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Morning Tailgate: Underrated 49ers

Posted by Taylor Price on July 9, 2013 – 10:40 AM

The kind folks at NFL.com have shared their opinions on the most underrated and overrated players for each team in the National Football League.

On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers underrated and overrated players were unveiled.

Keep in mind, this is the opinion of two NFL.com writers. It’s hard to agree with all of their selections, especially when Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana was placed among the overrated players.

Sorry, can’t support that claim.

However, the top underrated player was a solid choice. NFL.com selected former 49ers wide receiver John Taylor.

“Robin to Jerry Rice’s Batman, Taylor was the perfect No. 2 receiving option for the San Francisco 49ers. He was neither flashy nor physically imposing, but he was multi-dimensional — finishing his career with the second-most punt return yards in franchise history. He was also big in the clutch. You might recall Montana’s game-winning touchdown pass to Taylor — not Rice — in the waning seconds of Super Bowl XXIII. Taylor is sixth all time in receiving yards in team history, but even more impressive is that he’s one of just two Super Bowl champions enshrined in the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame (Randy White is the other). If that doesn’t epitomize “underrated” I don’t know what does.”

NFL.com selected Garrison Hearst, Frank Gore, Bryant Young and Tom Rathman as San Francisco’s most underrated players.

The overrated list included R.W. McQuarters, Dexter Carter, Kevan Barlow, William Floyd and Montana.

More headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: Family Ties at Rookie Camp

Posted by Taylor Price on April 30, 2013 – 9:38 AM

Last year, Mike Iupati’s younger brother, Andrew, earned a tryout at the 49ers rookie minicamp.

The family feel will continue in 2013 according to a report from Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.

Anthony Davis’ older brother, Andre Davis, will get a tryout at the 49ers rookie minicamp set to take place on May 10.

The elder Davis, 26, played the past two years at NAIA school Kentucky Christian. At 6-foot-5, 295 pounds, Davis made honorable mention for the All-Mid-South Conference East Division. Davis will join another invite with a well-known last name, West Virginia Wesleyan quarterback Nate Montana, who was invited to tryout according to a report from the Sacramento Bee.

More rookie headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: 49ers Offseason Workouts Begin

Posted by Taylor Price on April 15, 2013 – 9:00 AM

It’s the first football activity the San Francisco 49ers can hold in 2013. Voluntary offseason conditioning work begins today at team headquarters in Santa Clara.

In Phase One of the offseason program, the 49ers will hold two weeks of conditioning work under the supervision of the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

When the two weeks have passed, Phase Two of the program will allow coaches on the field to work on drills with the players before the start of 10 days of offseason team activities (OTAs) and minicamps to be held in May and June.

The first OTA sessions will be held on May 21-23, May 28-30 and June 3-6.

A rookie minicamp will be held after the 2013 NFL Draft. Rookies, however, must finish their spring semester or fourth quarter of school before participating in the OTA sessions with veteran teammates. Last offseason, second-round pick LaMichael James had to finish school at Oregon before taking part in offseason workouts with the 49ers.

More headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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MT: Lattimore Compared to Frank Gore

Posted by Taylor Price on April 10, 2013 – 11:05 AM

Both Frank Gore and Marcus Lattimore suffered multiple knee injuries in college. Both, however, are considered highly talented running backs, ones who have been known as explosive play-makers during their respective careers.

Gore stands as the San Francisco 49ers all-time leader in rushing yards, carries and rushing touchdowns. At 29, Gore is also coming off a Pro Bowl season, the fourth of his career.

Lattimore,  the NCAA’s national freshman of the year in 2009, has yet to make a lasting career in the NFL. He’s still aiming to be drafted in 2013 after suffering his second major knee injury at the University of South Carolina.

However, the comparisons between the two are still easy to dissect.

Gore was a third-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2005 and proved to be a brilliant selection for San Francisco.

Lattimore, on the other hand, stands poised to follow in Gore’s footsteps. The two also developed a relationship last year. Thanks to 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, a college teammate of Lattimore, the two were put in touch after the running back prospect tore all three major knee ligaments in his right knee against the University of Tennessee.

Lattimore later compared himself to Gore at the 2013 Scouting Combine.

“I feel like we both run hard,” Lattimore said. “He runs like nobody’s there. He runs with total destruction. I feel like if I could compare my game to anybody, it would be Frank Gore. He’s got low pads, he’s got great vision, he can see the whole field. Great balance.”

The comparisons between the two running backs continued this week in a recent episode of John Gruden’s Camp on ESPN.

The former NFL head coach asked Lattimore about both major knee injuries he suffered in college and how he’s been able to bounce back from the hardships.

“Anything that comes to me in life,” Lattimore began, “I feel like I’ve been through it all. Nothing can ever take the smile off my face because I’ll never take anything for granted again.”

Lattimore continued to detail the lessons he’s learned through rehab and why he’s pursuing a career in the NFL.

“I love football,” the South Carolina star told Gruden. “My kids they’re going to watch this one day and they’re going to see my dad never gave up.

“My story relates to everybody…Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

Gruden later commented that his father ribbed him for not drafting Gore back in 2005. When the 49ers running back broke a big run against a Gruden-coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, the elder Gruden immediately sent his son a text message with a reminder of his praise for Gore.

It remains to be seen where Lattimore gets drafted in 2013, but his story is one to watch come April 25, especially with how it compares to San Francisco’s own starting running back.

More NFL Draft and 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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2013 Winter Fest Photo Blog: Friday

Posted by Alex Espinoza on March 22, 2013 – 5:53 PM

The 13th Annual 49ers Winter Fest is in full swing at Lake Tahoe.

The fun-filled weekend got off to a great start on Thursday when families of players, coaches and guests of the 49ers Foundation arrived and took part in a lively welcome reception. Winter Fest marks one of the biggest annual events for the 49ers Foundation, as last year’s gathering raised more than $1 million for local causes in the Bay Area.

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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 29

Posted by Taylor Price on January 29, 2013 – 5:47 AM

NEW ORLEANS – Good morning, it’s Media Day at Super Bowl XLVII. If the San Francisco 49ers thought they’d been a part of a media swarm before, Tuesday’s annual media day will crush that in comparison.

Thousands of credentialed reporters will get their chance to speak with the 49ers Tuesday morning in the Superdome. It should be quiet the scene compared to Monday’s media session which can be viewed in this 49ers.com photo gallery.

Only a handful of players have spoken to the press so far, but the entire team, plus coaches, will be available. It should make for quite the day, 49ers.com will have it all covered LIVE. That’s right, LIVE.

Visit 49ers.com/live during Media Day at Super Bowl XLVII for unprecedented access to the 49ers.

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Trio of 49ers honored by USA Football

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 7, 2013 – 5:06 PM

The awards keep on piling up at 49ers headquarters.

Punter Andy Lee and Pro Bowlers Mike Iupati and Aldon Smith were recently recognized by USA Football and named to the 2012 All-Fundamentals Teams, which honors 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate.

The fourth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters better on-field performance and inherent safety benefits.

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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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Iupati Joins Staley in Pro Bowl

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 26, 2012 – 5:55 PM

It was just a matter of time before the word got out. Mike Iupati is really good.

The third-year player was selected to his first Pro Bowl on Wednesday, as he was recognized for his season-long punishment of opposing defenses in the trenches.

“I’m very grateful and very blessed,” Iupati said. “Credit to my teammates and everybody, especially the front line – they sacrificed, too. Also a credit to our coaching staff, (Mike) Solari, coach (Paul) Wulff and coach (Tim) Drevno for preparing us every week, every day, to go out there and execute our plays.”

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