49ers save best for last, beat Chargers in finale

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49ers save best for last, beat Chargers in finale

Sept. 1, 2011
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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Now that the exhibition season is over, the San Diego Chargers have just over a week to get ready for Adrian Peterson.That's after looking shaky against Anthony Dixon and the San Francisco 49ers.With Frank Gore getting the night off after signing a big deal, Dixon capped San Francisco's first two drives with 1-yard touchdown runs and the 49ers beat the Chargers 20-17 in an exhibition finale Thursday night.It was a last chance for rookies and other players on the bubble to impress the coaches before the final roster cutdowns on Saturday.Then it's on to opening day on Sept. 11. The 49ers (2-2), under first-year coach Jim Harbaugh, host the Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers (2-2), heading into their fifth year under Norv Turner, host Peterson and the Vikings.
MAIOCCO: 49ers vs. Chargers in-game notes
The Chargers' first-string defense didn't look impressive against the 49ers' running game, allowing 54 yards on the ground on San Francisco's opening drive, which covered 80 yards behind starter Alex Smith. The Bolts have a little more than a week to prepare for Peterson, who set the NFL's single-game record with 296 yards when the Vikings last played San Diego, in 2007."We had a lot of guys missing. We have to get them caught up and get them where they are ready to play at a high level for an extended period of time," Turner said.The 49ers had six sacks.Gore, who rarely plays in exhibitions, sat out a day after signing a 21 million, three-year contract extension.Smith was in for the first two drives as the 49ers rebounded from an embarrassing 30-7 loss to Houston."I don't know if we had anything to prove," Smith said. "We definitely wanted to get the taste out of our mouth from last week, though. Get some rhythm, convert on some third downs, move some chains and hopefully put points on the board, and we were able to do that."We took the opening drive all the way down and stuck it in and were able to get the ball on the turnover and put that one in, as well. So it was a great start," said Smith, who was 8 of 10 passing for 45 yards.San Diego held out offensive stars Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd.Running back Ryan Mathews, coming off an uneven rookie season, showed his speed with a 56-yard scoring burst in the second quarter. Earlier, he failed to pick up blitzing NaVorro Bowman, who sacked Billy Volek, forced a fumble and recovered. That set up Dixon's second TD run."I was definitely pleased the way the offensive line played," Harbaugh said. "I thought they played with a lot of urgency and it's been a challenge for them all week. It was a short week, but a good week."Dixon had 45 yards on 11 carries. Rookie Kendall Hunter had 57 yards on 11 carries."It was simple," Dixon said. "I stayed low, lowered my pads, got up in there behind my big boys and we made it happen. It gives you more confidence, and once you get your confidence to a certain level, you can do whatever."Rookie Jordan Todman also lost a fumble for the Chargers, who missed the playoffs last year because of special teams gaffes and turnovers. Rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien threw an interception and was sacked five times. He also threw a nine-yard TD pass to Seyi Ajirotutu with 1:21 left."I liked getting Ryan going," Turner said. "It was good to see him break the long run. I thought he hit some good runs up in there, too. Obviously you can't win in this league if you turn the ball over. I'm disappointed that we had the two turnovers."The Chargers, in turn, intercepted 49ers rookie Colin Kaepernick twice.Kaepernick came on early in the second quarter in place of Alex Smith, who led the first two scoring drives. He was intercepted by rookie cornerback Marcus Gilchrist in the end zone.Kaepernick was picked off later in the second quarter by Dante Hughes on a tipped ball.Both teams had turned it over to second- and third-stringers by early in the second quarter.NOTES: Even though he didn't play, Gore was in uniform. ... Sitting out from the Chargers' first-team defense were ILB Larry English, T Antonio Garay and OLB Shaun Phillips. ... Chargers LBs Travis LaBoy and Takeo Spikes were captains against their former team.

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Former 49ers fullback Tom Rathman, who was not retained this season on Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff, will be coming back to the organization in a permanent fashion.

