Gore no longer factor as pass catcher


Gore no longer factor as pass catcher

SANTA CLARA -- Since Frank Gore became the full-time starter in 2006, he has been widely regarded as one of the NFL's top all-around running backs.Gore is in the elite class because of the consistency he has shown with his ability to run, catch and block.He remains one of the top runners in the league. And his determination and skills in pass protection are considered so unique for a player who produces as many yards. In fact, his blocking skills are so valuable that this season he has not been asked to catch as many passes.Through 11 games, Gore has caught just 16 passes for 101 yards and no touchdowns. In his previous five seasons as the starter, Gore averaged 51 receptions for 430 yards.
When asked why Gore hasn't caught as many passes this season, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh answered, "There might be some reasons schematically that we're looking at in that area."Quarterback Alex Smith said the changes in the 49ers' offensive system have required that Gore take on more responsibility in pass protection."Scheme, obviously, is a little different," Smith said. "Protections are different. That all impacts it, especially a running back getting out into his check-downs. Frank is one of the best in the game, I think, in protecting and he takes a lot of pride in that and the way we use him in our protections."Sometimes he doesn't get out (into a pass route) all of the time. You play that game. Do you want the backs out right now? Or do you want them helping out in protection?"Gore said the 49ers have made the wideouts more a part of the offense, which has taken away opportunities for him to catch passes. And he is not complaining."Alex has done a great job of getting the ball down the field," Gore said. "I'm good with that. We have more success with Alex throwing the ball down the field than just looking at me and checking the ball down. It's more about the team than me and my stats."Here are Gore's receiving stats since entering the league in 2005 as Kevan Barlow's backup (in parenthesis games playedgames started):2011 (1110): 16 catches, 101 yards, 6.3 avg, 0 TDs
2010 (1111): 46 catches, 452 yards, 9.8 avg, 2 TDs
2009 (1414): 52 catches, 406 yards, 7.8 avg, 3 TDs
2008 (1414): 43 catches, 373 yards, 8.7 avg, 2 TDs
2007 (1515): 53 catches, 436 yards, 8.2 avg, 1 TD
2006 (1616): 61 catches, 485 yards, 8.0 avg, 1 TD
2005 (141): 15 catches, 131 yards, 8.7 avg, 0 TD
-Team lead

Reports: Former 49ers wide receiver to visit Bills


Reports: Former 49ers wide receiver to visit Bills

Aquan Boldin is looking for a new football home.

And the former 49ers wide receiver is visiting with the Bills on Monday, according to multiple reports.

Boldin started all 16 games with the Lions last season, recording 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns.

From 2013 to 2015 with the 49ers, he racked up 237 receptions, 3030 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.

The three-time Pro Bowler will turn 37 years old in October.

Boldin entered the NFL as the 54th overall pick in the 2003 draft.

Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan


Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

There is no shortage of blame to go around for the Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in Super Bowl 51.

The Falcons built a 28-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter and let it slip away, ultimately falling to the New England Patriots, 34-28, in overtime.

Matt Ryan voiced one previously undisclosed factor in the collapse this week in an interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, pointing the finger at the new coach of the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan has been the focus of a lot of the blame, but critique from the league MVP was a new one.

The Falcons quarterback faulted his former offensive coordinator for taking too much time to relay the play calls. Ryan said he did not have enough time to change any of the plays – presumably checking out of called pass plays to run the ball.

Here’s what Ryan told Prisco:

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in. As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

The 49ers can point to mismanagement of the clock for their own Super Bowl heartbreak. The 49ers’ offense had the perfect play call at the perfect time against the Baltimore Ravens late in Super Bowl XLVII.

But with the play clock striking :00, coach Jim Harbaugh was forced to call a timeout from the sideline. A split-second later, the ball was snapped and it appeared the quarterback run would have easily ended up with Colin Kaepernick in the end zone.

Much like after the 49ers’ loss, the Falcons left plenty of room for second-guessing.

Two of Shanahan’s plays calls, which directly led to the collapse, will forever be scrutinized.

The first came with 8:31 remaining in regulation and the Falcons holding a 28-12 lead. On third and 1 from the Atlanta 36, Shanahan did not remain conservative with an expected run play. He swung for the fence.

Receiver Aldrick Robinson, whom the 49ers added this offseason as a free-agent pickup, was breaking free past the Patriots secondary for what could have been a touchdown. But just as Ryan was unloading, New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower hit him and forced the fumble. Running back Devonta Freeman whiffed on blitz pickup, which would have provided Ryan with enough time to target Robinson deep.

Ryan’s explanation does not appear applicable on this play, though. In watching the replay, the Falcons broke the huddle with more than 25 seconds remaining on the play clock and the snap occurred with :15 to spare.

The other questionable sequence came after the Falcons – leading by eight points -- got to the New England 22-yard line with less than five minutes to play. The Falcons lost 1 yard on a run play on first down.

On second down, Ryan was sacked for a 12-yard loss. Before that play, the Falcons broke the huddle with :19 on the play clock. The snap occurred with :04 remaining. The game clock was running, so the Falcons had reason to attempt to burn as much clock as possible.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons never seemed rushed to get off a play. The closest they came to delay-of-game penalties were when they snapped the ball with :04 on the one play and :03 another time. The majority of their snaps occurred with :10 or more seconds to spare.

If the Falcons were guilty of anything when it came to the play clock, it was that the offense did not waste more time. After New England pulled to within 28-9 late in the third quarter, the Falcons ran only six offensive plays while the game clock was running.

On those six plays, the Falcons snapped the ball with :13, :09, :14, :20, :13 and :04 remaining on the play clock. If they’d snapped the ball with one second remaining each time, they could have shortened the game by 1 minute, 7 seconds. The Patriots scored the game-tying touchdown with :57 remaining in regulation.