Ravens' checklist complete in Thanksgiving victory


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

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spent last offseason working with Tom House and Adam Dedeaux on his throwing mechanics.

Ryan went on to set career-bests in completion percentage (69.9), yards passing (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (7) and passer rating (117.1).

New 49ers quarterback Matt Barkley worked with House and Dedeaux for the fourth offseason in Southern California before reporting to Santa Clara for the team’s offseason program.

“Kyle (Shanhan) is on board with what House and those guys are doing – I think, really, because of the year Matt Ryan had,” Barkley said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast” on NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He’s a believer in that. He saw the benefits of what Matt did with some of his drops and the timing on routes, how he changed his feet on some things. So we’re kind of sticking with that plan. Everyone is a little different, but for the most part we’re all on the same page when it comes to what our drops are looking like, our footwork and how the ball is coming out.”

House is a former major league pitcher and pitching coach who founded the 3DQB training facility in Los Angeles. Dedeaux pitched at USC and is the grandson of USC baseball coaching legend Rod Dedeaux. Former NFL quarterback John Beck is a motion mechanics instructor.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Carson Palmer are among the NFL quarterbacks who have worked with 3DQB.

“I believe in those guys and what they’re doing,” Barkley said. “They’re at the top of their game, working with Brady and a bunch of other guys. They’ve helped me.

“He won’t change your throwing motion or really tweak how the ball comes out, but he’s going to try to maximize velocity and ground force production and torque -- a lot of sports science terms. But, really, just maximizing efficiency with your motion and making sure you’re sequencing is right.”

Barkley had never played for Shanahan before signing a two-year contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency. But there are two obvious connections. Barkley’s offensive coordinator last season with the Chicago Bears was Dowell Loggains, Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 when Shanahan was the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. The other connection is House.

"It’s kind of funny, he worked with Atlanta’s staff all of last year, helped Matt Ryan, kind of build his base from the ground up and helped him a lot and he had an MVP year," Barkley said of House.

"There may have been talks down the pipeline, who knows. I don’t think that was the deciding factor by any means, but it never hurts.”

John Lynch hires new 49ers director of pro personnel

John Lynch hires new 49ers director of pro personnel

General manager John Lynch made his third high-profile addition to his personnel department on Friday with the announcement of Ran Carthon as director of pro personnel.

Carthon assumes the position that Mike Williams held with the 49ers through the draft. Williams worked 14 seasons in the 49ers’ scouting department, including the final four as director of pro personnel. Assistant director of pro personnel Quentus Cumby was also fired after the draft.

"We want to welcome Ran Carthon and his family to the 49ers," Lynch said in a statement. “Ran has a clear vision for how he plans to run our pro personnel department, and was excited about the opportunity to blend his approach with ours. Having previously directed his own pro department, we expect Ran to hit the ground running and help us build the strongest roster possible.”

Carthon spent the previous five seasons with the Rams organization in the same position he now holds with the 49ers. The Rams fired Carthon three weeks before the draft.

According to the 49ers, Carthon’s role will consist of managing “the coordination and day-to-day operations of the pro personnel department, including assistance with the coordination of free agency, the evaluation of the unrestricted free agent market and oversight of the evaluations of NFL players.”

He will be asked to provide input into all personnel decisions when the addition of veteran free agents is considered. He will also provide input into personnel decisions concerning the team’s acquisition of veteran talent through free agency, trades and the waiver system. Carthon will also oversee the scouting reports for upcoming opponents to help prepare the coaching staff prepare its game plan.

Lynch hired two key members of the personnel department immediately following his appointment to the position. He hired former Denver Broncos executive Adam Peters as vice president of player personnel and former Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive.

Carthon, 36, had a brief NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts as a running back. He also spent time with Green Bay,  Seattle and Detroit.

His father, Maurice Carthon, played eight seasons in the NFL as a running back with the New York Giants and Indianapolis.