49ers burned by fakes, Akers slumping, knowing OT rules, etc.


49ers burned by fakes, Akers slumping, knowing OT rules, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers fell victims to two passes thrown by St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, including a fake punt to keep a late drive alive. The Rams went on to score a touchdown in the eventual 24-24 tie on Sunday.
Faced with a fourth-and-8 from the St. Louis 33, the Rams ran a fake in which Danny Amendola, the gunner on the left side, drew the 49ers the other way when he motioned behind Hekker.Hekker then hit Lance Kendricks with the misdirection pass that picked up 18 yards before Perrish Cox came up to make the tackle."It was an alert all week," Harbaugh said. "The Rams are a fake team. They like to run fakes, they run them very well. (I) wish, in hindsight, we'd been in a better position to defend the fake. We didn't anticipate they'd run a fake at that point."That play kept alive a drive that turned into a 14-play, 81-yard march that culminated with a touchdown that gave the Rams a 24-21 lead with 1:03 remaining in regulation. The 49ers tied the game with a field goal in the closing seconds.Just prior to the end of the first half, Hekker hit rookie safety Rodney McLeod for a 21-yard pass out of his own end zone. Hekker threw to McLeod when he saw Chris Culliver abandon McLeod to attempt to block a punt."When we run the rush we run, you understand that they could do exactly what they did and you roll the dice that they won't do it, as far backed up as they are," Harbaugh said."I wouldn't say we were daring them into it. We felt we were playing the percentages to rush and block the punt. And they executed as well as you can and made a great play."The play did not figure into the scoring, as the Rams ran three more plays before the first half expired.AKERS' STRUGGLES: Kicker David Akers, who set an NFL record with 44 field goals last season and began this season strong, has fallen into a slump. Akers has missed six of his last 15 field-goal attempts.Akers' 33-yard field goal with :03 remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime. But Akers missed a 41-yard attempt in overtime that would've provided the 49ers with a victory over the Rams.Akers, a 14-year professional, did not stick around to answer questions from the media after Sunday's game. When asked if he believes Akers has an issue with his confidence, Harbaugh said, "No, not that I'm aware of."Harbaugh added, "I've not pin-pointed any reason there. I have indications that he's not confident."Akers made his first six field-goal attempts of the season, including a NFL-record-tying 63-yarder in the 49ers' opening victory over the Green Bay Packers. He is 15 of 21 for the season. Last season he made 44 of 52 tries.WILLIAMS THE BACKUP PLAN: The 49ers suited up two quarterbacks as part of their 46-man game day roster. So after starter Alex Smith exited with his concussion, Colin Kaepernick was the only quarterback in uniform.Scott Tolzien was not eligible to play at any point. He was named as one of the team's seven inactive players.So who was the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback? Wide receiver Kyle Williams, Harbaugh said. When asked how much time the 49ers have prepared for the event that Williams was needed in an emergency role, Harbaugh answered, "Minimal."KNOWING THE RULES: Safety Dashon Goldson said afterward he was surprised that the game ended in a tie. When asked if it's important for everyone to know the rules, Harbaugh answered, "Yeah, I think that's important for everyone to know, especially the situation we're in. That's why we called the prevent defense at the very end, for that purpose."

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.