San Francisco 49ers second-round draft pick LaMichael James has been active for two games in his young NFL career.
The second performance last week in New England, however, earned the 49ers running back a Week 15 Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week nomination along with quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and kicker Blair Wilson.
Tags: LaMichael James
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Following last night’s momentous 41-34 road victory against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, the 49ers took a red eye, cross-country flight from Providence, R.I. to SFO that landed about 7 a.m. It was one of the biggest regular season wins in the Harbaugh era, thanks to a complete team effort. Explosive touchdowns and big-time turnovers marked the win for the 49ers, who are now 10-3-1 and one victory away from claiming the NFC West title.
Albert Breer of NFL.com was in Foxborough on Sunday night and wrote that San Francisco proved its mettle against the tough opponent in a hostile environment
“The circumstances were what made this one different, and divine, for a Niners group that has been a bear to deal with for everyone since the minute Jim Harbaugh walked in the door,” Breer wrote. “There was the aforementioned weather. There was the juncture at which they were facing the Patriots, maybe the hottest team in the league over the past month. Then there was the game itself.”
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the best coverage from the Week 15 thriller, and explains why the 49ers are the best team to use in Madden 2013.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Delanie Walker, Jim Harbaugh, LaMichael James
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Earlier this week, we discussed Aldon Smith’s chances of winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. Sports lllustrated’s Peter King believes the 49ers outside linebacker and league’s sack-leader (19.5) has a serious chance of taking home the honor if he’s able to break the NFL’s single-season sack record of 22.5 set by Michael Strahan.
If able to break the record, Smith might pick up even more hardware according to ESPN.com’s Mike Sando, who lists Smith at No. 10 on his latest MVP Watch post.
“Smith has 10 sacks in his last four games,” Sando wrote in his explanation for Smith’s inclusion in the Top-10. “He has 15 sacks in his last seven games. For perspective, consider that Hall of Famer Bruce Smith finished two of his 19 seasons with 15-plus sacks.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, LaMichael James, Michael Crabtree, Ray McDonald, Vernon Davis
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Aldon Smith now owns the San Francisco 49ers single-season sack outright record thanks to a two-sack performance against the Miami Dolphins. With 19.5 sacks on the season, Smith leads the NFL in sacks and has the team’s single-season sack record, distancing himself from Fred Dean’s 17.5 sacks set in 1983.
Now, it remains to be seen whether or not the second-year linebacker can record 3.5 sacks in his last three games to break Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season sack record (22.5).
Smith’s also including himself into the league’s Defensive Player of the Year conversation according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
“A factor that must be considered, obviously, is Smith threatening the NFL sack record,” King wrote in his weekly MMQB column. “He has 19.5 after getting two Sunday against Miami. The record is 22.5 by Michael Strahan. With three games left — at New England and Seattle, then home against the leaky Arizona line — Smith needs 3.5 sacks. Today I’ll take Watt, with his 16.5 sacks and league-record 15 passes batted down, four of which resulted in Houston interceptions. Three weeks from today, who knows?”
King also ranked San Francisco as the league’s No. 4 overall team heading into Week 15.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Boone, CJ Spillman, Colin Kaepernick, Donte Whitner, Frank Gore, LaMichael James
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Jed York speaks of flexibility when it comes to the technology vision for the new Santa Clara Stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers.
“We want to make sure it’s an open-source stadium that can grow and develop over time,” the 49ers CEO recently told Fortune’s editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky in a video aired on CNN Money.
In the piece, York discussed the team’s vision for the billion-dollar future home for the five-time Super Bowl champion franchise. The 49ers CEO also expressed his excitement in the team’s working partnership with the City of Santa Clara and the Stadium Authority.
“I think the most important thing is we have a public-private partnership,” York told Lashinsky. “If you don’t have a good relationship between your municipality and a sports team, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
The 49ers certainly feel good about the recent developments for the stadium. Besides having the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to be played at the new stadium beginning in 2014, this week will mark the “topping out” ceremony for the stadium project when the highest pieces of steel will be erected.
While construction remains rampant at the stadium site, the same can be said for the team’s technology vision. York and the team’s technology department aim to find ways to compete with the NFL’s high-definition television coverage.
“What I really want to do is build a software-driven stadium as opposed to a hardware-driven stadium,” the 49ers CEO explained.
In York’s mind, scoreboards will be obsolete in five years. Fans will be utilizing smart phones and personal tablets for instant information.
