Day 1 recap: Alex Smith free-agent talk muted

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Day 1 recap: Alex Smith free-agent talk muted

For the first time since he was selected with the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, quarterback Alex Smith spent a day not committed to the 49ers.Smith remained unsigned Tuesday, the first day of free agency. And that rates as an upset, considering both sides seem to agree that they want a deal to get done. And over the weekend while taking part in a Kurt Warner charity event, Smith promised, "It will get done."An offer from the 49ers has been on the table for a while. On Monday, 49ers CEO Jed York said, "The ball's in his court."Clearly, the sides disagree on Smith's value in dollars, years or structure of the proposal. Otherwise, this deal would've been hammered out long ago.

RELATED: Jed York addresses Alex Smith contract status
Free agency began at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and Smith spent his first day in NFL limbo since the time seven years ago when he was uncertain if the 49ers would indeed make him the first pick in the 2005 draft.Sure, Smith remained unsigned for several months last spring and summer during the lockout, but he was always committed to the 49ers. Coach Jim Harbaugh gave him the playbook, and Harbaugh gave Smith's wife flowers after the couple experienced the birth of their first child.This offseason, it was Smith's turn to provide the clues that he's loyal to the 49ers. First, Smith went on stage in Indianapolis the night before the Super Bowl to make an acceptance speech on behalf of Harbaugh, who was named NFL Coach of the Year. Then, Smith caddied for Harbaugh during the first round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.Everyone still expects the deal to get done, but it's more than a little curious why Smith has reached the free-agent market, forcing 49ers.com, the team's website, to remove his name from the team's official roster. Blake Costanzo was the 49ers' coaches choice as the team's special-teams candidate for the Pro Bowl last season. Costanzo came to the 49ers on the recommendation of special-teams coordinator Brad Seely a year ago, and he did not disappoint.
Costanzo, who is New Jersey through and through, showed up one day in early August to sign with the 49ers wearing a San Francisco Giants ballcap. From that point on, he was all-49ers.RELATED: Blake Costanzo headed to Bears
That's why it was surprising that general manager Trent Baalke decided against bringing him back. The 49ers want their special-teams players to be able to play defense, too, and the personnel department did not consider Costanzo as an option at inside linebacker, if he were needed behind Patrick Willis or NaVorro Bowman.Top backup Larry Grant is a restricted free agent, and he could leave if another team decides they want him to start. The 49ers re-signed Tavares Gooden to a one-year, minimum-level deal. Gooden started 12 games for Baltimore in 2009.RELATED: 49ers re-sign Gooden to one-year deal
And it wouldn't have taken a whole lot to retain Costanzo, either. He ended up agreeing to a two-year deal with the Chicago Bears worth a little under 2 million, including a 400,000 signing bonus, a league source said.
After signing cornerback Perrish Cox to a minimum-level deal early in the day and flirting extensively with free-agent cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Eric Wright, it appeared as if the 49ers had turned the page on Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers.RELATED: Cox promises 'from here on out, I'll show it'
But the attention the 49ers paid to others on the cornerback market ended up helping them get a four-year deal done with Rogers. The exact structure and terms are not known, but it was reported as being worth 29.3 million.The Dallas Cowboys are considered the prohibitive favorites to sign Carr, while Wright reached contract terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning. The 49ers begin Day 2 of free agency with an estimated 15 million in cap space -- taking a guess that Rogers' deal counts around 3 million in 2012.As CSNBayArea.com reported on Tuesday, receiver Randy Moss signed a one-year deal that counts only 1.75 million against this year's cap. He received no guaranteed money, and another 750,000 is tied to game-by-game roster bonuses. Moss will earn 46,875 for every regular-season game he suits up for the 49ers.In essence, the 49ers get Moss for a six-month tryout. If the 49ers decide at the end of training camp that he does not fit with the team, the 49ers can cut him and they would not have paid Moss a penny.The 49ers aren't done looking at wide receivers, either. After Joshua Morgan left to sign with the Washington Redskins, the 49ers on Tuesday brought in Chaz Schilens (Raiders) and Brandon Lloyd (St. Louis) for visits. The first day of free agency was a quiet one for 49ers notable free agents Alex Smith, Adam Snyder and Ted Ginn.And, now, on to Day 2.

Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

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Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

There is no shortage of blame to go around for the Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in Super Bowl 51.

