49ers to fans: Know when to be loud

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49ers to fans: Know when to be loud

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers have the home-field advantage Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And the organization is taking measures to ensure the 49ers own the home-crowd advantage, too.
The 49ers last week began a campaign to educate fans on the appropriate times to make noise. The team's website opens with the greeting, "Silence is deadly: Quiet on offense," and "Bring the noise: On defense."One of the disadvantages of playing on the road is that the crowds are often adept at making things extremely difficult on the opposition. The 49ers' offense had difficult times communicating blocking assignments based on pre-snap reads against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving, surrendering nine sacks.In six road games, quarterback Alex Smith has been sacked 26 times.In seven homes games, the 49ers have surrendered just 13 sacks. And that includes six sacks allowed against the Dallas Cowboys, whose fans showed up loudly at Candlestick for the Week 2 game.RELATED: 49ers 2011 schedule & results
"It's definitely a different atmosphere, but after a while you can't look at it as road and home," 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis said. "You just have to play winning football. But one of the advantages of playing at home is you're working without the noise. I totally appreciate the enthusiasm from our fans. That's great. But you like to see it used for disorienting the visiting team."The timeliness -- or lack thereof -- of noise emanating from the crowd at Candlestick Park became an issue when "The Wave" began two weeks ago when the 49ers had the football against the St. Louis Rams.Smith told CSNBayArea.com that sometimes the proper tone is not set for the fans inside Candlestick just before the offense takes the field.
"I kind of wonder if sometimes the stadium doesn't help," Smith said. "We'll be on TV timeouts before an offensive possession, and we got the drums going. But it'll be all right (Monday). I'm sure there'll be some Pittsburgh fans. They go everywhere. There will be some towels out, but hopefully our fans show up. It's a big game -- probably one of the bigger games at the 'Stick in a long time. Two 10-win teams."Season-ticket holder Brandon Phillips, who commutes to 49ers games from Ocean City, Md., said there were at least 50 Steelers fans on his direct flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Steelers fans are likely to be well-represented at the game.But a home game is still a home game for the 49ers.The 49ers encourage their fans to show up early. Jim Mercurio, vice president of stadium operations and security, encourages fans to take public transportation for the 5:30 p.m. kickoff.Also, fans arriving inside the stadium early will be treated to pregame entertainment and half-price on food and soft drinks at permanent concession stands from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Three former American Idol finalists are scheduled perform throughout the evening. Thia Megia, who sang the National Anthem at a 49ers game when she was 10, will perform during the pregame activities. Stefano Langone, a life-long 49ers fan, will sing the National Anthem. And rocker James Durbin of Santa Cruz will turn up the decibels at halftime.

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers began Thursday with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When his first day as 49ers general manager reached its conclusion, John Lynch had selected two of the three top players on his draft board and picked up additional third-round picks for this year and next year.

After Myles Garrett, the 49ers’ top-rated prospect, was the Cleveland Browns’ selection at No. 1 overall, the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears. The 49ers still got their No. 2-rated prospect, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

The 49ers started making calls to teams with selections in the teens, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, to inquire about trading up for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers finally worked a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to move up three spots to No. 31.

All they gave up was a fourth-round pick acquired from the Bears earlier in the day.

“In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said. “We’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. I think these guys have traits that encompass what we want to be about as a football organization.”

Lynch said he began speaking with Bears general manager Ryan Pace more than a week ago. Because the 49ers had picks scheduled next to the Bears in every round, Pace suggested to Lynch that the two teams should be willing to work with each other throughout the draft.

The 49ers had other offers for the No. 2 pick, Lynch said. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area just prior to the start of the draft that the 49ers had fielded three solid offers.

The team’s chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe worked out the details to finalize the trade with the Bears.

The 49ers did not know which player the Bears were targeting at No. 2, but Shanahan voiced his opinion while the trade was going down.

“This guy is a pretty bright,” Lynch said of Shanahan. “He said, ‘That’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback.’ And he was right.”

