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Morning Tailgate: June 7

Posted by Taylor Price on June 7, 2012 – 9:32 AM

It didn’t take long for fans of the New York Giants to express remorse for losing running back Brandon Jacobs to the San Francisco 49ers via free agency.

Kyle Ratke of USA Today shares the story of a 6-year-old Giants fan named Joseph who recently reached out to Jacobs to express his desire to have the power running back return to New York for an eighth season. After Joseph’s mother explained to her son that Jacobs left the Giants because the team didn’t have enough money to pay him, Joseph, with the help of his mother, sent Jacobs $3.36 with the hopes Jacobs would return to The Big Apple.

The gesture was appreciated by the new 49ers running back, who just so happens to be New York’s all-time rushing touchdown leader with 56 scores on the ground.

“Here’s what I am thinking for the kid,” Jacobs tweeted last night. “I have a 5 year old, I will go and pick Joe up at his home in jersey and take him and my son 2 chucky cheese, what y’all think about that?”

More on the 49ers backfield and additional team 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: Uniform Edition (April 3)

Posted by Taylor Price on April 3, 2012 – 11:06 AM

The wait is over.

The Nike Elite 51 Uniform for all 32 clubs was revealed to the world Tuesday morning.

With the well-known athletic supplier officially debuting team gear over the weekend, all that was left to show was the sleek uniforms to be worn for the 2012 season.

The most visible change to the 49ers uniforms under Nike’s watch is the inclusion of Flywire technology on the uniform collar. According to Nikeinc.com, the technology reduces weight and provides a better fit over shoulder pads.

Other adjustments to the design include slight changes to the sleeve stripes where Nike has created a horizontal orientation to the field of play. It goes with the Nike’s focus on increasing a player’s range of motion. The striping on the uniform pants also utilizes more breathable materials.

Still, even after all the new lightweight fabrics that are being introduced to the sideline in 2012, the team’s traditional look remains.

In fact, 2012 marks the first time in club history that Nike will make the official game uniforms. A pre-sale for the uniforms will take place on shop49ers.com at 12:01 a.m. ET on April 15.

Back to the big reveal, the NFL introduced players from all 32 teams early Tuesday morning at a Brooklyn fashion show. Alex Smith was on hand to represent the 49ers and even conducted a few interviews afterwards while wearing his home uniform.

For a closer look at San Francisco’s new threads, check out this photo posted on the team’s Instagram account and an up close photo gallery highlighting the uniform’s design details.

For more reaction on the uniform changes and other team headlines from a big day in sports fashion, proceed to read more information after the jump.

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Morning Tailgate: March 26

Posted by Taylor Price on March 26, 2012 – 10:31 AM

Fresh off a weekend in the snow, 49ers.com has scooped up all the top headlines from the weekend.

If you missed our Celebrity Winter Fest updates from the weekend, there was plenty of money being raised for the 49ers Foundation. Players, coaches, general manager Trent Baalke and alumni traveled up to Lake Tahoe for the weekend to help out a great cause which aims to keep underprivileged kids safe, on track and in school.

One of the weekend’s noticeable attendees was recognized in another way by a respected football analysis site. More on that, important league news and other 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Monday’s Locker Room Talk: Nov. 7

Posted by Taylor Price on November 7, 2011 – 2:54 PM

Ricky Jean Francois had big shoes to fill on Sunday.

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Ricky Jean Francois Visits AT&T Park

Posted by Taylor Price on November 17, 2010 – 9:49 AM

Although defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois is far from his Miami home during the season, he’s done quite well acclimating himself in the Bay Area.

In his second year with the 49ers, Jean Francois has been making strides on and off the field. He already has set career highs this year with 11 tackles 1.0 sack and a forced fumble. And on Tuesday, the 6-foot-3, 295-pounder traveled to the home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants to gain perspective on another professional sport.

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Saturday Photos From London

Posted by Taylor Price on October 30, 2010 – 12:48 PM

What a day. A walk through at Wembley Stadium followed by a pep rally at Trafalgar Square with 20,000 screaming fans (many in 49ers red) made this Saturday a very unique and memorable day.

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49ers Wear Pink with a Purpose

Posted by Taylor Price on October 15, 2010 – 3:45 PM

For many of the 49ers who will wear pink cleats, gloves and sweat bands this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, the opportunity to spread breast cancer awareness was something too good to pass up.

For defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, it’s a chance to honor his late grandmother.

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Rookies Enjoy ‘49 U’

Posted by Taylor Price on July 8, 2010 – 3:17 PM

While most of the veterans on the 49ers roster left town at the conclusion of the team’s offseason program, the rookie class stuck around the last week of June for Player Development Week.

Or as 49ers Director of Player Development Tyrone Knott dubbed it, “49 U.”

The week consisted of daily meetings between Knott and the rookies, a visit to a local business, an investment simulation seminar and wrapped up with a trip to the NFL Rookie Symposium.

The entire week brought the group of rookies even closer.

“I knew all the guys prior to that, but I feel like we know each other 10 times more from going through that experience,” rookie tight end Nate Byham said. “We all know each other on the field already, and have become friends, but this was a good experience all around to build on that brotherhood that we’re developing.”

The week began with a visit to local video game manufacturer Namco Bandai, located a couple of blocks from 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara. The players toured the Namco facility and listened to a presentation from offensive lineman Tony Wragge, who recently concluded a six-week internship in the offseason with the help of Knott and Namco’s operations analyst Charmaine Morena.

“I wouldn’t have went on this type of tour if I had a regular job or if I was in college,” cornerback LeRoy Vann remarked. “I think it was a great opportunity to experience something cool.”

