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Morning Tailgate: Super Bowl L Update

Posted by Taylor Price on May 6, 2013 – 10:03 AM

The new Santa Clara Stadium remains a strong contender to host Super Bowl L. The future home of the 49ers, set to open in 2014, is one of two candidates to host the biggest game in professional sports at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

The San Francisco Super Bowl committee is up against South Florida to host Super Bowl L. The decision will come down to a vote from NFL owners on May 21.

After recent developments in South Florida, Santa Clara could be considered favorites to host the big game. Peter King of Sports Illustrated explained the reasoning in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

“When the Florida legislature on Friday refused to allow the citizens of South Florida to vote on whether to increase the South Florida hotel tax from 6 to 7 percent, it put a huge damper on the chance for Super Bowl L to be held at Dolphins Stadium,” King wrote.

“The league had said the site very much needs the proposed $350 million stadium improvement. Owners are slated to vote for Super Bowls 50 and 51 at the spring meetings in Boston May 20-22. Super Bowl 50 was a battle between the San Francisco Bay Area and South Florida, with 51 likely headed to either Houston or the loser of the fight for 50.

“So, barring a late Hail Mary from Miami owner Stephen Ross, it’s likely Santa Clara (45 miles south of San Francisco) will get 50 and Houston 51. It would be the first Super Bowl in the Bay Area in 31 years, since the Joe Montana-Dan Marino faceoff in Palo Alto in January 1985.”

Book your tour of the new Santa Clara Stadium today.

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MT: Harbaugh Likes Crabtree/Boldin Combo

Posted by Taylor Price on May 2, 2013 – 8:57 AM

Jim Harbaugh had some memorable words about his newest receiver, Quinton Patton, in a Thursday night interview with KNBR.

The 49ers coach shared a unique story on how his fourth-round pick flew out to California eager to work for his professional team, but was told to turn around so he could avoid breaking NFL rules.

The story overshadowed Harbaugh’s comments on his own veteran receiver, Michael Crabtree.

The fifth-year pro totaled career-highs across the board in 2012 with 85 receptions, 1,105 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 214-pound wideout became the ninth player in team history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season and the first 49ers player to do it since 2003 (Terrell Owens).

When Harbaugh was asked about the addition of Anquan Boldin to San Francisco’s roster, the 49ers coach quickly pointed out that the 11-year veteran will fit in nicely with Cratbree, the emerging play-maker.

“Having two high-level, top-notch productive receivers in this league, I think they’ll help each other immensely in that way,” the 49ers coach said.

“Michael’s a proven, front-line receiver and so is Anquan Boldin.”

The 49ers haven’t had two, 1,000-yard receiving seasons since 1998 when Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice totaled 1,157 yards and Owens added 1,097 yards. The duo also combined to catch 24 touchdowns (Owens 15, Rice 9).

Crabtree’s 2012 production came into greater focus thanks to his inclusion on ProFootballFocus.com’s Top 101 players list.

Crabtree was the 12th member of San Francisco’s roster to make the list. He was unranked in 2011, but came in at No. 37 this time around.

“Crabtree continued to look like one of the most impressive after-the-catch receivers in the league, forcing 19 missed tackles (including the postseason) while also adding 12 touchdowns,” PFF.com wrote.

Other 49ers to make PFF’s current list (Justin Smith No. 87, Colin Kaepernick No. 81, Anthony Davis No. 80, Tarell Brown No. 75, Frank Gore No. 71, Anquan Boldin No. 63, NaVorro Bowman No. 59, Aldon Smith No. 57, Mike Iupati No. 53, Alex Boone No. 50 and Vernon Davis, No. 39).

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Morning Tailgate: 2013 NFL Draft Recap

Posted by Taylor Price on April 29, 2013 – 11:30 AM

The 49ers entered the 2013 NFL Draft with 13 draft picks. When it was all said and done, San Francisco added 11 players to the roster.

The latest additions to Jim Harbaugh’s team offer size and toughness to the current squad. Many of the newcomers offer position versatility, too.

From Eric Reid (pick No. 18 overall) to Marcus Cooper (pick No. 252 overall), the 49ers addressed needs through the draft and found quality prospects to compete with an already talented roster.

Today’s Morning Tailgate recaps the 2013 draft.

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Morning Tailgate: 49ers Draft Scenarios

Posted by Taylor Price on April 23, 2013 – 10:36 AM

The guessing game continues. What will the 49ers do with the No. 31 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft – trade up, trade back or stay at 31?

According to a report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the 49ers could be looking to move up in the draft.

General Manager Trent Baalke said “Anything’s possible,” last week in his pre-draft meeting with the Bay Area media.

So, in essence, Cole’s report isn’t out of the question.

For now, the speculation game will continue until the clock hits 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday night and the official decisions can begin.

More 49ers draft scenarios are discussed in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Morning Tailgate: Crabtree & Kap

Posted by Alex Espinoza on March 27, 2013 – 10:52 AM

Once Colin Kaepernick took over as the 49ers starting quarterback in Week 11, Michael Crabtree soon emerged as young signal-caller’s favorite target. By the end of the 2012 season, the duo combined for 62 connections for 891 yards and eight touchdowns in 10-plus games. Crabtree was live on the set of NFL Network on Tuesday and said he developed a quick chemistry with Kaepernick that improved throughout the year.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group shared comments from Crabtree on his relationship with Kaepernick. “49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s chemistry with Colin Kaepernick was evident well before their thrice-failed attempts at combining on a Super Bowl-winning score,” Inman wrote. “Appearing Tuesday on the NFL Network, Crabtree credited his and Kaepernick’s earlier success to practice time, their common age (25), a shared desire to make plays, and, perhaps most of all, a trust factor.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at the NFL Draft and the latest offseason news for the 49ers.

