Ravens' checklist complete in Thanksgiving victory

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Ravens' checklist complete in Thanksgiving victory

BALTIMORE -- The brothers never addressed the topic with their teams during the short lead-up to the Thanksgiving night game that featured brothers on opposite sidelines as head coaches.But the Baltimore Ravens players were not fooled.They knew the game had added personal significance for Ravens coach John Harbaugh. That's because he was matched against his younger brother, Jim, the 49ers head coach.
The Ravens responded with had an impressive checklist of accomplishments Thursday night.REWIND: Ravens snap 49ers streak, beat S.F. 16-6
--They stopped 49ers running back Frank Gore, allowing him to gain just 39 yards on 14 rushing attempts. --They sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith nine times. That's right, nine times and also forced an intentional grounding penalty.--After going just one of seven on third-down conversions in the first half, the Ravens strung together four straight on their opening drive of the third quarter to score the only touchdown of the game.All that added up to the Ravens' 16-6 victory over the 49ers and an emotional win for a team that is striving to win home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.Here's what the winning side had to say afterward:"I thought the defense controlled the run about as well as you can and then we had the sacks. The pressure was relentless. Alex Smith is almost impossible to get down. You guys saw that. He gets out of trouble really well. And our guys did a pretty good job of managing that, even though you saw he made a couple plays."
--Ravens coach John Harbaugh"That's always the game plan, to get at the quarterback. But I think the No. 1 game plan was to win the Harbaugh Bowl. Coach tried to downplay it. He tried to play like, 'You know, this isn't me versus my brother; this is the Ravens versus the 49ers.' But it was really important that we as a team wanted to win it for him."
--Linebacker Terrell Suggs"This was a big football game for our team, as it was real big for those guys, for John and Jim (Harbaugh), I'm sure. This is just a real big game for our football team, and we all felt that John, obviously, wanted to win this game. Any time you're really friendly with somebody, it makes a rivalry that much better and to go out there and play like we did, obviously, it felt great for us."
--Quarterback Joe Flacco"We understand that up front, we needed to have a huge game, just because we are missing Ray Lewis, and we are kind of light on the back. . . We knew that we had to stop the run early, especially because we knew if Frank Gore gets going, he is going to keep on going. He is a great running back, and I'm just happy we got him stopped early and we were able to get to the quarterback."
--Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata"I knew what kind of day it was going to be. If you look at the numbers, they're not going to be eye-popping. But time of possession? Huge. They are a great defense, the best defense we've seen all year. We knew that going into this game. We've got similar personalities and similar styles of play. But time of possession was the key. I'm not going to sit up here and worry about the numbers because the way we won is more important than the numbers we put up."
--Running back Ray Rice"They're a great defense, first of all, a great defense. We just battled out there. And giving up no sacks speaks as much to guys getting open and Joe getting rid of the ball quickly as much as it does to the protection. And the play-calling, as well. We had a chance to stay balanced and ran the ball the whole game and didn't turn the ball over. That's probably the biggest part of all. We didn't give our defense any short fields. It's hard to go a long way against our defense."
--Center Matt Birk"It was definitely big. That's the goal in the game to try to control the clock and convert. That's what good offenses do, especially in clutch times like that. When the game was going the way it was, I felt like whoever scored (a touchdown) was going to win. For us to get the lead and maintain the lead by controlling the clock, it was big . . . Our offensive line did a great job. Our running backs, as well. Anytime those guys are pounding the ball up front and our running backs are running the way they are, it's tough against anyone, but we were able to move the chains."
--Receiver Torrey Smith on the Ravens' sucess on third downs"We play our butts off every week. They only thing that we changed, we wanted to get some turnovers on the back end -- not the front seven. We wanted some interceptions. And we were trying our best to get more than one. . . He (Smith) tried to go deep. It was 17 (Braylon Edwards). They tried to 'big boy' me. You know, put the tall guy (against me). And I played it well. But he had to get the ball out right then, so it made it easy on me."
--Cornerback Lardarius Webb on his interception"It's huge. Obviously, it meant a lot to our head coach. We're excited to get a win for him. It meant a lot to this team and for our season and where we want to go. We enter December with all the opportunity in front of you, and it's really in our hands."
--Tight end Dennis Pitta

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.

49ers media services

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.”