49ers Review: Defensive player-by-player


49ers Review: Defensive player-by-player

Here is the entire defensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 21-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday:Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and had another strong game, as he helped limit the Cardinals to just 55 yards on 23 rushing attempts. . . Sopoaga had two tackles, but clogged the middle, and had one quarterback hurry. . . He got outside quickly to track down receiver Larry Fitzgerald to help hold him to 5 yards on a wide receiver screen. . . Did a good job of using his hands to shed center Lyle Sendlein and stop Beanie Wells for no gain in the fourth quarter.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end, and was credited with two tackles. . . He didn't get much of a pass rush but pursued quarterback John Skelton on a scramble and was in the right spot to secure a second-quarter fumble.
93-Ian Williams: Inactive (coaches' decision). (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95)
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end, mostly against Cardinals left tackle Levi Brown, and recorded four tackles with a sack and forced fumble. . . He stacked up Brown to allow linebacker Larry Grant to stop Wells for two-yard gain on first defensive play of the game. . . Bull-rushed left guard Daryn Colledge to sack quarterback Kevin Kolb for a five-yard loss, causing a fumble in the first quarter. The Cardinals recovered the fumble on a play that lost a total of nine yards.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Entered as a backup at nose tackle. . . Good play to fend off block attempt of right guard Rex Hadnot and stop Wells for a one-yard gain on a second-and-two in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Saw limited play time.
51-Blake Costanzo: Played on the special teams, and downed a punt at the one-yard line after C.J. Spillman saved it from going into the end zone in the first quarter. (Follow on Twitter @BlakeCostanzo51)
52-Patrick Willis: Inactive (hamstring). His status will be evaluated through the week before the club determines whether he is ready to play Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at the "mike" linebacker position and had a relatively quiet game with three tackles. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Started at the "jack" linebacker in place of Patrick Willis and led the team with nine tackles. Was very good at filling gaps and stuffing plays between the tackles. . . Made good open-field tackle of Wells for three-yard gain in second quarter. . . Called for roughing the passer for a hit to Skelton's knee after he got taken to the ground by a LaRod Stephens-Howling cut block. . . Broke up a third-down pass to tight end Jeff King in the fourth quarter on a shallow crossing route. . . Had a chance to wrap up Fitzgerald, who spun out of his grasp at the 50-yard line and ended up gaining an additional 30 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant54)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker, and recorded three tackles with two tackles for loss. . . Applied tremendous pressure on quarterback Kevin Kolb, hurrying him into a two-yard completion to King on the first drive. . . On the next play, Brooks inadvertently knocked Kolb from the game when his leg hit the back of Kolb's helmet as he scrambled for a fumble in the first quarter. . . Came flying off the left side to stop Stephens-Howling for a two-yard loss on a play run off the left side.
56-Tavares Gooden: Played solely on special teams.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at left outside linebacker. . . Blew up fullback Anthony Sherman on his side to stack it up and allow Brooks to drop Stephens-Howling for two-yard loss in the fourth quarter. . . Dropped Wells for a three-yard loss as he tried to get to the outside.
99-Aldon Smith: Entered the game in nickel situations, and had another fine performance. . . Pursued Skelton 10 yards down the field and stripped him of the football from behind. McDonald recovered it. . . Got second-quarter pressure on Skelton leading to a high throw and an incomplete pass. . . King held him on first play of the second half to prevent a sack. . . Recorded sack -- with a big assist to the coverage -- against right tackle Brandon Keith when Skelton couldn't find anyone open . . . Did a good job of setting the edge against two blockers on a play in which Wells gained three yards in the third quarter. . . Beat backup right tackle Jeremy Bridges badly and had a shot at Skelton. He got away and scrambled to his right but threw back across the field, where Tarell Brown intercepted it in the third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: Played exclusively on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @MadieuWilliams)
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback, and had a quiet game. . . Tried to cut under Fitzgerald on first play of the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald made the catch, turned up field, broke a tackle and ended up with a 53-yard gain. . . . In coverage against Andre Roberts and did not attack him aggressively after the reception on the go-ahead three-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback, and recorded four tackles and an interception. . . Good coverage and sure tackle on Fitzgerald in first quarter to drop him after a five-yard gain. On the next play, on a third down, he was in coverage on an incomplete crossing route intended for Andre Roberts. . . Might have had a chance to make tackle and prevent Early Doucet's 60-yard TD catch in second quarter, but Fitzgerald leveled him with a block. . . In coverage on 17- and 15-yard Fitzgerald gains. . . Made third-quarter inception on a pass Skelton threw high over the middle that went of Fitzgerald's hands. (Follow on Twitter @RealTB25)
26-Tramaine Brock: Played on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Did not play any on defense, but made a nice play on special teams in the first quarter. Lined up as a gunner on the right side, Spillman easily got past the man assigned to block him, A.J. Jefferson, and tackled Patrick Peterson for a one-yard loss at the end of a 61-yard punt. . . He made another exceptional play when he saved a punt from going into the end zone. He tossed it back to Blake Costanzo, who downed it at the one-yard line. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Played as the 49ers third cornerback. He recorded one special-teams tackle. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Saw action on just a couple snaps when Dashon Goldson exited the game briefly with a hip bruise. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety, and had five tackles and a pass defensed. . . He brushed through Andre Roberts block attempt to drop Wells for no gain in the second quarter. . . Perfect timing to deliver hit on Roberts, knocking the ball in the air, where Goldson intercepted it in the second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Was active for the game and saw limited action in the 49ers' dime defense. He matched up with Fitzgerald on those occasions and did not allow any catches.
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety and recorded three tackles and an interception. . . Leveled the boom on Skelton at around the time Aldon Smith was forcing a fumble in the second quarter. . . Didn't take the best angle on deep post to Early Doucet and could not come up with a diving tackle on a play that went for a 60-yard TD in the second quarter. . . Made interception off deflection in the second quarter. He returned it 17 yards. . . Big hit on tight end Rob Housler for a third-quarter interception. . . Went up with Fitzgerald but could not prevent Fitzgerald from coming down with the football for a 46-yard TD in the third quarter. Fitzgerald made the catch and stayed on his feet, as Goldson fell. Fitzgerald took it the final 22 yards for the TD. . . Made hard hit on Chester Taylor to stop him for 11 yards in third-and-13 situation. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams, and made the initial block on Sam Acho that allowed Ginn to return a punt 52 yards on the final play of the first quarter.Specialists
2-David Akers: Made field-goal attempts of 46, 22, 27 and 22 yards. But he also missed a 50-yard field goal in the first half. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: Another exemplary game, as he averaged 53.1 yards on seven punts. But it wasn't just that he got a lot of distance, Lee also gave his return unit a chance with his directional punts aimed outside the numbers. Explosive return man Patrick Peterson averaged 8.8 yards per return, as Lee's net average was 46.9. (Follow on Twitter @Andy4lee)
86-Brian Jennings: He handled the long-snapping duties without incident. (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 12 games at left guard, two games at left tackle and the final two games at center.

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.