Although he’s entering his second NFL season, 49ers defensive tackle and avid video gamer Ricky Jean Francois wanted to be a part of the Namco tour. He also wanted to get first-hand knowledge of Wragge’s experience in the gaming industry.

“It opened up your eyes to the real world away from football,” Jean Francois said. “That’s something all of us needed.”

Another highlight of the week was the investment simulation, which featured teams of rookies investing Monopoly-like money in various stocks to learn about the ramifications of long-term investments. The winning team ended up being linebacker Mike Balogun and offensive lineman Matt Kopa.

“That’s that University of Oklahoma education right there!” Balogun proudly stated to the group upon being announced as the winners.

At the conclusion of “49 U” the drafted players took part in the NFL’s four-day Rookie Symposium, a staple of the NFL’s Player Development programs since its birth in 1997. The gathering of players from all 32 teams in Carlsbad, Calif., provided a great opportunity for players to understand the best way to conduct themselves as they enter professional football.

“It was definitely a long couple of days, that was to be expected, but I really got a lot out of it,” Byham said. “When you think of the Symposium, you think of 12-hour days full of meetings. But now that I’ve gone through it, I was able to take a lot away from it.”

Byham especially enjoyed the lectures from former NFL stars and Commissioner Roger Goodell, but found the separate meetings with the rookies from the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints to be most interesting.

“We did a bunch of activities and brainstormed ideas. We talked about stresses and realities of being rookies in the NFL and how you have to live your life. It was pretty cool. It was nice to have other people to talk to who weren’t just your teammates. You see how we’re all going through the same stresses coming in as a rookie.”

Having graduated “49 U” the rookies hope to take the next step and become members of the 49ers 53-man roster. They’ll have their chance when training camp opens Aug. 2.

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‘Niner Jan’ Remembered For Loving Support

Posted by Taylor Price on May 13, 2010 – 10:46 AM

Guy McIntyre, Jan Boehm and Keena Turner

The 49ers haven’t played any games this offseason, but they’ve just suffered one of their biggest losses in recent years.

Jan Boehm, who was one of the most loyal, passionate, and caring members of the 49ers Faithful, passed away on Friday, April 30th after a difficult battle with central nervous system lymphoma.

“Jan was arguably our most visible and outwardly supportive fan,” said 49ers Co-Chairman Dr. John York. “She helped each of us appreciate – every single day – what it meant to be a member of the 49ers.  She reminded us of how lucky we were to be a part of this great organization and she made us want to be a part of her life, too.”

Perhaps no member of the Faithful was more spirited about their beloved football team than Boehm, who was simply known around team headquarters as “Niner Jan.”

But she was more than that. To us, she was our “Niner Mom.” It said as much on the birthday and holiday cards she routinely sent to players, coaches and members of the front office.

“She was such a die-hard fan, but cared about everyone on the team,” left tackle Joe Staley recalled. “She would write us nice cards every year, and they were all personal. There was never a generic card, everything was personalized. She really cared about the team, and it’s really sad that she’s not going to be with us anymore, but she’ll always be with us in spirit.”

Beyond the numerous cards of well wishes personalized with her unrelenting spirit, Boehm would spend countless hours in her nearby kitchen in Sunnyvale preparing tasty treats to personally deliver to team headquarters each week of the regular season.

Win or lose, for the past 20 seasons, Boehm has been there to support her team. Ever since she witnessed the 49ers dominant performance in Super Bowl XXIV over the Denver Broncos, Boehm became fascinated with the franchise.

She would soon begin collecting memorabilia that would nearly reach 1,000 items proudly displayed in her home. But Boehm’s passion for the team wasn’t based on the performances on the field; it was rooted in the character of the players and coaches that she observed off of it.

Once Boehm got more involved in following the team over the past decade, she began bringing home-made baked goods to players and staff members as part of her weekly visits to 4949 Centennial Blvd.

Boehm’s annual arrival was eagerly awaited by many in the building, including security staff member Dario Montenegro, who recalled seeing Boehm deliver baked goods for 10 of the 12 seasons he’s worked for the 49ers.

“She was always upbeat, always happy. No matter what the 49ers did, she would always say, ‘We can do better!’” Montenegro remembered. “That’s what you want your fans to be like. No matter what the team went through, she was there for us all of the time, no matter what. She was always holding up the team.”

Boehm also held up the 49ers efforts in the community by frequently contributing to the 49ers Foundation. As an English teach for over 20 years, Boehm took a particular interest in helping the 49ers keep kids safe, on track and in school.

“She saw the difference you can make when you give a child the support they need to be successful in school,” said Joanne Pasternack, Director of Community Relations and The 49ers Foundation. “She didn’t just talk about being a fan; she really supported us on and off the field. Jan showed the personal touch that really makes people feel appreciated.”

In her memory, Boehm has continued her personal touch, requesting that 10 percent of her estate be donated to the 49ers Foundation to support low income youth.

But it wasn’t the first time Boehm had made such a generous gesture towards a 49ers-related cause.

When 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois felt the devastation left by a lethal earthquake which rocked his homeland of Haiti, Boehm stepped in with a $5,000 donation to the American Red Cross. As a native of Louisiana, Boehm was all too familiar with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. She felt it was necessary to help out.

“It was so nice, she didn’t have to do it, but the fact that she would do things for all of us, we really appreciated it,” Jean Francois said. “To see all the love that she gave us, that comes from something deep down, something out of your heart.

“She’ll never be forgotten by us. She’ll always be remembered. We know we can’t see her in the physical form, but we know she’s here in spirit.”

Boehm wrote this in a Christmas card she sent me this past season:

“Taylor, Keep up the good work! The 49ers are so lucky to have you!”

But really, we were all so, so lucky to have her.

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