It’s already Week 8 of the 2012 season and identities of the NFL’s 32 clubs are taking shape. Through their first seven games, the 49ers have featured one of the league’s best rushing attacks, ranking first in yards per carry (5.9) and second in yards per game (176.6).
Frank Gore (103 carries) and Kendall Hunter (50 attempts) have carried the load for the 49ers so far this season, totaling 859 rushing yards as a tandem already. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee also noted that Gore (5.8 yards per carry) and Hunter (5.2) are the only duo to average better than five yards per carry this year.
“Gore, 29, trails only Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller ,a change-of-pace back who has sprinter’s speed, in averaging 5.8 yards per carry,” Barrows wrote. “He’s on pace for 1,374 yards this season, which would be his best output since he ran for 1,695 yards in 2006.”
Today’s Morning Tailgate looks at the challenge the Arizona run defense imposes, Eddie DeBartolo’s upcoming profile on the NFL Network and more.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Andy Lee, Eddie DeBartolo, Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James
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The San Francisco 49ers helped and hurt an astounding league-wide statistic last week in New Jersey.
According to a release sent out by the National Football League early Tuesday morning, teams scored 699 points in Week 4, bringing the season total to 2,986 points – the most points scored through the first four weeks of a season and the most of any four-week stretch in NFL history.
The San Francisco 49ers offense contributed mightily to the output, producing 34 points against the New York Jets. Conversely, the defensive unit made sure the point total wasn’t any higher with a shutout performance.
Through Week 4, teams have combined to score 47.40 points per game, the highest average through Week 4 since 1970. Last season, team’s averaged 45.56 combined points during the opening four weeks of NFL action.
The NFL also notes that teams have combined to score 327 touchdowns through Week 4, the most ever in the first quarter of the NFL’s season.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Jed York, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter, Randy Moss
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Just a few hours before the San Francisco 49ers boarded Friday’s flight for Green Bay and the season opener against the Packers, Brad Seely was already chomping at the bit to get the 2012 season underway.
While the opening coin toss has yet to be contested, it’s certain one of Seely’s special teams units will be called upon to get the game started. With that in mind, it’s understandable that the 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coordinator was especially energized on Friday afternoon.
“Everybody is always excited about the opener,” Seely said. “The opener is a big deal. I don’t care where you go, if you’re playing at home or on the road it’s a big deal.”
Highly effective and disciplined special teams are trademarks of the coaching staffs Seely has been a part of in his previous 23 years patrolling NFL sidelines.
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Tags: Anthony Dixon, Brad Seely, Kendall Hunter, Kyle Williams, LaMichael James, Ted Ginn Jr.
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There’s nothing Tavares Gooden wouldn’t do to bring down an opposing ball carrier, or make a block to spring one of his players (See photo atop this post). The 49ers special teams standout has endeared himself to teammates and coaches for his relentless pursuit to the football whether it’s on kickoff or punt coverage teams. Gooden’s unselfish play as a blocker is also well-respected.
The 49ers linebacker explained his all-out mindset in the latest Niner Talk podcast on 49ers.com. In addition, the 6-foot-1, 242-pound, fifth-year pro also explained how the birth of his newborn son, Kadence, has already made a major impact on his life.
Also on the show, San Francisco Chronicle 49ers beat writer Eric Branch previewed two of his feature stories set to hit the newspaper this week. Branch also previewed things to look for in Thursday night’s preseason finale, including the No. 3 quarterback competition between Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Anthony Dixon, Cam Johnson, Josh Johnson, Kendall Hunter, Patrick Wiillis, Scott Tolzien, Tavares Gooden
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 16 Comments »
First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins continues to progress leading up to the regular season. Jenkins’ 32-yard reception against the Houston Texans last week was the 49ers’ longest passing play of the preseason.
Furthermore, the No. 30 overall selection got behind the Texans defense several times last Saturday night and could have produced even greater numbers if not for a few overthrown passes in the second half.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee recently wrote about Jenkins’ promising big-play potential and discussed the receiver’s progress with fifth-year quarterback Josh Johnson who completed the 32-yard pass to Jenkins in the third quarter of a 20-9 defeat.
“Johnson said the rookie did a great job of ‘holding the red line,’ an imaginary line on the side of the field between receiver and sideline that gives the quarterback a few yards of cushion in which to place the ball,” Barrows wrote. “Johnson lofted the pass into that zone, and Jenkins detached from the defensive back in time to make a 32-yard reception.”
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Brandon Jacobs, Frank Gore, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Isaac Sopoaga, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter
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This time of the year is a great time to examine stories of collaboration and camaraderie. Training camp is a grind, there’s no doubt about it. But the way that coaches and players come together is pretty remarkable, too.
Take this example to heart, Dashon Goldson’s cell phone provider is…. Wait for it… Vernon Davis.
Yes, the 49ers tight end recently gave the Pro Bowl safety a cell phone with the carrier service paid for an entire year. FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez shared the details in a recent story on Davis’ leadership.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Colin Kaepernick, Dashon Goldson, Jason Slowey, Kendall Hunter, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 8 Comments »
You know you’re getting closer to the start of the preseason when the 49ers first depth chart is released. Such was the case Monday afternoon when the team released its first depth chart for Friday night’s exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
Download the official preseason game one press release by clicking here.
The battle for San Francisco’s No. 2 quarterback remains fluid according to coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s looking forward to see how things shake out after his team’s first preseason contest.
One player looking to make an impact, defensive back Cory Nelms, received special permission to temporarily leave practice on Monday. Not to worry, it was for a great reason. Nelms dashed off the field to watch a live stream of the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Summer Olympics. Nelms’ girlfriend, T’erea Brown, qualified for a spot in Wednesday’s final by posting a personal-best time of 54.21 seconds. CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco learned of Nelms’ brief absence from practice and shared the details.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Colin Kaepernick, Cory Nelms, Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter, Tarell Brown
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 54 Comments »
Jim Harbaugh certainly has a way of getting the most out of people. It’s not just on the football field, it can take place off of it, too.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee recently spoke with the 49ers coach about his philanthropic work in Piura, Peru. Harbaugh discussed his role in Piura and why the commitment is so important to him, so much so, that he missed a week of rookie minicamp.
“Harbaugh first visited Piura in 2009 after hearing a friend describe his own experience with the Most Blessed Sacrament Parrish there,” Barrows wrote. “The 49ers coach has been going back ever since, and he even missed a rookie minicamp — gasp-worthy when it comes to control-freak NFL coaches — to go this year. He used the word ‘transformational’ three times in a recent interview in describing the effect of the visits.”
Harbaugh has continued his positive messaging back home with the 49ers and has transformed the team’s walkway from the locker room to the field. Harbaugh recently had a street sign placed along the walkway that simply reads, “Forty Niner Way.”
Rookies and select veterans have seen the sign in person. The entire team (including Dashon Goldson, who signed his one-year franchise tender this morning), will get to see it today as it’s veteran check-in day at camp. Practices begin on Friday.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Cam Johnson, Chris Owusu, Dashon Goldson, Jason Slowey, Jim Harbaugh, Josh Johnson, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Randy Moss
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 11 Comments »
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.
Tags: Alex Smith, Donte Whitner, Joe Montana, Kendall Hunter
Posted in Announcements | 56 Comments »
In the 49ers regular season finale Sunday in St. Louis, running back Kendall Hunter totaled a career-high 76 rushing yards among many contributions from the team’s rookie class.
Tags: Alex Smith, Blake Costanzo, Bruce Miller, Delanie Walker, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter, Trent Baalke
Posted in Announcements | 60 Comments »