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 Post subject: news & notes
PostPosted: Thu 04.24.2008, 16:35 
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49ers RG Baas to miss part of training camp

49ers RG David Baas will undergo surgery for a torn pectorals muscle and miss at least the start of training camp.

Baas, considered a disappointment before taking over as a starter last year, is expected to be ready for Week 1, but that's no sure thing. The Niners are thin behind their starting five linemen, so this becomes a greater need area. Apr. 24 - 2:59 pm et
Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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PostPosted: Thu 04.24.2008, 16:37 
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Donald Strickland-DB-49ers Apr. 24 - 5:20 pm et

49ers CB Donald Strickland was arrested earlier this month for fleeing police after they attempted to arrest him for being drunk in public.
He was booked on April 13 for public intoxication and resisting arrest. Police say Strickland didn't make it long on the run; he fell down after getting about a half a block away. "That's when we took him into custody," police said.
Source: San Jose Mercury News

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PostPosted: Thu 04.24.2008, 17:33 
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Alex Smith-QB-49ers Apr. 24 - 6:16 pm et

Alex Smith (shoulder surgery) and Manny Lawson (knee surgery) will be limited at the 49ers' opening post-draft minicamp.
Smith won't make vertical throws, so if Shaun Hill impresses Mike Martz in that area, Hill could take an early lead in the competition. The Niners are being cautious with Lawson, who can't afford to lose anything off his first step.
Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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PostPosted: Sat 05.03.2008, 15:38 
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Tully Banta-Cain-LB-49ers May. 3 - 1:16 pm et

Tully Banta-Cain is in much better shape from a year ago when he reported at 290 pounds.

Banta-Cain was a free agent bust last year, and the team sees him as more of a situational pass rusher going into this season.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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PostPosted: Sat 05.03.2008, 15:39 
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Kentwan Balmer-DL-49ers May. 3 - 1:14 pm et

Niners first round DL Kentwan Balmer will start off as the team's right defensive end.

Coach Mike Nolan wants him to start off there, and then move him to nose guard. Nolan said the techniques are the same, so it shouldn't be a significant transition to over over the center when that time comes.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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PostPosted: Sat 05.03.2008, 15:47 
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Johnson, Bruce run as starting WRs for Niners

Bryant Johnson and Isaac Bruce ran as the 49ers' starting wide receivers at the first day of minicamps Friday.

Arnaz Battle, who will probably play out of the slot in Mike Martz's offense, sat out after "tweaking" his ankle. Johnson and Bruce starting outside is expected. Johnson's job may be slightly less secure than Bruce's at this point. Martz tends to re-evaluate his WRs corps frequently during offseasons.

May. 2 - 6:03 pm et

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PostPosted: Mon 05.05.2008, 17:59 
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Nolan: QB is a three-way race

RE: Can you give impressions of Smith and Hill after this first mini-camp?
“You know what, I’ll say this, probably the biggest impression that I got out of the quarterback position is that it is probably going to be a three-man race rather than just two. I think J.T. O’Sullivan as it goes is going to be in the thick of it. So, I’m excited about that. That makes it all the tougher, but as we all well know as was evidenced last year by our football team, one quarterback doesn’t typically get it done. You need to have more than that and have more depth. I would expect as it goes forward and when the decision is made, there is no time table on it, but when it is, the other ones better stay ready because you’d hate to say, ‘oh, I’m not the guy’ and the next thing you know five minutes later you’re back in the saddle and you’re not ready because then it would go to the other guy. I think that is a good thing. Now, whoever sees themselves as two or three, they know they’re both two. That is a good thing. Like I said, I’ve been impressed with J.T. O’Sullivan as well. Again, I don’t want to say it’s a problem because it’s not a problem. It’s good competition.”

RE: What has O’Sullivan done to impress you?
“He’s probably more like Shaun than he is like Alex, as far as the type of quarterback, but his familiarity with the offense obviously helps him. He’s a little crisper than the other guys because he’s had a year in it. So, he knows it. But I like his demeanor and his ability just to make a play work. That is important.”

RE: Will O’Sullivan have some work with the 1’s in OTA’s?
“We’re going to have to have some kind of rotation that we need to discuss with that. I believe that is what’s going to happen a little bit. Yeah. In order to call that a three-man race, I think some of that has to happen. Part of the process I believe when we get to camp, we’re going to have to at that point have a little better feel. Although, the final decision is not made, we’re going to have to have a better feel. Otherwise, what’s going to happen is the more you dilute it with competition; competition is a good thing and a bad thing. If you’re diluting it at the quarterback position, is the starter going to be ready enough to go? So, we have that decision to make during training camp time, as far as who is going to be taking more reps and who we are leaning towards at that time. But, those preseason games will be important.”

http://www.49ers.com/pressbox/news_detail.php?PRKey=4200

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PostPosted: Mon 05.05.2008, 21:00 
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Mark Roman-DB-49ers May. 5 - 6:44 pm et

Mark Roman is expected to remain the 49ers' starting free safety when the regular season begins.

