49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Lions


49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Lions


Alex Smith completed 20 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating Sunday night in the 49ers' 27-19 victory over the Detroit Lions was 107.7.Yes, Smith played pretty well. How well? Let's take a look at his 11 incomplete passes to illustrate how he was nearly perfect:1) The pass was a little high for tight end Vernon Davis, but it went off his hands. Davis complained that Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch interfered with him, preventing him from making the catch.2) Center Jonathan Goodwin's snap got past him. Smith tracked it down and from 25 yards behind the line of scrimmage, he threw the ball out of bounds to avoid a big loss.3) On a third-and-5 play, his pass to Michael Crabtree was around the waist. Crabtree dropped what would've been a first down.4) On what might've been Smith's best throw, he lofted a perfect 45-yard pass to Davis. Cornerback Drayton Florence had good coverage. Davis got both hands on the ball and Florence broke it up when he slapped Davis' left arm as the ball arrived.5) Running back Kendall Hunter dropped a short check-down pass.6) Running back Frank Gore dropped a short pass.7) Smith was on target with a pass to Kyle Williams that was broken up by linebacker Stephen Tulloch. Williams complained that Tulloch interfered with him.8) Fullback Bruce Miller dropped a pass near the sideline on a play that would've gone for about 10 yards.9) On the next play, tight end Delanie Walker dropped a pass that would've been a 5-yard gain.10) And on the next play after that, receiver Mario Manningham got both hands on a third-down pass in the middle of the field that would've been good for at least 15 yards and a first down.11) In the fourth quarter, Gore didn't turn back for the ball in time for Smith's pass toward the left sideline. The ball appeared to hit Gore's left thigh.MAIOCCO: Alex Smith no longer a losing quarterbackSo, the only ball that was not catchable was one of Smith's better plays when he picked up a loose shotgun snap and threw the ball out of bounds to prevent a 25-yard loss.Here is the player-by-player review of the 49ers' offense:Quarterbacks
3-Scott Tolzien: Suited up for the first time in his NFL career, but did not get into the game.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Suited up but did not play.
11-Alex Smith: Started and played every every offensive snap. . . He changed play at the line of scrimmage and then floated perfect 21-yard pass to Vernon Davis to exploit the single coverage of safety John Wendling to cap the first drive. . . He tossed final touchdown after Wendling's forearm cut the bridge of Smith's nose.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started and played 45 snaps. . . He gained 89 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He also caught two passes for 16 yards. . . Very good in pass protection. . . Made a block down field on linebacker Justin Durant to allow Crabtree to gain 16 yards on a third-and-14 in the fourth quarter. . . Made good move on Durant on fourth-quarter swing pass that went for 15 yards.
23-LaMichael James: Was not active (coaches' decision).
24-Anthony Dixon: He did not play any snaps on offense, but contributed with 17 plays on special teams.
32-Kendall Hunter: He played 18 snaps on offense, as he entered the game on the third snap of the game. . . Had first fumble of his NFL career on first-quarter kickoff return when he kept struggling for extra yards and left the ball exposed. . . Made a good nuance play when it looked as if he going to cut block the defensive end, but stayed up and caught a 12-yard pass out of the backfield in the third quarter. . . Finished with 23 yards rushing on five carries. He also caught two passes for 21 yards. He averaged 21.3 yards on four kickoff returns.
45-Brandon Jacobs: Did not play (left knee).
49-Bruce Miller: After playing 37 snaps in Week 1 against the Packers, Miller was in on 25 plays against the Lions. . . He entered for the second play of the game and wiped out strong safety Erik Coleman with a block 10 yards downfield that enabled Manningham to gain 29 yards on an end around. . . Nice takedown block on Levy behind the line of scrimmage to enable Hunter to pick up 3 yards around the left side for a third-quarter first down. . . Could not re-direct in the hole and missed block on Levy on play in which Gore was dropped for 4-yard loss in fourth quarter.
92-Will Tukuafu: He played eight snaps at fullback. . . Along with Delanie Walker, walled off defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and linebacker Ashlee Palmer on Gore's 1-yard TD run on first play of second quarter.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He started for the second game in a row, as the 49ers opened in a three-receiver personnel package. He played 22 snaps in the game. . . He did not catch a pass. He had one punt return for 8 yards. . . His best play was the sliding recovery -- not an easy play -- on a late-game squib kick that secured the 49ers' victory.