The Bears made the trade to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In order for the Bears to trade up one spot, they delivered the 49ers a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick next year.

Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin, whose team held the No. 4 pick, watched and admired the 49ers' move from afar. 

"To get what you had in mind right off the bat and pick up those extra picks? Pretty nice deal," Coughlin told Jacksonville reporters. "I’ve never seen one of those. . . Oh, my gosh. Nothing like that has ever come my way.”

When asked if the 49ers would have selected Foster if the Bears selected Thomas, Lynch said, “Perhaps. It was very likely.”

Instead, the 49ers waited and waited and waited before finding a trade partner in an unlikely place. The 49ers made a deal with Seattle, giving up the 111th pick obtained from Chicago, to select Foster. The Saints had already told Foster he would be the pick one spot later.

“He’s my kind of player,” Lynch said of Foster. “He plays sideline to sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves. I think that’s contagious for teammates.”

Foster is recovering from shoulder surgery and his stock was negatively affected by character concerns. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check. He also had a positive drug test due to a diluted urine sample.

Lynch spent a lot of time with Foster during his visit to Santa Clara, as well as a meeting him at the combine. Both Lynch and Shanahan spoke regularly with Foster on the phone and on FaceTime in the past few weeks.

The 49ers also dispatched vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and team chaplain Earl Smith to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to meet with Foster for two days. The team will have a plan in place to help guide Foster as he transitions to professional football, Lynch said.

“I would tell you that his character is what drew us to him,” Lynch said. “When you start talking football with this young man, he lights up a room. He’s a good kid. I believe in the kid. I think he’ll be a great player for this organization for a long time.”

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

So after one day of the NFL Draft, we know the following:
 
1.        Roger Goodell could be booed on the surface of the sun, and if you don’t think so, let’s all agree to give that thesis a try.
 
2.        The Oakland Raiders have invested a lot in Gareon Conley’s word.
 
3.        John Lynch is either a swindler, or he was presented with a deal that only an idiot could refuse.
 
Let’s do Goodell first. He was booed lustily and often by the huge Philadelphia crowd, and though he would be booed anywhere (and he half-heartedly asked for more with a smile that looked more like a dog sticking his head out of a speeding car window), Philadelphia booing causes osteoporosis.
 
Next, we go to the Raiders, who used the 24th pick in the draft to take Conley, the secondary man from Ohio State who is being investigated for rape. Conley has maintained his innocence, putting out a statement denying all the accusations, and TMZ claims to have a video that calls into question the woman’s story. In other words, nobody can be sure of anything quite yet.
 
Except the Raiders seemed sure enough to take him, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team investigated him and the incident thoroughly. In short, given Mark Davis’ stated opposition to employing players involved in violence against women, McKenzie better be right, and close enough to right to assuage any misgivings Davis or the customer base might have.
 
As far as Conley the player, check back with us in at least two years.
 
Finally, there is Lynch, who squeezed (or was amazingly offered) three picks from Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace in exchange for one place in the draft. Pace, who was immediately described by Wikipedia as “the soon-to-be former general manager,” took North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the 49ers had little interest in.
 
In other words, Lynch either pulled a fast one, or had a fast one handed to him. Either way, the 49ers got Solomon Thomas, the defensive lineman from Stanford they had long coveted, plus a third-round pick tomorrow, one next year and one in the fourth round that they helped spin into Reuben Foster, the Alabama linebacker who fell from much loftier draft positions apparently because of shoulder concerns.
 
In short, McKenzie got a much-needed secondary man who might end up being more trouble legally than he is worth athletically (though the level of doubt here is sufficient to jump to no conclusions quite yet), and Lynch won a reputation as the young Billy The Kid, smiling precociously while he robs you at gunpoint.
 
Time will tell whether he also gets to be called a great talent evaluator, but for the moment, don’t ask him to hold your wallet. That, kids, is the highest compliment a general manager can receive on the first night of his first NFL Draft.