49ers key matchup No. 2: Staley vs. Pierre-Paul

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49ers key matchup No. 2: Staley vs. Pierre-Paul

This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Giants matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (FOX-TV), at Candlestick Park.

Matchup No. 3: Justin Smith vs. Kevin Boothe
49ers LT Joe Staley vs. Giants RDE Jason Pierre-PaulTale of the tape
Staley (74): 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, sixth season, Central Michigan
Pierre-Paul (90): 6-foot-5, 278 pounds, third season, South FloridaThe key to the New York Giants' defense is their ability to pressure the quarterback with a four-man rush. And their four-man rush is unlike any other in the NFL."Sometimes they'll get into sets where they have four defensive ends in there," 49ers guard Alex Boone said. "And that makes it kind of interesting. Normally, you'll have two bigger guys in the middle. They can put four defensive ends down and pin their ears back and go straight ahead."Left tackle Joe Staley figures to have the biggest challenge ahead of him. He will alternately face challenges from two dangerous pass-rushers. Staley will mostly be up against first-team All-Pro Jason Pierre-Paul, who recorded 16.5 sacks last season. Staley will also see plenty of snaps against two-time Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora. Staley has already gone up against Green Bay's Clay Matthews and Minnesota's Jared Allen this season, so he is no stranger to facing challenges. Staley has surrendered five sacks, according to Pro Football Focus, but still grades out as the No. 2 left tackle in the NFL through five games. His strength has been superior run-blocking.The 49ers will try to slow down the Giants' pass rush with a strong running game on Sunday. But, even in that phase, Staley will have his hands full against Pierre-Paul."Jason Pierre-Paul is a rare player and he has incredibly great length, strength, and for a man his size and length, he can bend extremely well," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "So he can play with leverage. A lot of times, guys that big can't bend necessarily and play low."Pierre-Paul is a force against the run and against the pass."The 49ers are coming off a game in which they rolled up 621 yards of total offense in a 45-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills. It was the first game that quarterback Alex Smith was not sacked this season. It'll be a much-bigger chore to keep Smith's jersey clean on Sunday.
Staley and the Pierre-PaulUmenyiora combination played to a virtual draw in two games last season. Staley's initial protection was typically solid, but Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul combined for 1.5 sacks on plays in which Smith held the ball longer than designed.

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.