49ers' Akers rewards Harbaugh


49ers' Akers rewards Harbaugh

CINCINNATI -- There was no decision for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh whether to keep the points on the scoreboard on Sunday.On Sunday, his decision came down to whether to allow kicker David Akers the opportunity to line up for a 53-yard field goal in the final minutes or turn the game over to punter Andy Lee and the defense.Leading 10-6 with 2:16 remaining in the fourth quarter, Harbaugh decided to show his faith in his kicker. The 49ers signed Akers to a three-year, 9 million contract in free agency. He earned his money on Sunday.Akers' 53-yard field goal gave the 49ers a 13-6 lead with 2:16 remaining in regulation. The 49ers cashed in the points after cornerback Carlos Rogers intercepted an Andy Dalton pass."I knew it was going to make it a touchdown game, and that was big at that point in the game," Akers said. "After a pick (interception) and a momentum change, you got to make these. I'm glad I did."It says a lot because I don't want to let them down when they have that kind of expectation in you. The good thing is Brian (Jennings) and Andy (Lee) do such a great job, and of course the line has been very solid. So you give it a shot."Jennings is the long-snapper and Lee is the holder.Harbaugh said the decision to send in the field-goal unit was not an easy call."You're weighing the perils and merits of doing each thing," Harbaugh said. "You can see the merit in both. If you punt it down there, they have a rookie quarterback and a touchdown beats you."I think that it's the confidence in all our units. I was confident that our field goal unit could make the three. If we feel that we can make the three, then that's what made the decision. I have confidence in our defense, and David makes you look good."

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

PHOENIX – Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster was the first of the 49ers’ 30 pre-draft visits to the team’s Santa Clara facility.

Team general manager John Lynch said the club has already met with Foster, an expected first-round draft pick and the likely top inside linebacker available in the draft.

“We brought in Reuben Foster,” Lynch said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “He came in, and we had a nice visit with him.”

Foster (6 foot, 229 pounds) was a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. He won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. Foster had a controversial trip to the NFL scouting combine. He was sent home after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a hospital worker in Indianapolis.

“I think that’s why you do those things,” Lynch said. “You try to gather information, and react and make decisions accordingly. And so that’s why these things are valuable.”