Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 35, Chargers 3

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Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 35, Chargers 3

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith took five snaps, handed off five times, and his night was over.Reserve quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Josh Johnson took over and the 49ers' offense had its most productive showing of the exhibition season.Kaepernick and Johnson threw two touchdown passes apiece in the 49ers' 35-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers in the final exhibition game for both teams Thursday night at Candlestick Park.It was the final tuneup for the 49ers, who open the regular season Sept. 9 at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.Kaepernick demonstrated the combination of running and passing that inspired the 49ers to trade up to select him in the second round of the 2011 draft.Kaepernick, who played all but the first five snaps of the first half, completed 12 of 18 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns came on well-thrown balls on rollouts to either side.He rolled left and hit tight end Delanie Walker on a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. In the second quarter, he moved to his right and drilled a 12-yard touchdown pass to rookie A.J. Jenkins.Johnson was the fourth quarterback to enter the game after Smith, Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien.On his first attempt, Johnson threw a quick hitch to undrafted rookie Nathan Palmer, who outran everybody for a 51-yard touchdown down the left sideline. Later, Johnson found reserve tight end Garrett Celek on a 3-yard scoring pass.Tolzien did not help his cause with a series at the start of the fourth quarter. First, he underthrew a wide-open Chris Owusu, who came back for the ball and dropped it. Two plays later, Tolzien was intercepted by linebacker Bront Bird.Give me a break: Not one player on the 49ers' starting defense played in the game, including Ray McDonald, Isaac Sopoaga, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson.On offense, Frank Gore, Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams did not play.Four other players were unavailable: Receiver Ted Ginn (right ankle), tight enddefensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs (left calf), outside linebacker Parys Haralson (undisclosed) and receiver Mario Manningham, who attended his grandfather's funeral on Thursday.Two-way contributors: Dobbs has been a two-way player since the first day of camp. Last week, the 49ers used defensive lineman Will Tukuafu as a fullback. That continued on Thursday with Tukuafu seeing a lot of action at fullback.Tukuafu played seven snaps at fullback on the 49ers' opening drive. And he opened a hole through which Anthony Dixon rumbled for a 1-yard touchdown run.In the second half, linebacker Michael Wilhoite saw several snaps at fullback. Wilhoite is on the bubble for a spot on the 53-man roster.Return problems: Ginn is hobbled by an ankle sprain. The 49ers took no chances with Kyle Williams, who might be the team's primary punt-returner to open the season due to Ginn's injury.Rookie LaMichael James returned punts on Thursday, and he struggled catching the ball. He bobbled one punt before getting ahold of it. Later, he muffed two punts but recovered his own fumbles both times.Droppin' in: Palmer had a touchdown, but he also dropped two passes. And fellow undrafted rookie Chris Owusu, who could be battling Palmer for a spot on the practice squad, dropped two passes in the second half.

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

The San Francisco 49ers Wednesday announced that Tom Gamble is leaving the organization. 

“The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and appreciation for Tom Gamble and his many years of service,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities. Tom is a true professional and we wish him and his family great success in the future.”
 
“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” said Gamble. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Gamble, who recently completed his 29th NFL season and 10th with the 49ers, returned to the team in January of 2015 as the senior personnel executive and was later named assistant general manager on July 25, 2016. He spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel. Gamble originally joined the 49ers in 2005 and spanned eight seasons with San Francisco including two as the director of player personnel (2011-12). He oversaw both the college and pro personnel efforts of the 49ers. As the 49ers director of pro personnel from 2005-10, Gamble monitored every NFL roster with an emphasis on scouting talent of upcoming pro free agents, while also maintaining continuous depth of personnel on the team’s roster.

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Lynch, Shanahan hold 'positive' discussion with Kaepernick

Lynch, Shanahan hold 'positive' discussion with Kaepernick

General manager John Lynch confirmed during a radio interview that he and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan met with quarterback Colin Kaepernick at his office Wednesday morning at the team headquarters in Santa Clara.

“I would characterize it as just a really positive discussion,” Lynch said during an appearance on KNBR, confirming a CSNBayArea.com report the sides met for the first time since Lynch and Shanahan were hired in their new roles.

Lynch said he and Shanahan have committed to being completely honest with Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent as early as next week.

Lynch did not divulge the topics of conversation. He said a commitment was also made to Kaepernick to not speak publicly about the specifics of their conversations.

“I do think that there are some things that are sacred,” Lynch said. “We did have a great discussion and I think Colin left excited and we left excited.

“And I think as Kyle and I believe, the evaluation process is still very much fluid. We’ve only been on the job a couple of weeks and I can tell you we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”