49ers-Bengals matchups to watch


49ers-Bengals matchups to watch

WRJosh Morgan vs. CB Nate ClementsTale of the tape
Morgan: 6-1, 215, Virginia Tech, 4th season
Clements: 6-0, 200, Ohio State, 11th seasonMorgan takes pride in being an all-around receiver, catching passes and delivering blocks in the run game. Clements has lost a step through the years, but his ability to step up in run support is one of the strengths of his game.The 49ers released Clements after the lockout lifted because of his exorbitant contract. It did not take him long to land with the Bengals. Of course, Morgan and Clements know all about one another."We practiced good against him, so hopefully it will roll over into the game," Morgan said. "You know from practicing against him all his little tricks and that's what makes him a good corner because everybody don't know that, everybody's not always ready."The 49ers believe Clements is such an aggressive cornerback that it makes him susceptible to double moves. Clements will get a chance to match up against each of the 49ers' wideouts at some point."My impression is the same as it was before -- a young, talented receiver corps that definitely has what it takes to have potential stars in this league," Clements said. "They definitely have speed, talent, size. I had a chance to face those guys every day in practice, so my perception has not changed."FS Dashon Goldson vs. QB Andy DaltonTale of the tape
Goldson: 6-2, 200, Washington, 5th season
Dalton: 6-2, 220, TCU, RookieGoldson will see his first action of the season after returning from a knee injury. His job will be to provide some plays for a secondary that ranks 25th in pass defense, allowing 291 yards per game through the air.Goldson certainly has something to prove, as he came back to the 49ers this offseason on a one-year, 2 million contract. With strong safety Donte Whitner playing closer to the line of scrimmage, Goldson will be responsible for providing deep coverage.Dalton has been phenomenal in the first two games, completing 66.1 percent of his passes for 413 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions."He's very efficient," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "He's got a really good understanding of the game. Gets the ball out of his hands quickly. He's an accurate passer. I don't think the aura of playing in the NFL has affected him like it kind of affects some rookies at times."Fellow rookie A.J. Green provides a deep threat with 11 receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns.TE Vernon Davis vs. OLB Manny LawsonTale of the tape
Davis: 6-3, 250, Maryland, 6th season
Lawson: 6-5, 240, North Carolina State, 6th seasonThey broke into the NFL together as fellow first-round draft picks of the 49ers in 2006. They played against each other in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They went up against each other a lot as teammates. And, now, they square off for the first time as opponents in an NFL game.Especially with receiver Braylon Edwards out of the lineup, Davis is the 49ers' top threat in the passing game. He expressed disappointment after the game Sunday that the 49ers' offense has not gotten all of their playmakers involved.Davis is the team's top receiver, though his stat line of seven receptions for 65 yards is not the least-bit imposing. Davis is a player the offense must feature with their passing attack.The 49ers selected Lawson to be a pass-rusher. But he developed into a better player in coverage. The 49ers made no attempt to re-sign him in free agency, and he settled for a one-year deal from the Bengals. In his first two games, Lawson has nine tackles and two pass-breakups.RDE Justin Smith vs. LT Andrew WhitworthTale of the tape
Smith: 6-4, 285, Missouri, 11th season
Whitworth: 6-7, 335, LSU, 6th seasonSmith is one of the stalwarts of a 49ers defense that has a league-best streak of 24 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. The 49ers' run defense allowed just 2.48 yards a carry in the first two games of the season to lead the NFL.Smith is a big part of the 49ers' defense, both in stopping the run and rushing the passer. He has 15 tackles and two sacks. And, of course, he'll be going up against his former team for the first time."I know his style and his attitude," Whitworth told Bengals.com. "I practiced against him for two years. He's like he was when he was here: a power rusher. They play almost identical to Pittsburgh. They don't move around as much, but they're fast and physical with good players inside and outside. It's pretty close to what we see in the AFC North and their three down linemen set the tone for them."

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was front and center last season with the controversy that surrounded quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 season. 

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem as a stance against racial injustice in the United States. The former 49ers quarterback first sat while the anthem played in a preseason game and then decided to kneel throughout the regular season. 

“There was zero distraction," Kelly said to the Monday Morning Quarterback. "He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from." 

After Kaepernick met with his teammates, Kelly saw one focus in his signal caller -- football only. 

"Literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win," Kelly said. 

Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract this offseason. Kelly believes Kaepernick is still plenty capable of leading an NFL team. 

"Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question. Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question," Kelly said. 

In 2016, Kaepernick played in 12 games for Kelly, starting 11 of them under center. He threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, Kaepernick added 468 yards rushing and two more scores. 

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

The 49ers have a visit scheduled with the presumptive top pick in the upcoming draft.

The 49ers, owners of the No. 2 overall selection, will visit with Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett, he told reporters Thursday at this pro day, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

General manager John Lynch attended Garrett's pro day workout in College Station, Texas.

"I thought it was impressive," Lynch told Wilson in a video posted on social media. "Here’s this kid who really doesn’t need to show everyone much more, but yet he shows up and runs a 40. I think it just speaks to the kind of kid he is. It was impressive. It’s well-documented – I’m not saying anything ground-breaking – he’s a special athlete.

"He checks all the boxes. That’s why people are talking about him in the way they are."

Garrett said he has upcoming visits with the 49ers and Chicago Bears.

Each NFL team is allowed to bring in 30 draft-eligible prospects from outside their area. The 49ers have their list of 30 prospects already finalized, Lynch said.

In addition, teams can visit with an unlimited number of local prospects. The 49ers’ local pro day -- featuring athletes from Stanford, Cal, San Jose State and prospects from the Bay Area who played college football elsewhere – is scheduled for April 12 in Santa Clara.

The Cleveland Browns hold the No. 1 overall pick, and coach Hue Jackson ruled out the possibility of the team trading that selection for a quarterback. Garrett is considered the overwhelming favorite to be chosen with the No. 1 overall selection.

"We're getting closer to it but the draft is the 27th (of April),'' Jackson said at the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's a little soon to really say it's this guy or that guy.”

Garrett (6 foot 4, 272 pounds) recorded 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss during his three-year college career.