Maiocco: 49ers' Gore set, Rachal must earn spot


Maiocco: 49ers' Gore set, Rachal must earn spot

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All but two of the 49ers' returning starters from a year ago participated in the two weeks of "Camp Alex" -- the offensive workshop sessions at San Jose State that took place in June.Although a lot was made of Michael Crabtree's level of participation, he sat in on seven of the eight classroom sessions. That was the important stuff, as quarterbackhead coachoffensive coordinator Alex Smith installed a sizable portion of the 49ers' base offense.Likewise, I attended seven of the eight days. Each day, I scribbled notes on which players attended and which players were absent during the offense-only get-togethers.Team player director Takeo Spikes cited that scrutiny as one of the reasons he did not like the idea of players getting together for workouts during he owners-imposed lockout."The next thing I hate about it is the fact that some guys legitimately they can't come," Spikes said last week on the 2 Live Stews radio program. "They can't come and so when you let the media come in and tape the workouts the first thing they are going to say is, 'Where is so-and-so?' From that point, on whether it is wrong or right or indifferent, the media guys will paint a picture to the public about a guy who can't legitimately come."He's correct. It was duly noted that running back Frank Gore and right guard Chilo Rachal were the 49ers' only returning starters who did not attend any of the sessions.Gore is reportedly 100 percent after sustaining a hairline fracture of his right hip Nov. 29 against the Arizona Cardinals. Gore chose to remain in Miami and continue to work at Bommarito Performance Systems, rather than disrupt his physical conditioning with cross-country flights.My take?It's not a big deal at all because of the player we're talking about. Gore might be the most intelligent football player I've been around. Smith told me that Gore only has to see a play once to "get it down cold." Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan once said he would consider hiring Gore as a scout once his playing career was over.It's amazing now to think that there were concerns when he was coming out of college about Gore's ability to digest an NFL playbook because of a learning disability. Of course, it has never been an issue.
Gore and Smith got a chance to learn a good chunk of the offense before the lockout. So with a pretty good grasp of the basics of the 49ers' offense, Gore chose to focus his attention on getting in top physical condition for the opening of training camp.Right guard Chilo Rachal is the only other returning starter who did not attend. Word was that he had a prior commitment for the first week of "Camp Alex." No explanation was readily available for his absence during Week 2.After the lockout, the 49ers will break into full cram mode as the coaches attempt to prepare the team for the start of the regular season, which is less than two months away.Assuming center David Baas re-signs, Rachal is the 2010 starter whose position for the upcoming season is the most tenuous. Adam Snyder, the backup at right guard a year ago, helped Joe Staley organize all the work for the offensive linemen during the player-led workouts. Snyder knows the terminology and line calls as well as anyone right now.My take?The door might open for some good competition at right guard this summer.

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

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.