Monday Morning Mailbag: Jacobs is comfortable around ex-'mates


Monday Morning Mailbag: Jacobs is comfortable around ex-'mates

You are not alone. The 49ers had a lot of questions after their 26-3 loss to the New York Giants about what happened Sunday at Candlestick Park, too.
Let's open up the Monday Morning Mailbag (and I'll answer more questions in the comments section below):Q: What do you think of Jacobs in the Giants locker room after the game? (@rpv173)
Inactive 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs did not suit up for Sunday's game against his former team. He told the New York Daily News it was "the hardest game I've ever had to watch."He said that while in the Giants locker room.Jacobs has not played in a 49ers regular-season game. He has not played since an Aug. 18 left knee sprain. Jacobs went through limited practice in Youngstown, Ohio. Then, he participated fully in practices the past two weeks. But he has yet to be active for a game.Obviously, Jacobs is frustrated. And, obviously, he still has a lot of friends on the Giants. He spent a lot of time on the Giants' sideline before the game chatting with former teammates and staff.
I cannot think of a time when a former 49ers player entered their locker room after a game. But Jacobs obviously feels at ease around the Giants, so he went there to see some people before the team left to return home. Jacobs won two Super Bowls in his seven seasons with the Giants. He had a nice run of success there. It's understandable, I suppose, that he wishes he were still there. It's difficult to tell if he will ever be a factor with his new team.Q: It seemed like Leonard Davis had a difficult time once Alex Boone went over to LT. Your thoughts? (@justinbior)
I watched every play, and Davis executed his assignment on just about every snap after right guard Alex Boone moved to left tackle following Joe Staley's concussion.Leonard Davis had a critical false-start penalty when he entered the game as an extra blocker that turned a third-and-1 situation into a third-and-6 early in the third quarter. But when Davis moved to right guard, I did not think he struggled.That said, Davis is an 11-year veteran who does not have the lateral quickness to do many of the things the 49ers ask of Boone. Davis is much more effective in tight spaces.
There was a play in which Jason Pierre-Paul lined up over right tackle Anthony Davis, and Mathias Kiwanuka was at tackle over Leonard Davis. Pierre-Paul and Kiwanuka ran a stunt. Rather than switch off, Leonard Davis' assignment was to stick with Kiwanuka. Davis could not keep up with the much-quicker Kiwanuka, and that play resulted in a sack of Alex Smith for a 14-yard loss.In the event that Joe Staley does not get cleared to return to action Thursday night, the 49ers will have to do more switching to cut down on the room that Leonard Davis has to cover to fulfill his blocking assigments.There was a question from @Rynormas, who asked if Daniel Kilgore might start at right guard. I don't believe so because the 49ers know what they're going to get from Leonard Davis. If he was the backup guard before Sunday, they wouldn't have seen anything to make them believe that he is not capable of starting.
Q: Thoughts on first INT? Does Walker need to make more effort on ball? (@ReevesHitchcock)
One of the memorable plays from the NFC Championship game was when Delanie Walker was wide open on a wheel route at the start of the second half. Alex Smith didn't pull the trigger, and a potential big play was lost.On a similar play Sunday, it seemed as if Smith was determined to throw this pass. Cornerback Prince Amukamara made a good play to turn and go up for the ball.And, yes, Walker said afterward that he should've done a better job of breaking up the pass -- like Victor Cruz did later in the game on a play in which Carlos Rogers had a chance for an interception."Yeah, the DB made a great play, but at that time, just where you've got to become a defender," Walker said. "(I) should've batted it down. But it was a little too hard with me running full speed and trying to get back."As for the obvious questions about Smith's middle finger, I believe -- and Smith said it, too -- that the finger was not an issue. Smith's three interceptions were a result of poor decisions.Q: Any idea what's going on with Akers? (@GoSF49ers)
David Akers ranks 32nd in the NFL after making 11 of 16 field-goal attempts (68.8 percent) through six games. Each of his misses have come from 40 yards or more. He is 5-of-8 from 40 to 49 yards, and he is 1-of-3 from 50-plus.Akers, 37, is in his 14th NFL season. Last year he set the NFL record with 44 made field goals. But let's also remember that he ranked 15th in the league in field-goal percentage at 84.6.Last season was his fourth consecutive in which his field-goal percentage was anywhere from 82.5 to 86.5. In 2007, Akers made just 75 percent of his kicks. From 2005 to '07, his percentage was in the 70s.That's probably where Akers will finish this season, too.My point is, at this stage in his career, it would not be completely unexpected for his accuracy to drop back.

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Michael Wilhoite has spent his whole five-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.

But now the free agent inside linebacker is reportedly switching sides in the NFC West rivalry. Wilhoite is set to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. 

Terms of the deal are unknown at this time. 

Wilhoite, 30, played in all 16 games last season for the 49ers, starting in only six. In 2016 he recorded 55 tackles, 30 less than 2015 in four less games, and forced one fumble. 

After earning a promotion from the 49ers' practice squad in 2012, Wilhoite's career in the Bay Area comes to an end with 268 tackles and three interceptions in 65 games. 

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NEW YORK -- NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.

In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.

The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said Thursday "don't belong in the game."

Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.

"That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week," NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said.

Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive. Especially if a team has a quick turnaround.

"We don't know where a team is going to be playing the next week, it could be four days later," said committee chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "We felt we should put an end to it. We don't think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not concerned with that."

As for changing the format of overtime to ensure both teams always get a possession - a popular topic after how the Super Bowl ended - Blandino said the league's wants to keep the element of sudden death in the extra period.

The "leaper rule" has taken some priority among competition committee members, the players' union and coaches. Vincent said coaches have begun scheming how to defense it, which can "create a real safety issue."

"It is really in the best interest of the game" to outlaw leaping on kicks," Vincent added.

McKay noted that the NCAA is in the process of passing a similar ban on the technique.

During the meetings that run from Sunday to Wednesday, the teams will be shown plays the competition committee believes should result in suspensions or ejections. Game officials already have had the leeway to eject players, but it rarely has happened; there were three in 2016.

"They don't happen very often, let's give the players credit," McKay said. "We have 40,000 plays in a year. We'll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would warrant suspension. This is not a widespread situation."

Added Vincent, a former NFL defensive back: "When you see the plays, they are catastrophic. We had two players who did not return for the season. They are high-impact plays that belong out of the game. It will be a real point of emphasis this season."