Smith should be ready to face Giants

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Smith should be ready to face Giants

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith was seen at the 49ers' practice facility on Monday -- on the players' day off -- showing no signs of an injured middle finger on his right hand.But coach Jim Harbaugh said during his weekly Monday press conference that any time there's something wrong with a quarterback's throwing hand, it's a worry."Yeah, that's very much a concern if that happens," Harbaugh said. "And we'll see how it is. Alex is . . . it's well-documented how tough he is. He talks about it not being a big deal. We'll see."The 49ers (4-1) have a showdown set for Sunday at Candlestick Park against the New York Giants (3-2), the team that defeated the 49ers in last season's NFC championship game.
Considering what Smith has overcome to get to this point -- he leads the NFL with a 108.8 passer rating -- it's difficult to imagine that a sprained finger will stand as much of an obstacle.
After all, it was nearly two years ago that Smith's stock was at an all-time low. Fans at Candlestick booed him and chanted for David Carr as the 49ers opened the season with a fifth consecutive loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.On Sunday, Smith threw for 303 yards in a 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills. It was the first time he exceeded 300 yards passing in a 49ers victory. The last time he passed for 300 yards? It was that forgettable 2010 game against the Eagles.
"Yeah, it seems like a long time ago," Smith said Sunday. "It's a completely different world. I give credit to the guys around me. I think those guys are playing great and make my job easy."Smith remained with the 49ers. And the 49ers remained with Smith. And there are no regrets on either side. Smith signed a three-year, 24 million contract with the 49ers in the offseason. The deal can top out at 11 million annually, which is still a bargain for any starting quarterback who is playing at a high level.
"(I) can't tell you how much respect I have for him that he is played so well, handles himself, does all the things that kind of look back on and say, 'Man, I wish I would've done as good a job as he has done on and off the field in everything he does in his approach to the game,'" Harbaugh said.Harbaugh, who played 14 NFL seasons, and Smith followed similar statistical career paths through their first six seasons before they were united last season. In Harbaugh's ninth professional year, he was selected to his only Pro Bowl while with the Indianapolis Colts."He's better," Harbaugh said of Smith. "He just is. He's a better player."

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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