49ers again choose Youngstown for 5-day layover


49ers again choose Youngstown for 5-day layover

SANTA CLARA -- A year ago, the 49ers took a 10-day road trip that included five days of game-planning, study, workouts, practices and bonding in Youngstown, Ohio.The unique itinerary proved successful as the 49ers returned to the Bay Area with road wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles, the team's signature come-from-behind regular-season victory.When this season's schedule came out in the spring, coach Jim Harbaugh saw a chance to do it all again with back-to-back 49ers road games against Minnesota and the New York Jets.So when the 49ers leave Friday afternoon for their Sunday game against the Vikings, the club will not return to the Bay Area until after the team's Week 4 game against the Jets."I thought it was a real positive when we went through it last year, that we were together," Harbaugh said. "It gave us a great chance to be around each other. You stayed longer at the meals, got to know each other more, found out a different guy's story that you didn't know before you had a longer conversation with him than sometimes you did at the facility."So, I didn't feel that that was a tough thing. I thought it was a positive thing."Immediately after Sunday's game against the Vikings, the 49ers will take a 90-minute flight to Youngstown, where the players and staff will prepare Monday through Friday for the Sept. 30 game against the Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.The 49ers will save themselves more than 6 12 hours of flight time between games with their five-day layover in Youngstown."It's tough to be away from your family, for sure," 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said. "At the same time, thinking back to last year, it was a good experience. For us, it was another little minicamp. You only have 53 guys going, all together, and nothing to do there. You practice, you prepare and you hang out with each other. I thought it was a good thing for us last year. I enjoyed it."The 49ers' ties to Ohio date back to 1977 when Youngstown shopping mall developer Edward DeBartolo Sr. purchased the 49ers and put his son, Edward Jr., in charge of the day-to-day operations. Denise DeBartolo York was an equal co-owner, though she remained far from the spotlight until she and her husband, John York, took control of the 49ers in 2000.Their eldest son, Jed York, the 49ers' CEO, grew up in the Youngstown area and attended Cardinal Mooney High School. The DeBartolo and York families were inducted into the Youngstown State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 for their many contributions.Following the team's successful road trip of a year ago, the 49ers showed gratitude to their hosts for the week."Our team and Youngstown share a very special trait, a hard-nosed and determined work ethic that serves each extremely well," Jed York stated. "The city should take great pride in knowing that their tremendous hospitality and effort helped our team complete a two-win road trip. The entire 49ers organization thanks those who went out of their way to accommodate our needs."Harbaugh, in particular, seemed to enjoy the experience. He spoke glowingly of a vacant lot behind the team hotel, partially obscured by trees, where the team held its walk-throughs before boarding buses to practice and work out at Youngstown State."Youngstown State has been an excellent facility for us to get our work in. It's outstanding," Harbaugh said afterward. "The weight room's fantastic, our guys had great workouts in there. Really everything we need, you guys have here."

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

The New York Giants released placekicker Josh Brown, the team announced on Tuesday.

The NFL suspended Brown for the season opener in Dallas for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.  That suspension was based on his May 22, 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges, which were dismissed approximately five days after the arrest.

Brown served his suspension, returned to the Giants on September 12, and subsequently participated in five games. 

Last Wednesday, approximately 24 hours before the Giants were to depart for London, new information was released by authorities in Washington State.  The new materials disclosed a history of alleged domestic violence by Brown.  On Thursday, the Giants announced Brown would not accompany the team to London, where they played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. 

Last Friday, the NFL, at the Giants request and citing the documents released two days earlier, placed Brown on the Commissioner Exempt List. 

Today, the Giants released Brown.

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said team president John Mara. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided.  We accept that responsibility.

“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father.  We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.

“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter.  We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Statement from Josh Brown:
"The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life.  My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man.  I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way.  In the coming days and weeks I plan on telling more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic.  In the interim I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

New York Giants media services

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

SANTA CLARA -- In the early afternoon Monday after the 49ers’ day-after-game meetings concluded, the players were excused for the next seven days.

Coach Chip Kelly opted to give the 49ers a week break, rather than going through a couple days of practices before providing the players with a mandatory four consecutive days off during the bye week.

The 49ers on Sunday dropped to 1-6 on the season with a 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there will be no extra practices to attempt to sharpen their performance.

“They’ve been at it since July 31st,” Kelly said. “They haven’t had more than one day off in a row. So I think at this point in time that’s what our whole MO has always been.

“They’ll meet with our strength and conditioning coaches. They have their lifting programs in terms of what they can do and what they have to do. And I think at this point in time we need to heal up. I think it’s a good break for them to do what they need to do and that’s the way I’ve always done it and our teams have been fresh coming out of the bye week.”

While the players will be off for a week, Kelly said the coaching staff will continue to work through Friday in an attempt to identify areas in which they can improve and snap out of their six-game losing streak on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of self-scout that we have set aside,” Kelly said. “We’ll be in here all week kind of looking at what we’ve done in the first seven games, what have our opponents done to us in the first seven games relative to what we thought going into the game based on the break downs. Did they change?

“If they were 60-percent pressure going into our game and they were only 30-percent pressure in our game, trying to delve into how people are defending us. How are people attacking us from an offensive standpoint in terms of attacking our defense and what their tendencies were going into the game and then what actually transpired in the game. So we’ve got a lot of film work and a lot of studying to do here during this week.”

Kelly reiterated on Monday that he is not looking at leaving the 49ers after this season. He said he has not heard from any schools with coaching openings or potential openings. Kelly said he has tried to remain focused on his job through the longest losing streak he has ever experienced as a coach.

“No one’s happy, so I don’t know if the word’s anguish, but I mean obviously you try to keep it consistent in terms of your approach to everything that you do,” Kelly said. “I don’t think being consistent and being even-keeled means that it doesn’t bother you or that you’re not frustrated in terms of what’s gone on.”

Kelly said the 49ers have the talent to win games. When asked why the coaches have not been able to extract more victories, Kelly placed the blame for the team’s poor play on himself and his staff.

“That’s on us,” Kelly said. “I agree 100-percent in terms of what you’re saying. But our job is to put our players in position to make plays and we’re not doing a good enough job of that right now.”