Ginn wants to be more than a return specialist

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Ginn wants to be more than a return specialist

Ted Ginn's absence with a knee injury in the NFC championship game proved to be a fatal blow to the 49ers' season.Without the team's reliable return man, the 49ers turned to inexperienced Kyle Williams, whose two turnovers were critical mistakes in a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants.At the conclusion of a free-agent visit to meet with Detroit Lions coaches and officials, Ginn was asked if the 49ers would be celebrating a Super Bowl title if Ginn had been able to play.
"We'd have been in the Super Bowl," Ginn told the Detroit Free Press. "I don't know if we'd have won, but we would have fought to win."Ginn accepted a 1.2 million pay cut at the beginning of last season to remain on the team. As a condition of the pay reduction, the 49ers ripped up the final year of his contract, making Ginn an unrestricted free agent.
Ginn returned kickoff and punt for touchdowns in the closing minutes of Week 1 to seal a victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He finished the season as one of the top return men in the league, averaging 27.6 yards on kickoffs and 12.3 yards on punt returns. He did not commit a turnover.
But Ginn caught just 19 passes for 220 yards, and the 49ers are intent on upgrading the depth at wide receiver this offseason.RELATED: Ted Ginn 2011 game logs News Splits
"I want to be known as a receiver, not a specialist guy, not a punt returner, kickoff returner," Ginn said. "I want to be known as an actual receiver, and that was some of the things that they expressed in here (with the Lions) for me today that I enjoyed."I'm six years in now. I just want to be able to just be a receiver, and special teams is given."Ginn left his visit to the Detroit area without a contract, but he said he was impressed with the Lions organization."I enjoyed myself here today," Ginn said. "A great group of coaches all the way around. As far as a commitment, it's just a little early right now. I'm going to see my options, but I like the Lions."The 49ers on Thursday agreed to a one-year contract with Raiders special-teamer Rock Cartwright, who told CSN's Paul Gutierrez the deal was pending a physical. The addition of Cartwright has no impact on Ginn's possible return to the 49ers.

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.”