49ers notes: Aldon Smith leads solid defensive effort


49ers notes: Aldon Smith leads solid defensive effort

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
NEW ORLEANS -- The offense sputtered and special teams were a disaster. But the 49ers' defense played relatively well in the exhibition opener Friday night against the New Orleans Saints.The 49ers allowed just one sustained drive in the 24-3 loss. Most impressive, the 49ers did not allow quarterback Drew Brees to record a first down in his three series leading the Saints' first-team offense."I think the whole front seven played extremely well," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "We were good in the secondary and the coverage was tight. I was pleased with the way our defense played."Rookie Aldon Smith saw significant action at right outside linebacker and recorded five tackles to tie with linebacker Larry Grant and safety C.J. Spillman for team-high honors. Smith was credited with the 49ers' only sack of the game.RECAP: 49ers bullied by Saints 24-3 in exhibition debut
"I think he flashed a few times and set the edge and use his long arms to make some tackles," Harbaugh said. Because of injuries, receivers Michael Crabtree, Dominique Zeigler and Chris Hogan, tight ends Colin Cloherty and Nate Byham, linebacker Scott McKillop, and defensive backs Tarell Brown, Reggie Smith and Shawntae Spencer did not make the trip to New Orleans.Safety Dashon Goldson and nose tackle Isaac Sopoga did not suit up for the game. Quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and McLeod Bethel-Thompson, receivers Tyler Beiler and Joe Hastings, and offensive linemen Nick Howell and Chase Beeler did not play. Running back Frank Gore had four carries for 20 yards before he was removed from the action in the first quarter. Gore was making his first appearance since ending last season on injured reserve with a fractured right hip."I think running the ball I did well," Gore said. "I missed one block on a cut block. I know my running back coach (Tom Rathman) is going to get me on that one. But, I still have camp legs. On some of the runs, I felt like I could have done more, but I'm going to watch the film, go back to practice and keep trying to get better." Kicker David Akers, whom the 49ers signed to a three-year, 9 million contract to take over for Joe Nedney, had a career-long 57-yard field goal in 2003.Although it does not count in the records because it was an exhibition game, Akers drilled a 59-yarder at the end of the first half to account for the 49ers' only points of the game. Akers provided the highlight on special teams. Joseph Morgan blazed through the 49ers for a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Rookie Colin Jones has the first and best chance to tackle Morgan.Later, 49ers undrafted rookie Kenny Rowe broke through to block a punt. However, the play was nullified because the 49ers were penalized for having 12 men on the field.

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.”

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

San Francisco 49ers fans came together last season and raised money to fly an anti-Jed York banner over Levi's Stadium on three separate occasions. With the team 1-6 this year, there is a new push for a banner calling out a different member of the team’s front office. 

[REWIND: Banner flies over Levi’s calling for 49ers, York to mutually part ways]

On Monday a crowdfunding campaign was created with the goal of raising $1,076 by Oct. 28 in order to fly a banner that reads “49ers: Fire Trent Baalke” over Levi's Stadium on Nov. 6 before the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The fundraising goal was fulfilled in 11 hours by 58 people as it reached $1,095. 

Here's an excerpt from the GoFundMe site: 

"The 49ers are currently in the basement of the NFC with a 1-6 record. After a demoralizing week 7 loss to Tampa Bay this team is showing no signs of improving. The level of ineptitude that has been on full display every Sunday thus far can only be rectified with a total reexamination of the organizations interior." 

The campaign proceeds are promised to Aerial Services of Livermore, which charges $1,024 for two hours of airtime, according to the post, and GoFundMe.com, which takes five percent of all funds raised -- $51.20.

The three banners that flew over Levi’s last season read “Jed York And 49ers Should Mutually Part Ways," "Hold Jed Accountable," and "Jed Here's Our Banner -- Where's Yours?"