However, the 49ers want more big plays in centerfield. Roman has range, but Dashon Goldson displayed terrific ball skills in minicamps and could push him this summer. Rookie Reggie Smith is staying at corner for now.
Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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PostPosted: Tue 05.06.2008, 18:10 
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Q&A with Martz...


Instant 49ers: Is there a Catch-22, in having an open competition for the QB job? Don't you want to have a No. 1 quarterback, so the focus can be to get him ready to play?

Martz: "This stuff will sort itself out. We have lots of time to make that decision. Until they (the quarterbacks) have full knowledge of what we do, to make a decision before that would be unfair to all of them. Until we know they're completely prepared with what we do, to say this guy's going to start and this guy isn't, is not quite fair. When they're up to speed, then you can judge them fairly."

Instant 49ers:
But doesn't it hurt that the person who becomes the starter won't be getting most of the reps through the offseason?

Martz:
"The information is the same. You're teaching them all the same, but he just gets more reps if he's the starter. So there's a little bit of a difference, but at this point, it's not significant."

Instant 49ers: When do you think it becomes significant?

Martz: "If it's a real extended time, I think it can affect it. I'm not worried about that. There's nothing you can do about it. It is what it is. There is no other way of doing it that's right. This is the right way of doing it."

Instant 49ers: How do you think you will arrive at that decision? What will tell you that this is the right time to name a starter?

Martz: "That's not my decision. That's Mike's (Nolan). We'll sit down and I'm sure he'll ask for some things and then he'll make a decision. He'll ask for my input. I don't make that decision, but I'm sure he'll ask me and Ted (Tollner) what we think. We'll go over the position. It's like any other position."

Instant 49ers: Everything we've heard about your system is that it's so complex and it takes a while to learn it.

Martz: "It is complex. But here's the point I'm trying to make, whether we have a starter or not doesn't change the information they're trying to handle. (The starter) might get a few more snaps, but not significantly right now. Now, the longer it goes, then you like to have a sense of it. But we have plenty of time. Remember, now, Kurt Warner wasn't our starter until the third preseason game. He was a third going in and then he was a backup. It can be done. I'm not worried about it. For us, that's part is not an issue. They're getting enough reps and they're being coached the same.

Instant 49ers: I wanted to talk to you about each of your quarterbacks. Let's start with Alex Smith. The knock on Alex has been . . .

Martz: "Before you even start that I just want to say that all sins are forgiven. I don't know what you're going to say; I don't care what you're going to say. It has no bearing. For me to evaluate him, it's what I see out here right now. I could care less about what's happened in the past.

Instant 49ers:
Fair enough. Let's put it this way - are you comfortable with Alex's ability to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball on time?

Martz: "So far, he's been extraordinary. So far, he's been absolutely extraordinary."

Instant 49ers: Shaun said you've been working with him on his mechanic, as far as getting his entire body behind his throws. Is his arm strength adequate enough to succeed in this offense?

Martz: "He's got the arm strength. The thing with Shaun, and Kurt was a little bit like this too, throwing the football is about balance. If you're a golfer, and you're going to play over one leg or the other, how you going to play? It's the same thing with throwing a football. There's a rotation into the throw. So he gets a little tilted off balance and that affects him a little bit. We can clean that up. We can clean that up a lot. And I'm excited about that he has that feel for it right now. He's done exceptionally well. They've both been good."

Instant 49ers: What did you see when you watched J.T. O'Sullivan on film in NFL Europe that made you think he could be effective in your system?

Martz: "It's real clear. When we saw him in Europe, he made incredible throws under duress, which makes a real difference in quarterbacks. It's a real key. In Europe, he flicks the ball and hits the guy on a dead run. He has uncanny accuracy. He sees thing. He's mobile, he's tough. He's all those things."

Instant 49ers: At this point, can you look out there and envision each of these guys as your starting quarterback?

Martz:
"If coach came in and says, 'I want to play this guy,' I'm comfortable with whatever he says. We'll go play. I have great confidence in all of them."


http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=2200033&mode=

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PostPosted: Tue 05.06.2008, 18:11 
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Of course, the quarterback competition is the one everyone will be watching. But there are some other competitions worth noting:

Left defensive end: Isaac Sopoaga was penciled in as the starter after he signed his lucrative contract extension. He looked good at the position over the weekend. But the 49ers also have their No. 1 pick, Kentwan Balmer, playing that spot, too. Right now, Aubrayo Franklin is not getting much competition at the nose, so perhaps the person who does not start at left end will then challenge Franklin's starting job.

Strong inside linebacker (ted):
Jeff Ulbrich, Dontarrious Thomas and rookie Larry Grant worked at this position during minicamp. But Nolan admits, "I don't know that we have a true 'ted.'" I asked about Brandon Moore, who took Ulbrich's starting job in 2006 and played well. Last year, Moore rarely played. I asked Nolan why Moore isn't at the ted, and he advised that not much should be read into the depth chart at this point. Moore is currently behind Patrick Willis at the "mike" position. I asked about Moore's inability to hold onto the starting job last season, why he didn't replace Derek Smith. Nolan said, "It was closer than I thought after looking back over the season. Derek was out there, and he was just so-so." The 49ers have not completely ruled out the possibility of pursuing veteran free agent Takeo Spikes.

