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Morning Tailgate: Oct. 3

Posted by Taylor Price on October 3, 2012 – 10:59 AM

Patrick Willis was singled out Wednesday morning as the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week.

However, it wasn’t just Willis who played a major role in the team’s 34-0 dismantling of the New York Jets.

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, it was a team-wide effort that enabled San Francisco to improve to 3-1 on the season. Barrows offered his thoughts on the performance in a recent film study review.

“For the first time this season, every 49er who dressed for the game set foot in the game,” Barrows wrote. “And they just didn’t make token appearances. Everyone – from backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick to undrafted rookie Garrett Celek to dime cornerback Perrish Cox – played a role Sunday. Twelve different 49ers either had a carry or a reception on offense, and it would have been 13 if fullback Will Tukuafu hadn’t been interfered with on a late goal-line play.

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Perrish Cox Enjoys 49ers Debut

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 14, 2012 – 2:13 PM

Perrish Cox has been playing football since childhood, but he never had a feeling like the one he felt on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. Playing in front of the green and gold clad fans at one of football’s trademark venues, Cox appeared in his first game since the 2010 season.

Cox couldn’t have been busier in Week 1, as the 49ers faced the Green Bay Packers and their pass-happy attack. Aaron Rodgers and the offense used four wide receivers for much of the afternoon, meaning Cox was pressed into duty as a dime defensive back and rarely came off the field.

“I think I was too energized,” Cox said with a laugh. “I had so much energy I kind of started cramping up a little bit I was so hyped up. It was a great. … Just being able to play a game, that’s really all I needed.”

The 30-22 victory was nice, too.

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Morning Tailgate: Sept. 14

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 14, 2012 – 11:27 AM

In case you didn’t get enough of the season-opening 49ers victory at Lambeau Field, team photographer Terrell Lloyd and Kym Fortino collaborated to create this eye-popping photo gallery. But the focus around team headquarters is now on the Detroit Lions, who will visit Candlestick Park on Sunday night for the 49ers home opener.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman about his inspiration for using seven offensive linemen for select plays. As it turns out, Roman adopted the formations during a coaching stint at an East Coast high school.

“In a league filled with sophisticated offense and intricate chess matches,” Branch writes, “the 49ers occasional here-comes-a-run message, Alex Boone said, is straight out of high school.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate features Madden 13 headlines and a look ahead to the Detroit matchup. Those stories and more after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 27

Posted by Taylor Price on August 27, 2012 – 10:30 AM

Fresh off the San Francisco 49ers’ 29-24 come-from-behind win in Denver, the Morning Tailgate has all the top headlines from the team’s second preseason win of 2012.

Sunday’s win was a hard-fought effort that saw the 49ers score 19 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Broncos on the road. All four 49ers quarterbacks led scoring drives, leaving the coaches with plenty to contemplate as they put together the quarterback depth chart. By 1 p.m. PT, the team will trim its roster to the mandatory 75-man limit. Currently, the 49ers have 89 players on the team.

Many of those 89, including running back Anthony Dixon, were singled out by Jim Harbaugh following Sunday’s victory. Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Dixon’s hard-running in his game notebook. The 49ers coach mentioned many of his hard-workers, a list that featured 355-pound guard Leonard Davis, who lined up as an extra blocker with the first-team offense.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted Dixon and Davis’ efforts in his game notebook.

“(Davis) is eager to please,” Maiocco wrote. “And he likes his new role, which was unveiled on Sunday when he was used throughout game at tight end as an extra blocker.”

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 45 Comments »

Carlos Rogers Embraces Nickel Corner

Posted by Taylor Price on August 1, 2012 – 5:56 PM

Like many of his fellow defensive teammates on the San Francisco 49ers, Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers wants to master Vic Fangio’s complete system.

The starting cornerback who re-signed this offseason for four more seasons in San Francisco, said on Wednesday that he wants to get a better understanding of his defensive teammates’ full responsibilities now that they’re all experiencing a second season under the respected defensive coordinator’s guidance.

It’s important especially for Rogers, who lines up inside as the team’s nickel cornerback against multiple receiver formations.

“Nickel is something tough,” admitted Rogers, a 6-foot, 192-pound cornerback who recorded a career-high six interceptions for the 49ers last season. “You have to know crossing routes, working with the linebackers, sometimes they take the routes deep. There’s a lot of stuff. Sometimes you’re blitzing, sometimes you may have a run gap.”

Fangio considers the position to be a linebacker-type of role. Rogers, fearless when it comes to tackling, thrived in such a role, posting 57 tackles and 18 pass breakups in 2011.

