Tomlin: Roethlisberger requires less practice time

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Tomlin: Roethlisberger requires less practice time

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not require a lot of practice time this week to be prepared to face the 49ers on Monday night at Candlestick Park.

Roethlisberg sustained a left ankle sprain Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns. He managed to finish the game, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns in a 14-3 victory. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Roethlisberger sustained a Grade 1 high-ankle sprain (Grade 3 is the most serious). But his status is uncertain for Monday night"He can be ready to play on a limited number of snaps," Tomlin said on a conference call with reporters who cover the 49ers. "At the end of the week when we get into some situational football things, that's going to require some physical preparation in some form or fashion. But we're going to take it day by day. We're always going to be optimistic when it comes to Ben."Tomlin said Roethlisberger requires less on-field practice time to be ready for a game than, perhaps, another player at another position."I think it's different with the quarterback position, particularly when it's a veteran one," Tomlin said. "I think there's more of a chance of that happening at the quarterback position, particularly if you have a veteran one, then say some of the other position like wide receiver, running back or linebacker." What can you take from what the Ravens were able to do against the 49ers' offensive line and Alex Smith in the Thanksgiving game? (The Ravens sacked Smith nine times.)
"We don't look at that game any different than we do any of the other games that they played, from a break-down standpoint. It's just a window into some of the things, maybe, we're capable of. But, ultimately, we play our game and stay within our personality. We have great continuity on defense, and we tend to lean on that, as opposed to what we see others do."Would you think there could be any advantage gleaned from Jim Harbaugh spending a lot of time on the phone with his brother?
"He's a pretty competent and capable coach, as I'm sure (the 49ers) record indicates. So I'm sure they're talking about brotherly things when they talk. . . I really haven't thought about all that. I'm sure those brothers talk. To the level to which they talk, they're better suited to answer that than me. Why don't you guys ask them?"With the extra day before the game, the 49ers are not practicing Wednesday. The Steelers are practicing, keeping with their typical weekly routine.
"Really, it's a non-equation for us. It's a Wednesday. We do what we normally do on a Wednesday. We put base core components of our plan. In terms of how we practice, that's been prescribed by the league a little bit, in terms of whether it's padded or non-padded. We just prepare and ultimately play games and we're a pretty routine outfit. We don't look at some of those things."Do the 49ers change much defensively when Patrick Willis is out of the lineup?
"It doesn't seem that they're changing all that much schematically. Obviously, Patrick Willis is a special player, and I'm sure they prefer to have him. But, at least, schematically, they haven't changed very much at all.What kind of challenge is the 49ers' run defense on your guys up front and running back Rashard Mendenall?
"It's an enormous challenge. I think their statistics speak for themselves. They're first in the league versus the run; they haven't given up a touchdown this year on the ground; they're first in the NFL in red-zone defense; they're first in the league in turnover margin. They're a tough nut to crack, and we respect that. And that's kind of what we're doing this week, in terms of preparing ourselves for that contest. . . . They're a very good style defense, and one to be reckoned with. And we better be prepared and ultimately play well if we want to have a chance to win."How will your defensive scheme look different without James Harrison in there on Monday?
"Schematically, of course, it won't look very different at all. Of course, this isn't the first time we played without James. And this isn't even the first time we played without James this year. So we're going to try to make that a non-issue. Obviously, James is a good player and provides special plays for us, but ultimately the standard will remain the same, and we have some guys who are capable of doing the job and playing to the standard."Where do you stand on the NFL's decision to suspend him for a game?
"That's their judgment, and we have to take the necessary steps to respond to it. How we feel individually is irrelevant."Have you had a chance to look at 49ers rookie Aldon Smith?
"I have, and not only as recently as this week, but as far back as last spring in preparation for the draft. He's a special pass-rusher with unique talent. It's showing itself inside NFL stadiums. He's off to a great start. Obviously, we got to get him blocked when it comes to passing the ball, especially vertically down the field. He's got 10-plus sacks and he's not playing like a rookie."RELATED: Aldon Smith 2011 game logs
If Harrison doesn't play, who would be next in line?
"We got a couple candidates in Jason Worilds, who, of course, has been warm of late and been productive for us, getting an opportunity to play in place of LaMarr Woodley. And LaMarr Woodley appears to be ready to play, but we'll let the week dictate that for us from a practice standpoint. And of course, Lawrence Timmons, who starts for us at inside linebacker, has position flexibility and can play outside some already this year. So we're comfortable with the candidates we have ready to play outside linebacker. We'll get all of those men ready as we prepare this week and make some of those judgments as we get toward the end of the week. . . . It's not a major issue for us. It's something we can sort out as the week unfolds."What have you noticed from afar on the transformation of the 49ers with Jim Harbaugh?
"They're a good fundamental team. Some of the things I mentioned earlier are direct reasons why they're a really good team. They play good in the red zone. They make people kick field goals. They're good against the run. They're first in the league in turnover margin. They're running the ball extremely well on people. They're possessing the ball. I think they average 32 minutes a game, as far as time of possession. All of that is a good formula -- a good fundamental formula for winning, which is what they're doing. They need no endorsement from me."

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.