49ers review: Defensive player-by-player

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49ers review: Defensive player-by-player

Here's a player-by-player look at the 49ers' defensive performances from their 48-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday:Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Inactive due to a staph infection. He was spotted at the 49ers' practice facility Monday with his left arm in a sling.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end, and played every snap until the final drive of the game. . . . He was credited with one tackle . . . Appeared to have control of a fumble, but lost his grip and Patrick Willis recovered it in the third quarter.
93-Ian Williams: Suited up for the first time this season, and played the final six snaps of the game at left defensive end. (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end, and played every snap in the game until the final series. . . . He recorded four tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hurry. . . . Recorded fourth-quarter sack while working against left tackle Donald Penn.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Started at nose tackle and played every snap in the 49ers' base defense. . . He was credited with three tackles and and was a key component in helping the 49ers hold LeGarrette Blount to 34 yards rushing on 10 carries. . . . Read screen pass to Blount and cut off Josh Freeman's throwing angle to contribute to an incomplete pass in the second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Suited up for the first time this season and played the final six snaps at right defensive end. He was credited with one tackle.Linebackers
51-Blake Costanzo: Honored as the special-teams captain, based on his play last week. . . Played exclusively on special teams, and made a tackle at the 13-yard line on Preston Parker's second-quarter kickoff return.
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and had a big day with 12 tackles, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery. . . . Made outstanding open-field tackle around the ankles on Blount as he tried to get to the outside in the second quarter. Blount gained 4 yards, but it could've gone for a much-bigger gain. . . Broke up pass to tight end Kellen Winslow on third-down play in the first half. . . Recovered third-quarter fumble after Dashon Goldson forced it. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker, and was solid with six tackles. He played every snap until the final series of the game. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Played on special teams, and also played six snaps of inside linebacker on the final series. He was credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant59)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker, and was credited with one tackle. But he made his presence felt. . . He lined up at left defensive tackle for the first third-down play of the game. He got pressure on Freeman, forcing a throwaway to end the first drive of the game. . . Set the edge against fullback Erik Lorig and stopped Blount for 2-yard gain in second quarter. . . .Third-quarter pressure rushed Freeman into throwing pass before tight end Collin Franklin turned around in third quarter.
56-Tavares Gooden: Played special teams, and took over at inside linebacker for final six snaps of the game.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker, and played 33 snaps in the 49ers' base defense. He was credited with four tackles in the game. . . He bounced off block attempt of Lorig to stack up Blount for a 2-yard gain in first quarter.
99-Aldon Smith: Played 26 snaps in the game as a defensive end in the 49ers' nickel package . . . He recorded two tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. . . He picked up second-quarter sack on a third-down while working against Penn.. . On a play that lasted more than seven seconds, Smith showed incredible determination to get a sack of Josh Johnson in the closing two minutes. Smith was working against Penn, who shoved him down as Johnson escaped to the left. Smith got up and pursued Johnson, throwing him for a 2-yard loss. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: His playing time was relegated to special teams, as Donte Whitner returned to the starting lineup.
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback, and made one of the big plays of the game when he dropped in front of Winslow to intercept a Freeman pass. He then returned it 31 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. . . Read a wide receiver screen and dropped Arrelious Benn for a 3-yard loss. Rogers said he remembered that play from two years ago when he faced the Bucs as member of the Washington Redskins.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback, and had another solid showing with three passes defensed (though he could've easily had a couple interceptions, too). . . . Good coverage deep on pass to Arrelious Benn, as he made lunging play to get his hands on the ball. . . Had another pass go off his hands as he broke up throw to Winslow in second quarter. . . . Good coverage deep against wide receiver Mike Williams on fourth-and-2 in third quarter.
26-Tramaine Brock: Inactive after undergoing surgery on his left hand last week. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Played on special teams, and action on the Bucs' final drive at right cornerback. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Played 26 snaps as part of the 49ers' nickel package, as he replaced injured Shawntae Spencer. . . . He had a key interception, three passes defensed and one tackle. . . Had coverage against Micheal Spurlock and took the ball away from him for his first career interception. He then got up and returned it 23 yards to set up the 49ers' third touchdown of the game. . . . Good coverage against Williams on third-down incomplete pass in second quarter. . . . Broke up third-and-2 pass to Williams in third quarter. . . A solid showing while getting the most playing time of his brief career. (Follow on Twitter @Cully_Man)
30-Reggie Smith: Entered at safety in place of Donte Whitner in nickel situations, and played nearly 30 snaps in the game. . . He was credited with two tackles and one pass defensed. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Returned to the starting lineup at strong safety and recorded four tackles while playing a little more than 30 snaps in the team's base defense. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Suited up but did not play due to a toe injury.
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at strong free safety, had another good game with four tackles and a forced fumble. . . He got tied up by Penn on a wide receiver screen to Mike Williams that went for 33 yards. . . . He came from across the field to upend Blount with third-quarter tackle, and Blount did not return. . . Absolutely drilled Williams after the receiver took three steps after catching the pass to force a fumble in the third quarter that Willis recovered. . . . Later called for unnecessary roughness after completion to Winslow. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams. . . Made tackle of Parker on kickoff return to pin Bucs at the 8-yard line in fourth quarter.Specialists
2-David Akers: Did an outstanding job on kickoffs, as the Bucs' average starting point on Akers' nine kickoffs was the 21-yard line. He made field goals of 37 and 27 yards. His 46-yard FG was taken off the board, as the 49ers accepted a 15-yard leverage penalty. On the next play, the 49ers scored a touchdown. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: He had only one punt attempt, as Parker made a fair catch of Lee's 38-yard punt to the Tampa Bay 5-yard line.
86-Brian Jennings: Handled the long-snapping duties. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

A post shared by Shaun Draughn (@shaun_draughn) on