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

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

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the 49ers's offense from their 20-9 exhibition loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday:
Quarterbacks1-Josh Johnson: He was the third 49ers quarterback to enter the game and he played 11 snaps. His first pass attempt was also his best. He lofted a beautiful 32-yard pass to A.J. Jenkins on a fade route down the left sideline. But Johnson missed a prime opportunity for a touchdown on the next play when he overshot Jenkins on a play that easily could have gone for a 41-yard TD. Johnson also overthrew Jenkins, who was open on another deep pass, but that play would've come back on a holding penalty. Johnson completed 4-of-6 attempts for 64 yards. He also rushed once for five yards.3-Scott Tolzien: He entered for the 49ers' final 12 offensive plays and finished his night with four consecutive incomplete passes to finish 4-of-9 passing for 23 yards.
7-Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers' No. 2 quarterback entered behind Alex Smith and played 14 snaps over four drives. The team finished with two three-and-outs. Admittedly, he made a poor decision to throw to the side of the rotating safety and was lucky that throw to Ted Ginn was not intercepted. Randy Moss was open on a hitch on the other side. But he came back on next play to make a back-shoulder throw to Randy Moss, which he dropped at the 5-yard line. Kaepernick also ran 12 yards for a first down on a spread read option. Kaepernick completed 4-of-8 passes for 19 yards.11-Alex Smith: Started and played the first two possessions, 21 snaps, and the 49ers picked up five first downs during that time. Took a huge hit from linebacker Connor Barwin on the first play of the game while delivering 4-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on a play. Smith admitted he messed up the protection, which left him exposed to the hit. He made a good throw on the move and under pressure for a 24-yard gain to Ted Ginn. He completed 5-of-9 passes for 49 yards and was sacked twice for minus-6 yards.Running backs21-Frank Gore: He played four snaps, including his first touch of the exhibition season, which went for 14 yards over the left side. Gore was dropped for a 2-yard loss on his only other rushing attempt.
23-LaMichael James: He played just nine snaps of scrimmage, carrying the ball on four of those plays for 19 yards. He sustained a left ankle sprain while in pass protection late in the fourth quarter. X-rays were negative (that's a good thing). James tweaked the same ankle in the exhibition opener and did not miss any practice time. He averaged 25.7 yards on three kickoff returns. He needs some work on punt returns. He misjudged a third-quarter punt and muffed the ball out of bounds.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played 22 snaps at fullback and halfback. He gained 12 yards on five rushing attempts. He did a good job of moving linebacker Brian Cushing and strong safety Danieal Manning backward to pick up 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 run in the second quarter. He was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 run a little later with no opening off the right side. He caught 7-yard pass on a third-and-3 in the fourth quarter and did a good job in blitz pickup to allow Tolzien time to throw in the fourth quarter. He lined up with first team on kickoff coverage unit and was on front line on kickoff return.
28 Rock Cartwright: He played 12 snaps from scrimmage and was also part of the team's No. 1 kick return unit as the up-back. Cartwright carried four times for four yards. He had a third-quarter pass from Kaepernick deflect off his hands.
32-Kendall Hunter: He played 17 snaps, all in the first half, and finished with a team-high 46 yards rushing on six attempts. Helped out in pass protection against linebacker Brooks Reed on blitz to enable Smith enough time to get ball down the field to Ted Ginn for 24-yard gain on opening drive. Brian Cushing beat him in pass protection to lead to a sack at the end of the 49ers' first drive. He bounced off a tackle attempt of Bradie James at the line of scrimmage on his way to a 14-yard gain. He also caught one pass for three yards and averaged 28.5 yards on two kickoff returns. He also lined up with first team on kickoff coverage unit.
33-Jewell Hampton: Did not play; on non-football injury list.
44-Cameron Bell: Did not play.
45-Brandon Jacobs: Played just one snap and sustained a left knee injury when cornerback Kareem Jackson hit him low as his foot was planted. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Jacobs did not sustain damage to his ACL or kneecap -- injuries that could've potentially ended his season. An MRI examination on Sunday confirmed that Jacobs sustained no serious knee damage. Jacobs is not expected to miss a significant amount of time.
49-Bruce Miller: He played 10 snaps from scrimmage and did not touch the ball. Played special teams in the second half, and could not get off the block to prevent Trindon Holliday from getting to the sideline on his 87-yard punt return.Wide receivers
9-Brian Tyms: He played 11 snaps, all in the second half, and caught two passes for 20 yards. Had another tough chance slip through his hands.

