Source: Baalke will get job as 49ers GM


Source: Baalke will get job as 49ers GM

Dec. 29, 201049ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMindi Bach

SANTA CLARA -- The speculation that vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke will become the 49ers' next general manager reached a crescendo after NFL analyst Mike Lombardi declared They are going to hire Trent Baalke after he himself interviewed for the position.

The statement may technically be Lombardis opinion, but a well-placed source confirmed to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Wednesday that, yes, Baalke is the guy.

RELATED: Lombardi interviews, predicts it's Baalke's job

Team president Jed York told colleague Matt Maiocco that he and Baalke will sit down for a formal interview for the position, possibly this Saturday. But Baalke has been in a working interview ever since he assumed many of the general manager duties following Scot McCloughan's departure in March. Baalke, York and the Paraag Marathe, executive vice president of football and business operations, are said to have a strong working relationship.

Its not difficult to connect the dots. York admires the way in which Thomas Dimitroff has turned things around in Atlanta.

Before becoming the Falcons general manager, Dimitroff was a scout with the Patriots for six seasons. Baalke broke into the league as a scout in 1998, joining the 49ers as a Western Regional Scout in 2005.

Dimitroff is known as a skilled evaluator of talent. Baalke is seen as the same. Both often worked together on the road. Both share the same agent. York also told Maiocco he will seek the insight of Bill Parcells regarding the position. Baalke got his start with the Jets under Parcells' tutelage.

MAIOCCO: Talking with Parcells a good move

Lombardi predicted Baalke will be named the GM in the next 48 hours. That timeline may be off, but regardless of when, I was told the Baalke hire will happen.

As far as a head coach, the 49ers are indeed interested in Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, mainly for his ability to develop a quarterback. He is also said to be a "good collaborator" who can "put his ego aside."

Those phrases are big buzz words for York. The unknown is Harbaugh's interest in joining the 49ers and if he and Baalke have enough common ground to work together. If York is true to his word and the next general manager has the complete authority to hire the next head coach, it would be Baalke's call.

Long supports Eagles teammate, wraps arm around him during anthem protest


Long supports Eagles teammate, wraps arm around him during anthem protest

Chris Long supported his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, Thursday night by wrapping his left arm around Jenkins, who continued to raise his right fist in protest of racial injustice during the national anthem prior to the Eagles' preseason game against the Bills at Lincoln Financial Field.

Long's intention Thursday night was not immediately known. While he's been outspoken on Charlottesville, Virginia, he did not specify how he would conduct himself during the anthem.

Long and Jenkins both publicly criticized President Donald Trump's response to the racial tensions that resulted in the tragic violence and the death of Heather Heyer last weekend in Charlottesville, Long's hometown.

Last Sunday, Long touched on his comments by speaking to reporters, reiterating his disappointment in President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalists held a "Unite the Right" rally in protest of the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

"Some people are tired of hearing me tweet because they want me to stick to football but I like to use social media like I was a regular guy because I think I am," Long said Sunday. "I don't tell people to stick to their job when they want to talk politics. And this isn't political. That's the thing. Everybody is trying to turn this political. This isn't a political issue. This is right or wrong. I believe you're on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything. And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn't."


Practice report: 49ers passing game looks much improved


Practice report: 49ers passing game looks much improved

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ passing game has ranked 29th or lower in each of the past four seasons.

If two practices against last year’s No. 1-ranked pass defense are any indication, the 49ers could be vastly improved under coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Brian Hoyer.

“I think our guys were expecting to do good,” Shanahan said on Thursday after a second joint practice against the Denver Broncos in two days. “There’s a lot of stuff we can clean up. A lot of stuff we can do better. But I think our guys were happy with how they competed and, hopefully, that can continue to carry over.”

Hoyer hit more higher-percentage passes on Thursday. He teamed up with rookie Victor Bolden on his deepest completion -- down the left sideline against first-team All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris. After completing better than 80 percent of his passes against the Broncos a day earlier, Hoyer was 12 of 19 passing on Thursday.

Pierre Garçon, who figures to be Hoyer’s top target, was not as active during Thursday’s practice. But he did find himself in the middle of the action with a tussle against Harris.

Hoyer’s red-zone pass intended for slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was tipped and intercepted by safety Justin Simmons. Away from the action, Aqib Talib blocked Garçon, who retaliated by tossing him to the ground.

“That’s part of the game,” Garçon said. ‘You always expect one scuffle in joint practices. But it ended and you move on. It was nothing personal at all.”

Hoyer was especially sharp during the practices to strengthen his grasp on the team’s staring job. Meanwhile, rookie C.J. Beathard had a solid showing on Thursday. He will enter Saturday’s game after Hoyer and could play through the rest of the first half and open the third quarter.

The 49ers exited the field after their two most-significant practices feeling optimistic about where things stand.

“We did good the first day,” Garçon said. “We could’ve done better the second day. But we’re still learning each other and getting better. We still have a lot to do to get ready for the regular season, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

--Linebacker Reuben Foster wore shoulder pads and took part in all but the contact drills due to what the team described as a “mild AC joint sprain” of his right shoulder. That did not prevent Foster from getting into the middle of a skirmish that appeared to involve Broncos tackle Menelik Watson and 49ers linebacker Eli Harold.

The 49ers expect Foster to play Saturday night, Shanahan said.

--Linebacker NaVorro Bowman was pulled from practice on Thursday after experiencing soreness in his shoulder. Shanahan said Bowman's shoulder soreness is similar to what Foster experienced.

--The Broncos’ offense, which struggled to complete passes on Wednesday, made a lot more plays down the field on Thursday with Paxton Lynch at quarterback.

--Tight end Vance McDonald made an outstanding catch of a Hoyer pass at the sideline against tight coverage from safety Will Parks.

--The 49ers’ practice Thursday brought an official end to the team’s training camp. They will transition to a regular-season type of schedule next week leading up to the team’s third exhibition game, which is scheduled for Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings.

“Training camp is over, and what that means is we’re not all staying in dorms together and we’re not having night walk-throughs,” Shanahan said.