49ers beat Vikings in preseason opener, 17-6

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49ers beat Vikings in preseason opener, 17-6

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick led touchdown drives in an entirely different fashions to open the 49ers' exhibition season.Smith led the 49ers on a scoring drive that lasted more than seven minutes. Kaepernick's drive took all of 28 seconds, as he dashed 78 yards for a touchdown on his second snap of the game.The 49ers' two early touchdowns provided them with a lead they would not relinquish in a 17-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on a windy night at Candlestick Park.The 49ers played without veterans Justin Smith, Frank Gore and Mario Manningham, who were held out for undisclosed reasons.All did not go perfectly, as outside linebacker Aldon Smith hobbled off the field late in the first quarter with what the team disclosed as a "hip bruise."
NEWS: Smith leaves with hip bruise
Smith's drive was a methodical, 12-play, 84-yard drive that featured Brandon Jacobs converting a fourth-and-one play with a three-yard run. Jacobs also had a 23-yard run.Smith hit receiver Brett Swain on a four-yard scoring pass to cap the drive. Michael Crabtree started and played for the first time in the exhibition season. He caught a three-yard pass. Randy Moss played four snaps but did not see a pass come his way.Kaepernick took considerably less time, as he kept the ball on a read-option. He broke into the secondary untouched and fended off Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook with a stiff arm for the final yards of his 78-yard touchdown run.
Scott Tolzien replaced Kaepernick at start of second half and completed 10 of 13 passes for 84 yards.
UPS AND DOWNS: Rookie A.J. Jenkins made a phenomenal fingertip grab of a Kaepernick dart at the right sideline for a 15-yard reception. But Jenkins dropped two passes before making another nifty grab of a five-yarder.TWO-WAY PLAYER: Demarcus Dobbs was officially issued No. 40, so he could play on offense without reporting in. Dobbs first saw backup action along the defensive line in the first half. In the second half, he played tight end.GIORGIO GETS HIS KICKS: Former Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio handled all of the kicking duties in place of veteran David Akers. Tavecchio made both extra points and also added a 29-yard field goal.DEFENSIVE MIXUP: On the Vikings' second play of the game, quarterback Christian Ponder hit wide receiver Stephen Burton on a deep post beyond cornerback Carlos Rogers. The play went for 52 yards. As soon as the play was over, Rogers had a discussion with safety Dashon Goldson, who left the middle wide open when he bit on an underneath route.HAPPY RETURN: Kyle Williams was back deep to return punts for the 49ers in the first half. William handled Chris Kluwe's second-quarter punt flawlessly and ripped off a 22-yard return. On his next chance, Williams called for a fair catch when it looked as if he had some room to return.BAKHTIARI BACKS 'EM UP: Outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, who played for Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, racked up two sacks on one series in the fourth quarter. His second sack came on a second-and-10 play from the 49ers' 33. The Vikings eventually were forced to punt.

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”