Weak outside linebacker (will):
Tully Banta-Cain reported to the team this offseason in much better shape, Nolan said. Parys Haralson saw time at the strong side position in the minicamp, as did Jay Moore. When Manny Lawson returns full-time to the practice field (he was held out as a precaution), the 49ers must find their best pass-rusher to place at this position.

Third cornerback:
Currently, that spot belongs to Shawntae Spencer, but he will get plenty of competition from rookie Reggie Smith, a third-round pick. Smith showed some flashes during the minicamp. Due to his physical play, Smith is one of those players who will probably be a lot more effective once the pads go on. Others who could challenge for the third-corner spot are Tarell Brown, Marcus Hudson and Donald Strickland.

Right guard:
This was going to be David Baas' job. Then, he sustained a torn pectoral tendon while lifting weights a couple weeks ago He will miss a good portion of training camp. The 49ers expect him to be ready for the regular season. However, if rookie Chilo Rachal shows he can handle it, it might be difficult to remove him from the lineup. Tony Wragge is currently working with the first team at this spot.

Wide receivers: Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson should help provide the 49ers with a big upgrade at this spot. But Arnaz Battle is going to be difficult to get out of the starting lineup, Watch out for Ashley Lelie. Martz and Nolan have mentioned his name often already. Last year, nobody was talking about him. And second-year player Jason Hill was far more active during minicamp than he was at any point last season.

Fullback: Moran Norris has been the starter. But how much will Martz utilize the fullback? Probably not much. Might the 49ers go with Zak Keasey ahead of Norris? We already know the 49ers plan to use Frank Gore and Michael Robinson together in the backfield some of the time. Other times, they can use tight ends Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Billy Bajema out of the backfield. Does that make Norris expendable?

* * *

--It's probably a little early for Dashon Goldson to unseat Mark Roman at free safety. Right now, it looks as if Goldson gets the call when the 49ers go with six defensive backs. Roman's starting job is probably safe. He is a very heady player who does a fine job of getting the secondary lined up and on the same page. There were much fewer blown coverages last season than we've seen from the 49ers' secondary in a while. Roman has to get some credit for that. He is a solid player. The 49ers would like to see him generate more turnovers as the free safety. Goldson has some great ball skills, and has a chance to make a difference this season. When he comes onto the field, it allows safety Michael Lewis to play closer to the line of scrimmage.

--Veteran center Eric Heitmann figures to hold onto his starting job. The 49ers selected center Cody Wallace in the fourth round of the draft. But center is a lot like free safety. A center has to know everybody else's responsibilities and make sure everyone is on the same page, as far as making the calls and last-second adjustments. That's a lot for a rookie to handle.




http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=2200033&mode=

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PostPosted: Wed 05.07.2008, 18:59 
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Shaun Hill-QB- 49ers May. 7 - 8:48 am et

Niners QB Shaun Hill reportedly did not look nearly as sharp as Alex Smith in recent practices.

Hill's practice was "sloppy" as he struggled with offensive coordinator Mike Martz's new offense. Alex Smith has a leg up on the competition to start as long as he's healthy, but a lot can happen between now and September.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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PostPosted: Sat 05.10.2008, 13:06 
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Arnaz Battle-WR- 49ers May. 10 - 12:30 am et


Arnaz Battle was among the top three receivers in San Francisco's first minicamp.

Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, and Battle appear to be the top three receivers, with Battle likely in the slot. Ashley Lelie has worked in the four-receiver sets. Jason Hill could also figure into the mix, but whoever wins the slot job could emerge as the next Mike Furrey/Shaun McDonald-type sleeper.
Source: Sacramento Bee

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PostPosted: Sun 05.11.2008, 21:50 
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In case a Santa Clara stadium falls through, it appears the Niners are shoring up some insurance options...



Looks like the 49ers aren't quite ready to bet the farm on landing a new football stadium in Santa Clara - or in San Francisco, for that matter.

Larry MacNeil, the Niners' chief financial officer, recently pitched a stadium idea to officials in nearby Brisbane.

MacNeil suggested they include a stadium plan as part of the little city's environmental review of a proposed 650-acre development at an old rail yard and dump site off Highway 101, not far from Candlestick Park, city officials tell us.

Even more interesting, Brisbane officials appear open to the idea.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/11/BAG910K0A2.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea

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PostPosted: Wed 05.14.2008, 11:56 
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Jeremiah Trotter-LB-Buccaneers May. 14 - 11:16 am et

The 49ers visited with veteran linebacker Jeremiah Trotter this week.
The team has yet to sign him, but Trotter would help beef up the Niners' run defense situationally. He started just one game for the Buccaneers last season.
Source: ESPN.com

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PostPosted: Thu 05.15.2008, 17:43 
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Jeremiah Trotter-LB-Buccaneers May. 15 - 6:37 pm et

The 49ers revealed that they are no longer interested in free agent LB Jeremiah Trotter.
So much for that. Trotter may have failed his physical earlier in the week. San Francisco is still considering adding free agent Takeo Spikes.
Source: Sacramento Bee

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