49ers

Smith, Brees lead teams in different ways

638630.jpg

Smith, Brees lead teams in different ways

SANTA CLARA -- No one is going to confuse Alex Smith with Drew Brees.Smith threw for 17 touchdowns during the regular season. Brees, 46. Smith set a personal record with 3,144 passing yards during the regular season. Brees set an NFL record with 2,332 more passing yards than that.

Smith has thrown for more than 300 yards only twice in his career and lost both games. Brees just threw for a playoff record 466 yards in a win over the Lions last weekend.

RELATED: Alex Smith 2011 game logs Drew Brees 2011 game logs
Brees puts up the numbers. Smith doesn't and bristled at a reporter's question on the chance he could out-throw the Saints signal-caller when the teams meet Saturday for their playoff match up."I have no idea. I don't care. I really don't care," Smith said. "I'm looking to out-score him. He can throw for however many yards he wants to."Smith knows he doesn't need to out-throw anybody. It's not his game. His game is centered around only one notable number, the kind that quarterbacks want as low as possible.Smith's threw the fewest number of interceptions in the league this season. His five interceptions not only set a 49ers record for fewest in a season, it ranked third-best in NFL history among quarterbacks with a minimum of 400 attempts. It's a number that has caught Brees attention as well."That's the biggest stat in football is the turnover ratio, and he's done a great job of taking care of it," Brees said during a conference call to Bay Area reporters when asked what stands out about Smith."So I'd say his decision making. He's made some big throws in some big situations. I can recall the one against Seattle down the sideline to (Michael) Crabtree on that drive to go down and kick a field goal to take the lead. I've seen him make some throws, a couple against Tampa, because we played Tampa the next week after they played them early in the season. He looks like he's playing with a lot of confidence and taking care of the football."Avoiding the turnover started to take hold in Smith's decision-making last year when he ended the 2010 season with only one interception in his last six starts of the season. It developed further under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh. His five interceptions this year came during a season in which he led the 49ers to five fourth-quarter comebacks, four of them on the road.Smith says he and Brees know each other a little bit. They worked out together awhile back in Smith's hometown of San Diego where Brees spends part of the offseason, and they share the same agent. Beyond that, Smith is leaving any further evaluation between the quarterbacks to others."You can say what you want. A lot of different ways to win games in this league," Smith said. "Obviously offensively, they're doing a lot of great things right now. Record-setting offense. It's kind of what you aspire to get to, no question, offensively. To be able to put up those kinds of numbers, do what they're doing. They've been in it a long time. Doing it at a really high level, no question."It's kind of for you guys to write about, to talk about the differences and differences of style. Whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. It still comes down to scoring more points than the other team and that's what we're looking to do."

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before anthem, stand arm-in-arm during it

jerryjones-cowboys-takeknee-ap.jpg
AP

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before anthem, stand arm-in-arm during it

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.

Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group prior to the playing of the national anthem.

"I hope that I'm clear and I hope that our team is clear: We want to respect the flag. Make no mistake about that," Jones said.

"Nothing that we've done, nothing that we did tonight says anything other than that. We also want to as a complete team, as players and an organization, be able to, whenever we can, demonstrate that unity is important and equality is important.

"That's what I'm so proud of these guys for, they did both and did it in a way when people really stop and think about it, makes a lot of sense."

The Cowboys sat and watched the protests across the NFL on Sunday and spent most of Monday discussing the best way to show unity without denigrating the flag.

After warmups Monday night, they went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.

Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.

Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field. They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

"The objectives, as much as anything else, was to somehow, some way demonstrate unity and demonstrate equality, and do so without any way involving the American flag and the national anthem," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem. They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.

More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

Three teams did not take the field for the national anthem and numerous NFL owners came out against Trump's statements.

49ers place Tank Carradine on injured reserve

carradine-tank-hurt-trainers.jpg
AP

49ers place Tank Carradine on injured reserve

The 49ers signed LB Mark Nzeocha from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad to a one-year deal, the team announced.

In order to make room on the roster, the team has placed DL Tank Carradine on the Injured Reserve List.

Nzeocha (6-3, 240) was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round (236th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons (2015-16), he appeared in eight games and registered four tackles. He was waived by the Cowboys on September 3, 2017 and signed to the team’s practice squad on September 5.

A 27-year-old native of Ansbach, Bavaria in Germany, Nzeocha attended the University of Wyoming. He appeared in 39 games (26 starts) and finished his career with 207 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.

Nzeocha will wear number 46.

Carradine (6-4, 270) appeared in each of the team’s first three games this season (two starts), where he registered seven tackles and one sack.

San Francisco 49ers media services