Jacobs just 'not good enough' ... right now

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Jacobs just 'not good enough' ... right now

Running back Brandon Jacobs responded on Twitter to a question posed to him, LaMichael James and A.J. Jenkins.Why aren't y'all suiting up?Jacobs, who later deleted his answer, replied on behalf of himself and James, "Because we are not good enough."It's highly doubtful either Jacobs or James believes he is not good enough to be playing for the 49ers right now. On Twitter, it's impossible to identify the tone in which an answer is delivered.But the fact is, that's how the 49ers' coaching staff feels ... right now.
The 49ers can suit up only 46 players for games. And neither Jacobs nor James has gotten on the field for one snap in the first eight games of the season. Jacobs has been healthy enough to play for the past five games.Clearly, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter have established themselves as the 49ers' Nos. 1 and 2 running backs. The third running back typically is a player who must also be a core special-teams players. The third running back is Anthony Dixon, and he fills that role.So based on the actions of the 49ers' coaching staff, Jacobs and James are not good enough to have roles on game days.An oft-asked question is, "Why did the 49ers sign Jacobs and draft James if that's the case?"When the 49ers signed veterans Jacobs and Randy Moss, there were no guarantees either would make the team's 53-man roster. Those spots had to be won. There was never a doubt with Moss. He established himself during the offseason program as one of the team's better wide receivers, as well as a valuable ingredient to the team's chemistry off the field.Jacobs earned his spot as one of the 53 best players, too. After he sustained a knee injury in the second exhibition game, coach Jim Harbaugh said he had seen enough to know what Jacobs can offer the team.The 49ers' new-look roster was filled during the offseason, but Mario Manningham is the only acquisition to earn a starting job. Therefore, everybody else the team added was brought in for depth.Such players as quarterback Josh Johnson and running backspecial-teamer Rock Cartwright could not even make the squad.Jacobs has been told that there will be a time when he's an important part of the team. But, more than likely, that moment will only occur if there's an injury that forces him into the lineup.And that's why the 49ers have not considered parting ways with Jacobs. As a vested veteran, he will receive his 1.575 million salary from the 49ers regardless. Presumably, Jacobs could step into the lineup as the No. 2 back, and the 49ers' offense could just keep on moving.James is depth. Jenkins is depth. The 49ers' top two draft picks are not even suiting up for games. Maybe those players will never be contributors. Or maybe they'll end up being good players by the time their initial four-year contracts expire.All that means right now is that the 49ers believe they have better players ahead of them on the roster.
It's a good thing for the 49ers that there are a higher quality of players who have not earned the right to suit up. That's what depth is all about.

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.”