49ers notes: Secondary spots unsettled for opener

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49ers notes: Secondary spots unsettled for opener

Sept. 6, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Safety Dashon Goldson said he is battling a sore knee that makes his availability for the 49ers' season opener against the Seattle Seahawks in question.Goldson said he sustained the injury last week in practice. He is not wearing a brace on his knee, but he said he could not have played in the exhibition finale Thursday night in San Diego even if it were a regular-season game.Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he is not sure who will start Sunday in the 49ers' defensive backfield alongside strong safety Donte Whitner .Veteran Madieu Williams is listed as the 49ers' second free safety behind Goldson. Reggie Smith was atop the depth chart before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 8 -- the same day the 49ers re-signed Goldson to a one-year contract. Smith is expected to return to practice this week.
Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is also expected to return to practice and could be available for some play time Sunday against the Seahawks. However, Tarell Brown
and Carlos Rogers are expected to start at the cornerback spots."We'll see how he feels and how he reacts to getting back out there," Fangio said of Spencer. "He hasn't done anything football-wise in over four weeks."That would be a tall task for him to come back this soon and play a full game. Maybe he can come back and play parts of it. That remains to be seen or to be determined day to day."Spencer sustained a left hamstring strain in practice July 31. He tried to return to the practice field on Aug. 14, but aggravated the injury.Wideout watch: Receiver Michael Crabtree is expected to return to practice this week, but his availability for Sunday's game remains in question. Crabtree sustained a fractured left foot and underwent surgery prior to training camp.Crabtree was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list and caught passes in warmups last week. Currently, the 49ers have three receivers listed as starters on the depth chart: Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr. and Braylon Edwards .The league has yet to announce whether Edwards will be suspended at the start of the season, stemming from his guilty plea of a DWI charge. A league spokesman told CSNBayArea.com that the matter is still "under review."
Crabtree has started 26 of the 27 games in which he has appeared in his two-year career. His only non-start was last year against Denver when the 49ers opened with a two-tight end formation. Crabtree entered for the second play of the game.Outside linebacker rotation: Rookie outside linebacker Aldon Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, is expected to be used as a pass-rush specialist. Ahmad Brooks and Parys Haralson will be the starters, Fangio confirmed."He'll be a part of our rotation outside," Fangio said of Smith. "Putting a number on that will be hard. But he'll definitely be a part of the rotation."New numbers: After the final cuts, several 49ers players ended up with new uniform numbers. Receiver Braylon Edwards claimed No. 17, the number he wore each for his first six NFL seasons with Cleveland and the New York Jets
The others to change numbers: center Jonathan Goodwin is No. 59, defensive lineman Will Tukuafu is No. 92 and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs is No. 96.Quarterback Scott Tolzien is No. 3, and inside linebacker Tavares Gooden was issued No. 56.Tolzien wore No. 16 during his career at Wisconsin and during his five weeks with the San Diego Chargers. Of course, the 49ers have retired No. 16 in honor of Joe Montana."I said, 'I want No. 16,'" Tolzien said. "And they said, 'No you can't.' And I said, 'No, I want No. 16!"
Of course, Tolzien was merely joking with 49ers equipment manager Steve Urbaniak.

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.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”