Swain eager for possible starting role

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Swain eager for possible starting role

SANTA CLARA -- Brett Swain flew in from San Diego in October to take part in a one-day competition to fill the spot on the 49ers' roster that opened due to Joshua Morgan's season-ending injury.Obviously, he knew T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Brian Finneran and Chris Chambers. But he identified somebody else that day as a threat.When all the receivers lined up to race 40 yards, Swain finished a close second behind undrafted rookie receiver Joe Hastings. Still, Swain was signed ahead of the 49ers' practice-squad receiver.Hastings is expected to join Swain on the 49ers' 53-man roster for the regular-season finale on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams after the club released Braylon Edwards this week.
And Swain might join Michael Crabtree in the starting lineup, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. Ted Ginn (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion) were not expected to practice Thursday.Since signing with the 49ers in mid-October, Swain has suited up for four games. He has played 20 snaps from scrimmage and has one catch for nine yards. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday that it's possible Crabtree and Swain will be the starters Sunday against the St. Louis Rams."If I got in there at any position, I'll be ready to be able to make plays and hopefully help the team win," Swain said. "I think the expectations for everybody is the same. Coaches put in the guys they think they can win games with. When I get on the field and able to jump in there, I have to be ready to roll."Swain remained ready for his opportunity after the Green Bay Packers released him prior to the start of the season. He remained in shape and took advantage of the chance the 49ers gave him as part of a tryout.
"That day was definitely a competitive environment," Swain said. "There were four or five guys out here fighting for a job. Joe stood out as, 'Hey, I'm going to be out here and I'm going to be working hard just like you guys.'"And I think that's what it came down to, is who was going to outwork each other. And Joe was that guy that I had my sights on. This guy is going to work hard. He's going to run his routes hard. He's going try to be good technically at everything he does."Swain and center Jonathan Goodwin are the only 49ers with Super Bowl rings. Swain caught six passes last season for the Green Bay Packers and played special teams in the Super Bowl.

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.”