Garrett Celek gains confidence with each snap


Garrett Celek gains confidence with each snap

It was a simple catch. A shot gun formation. A toss short right. A four yard gain on a first and ten. The twelfth play in a 14 play touchdown drive. A mere .0064 of a record setting 621 total yards of offense. There was nothing extraordinary about this catch. But its a memorable one for Garrett Celek. It was the first reception of his NFL career.It was definitely exciting. They actually put the play in right before the game, the day before. When they called it, I was really excited. I didnt know if I was going to get the ball or not and when I did, it just felt really good, the 65 rookie explained. I only got four yards out of it, but it felt good to get it out of the way because I had some nerves about it.The catch came on the last play of the third quarter in the 49ers' blow out win over the Bills. It was lost amid the big double digit receptions and scores by the bigger names among the 49ers receiving corp. What stands out is how Celek was even in position to make the catch in the first place.

Celek came to the 49ers as an undrafted free agent rookie out of Michigan State. Five teams had asked the younger brother of Eagles tight end Brent Celek to join their training camps. Garrett felt San Francisco would give him the best opportunity to make a team. The team did not retain veteran tight end Justin Peelle after the 2011 season and an opening, though slight, was there. He chose wisely.Not only did Celek do enough to earn a spot on the regular season roster, he has worked himself onto the field more than any of the other four rookies available for game days. First round draft pick, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, has been active for only one game, the season opener against Green Bay. He didnt play. Second and fourth round picks, running back LaMichael James and offensive lineman Joe Looney, have yet to be active. Sixth round draft pick Trenton Robinson had 11 special team snaps combined in the second and third games of the season. He has been inactive the last two. Celek has 28 offensive snaps over the last three games hes been active. His self analysis is he came in a better blocker than receiver and employs a whatever-it-takes attitude to get better at both. Though catching a ball on Sunday has been foremost on his mind.

Ive been thinking about it for the past few weeks, but once I got it, everything just felt smooth, Celek said. All my nerves went away. I felt more confident in my stuffso it was good.That confidence also comes from feeling more settled and gaining veteran advice from fellow tight ends Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. And now Celek is turning his attitude toward gaining versatility, too. Im definitely trying to learn all positions, full back, receiving everything. I want to be as effective as possible If someone were to go down at any point at time, I want the coaches to be able to look at me and go, OK, we can trust him to go in and get the job done. Thats the kind of guy I want to be.

Paraag Marathe: I understand if 49ers fans say, 'How come he's been there?'


Paraag Marathe: I understand if 49ers fans say, 'How come he's been there?'

Paraag Marathe is entering his 17th year with the 49ers.

Back in mid-January, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote the following:

The impediment to attracting their preferred candidates isn’t owner Jed York; apparently, it’s Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations Paraag Marathe.

On Tuesday morning, Marathe joined The Murph & Mac Show on KNBR 680 and was asked about combating those kinds of claims.

"I've got a lot of great relationships in this league and a lot of great friends in this league ... all I can do is do the best job that I can and focus on what I think is right," Marathe said. "And know that the sun rises and the sun sets and just focus on that."

Has Marathe had to train himself to develop thick skin?

[REWIND: Marathe: My job is to stay in my lane, help the coach and GM]

"Sure it's frustrating, right? But at the same time, I gotta say I get it, too," he answered. "We've had a lot of turnover, we haven't had winning seasons recently and I'm one of the one constants. I've been here.

"I'm not just an employee here. I'm also a fan of the team. I have been my whole life. So I get it. I understand fans' frustrations. If I was a fan and I didn't know, I would also say, 'Hey, well Paraag's been here the whole time. How come he's been there? What's he have to do with it?'

"I get that, too. Ultimately, we're judged on wins and losses and I'm a part of that. And hopefully I'm a part of the solution of getting this thing turned around."

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote back in February:

A year ago, Marathe officially was replaced as team president and became the 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations. His duties with the football team have not changed.

In fact, York and Marathe roles with the organization took on a much-greater significance after the decision was made to fire coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke.

49ers WR Goodwin accepts one-year track suspension, issues statement


49ers WR Goodwin accepts one-year track suspension, issues statement

SANTA CLARA – The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Tuesday 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, a member of the 2012 Olympic Track and Field team, has accepted a one-year suspension for failing to properly file and maintain his whereabouts information.

The 49ers announced Goodwin will not be subject to discipline under the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“Marquise informed our organization quite some time ago that he has no intentions of competing in track and field and has been entirely focused on his football career for more than a year,” 49ers announced in a statement. “We have been in touch with the League office regarding this matter, and understand that Marquise will not be subject to discipline under the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances as a result of USADA's decision.”

Goodwin, 26, is a member of the USADA Registered Testing Pool, which consists of athletes subject to certain “whereabouts” requirements in order to be located for out-of-competition testing, according to the USADA. During a span of 12 months, Goodwin had three “whereabouts” failures.

Goodwin’s one-year period of ineligibility began on April 1, 2017, the date of his third failure in a 12-month period.

In 2012, Goodwin won the long jump competition the NCAA championships and at the U.S. Olympic Trials, becoming the first collegian since 1960 to accomplish that feat. He finished 10th at the London Olympics.

He returned to the sport last year to attempt to qualify for the Olympics for a second time. After posting world-best jumps after the football season, his Olympic quest ended at the U.S. Trials with a seventh-place finish while battling a sore hamstring.

In a May interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Goodwin was noncommittal about whether he will try to return to the Olympics in 2020, when he would be 30 years old.

Goodwin released a statement through the 49ers:

“Never in my life have I failed a test. I have never been opposed to testing and, in fact, have always been compliant with each and every protocol and policy associated with my competitive career in track and field.

More than a year ago, I decided to cease competing in the sport in order to concentrate 100 percent on my NFL career. Therefore, I discontinued all practices associated with competing in track and field, including submitting my ‘Whereabouts’ information.

It appears that because I did not inform USADA of my plans, my name was inadvertently included in their 2017 testing pool.

I greatly appreciate the support of the San Francisco 49ers and the National Football League as I work to clarify this matter.”