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Report: 49ers host Tampa Bay pass-rusher Smith

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:29:03 UT

The 49ers, who have just one player on their roster with more than 14 career sacks, hosted Buccaneers defensive end Jacquies Smith on Friday, the NFL Network reported. Smith, 27, is a restricted free agent who had 13.5 sacks from 2014-15 before sustaining a torn ACL in last year’s season opener. Tampa Bay tendered him with an original-round offer. Since Smith entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012, the 49ers wouldn’t surrender a draft pick to the Buccaneers if they signed him. The Buccaneers can match any offer Smith receives from the 49ers. In 2015, in 12 games, Smith had seven sacks, which is more than all but one member of the 49ers - outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks - has had in a single season. Before carving out a role as a situational pass-rusher in Tampa Bay, Smith didn’t have a sack in stints with the Dolphins, Jets, Bills and the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2012-13.



Christian McCaffrey, Solomon Thomas perform on Stanford pro day

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:52:43 UT

On Thursday, midway through Stanford’s pro day, running back Christian McCaffrey soared near the sideline to snag an errant pass, a nifty bit of athleticism that drew applause. [...] McCaffrey’s former college teammate, defensive end Solomon Thomas, worked out for NFL scouts and drew nary a cheer during the two-hour session. On Thursday, Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, whose team has the No. 3 pick, and Carolina head coach Ron Rivera (No. 8) were on hand to get an up-close look at the lineman, who had 11.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss in his final two seasons. The 49ers have used their first pick in the past two drafts on defensive linemen, grabbing Arik Armstead in 2015 and DeForest Buckner last year. Is Thomas, who won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s best defensive lineman last year, the best player at No. 2? [...] his height and relatively modest arm length (33 inches) raise concerns about his ability to wreak havoc outside. At Stanford, he won the Paul Hornung Award, given to college football’s most versatile player, and set the FBS season record for all-purpose yards (3,864). On Thursday, he caught punts and kickoffs, and focused on showing scouts his pass-catching ability while running routes from both the slot and outside. On Thursday, Shanahan caught up with McCaffrey’s dad, Ed, a wide receiver who played for Shanahan’s father, Mike, for the final 10 seasons of his 13-year NFL career. In 1994, Ed McCaffrey was a wide receiver on the 49ers’ last Super Bowl champion team and Mike Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. During that time, Kyle, a wide receiver at Duke and Texas, learned from watching and being tutored by McCaffrey and fellow Pro Bowl wideout Rod Smith.



Kyle Shanahan explains absence from 49ers’ QB tour

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:41:01 UT

Head coach Kyle Shanahan is the 49ers’ quarterback guru, so why isn’t on the road this week studying the top quarterback prospects? On Thursday, Shanahan said he anticipates getting up close and personal with some quarterbacks before a draft in which the 49ers have the No. 2 overall pick. “We haven’t mapped them all out yet, but I’m sure I’ll do a few private workouts (with quarterbacks), whether it’s me or our quarterbacks coach (Rich Scangarello),” Shanahan said at Stanford’s pro day. … “It’s been better for me to stay in the office with the film and getting our whole coaching staff ready,” Shanahan said. The 49ers will use at least one of their 10 draft picks on a quarterback.



Dwight Clark at ‘textbook age’ to receive ALS diagnosis

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:15:46 UT

The fact that former 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark played nine seasons in the NFL and has been diagnosed with ALS could raise eyebrows in the medical community. [...] unlike many of the ex-football players who share his diagnosis, Clark’s age does not hint at the possibility his condition is connected to head trauma. “In terms of (Clark’s) age, around 60 to 70 is a textbook age where you would expect to make a diagnosis,” said Dr. Dr. Ilan Danan, a sports neurologist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. [...] the number of former NFL players who have been diagnosed at a relatively young age has strengthened the belief there could be a cause-and-effect relationship. Raiders running back Steve Smith, 52, was diagnosed in 2002; linebacker O.J. Brigance, 47, was diagnosed in 2007 and safety Orlando Thomas, who died at 42 in 2014, announced he had ALS in 2007. [...] that’s when I think it causes more of a stir, not just among athletes or the NFL, but certainly the general public and the media.