Rathman, 54, who spent a total of 23 seasons as a player and coach, will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, CEO Jed York announced on Tuesday.

“Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff,” York said in a statement. “Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way.

"It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team’s history.”

Rathman discussed having a role on the 49ers’ coaching staff after the hiring of Shanahan. But Shanahan had already promised the position of running backs coach to Bobby Turner.

“It was all positive,” said Rathman told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “I have no hard feelings. It’s just the nature of the business. Everybody just has to understand that. In pro football, coaches get fired and new guys come in and they bring their guys. I totally understand it. I don’t have a problem with it. Being in the business for 28 years, playing and coaching, you understand what it is. You can never take anything for granted.”

Rathman played for the 49ers from 1986 to ’93. He was a starter on two Super Bowl-winning teams and seven NFC West champions. Used mostly as a lead-blocker for Roger Craig, Rathman’s best season came in 1989, when he caught 73 passes for 616 yards.

After his playing career concluded with the Los Angeles Rams in 1994, Rathman entered into a career in coaching. He coached under Steve Mariucci from 1997 to 2002. He returned to coach with the 49ers in 2009, serving on the coaching staffs of head coaches Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

“I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er," Rathman said in a statement. "I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark.

"That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

The 49ers new draft grading system is inspired by the New England Patriots, but their draft menu consists of a lot more options.

“We’ve got just under 200 players on our draft board, that we see as draftable players on our board,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Monday at team headquarters in Santa Clara.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in here and it was needed this year because I had a lot of catch-up to do. I can tell you that just (Sunday) night I finally got to the point, I always knew as a player like, ‘OK. I’m ready.’ That moment was (Sunday) for me where I said, ‘OK. I’m ready. I’m ready to go on this thing.’ That’s a good feeling.”

The 49ers have 10 draft picks scheduled for the three-day draft, including the No. 2 overall selection. With 73 players under contract, the 49ers figure to add approximately 17 rookies through the draft and as free agents. The NFL's seven-round draft will result in 253 players being selected.

Lynch was hired out of the FOX broadcast booth a week before the Super Bowl. The following week, Lynch assembled all of the team’s scouts for meetings in Santa Clara.

“When we first brought scouts in right after the Super Bowl we were kind of working off the old grading system,” Lynch said. “But what helped was the grading system that they use in Denver, which kind of derived from one that was developed in New England.”

One of Lynch’s first hires was former Broncos college scouting director Adam Peters as 49ers vice president of player personnel. New coach Kyle Shanahan was also familiar with the system because, like Peters, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff worked in the Patriots’ scouting department.

“In these last three weeks of draft meetings we moved over to that grading scale,” Lynch said.

“I’ve always been someone who thinks you should listen to multiple opinions and we’ve been very collaborative. I believe in strong opinions. Someone once told me, ‘Strong opinions, weakly held.’ So are you open to different thoughts and someone makes you think? But ultimately someone’s got to make decisions.”

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio recently told Boston-area reporters that New England's draft board consists of only 50 to 75 players who fit as draft picks for their team. The Patriots have seven scheduled draft picks but none in the first two rounds.

"I would say it varies year to year, but I would say our draft board is smaller than most," Caserio said. "We are trying to find players that we feel comfortable with on all levels that we would actually draft -- not that are going to get drafted.

"It's players that we would draft, that we would actually feel comfortable with in our program in some capacity."

49ERS 2017 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: No. 2 overall
2. Second round: No. 34 overall
3. Third round: No. 66 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 109 overall
5. Fourth round: No. 143 overall (compensatory)
6. Fifth round: No. 146 overall
7. Fifth round: No. 161 (pick acquired from Washington in 2015 trade for TE Derek Carrier)
8. Sixth round: No. 198 overall (from Baltimore in trade with C Jeremy Zuttah for No. 186)
9. Sixth round: No. 202 overall (pick acquired from Denver in 2015 trade for TE Vernon Davis)
10. Seventh round: No. 219 overall (pick acquired from Cleveland in 2015 trade for Andy Lee)