49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

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49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

The 49ers' offense sprung to life in the third quarter with two long, quick scoring drives. Then, the offensive line mauled the Philadelphia Eagles with the run game late in the fourth quarter to finish off the 24-23 victory on Sunday.The passing game was uncharacteristically explosive on consecutive touchdown drives after halftime. The 49ers went 80 yards on four plays, then came back with a five-play, 77-yard drive.There were solid performances all around, as a team that entered the game averaging a league-worst 213.7 total yards through three games erupted for 442 yards and 21-second half points.Here's a player-by-player look at the 49ers' offensive performance:
Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Entered the game on second drive for a third-and-17 play. He rolled right on apparent run-pass option play, but 49ers called a timeout before the snap. He remained in the game after the timeout and handed off to Gore out of the shotgun formation. That was the extent of his playing time: one snap. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He started the game and played all but one snap. He was off target with many of his first-half pass attempts. The second half was another story. His third quarter was spectacular, as he completed all nine of his attempts for 179 yards and two touchdowns. . . He moved to his right to avoid pressure and found Kendall Hunter 8 yards down field, and Hunter turned it into a 44-yard gain. . . . He beat seven-man pressure with well-thrown slant to Joshua Morgan that he turned into a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter. . . . Made a nice play to gather in a shotgun snap that went awry and throw an incompletion out of bounds to avoid a 15-yard loss. . . . Smith finished with a 112.1 passer rating, completing 21 of 33 passes for 291 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. . . . He was sacked three times, and lost one fumble.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Entered 49ers' fourth play of the game, but played 38 of the team's 61 offensive plays. He had an outstanding game with 127 yards and a touchdown on 15 rushing attempts. Also caught two passes for 12 yards. . . He tore off a 40-yard gain on his first play. His ankle looked just fine as he made strong safety Jarrad Page miss a tackle 16 yards down the field. . . . Good second effort to pick up 2 yards on a third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. . . . Carried Asante Samuel the final 5 yards on his 12-yard TD run to give the 49ers the late lead.
24-Anthony Dixon: Played solely on special teams and recorded a tackle. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: Started at halfback, and played 23 of the 49ers' 61 offensive plays. He finished with 38 yards rushing on nine carries, and caught two passes for 62 yards. . . . He picked up 18 yards on a middle screen to pick up a first down on first drive. . . . Tremendous cut block on defensive end Trent Cole to enable Smith to hit Joshua Morgan for a 26-yard pass on first play of second half. . . . Had 44-yard reception, but it could've been a lot more if he didn't veer to the left into Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was pursuing from the middle of the field.
44-Moran Norris: Inactive. He sustained a fractured left fibula Sept. 18 against the Cowboys and is expected to miss four to six weeks. He did not make the road trip.
49-Bruce Miller: Started at fullback, and played 22 snaps. His blocked improved tremendously from a week ago. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. . . . Before he stepped on field on offense, he was called for a holding on first punt return of the game. He recorded a tackle on special teams. . . On first play, had outstanding cut block of linebacker Moise Fokou to enable Hunter to pick up 7 yards. . . . Caught pass along left sideline and showed good running ability for 15-yard gain in third quarter . . . .Provided a strong block on third-and-1 in final minute to help Gore pick up 5 yards and a first down. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He played four snaps from scrimmage and caught a pass for 4 yards. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Started and played 43 snaps in the game. . . He caught a team-best five passes for 68 yards. . . Pulled in a couple high passes from Smith in the first quarter, making nice catches of 11 and 14 yards after failing to haul in the first ball thrown his way . . . .Beat cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha with a stop-and-go for a 38-yard gain in the third quarter. . . . He provided blocks on Joselio Hanson and Asomugha on Hunter's big third-down run on touchdown drive. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: Inactive. He did not make the road trip. He underwent arthroscopic surgery Sept. 19 to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee and is expected to miss a month. His expected return date is after the bye, Oct. 30, against Cleveland. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
19-Ted Ginn: He played 17 snaps, mostly in three-receiver sets but did not catch a pass. . . Returned second-quarter kickoff 7 yards deep in end zone and brought it out to the 13. He averaged 24.7 yards on three kickoff returns. Was stopped for minus-6 yards on two punt returns.
84-Joshua Morgan: Started at wide receiver. He and Smith were on the same page with a slant to beat the safety blitz off the right side. He turned it into a 30-yard touchdown. He finished with three catches for 65 yards. . . . Had the key block on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to enable Hunter to gain 14 yards on a crucial third-and-7 late in the game. Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: Entered the game on the second play, and dropped a pass on the right side that was set up as a tight end screen. Had great block on safety Nate Allen on Gore's 25-yard run in fourth quarter. . . . He played 32 snaps and finished with three catches for 20 yards. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: He played four snaps on offense. He had no passes thrown his way.
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end, and played all but one snap in the game. He finished with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. . . Ran nice route against inside linebacker Jamar Chaney and then took and then rolled through tackle attempt of safety Jarrad Page at goal line on 9-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center. Neutralized defensive tackle Mike Patterson one-on-one to help Gore tear off a 40-yard run on his first carry of the game. . . . He had a good game in pass protection and run-blocking. . . . Misconnected with Alex Smith on another shotgun snap, but Smith tracked it down and threw it out of bounds to prevent a huge loss.
62-Chilo Rachal: He did not start but he saw eight snaps of action on offense at right guard when the 49ers went with a power run game. He got good push against the Eagles front, as the 49ers ran out the clock . . . On field-goal protection, he did not block anyone, and King Dunlap got between he and Mike Iupati to block a third-quarter field goal attempt. . . Did a good job against Brian Rolle on Gore's 12-yard touchdown run.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard. He reported as tight end for eight plays. He blocked left defensive end Jason Babin one-on-one to allow Smith time to hit Davis for 26-yard gain in first quarter. Allowed pressure against Mike Patterson and Smith could not step into throw that went incomplete for Ginn in the end zone. . . . While lined up at tight end got a block on linebacker Akeem Jordan that helped Gore pick up 5 yards on a third-and-1 in the final minute. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, and had a good game in both pass protection and run-blocking. . . He provided double-team block on Gore's 40-yard run on first drive. . . . Called for a false start early in the game. . . . He did an outstanding job throughout in pass protection against Trent Cole. Shaken up in the first quarter, but missed only one snap. . . . Drove linebacker Jamar Chaney 10 yards off the ball on Gore's 25-yard run on final TD drive. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: Saw one snap at left tackle on offense when Snyder was shaken up. He kept Cole off Smith to allow him to hit Crabtree for 14 yards.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle, and had a good game in run-blocking but struggled in pass protection. . . He was called for tripping, when he leg-whipped Jason Babin on 49ers' second play. He did it again in the third quarter and was caught again. . . Got to the second level to block Chaney on Gore's 40-yard run. . . . Babin twice beat Davis twice for sacks. The other sack came when Davis blocked down and Babin sailed untouched toward Smith. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard. . . . He locked up Mike Patterson on Gore's 25-yard fourth-quarter run. . . . Made strong block on linebacker Moise Fokou on Gore's 8-yard gain for a first down, as 49ers chewed up final two minutes of the game. On field-goal protection, he did not block anyone, and King Dunlap got between he and Chilo Rachal to block a third-quarter field goal attempt.
78-Mike Person: Was not active.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”