49ers notes: Peterson says Willis should've been No. 2


49ers notes: Peterson says Willis should've been No. 2

SANTA CLARA -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did not envision himself waiting long to hear his name get called in his own personal mock draft from 2007.And linebacker Patrick Willis would not have been far behind, either.
"I don't know why me and him weren't the No. 1 and No. 2 picks coming out," Peterson said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters who cover the 49ers."I really felt that way, because I know talent when I see it. He was a guy that I just respected off the top because of how he plays the game. We play the game the same way."When asked who should've been chosen No. 1, Peterson answered, "Come on now, you going to ask that question?"Willis, right?"No," Peterson said.Peterson is a four-time Pro Bowl selection who underwent surgery nine months ago to repair a torn ACL, he has gotten off to a strong start with 144 yards rushing on 33 rushing attempts. And Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he feels as if he can remove the training wheels."We think he's getting to that point where we can think about a few more carries," Frazier said. "He's getting close to that point, so we'll see how he does this week in practice."The fact Peterson has made a rapid recovery is not a surprise to Willis, who trained with Peterson before the 2007 draft."I remember training with the guy and just seeing how he works out as an offensive guy," Willis said. "It made me think, wow, seeing this guy run like he did at Oklahoma is no surprise. He's not just a talented guy; he actually works. It reminded me of myself a little bit."Willis, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, said he appreciates Peterson's statement that he should've been a top-two draft pick. Here's the actual order of the 2007 draft:
1. Raiders, QB JaMarcus Russell
2. Lions, WR Calvin Johnson
3. Browns, OT Joe Thomas
4. Buccaneers, DE Gaines Adams
5. Cardinals, OT Levi Brown
6. Redskins, S LaRon Landry
7. Vikings, RB Adrian Peterson
8. Falcons, DE Jamaal Anderson
9. Dolphins, WR Ted Ginn Jr.
10. Texans, DT Amobi Okoye
11. 49ers, LB Patrick Willis The 49ers re-signed outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari to take the roster spot that opened when the NFL suspended Clark Haggans for three games for violating the league's policy on substance abuse. Haggans served jail time in June for his second DUI offense since 2004."I can look at it from the standpoint of feeling sorry for myself, which is not acceptable with the kind of person I am," Haggans said Wednesday in the 49ers' locker room.
Haggans said he would use the suspension time for "getting into my playbook and getting more comfortable with the team, the coaches, the players, stay focused, work out, stay in shape and take it from there and try to hit the ground running when I can."Bakhtiari has spent time on the practice squads of Kansas City (2010-11), Cleveland (2010), Miami (2010), 49ers (2010, 2008), Tampa Bay (2009), Tennessee (2009) and San Diego (2008). He played three games for the Titans in 2009 and posted six special-teams tackles."Obviously, we liked Eric a lot when he was here and effort he gave and what he did in the preseason, excited to get him back on the field today," coach Jim Harbaugh said.The 49ers played only about a dozen snaps in their base defense in the first two games. Haggans did not see any action in those games against Green Bay and Detroit.When asked if he regrets filing an appeal and not serving his suspension from the beginning of the season, Haggans said, "Hindsight is 20-20. . . It's in the past. And all you can do is move forward." Cornerback Tarell Brown was fined 5,250 for wearing red sleeves, a violation of the NFL's uniform code, in the 49ers' game Sunday night against the Detroit Lions.
If you're wondering why quarterback Alex Smith is no longer wearing a San Francisco Giants hat at his postgame press conferences, now we know why. It would cost him 15,000.For 90 minutes after the game, players must be seen only in sports gear that the NFL approves.Smith said he was informed of the fine after the playoffs. But former 49ers safety Merton Hanks, who now works at the league office, rescinded the fine and issued a warning instead, Smith said. Aldon Smith picked up a half-sack, at teammate Ray McDonald's expense, on Wednesday. The NFL credited Smith with a half-sack on a fourth-quarter play in which McDonald was originally credited with a full sack of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Sunday's game. Smith now has 2.5 sacks on the season.

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

The 49ers have graduated back to the phase of the offseason when offense-vs.-defense drills are allowed.

Because of the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers were allowed an additional “voluntary” minicamp before the NFL draft. That meant the 49ers were permitted to skip from the two-week conditioning phase of the offseason straight to what is allowed under Phase III.

But after the three-day minicamp in late-April, the 49ers were forced to retreat back to Phase II, when on-field drills but could not include offense vs. defense.

