Ahmad Brooks earns his way back


Ahmad Brooks earns his way back

Ahmad Brooks has talent. But early in his career, bad decisions kept him from reaching his potential. As a sophomore at the University of Virginia, Brooks was one of three finalists for the prestigious Butkus Award, an honor granted to college footballs best linebacker. A season later, coaches kicked him off the team. His college career done, Brooks entered the NFLs supplemental draft. Cincinnati took him in the third round. But in his two seasons with the Bengals, Brooks drew more attention for a womans accusation that he hit her than for anything he did on the field. The Bengals released him before the 2008 season.
I went through some adversity, Brooks said. I guess Im like a walking example right now as far as that.But Brooks self-destructive ways are in the past. In his four years with the 49ers he has only had to deal with the trouble of injuries. Brooks says, no doubt, hes matured. He is two weeks away from turning 28, was recently baptized and after receiving a new six-year, 44.5 million contract, Brooks wants to make sure his experience serves as an example to kids.
RELATED: 49ers show confidence in Brooks with lucrative deal
Not to give up on your dream. Not to give up regardless of whats going on in your life, Brooks explained to me a day after his new deal was announced. When you wake up in the morning and you got a new day, a fresh start to be productive, better yourself as a person and be making the right decisions.
Brooks plans to tell kids his story and message at camps and wherever else he can. He never started more than one game in his first three years with the 49ers. But when Jim Harbaugh became the head coach, Brooks says he looked at it as yet another chance for that fresh start, that chance to become a better player.RELATED: 49ers announce six-year extension for Ahmad Brooks
"They may have heard of me," Brooks explained, "and seen me on film, but it was my chance to earn a starting position."He didnt waste his opportunity. By the end of training camp, Brooks was the starting outside linebacker. He started all 16 regular season games in 2011 and became an every down player for the first time in his career setting career highs in tackles and sacks. Along the way, he also earned much more.
RELATED: Ahmad Brooks career stats 2011 game logs splits
They believe in me, believe in me as a player, Brooks said of the coaches and what his new contract means to him. I thought it was going to be a five year deal. But when I looked at the contract it said six, but it had extra base salary on there, so I was happy with the deal.Brooks is mostly happy that the length of his deal should allow him to retire with the 49ers. But happy does not mean satisfied. Brooks is staying in the Bay Area for the first time this offseason, working out with weight room regulars Justin Smith and Ray McDonald at the team facility. He views the 2011 season as just a start of what kind of player he can be, especially when it comes to rushing the passer.Because Aldon Smith was making so many sacks, and I was just so close to getting there, and I was like Dang! He beat me to the punch, Brooks said laughing. I want to get better at that.There is no reason to believe he won't.

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

SANTA CLARA -- In the early afternoon Monday after the 49ers’ day-after-game meetings concluded, the players were excused for the next seven days.

Coach Chip Kelly opted to give the 49ers a week break, rather than going through a couple days of practices before providing the players with a mandatory four consecutive days off during the bye week.

The 49ers on Sunday dropped to 1-6 on the season with a 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there will be no extra practices to attempt to sharpen their performance.

“They’ve been at it since July 31st,” Kelly said. “They haven’t had more than one day off in a row. So I think at this point in time that’s what our whole MO has always been.

“They’ll meet with our strength and conditioning coaches. They have their lifting programs in terms of what they can do and what they have to do. And I think at this point in time we need to heal up. I think it’s a good break for them to do what they need to do and that’s the way I’ve always done it and our teams have been fresh coming out of the bye week.”

While the players will be off for a week, Kelly said the coaching staff will continue to work through Friday in an attempt to identify areas in which they can improve and snap out of their six-game losing streak on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of self-scout that we have set aside,” Kelly said. “We’ll be in here all week kind of looking at what we’ve done in the first seven games, what have our opponents done to us in the first seven games relative to what we thought going into the game based on the break downs. Did they change?

“If they were 60-percent pressure going into our game and they were only 30-percent pressure in our game, trying to delve into how people are defending us. How are people attacking us from an offensive standpoint in terms of attacking our defense and what their tendencies were going into the game and then what actually transpired in the game. So we’ve got a lot of film work and a lot of studying to do here during this week.”

Kelly reiterated on Monday that he is not looking at leaving the 49ers after this season. He said he has not heard from any schools with coaching openings or potential openings. Kelly said he has tried to remain focused on his job through the longest losing streak he has ever experienced as a coach.

“No one’s happy, so I don’t know if the word’s anguish, but I mean obviously you try to keep it consistent in terms of your approach to everything that you do,” Kelly said. “I don’t think being consistent and being even-keeled means that it doesn’t bother you or that you’re not frustrated in terms of what’s gone on.”

Kelly said the 49ers have the talent to win games. When asked why the coaches have not been able to extract more victories, Kelly placed the blame for the team’s poor play on himself and his staff.

“That’s on us,” Kelly said. “I agree 100-percent in terms of what you’re saying. But our job is to put our players in position to make plays and we’re not doing a good enough job of that right now.”

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

San Francisco 49ers fans came together last season and raised money to fly an anti-Jed York banner over Levi's Stadium on three separate occasions. With the team 1-6 this year, there is a new push for a banner calling out a different member of the team’s front office. 

[REWIND: Banner flies over Levi’s calling for 49ers, York to mutually part ways]

On Monday a crowdfunding campaign was created with the goal of raising $1,076 by Oct. 28 in order to fly a banner that reads “49ers: Fire Trent Baalke” over Levi's Stadium on Nov. 6 before the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The fundraising goal was fulfilled in 11 hours by 58 people as it reached $1,095. 

Here's an excerpt from the GoFundMe site: 

"The 49ers are currently in the basement of the NFC with a 1-6 record. After a demoralizing week 7 loss to Tampa Bay this team is showing no signs of improving. The level of ineptitude that has been on full display every Sunday thus far can only be rectified with a total reexamination of the organizations interior." 

The campaign proceeds are promised to Aerial Services of Livermore, which charges $1,024 for two hours of airtime, according to the post, and GoFundMe.com, which takes five percent of all funds raised -- $51.20.

The three banners that flew over Levi’s last season read “Jed York And 49ers Should Mutually Part Ways," "Hold Jed Accountable," and "Jed Here's Our Banner -- Where's Yours?"