49ers notes: Hunter provides highlights

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49ers notes: Hunter provides highlights

Aug. 20, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Rookie running back Kendall Hunter provided the highlights Saturday night for the 49ers, a team that struggled in every aspect of its exhibition opener a week earlier.Hunter, a fourth-round draft pick from Oklahoma State, tore loose on a 53-yard touchdown run that gave the 49ers their first touchdown in an eventual 17-3 victory over the Raiders at Candlestick Park.
Yes, Hunter's run was difficult to overlook. He picked up good blocks from an offensive line that redeemed itself nicely and showed a nice burst of speed en route to the end zone.
But the play that might have showed that he is ready for an opportunity to be a significant contributor as a backup for starter Frank Gore came on the next series. Hunter upended blitzing Raiders safety Matt Giordano to enable quarterback Colin Kaepernick to hit tight end Konrad Reuland for a 13-yard gain."You know you can't play unless you can do blitz pickup and you're able to block," Hunter said. "I have an advantage because I'm low to the ground. I'm short (5-foot-7). So as long as I get on them, I'll be all right."RECAP: Hunter runs 49ers past Raiders 17-3
Hunter finished the game with 105 yards and a touchdown on nine rushing attempts to lead an offense that rolled up 239 yards on the ground."It's the O-line," Hunter said. "They get all the credit." Gore rushed for 21 yards on four tries before calling it a night's work. Anthony Dixon gained 53 yards on 12 carries. In the second half, Xavier Omon, the 49ers' No. 4 running back, added 62 yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts."Offensively, I think it started with our offensive line, which was reflected a lot by what the running backs did, with Frank Gore, Anthony Dixon, and Kendall Hunter, who had a big day," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Xavier Omon had (a big day) as well. I think it's a reflection on our offensive line, the way they handled the blitz pick-up I thought was a big improvement from last week."The 49ers, who were sacked six times in the opener against the Saints, were sacked twice by the Raiders. The 49ers gained 402 total yards, while holding the Raiders to just 214 yards.SMITH REBOUNDS: After struggling along with the entire 49ers' offense in the exhibition opener against the Saints, quarterback Alex Smith made some strides. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 126 yards. However, the 49ers managed just three points while he was in the game.The 49ers second drive ended when Smith threw an interception when he failed to recognize defensive end Matt Shaughnessy dropping into coverage in front of tight end Vernon Davis at the left sideline."We talked about it, we feel like it's a correctable thing," Harbaugh said. "We know why it happened and we have to do a little better job with our eyes and we will get that corrected."The 49ers opened the game with a 16-play, 75-yard drive but did not come away with any points after a field-goal was botched. The 49ers' next drive halted after seven plays on Smith's interception."Obviously, we improved from last week," Smith said. "But if we want to be the kind of team we talk about being, we have to do better in the red zone and we can't turn the ball over. Those first two drives, we didn't finish. Can't do that."EDWARDS-SMITH CONNECTION: Receiver Braylon Edwards and Smith spent a lot of extra time on the practice field during the week. During their time together in the first quarter, they hooked up twice for 46 yards, including Edwards' spectacular one-handed grab for 32 yards."There are some thing that he and I probably feel more comfortable than others," Edwards said. "There are some things more foreign to us and some things that aren't."LEE BRUISED BUT OK: Punter Andy Lee sustained a possible right hip pointer upon being thrown to the ground while trying to throw a pass after a mishandled snap on a first-quarter field-goal attempt. Lee was in obvious pain after the game, but he is expected to be all right."I don't think it's a serious thing," Harbaugh said.Lee was unable to punt the rest of the evening, forcing kicker David Akers to handle those duties. Akers had a 44-yard punt on his first try. The 49ers sent just 10 players out for his second attempt, which was blocked.DEFENSIVE STAND: The 49ers' first-team defense was challenged at the beginning of the second quarter after the Raiders had a first-and-goal at the 49ers' 2.Patrick Willis ran down Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell for a 1-yard loss on first down. On third and goal from the 1, Ray McDonald and Ricky Jean Francois stuffed fullback Marcel Reese for a 1-yard loss. Then, outside linebacker Parys Haralson sacked Campbell on a fourth down from the 2."That's kind of what we pride ourselves on," Haralson said. "You have Justin (Smith) and the big guys that are stopping it in the middle and once you're going for fourth and something, you're just coming off the ball and playing football."The 49ers eventually knocked Campbell out of the game when Ahmad Brooks delivered a hit to Campbell's left shoulder after Justin Smith recorded a sack and forced fumble.NEWS: Raiders' Campbell leaves game 'feeling dizzy'
The 49ers also recorded two interceptions in the game, as cornerback Tarell Brown and safety Madieu Williams picked off Raiders quarterbacks Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller, respectively.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

A post shared by Shaun Draughn (@shaun_draughn) on