“I would much rather leverage the great companies that we have in the Silicon Valley who are creating smart phones, creating tablets, that our fanbase and the majority of folks in Northern California use on a daily basis,” York went on to say.
The team has visions of a ticket-less, cash-less building for the future home of the 49ers, all while increasing viewing options on a fan’s preferred personal device.
But as York explains it, the key is to be flexible. With technology rapidly improving fan’s experiences within NFL stadiums, the 49ers CEO wants to be at the forefront of it.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Carlos Rogers, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Jed York, LaMichael James
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San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins was active for the second time this season in Sunday’s 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams. Jenkins, however, did not play. Second-round pick LaMichael James wasn’t active for the 12th time this year, but that could soon change.
The speedy running back could see action late in the season according to Jim Harbaugh in comments shared by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
The 49ers coach visited with the KNBR Morning Show as he does every Tuesday and explained that the running back, who’s yet to be active in 2012, could see playing time in December.
“I think that’s a real possibility, and he’s worked hard for an opportunity,” Harbaugh said. “And that’s something that’s definitely a possibility that’s coming.”
Trent Baalke, the team’s general manager, also hinted at a possible December debut for James. Baalke visited with 95.7 The Game on Monday as part of his weekly show, his comments were discussed by CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
If James is active and can contribute to a 49ers win over the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, the team could clinch a playoff spot with some help from NFC playoff contenders. There’s actually two scenarios in play for the 49ers to be guaranteed of postseason football for consecutive seasons.
Here are the scenarios:
1. San Francisco win + DAL loss + MIN loss + TB loss + WAS loss + SEA loss or tie.
2. San Francisco win + DAL loss + MIN loss + TB loss + WAS loss + STL loss or tie.
The Vikings host the Bears. The Buccaneers host the Eagles. The Redskins host the Ravens. The Seahawks host the Cardinals. The Rams visit the Bills. The Cowboys visit the Bengals.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Colin Kaepernick, David Akers, Donte Whitner, Jim Harbaugh, LaMichael James, Trent Baalke
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San Francisco’s running back reps behind Frank Gore will be a key to Sunday’s game in St. Louis. Whether Brandon Jacobs or LaMichael James becomes the featured No. 2 runner behind Gore remains to be seen.
Jim Harbaugh said the reps against the Rams would be shared “among the other backs.”
With the loss of Kendall Hunter and Kyle Williams to season-ending injuries last week in New Orleans, the 49ers coach will have to find ways of showcasing other players on the roster.
Even so, Harbaugh admitted the injured players will be tough to replace.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Brandon Jacobs, Darcel McBath, David Akers, Jim Harbaugh, LaMichael James, Michael Wilhoite
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The 49ers are no strangers to quality quarterbacks. Dating back to the likes of Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie to Joe Montana and Steve Young, San Francisco has been spoiled with signal-callers throughout the years. The 2012 49ers are lucky to have two players under center that have led the team to big victories: Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith.
A huge contingent of media gathered at 49ers headquarters on Wednesday, as coach Jim Harbaugh revealed Kaepernick will receive the start this Sunday in St. Louis, his third straight for the team. The decision to name the second-year emerging star as the quarterback was dissected every which way by the media, including Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.
“QB coach Geep Chryst and OC Greg Roman are certainly hands-on and deeply involved in all parts of the QB play,” Kawakami wrote. “But I think we have to give most of the credit for this to Harbaugh–who did some things with Andrew Luck, I seem to recall. Harbaugh has a fine focus on the QB spot, and the guy can flat-out coach the position.”
Today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up all the Kaepernick coverage, Pro Bowl voting leaders, Santa Clara Stadium news and more.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, David Akers, Delanie Walker, Jed York, Jim Harbaugh, LaMichael James, Randy Moss
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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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There are no redshirts in the NFL, but LaMichael James has undertaken an understudy role in his first year with the 49ers. On a San Francisco team with a stable of talented tailbacks, James is working hard as he waits for his opportunity behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs and Anthony Dixon.
The former University of Oregon standout has been inactive for the first seven games of his NFL career, but has learned immensely from the teammates and mentors ahead of him on the depth chart, especially Gore.
“He comes out to practice and he works hard each and every day,” James said. “When you’re watching him, it’s just like, ‘Wow.’ He practices hard, always finishes runs. He’s a complete pro. I just want to idolize myself after him and try to pick up some of the cues so hopefully one day I can be a great running back in this league, too.”
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