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 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday:Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and played 29 snaps in the 49ers' base defense. Sopoaga did another strong job of holding the point and keeping the Redskins' line from getting to the 49ers' linebackers. Sopoaga was credited with one tackle
91-Ray McDonald: Inactive due to a left hamstring strain.
93-Ian Williams: Suited up for the game, but did not play. (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end and played every snap. He was credited with three tackles, a quarterback hurry and a pass defensed. . . Got past guard Maurice Hart to hit John Beck as he was throwing to force incompletion on Redskins' first third down of the game. . . Got his hands up and nearly intercepted a Beck pass in the end zone in the first quarter. . . On the next play, he was called for defensive holding, as he did not allow running back Roy Helu to get out of the backfield without the ball on a pass play.

95-Ricky Jean Francois: Started at left defensive end in place of McDonald and played the majority of the game. He was credited with four tackles. Driven off ball by right tackle Jammal Brown on first play on Roy Helu's 16-yard run. . . . Jumped offside with a hard count in the first quarter. . . Got up the field against Hurt to cut down angle for running back Ryan Torrain, who managed just 2 yards on second-quarter attempt to his side. . . . Outstanding job of using his hands to separate from guard Chris Chester to chase Beck from the pocket and stop him after 2-yard scramble. . . . Got his hands up to deflect a pass at the line of scrimmage. But the play turned into the Redskins' biggest gainer of the game when Helu caught the deflection and picked up 17 yards. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Saw action on only a couple snaps of defense and was not credited with any tackles. He played a snap to open a second-quarter drive and was driven off the ball by Chester on play in which Helu gained 11 yards. He was immediately replaced.Linebackers
51-Blake Costanzo: Played solely on special teams, where he recorded a tackle. (Follow on Twitter @BlakeCostanzo51)
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and had the kind of game that will begin the conversation as an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He was credited with 13 tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass defensed. . . . Avoided block attempt of Chester to strip Helu of the football late in the second quarter. Donte Whitner recovered it, and one play later the 49ers scored a TD. . . . Had another forced fumble later in the game. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker and was credited with eight tackles and two passes defensed. Provided first-quarter hit on Helu to force an incomplete pass on a third-down play. . . . Recovered fourth-quarter fumble that Willis forced. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Played on special teams but was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant54)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker and was credited with a sack and four tackles. Fought off block of tight end Logan Paulsen to stop Helu for 4 yards when it appeared he had an opening for more. . . . Working against right tackle Sean Lockler, Brooks shook free to drop Beck for a 3-yard sack.
56-Tavares Gooden: Played exclusively on special teams and was not credited with any tackles.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker and had another strong showing on first and second downs, as he played all 29 of the 49ers' snaps in their base defense. He was credited with four tackles and a quarterback hurry. . . Knocked Beck to the ground while he was throwing a 2-yard completion to Helu. . . . Angled down line of scrimmage to stop Helu for no gain on play that went the other way.
99-Aldon Smith: Entered as a pass-rusher at right defensive end in nickel situations and played about 30 snaps . . . He had on quarterback hurry and no tackles. . . . Showed tremendous athleticism to loop around on stunt up the middle and hit Beck as he was throwing for a third-down incomplete pass in second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: Played solely on special teams, registering one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @MadieuWilliams)
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback and played every snap. He did not see a lot of action to his side, as he recorded just one tackle. . . Had good coverage on incomplete throw to receiver Terrence Austin on Redskins' first third down of the game. . . . Had tight coverage on fourth-down incompletion in fourth quarter.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback and was credited with three tackles. He came up from cornerback to upend Helu for no gain at end of the first quarter. . . . Gave up two-point conversion after it appears rookie Leonard Hankerson gave him a shove to create separation on a fade.
26-Tramaine Brock: Returned to action after missing several weeks with a hand injury. He played solely on special teams but was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Played on special teams and was credited with one tackle when he stopped Brandon Banks at the 3-yard line after a muffed punt. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Entered game as 49ers' third cornerback and saw action on 34 snaps. . . . He recorded two tackles and broke up one pass. . . .Gave way too much cushion to receiver Jabar Gaffney on a third-and-7, allowing him to pick up 12 yards in second quarter. . . Jumped inside route in fourth quarter and nearly had interception. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: He played 10 snaps when the 49ers were in their dime package. . . . He didn't make any tackles on defense, but he had two stops on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and had six tackles, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. . . . Gathered in a fumble and returned it 3 yards to set up a 49ers touchdown late in the second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Inactive (coaches' decision).
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety and had an interception in his second game in a row. He also had five tackles and a quarterback hurry. Came up fast from his spot to drop Helu for 2-yard gain on short pass. . . . Had tremendous break on pass intended for tight end Fred Davis to make diving interception late in the first quarter near midifield. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams.Specialists
2-David Akers: He was perfect, as he made field goals from 52, 34, 45 and 20 yards. He also kept the Redskins pinned back after kickoffs, as Washington's average starting point was the 22-yard line following their six kickoff returns. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: He averaged 44.6 yards on five punts with a net of 36.6. Lee had two touchbacks and two punts inside the 20.
86-Brian Jennings: Handled the long-snapping duties without incident. Have you ever noticed that holder Andy Lee never (or rarely) has to spin the football on field-goal attempts? That's because Jennings is so consistent at making sure the revolutions of the football on his snaps are perfect so that the laces are pointing toward the goal posts. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.

The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement released Saturday morning. “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

It was the first significant move under Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.

The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.

Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.

Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.

The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 13 games at left guard and the final three games at left tackle.

The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.

Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.

Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.

 

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned

Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers. 

The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles. 

Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.