49ers notebook: In need of a QB, too

49ers notebook: In need of a QB, too

Dec. 26, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comST. LOUIS -- The 49ers will need a new quarterback next season to go along with a new general manager and a new head coach."We can't get a quarterback until the draft," 49ers team president Jed York said Sunday, following the 49ers' 25-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams that knocked the team out of playoff contention."Is that a need? Yeah, absolutely."Coach Mike Singletary switched quarterbacks four times over the past six weeks. Last week, he benched Alex Smith in favor of Troy Smith. When he told Alex Smith to begin warming up in the third quarter Sunday, Singletary and Troy Smith got in a heated confrontation."The bottom line was that I thought about changing quarterbacks at that time and he thought that at that particular time he could do this," Singletary said. "I decided to leave him in and give him some more opportunity."NEWS: Source: Singletary will not return as head coach
Troy Smith completed 7 of 19 passes for 153 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the game."Through the course of the game, obviously, you want to win," 49ers quarterback Troy Smith said. "Your competitive nature comes out."And, obviously, the passion that coach Singletary has for the game and the passion that I have for the game combined, I'm not going to say it'll lead to situations like that on the sideline, but with competitive natures you want to win. I understood where he was coming from."Throughout the week, Singletary and offensive coordinator Mike Johnson said Alex Smith was getting practice time so he could be ready if called upon. But Alex Smith said following the game Sunday that he did not receive any practice snaps in preparation for facing the St. Louis Rams."It's frustrating but it's part of this game," Alex Smith said. "I got put back in a different role. Part of being a part of this team is you have to deal with that and be there and be ready to go if my number got called."Alex Smith, who entered in the fourth quarter, completed 10 of 15 passes for 120 yards against the Rams.STATS: Alex Smith 2010 splits Troy Smith 2010 splits
Neither Alex Smith nor Troy Smith is signed for next season, and Alex Smith's career with the 49ers appears to be winding to a close. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 49ers in 2005.When asked if this feels like the end, Alex Smith answered, "One more week. We can start talking about that after one more week. I understand my contract is up and what's at stake, but I still have a job here."Ginn's return: Ted Ginn provided a spark for the 49ers with a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter with the 49ers trailing 9-0."It was our first kickoff or punt return for a touchdown with no penalties," Ginn said. "That was great for our special teams because we have been practicing so hard to make a play there, and when we did, it was exciting for us. We loved it. We just tried to keep capitalizing off it."Injuries: Rookie cornerback Philip Adams sustained a fractured left ankle while blocking on a kickoff return at the start of the third quarter. It was not immediately known if he will require surgery.Rookie linebacker Keaton Kristick sustained a concussion and did not return. Center David Baas sustained a ribs injury and missed some playing time. Tony Wragge filled in for Baas, who returned to action.Notable: Although Troy Smith's 60-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree appeared targeted for tight end Vernon Davis, Smith said the throw was definitely intended for Crabtree. . . . One of the 49ers' final chances ended when right tackle Anthony Davis was beaten around the edge by Rams defensive end Chris Long, who stripped Alex Smith of the ball while recording the sack. Defensive tackle Fred Robbins recovered the fumble with 2:27 remaining in the game. . . . Rookie running back Anthony Dixon, hobbled with an ankle sprain all week, carried six times for 17 yards.

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up."

Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. The civil rights organization's interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it's apparently "no sheer coincidence" that Kaepernick isn't on a roster.

"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech - to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL's own regulations," Johnson said.

The NAACP's state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: "Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."

Goodell has said the league isn't blackballing Kaepernick.

Some other players followed Kaepernick's actions last season, and some are doing so in this year's pre-season. On Monday, a group of Cleveland Browns players prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. Among those kneeling was a white player, Seth DeValve. Another white player, Britton Colquitt, did not kneel but kept his hand on the shoulder of a teammate who did.

That protest earned the ire of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office. Justice Bill O'Neill wrote on Facebook that he wouldn't attend any games at which "draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field."

"Shame on you all," he said.

49ers activate Jimmie Ward


49ers activate Jimmie Ward

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Jimmie Ward was cleared Wednesday morning to begin practicing with his teammates after missing nearly four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.

Ward underwent conditioning tests on Monday and Tuesday to complete the final hurdles before the club activated him off the physically unable to perform list.

Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test on the eve of training camp.

Ward was moved to cornerback last season, where he started 10 games.

He finished the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the 49ers' primary nickel back in his first two NFL seasons.

Jaquiski Tartt originally took over at free safety at the beginning of camp. But after Tartt missed significant practice time with a ribs injury, undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome stepped in.

Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games at free safety.