The Falcons built a 28-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter and let it slip away, ultimately falling to the New England Patriots, 34-28, in overtime.

Matt Ryan voiced one previously undisclosed factor in the collapse this week in an interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, pointing the finger at the new coach of the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan has been the focus of a lot of the blame, but critique from the league MVP was a new one.

The Falcons quarterback faulted his former offensive coordinator for taking too much time to relay the play calls. Ryan said he did not have enough time to change any of the plays – presumably checking out of called pass plays to run the ball.

Here’s what Ryan told Prisco:

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in. As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

The 49ers can point to mismanagement of the clock for their own Super Bowl heartbreak. The 49ers’ offense had the perfect play call at the perfect time against the Baltimore Ravens late in Super Bowl XLVII.

But with the play clock striking :00, coach Jim Harbaugh was forced to call a timeout from the sideline. A split-second later, the ball was snapped and it appeared the quarterback run would have easily ended up with Colin Kaepernick in the end zone.

Much like after the 49ers’ loss, the Falcons left plenty of room for second-guessing.

Two of Shanahan’s plays calls, which directly led to the collapse, will forever be scrutinized.

The first came with 8:31 remaining in regulation and the Falcons holding a 28-12 lead. On third and 1 from the Atlanta 36, Shanahan did not remain conservative with an expected run play. He swung for the fence.

Receiver Aldrick Robinson, whom the 49ers added this offseason as a free-agent pickup, was breaking free past the Patriots secondary for what could have been a touchdown. But just as Ryan was unloading, New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower hit him and forced the fumble. Running back Devonta Freeman whiffed on blitz pickup, which would have provided Ryan with enough time to target Robinson deep.

Ryan’s explanation does not appear applicable on this play, though. In watching the replay, the Falcons broke the huddle with more than 25 seconds remaining on the play clock and the snap occurred with :15 to spare.

The other questionable sequence came after the Falcons – leading by eight points -- got to the New England 22-yard line with less than five minutes to play. The Falcons lost 1 yard on a run play on first down.

On second down, Ryan was sacked for a 12-yard loss. Before that play, the Falcons broke the huddle with :19 on the play clock. The snap occurred with :04 remaining. The game clock was running, so the Falcons had reason to attempt to burn as much clock as possible.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons never seemed rushed to get off a play. The closest they came to delay-of-game penalties were when they snapped the ball with :04 on the one play and :03 another time. The majority of their snaps occurred with :10 or more seconds to spare.

If the Falcons were guilty of anything when it came to the play clock, it was that the offense did not waste more time. After New England pulled to within 28-9 late in the third quarter, the Falcons ran only six offensive plays while the game clock was running.

On those six plays, the Falcons snapped the ball with :13, :09, :14, :20, :13 and :04 remaining on the play clock. If they’d snapped the ball with one second remaining each time, they could have shortened the game by 1 minute, 7 seconds. The Patriots scored the game-tying touchdown with :57 remaining in regulation.

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Until now, Kyle Shanahan’s hiring by the San Fracisco 49ers looked great because of his two-and-a-half predecessors – the last days of Jim Harbaugh, the misplaced concept of Jim Tomsula and the couldn’t-make-chicken-marsala-out-of-old-Kleenex problems surrounding Chip Kelly.

But now, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has told us all that Shanahan has a gift we in the Bay Area know all too well. Specifically, that Shanahan took too long to call plays to the Super Bowl the Falcons vomited up to the New England Patriots.

Now who does that remind you of, over and over again?

Yes, some things are evergreen, and too many options in this overly technological age seems to be one of them. Data in is helpful, but command going out is what bells the cow. Ryan said Shanahan was, well, almost Harbaugh-tastic in his timing.

“Kyle’s play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan told Bleacher Report. “As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, ‘There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.’ You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

“With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

And the reason this matters is because the Atlanta Shanahan had multiple good options on every play. In San Francsco, at least in the short term, he’ll be dealing with minimal options. That could speed up his choices, as in “What the hell, we don’t have Julio Jones.” But it could also mean more delays, as in, “Okay, him . . . no, maybe not . . . no, he just screwed up that play last series . . . oh, damn it, time out!”

In short, it’s growing pains season here, children. On the field, on the sidelines, and maybe even in Kyle Shanahan’s head.