Plenty of problems for offense to fix

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Plenty of problems for offense to fix

BALTIMORE -- Quarterback Alex Smith was under constant pressure, and the 49ers had no answers for the Baltimore Ravens' defense.Smith was sacked a career-high nine times Thursday night in a 16-6 loss to the Ravens, as they were unable to neutralize the Ravens' onslaught. He was also called for one intentional grounding to avoid a 10th sack.
"We definitely expected some pressure," Smith said. "There were times I felt they were a step ahead of us. They have a very good defense, and it seemed like we were in third-and-long all night."I don't want to take anything away from them. They have a good front. They're a physical group and they feed off the crowd. As a quarterback, you have to be cold-blooded and keep coming back against a team like that."
Other than Michael Crabtree, who caught six passes for 54 yards, the 49ers got virtually no production from their wideouts. Crabtree said afterward there are positives that can come out of a losing performance.So what kind of positives can from from a game such as this?"Play-calling, I mean, just pointed at the play-calling, but you know how it is," Crabtree told CSNBayArea.com.When asked to explain, Crabtree said, "Different situations we were in, we didn't capitalize on. It always shows up on film. You can always go back . . . It's good to be in these situations to learn from it. You know what I'm saying? If it's third and so-and-so and you don't convert, you can always go back and see what play could've worked. What would be easier? You can always get better."Where there plays to made Thursday against the Ravens?"There are always things," Crabtree said. "You always leave something on the field, win or loss. Even if you win, you still leave some on the field. I felt we did that last week. It's a loss, man. It's a loss."It could be a good thing. It's always good when you can fix something that's going wrong. It's a loss. Those guys came out and played hard against us. We couldn't really stop the blitz. Alex was under a lot. He couldn't really do too much. All I can do is make plays when the ball comes to me."That was the theme in the losing locker room, as the 49ers said this will force the team to do some self-examining to fix the many problems that occurred Thursday night."I think this will benefit us in the long run," left tackle Joe Staley said. "It will make us tougher. We will take this, correct our mistakes and improve. This team has plenty of character and will take advantage of this to get better."When asked about the short week of preparation, Staley said the club would not use that as an excuse."We felt good coming into this game," Staley said. "It was a night game, that that was a little bit of extra time. We just didn't play well. Obviously, we didn't give Alex enough time in the pocket, but they did a great job covering down the field. That was part of the problem."Wide receiver Ted Ginn caught two passes for 21 yards, and Braylon Edwards had one catch for 5 yards. Edwards and Smith also had a key miscommunication at the end of the first half that resulted in an interception in the end zone."I left the ball inside and he went outside," Smith said of the pass in which cornerback Lardarius Webb intercepted.
The loss snapped an eight-game win streak. And this loss felt a lot different than defeats of previous seasons, Smith said."We've haven't felt like this in a long time," Smith said. "But we are 9-2. This was a very tough game. Every guy in the locker room is hurting. No one is OK with this. That's a big difference from previous years. We invested in each other so much and that's why we are winning. This has left a bad taste in our mouths."

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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