Smith blames self -- not line -- for punishment


Smith blames self -- not line -- for punishment


HOUSTON -- OK, so maybe 49ers quarterback Alex Smith isn't an expert in the offense, after all.Smith was sacked twice and took a couple other hits in his 21-play outing Saturday night. And he blamed nobody but himself for the punishment.
"Most of it was self-inflicted by me," Smith said following the 49ers' 20-6 loss to the Houston Texans. "The O-Line played good. First play was a miscommunication with me and the other 10 guys in the huddle, and that resulted in a hit."Really felt like the offensive line played great."So how did the miscommunication occur?"It's tough to explain. Stupidity," Smith said. "I got things mixed up in my head a little bit."On Thursday, coach Jim Harbaugh declared Smith had already reached exalted "expert" status in the offensive system after just one full year. Smith completed 5 of 9 passes for 49 yards on Saturday.Smith played two possessions. David Akers booted a 50-yard field goal to cap Smith's first drive. The 49ers moved the ball 53 yards on 13 plays on their next drive. Anthony Dixon was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 to end Smith's night.
Colin Kaepernick entered after Smith and immediately led the team down the field with a no-huddle approach. On the second play, Kaepernick kept the ball for a 12-yard gain. The seven-play, 40-yard drive ended with Akers' 36-yard field goal."I feel comfortable with everything we do," Kaepernick said. "That's something they've asked me to do the last couple of weeks. It's similar to what I did in college, so obviously I'm going to be comfortable with that."Kaepernick completed 4 of 8 passes for 19 yards, and dearly wanted one of his decisions back."There's one throw I wish I'd had back," Kaepernick said. "The hitch route to the right. I wish I would've thrown away from the rotation. But I think I was going the right place with the ball. It was just making the throws."Kaepernick's pass intended for Ted Ginn was nearly intercepted by safety Quintin Demps. Randy Moss was all alone on the other side.On the next play, Kaepernick threw a nice back-shoulder ball to Moss that skidded through Moss' hands for an incompletion.Josh Johnson completed 4 of 6 passes for 64 yards, but misfired on a deep pass to a wide-open A.J. Jenkins. Scott Tolzien completed 4 of 9 attempts for 23 yards.

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”