Beginning Monday – and over the next three weeks -- the 49ers can get back to conducting the standard one-on-one, 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 "non-contact" drills. The 49ers have the maximum number of 10 organized team activities scheduled. The official offseason program concludes with a mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 13-15.

The real competition does not begin until the pads go on during training camp. but here’s a look at the team’s most notable offseason competitions (one position you will not find is quarterback, where the depth chart of Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard appears clearly set):

Running back: Carlos Hyde, entering the final year of his original four-year contract, has a lot of competition to hold onto his role as the featured back. He is coming off his most-productive season, finishing just 12 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark when he sustained a knee injury with one game remaining. Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner lobbied for Utah running back Joe Williams in the draft. They clearly see a fit for him within the system.

Pass-rush end: The 49ers’ pass rush was among the worst in the NFL the past two seasons. Arik Armstead will be given an opportunity to see if he can adapt to the “Leo” position. Aaron Lynch must earn the confidence of the coaching staff and front office. The 49ers added explosive, 243-pound pass Pita Taumoepenu in the sixth round.

Tight end: The 49ers confirmed Vance McDonald was available for a trade during the draft. After finding no takers, the 49ers brought back McDonald and he rejoins the competition among rookies George Kittle and Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

Cornerback: Rashard Robinson is the obvious choice to start on one side. And assuming Jimmie Ward remains at free safety, the 49ers have no other player on the roster who has started a significant number of games at cornerback. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, will have a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job, as long as he displays a willingness to stick his nose into the action and play with the requisite level of physicality. Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser and Will Redmond should also be in the mix to replace Tramaine Brock, who was released shortly after his arrest after an alleged domestic incident last month.

Center: Jeremy Zuttah, a Pro Bowl performer, was added in the offseason via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Daniel Kilgore has been the 49ers’ center the past three seasons but injuries have limited him to just 23 starts over that period of time. Zuttah has position flexibility. The 49ers could determine the best thing for the offensive line is to move Zuttah to one of the guard positions – to challenge Zane Beadles or Joshua Garnett -- if he is not clearly better than Kilgore.

Weakside linebacker: The 49ers signed veteran Malcolm Smith on the first day of free agency, providing him with $11.5 million of fully guaranteed money. The 49ers ranked Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster as the No. 3 overall prospect in the draft. They traded up to select him at No. 31 overall. Assuming Foster is ready to compete at the beginning of training camp after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, it appears likely he would line up in that position and compete with Smith. The 49ers’ medical staff does not believe Foster will require any additional surgery, and Foster said he expects to be cleared for the opening of camp.

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spent last offseason working with Tom House and Adam Dedeaux on his throwing mechanics.

Ryan went on to set career-bests in completion percentage (69.9), yards passing (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (7) and passer rating (117.1).

New 49ers quarterback Matt Barkley worked with House and Dedeaux for the fourth offseason in Southern California before reporting to Santa Clara for the team’s offseason program.

“Kyle (Shanhan) is on board with what House and those guys are doing – I think, really, because of the year Matt Ryan had,” Barkley said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast” on NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He’s a believer in that. He saw the benefits of what Matt did with some of his drops and the timing on routes, how he changed his feet on some things. So we’re kind of sticking with that plan. Everyone is a little different, but for the most part we’re all on the same page when it comes to what our drops are looking like, our footwork and how the ball is coming out.”

House is a former major league pitcher and pitching coach who founded the 3DQB training facility in Los Angeles. Dedeaux pitched at USC and is the grandson of USC baseball coaching legend Rod Dedeaux. Former NFL quarterback John Beck is a motion mechanics instructor.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Carson Palmer are among the NFL quarterbacks who have worked with 3DQB.

“I believe in those guys and what they’re doing,” Barkley said. “They’re at the top of their game, working with Brady and a bunch of other guys. They’ve helped me.

“He won’t change your throwing motion or really tweak how the ball comes out, but he’s going to try to maximize velocity and ground force production and torque -- a lot of sports science terms. But, really, just maximizing efficiency with your motion and making sure you’re sequencing is right.”

Barkley had never played for Shanahan before signing a two-year contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency. But there are two obvious connections. Barkley’s offensive coordinator last season with the Chicago Bears was Dowell Loggains, Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 when Shanahan was the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. The other connection is House.

"It’s kind of funny, he worked with Atlanta’s staff all of last year, helped Matt Ryan, kind of build his base from the ground up and helped him a lot and he had an MVP year," Barkley said of House.

"There may have been talks down the pipeline, who knows. I don’t think that was the deciding factor by any means, but it never hurts.”