49ers' opponent for this week? It's the 49ers

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49ers' opponent for this week? It's the 49ers

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers earned a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. But that does not mean the 49ers don't have an opponent lined up this week.
When the club returns to the practice field, it'll be 49ers vs. 49ers.Once the regular season begins, the 49ers' first-team offense rarely practices against the first-team defense. The reason is because every week NFL teams prepare to face an opponent.
The scout team -- both offense and defense -- is comprised of backups and practice-squad players. They use the projected plays and schemes that the coaches believe they'll see from the upcoming opponent.The 49ers changed up a few things several weeks ago when the offense continued to struggle inside the red zone."It actually something we've incorporated the last three weeks, going against our defense in the red zone," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday. "It has been good for us. We'll continue to build on that, especially this week, probably more than we had because we'll have the opportunity."The 49ers went through a six-game stretch in which they scored touchdowns on just 3 of 18 trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Harbaugh decided to have sessions in which the 49ers practiced against their own defense, the top-ranked red-zone defense in the league.Since that time, the 49ers finished the season with six touchdowns on nine red-zone possessions."We had hit a little bit of a slump there, three or four weeks back, but it's been improving," Harbaugh said. "It's encouraging."When the 49ers return to practice Thursday, they'll practice starters vs. starters more during more than just red-zone drills."We don't know what opponent we're playing, so there will be periods in the practice where it's 49ers vs. 49ers -- us against us -- where you don't see that in the regular season," Harbaugh said. "You see that in training camp."The 49ers have started breaking down their three possible opponents for the Jan. 14 divisional-round game at Candlestick Park. If the New Orleans Saints defeat the Detroit Lions on Saturday, the 49ers will play the Saints. If not, the 49ers' first playoff opponent will be the winner of the Atlanta Falcons-New York Giants game.Harbaugh and his brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John, are in the same situation. Both the 49ers and Ravens are the No. 2 seeds. The brothers have spoken and compared notes how to handle this week's of work."We're each going to handle it accordingly," Jim Harbaugh said. "Yeah, there'll be some similar things. Basically, we're on a similar schedule. We compared notes. Some things are the same, some are different."

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.