15-Michael Crabtree: He started and played the most of any of the 49ers' receivers with 45 snaps. . . He led the 49ers with six catches for 67 yards, including three huge third-down conversions on the final drive. . . Did a good job blocking on cornerback Jacob Lacey on Manningham's 29-yard run. . . Nice over-the-shoulder grab (Willie Mays-like) against Wendling for 17-yard gain on opening drive. . . Made catch and picked up 5 extra yards through three Detroit defenders to pick up 11 yards on third-and-9 on the final drive.RATTO: Crabtree moves the chains
17-A.J. Jenkins: He was inactive (coaches' decision).
19-Ted Ginn: He was inactive (right ankle).
82-Mario Manningham: He started and played most of the time when the 49ers were in two-receiver formations. Manningham played 38 snaps in the game. . . Maintained his block on cornerback Drayton Florence to allow Crabtree to pick up 16 yards on a third-and-14 in the fourth quarter. . . He caught three passes for 28 yards, to go along with his 29-yard run (a career-long).
84-Randy Moss: He played 16 snaps in the game -- fourth-most of the 49ers' wideouts. . . Moss, who caught a touchdown in the opener, was again the target of a red-zone pass early in the game. On a play that began at the 8-yard line, Moss was the intended target and cornerback Jacob Lacey was called for pass interference in coverage to give the 49ers a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line on the final play of the first quarter. . . Took advantage of huge cushion that Lacey gave him on the right side for 14-yard gain in the second quarter. . . He caught one pass for 14 yards.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He played 35 snaps, and caught one pass for 7 yards, but had a very active game as a blocker. . . Did a good job in pass protection against defensive lineman Corey Hilliard on 17-yard pass to Crabtree on opening drive. . . Good block on defensive tackle Corey Williams to steer him out of the way to allow Gore to gain 14 yards up the middle. . . Had key block on Levy and also got a piece of Kyle Vanden Bosch on Gore's 1-yard TD run. . . Made a "wham" block on Ndamukong Suh to open hole for Gore's 12-yard run. . . Made block on defensive lineman Willie Young on Hunter's 13-yard gain. . . Called for holding on safety Amari Spievey 10 yards down field on a Smith scramble that would've gone for 20 yards.
48-Garrett Celek: Was not active (coaches' decision).
83-Demarcus Dobbs: He played one snap on offense during a time in which starter Vernon Davis left the game for eight plays in the first half.
85-Vernon Davis: He played 54 snaps in the game. . . He caught five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns . . . He exited for eight plays after Lions defensive lineman Cliff Avril poked him in the eye in the first half. . . Before that, he beat Wendling's man coverage for a 21-yard TD catch to cap quick opening drive. . . Vanden Bosch got push against him on an attempted flea-flicker to open second half. Bosch ended up on the ground but came back and got Smith for a sack (Vanden Bosch was also called for face mask against Smith on the play). . . Good block on outside on wide receiver screen to enable Manningham to gain 13 yards. . . Block on Vanden Bosch to open way for 11-yard run by Gore in third quarter. . . Sealed off Young on the right side, enabling Gore to gain 12 yards on final play of the third quarter. . . Had 17 yards after the catch with a nice cut back to score on a 23-yard pass play with three minutes remaining.Offensive line
59-Jonathan Goodwin: He started at center and played every snap. . . Tied up Tulloch downfield on Gore's 14-yard run in first quarter. . . On a third and 4, his shotgun snap flew past Smith's right side and deep into the backfield, where Smith gathered it in and threw it out of bounds to save the yardage. . . Had good enough initial protection, one on one, against Suh. But Suh stayed with it. And 5.5 seconds after the snap of the ball, Suh got the second-quarter sack of Alex Smith for a 12-yard loss. . . Did not get block on Levy on second-and-10 draw play in which Hunter was stopped for no gain.
66-Joe Looney: Was not active (coaches' decision).
67-Daniel Kilgore: He entered the game for four snaps as an extra blocker. . . Penalized for holding on a first-quarter kickoff when he tackled Keiland Williams on the Lions' coverage team.
68-Leonard Davis: He entered as an extra blocker for five snaps. . . Allowed Suh to get past him to get initial pressure and a half-sack on Smith for a 10-yard loss in the third quarter.MAIOCCO: 49ers' O-line not impressed with Lions' front four

