Saints have practice scheduled for Candlestick


Saints have practice scheduled for Candlestick

SAN FRANCISCO -- The best road team in the NFL over the past three seasons is coming to Candlestick Park on Friday to get acclimated to the surroundings.Is that a sentence you expected to read?After all, so much as been made this week about the New Orleans Saints being a different team outside of the Superdome. But the fact is that the Saints are one of just two NFL teams -- the Philadelphia Eagles are the other -- with a winning road record each of the past three seasons.
During that time, the Saints have compiled an NFL-best 18-6 record in road games, including a 25-22 victory over the 49ers at Candlestick as defending Super Bowl champs in Week 2 last season.
So, sure, the Saints have not scored as much away from the Superdome. In nine home games, the Saints averaged 41.5 points per game. In five outdoors road games, the Saints averaged 25.8 points. The Saints were 5-3 on the road this season.RELATED: New Orleans Saints 2011 scheduleresults
The Saints traveled to the Bay Area on Thursday evening. On Friday, they have a walk-through practice scheduled at Candlestick Park. The Saints and 49ers meet on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in an NFC divisional-round matchup."The years we've played well on the road, we've been a better football team," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I think more recently we've done real well on the road. Starting in '09, '10 and '11, we're a team that's traveled a lot better and had success on the road. The years we struggled, we weren't as good as a team."Oftentimes that comes with a dome team, more than surface or home and away. One of the things we felt was important for us to be successful that we were going to have to not only play well at home, but we're going to have to travel and play well and fortunately we've been able to do that."The Saints are 0-4 on the road in the club's playoff history, including a 41-36 loss at Seattle last January against a Seahawks team that won the NFC West with a 7-9 record.

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.

The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.

In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology

The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”