Alama-Francis has two-week window to prove himself


Alama-Francis has two-week window to prove himself

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers, a team short on outside linebackers in its exhibition game Saturday night, picked up three players at the position on Monday.Aldon Smith, still noticeably hobbled by a right hip bruise, put on pads for the first time since sustaining his injury on Aug. 10. Ahmad Brooks, the starter on the other side, also returned to the practice field after sitting out four practices, as well as Saturday's game.And making his 49ers practice debut was Ikaika Alama-Francis, 27, who played 35 games over the past five seasons with Detroit and Miami. Alama-Francis, whose first name is pronounced "e-KY-kuh," entered the NFL in 2007 as a Lions second-round draft pick.He signed a non-guaranteed, one-year 700,000 contract with the 49ers on Aug. 15. Per rules of the CBA ratified last summer, players newly signed in training camps must go through a three-day acclimation period before they are allowed to put on pads.So the first day Alama-Francis was allowed to fully suit up was Saturday -- for the 49ers' game against the Houston Texans. He was outfitted in full pads but did not play in the game.
"It's been pretty crazy," Alama-Francis said. "Game day was the first day I could put on pads. I'm just learning the playbook. Being in a 3-4 scheme the past three years in Miami, I can relate things, but the terminology is different. Everybody has different ways of doing things. There's a lot of studying ahead."Alama-Francis had recent tryouts with Kansas City and Oakland. The 49ers offer him a reasonable chance at a roster spot at outside linebacker, a position he played the past two seasons in Miami. Alama-Francis (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) was 15 pounds heavier as a defensive end earlier in his career.The 49ers carried just three outside linebackers last season, and they might want to open this year with a little more insurance. Parys Haralson appears set as the third outside linebacker.
The team's two draft picks at outside linebacker, Darius Fleming and Cam Johnson, do not figure to be on the 53-man roster after final cuts on August 31 due to knee injuries. Currently, journeyman Eric Bakhtiari is the No. 4 outside linebacker.Alama-Francis has been impressed in a short period of time with what he's seen with the 49ers. He has never been on a team with a winning record, and he played 13 games in 2008 for the winless Lions."Everything is really organized," said Alama-Francis, a native Hawaiian who played college football at the University of Hawaii. "Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, what he preaches really sinks in with the guys on the team. That's why they're winning. It's a great organization, and I'm glad to be a part of it."It's also going to be a hectic two weeks for Alama-Francis as he hopes to quickly prove he deserves one of the 49ers' coveted roster spots. Thirty-seven players must be trimmed from the roster over a five-day period, Aug. 27 to Aug. 31.
"I got a two-week window, so hopefully I can show them enough to be on this team for the 53," he said. "You know how the NFL works: 'Hey, come in, get the job done or go home.'"The train isn't stopping for anybody. It's not stopping for me, so I might as well ride it."

Brian Hoyer not living his life worried about 49ers possibly drafting a QB

Brian Hoyer not living his life worried about 49ers possibly drafting a QB

Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley are the only two quarterbacks currently on the 49ers' roster.

Is Hoyer operating as if he will be the starter in 2017?

"Yeah for sure. I think that's what I was brought in to do at this point," Hoyer said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday morning. "And the thing that I've learned in this profession, and really in life, is not worry about things you can't control. I can't control who they draft with the second pick tomorrow and I'm not gonna live my life worrying about it."

The 49ers own the second overall pick in the draft and are reportedly strongly considering taking a QB with that selection.

Even if they do, it doesn't mean that player will start from Day 1.

Hoyer worked with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland during the 2014 season -- he started a career-high 13 games with the Browns and threw for a career-best 3,326 yards.

"I'm gonna go out there and do what I think my job is at this point," Hoyer added. "And I'm gonna do that as long as I can until they tell me it's not my job anymore."


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.”