74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played all but one snap. (Because he reported as an eligible receiver, he had to leave the game for one snap before re-entering at his usual position.). . . He had a strong all-around game. . . Good block at second level on Levy on Gore's 14-yard run in first quarter. . . Drove defensive tackle Nick Fairley to the right, as Gore ran to the left for a 1-yard TD on first play of second quarter. . . Made block on Levy on Gore's 16-yard run in second quarter. . . Block on Williams for 11-yard Gore gain in third quarter. . . Staley's kick-out block on Levy enabled Hunter to gain 13 yards.
75-Alex Boone: Started at right guard and played every snap. . . He lined up at left tackle for one play when Staley had to leave the game after being an eligible receiver. . . As the only offensive lineman on the right side of the line, he pulled to the left and threw a big block on Tulloch to open hole for Gore's 4-yard run. . . Made block on Levy on Gore's 1-yard TD run. . . Got out front on screen to Hunter but missed block on Justin Durant or play would've gone for a lot more than 9 yards. . . Suh had little success when he lined up against Boone.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and played every snap. . . Avril got around him with relative ease in the second quarter, but Smith got rid of the ball quickly for a 7-yard gain to Walker. . . He was blocking Williams as Suh slipped past Leonard Davis, Williams hung with the play and got a half-sack to finish off Alex Smith after Suh got the first hand on him. . . Otherwise, did everything right in pass protection and run-blocking.
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap. . . . Gave up initial pressure to defensive tackle Sammie Hill on play in which Suh ultimately got the second-quarter sack. . . Made block on Tulloch on a Gore 16-yard gain late in second quarter. . . Had a much stronger game in run-blocking than pass protection.

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

In Kyle Shanahan’s first breath after being introduced as 49ers head coach on Feb. 9, he mentioned Jim Harbaugh, along with Bill Walsh, George Seifert and Steve Mariucci.

The head coach of Michigan was listening, and he appreciated the gesture.

“It was very flattering that he said nice things about us at his news conference, and I appreciated that,” Harbaugh said on "The TK Show," a podcast from Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.

“Now, I don’t think I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert, etc. But I think did – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I’m not wrong.”

That is correct.

Since John and Denise York took over control of the 49ers in 2000 from Denise’s brother, Eddie DeBartolo, the 49ers have employed eight head coaches. Mike Nolan was fired after seven games of his fourth season. The two coaches who followed Harbaugh -- Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- were fired after 5-11 and 2-14 seasons, respectively.

Harbaugh’s teams advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance. He and the 49ers “mutually parted ways,” the club announced, immediately after the team finished with an 8-8 record in 2014.

“I take pride in that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal, for that.”

Shanahan mentioned Harbaugh during his opening remarks at the introductory press conference earlier this month:

“I’ve got to start out thanking Jed and the whole York family. Giving me this opportunity is, it’s a dream come true and it’s not just an opportunity to be a head coach, but to be a head coach at a place like this where you talk about Bill Walsh, you talk about George Seifert, Steve Mariucci, Jim Harbaugh and you can go down the line with the coaches.”

