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Morning Tailgate: Jan. 31

Posted by Taylor Price on January 31, 2013 – 8:54 AM

Justin Smith’s hard-working ways come into greater focus thanks to a remarkable story from ESPN.com’ Elizabeth Merrill. San Francisco’s four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle doesn’t seek out attention, but this story certainly explains the roots of Smith’s work ethic.

Smith owns the Railwood Golf Club in Holts Summit, Mo., a course that costs $25 to play 18 holes with a cart.

“Just Smith wanted it this way,” Merrill wrote. “He didn’t want to gouge the working man who couldn’t take a Monday off to hit golf balls. Smith would prefer, though, that you didn’t know he’s the owner of this golf course nestled in the rolling hills of Central Missouri.

“His name is not on the voicemail, or the website, and that seems typical. Smith is 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, and one of the most important players on the San Francisco 49ers’ vaunted defense, but he prefers to remain in the background. When his teammates are getting sacks, it means Smith is doing his job. Smith has a goal. When he’s finished with football, he’d like to be able to go to the grocery store without anyone recognizing him.”

Check out more of the top Super Bowl XLVII headlines after the jump.

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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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Gameday Story: We Live for This

Posted by Taylor Price on January 14, 2013 – 10:34 AM

San Francisco’s pair of Pro Bowl inside linebackers live for competition. So much so, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman would do anything in their power to win a Super Bowl.

More importantly, the 49ers dominant defenders want nothing more than to win the ultimate prize together.

The tight-knit relationship of San Francisco’s play-making linebackers came into greater focus in our latest Gameday magazine cover story. The cover, designed by team graphic designer Ben Mayberry, depicts the bond between two of the NFL’s most versatile defenders.

In true fashion, both primetime players brought their best effort in the 49ers 45-31 Divisional Playoff win over the Green Bay Packers. The tandem combined to make 12 tackles with Willis leading the team with seven tackles and a crucial sack on Aaron Rodgers. It stood as San Francisco’s only sack of the game and forced a Packers punt to start the second half.

Get to know more about the tight bond between the two linebackers and their all-out approach to this year’s postseason in our latest Gameday feature.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 28

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 28, 2012 – 11:44 AM

As the regular season winds down, the 49ers are starting to fill up 2012 award lists and the NFC Pro Bowl roster. Mike Sando of ESPN.com offered his all-NFC West team and listed 11 49ers among the best players in the division.

Among San Francisco’s players on Sando’s list included wideout Michael Crabtree, who is having a career year in his fourth NFL season. 49ers Public Relations director Bob Lange shared this cool photo spread of Crabtree explaining his ability to make sideline catches to ESPN the Magazine reporter Anna Katherine Clemons.

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Justin Smith’s injury, Vernon Davis’ return to practice and more.

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Gameday Story: The Lumber Co.

Posted by Taylor Price on December 10, 2012 – 9:49 AM


When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers safety tandem of Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson, both are very like-minded when it comes to playing the game of football.

The duo resembles one another in the fact that both are extremely passionate, hard-nosed, intelligent players who play the game the right away. They also deliver some of the most jarring open-field hits in the National Football League.

The hard-hitting safeties were the subject of our latest 49ers Gameday Magazine cover story, a Holiday-inspired shoot photographed by team photographer Terrell Lloyd and designed by team graphic designer Ben Mayberry. A poster version of the cover is also available just in time for stocking-stuffers.

Find out how much fun the 49ers safety tandem has playing beside one another and the respect they have for playing physical football the right way.

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Morning Tailgate: Dec. 7

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 7, 2012 – 11:32 AM

The 49ers are frequent inductees to Hall of Fames. Brent Jones was the latest alumni to be recognized for his stellar career, as he was recently elected to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame along with Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti, ex-Raiders receiver Tim Brown and the late Oakland A’s owner Walter Haas, Jr.

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Jones and Righetti about their Bay Area upbringings and what it means to be a part of the 2013 BASHOF.

“Jones played on three Super Bowl champions, earned four Pro Bowl berths and caught 417 passes in his career,” Kroichick wrote. “Now he’s going into a Hall of Fame filled with childhood heroes (including Willie Mays, Nate Thurmond and Fred Biletnikoff) and his 49ers teammates (including Montana, Young and Jerry Rice).”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Jim Harbaugh’s value to the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick vs. RGIII and more.

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Posted in Announcements | 23 Comments »

Vic Fangio Previews Saints Matchup

Posted by Taylor Price on November 22, 2012 – 2:23 PM

Vic Fangio coached the linebackers for the New Orleans Saints when four linebackers made the Pro Bowl at the same time.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator still oversees a quality quartet of linebackers in his current role, a group he’ll bring to the place he started his NFL coaching career in 1986.

Fangio’s No. 2 overall total defense (allowing 277.2 yards per game) will head South this weekend to face one of his old employers. Fangio believes the challenge will be one of the toughest of the year against a New Orleans that has tremendous volume at its disposal.

The 49ers coordinator described the Saints offensive attack on Thanksgiving Day as “proficient and explosive.”
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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 »

Primetime Matchup: Lynch vs. 49ers D

Posted by Taylor Price on October 16, 2012 – 3:45 PM

Marshawn Lynch has the most rushing yards in the NFC. In doing so, the Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl running back has established himself as one of the NFL’s toughest running backs to tackle while amassing 549 rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns in six weeks.

“Their running game is the bread and butter of their offense; everything works off of that,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said two days before his ninth-ranked rush defense (92.7 yards per game) faces Lynch and the Seahawks on NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Fangio has plenty of respect for the 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back who continues to excel in his third season with Seattle. As a result of Lynch’s hard-nosed runs, the Seahawks currently have the league’s seventh-best rushing attack, averaging 131.0 yards per game.

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Aldon Smith Embraces Expanded Role

Posted by Jacob Most on September 14, 2012 – 10:45 AM

Aldon Smith turned in an impressive performance in his first career start last Sunday. The young outside linebacker notched four tackles and a sack to help the San Francisco 49ers defense hold the Packers offense to 16 points.

Smith produced the type of relentless performance through all four quarters that Jim Harbaugh so often advocates, and which the coach praised his team for producing in Green Bay.

The team’s pass rusher extraordinaire will be asked to replicate his Week 1 performance when the 49ers take the field for their home opener on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
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