Goodwin: plenty of room for offense to improve

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Goodwin: plenty of room for offense to improve

SANTA CLARA -- Center Jonathan Goodwin, the only starting player on the 49ers with a Super Bowl ring, had a high opinion of his future team while playing for the New Orleans Saints."Last year we played against them and I thought the defense was one of the most physical defenses I played against," Goodwin said. "This was the team I didn't want to play in the playoffs. I thought they had a lot of talent here."
The Saints, fresh off their Super Bowl title, met the 49ers in Week 2. Quarterback Alex Smith had one of his better games, marching the 49ers down the field for a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.But New Orleans closed the game with a 51-yard drive in the final 1:19 to win the game on a final-play field goal."I knew they had Frank (Gore) and Vernon (Davis)," Goodwin said. "And Alex led them right down the field to tie that game. My experience against the San Francisco 49ers was always good. They played us tough last year and could've easily won that game."The 49ers brought in Goodwin, an 10-year veteran, after David Baas signed with the New York Giants after the lockout ended. Goodwin signed a three-year, 10.9 million contract with the 49ers, and has quickly earned the respect of his teammates with his play and attention to detail.
"Once I got here and started practicing with the guys, I saw a lot of potential," Goodwin said. "Hopefully that potential can keep growing and we find a way to score even more points on offense."The 49ers (8-1) lead the NFC West by five games with seven weeks remaining. The 49ers rank seventh in the league in points scored while being tied for 25th in total yards.There is plenty of room for the 49ers' offense to get better, too. The team ranks 24th in red-zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on 43.8 percent of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line."There's a lot we can clean up," Goodwin said. "We got to find a way to get touchdowns instead of field goals in some of those situations. Who knows, maybe then the game's not as tight at the end."But as long as we get wins, that's all that matters. You don't need style points in the NFL. It's huge that we're finding a way of finding a way to win, even though we know we're capable of playing so much better on offense."

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.”