A year after trash talk, Robinson and Goodwin no longer adversaries


A year after trash talk, Robinson and Goodwin no longer adversaries

SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Rashard Robinson was prepared to face a deep threat when the 49ers traveled to Buffalo last season in Week 6.

Afterward, he did not seem all that impressed. He posted a photo on social media of himself covering the Bills wide receiver. Robinson wrote dismissively about the assignment on his Instagram account, “They said he was a deep threat guy.”

Goodwin had just two receptions for 22 yards in the game. Robinson’s post got his attention. He responded on Twitter, “Truth be told, you can’t cover me & couldn’t all game.”

Less than a month later, Goodwin signed with the 49ers as a free agent. They never revisited their social-media feud, according to both men.

“I was trying to make a point,” Goodwin said. “But I honestly stepped out of my character. I shouldn’t even said anything back. I should’ve just waited until we faced each other. But I did, so I had to hold my end of the bargain when I got here.”

Said Robinson, “Once he got here, we were like, ‘Hey, you ready? Let’s go.’ And we’ve been like that ever since.”

Now, they’re working together to be part of the reason they both enjoy breakout seasons.

The 49ers might not have more promising playmakers on either side of the ball than Robinson and Goodwin.

In Buffalo’s offense, Goodwin disappeared for long stretches of time. He is running a wider variety of routes with the 49ers, which should make his deep speed even more dangerous. If Goodwin remains healthy, it would be a shock if he does not post career-best numbers in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Robinson, who has a rare blend of size and speed, started six games as a rookie and is clearly the team's top cornerback.

On Day 2 of 49ers training camp Saturday, both players provided glimpses of why the coaching staff has such high hopes for them.

Goodwin took advantage of the split second it took the 49ers’ defense to make an adjustment in coverage to get behind the secondary for a long touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer. (Shanahan spoke in depth about the play after practice.)

How Robinson responded after that play gives a good indication of what the 49ers like most about him.

First, Goodwin was not Robinson’s responsibility. Yet, Robinson held himself accountable for not doing something to prevent the long pass play.

“I do put some of that on me because I could’ve been there,” he said. “I was on the field. I should’ve been there or at least help make the pass harder.”

A short time later, Robinson ran stride-for-stride with Goodwin to break up a deep back from Hoyer.

“Sometimes he might get me,” Robinson said. “Sometime I might get him. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to make each other better.”

--Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas lined up with the second-team defense -- behind Tank Carradine and bumping Ronald Blair to the third unit – in his first practice since signing his rookie contract on Friday. Thomas batted down a pass and had a quarterback pressure against veteran right tackle Garry Gilliam.

--Goodwin, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Victor Bolden returned kickoffs. A day earlier, Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, Trent Taylor, DeAndre Carter and Bolden returned punts.

--Rookie running back Joe Williams fumbled on his first carry of the day.

--Receiver B.J. Johnson sat out practice with a left hamstring injury. Rookie center JP Flynn sustained a leg injury during practice. There was no immediate word on his status.

--Taylor dropped a pass early in practice but then had five receptions, including a deep pass down the middle of the field that quarterback Nick Mullens dropped over safety Chanceller James.

--Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, surrendered deep passes to Aaron Burbridge and Kendrick Bourne.

--The 49ers will hold their first padded practice of training camp on Sunday. Said veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil, “When the pads go on we start to separate the men from the T-shirt guys.”

--Undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome showed his range to roam from the middle of the field to the sideline to intercept a Matt Barkley pass late in practice.

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

After a couple of practices and one exhibition game against the Denver Broncos, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan once again came to the realization things are often not as good or bad as they seem.

That was his takeaway a day after the 49ers provided the Broncos with five giveaways to go along with 11 penalties in a 33-14 loss at Levi’s Stadium.

“But when I get in and watch the tape, it wasn’t quite as bad as it felt,” Shanahan said Sunday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “When you look at each situation, especially when you talk about the ones on offense, it takes 11 guys to execute a play, and if you have one guy off a little bit, it breaks down.”

A couple of passes that could have been caught, a ball that slipped out of quarterback Brian Hoyer’s hand and some other correctable errors gives Shanahan reason to be optimistic.

