49ers on cover of Sports Illustrated

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49ers on cover of Sports Illustrated

The 49ers haven't been on the cover of Sports Illustrated too many times over the last decade. But QB Alex Smith is featured on this week's addition, which begs the question: Do you believe in the SI cover jinx?

For what it's worth, Sports Illustrated investigated the "phenomenon" in 2002 and writer Alexander Wolff came up with the following data:
In investigating virtually all of SI's 2,456 covers, we found 913 "jinxes" -- a demonstrable misfortune or decline in performance following a cover appearance roughly 37.2 percent of the time.

Some examples from history:1969 -- Golfer Lee Trevino under the headline: "The U.S. Open Texas Style -- Lee Trevino defends his title"
Result: Trevino e failed to make the cut.

1974 -- Daredevil Evel Knievel under the headline: "Up, Up And ... Evel Knievel in his canyon"
Result: Six days after appearing on the cover, he failed miserably in his jump, parachuting 600 feet to the bottom of the Snake River canyon.

1988 -- Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans under the headline: "Sock, Sock, Sox! -- It's a runaway for Dwight Evans and the BoSox"
Result: In the following two weeks, Evans fell into a 4-for-30 slump at the plate.

1993 -- Notre Dame under the headline "We Did It -- Jim Flanigan and Notre Dame outmuscle Florida State."
Result: Following the upset over the No. 1 Seminoles, the Irish were upset by Boston College.

2001 -- Nomar Garciaparra appeared shirtless and confident on the March 5 issue, with the headline: "A Cut Above -- How Boston's Nomar Garciaparra made himself the toughest out in baseball."
Result: Days later, the team announced that Nomar had a split tendon in his wrist. He appeared in only 21 games that season.

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.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”