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Morning Tailgate: All About QBs

Posted by Taylor Price on July 17, 2013 – 9:38 AM

There’s a clear theme in today’s Morning Tailgate. Several articles about the quarterbacks on the San Francisco 49ers have been published in the last 24 hours and it’s our job to share those writeups

First, Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com examined Colin Kaepernick’s standing as one of the elite young quarterbacks in the National Football League and how the 49ers starting signal-caller’s prospects compare to some of the best young passers in the game today.

Kaepernick’s breakout season in 2012 is also up for a prestigious award. In fact, there’s only a few hours left to vote for Kaepernick to win a 2013 ESPY award.

Kaepernick enters training camp as the unquestioned starter, but the coveted backup quarterback roles have not been determined just yet.

More on the upcoming quarterback battles can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 104 Comments »

MT: Replacing Michael Crabtree

Posted by Taylor Price on May 24, 2013 – 10:45 AM

It won’t be a one man job.

To replace Michael Crabtree’s production on the San Francisco 49ers (85 catches, 1,105 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2012) it’s going to take a collective effort from the team, the team, the team.

Jim Harbaugh is eager to see which young wide receiver will emerge to fill Crabtree’s shoes as San Francisco’s starting wideout opposite of Anquan Boldin. So far, the young wideouts have been letting their work on the practice field make their case. Players like A.J. Jenkins and Ricardo Lockette are intriguing prospects to line up with Boldin. Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams are also close to returning from late-season injuries.

It should also be noted that the 49ers can still continue their power-running approach in 2013. They also have the unique running threat of Colin Kaepernick. In the backfield, Kendall Hunter is working his way back from a season-ending injury. Plus, Frank Gore is Frank Gore.

Receivers are key in any offense, but the 49ers have shown the ability to be creative in personnel groupings. Not to be forgotten, Vernon Davis, one of the game’s most dangerous tight ends, still figures to be heavily involved in the passing game.

More on the team’s options to fill in for Crabtree can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

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Posted in Announcements | 90 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Kaepernick Stays Busy

Posted by Taylor Price on February 28, 2013 – 10:22 AM

It doesn’t seem like Colin Kaepernick is taking time to rest and relax this offseason. It’s not a shocker, either. The San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback appeared at an award show, began working out with teammates at a training facility in Atlanta and recently took part in an event hosted by the first lady, Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign received help this week from Kaepernick, plus Olympic athletes (Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas, Allyson Felix) and tennis star Serena Williams among others.

Details of the event, shared by The Washington Post, touched on Mrs. Obama’s quest to help schools become more active in saving physical education programs nation-wide. Kaepernick, an example of physical condition, has proven to be a strong force in the community, not just on the football field.

The 49ers quarterback will also appear on NFL Network on Thursday at 3 p.m. PT to join the network’s “Path to the Draft” show.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 22 Comments »

2012 Plays of the Year: Takeaways

Posted by Taylor Price on February 12, 2013 – 1:40 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 first choosing your favorite takeaway from this past season. You can vote for your favorite takeaway up until Thursday at noon. Let’s take a look at the five nominees.

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Posted in Announcements | 6 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Feb. 11

Posted by Alex Espinoza on February 11, 2013 – 11:57 AM

Jim Harbaugh enjoyed his annual golf weekend in Pebble Beach, wrapping up the AT&T Pro-Am in 13th place with partner Jason Day. The 49ers coach will likely retire his golf clubs until next year’s Pro-Am, as he gets ready to return to work for next week’s NFL Scouting Combine and April’s NFL Draft.

Mark Purdy of the Bay Area News Group recapped Harbaugh’s weekend on the links. “Harbaugh and Day were the pro-am leaders at the midway point but lagged a bit Saturday and couldn’t make up ground Sunday,” Purdy wrote. “It didn’t really matter. Four days of listening to encouragement from the galleries definitely left the coach in a better mood just seven days after his team’s agonizing defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks ahead to possible offseason moves for the 49ers and more.

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Posted in Announcements | 40 Comments »

Niner Talk: 49ers-Falcons NFC Playoffs

Posted by Taylor Price on January 18, 2013 – 10:40 AM

The San Francisco 49ers are set to make the franchise’s 14th appearance in the NFC title game and second in as many seasons this Sunday in Atlanta.

It will also be a homecoming for Augusta, Ga., native Carlos Rogers, one of San Francisco’s starting cornerbacks.

