Maiocco: 49ers Remain Alive in NFC West

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Maiocco: 49ers Remain Alive in NFC West

Nov. 29, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comGLENDALE, Ariz. -- The 49ers pulled to within a game of the NFC West lead with their victory against the Arizona Cardinals on "Monday Night Football."But the win took its toll, as running back Frank Gore was lost in the first quarter with a hip strain. Veteran Brian Westbrook, who entered the game as the 49ers' seventh-leading rusher, picked up the slack with a big game.Gore's status was not immediately known. He has been the central focus of the offense for several seasons. So offensive coordinator Mike Johnson is potentially faced with the challenge of compensating for the loss of the team's best offensive player.The 49ers, who are one back behind St. Louis and Seattle, travel to face to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers have five games remaining, including three against each of the other NFC West division teams.As crazy as it sounds, yes, the 49ers (4-7) are still very much alive in the playoff race.

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

PHOENIX – Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster was the first of the 49ers’ 30 pre-draft visits to the team’s Santa Clara facility.

Team general manager John Lynch said the club has already met with Foster, an expected first-round draft pick and the likely top inside linebacker available in the draft.

“We brought in Reuben Foster,” Lynch said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “He came in, and we had a nice visit with him.”

Foster (6 foot, 229 pounds) was a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. He won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. Foster had a controversial trip to the NFL scouting combine. He was sent home after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a hospital worker in Indianapolis.

“I think that’s why you do those things,” Lynch said. “You try to gather information, and react and make decisions accordingly. And so that’s why these things are valuable.”