10-Kyle Williams: He played 15 offensive snaps and caught two passes for 13 yards. Did not get a chance to handle any punts.
13-Joe Hastings: Did not play (right leg).
14-Mario Manningham: He started and played 13 snaps in the game. He did not have any receptions.
15-Michael Crabtree: Started and played 14 snaps. He caught a 4-yard pass on the opening series, and had a short sideline pass deflect off his hands late in the first quarter.
17-A.J. Jenkins: Played 19 snaps, and did a good job of creating separation on his routes. He made a nice over-the-shoulder catch for a 32-yard gain. Then, beat cornerback Alan Ball deep only to have Johnson overthrow him. He finished with the one catch.
18-Brett Swain: He played 11 snaps on offense and caught one pass for 5 yards.
19-Ted Ginn: He played nine snaps, all in the first half, and caught a 24-yard pass from Smith. That play led to directly to a field goal.
35-Ben Hannula: Saw action on special teams.
81-Chris Owusu: He played 14 snaps on offense and saw three passes go his way. He caught one pass for 5 yards, and couldn't come up with another tough chance from Tolzien that fell incomplete.
84-Randy Moss: He played 14 snaps in the first half and caught one pass on each of the 49ers' first three drives. He finished with a team-high three receptions for 24 yards. But he failed to hold onto Kaepernick's back-shoulder throw at the 5-yard line in the second quarter.
89-Nathan Palmer: He played 12 snaps, had two passes directed his way, but did not have a reception.Tight ends
40-Demarcus Dobbs: He played just six snaps at tight end, entering on the second snap of the game to make a good block on Barwin to help Gore gain 14 yards off the left side.
46-Delanie Walker: Did not play (right knee).
47-Kyle Nelson: He did not play any on offense.
48-Garrett Celek: He played 24 snaps in all, but saw no passes go his way.
83-Joe Sawyer: Did not play after being signed earlier in the week.
85-Vernon Davis: Started and played 21 snaps. He did not catch a pass. Dropped only ball that came his way on a shallow crossing route in the first quarter. He made a block on Cushing to open the way for Hunter's 17-yard gain on a third-and-4 situation.
88-Konrad Reuland: He played 27 snaps on offense and caught two passes for 18 yards. He caught another pass for an eight-yard gain, but was called for offensive pass interference. Offensive line
59-Jonathan Goodwin: He started at center and played the first 27 snaps of the game. Had a good one-on-one block on linebacker Bradie James to help Gore pick up 14 yards. He made a block on nose tackle Earl Mitchell on 8-yard gain for James.
61-Chase Beeler: He entered in the fourth quarter for the final 12 snaps of the game as the No. 3 center behind Goodwin and Daniel Kilgore.
62-Jason Slowey: Did not play.
65-Al Netter: He played the final two series at left tackle, 12 snaps in all, after Joe Staley and Mike Person handled the first three quarters.
66-Joe Looney: He played 31 snaps (25 at left guard; six at right guard), and did a good-enough job. Pulled from left guard to make block on D.J. Bryant on play in which Dixon gained 9 yards.
67-Daniel Kilgore: He entered at center in place of Goodwin and played 19 snaps without any glaring mistakes.
68-Leonard Davis: He came into the game at right guard and played 13 snaps. Looked better run-blocking than in pass protection.
69-Kenny Wiggins: He entered as the No. 2 right tackle, and was pulled in the middle of his sixth series after a couple of penalties. Called for holding when he wrapped up defensive lineman Keith Browner in the fourth quarter on a run play. Later, he was called for another holding penalty in pass protection.
71-Derek Hall: He played 12 snaps at right guard and two at left guard late in the game.
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played the first 27 snaps without any problems. Blocked down on defensive lineman Antonio Smith to open hole for Gore on his 14-yard gain. Teamed with Mike Iupati on double-team block of defensive lineman Tim Jamison on Hunter's 17-yard run at end of the first quarter.
75-Alex Boone: Started at right guard and played the first 27 snaps. Pulled to blocked down on Antonio Smith, then got out front to tie up Cushing and James on play in which Kendall Hunter gained 6 yards in second quarter. Later, he missed a block on Smith, who blew up a fourth-and-1 run to Dixon in the second quarter.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle, played 27 snaps and played well. He was called for a phantom holding call in the second quarter on a mauling block against Antonio Smith on a run play. Later, he was called for illegal formation for being too far off the line of scrimmage.
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played 27 snaps. Made block on Cushing to open hole for Gore on his 14-yard gain. Teamed with Staley on double-team block of Jamison on Hunter's 17-yard run at end of the first quarter. He gave up a pressure to Antonio Smith, who got to Smith quickly and was called for roughing the passer. Made block on Jamison to open way for Kaepernick on a 12-yard run.
78-Mike Person: He played well during a 19-snap stint at left tackle, where he repeatedly won his one-on-one battles against rookie Jared Crick. Also saw four snaps at left guard and eight plays at right tackle.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”