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2012 Plays of the Year: Big Plays

Posted by Alex Espinoza on February 26, 2013 – 2:29 PM

We need your help in selecting the top plays from the 2012 season. We’re asking our Faithful fans to choose the top takeaway, touchdown, sack, big play and biggest hit of the season. Next, the winning five plays (one from each category), will move on to the championship round to determine 49ers.com’s “Top Play of 2012.”

Watch our “Top 5” video highlights on the best plays for each category, then vote in the poll section of the corresponding blog post to see which top play will reach the championship.

Help us crown the top play of 2012 by choosing your favorite big play from this past season. You can vote for your favorite big play up until Thursday at noon. Let’s take a look at the five nominees.

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2012 Plays of the Year: Touchdowns

Posted by Alex Espinoza on February 15, 2013 – 11:29 AM

We need your help in selecting the top plays from the 2012 season. We’re asking our Faithful fans to choose the top takeaway, touchdown, sack, big play and biggest hit of the season. Next, the winning five plays (one from each category), will move on to the championship round to determine 49ers.com’s “Top Play of 2012.”

Watch our “Top 5” video highlights on the best plays for each category, then vote in the poll section of the corresponding blog post to see which top play will reach the championship.

Help us crown the top play of 2012 by choosing your favorite touchdown from this past season. You can vote for your favorite touchdown up until Monday at noon. Let’s take a look at the five nominees.

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Morning Tailgate: Feb. 13

Posted by Taylor Price on February 13, 2013 – 10:10 AM

Michael Crabtree is not your average Joe at wide receiver. He makes ridiculous catches look easy. He breaks numerous tackles after making the tough catches, too. He blocks for teammates. He competes. He really does it all.

Crabtree turned in career highs in catches (85), receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (9) in his fourth season with the San Francisco 49ers. He also turned in best performances in the closing stages of 2012. Crabtree finished the final eight games of the year with five, 100-yard receiving games and seven touchdowns during that stretch.

In three playoff games, Crabtree caught 20 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.

Because of his standout season, Crabtree was included in USA Today’s “All-Joe” team for 2012, a collection of the best NFL players that haven’t been named to a Pro Bowl. Crabtree was joined by teammates Alex Smith and Anthony Davis on the team that fields a 53-man roster with representation from every team.

Nate Davis of USA Today explained that Crabtree and Davis are likely soon to earn Pro Bowl recognition based on breakout seasons in 2012.

Crabtree also showed a lot of toughness, willingly going over the middle, as he turned potential into production,” Davis wrote.

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Morning Tailgate: Feb. 12

Posted by Taylor Price on February 12, 2013 – 11:26 AM

The closing moments of Super Bowl XLVII will sit in the hearts and minds of the 49ers Faithful throughout the offseason, but it doesn’t take away from San Francisco’s remarkable season nor does it diminish the team’s comeback effort against the Baltimore Ravens.

In examining the game tape twice, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King uncovered several intriguing aspects of the 49ers offensive performance. He also spoke with offensive coordinator Greg Roman to find out his take on the final four offensive plays of the game.

“This is what I found amazing about what the tape revealed,” King wrote. “On the first 13 offensive snaps for San Francisco, Roman dialed up 13 different alignments using 12 different combinations of running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

“In those 13 plays, Roman had four wide receivers in the game, four running backs (two running backs, two fullbacks) and four tight ends. On the fifth play of the game, a no-back look, he spread three receivers left and two to the right, with a fullback (Bruce Miller) and running back (LaMichael James) split the furthest; (Colin) Kaepernick hit (Michael) Crabtree, running from the left slot, on a 19-yard incut.

“On the very next snap, Roman dialed up something Walter Camp invented 140 years ago, the T formation. Kaepernick lined up under center, with three backs tight together behind him — Gore to the left, fullback Walter Tukuafu in the middle, and fullback Miller to the right. None went in motion. (Frank) Gore powered ahead for no gain into the teeth of the Ravens’ D. Win some, lose some.”

King noted that the 49ers had Kaepernick in the Pistol formation 51 times and under center nine plays. King counted 13 plays in the read-option scheme and 47 snaps without Kaepernick playing option football.

Roman discussed the final four plays and the disappointing result with King.

“I’ll use it as motivation going forward,” the 49ers offensive coordinator told King. “To dwell on something that’s over is so utterly pointless. Anytime you make a call and the play doesn’t work, you think of another play that might have worked. We had a valiant effort, a great comeback, and it wasn’t enough. That’s life. It’s the game we love, the highs, the lows. But it doesn’t take away from what we did this year, and how excited I’m going to be to coach these guys next year.”

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 30

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 30, 2013 – 5:35 AM

The 49ers enjoyed the light mood of media day on Tuesday as they were peppered with football and non-football questions by thousands of credentialed media members on the turf of the Superdome. There was a super hero, free tattoo sleeves for the players, 49ers Kaepernicking and more.

Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com offered his take on the best and worst of media day for Super Bowl XLVII.

“This is the new normal at Super Bowl Media Day, an NFL cultural and journalistic melting pot that puts Miss Alabama and Brent Musberger favorite Katherine Webb, in the same room as 84-year-old Hall of Fame journalist Edwin Pope,” Schrager wrote. “It’s no longer about the players’ answers; it’s about the folks asking the players the questions.”

The 49ers would also like to announce that Vernon Davis is holding a charity raffle to win an all expense paid trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. The deadline for the drawing is on Thursday (tomorrow).

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features the top quotes and story lines from the hectic media day scene.

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