Eight 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team

587672.jpg

Eight 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team

The NFC West-champion 49ers had eight players named to the initial NFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.The 49ers who were honored are:PRO BOWL-BOUND
Defensive end Justin Smith
An 11-year NFL veteran, Smith has now been selected for the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons after not being chosen in his first eight. Smith is in his fourth season with the 49ers after seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals. Coach Jim Harbaugh has touted Smith for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He has been exceptional play in the run game and has shown a willingness to give himself up to enable teammates to get to the quarterback. Smith has 6.5 sacks this season. He was named a starter.
Inside linebacker Patrick Willis
It's five trips to the Pro Bowl in his first five NFL seasons for Willis, who was having another outstanding season before sustaining a hamstring strain on Dec. 4. He was named a starter.
Tackle Joe Staley
The fifth-year pro has regularly graded out as the 49ers' top offensive lineman. He has not previously been selected to play in a Pro Bowl. He was named a starter.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers
After Rogers spent his first six seasons with the Washington Redskins, he signed a one-year contract with the 49ers and has turned in his best season. Rogers has six interceptions on the season, topping his previous best of two interceptions. He has not previously been named to any Pro Bowls. He was named a starter.
Free safety Dashon Goldson
He entered the season with five career interceptions in his first four seasons. Goldson has six interceptions this season. Goldson had not previously been named to any Pro Bowls.
Running back Frank Gore
Previously named to the NFC Pro Bowl team in 2006 and 2009, Gore became recognized as the 49ers' all-time rushing leader this season. With 1,202 rushing yards, Gore has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career. It's the second-highest total of his seven-year career, and he ranks behind only LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia) in NFC rushing.Kicker David Akers
A Pro Bowl selection on five previous occasions, Akers has already set the NFL record with 42 field goals on the season. Akers has made 7 of 9 kicks from 50-plus yards. With 156 points, Akers has already broken the 49ers franchise record, previously held by Jerry Rice.Punter Andy Lee
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Lee is having his best NFL season with a 50.5 average and a league-best 43.5 net average. An eight-year pro, Lee previously made the Pro Bowl after the 2007 and 2009 seasons. Votes from fans, players and coaches each count one-third toward the selection of the Pro Bowl teams.The annual NFL all-star game will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Players from teams that advance to the Super Bowl will be replaced on the roster.The coaching staffs will be from the NFC and AFC teams with the best records that were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs. The following players were named as alternates and might end up going to the Pro Bowl as fill-ins for players named on the initial list:PRO BOWL ALTERNATES
Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman
Bowman has been outstanding in his first season as the starter. He leads the 49ers in tackles. He was ahead even before Patrick Willis was injured. And his 133 tackles are the third-best in the NFC behind inside linebacker London Fletcher (Washington) and outside linebacker Chad Greenway (Minnesota). He has three fumble recoveries this season, tooOutside linebacker Ahmad Brooks
Brooks has started every game at outside linebacker and has recorded six sacks.Special teams Blake Costanzo
The free-agent pickup signed with the 49ers to join special-teams coordinator Brad Seely, for whom he played while with the Cleveland Browns. Costanzo, a fifth-year pro, has not previously played in a Pro Bowl.Tight end Vernon Davis
The sixth-year veteran was named to the 2009 Pro Bowl team when he posted career-best numbers with 78 receptions for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns. This season, Davis ranks seventh among NFC tight ends with 59 catches for 674 yards and six TDs.Return specialist Ted Ginn
He has not been named to the Pro Bowl in any of his previous four seasons. Ginn started the season in extraordinary fashion with a kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns in the final minutes to beat the Seattle Seahawks. He ranks fourth in the NFL in kickoff and punt returns: 27.6 average on kickoff returns, and 12.3 on punt returns.Center Jonathan Goodwin
The 10th year pro has made a solid contribution in his first season with the 49ers. He previously made the Pro Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009.Guard Mike Iupati
Selected with the 17th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Iupati has been a powerful force in the run game since his arrival on the scene. He is a big reason the 49ers rank seventh in the league in rushing.Fullback Bruce Miller
The rookie from Central Florida finished second in the fan voting. Early in the season he took over as the starter when veteran Moran Norris sustained an injury. Miller remained as the starter after Norris got healthy. Miller has made a quick transition to fullback from defensive end in college.Defensive end Ray McDonald
The 49ers signed McDonald to a five-year, 20 million contract at the start of free agency, and he has played nearly every snap of defense this season. He's been stout against the run and has added a career-best 5.5 sacks.Strong safety Donte Whitner
Whitner was named as an alternate in his first season with the 49ers after signing a three-year contract with the 49ers. Whitner played his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Whitner has three fumble recoveries.
Here are some of the 49ers' other players who were not named to the Pro Bowl team or as alternates:PRO BOWL SNUBS?
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith
The No. 7 overall pick in the draft leads all rookies with 14 sacks, which ranks fifth among all players in the NFL. Smith has already set the 49ers' franchise record for sacks from a rookie, and he's closing in on the NFL record of 14.5 set by Jevon Kearse (Tennessee) in 1999.Quarterback Alex Smith
Coach Jim Harbaugh went on a Pro Bowl campaign for Smith, who ranks seventh in the NFC with a 90.1 passer rating. Smith has done a remarkable job of taking care of the football with just five interceptions and two lost fumbles. But Smith ranks 16th in the NFC with an average of 195.4 yards passing per game.

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.