Rogers performed well in the role because of his quickness, Fangio said.

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Morning Tailgate: Aug. 1

Posted by Taylor Price on August 1, 2012 – 8:14 AM

Good morning 49ers Faithful, Training Camp will begin promptly at 9:15 this morning. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the top 49ers headlines from San Francisco’s first day off at camp.

Respected NFL writer Peter King of Sports Illustrated visited 49ers camp on Monday and filed a must-read report. According to the longtime NFL scribe, the 49ers are in the best shape he’s seen in years.

“Long-term this is the best I’ve felt about the 49ers since Steve Young walked off the field for the last time in 1999,” King wrote.

In another appearance on NFL Network, King told host Rich Eisen just how impressed he was with veteran wideout Randy Moss.

“When I saw Randy Moss come off the line of scrimmage and fake Perrish Cox so severely that Cox slipped and Randy Moss ran across the middle and caught a beautiful crossing throw,” King told Eisen. “And then ran a 9-route, you know, the long deep ball down the sideline, and beat Carlos Rodgers, who had an excellent year last year.”

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: July 29

Posted by Taylor Price on July 29, 2012 – 11:03 AM

San Francisco 49ers Training Camp presented by HP got officially underway on Friday, but the physicality of camp will truly begin today when pads will be worn for the first time of camp.

Even without pads, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff made the most of the early training sessions. “You can’t waste any time, not a single minute,” Harbaugh said on Friday.

Saturday’s practice session saw several standout plays, and the continued role reversal of select backup players. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee noted the position changes from several players on the roster: “Michael Wilhoite and Demarcus Dobbs were back to defense today; Will Tukuafu, however, played fullback … Cory Nelms has been playing safety the last two days. He also can play cornerback.”

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted it was a busy day for first-round pick A.J. Jenkins who saw more action due to Michael Crabtree’s absence from practice. “During the 11-on-11 session, Jenkins made three catches, including a nice grab to end practice,” Maiocco wrote. “On a previous play, Jenkins failed to hang onto a Scott Tolzien throw that was behind him. But Jenkins made the catch in traffic a short time later on a dart from second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick.”

Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News offered this classic observation of 49ers All-Pro, All-World, defensive tackle Justin Smith: “Remember in the playoff win over the Saints how Justin Smith bulldozed left tackle Jerrod Bushrod and reached over him to grab the back of Drew Brees back near the goal? Smith did almost the same thing today, pushing his way into the pocket past rookie tackle Al Netter.”

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jumnp.

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Morning Tailgate: July 3

Posted by Taylor Price on July 3, 2012 – 10:01 AM

Twenty-three days and counting.

Training Camp 2012 presented by HP is right around the corner for the San Francisco 49ers, who look to repeat as NFC West champs for the first time since the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando recently examined the 49ers offensive depth heading into training camp, and will offer a post on the defensive depth later today. 49ers.com, too, will begin to break down the various position groups on the roster, beginning with the quarterbacks. Stay tuned.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: June 6

Posted by Taylor Price on June 6, 2012 – 9:33 AM

For some time it was believed that Brandon Jacobs would be the biggest addition to the 49ers backfield in a literal sense.

Not anymore.

With 293-pound defensive tackle Will Tukuafu practicing at fullback this offseason in addition to maintaining his defensive line duties, the 49ers might have found an additional blocker for Jacobs and the 49ers running backs.

“Will’s doing a great job athletically,” Jim Harbaugh said after Tuesday’s OTA session, per Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.

Tukuafu even caught a short touchdown pass from Alex Smith during situational red zone work. The second-year defensive lineman who had his 2011 season cut short from a wrist injury, didn’t seek extra attention from his offensive efforts.

Instead, Tukuafu declined to comment on playing fullback, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

The humble, hard-working player made it clear it was for good reason and that he’d potentially talk to the media down the road.

“See if I make the team first,” Tukuafu said. “Got to graduate first.”

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: March 15

Posted by Taylor Price on March 15, 2012 – 10:24 AM

It’s been a frenzied start to the 2012 free agency period.

The 49ers have already signed two players to the team who were out of football in 2011, but look to be primed for breakout returns under NFL Coach of the Year Jim Harbaugh.

A longtime NFL writer, who once covered the 49ers as a beat writer during Bill Walsh’s heyday, believes Harbaugh is best suited to get the most out of Randy Moss and Perrish Cox.

More on those opinions and the latest 49ers-related free agency headlines can be found after the jump.

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