Smith to Moss: A work in progress


Smith to Moss: A work in progress

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith admits there was an initial intimidation factor when he knew he would be Randy Moss' teammate.
After all, Moss came in with a history of big production and an almost-bigger persona."At first, it definitely can be (intimidating)," Smith said Friday on the first day of 49ers training camp. "He's a guy you grew up watching -- a veteran who has done so much."(But) the great thing about being around Randy is he keeps it light and makes it fun to play out there. So that vanished pretty quick. He's a great communicator out there. He sees things very well. He communicates well. So it's been great working with him. I've learned a lot."There should be a lot of learning on the practice field, as Smith finds himself with new receivers. Moss, who took part in the team's offseason program, calls it a work in progress."The one thing about the addition of, not just me, but bringing in (Mario) Manningham, we got a nice group of receivers here," Moss said. "With Alex being the quarterback, we all have to get our timing down to know which routes we can run. So it's a work in progress."Smith agrees with that assessment, as he also potentially could have a full training camp to work with Michael Crabtree, who has yet to play an exhibition game with the 49ers."With the NFL, the way it is today, the team will never be exactly the same," Smith said. "Things are constantly changing. You have new faces coming in -- young and old -- and you adjust."After being away from the game for the 2011 season, Moss said he is happy to be playing football again. "I've been playing football since I was six years old," he said. "The love I have for the game of football will always be in me. I just want to play football. Just being here and coach (Jim) Harbaugh and this organization accepting me, and bringing me here was just something I can give something back in return with my play and my presence on and off the field."The 49ers' first official practice of training camp is scheduled Friday to run from 2:30 p.m. to 5:10.

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.”