In this mornings conference call, Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey told the Bay Area media that the 49ers have the best offensive line that his team will have faced at this point of the season. A few hours later, standing before the Bay Area media, Jim Harbaugh returned a similar compliment. This will be the best defensive line that weve played so far this year, Harbaugh said. Its a statement that might seem to defy reason as the Bills defense gave up 45 second half points in a 52-28 loss to the Patriots last Sunday and is one of the lower ranked units in the league.Some turnovers have gotten in their way, Harbaugh explained of the discrepancy. But if those were eliminated, they would be one of the most effective, explosive teams in the National Football League.There is no denying the size and talent among Buffalos front four. The Bills starting defensive line is responsible for eight of the teams 10 sacks. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams leads the bunch with 3.5. But the 49ers are getting familiar with all of them.Youll see the equivalent of Justin Smith on their side, extremely athletic on the edges, Harbaugh said, and an inside tackle that is maybe the most powerful, athletic tackle in the game. Marcell Dareus doesnt come out ever. Hes in there in the pass rush downs. A big 330 plus guy that can move. Its impressive when you watch the film, the endzone shot of him lined up, hes a big powerful man that can run. They are skilled talent.I think they are the best of the bunch. All four of those guys. All, very, very talented, left tackle Joe Staley said. I think the best player is Kyle Williams Very underrated player. Doesnt get the national press that the other guys do. Hes very solid, very impressive player. And then Mark Anderson on my side, very athletic, very speedy guy. Got a lot of moves. And Dareus as well, hes a monster. Very talented big guy. The thing about him too is he doesnt come off the field in third down situations. Hes a 335 pound guy. That speaks to his athleticism. You dont see that very often. Its a huge challenge in front of us.That challenge will be keeping the Bills' front defensive four away from Alex Smith, who for more than one reason, is one of the more sacked quarterbacks in the league. The 49ers will rely on their own strategy to keep that from happening and not necessarily what worked for New England. You learn from all the film, Alex Smith explained. The Patriots are different. All the teams are different. You learn from it here and there but its a different system they have different players so you take what you can.These teams are not familiar with each other as they have not played since 2008, so the 49ers realize they will have to be prepared to adjust to differences on the field compared to what they see on film. Safety Donte Whitner spent his first five seasons in the league with Buffalo before signing a three year deal with San Francisco last season. He says one thing he knows about his former team, after a loss like last weeks to the Patriots, the Bills will come to Candlestick and play as if their backs are against the wall.
It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.
The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.
An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.
Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.
"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.
Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.
"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.
SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.
Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.
Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.
John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.
“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”
Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.
“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”
Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.
“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.
While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.
“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.
"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”