Harbaugh breathes life into Tebow talk


Harbaugh breathes life into Tebow talk

Programming note: Watch 49ers Press Conference Live -- Monday at 12 p.m. on CSN Bay Area and CSNBayArea.com.

With the gentle and melodic warble of Release The Kraken, Jim Harbaugh has inflicted a new level of torture upon us all.Yes, the Return Of Tebow.But not Tim Tebow per se, but the endless, tortuous yowling about Tebow, both for and against. The entire magnetic field of sports talk is about to be distorted again, only worse than ever because it emanates like gamma ray bursts from the blowhard capital of the universe, New York City.We are so very doomed.And yes, it is Jim Harbaughs fault. Absolutely its his fault, and he must pay the ultimate crime. Whatever that is.I mean, we get why he needed the 49ers to put up a strong performance against the New York Jets on Sunday. The boys had coughed up a hairball in Minneapolis, they were starting to buy what the outside world was selling, and they might have been losing a bit of their edge.But 34-0 isnt the excess we complain about here. Its the way the 49er defense squeezed New York quarterback Mark Sanchez head, and the result of that compression.Tebow.But not so much Tebow himself, but his hideous hellbat army of shrieking acolytes the Big Bang Theory of gasbaggery.And Harbaugh, knowing what the world has already endured by the neutron star of TebowTalk, could have called off a dog or two for the good of the culture. He could have ordered Vic Fangio to allow Sanchez a touchdown, or even two, for the game was done and over fairly early:Yeah, Vic, I know its a bad message to send, but something you have to do something for the greater good of the society. At least thats what Jed just told me. Me, I could give a damn about society, and Id be good with you pulling his sternum out of his chest, metaphorically speaking, but Jed is pretty spooked about the damage to our culture, or some such crap.Instead, the 49ers went pedal to metal, they disenfranchised Sanchez from his future, and left us all with . . . well, you know.TebowTalk.Now you can justify and rationalize all you want about how TebowTalk cant be Harbaughs problem, but it is everyones problem. Its why we recycle, its why we fight bullying, its why we march for justice and equality. Its why we try to do good and fight evil.Put another way, the 49ers could have won the game and covered the spread by winning, 4-0. The extra 30 points, the four turnovers, the 145 yards of total offense for the Jets that was just excess.The collateral damage of that excess has already begun. TebowTalk 6060247 the hell of an argument weve already had 1,200 times with neither resolution nor new information. Yelling for the sake of screaming, caterwauling to just to make the other guy beg for the sweet release of temporary deafness.And yes, it was preventable. Not by Sanchez or even Rex Ryan, who are merely players in an insane tableau foisted upon them by Jets owner Woody Johnson, but by the catalyst who made this all inevitable. Jimmy Joe Harbaugh, the man who could have spared us all but chose not to.Thats quite a legacy to explain to the grandkids Yeah, Little Tad and Kimberly, I unleashed Tebow. I didnt want to at first, but then I just said, Oh, the hell with it, I live across the country. Itll never hit my loved ones.But of course hes wrong, because TebowTalk is the unchallenged zenith of pigheaded squawling on both sides. You have to be careful around such forces, but Harbaugh needed his boys to get their mad back more than he cared about the rest of us. We will never forget, and we will not easily forgive.Well, you may forgive him because you think of him the way Tebows people think of him. But you can never say you werent warned about the result of such recklessness.And when that vein behind your left eye starts to throb uncontrollably because you cant escape TebowTalk, you will remember this day. And you will weep.

McDonald toasts Shanahan for communication of trade talks

McDonald toasts Shanahan for communication of trade talks

SANTA CLARA -- Tight end Vance McDonald became aware of a report the 49ers had engaged in trade talks involving him at his brother’s wedding in Austin, Texas.

But McDonald said he did not give it much thought because he had another immediate priority.

“I still had my best man’s speech to do,” McDonald said.