When he spoke to the media on Saturday night after the game, Shanahan was clearly upset with how his 90-man team performed. He was asked a day later if it was a relief to watch the film and come to the conclusion that not everything was a total disaster.

“It’s not really relief,” Shanahan quipped. “It’s kind of my life story.

“We put a lot into it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scrimmage, practice or preseason. I try to compose myself by the time I talk to you guys (the media) after practice. But I’m pretty pissed after practice when it doesn’t go well. We’re competitive guys and we want everything to be perfect. That’s why most of the time I’m not that happy.”

Shanahan said he expects everyone in the organization to hold themselves to the same high standard.

“Whenever you go out to a game like that, you want to win, you want to play well,” he said. “And you turn the ball over like that and you have the penalties that we did, I’m definitely going to be pissed off and I expect everyone in our building to be pissed off. If they’re not, that’s when I would be worried.”

Shanahan said he had the opposite feeling after the practice Wednesday against the Broncos that looked like a decisive win for the 49ers. Upon review, Shanahan said he felt there was still a lot of room for improvement.

“I thought things seemed real good at practice our first day versus them,” he said. “Then, I go in and watch the film and it was good but not quite as good as I felt when I was out there.”

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon


49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

The 49ers could get their presumptive starting free safety back on the field this week.

Jimmie Ward, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since sustaining a hamstring injury during a conditioning test on the eve of training camp, will go through strenuous workouts Monday and Tuesday.

Ward could be cleared to return to practice as early as Wednesday, when the club is scheduled to hold its next practice.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday in a conference call with reporters that defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will will pace him through a football-related workout on Monday and Tuesday.

"Hopefully, we'll get him ready to go by Wednesday," Shanahan said.

The 49ers envision Ward, a first-round draft pick in 2014, as a major contributor in the team’s new 4-3 scheme, which is based on Seattle’s defense. With strong safety Eric Reid playing close to the line of scrimmage, Ward will play the deep safety – a role that Earl Thomas has played for the Seahawks.

In Ward’s absence, undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games and appears to have played his way into solid position for a spot on the 53-man roster.

"Lorenzo has done a good job," Shanahan said. "I think a couple of times he's ran around and been a ballhawk for us and made some tackles. I thought they caught him a few times out of position last night on a few play-action looks because he's been so aggressive. He's going to have to learn from those, but they never made him pay for those by going outside."

--The 49ers will have days off on Monday and Tuesday as they settle into their regular-season routine.

--Shanahan said he has been formulating ideas for the game plan against Carolina in Week 1 of the regular season. So as the 49ers play the exhibition games, they are mindful of not showing too much.

"I never get too far away from that," Shanahan said. "Everything we put into a preseason game, you always try to take into account what you’re going to be doing in the regular season."

--Shanahan said he thought No. 1 quarterback Brian Hoyer "did a good job." He said the first throw intended for Vance McDonald over the middle was thrown a little late.

"Besides that, I thought he did a good job with his reads and went to the right spots," Shanahan said.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard also was on-point with his reads, Shanahan said.

--Eli Harold got the start Saturday night at outside linebacker position, as he competes with Ahmad Brooks for a job.

"I try to go off what I see in practice," Shanahan said. "You want to know who has more upside, things like that. Who's going to get better throughout the year if given the opportunity? But you also want to know, when it's all said and done, who is going to affect your win-loss record the most. Those are the things I look at personally."

--Former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement on Sunday. Shanahan never coached him, but he was obviously a big fan.

"I've personally met Anquan or talked to him before, but he has been one of my favorites of all time," Shanahan said. "I love Anquan. I don't know him at all, but I feel like I do because I've always studied how he plays. I remember watching him in college when he came into Florida State as a quarterback and moved quickly to receiver his freshman year.

"And I remember him coming into the league and people thinking he wouldn't be as great because he didn't have a fast 40 time. And watching him play over the years. That's my definition of a football player. He's as violent of a receiver as there is, and I've always truly believed that receivers can really set the mentality of an offense. I feel lineman have no choice, they have to be tough. Running backs, if you're not tough, you're not going to make it in this league because you get hit every play. Quarterbacks got to hang in there. Receivers are the guys who can pick and choose a little bit. And when you have guys who play like Anquan, that just brings a whole different mentality to your offense that I think usually leads to teams that have chances to win Super Bowls."