Brown does not shrink from 'Megatron' challenge

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Brown does not shrink from 'Megatron' challenge

Calvin Johnson is six feet, five inches and 236 pounds of touchdowns and receiving yards. His speed and strength earned him the moniker 'Megatron' as well as 16 scores and 1,681 yards in 2011.There are defensive backs who may be faster, but none bigger. The tallest DB on the 49ers roster is safety Dashon Goldson at 6-2. The heaviest is Donte Whitner at 208 pounds. Tarell Brown (5-10, 193) and Carlos Rogers (6-0, 192) are typical in size for starting corners.Those kind of disparities certainly give Johnson the advantage over his defenders, and that's just the kind of challenge Brown is looking for."I always get geeked up for games like this because our backs are up against the wall," Brown said. "People don't expect you to play up to your caliber just because of the type of guy he is. For me, I'm really excited."Excitement is one thing. Execution is another. Johnson will pose a challenge Sunday especially when the quarterback getting him the ball threw for more than 5,000 yards last season. But as good as Matthew Stafford is, Johnson is key to containing the Lions offense. Brown explained how best to do it."I think the biggest thing is really to key Johnson more or less, with him getting in and out of his breaks," Brown said. "You want to take the focus off the quarterback and have more focus onto him and kind of see what his types of stems are, where he likes to go with the ball, the types of routes he likes and how he bends and breaks out of his cuts."A lot of that information will come from film study, some from instinct and a good amount from a player's 'tells'. Like a bad poker player who gives away his hand by showing emotion, a receiver can tip off a defender.RELATED: Calvin Johnson misses Lions' Wednesday practice
"The receiver's eyes usually get big. They get wide-eyed just because the ball is coming and you pretty much, you hear the crowd as well," Brown said. "So when you hear the crowd kind of 'oohing' and 'ahhing' you know the ball is coming to you and you're in attack mode."With a guy like that the hardest thing is the jump ball. You want to get in to him. Be aggressive with him at the line of scrimmage. My biggest thing is when the ball is in the air we're both going to compete for the ball. He might have a height advantage, but if I get off the ground quicker than him I feel like I'm taller than him. For me, I'm going to go out and compete with him."

Report: 49ers strongly considering QB at No. 2

Report: 49ers strongly considering QB at No. 2

General manager John Lynch and the 49ers have created the desired intrigue about what the club will do with the No. 2 overall pick in this week’s NFL draft.

The team remains “open for business,” in the words of Lynch, to trade the second pick. If the 49ers are unable to find a trade partner, the team can do any number of different ways with that pick. The first round of the draft is scheduled for Thursday evening.

After edge-rusher Myles Garrett, widely projected to go to the Cleveland Browns with the No. 1 overall pick, there does not seem to be much separating the next dozen prospects on the board at a number of different positions.

Now, there is buzz the 49ers could go with a quarterback – likely, Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina – with the No. 2 pick. That possibility gained steam Monday morning with a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, citing “several sources,” that the 49ers are “strongly considering” selecting a quarterback with the second pick.

One league source last week told NBC Sports Bay Area some around the league believe the 49ers would draft Trubisky or Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

“If the 49ers are waiting on Kirk Cousins, just remember that Trubisky is a better prospect now than Cousins was coming out of the 2012 draft,” the source said.

Cousins, who is set to play his second consecutive year as Washington’s franchise player, was a fourth-round selection under then-coach Mike Shanahan, New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was his father’s offensive coordinator when Washington drafted Cousins.

Lynch has been open in his scouting and praise of this year’s draft class. He has attended workouts of top quarterback prospects: Trubisky, Deshaun Watson (Clemson), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) and Davis Webb (Cal).

"I think most of this quarterback class should be later down the line, whether it's first round or second round,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said recently. ESPN’s Mel Kipier and Todd McShay had Trubisky as the first quarterback selected by the Browns at No. 12 overall.

“I think these guys are somewhat getting a bad rap,” Lynch said at the NFL scouting combine. “You turn on the film, and there’s a lot to like.”

The 49ers head into this week’s draft with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as the only two quarterbacks on the roster.

The 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing any of the top three quarterbacks on the team’s roster last season: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder. Each of those players remains unsigned.

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.