Colin Kaepernick donates $50K to Meals on Wheels after Trump criticism

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:43:37 UT

Photo: Associated Press Image 1of/16 CaptionClose Image 1 of 16 San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Photo: Associated Press Image 2 of 16 San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (7) stands on the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 37-18. (AP Photo/John



Donald Trump chides Colin Kaepernick again at rally

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:09:47 UT

Donald Trump might have other concerns than what he reads online about Colin Kaepernick. Nevertheless, he brought up Kaepernick during a rally recently in Kentucky. During the campaign, Trump criticized Kaepernick for failing to stand for the national anthem. In the video above, you can see what Trump said about the 49ers free agent quarterback. Kaepernick opted out of his deal earlier this month and is still a free agent. Other quarterbacks such as Mike Glennon (Bears), Brian Hoyer (49ers), and Matt Barkley (49ers) have signed despite having worse careers statistically than Kaepernick. Kaepernick has also experienced success in the playoffs and been in a Super Bowl, while those other



Suspected link between ALS and head trauma suffered in football

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:39:32 UT

[...] one neurologist insisted ALS has become more recognized in the past five years as “part of the picture” surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in dozens of former NFL players. Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health and the NFL Neurological Care Program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said cases of ALS patients with a history of head trauma “began to sort of pile up” in recent years. Another neurologist, Dr. Dale Lange of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, disputed any definitive cause-and-effect but added that “repeated head trauma absolutely puts you at increased risk of neurogenerative disease, including dementia and ALS.” A study released in 2005 found that Italian professional soccer players got the disease at a rate nearly six times greater than the general population. The study did not identify a specific cause, but it raised the question of whether players repeatedly heading the ball might make them more susceptible. [...] Dr. Santosh Kesari, chairman of Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, remained cautious about drawing a straight line between the head trauma of football and ALS. CTE has attracted more attention in recent years, but Clark became the latest in a string of former NFL players to receive an ALS diagnosis. Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans safety, has waged a high-profile fight with ALS since he announced he had the disease in 2011. Other former NFL players who have been afflicted with ALS include former Raiders running back Steve Smith, 52, who was diagnosed in 2002; ex-linebacker O.J. Brigance, 47; and former safety Orlando Thomas, who died at 42 in 2014. Asked about the Clark news, Gandy said, The NFL history, with any sort of brain degeneration, raises the question of whether it’s associated with repetitive trauma. Sayers is regarded as one of the greatest players in NFL history. The “Kansas Comet” played his entire career with the Bears, piling up 4,956 yards rushing in his 68-game career and was voted to four Pro Bowls.



Dwight Clark needs fans to keep cheering for him

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:26:05 UT

If you’re of a certain age, the news hit you like a punch in the stomach Sunday night: There are about 6,000 cases of the brutal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosed each year, and the average age at diagnosis is 55. [...] for much of the Bay Area and the wider NFL audience, Clark will be forever young and healthy, the dashingly handsome football player who became famous and beloved because of one singular moment in time. On January 10, 1982, Clark rose high in the sky in the back of the Candlestick end zone, over Dallas defensive back Everson Walls, corralled a pass from a scrambling Joe Montana with his fingertips, and grabbed it for the touchdown. With that touchdown (and two key defensive plays moments later), the 49ers were headed to their first-ever Super Bowl. The touchdown changed everything for the young man from a small town in North Carolina, who played at Clemson and was noticed by Bill Walsh when he came to scout someone else. [...] he became one of the most important players in team history, played nine seasons for the 49ers, was a favorite of owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and remains beloved by fans. Clark then went public with his diagnosis later Sunday, posting on DeBartolo’s website, debartoloholdings.com. [...] I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safe, especially as it relates to head trauma. Clark became famous through the game of football, but now he is publicly wondering if the game of football has led to this terrible disease.



New 49ers receiver may bring lauded pizza joint to the Bay Area

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:40:12 UT

Pierre Garcon may be bringing more than just his cleats to the 49ers.




49ers: Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 05:34:52 UT

Dwight Clark, the wide receiver who played the starring role in “The Catch,” the most famous play in 49ers’ history, announced Sunday night that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS, which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal condition that affects control of muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. Clark, 60, said in a lengthy post on former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.’s website that he first began experiencing symptoms in September 2015 when he started feeling weakness in his left hand. The disease has progressed to the point that he also has had weakness in his right hand, lower back, legs and abdominal muscles. “While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the challenge I will face with this disease over the coming years, the only thing I know is that I’m going to fight like hell and live every day to the fullest,” Clark wrote. Gleason, a former New Orleans safety, has waged a high-profile fight with ALS since he announced he had the disease in 2011. Former Raiders running back Steve Smith, 52, was diagnosed with ALS in 2002. Other former NFL players who have been afflicted with ALS include ex-linebacker O.J. Brigance, 47, and ex-safety Orlando Thomas, who died at 42 in 2014. [...] I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma. Many know Dwight as an iconic figure in 49ers lore, whose accomplishments on the field brought joy to fans around the world.



