Fangio: Great learning experience for 49ers' defense


Fangio: Great learning experience for 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA -- A year ago, quarterback Matt Schaub diced up the 49ers for 180 yards in the first half as the Houston Texans scored 24 points on the 49ers' first-team defense in the third exhibition game.
On Sunday, the first-team defense did not offer much resistance to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.Playing without key defenders Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Chris Culliver, the 49ers had few answers for Manning, who threw for 122 yards. The Broncos scored 17 points on their three possessions against the 49ers.REWIND: 'Scary start' for 49ers defense against Broncos
"We just didn't play well enough on certain plays," 49ers defensive coordinator Fangio said. "I think it was a great learning experience for us. Some of the plays we broke down, we definitely could've played better. And in some instances, they just beat us one-on-one. We weren't able to win the one-on-one battles."This is still a great time to learn, perfect your craft (and) excel on your technique. We have to be able to do that. We weren't perfect on that the other night, by any means."With Culliver out, the 49ers turned to Tramaine Brock as the team's No. 3 cornerback. Brock sustained a broken finger a couple weeks ago, but it's nothing that is impacting his play, Fangio said.When asked for his evaluation of Brock's play, Fangio answered, "He's played better."Perrish Cox has seemingly surpassed Brock on the depth chart, and figures to find a role once the regular season begins. Cox is currently the No. 2 nickel back behind Carlos Rogers and a spare corner."The more three- and four-wide receiver teams that we see, the more he'll get to play," Fangio said. "If he keeps playing the way he's playing and becomes an expert at his craft, we'll find a way to get him in there."The 49ers might use a fourth cornerback in packages against teams that put four receivers on the field. Fangio said a third safety has yet to step up behind starters Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, but he noted Trenton Robinson, Darcel McBath and C.J. Spillman are showing improvement. The 49ers' No. 1 defense has forced a punt on just one of their seven series in the exhibition season. The opposition has scored 26 points with four field goals and two touchdowns.Drives vs. 49ers first-team defense
6 plays, 59 yards, field goal
13 plays, 63 yards, field goalHouston
7 plays, 37 yards, field goal
3 plays, 9 yards, puntDenver
8 plays, 45 yards, field goal
9 plays, 83 yards, touchdown
4 plays, 24 yards, touchdown Tight enddefensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs was seen walking through the locker room Monday on crutches with his lower left leg wrapped. He declined comment.Receiver Ted Ginn, who left Sunday's game with a right ankle sprain, wore an orthopedic boot on his foot. He was not using crutches. His status for the season opener, Sept. 9 at Green Bay, remains in question.Also, running back Brandon Jacobs is showing improvement after sustaining a left knee sprain Aug. 18 at Houston. He is no longer on crutches, but he was seen walking with a limp. The 49ers are hopeful Jacobs will be available for the season opener.

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

PHOENIX – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday he does not believe quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being “blackballed” in his attempt to continue his career.

“I haven’t heard that from our clubs in any way that that’s an issue,” Goodell said during his press conference to conclude the NFL owners meetings.

“My experience in 35 years is that our clubs make independent evaluations of players. They work hard to try to improve their teams. But if they think a player can help improve their team, they’re going to do that.”

Kaepernick remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent after opting out of his 49ers contract earlier this month. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman this week was asked on ESPN’s "First Take" whether he felt Kaepernick was being blackballed.

"I'm sure he is," Sherman answered. "It's difficult to see because he's played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it's difficult to understand."

General manager John Lynch on Tuesday said the 49ers have not had any contact with Kaepernick since he and coach Kyle Shanahan met with Kaepernick on Feb. 22 in Santa Clara. The 49ers signed free-agent quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, 29, created a controversy last season when he opted to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick has decided to stand for the national anthem this season.

Earlier in the day, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was “stupid” and “intellectually lazy” to think teams have colluded to keep Kaepernick out of the league. Last week, former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother, said Kaepernick is still an outstanding player and can win championships.

“I absolutely think he’s going to get signed,” John Harbaugh said. “I agree with Jim. He can win games for people.”


49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said he does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.