Georgia Tech WR Hill provides peak performance


Georgia Tech WR Hill provides peak performance

INDIANAPOLIS -- Stephen Hill did not get a whole lot of opportunities to showcase his skills as a wide receiver in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense.But when he got his chances, Hill came through in a big way. He caught only 28 passes in 13 games last season but his average-per-catch was a whopping 29.3 yards. That's some serious production."It really wasn't as frustrating," Hill said. "Yes, you're a wide receiver and you want to get the ball. But any time you're helping out a team because I'm a winner and I like to win. Any time you want to help outa team that's a good thing.
"It helped me a lot for the coaches to see on film that I can block because they're looking for receivers that can block also."Hill stole the show Sunday morning at the NFL scouting combine with unofficial clockings of 4.30 and 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash. And that's coming from a player who measured 6-foot-4, 215 pounds.Hill said it was not a difficult decision to forego his final year of eligibility to turn pro after his junior season. Now, he's on to the NFL where his skills as a receiver will not be hidden."I felt like I have a great ability to play on this next level," Hill said. "No, I didn't have the stats like the other wide receivers did but my ability and my faith I know I can do well in the NFL."Hill is raw as a route-runner. He is trying to refine his skills through the help of former NFL receiver Terance Mathis, the offensive coordinator at Savannah State.When asked what part of his game needs the most improvement, Hill said, "Coming out of my routes better, curls and comebacks and things of that nature. I'm working on that with Terance Mathis and I hope to get better at that."

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.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”