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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 13

Posted by Taylor Price on December 13, 2012 – 10:24 AM

There’s a new video posted on NewSantaClaraStadium.com that all 49ers Faithful fans will want to check out.

The video features incredible aerial views of the new Santa Clara Stadium, future home of the five-time Super Bowl champs.

Book your own tour of the new stadium site and learn more about securing a seat in the new building.

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Larry Grant Hosts Charitable Cook-Off

Posted by Taylor Price on December 12, 2012 – 10:21 AM

Raising money for the Boys & Girls Club in Hunter’s Point is a serious deal to San Francisco 49ers linebacker Larry Grant.

The Bay Area native spent time at the club as a young boy and knows just how powerful of a place the center can be for those less fortunate. With that in mind, the 49ers linebacker arranged a Celebrity Chili Cook-Off Monday night to help raise money for the “A Better Hand Foundation” and the B&G Club in Hunter’s Point.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 6

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 6, 2012 – 11:23 AM

Jim Harbaugh has lived quite the football life. Raised by his football coach father, Jack, and alongside his brother and current Baltimore Ravens coach, John, Harbaugh has been surrounded by the pigskin since day one. NFL.com has put together a great photo gallery of the 49ers coach throughout the years, dating back to his days as a prolific college quarterback at Michigan.

NFL.com columnist Adam Schein wrote that Jim Harbaugh has the 49ers posed to make a deep postseason run in 2012. “The 49ers have as good a chance as any NFL squad to capture a title,” Schein wrote. “The main reason why? Jim Harbaugh. He’s the smartest guy in the room. Just ask him.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate spotlights the coach’s “brief acting career,” Aldon and Justin Smith headlines and more.

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Morning Tailgate: Nov. 21

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 21, 2012 – 10:18 AM

Randy Moss has become a key veteran presence in the the 49ers locker room since he joined San Francisco this offseason. While he may not have the eye-popping statistics that most fans know him for, those within the organization know how valuable he is to the team.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com spoke to Moss earlier this season, who told Maiocco that the best way to get to know him is to take a visit to his hometown. So Maiocco and camera crews visited Rand, W.V., during the the 49ers’ trip to Youngstown, Ohio, to get a better look at what shaped the man in the No. 84 jersey. You can watch videos on CSNBayArea.com and read Maiocco’s background story as well.

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up 49ers quarterback headlines, looks at the Kraft Hunger Bowl, which is headed to the new Santa Clara Stadium, and more.

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Morning Tailgate: Oct. 22

Posted by Taylor Price on October 22, 2012 – 10:22 AM

San Francisco 49ers fans are somewhat spoiled when it comes to special teams. It’s understandable though.

After all, it’s hard to notice and appreciate all the efforts of All-Pro, Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee when everything he does looks so routine.

Lee’s five-punt effort last week against Seattle, however, wasn’t overlooked by respected Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King, who listed Lee as his Week 7 Special Teams Player of the Week. King ranked San Francisco as his No. 5 overall team, too.

The nine-year veteran punter continues his stellar play with a 47.5 average on his 26 punts, including 14 inside the 20-yard line. Lee placed 28 punts inside the 20-yard line last season and is on pace to beat that mark this season.

According to King, Lee’s booming right leg blends perfectly with San Francisco’s roster.

“Jim Harbaugh knows the kind of team he has. It’s a field-position team. His passing game is not explosive, but his running game is very good, and his defense mostly suffocating,” King wrote in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column.

“On Thursday night, Lee, the superb punter for the Niners, played right into Harbaugh’s plans. He punted five times. He pinned the Seahawks back at their 4-, 33-, 14-, 9- and 6-yard lines. (Average post-punt drive start: 13-yard line.) Seattle had five punt-return yards all night. Niners 13, Seahawks 6.”

King also gave praise to the interior of the 49ers offensive line for their dominant running in the second half of the 49ers win.

“Left guard Mike Iupati, center Jonathan Goodwin, right guard Alex Boone. You want to see how to wear down a defensive front? Watch the three men on the Niners offensive line batter a very good Seattle front seven (and tackles Joe Staley and Antony Davis played well too) for 175 rushing yards on 32 clock-eating carries,” King Wrote.

“My favorite run of the Thursday night win over the Seahawks: Early in the fourth quarter, Frank Gore took a handoff from Alex Smith. Boone cut left to erase defensive lineman Jason Jones, Goodwin blasted out to smother defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, and Iupati, foraging for a victim, ran ahead to clear out middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Gore was off to the races. Gain of 37. This is what these three guys did all night for Gore and Kendall Hunter, particularly late, when their physical dominance showed.”

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 22

Posted by Taylor Price on August 22, 2012 – 10:01 AM

Alex Smith has impressed local reporters all training camp long with his steady development. In his second season running Greg Roman’s offensive attack, Smith has looked like an “expert” in the system according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Count Clark Judge as another believer of Smith’s ability to improve in 2012. The CBS Sports football writer recently visited 49ers practices and came away with that distinct impression.

“You can see it in practice when Smith runs the first-team offense,” Clark wrote, “and you can hear it from teammates who believe, as I do, that this is the season Smith shakes his critics.”

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 42 Comments »

Larry Grant Brings Competition to LBs

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 21, 2012 – 3:10 PM

They may be teammates, but the 49ers linebackers are competitors, too.

As they sit in their meeting room with position coach Jim Leavitt, players like Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Larry Grant like to keep each other on their toes.

“We feed off each other; we learn a lot from each other,” Grant said. “The best thing is that us three – we’re our hardest critics. Every day in the meeting rooms, we talk a lot of stuff to each other to make sure we’re going to be better the next day. It’s a big competition between everybody in our linebacker room, not just NaVorro Bowman, Pat and me.”

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Minicamp Update: June 12

Posted by Taylor Price on June 12, 2012 – 5:07 PM


Carlos Rogers was a full participant at Tuesday’s opening three-day minicamp session for the San Francisco 49ers.

Rogers’ presence has been felt throughout San Francisco’s offseason program; however, the veteran cornerback who signed a new four-year contract with the 49ers did not recently participate in Organized Team Activities.

Rogers told The San Francisco Chronicle a right calf strain, suffered last month, has kept him out of action.

Tuesday, however, Rogers was back on the field wearing a gold 49ers helmet along with the rest of his teammates.

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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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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 26 Comments »

Tuesday’s Locker Room Talk: Dec. 20

Posted by Taylor Price on December 20, 2011 – 5:12 PM

Patrick Willis enjoyed the words of encouragement Larry Grant used to give him before every 49ers game.

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Posted in Announcements | 71 Comments »