49ers teammates rally around Dwight Clark

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 05:34:40 UT

49ers teammates rally around Dwight Clark Dwight Clark revealed he had ALS on Sunday night and his announcement on former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.’s website included a host of statements from many of those close to him. Here are those sentiments, which include remarks from 49ers CEO Jed Yok, whose statement was released through the team: Dwight Clark is one of those guys that lights up the room - always smiling and making you feel great. When I heard the news, I like others in the 49er family, was devastated. DC changed the course of the 49ers with The Catch. Don’t be surprised if he changes the course of this disease as well. Eddie DeBartolo, former 49ers owner Many know Dwight as an iconic figure in 49ers lore, whose accomplishments on the field brought joy to fans around the world. There is nothing tougher than watching a great friend go through a serious health challenge. Dwight is handling this adversity with uncommon strength and the heart of a courageous champion, and our family’s thoughts and prayers are constantly with Dwight and Kelly. To live with another of my best friends struggling with a disease like ALS is devastating. Jennifer and I are saddened by the diagnosis of Dwight. DC has done so much for me as a player and friend. Whatever becomes, you can be sure Dwight will handle it with strength, dignity, humor and courage. Huey Lewis, musician and longtime friend




49ers’ brass goes on the road in search of a QB

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 04:16:16 UT

General manager John Lynch will lead a group to get an up-close look at the top quarterback draft prospects: Lynch, vice president of player personnel Adam Peters, senior personnel executive Martin Mayhew and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello will attend pro days at North Carolina (Tuesday) and Notre Dame (Thursday). The 49ers, whose quarterback depth chart consists of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, will use at least one of their 10 draft picks on a quarterback. Shanahan met with Trubisky, Watson and Kizer at the combine and he’ll visit with them again if they are among the 30 prospects the 49ers invite to their facility for a predraft visit. [...] Lynch, who played quarterback until his junior season at Stanford, has said his eight seasons as a Fox analyst gave him further insight into the intangibles required to excel at the position. “That gave me a much better understanding of the DNA of the (quarterbacks) that are successful and maybe some of the shortcomings of the guys that haven’t proven successful in this league,” Lynch said at the NFL combine.



49ers sign ILB Dekoda Watson

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 05:45:09 UT

Watson, 29, a seven-year veteran, is familiar with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was his position coach during his nine-game stint with the Jaguars in 2014. Since the start of free agency on March 9, the 49ers have signed 13 players, 12 of whom didn’t play for them last year.



Jim Harbaugh disparages Jed York, Trent Baalke

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 05:05:22 UT

Harbaugh’s comments to Sports Illustrated came after his brother-in-law, Tom Crean, was fired as the Indiana men’s basketball coach Thursday. “Much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging … when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon,” Harbaugh said. In his two seasons at Michigan, Harbaugh has often said he wants to take the “high road” when asked about what the 49ers termed his “mutual parting” from the organization. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is participating in an effort to bring relief to the people of Somalia and announced via a Twitter video Friday that a group he’s working with has secured the use of a plane to bring supplies to the impoverished east African nation. “Amazing news, Turkish Airlines granted us an airplane to fly to Somalia, a 60-ton cargo plane so we can fly there with food, with water for these people,” said Kaepernick in the 43-second video. According to the GoFundMe page, the flight will take place March 27. The move landed him on the cover of Time magazine, but also made him a lightning rod for criticism in virtually every corner of the country. A seventh-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2010, Watson, 29, played four season with the Bucs. [...] he’s been with Dallas and Jacksonville (2014), New England (2015) and Denver (2016).



49ers: Harbaugh blasts York, Baalke in supporting Crean

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:12:21 UT

Not surprisingly, Jim Harbaugh doesn’t agree with the decision Indiana University made Thursday to fire his brother-in-law, men’s basketball coach Tom Crean. Harbaugh blasted 49ers owner Jed York and former general manager Trent Baalke in expressing his support for Crean. Much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging … when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon, Harbaugh said. On a podcast, Harbaugh said he should be given an “endurance medal” or “courage medal” for lasting four seasons with York, who has fired Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly since Harbaugh’s departure.