Rogers joined our Niner Talk podcast this week to discuss his return to his home state in addition to a number of topics. The veteran defensive back also touched on his relationship with fellow starting corner Tarell Brown, plus discussed the matchup against Atlanta’s talented receiver tandem of Roddy White and Julio Jones.

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Posted in Niner Talk | 13 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Jan. 16

Posted by Taylor Price on January 16, 2013 – 9:36 AM

Looking for an unsung hero on the San Francisco 49ers defense? Look no further than sixth-year cornerback Tarell Brown.

The 5-foot-10, 193-pound cornerback continues to be one of the key contributors on a 49ers defense that stands one win away from reaching the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl.

Brown recorded a career-high 59 tackles in the regular season to go with 14 pass breakups and two interceptions.

Quietly, Brown has come up big all season for the 49ers. The fundamentally-sound defensive back intercepted a pass in San Francisco’s Week 17 win and followed it up two weeks later with an impressive interception in the 45-31 Divisional Playoff win over the Green Bay Packers.

For a second consecutive postseason, Brown turned in a key interception.

Brown’s efforts, however, aren’t going unnoticed. ProFootballFocus.com reviewed the 49ers dominant victory over the Packers and singled out Brown’s performance. According to PFF, Brown was thrown against on four different occasions by Green Bay’s high-powered passing attack. In the end, Brown allowed two receptions for 16 yards. His interception, a quality over-the-shoulder reception of a deep Aaron Rodgers throw, was also returned 39 yards.

With the NFC title game just around the corner, the 49ers defensive back will be counted on once more against Atlanta’s impressive passing arsenal.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 88 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Nov. 5

Posted by Taylor Price on November 5, 2012 – 11:04 AM

Fresh off a bye week, the San Francisco 49ers remain in first place of the NFC West with a 1.5 game lead over the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Minnesota Vikings 30-20 at home on Sunday.

The 49ers, themselves, will play a third consecutive division game in Week 10 when the St. Louis Rams visit Candlestick Park.

While the Rams are alone in last place in the NFC West at 3-5, Sunday’s game remains pivotal for both teams.  Since 2000, 29 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and proceeded to the playoffs, including at least one in each season.

The 49ers aim to make sure the Rams aren’t the 30th team to make the group.

San Francisco is coming off a strong showing in Week 8, a 24-3 win over Arizona that featured impressive quarterback play from Alex Smith.

The NFC’s Week 8 Offensive Player of the Week’s performance was reviewed in greater detail by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who believes the 49ers remain Super Bowl contenders heading into the second half of 2012.

“I really like what I’ve seen out of him this year, mostly,” King wrote about Smith, who is second in the NFL with a 69.4 completion percentage. “He’s as accurate an intermediate passer as I’ve seen this season. I think he’s going to be asset, not a question mark, as the 49ers make a Super Bowl push.”

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 46 Comments »

Morning Tailgate: Oct. 29

Posted by Alex Espinoza on October 29, 2012 – 10:47 AM

The 49ers, Cardinals and Monday Night Football are no strangers to each other. In fact, San Francisco has six MNF matchups with Arizona all-time, including five of the past six years. Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group examined tonight’s tilt in the desert and the burgeoning rivalry between the two divisional foes.

“No, it’s not as historic as the Bears-Packers, Cowboys-Redskins or Raiders-Chiefs,” Inman wrote. “It’s also not the type of high-stakes rivalry the 49ers have forged with the Cowboys and Giants. But the 49ers and Cardinals aren’t friendly neighbors in the increasingly competitive NFC West.”

Today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the best headlines from the weekend and offers more insight on tonight’s primetime showdown.

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Posted in Announcements | 28 Comments »

Gameday Story: Everyone Loves Ray

Posted by Taylor Price on October 19, 2012 – 12:56 PM

The San Francisco 49ers have one of, if not the, best rush defenses in the NFL. Filled with multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl players, it’s hard for all 11 deserving players to get recognition.

One of the most unheralded defenders is defensive tackle Ray McDonald, a hard-working lineman who’s earned the respect of his teammates and coaches with his consistent approach.

McDonald continues to be at the forefront of San Francisco’s tough defense and maintains his role as one of the locker room’s favorite players. This week’s Gameday Magazine cover story touched on McDonald’s respect amongst his peers in their words only.

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Posted in Gameday | 1 Comment »

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