Maiocco: NFL Commissioner's Edict Won't Slow 49ers' Hitters


Maiocco: NFL Commissioner's Edict Won't Slow 49ers' Hitters

49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt Maiocco
CSNBayArea.comSANTA CLARA -- Linebacker Patrick Willis, the 49ers' most ferocious hitter, has more than 500 tackles and 25 passes broken up in his brief NFL career.Across the 49ers' locker room is safety Dashon Goldson, a fourth-year player who has the size at 6-foot-2 and more than 200 pounds to be an intimidating presence in the secondary.The NFL has never found reason to fine Willis for an illegal hit. And Goldson's only fines have come because he did not wear his socks up to code, he said.Willis and Goldson were united Wednesday in saying the threat of NFL suspensions for players who strike an opponent in the head or neck area will not influence how they approach their work.
"I can't play with the ruling in the back of my head because that could hurt my team," Goldson said. "Then, I'm not doing my job."NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent memos to each team in the league Wednesday, accompanied by a message and video to NFL players and coaches. The head coach of each club was instructed to show the video and read the message to his players and coaching staff as soon as possible, the league said."One of our most important priorities is protecting our players from needless injury," Goodell said in a statement. "In recent years, we have emphasized minimizing contact to the head and neck, especially where a defenseless player is involved."It is clear to me that further action is required to emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques, and of playing within the rules. It is incumbent on all of us to support the rules we have in place to protect players."On Tuesday, the NFL announced three players had been fined -- Pittsburgh's James Harrison (75,000), and New England's Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta's Dunta Robinson (50,000 apiece) -- for "flagrant violations of player safety rules."The league announced that enhanced discipline will be imposed even in cases of a first offense, including the possibility of suspension for first-time offenders.Willis expressed some confusion over the ruling."As a defensive guy, you're supposed to hit," said Willis, a three-time Pro Bowl player. "And as an offensive guy, you're supposed to avoid it. And if the quarterback leads you right where the defender is, then you should take it up with the quarterback."But another guy shouldn't get in trouble for it or get fined or a flag for just playing football. If it's ugly, hands down and leading with the head, that's one thing. I'm just going to play football."Coach Mike Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker with the Chicago Bears, said he does not believe the game is any more violent today than when he played. But he does believe the objective of player safety makes perfect sense."I think some of the same hits I see today, I saw them when I was playing," Singletary said. "I don't see a big difference. I really don't."I think overall, it will be a good thing going forward," Singletary said. "At least the guys are thinking about it, and any time we can help players be safe, it makes sense."

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.