Division title significant achievement for 49ers

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Division title significant achievement for 49ers

SANTA CLARA -- The first year quarterback Alex Smith came to the 49ers, a banner hung on a wall outside the locker room."Win the West!"That was 2005. The 49ers, just two seasons removed from an NFC West title, were coming off a 2-14 season.Now, the point has finally arrived. With Smith still at quarterback, the 49ers can wrap up the division title with a victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Candlestick Park.

"For anyone who's only been here, obviously, this is new territory for us," Smith said. "It's something we've talked about every year and to all of a sudden have it in our hands and a chance to clinch, it's great."Shortly after he was hired as 49ers coach, Mike Nolan had the banner displayed. It had helmets of the three other teams in the NFC West with a red "X" through each of them. But Nolan was not around to see the goal reached. Nolan was fired after recording an 18-37 record in 3 12 seasons. Fifteen players, including 11 current starters, remain from that era.
Nolan is currently the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator. The Dolphins declined to make him available for an interview."Organizationally, our policy is that assistant coaches (including our coordinators) only discuss our own players, and not players on other teams around the league," a Dolphins spokesman said.Mike Singletary followed Nolan as coach, and compiled an 18-22 record in 2 12 seasons. Thirteen players, including five starters, remain from the time Singletary was coach. Singletary, currently special assistant to the head coachlinebackers with the Minnesota Vikings, declined an interview request."Coach Singletary said he is happy for the 49ers organization but at this time he politely declines the request," said a Vikings spokesman.Jim Harbaugh, in his first season, has been able to take the 49ers where Nolan and Singletary could not. The 49ers (9-2) will clinch the NFC West with a victory or tie over the Rams. The 49ers can still wrap up the division title with a loss, as long as Seattle and Arizona both lose or tie."It's something we've mentioned this week, about the importance of this game," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "But it's another game for us to go out and get better. It's a big game because it's an opportunity for us to do something we haven't done in a long time."Said Smith, "This is what you work so hard for. We put ourselves in a good situation and now we need to go out on Sunday and finish it."

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.