49ers notes: Crean studies practice, Sopoaga sits etc.

898109.jpg

49ers notes: Crean studies practice, Sopoaga sits etc.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean stood on the sideline Thursday, closely studying the 49ers' practice in the rain.

From time-to-time, he took paper out of his jacket pocket and scribbled notes for ideas he can implement on the basketball floor.
Crean, who is married to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's sister Joani, observed there are many similarities in the essential qualities of the two sports."Short-area quickness is big in both sports," he said from field level at Stambaugh Stadium on the campus of Youngstown State, where the 49ers are practicing this week.Crean said he likes to watch defensive backs and offensive linemen in football, in particular, to develop ideas on how he can refine some of the drills for his basketball team. He said he formulates ideas from watching defensive backs change direction and offensive linemen use leverage.Crean's Hoosiers were 27-9 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
SOPOAGA SITS: Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga (left knee, ankle) does not figure to be available for Sunday's game against the New York Jets after missing his second day of practice.Ricky Jean Francois would be slated to take over for Sopoaga. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said not much would change with that alteration to the lineup."They're both pretty similar," Fangio said. "Both are big, physical guys on the nose for us. Ricky's got a little more movement ability. Isaac has a little more stoutness to him. But I don't see a big difference in both guys. We expect Ricky to go out and play really good for us."HEAVY WORKLOAD: Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said spending this week in Youngstown has come at a good time for his staff as it prepares for the many looks that the Jets' defense employs."If I appear unshaven, I apologize, but this Jets defense forces our whole staff to stay up into the wee hours of the morning," Roman said."One thing I can guarantee you about the Jets defense is there's going to be 11 players on the field. You never know where they're going to line up, but there will be 11 of them."Roman said the 49ers' offensive coaches were together at 3 a.m. to continue preparing for the Jets. Roman knows Jets coach Rex Ryan will have some new wrinkles to unveil on Sunday. Roman and Ryan were on the same Baltimore Ravens staff in 2006 and '07.Roman quoted Ryan's philosophy: "Run all the new stuff early so our old stuff will seem new."Said running Frank Gore, "They do a little of everything. They bring the pressure, they're big. They play good defense."NOTES: Running back Brandon Jacobs (knee), receiver Ted Ginn (ankle) and linebacker Patrick Willis (ankle) were all on field and in uniform at the start of practice . . . "My body feels good," said Willis, who sustained a right ankle sprain late in the 49ers' loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings. "Each day, just going to be smart and do what the trainers ask me to do. And we'll see how it feels on Sunday." . . . Rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins wore No. 10, as his assignment for the week is to play the role of the Jets' top receiver, Santonio Holmes, during practice against the 49ers' No. 1 defense.

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.

The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.

In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology

The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”