49ers

Rogers-Cruz dance rivalry gets spicy

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Rogers-Cruz dance rivalry gets spicy

SANTA CLARA -- New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz did not take kindly to Carlos Rogers mimicking his celebratory salsa dance a year ago.
And if Rogers does it again on Sunday at Candlestick Park?"It obviously won't sit well with me," Cruz told reporters who cover the 49ers on a Wednesday conference call.
And it goes beyond the fact that Rogers will likely have made a big play in order to feel compiled to perform the dance during the game. For Cruz, it's personal.
"It's something I do for my grandmother," Cruz said. "It's something that's sacred to me. Due to her passing, and even before she passed away, it was something that's dear to me. And why I do it is for her. And because she told me she loved it so much and she taught me how to do it. Knowing that, it's a little slap in the face."Rogers unveiled his version of the dance during a two-interception game against the Giants during the regular season. In his book, Out of the Blue, Cruz described the event:"With his teammates cheering him on, he did a sarcastic salsa dance over me. The Candlestick Park crowd went ballistic, but I wasn't laughing. It was a sign of disrespect. Instead of getting up and retaliating, though, I sat and watched Rogers finish his cheap Victor Cruz imitation."On Wednesday, Cruz said, "And then I brushed it off and kept it going, and made sure I did my best for the rest of the season and got a chance to play them again. And I did pretty well the second time saw each other."When the teams met again in the NFC championship game, Cruz caught eight passes for 125 yards in the first half and finished with 10 receptions for 142 yards in the Giants' 20-17 overtime victory. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Rogers indicated he would again dance, if given the opportunity on Sunday."I like the dance, actually," Rogers said. "I really can't do it as good as him, but if I make a play or get an interception on him in my mind, just do his dance."

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.