49ers pick up key first down with 'normal shift'


49ers pick up key first down with 'normal shift'

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers have struggled on third downs, but the New York Giants awarded them a gift Sunday to keep an important fourth-quarter drive alive.And Giants coach Tom Coughlin angrily objected on the sideline to a well-timed Delanie Walker shift off the line of scrimmage that drew defensive lineman Dave Tollefson into the neutral zone before the snap of a third-and-2 play.A week earlier, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was incensed when his team penalized for "simulating a snap," ruled referee Gene Steratore. Harbaugh argued that it was a legal shift.
Harbaugh spoke to the league for a clarification. While Harbaugh said the communication with the league office is confidential, he confirmed the 49ers did not have to change a thing in order to make the play legal.When tight end Justin Peelle was called for the penalty against the Redskins, quarterback Alex Smith was in the midst of a hard count. But Harbaugh said the penalty did not have anything to do with Smith's bobbing his head while shouting out the cadence.
"We feel like we know what to tell our players," Harbaugh said. "It's not vague. It's not arbitrary. It's a shift. It's a normal shift. And we do it all the time. We do it on first down. We do it on second down. We do it on third down. Teams have seen that we do it on third down."It's not the intent to draw the other team offsides. The intent is to change the strength of the formation. I don't see how anybody could have a problem with it. Shifting is a part of football and they've seen it every game that we played."Referee Tony Corrente's crew ruled in favor of the 49ers on Sunday. The penalty gave San Francisco a first down at the Giants' 37-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Alex Smith hit tight end Vernon Davis for a 31-yard touchdown. After the two-point conversion, the 49ers led 20-13.

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

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.