL season. ‘I’ve got to have my chewing gum, any chewing gum, but I really like Juicy Fruit. The trainers are on the sideline with the Juicy Fruit ready. You gotta have your music. Gotta have your gameday music, it’ll get you right.’”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Crabtree’s evolution as a receiver, similarities between the 49ers and Seahawks and more.

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Kaepernick, 49ers Ready to Rebound

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 5, 2012 – 6:20 PM


Colin Kaepernick is ready to bounce back.

After the St. Louis Rams handed Kaepernick his first NFL loss as the 49ers starting quarterback in Week 13, the second-year signal-caller has his first chance answer adversity on Sunday against Miami.

Humble and soft-spoken as usual, Kaepernick addressed a large media gathering in the 49ers locker room on Wednesday. Asked what it’s like to receive his fourth straight start, Kaepernick simply said, “It feels good.”

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