Harbaugh on McCoy: 'He's had a nice command of the offense'
Three personal fouls on two plays is an impressive, yet idiotic, feat for an NFL player. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The last-ever Candlestick Cash-Grab . . . er, exhibition game at The Old Gray Lady provided massive amounts of nothing for the 35,000 or so in the park and 35 billion or so who flipped between the game and the VMAs.
Well, “nothing” may be a strong way to put Colt McCoy being crowned First Replacement Kaepernick, but that’s only because of the flurry of rumors about him being traded, restructuring his contract to make him look prettier in the eyes of the 49ers, and the way he was, and then wasn’t, and then was the heir apparent.
“Honestly, that’s first the first I’ve heard about it,” he said, fibbing maybe a teensy bit. “But Coach (do we have to say Jim Harbaugh?) and I talked this week, and I felt pretty confident about everything.”
Of course, playing more than half of Sunday night’s 34-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings would do that to a fella, and McCoy’s 17 points of production with both the first- and second-team offenses was the other hint.
But Harbaugh made it evidently clear while mocking the Internet for reporting rumors about his team that McCoy had won the job even before his 11-of-15, 109-yard performance. And Harbaugh likes being definitive as much as he likes being invertebrate, so when he drops a paragraph like,
“Yes, yes, he has played very well. Very confident. He’s picked things up, been better week after week, down after down, he’s been consistently good,” you get the sense that this deal was done before Sunday night.
You also get the sense that while McCoy’s name might have been floated to see what he could command in the market, it was probably more for research purposes than as a desire to be rid of him.
And the contract restructuring? Yeah, that happened, too. The league minimum of $630,000 with some incentives.
That was the news, essentially. Nnamdi Asomugha seems to have won the third cornerback job, though Harbaugh was considerably coyer than that, but there were no injuries to report and remember, and there were no memorable events from T-Minus-9-To-11.
Okay, that’s a lie. There were four. The two fan-on-the-field incidents involving three Future Incarcerates Of America. One jaunt was broken up with a deft trip by Minnesota wide receiver Jerome Simpson, and another (by a guy wearing a Harbaugh Indianapolis Colts jersey) ended two yards short of the south end zone.
And the other two were Lavelle Hawkins’ three personal fouls on two plays. He ran back a kick 105 yards and celebrated by pointing at one Viking and then taking off his helmet to chastise another (two penalties, one accepted), and the other for head-butting former Cal teammate Desmond Bishop after a 22-yard catch. He was pulled from the game after both incidents, and with a cutdown day Monday, the 49ers might petition the league to allow them to cut him 15 times rather than cut 15 players once each.
Put another way, the next time Hawkins gets on this field, he will be chased by security.
In sum, the 49ers were efficient enough to be boring, boring enough to make Frank Gore wish openly on the sidelines for the season to start immediately, and impatient enough to name a backup quarterback at the same time the Raiders are engaging in a wonderful fight for the starting job.
It was, in short, a routinely satisfying evening for the home side – nothing great, but nothing depressing either.
And if your tastes run to the unusual – well, we’ll always have Lavelle Hawkins. It’s hard to get three personal fouls on two plays when you’ve gained 127 yards, but he did it. With style.