49ers review vs. Giants: Defensive line, linebackers


49ers review vs. Giants: Defensive line, linebackers

The 49ers allowed 149 yards rushing to the New York Giants. But through three quarters, the Giants had 19 carries for only 61 yards.In the fourth quarter, the Giants mauled the 49ers up front to create big holes. The Giants got to the second level to make blocks on inside linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.When asked whether it looked as if the 49ers' front seven was worn down in the fourth quarter, enabling Ahmad Bradshaw to finish with 116 yards rushing on 27 carries, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, "I didn't sense that they were fatigued."The player-by-player review of every position group from the 49ers' 26-3 loss to the New York Giants continues . . .Defensive line
83-Demarcus Dobbs: He played no snaps on defense, but he contributed a team-high 28 plays on special teams.
90-Isaac Sopoaga: He played a season-high 39 snaps and contributed one tackle. He did a good job of holding the point when he was in the game.
91-Ray McDonald: He played all but three snaps in the game and did not have any tackles or pressures. . . Appeared to get held by RT Sean Locklear on Ahmad Bradshaw's 1-yard TD run in third quarter. . . Driven off the ball by RG Chris Snee and Locklear on 13-yard gain by Bradshaw in fourth quarter.
92-Will Tukuafu: He played two snaps on defense.
93-Ian Williams: Was not active (coaches' decision).
94-Justin Smith: He played all but three snaps in the game and finished with eight tackles and one tackle for a loss. . . Tossed off block attempt of LG Kevin Boothe to stop Ahmad Bradshaw for 1-yard loss on third-and-2 play in second quarter. . . He was outstanding through three quarters, but started to get moved back with double-team blocks in the fourth quarter. . . Extra blocker David Diehl tied him up and Bradshaw gained 11 yards on that side on a second-and-10 on the Giants' second-half-opening touchdown drive.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: He played 10 snaps of defense and contributed one tackle. . . Got pushed back in the center of the line by Boothe to create hole through which Bradshaw scored on 1-yard TD run in third quarter. . . C David Baas moved him out of the way to create opening through which Bradshaw ran on way to 23-yard gain in fourth quarter.Linebackers
51-Clark Haggans: Returned from a three-game suspension but did not see any action.
52-Patrick Willis: He recorded eight tackles with two tackles for loss. . . In the fourth quarter when the Giants started gaining big chunks on the ground, Willis was getting blocked and did not make plays at the second level . . . Blocked by FB Henry Hynoski on play in which Bradshaw gained 23 yards. Blocked by Locklear on play in which David Wilson gained 20 yards up the middle in the fourth quarter.
53-NaVorro Bowman: He played every snap and led the 49ers with nine tackles, but had his problems in the fourth quarter when the Giants' started pounding the 49ers with their run game. . . Was blocked at second level by LG Kevin Boothe on Bradshaw's 23-yard gain in fourth quarter. . . Did not fill gap and was out of position on an 11-yard run for Bradshaw in fourth quarter.
54-Larry Grant: He did not play any defense and had one tackle on special teams.
55-Ahmad Brooks: He played all but two snaps and recorded two tackles and had one quarterback hurry. . . Big hit and avoided penalty with hit on QB Eli Manning that forced first-quarter incompletion. . . Timed snap count perfectly to put heat on Manning. Brooks tracked him down for 1-yard gain on a third-and-goal play from the 49ers' 5.
56-Tavares Gooden: He did not play any defense. . . On special teams, he was pancaked by 312-pound DT Marvin Austin block, allowing David Wilson to return opening kickoff of the second half 66 yards.
99-Aldon Smith: He played every snap on defense and recorded just two tackles with no quarterback pressures. . . Blocked by Hynoski on 7-yard gain Bradshaw at beginning of second half. . . Did not contain on the outside, allowing David Wilson to pick up 11 yards in the fourth quarter.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.