Vikings take it to 49ers in Moss' homecoming

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Vikings take it to 49ers in Moss' homecoming

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MINNEAPOLIS -- When receiver Randy Moss' name was announced Sunday as part of the 49ers' starting lineup, it elicited a huge reaction from the Minnesota fans.Moss was showered mostly with cheers.That was the highlight of Moss' day, as the 49ers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 24-13 loss at the Metrodome."I want to thank the fans for the love," Moss said. "I really appreciate the love that they give."Moss, whose career began with seven seasons with the Vikings, had some opportunities to elicit more reaction from the fans in his first game in the dome as a visiting player.But quarterback Alex Smith misfired on a couple of throws, including one that could've resulted in an 18-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Smith's first attempt to Moss was a high throw that skipped through his hands."Those two plays early to Randy, he and I got to connect," Smith said. "I got to throw a better ball on both of those occasions because those are key plays. When I let both of them go, it felt good. I just didn't connect. They both came out high."He stayed positive the whole game. I got to hit those. Those opportunities don't happen often. You don't know how many you're going to get, especially in a game like this. You're just kicking yourself for not hitting that."Smith targeted six throws toward Moss, who played approximately 20 of the 49ers' 58 offensive plays. Moss finished with three catches for 27 yards. When asked about his play time afterward, Moss answered, "Next question."After convincing wins against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions -- two NFC North teams that made the playoffs a year ago -- the 49ers came crashing down with a loss to the Vikings, who finished 3-13 last season."I know the Vikings have always play teams tough, especially when they're an underdog," Moss said. "That's one thing that's Minnesota football. So we just going back at it and have practice this week and the Jets coming back. So we'll go ahead and watch the film and correct our mistakes."The 49ers (2-1) departed Minnesota on Sunday afternoon for a continuation of a 10-day road trip. The 49ers will practice this week in Youngstown, Ohio, before traveling to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets next week.The 49ers made plenty of mistakes in all phases of the game to begin this road trip on a sour note.Vikings second-year quarterback Christian Ponder sliced up the 49ers' defense on the opening drive, and converted a fourth-and-goal pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph to give Minnesota an early lead. The Vikings never trailed.Smith's streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception ended at 249 attempts when cornerback Josh Robinson picked him off late in the game. The 49ers committed three turnovers in the game, and scored just one touchdown on three trips into the red zone.And when the Vikings made mistakes in the fourth quarter, the 49ers could not take advantage. Safety Donte Whitner dropped a potential touchdown opportunity midway through the fourth quarter when he could not hold onto an easy interception."I dropped it. It was just a drop on my part, a play that I have to make," Whitner said. "That play right there could've changed the whole momentum of the football game."The 49ers did an acceptable job on running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed 25 times for 86 yards (3.4 average). But the Vikings converted 7 of 14 third-down opportunities.Offensively, the 49ers tried to rely on their passing attack. Smith completed 24 of 35 pass attempts for 204 yards with one touchdown -- a 1-yard toss to tight end Vernon Davis -- and one interception.Running back Frank Gore had 63 yards on just 12 rushing attempts. When asked why the 49ers get Gore more touches through the course of the game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh responded, "I don't have an answer for you."The 49ers scored a touchdown on just one of their three trips inside the red zone. David Akers kicked two field goals, and another was blocked when Leonard Davis allowed penetration over left guard."The Vikings did a better job than we did all the way around," Harbaugh said. "We didn't get it done. There are a lot of reasons for that."There's going to be good. There's going to be bad. Today was a bad day, and we can't sulk abut it, can't complain, point fingers. You just have to suck it up. And I know we'll do that."

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

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.