Feuds for thought as 49ers, Lions set for rematch


Feuds for thought as 49ers, Lions set for rematch

SANTA CLARA -- After Jim Harbaugh's handshake and back slap, and Jim Schwartz fervid pursuit of the 49ers' coach into the tunnel at Ford Field, it took quite awhile for another heated situation to simmer down.Right tackle Anthony Davis, who found himself in the middle of the post-game skirmish, got into a dust-up of his own with Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril via Twitter.REWIND: Harbaugh angers Schwartz
To maintain a G-rated standard, we'll paraphrase what Davis wrote. Davis stated with colorful language that the Lions "talked" all week and the 49ers kicked the Lions aside -- and from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Lions were 5-0 entering the game.
Avril responded to Davis, "lol that's real professional homie Well meet again and see what's up"Then, Davis wrote, "I pancaked you on a passing playsooo uh just be quiet go home play with your kids and go to bed.."On Wednesday, Davis did not back down from his comments directed at Avril following the 49ers' 25-19 victory at Detroit."I was just saying what happened," Davis said. "That's it. I didn't make anything up. I didn't fabricate the story to make it more interesting. I just said what happened. Now we play again. "But it's more about our offense executing. The defense is doing what they have to do. It's a tackle and a D-end. Who really cares?"Davis played well against the Lions. He rode Avril out of the way to create a window through which quarterback Alex Smith hit Delanie Walker on the go-ahead six-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes. Avril was credited with two tackles and one quarterback hit."It's not a big feud," Davis said. "We get to play them again. It's great. It's exciting. I know he wants to play. I want to play. I'm excited. But I'm not more excited than any other game because it's our second game. "The more notable plot from a national perspective, of course, is Harbaugh vs. Schwartz. Davis was right there in the middle of the action as the teams were departing the field. He said he objects to the notion that the two coaches "got into it.""The coaches didn't into it," Davis said, "Schwartz got into it. He bumped coach. Everybody was just excited. We just have to control it. I didn't didn't want him to knock coach over. We need our coach."REWIND: Schwartz's challenge to Harbaugh
Both coaches have been asked this about what happened a year ago, and both decided to side-step the subject. The NFL decided not to fine either coach for their involvement in the near-melee, which according to multiple sources, continued into the tunnel with Schwartz yelling at Harbaugh.Harbaugh addressed the topic on Monday."Our approach with the mini-controversies are really to give them the attention that they deserve, which isnt much," Harbaugh said. "Now, people that will use that to promote this game or any other game I think are really missing the point. The game is just so much bigger. As a rule of thumb, I have too much respect for the men who play this game, on both sides. And too much respect for the game to give it anything less than what it deserves."On a conference call Wednesday with the Bay Area media, Schwartz said last year's game will have no impact on what happens Sunday when the teams meet at Candlestick Park in a nationally televised rematch."We've all moved on from that," Schwartz said. "We've addressed that enough, and the focus is on the 49ers. Anything that happened in the game last year or anything else does not have any bearing on this game."The 49ers dropped the Lions from the ranks of the unbeaten last season. Both made it to the playoffs. Both began this season with victories in Week 1. And, then, there's the history of last year's heated game to take into account."I think all games in the NFL are intense," Schwartz said. "You're talking about two teams that come to play every week. And that's the personality of both of those teams. . . You expect both teams to be up and fighting and scratching, clawing. I think every game in the NFL is that way. I think that's the way both of these play. It means a lot to both of these teams."

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.


49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”