Later that evening during last month's draft, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan called McDonald to keep him in the loop. There was no trade, and McDonald returned to Santa Clara on Monday to continue participation in the 49ers’ offseason program.

“The first thing I told him was, ‘Man, there aren’t a lot of coaches that would do this,’” McDonald said of his talk with Shanahan. “He just wanted to fill me in.”

Nearly four weeks later, it is as if nothing ever happened.

“The only trade discussions we had was when another team asked us about Vance on draft day,” Shanahan said this week. “And after a team asked us about Vance then we asked other teams if they’d be interested in that same thing.”

McDonald said he completely understood why the 49ers would check with other teams around the league to see what they could acquire in a trade.

“Basically, it’s just like any other team in the NFL would do,” McDonald said. “If you’re a 2-14 team, obviously, there are a lot of things you can improve on, a lot of spots that need to be filled. There are a lot of things you need to improve upon in the offseason. So if teams are going to call and inquire about you, then obviously the next step is to … call around to every other team.

“So that’s exactly what happened to me. It isn’t like they don’t want me here. There was never a lack of communication on any level.”

Even before he knew his immediate future with the 49ers, McDonald said he tried to maintain the proper state of mind.

“I had the mindset this isn’t going to change anything,” McDonald said. “I’m going to end up where I end up and I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing, which is do everything to be a better football player.”

McDonald enters the fifth year of his NFL career after signing a new deal in December that amounts to a three-year, $19.7 million extension. Three days later, the 49ers placed McDonald on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

McDonald was on pace for his best season as a pass-catcher. In 11 games, he had 24 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns.

Now, he is competition for a spot in the 49ers’ offense, along with fifth-round draft pick George Kittle, undrafted rookie Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

McDonald said he likes what Shanahan has brought to the 49ers, including added responsibilities of the tight end position.

“Last year, all we talked about was how fast our pace was,” McDonald said. “With Kyle, it’s insanely quick. He’s a very detailed guy. It’s interesting to hear him present information. You try to apply it and play with the same mindset that he has. It’s a task that we all enjoy doing.

“We (tight ends) are the end of the line. There’s communication with us and the wide receivers and running backs. We’re also in command with receiving corps. There are a lot of things on our plate. Hopefully, this doesn’t get back to the wide receivers, but we’re supposed to be smarter than them. It’s a fun job to have. We don’t try to rub it in too much.”

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly is back in college football.

The former Oregon coach, who served as 49ers head coach last season, signed a multiyear deal as an ESPN analyst, the network announced Friday morning. He will work predominantly on pre-games, halftimes and in studio wraps each Saturday on ESPN2.

“Over the last 30 years, I have experienced football from one perspective – as a coach,” Kelly said in a statement. “Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously, I‘ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.

“Once I decided to make the move to TV, my familiarity with ESPN, combined with their high-quality production and vital role in college football, it was easily the best network suited for me.”

Kelly, 53, was fired on the evening of the 49ers’ season finale. The 49ers went 2-14 under Kelly and set the franchise record with 13 consecutive losses. Their only victories came against the Los Angeles Rams. Kelly also auditioned with FOX for the analyst job vacated when John Lynch became 49ers general manager, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Kelly served as Oregon’s head coach from 2009 to ’12. His teams compiled a record of 46-7. Under Kelly, the Ducks advanced to the 2011 national championship game, losing to Auburn 22-19.

Kelly won the AP College Football Coach of the Year. He twice won the Pac-10 coach of the year. He left Oregon to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. After his first two NFL teams went 10-6, Kelly was fired in 2015 with one game remaining in the season. The Eagles were 6-9 at the time of Kelly's firing.

“Chip is one of the most innovative football minds of our generation,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting said. “As a coach, he saw the game from a unique perspective, never afraid to take an unconventional approach. We want him to bring that mentality to our college football coverage each week, offering fans a varying viewpoint outside of the conventional thought process.”