Said Harbaugh, “Just appreciated it. Appreciated it, and not just for me personally, but appreciated that for all the wonderful players we had and the wonderful coaches and the effort that was put in. People poured their hearts and souls into those years. It’s just appreciated that Kyle would make that comment.”

Harbaugh said he has deep respect for Shanahan and new 49ers general manager John Lynch, whom Harbaugh asked to speak to his Stanford teams during his four-year tenure as head coach.

“Yeah, I would’ve loved to have worked for John Lynch,” Harbaugh said. “He reminds me a lot of the athletic director we have here Warde Manuel, who’s also a former player and a teammate of mine. Common sense guys who are team guys, just the way they go about their business always speaks volumes.

“I thought John took note when they were going through the process. e didn’t want his name mentioned and I think that’s . . . I don’t know if a lot of people noticed that, but I think that’s a profound thing. I think that speaks volumes for who he is as a person. He wants to do a good job and it’s for the right reasons. He’s a competitor at the highest level, so I have great respect for that.”

Kawakami also asked Harbaugh about whether he believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still capable of being an NFL starter.

“There’s no doubt he can be an NFL starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said.

“I’m sure Kyle, the coaching staff there and John will meet on it, they’ll think about it, they’ll watch, much like we did when we got in there in 2011. And they’ll make the best decision they can for the team and the organization and it’ll play out the way it’s going to play out.”

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

During the month the 49ers had no general manager or head coach, Tom Gamble was the next-highest-ranking football official and was charge of the personnel department on an interim basis.

But CEO Jed York made it clear from the beginning Gamble, whom Trent Baalke promoted to assistant general manager just prior to the start of training camp last summer, would not be considered for a promotion to general manager.

John Lynch, with no front-office experience, was hired over Arizona’s Terry McDonough and Minnesota’s George Paton. Before Lynch’s introductory press conference, he hired two top lieutenants in the personnel department to usurp Gamble on the organization's power structure.

On Wednesday, the 49ers announced what had become inevitable: Gamble was leaving the organization.

“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” Gamble said in a statement. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Lynch’s first move as general manager was to hire Adam Peters away from the Denver Broncos to serve as 49ers vice president of player personnel.

Lynch worked alongside Peters when Lynch took part in Broncos meetings and prospect evaluations, which included a trip to the NFL scouting combine, prior to the 2013 draft.

“That month, month-and-a-half, I actually sat next to Adam every day,” Lynch told CSNBayArea.com. “Those are long meetings. I’d listen to him and we’d talk in between about players. I just saw way back then, he’s a guy who’s highly respected in the league. I firmly believe in two, three years, he would’ve been a GM. He was on that track, at least.”

During Lynch’s introductory press conference a week later, he announced the hiring of Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive. Lynch and Mayhew were teammates in the secondary for Lynch’s first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mayhew spent seven seasons as Detroit Lions general manager. Mayhew should be able to provide Lynch with valuable counsel as learns on the job after spending the past eight seasons as a TV analyst on FOX.

“Martin has sat in the seat as a general manager and his experience will play an integral role in helping us locate the type of football player we want representing this organization both on the field and in the community,” Lynch said.

Gamble recently completed his 29th NFL season and his 10th with the 49ers in two stints. After he was fired as Philadelphia Eagles vice president of personnel late in the 2014 season, and came back to the 49ers in the 2015 offseason.

While with the Eagles, Gamble was one of the few individuals in the front office who worked well with Chip Kelly. Gamble played an important role in speaking up for Kelly and bringing him to the 49ers last offseason.

Kelly and Baalke were fired after the 49ers' 2-14 season, and the 49ers promoted the ability to create a fresh start when a new coach and general manager. While the 49ers were expecting Gamble to remain with the organization through the draft, his spot with the organization was going to be tenuous with a new regime.

“He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him,” Lynch said in a statement. “After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities.”