Play time: James keeps Gore fresh

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Play time: James keeps Gore fresh

Running back Frank Gore played 87 percent of the snaps in a game last week that was not decided until the final 26 seconds of overtime against the St. Louis Rams.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman later said Gore's workload was too much.

On Sunday, the 49ers found some rest for Gore by mixing in rookie LaMichael James, who played 15 snaps in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

"Our offensive coordinator G-Ro did a great job of putting him in a great situation in what he's used to doing in college," Gore said. "And he kept me fresh."

James carried eight times for 30 yards. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. And he clearly earned the right to move forward as the 49ers' No. 2 running back, replacing Kendall Hunter, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury.

First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins played eight snaps in the game as the 49ers' third receiver. Jenkins did not see any passes thrown his way. Ted Ginn opened the game in two-receiver sets, along with Michael Crabtree, but he ended up playing only four snaps.

Delanie Walker, the 49ers' No. 2 tight end, and wide receiver Randy Moss saw their greatest share of play time this season with Mario Manningham out with a shoulder injury. Walker played 70 percent of the time, while Moss was on the field for 51 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps.

Offensive play time
Includes plays nullified by penalty
57 (100 percent) -- LT Joe Staley, RG Alex Boone, RT Anthony Davis, LG Mike Iupati, C Jonathan Goodwin, TE Vernon Davis, QB Colin Kaepernick
43 (75%) -- WR Michael Crabtree
40 (70%) -- TE Delanie Walker
39 (68%) -- RB Frank Gore
29 (51%) -- FB Bruce Miller, WR Randy Moss
15 (26%) -- RB LaMichael James
10 (18%) -- FB Will Tukuafu
8 (14%) -- WR A.J. Jenkins
4 (7%) -- WR Ted Ginn
3 (5%) -- TE Garrett Celek, RB Anthony Dixon, OL Leonard Davis
2 (4%) -- OL Daniel Kilgore

Defensive play time
Includes plays nullified by penalty
61 (100%) -- LB Patrick Willis, S Dashon Goldson, CB Tarell Brown, LB NaVorro Bowman, CB Carlos Rogers, S Donte Whitner
59 (97%) -- OLB Aldon Smith, OLB Ahmad Brooks, DT Ray McDonald
53 (87%) -- DT Justin Smith
43 (70%) -- CB Chris Culliver
15 (25%) -- NT Isaac Sopoaga
8 (13%) -- DT Ricky Jean Francois
3 (5%) -- DT Demarcus Dobbs
2 (3%) -- CB Perrish Cox, OLB Clark Haggans, DT Will Tukuafu

Special teams
15 (62%) -- Will Tukuafu, Tramaine Brock, Darcel McBath
14 (58%) -- Anthony Dixon, C.J. Spillman, Michael Wilhoite
13 (54%) -- Bruce Miller
12 (50%) -- Larry Grant
10 (42%) -- David Akers, Garrett Celek
9 (38%) -- Andy Lee, Brian Jennings
7 (29%) -- Daniel Kilgore, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson, Demarcus Dobbs
6 (35%) -- Tavares Gooden
5 (21%) -- Jonathan Goodwin, Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Tarell Brown, Ahmad Brooks, Ray McDonald, Aldon Smith, Chris Culliver, Ricky Jean Francois
4 (17%) -- LaMichael James, Delanie Walker, Leonard Davis, NaVorro Bowman, Perrish Cox
3 (12%) -- Isaac Sopoaga
2 (8%) -- Ted Ginn

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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