Manningham and Smith combination not clicking


Manningham and Smith combination not clicking

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Receiver Mario Manningham is in familiar surroundings this week, but he's still trying to feel at home in the 49ers' offense.In the closing minutes of the 49ers' loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings, Manningham caught a season-long 22-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith. But he said the chemistry is simply not there with Smith, yet."We're still trying to get on the same page," Manningham said. "We're not fully on the same page like we want to be -- me and him or him and the other wide outs. But I feel like we're getting there."Smith has a passer rating of 102.7 with five touchdowns on the season. Four of his touchdown passes have gone to tight end Vernon Davis. Randy Moss has the other touchdown reception.Coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday that he gives Smith high marks for his play this season."He's playing at a very high level," Harbaugh said. "None of us are 100 percent on all of our decisions, and no player no coach. He's operating in the 'A' category."But, thus far, the additions of potential big-play receivers Manningham and Moss have not equated to more big plays for the 49ers' passing game. In three games, Smith is averaging 7.0 yards per pass attempt. Last year, he averaged 7.1 yards.The 49ers' offense has not changed much from a year ago when the club distributed the ball around to backs, tight ends and wide receivers with a short-passing game."Looking back on Sunday, could we have taken more shots? For sure," Smith said. "But in hindsight, it's so easy to say. When you're in the heat of the game, you're just trying to move the chains and get a score."Smith said he felt as if a couple big-play possibilities got away on passes to Moss. On the first drive, Moss could've picked up some significant yards on a second-and-6 play, but Smith's high pass skipped through his hands. The 49ers were forced to punt two plays later.In the second quarter, Moss was open on a corner route at the front of the end on a play that originated at the Vikings' 18-yard line. But Smith's pass again sailed high."I really feel like we left a lot out there with Randy -- me and him," Smith said. "(i) threw the high ball in the corner. Another high ball on the 'over.' I felt like if we hit those two, we're not talking about this, especially with him."Michael Crabtree leads the 49ers with 19 receptions for 183 yards. Manningham, whom the 49ers signed to a two-year, 7.375 million contract in the offseason, is third on the team and second among wideouts with 12 catches for 113 yards.It has been a rough month for Manningham, who missed more than a week of training camp when he returned to the Youngstown area after the late-August death of his grandfather, Gerald Wayne "Big Daddy" Simpson Sr.Manningham considers his grandfather one of the major influences in his life. Manningham, who was a high-school star in nearby Warren, Ohio, before going to college at Michigan, talked about playing this season in the memory of grandfather.
"Just going out there and playing my game, knowing I have an extra person out there helping me out, motivating me," Manningham said."(He) was there for me, showing me the ins and outs about life. Really, some of it doesn't have anything to do with football, just growing. Just being a man of your word. Just be accountable. Do what I need to do to stick out. Don't be like everybody else."

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.

The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.

In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology

The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”