James preparing for active role in 49ers offense

james_lamichael_49ers.jpg

James preparing for active role in 49ers offense

Rookie running back LaMichael James has yet to be active for a game. But both his head coach and general manager intimated he may work his way onto the playing field before the 49ers' regular season is over.

At his Monday press conference, Jim Harbaugh was asked if there’s a game day role for James working with quarterback Colin Kaepernick on read-option plays.

“Yeah, there’s a possibility of that,” Harbaugh said.

It wasn’t part of the plan against the Rams, Harbaugh added. “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be, going forward,” he said.

A few hours after Harbaugh spoke, general manager Trent Baalke gave another plug for James during his weekly radio segment on 95.7, The Game.

"I'd say, it's safe to say that LaMichael is going to start getting his opportunities,” Baalke said. “And (I'm) confident that he'll make the most of them when given the opportunity."

James does not prefer to talk about his playing status. But the Texas native remained polite as a group of reporters asked him about just that Tuesday in front of his locker. Following is what he said during the two-and-a-half minute interview:

Question: What have you been told by coaches, what are the expectations, about when you might play?

LaMichael James: Actually, I have none. I really don’t discuss when I’m going to play. I try to sit back and be a team player go out and practice hard each and every day and continue to get better.

Question: Do you feel like you’re game ready?

LJ: Yeah, I feel like I can go out there and help the team. I prepare for it each and every week, and hopefully I can provide a spark.

Question: You’ve done scout team, kick off and punt returns before in practice. What have you mainly been doing in practice the last two weeks?

LJ: I pretty much do everything. I play a lot of different positions on the scout team. I’m at receiver. I’m at running back. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m always going to do. I feel like I’m athletic enough to do pretty much anything, so that’s where I’ve been at.

Question: How often were you asked to pass protect at Oregon?

LJ: I was not pass protecting that much. The first time I really just did a lot is when I got here?

Question: How difficult has that process been to learn?

LJ: It wasn’t that bad. You have to go out there and have to [use] effort, put your head in there and see what you can do. It’s not that hard. But obviously I’m outmanned because I’m not 230 pounds. But I feel like I can get the job done if I’m scrappy enough.

Question: When you are watching the games from the sidelines, what are you looking for?

LJ: I just try to look at the holes. I see a lot what Frank [Gore] does and try to imitate him in practice. Obviously, he’s been successful. Just try to read a lot better.  Obviously, I was coming from the spread and not the ‘I’ formation so a lot of things are different so I’m just trying to learn on the go.

Question: Most of the questions you get are “when are you going to play”? Has it gotten old or frustrating in any way?

LJ: Yeah, it has. It’s really frustrating too. I really don’t have time to be answering those questions or hearing about that any more. Obviously I’m here for a reason. I can play. I always feel like that. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m young, I’m still learning. Whatever it takes, wherever it takes me that’s what I’m going to do to get on the field.

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly, who was fired hours after the club’s 2-14 season, is reportedly interviewing Monday to become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.

Kelly is interviewing with Jaguars new head coach Doug Marrone, reports radio station 1010 XL in Jacksonville.

Kelly told CSNBayArea.com recently he would take his time to determine his next career move. Kelly interviewed for the Jaguars’ head-coaching job, ESPN reported over the weekend.

“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said two days after his firing. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

The 49ers fired Kelly with three years, $18 million remaining in his contract. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles after leaving his successful program with the Oregon Ducks after the 2012 season.

Pats OC McDaniels 'impressed' by York, Marathe

Pats OC McDaniels 'impressed' by York, Marathe

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels announced Monday morning he has pulled his name from consideration for the 49ers’ head-coaching job.

McDaniels interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe on Saturday, Jan. 7, while the Patriots were on the bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. McDaniels indicated he also met with Brian Hampton, the 49ers’ director of football administration and analytics.

"I was really impressed with Jed York and Paraag and Brian, and people that came for the 49ers organization,” McDaniels said in a conference call with reporters who cover the Patriots.

“They did a great job with their presentation,” McDaniels added. “Again, (I’m) humbled to be included in that process. At this time, it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England, and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

McDaniels said his main focus would be on helping prepare the Patriots to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.

McDaniels, 40, was viewed as one of the hot head-coaching candidates, along with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, this offseasons. He has served the past five seasons as New England’s offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick.

Shanahan becomes the leading candidate for the 49ers’ job. The 49ers interviewed Seattle offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable on Sunday. Shanahan and Cable are the only known remaining candidates for the job to replace Chip Kelly, who was hired after a 2-14 season.

McDaniels became Denver’s head coach in 2009. He was fired after 12 games in 2010 after his teams compiled an 11-17 record. He returned to the Patriots in 2012 and has served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Bill Belichick’s staff.

McDaniels, who also interviewed with the 49ers last year, also had interviews on Jan. 7 with Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. Jacksonville hired Doug Marrone, while the Rams hired Sean McVay.

“I've always said how grateful I am for this opportunity to work here for Mr. Kraft his family and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff and have the privilege to work with the players we get to work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. Very thankful to be here and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."