Carroll describes Goldson, Whitner as 'ridiculous'


Carroll describes Goldson, Whitner as 'ridiculous'

Pete Carroll, a former defensive backs coach, used the word "ridiculous" to describe 49ers safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner.

Of course, he meant it as a huge compliment.

The 49ers' defense, as a whole, is a unit that has earned the admiration of the Seattle Seahawks coach -- and former 49ers defensive coordinator -- entering Sunday night's matchup.

"There's stuff they do that's very challenging," Carroll said. "They're very tough on defense. They're so aggressive in their coverage style. Their front guys all make plays. Their linebackers are fantastic. Their safeties are ridiculous. So this is a very, very difficult defense. For two years, they've just been on top of the world."

Carroll said he loves the way Goldson and Whitner go about their work at the back line of the 49ers' defense. Whitner is the 49ers' fourth-leading tackler with 106 tackles, according to the coaches' review of game film, behind NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith. Goldson ranks fifth with 103 tackles.

Whitner has forced two fumbles, including a big hit on New England's Stevan Ridley that Goldson recovered and returned 66 yards to set up a touchdown that gave the 49ers a 24-3 lead early in the third quarter Sunday night. Goldson leads the 49ers with three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Carroll also expressed admiration for the job 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell has done with the 49ers' secondary.

"They're smart. They have great range. They knock the heck out of you if you give them half a chance," Carroll said of the 49ers' safeties. "Great tacklers. Goldson is an incredible tackler. They're waiting to make something happen, and they don't make many mistakes back there. It's just a really high-powered group, and they know it. They line up and they say, 'Come on.' It's a really nice group they have."

Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson knows he has a tremendous challenge ahead of him. In the first meeting this season, Wilson completed just 9 of 23 passes for 122 yards in the 49ers' 13-6 victory at Candlestick Park. Goldson intercepted one of his passes.

"They're very experienced and they make a lot of plays," Wilson said. "Obviously, they know what they're doing. They do a great job of trusting their reads and what they're seeing. And so you really have to be smart with the football and make smart decisions and make a lot of great plays. I have so much respect for them. You really got to play your best game."

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.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.