49ers key matchup No. 3: Aldon Smith vs. Chris Hairston


49ers key matchup No. 3: Aldon Smith vs. Chris Hairston

This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Bills matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS-TV), at Candlestick Park.49ers OLB Aldon Smith vs. Bills LT Chris HairstonTale of the tape
Smith (99): 6-foot-4, 258 pounds, second season, Missouri
Hairston (75): 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, second season, ClemsonBuffalo Bills lineman Chris Hairston, who made seven starts last season at left tackle, began this season as a backup. With an ankle injury to rookie Cordy Glenn, Hairston is back as a starter.RELATED: Three out for Bills
And his first starting assignment of the season comes Sunday. His task is to take on 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who leads the 49ers with 4.5 sacks. Smith has recorded 18.5 sacks in his past 17 games.The Bills will start two backups on the offensive line after Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik exited last week's loss to the New England Patriots with ankle injuries.The 49ers are coming off a 34-0 victory over the New York Jets, and their front seven figures to pose all kinds of problems for the Bills."(It's a) great defense," Hairston told BuffaloBills.com. "They've got great D-linemen, great linebackers and they've done a great job as a defense. It'll take a little film study and lot of work on the practice field to be ready for them."But the O-line takes pride in playing good teams and doing what we can to assert our dominance. I'm sure this week is going to be a tough task with the guys we've got to go up against."The Bills' offense features a spread attack with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick getting rid of the ball quickly. Fitzpatrick has been sacked only four times in four games.In this battle of second-year players, Smith has a chance to exploit Hairston. Smith can make it difficult for Fitzpatrick to get the ball into the hands of his explosive threats in the passing game, such as receivers Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones, tight end Scott Chandler and running back C.J. Spiller.As an every-down player, Smith has done a good job of continuing to pressure the quarterback while also setting the edge in run defense. The Bills will run the ball more than most teams that feature three-wideout formations.
"That's the hardest thing for a guy that's transitioning from a defensive lineman to a linebacker position, outside backer in this case, is figuring out if it's a run or pass No. 1," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Smith.
"And No. 2, they're not always coming forward. If it's a pass they've got to go backwards. So that's always new and uncomfortable for those guys. And that's really the biggest sticking point for those guys is figuring out if it's a run or pass and going backwards when they have pass responsibility."Smith has made a smooth transition this season from being a pass-rush specialist as a rookie."He's athletic enough and he's smart enough to learn the position and understand the position," Fangio said. "That's a good starting point."

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.