49ers review: Offensive player-by-player


49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

Here's a player-by-player look at the 49ers' offensive performances from their 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He started at quarterback and played very well. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 109.7. He also was sacked twice, including a devastating blind-side hit from Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan but still managed to hold onto the ball. Took big hit on first-drive sack because he tried to extend the play. Ryan Kerrigan's sack occurred 5.5 second after the snap. Smith did well just to keep from fumbling. . . . There were a couple dropped passes that could've added another 40-plus yards to his numbers.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started and played 45 of the 49ers' 58 offensive snaps. . . He rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries to become the first player in franchise history with 100 yards rushing in five consecutive games. He remained in the game despite sustaining left ankle sprain in the second quarter. He caught one pass for 7 yards, and also dropped an easy pass on third-and-14, a play in which he might have been able to pick up the necessary yards in the first quarter. . . . Did not get all of London Fletcher in blitz pickup, but Smith escaped and gained 8 yards on the scramble.
24-Anthony Dixon: Did not play on offense. Appeared as if he had a chance to recover a muffed punt in fourth quarter. He did not get the handle on it and the Redskins retained possession. But he was called for ineligible downfield, anyway. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: He played 12 snaps in the game. . . He carried eight times for 25 yards. . . Picked up blitz of safety LaRon Landry to allow Smith time to hit Michael Crabtree for 21-yard gain in first quarter.
44-Moran Norris: Inactive. He has not suited up since sustaining a fractured left fibula Sept. 18 against the Cowboys.
49-Bruce Miller: He played nine of the 49ers' 26 snaps in the first half, and 15 of 32 plays in the second half at fullback. . . Recorded his first career touchdown with a 30-yard reception on a wheel route in the second quarter. He also was in on two tackles on special teams. . . . The converted defensive end ran a perfect route and looked the ball into his hands on his 30-yard TD reception late in the first half. . . . Was offside on a fourth-quarter kickoff. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Entered for just two snaps on offense. Delay of game penalty was called on 49ers' first drive because it took 15 seconds from the time he first tried to motion to officials that he was reporting as an eligible receiver to the point that referee Gene Steratore finished backing away from line of scrimmage after making the announcement.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He played 15 snaps at receiver. . . Caught one pass for 12 yards. He was the intended target of two passing attempts. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Started at flanker and played 40 snaps in the game. . . . Smith targeted him five times, and he made receptions on each of the five passes for 51 yards. . . Ran interference for Gore down the field on cornerback DeAngelo Hall to allow Gore to pick up another 15 yards on a 27-yard rush. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: He played half of the 49ers' snaps in the game and saw three passes go his way. He caught two of them for 30 yards. . . . On a third-and-4 in the fourth quarter, he took a slant, bounced off linebacker Rocky McIntosh and then sought contact to put a hit on Hall while picking up 24 yards. He landed hard on his left shoulder on the play. X-rays after the game were negative. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
18-Brett Swain: Inactive.
19-Ted Ginn: He played 15 snaps, as the 49ers shuttled in each of their four wideouts into the game. . . He caught one pass for 14 yards. He also averaged 9.4 yards on five punt returns. He had one kickoff return for 20 yards. . . . Ran an inside route that allowed Bruce Miller to run past McIntosh on a wheel route for a 30-yard touchdown late in the first half. . . . Called for offensive pass interference in fourth quarter.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He started as a second tight end and played 40 of the team's 58 offensive snaps. . . He had two passes come his way, and he made both catches for 15 yards. He also had a tackle on special teams. . . . Made a strong block on Kerrigan to seal the right side, allowing Gore to get outside for a 27-yard gain in the second quarter. . . . Led way on sweep and knocked cornerback DeAngelo Hall out of bounds as Hunter picked up 8 yards. . . .Good block on safety LaRon Landry on play in which Kyle Williams picked up 12 yards on a receiver screen. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: He played five snaps as the 49ers' third tight end. . . He was not the intended target on any of the team's pass attempts. . . . He did what he was coached to do when he shifted off the line of scrimmage on a fourth-and-1 play. But he was called for a false start -- simulating a snap.
85-Vernon Davis: He played all but one snap of offense in the game. . . He caught four passes for 41 yards, but also failed to make grabs of a couple catchable passes. . . . Made block at second level on linebacker London Fletcher to enable Gore to pick up 27 yards. . . . Failed to make deep catch of beautifully thrown 30-yard over-the-shoulder pass in the third quarter. . . . Hall stripped him of the football after 4-yard gain in the fourth quarter for the 49ers' only turnover of the game. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center and played every snap. . . . Pulled and made block on Hall to enable Gore to pick up 13 yards in second quarter. . . . Called for holding to wipe out a 9-yard gain for Gore in fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Jgoody59)
62-Chilo Rachal: Did not play on offense, but saw some action on special teams.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard and played every snap. . . . Pulled to the left and sealed the edge against Brian Orakpo to allow Gore to pick up 13 yards. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played every snap. Mauled defensive end Stephen Bowen to open way for Gore's 9-yard gain at end of first quarter. . . . Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo pushed him back into Alex Smith to pick up a third-quarter sack. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He did not start but he played four snaps as an extra blocker.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle, and had another strong showing. He did an outstanding job of holding his block against Adam Carriker to enable Gore to pick through his hole for a 12-yard gain on 49ers' first offensive play. . . . Had pancake block on Carriker on Gore's 27-yard gain in second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard. He walled off Bowen and Gore found his way through for a 12-yard gain in first quarter. . . . Allowed defensive end Kedric Golston to penetrate on play in which Gore was thrown for a 1-yard loss in first quarter. . . . Steered Bowen out of the way for Gore to pick up 5 yards in second quarter.
78-Mike Person: Inactive.

Colts fire GM Ryan Grigson after five seasons

Colts fire GM Ryan Grigson after five seasons

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Grigson spent tens of millions in free agency, trying to turn the Indianapolis Colts into a Super Bowl contender.

When most of those big investments went belly up, the first-time general manager paid the price.

On Saturday, Colts owner Jim Irsay fired Grigson after five up-and-down years that ended with Indy missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.

"It was a tough decision, well thought out and in the end the right decision for the Colts," Irsay said.

Initially, Grigson looked like a genius.

He hit it big on his first four draft picks - quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and receiver T.Y. Hilton - and used a series of shrewd, cost-effective moves to deliver one of the greatest turnarounds in league history.

But when Grigson's costly misfires like first-round bust Bjoern Werner in 2013, trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson in 2014 or loading up on a group of aging, high-priced free agents to make a Super Bowl run in 2015 and an anxious fan base, Irsay had no choice.

The timing, almost three weeks after the season ended, was strange - and comes after many thought the delay meant Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano were both safe.

Each agreed to contracts last January that was supposed to keep them together through the 2019 season.

Thirteen months later, Grigson is gone and Pagano's fate may rest in the hands of a new GM.

Grigson, by trade, was a gambler who refused to play it safe.

"I think the guys that sit on their hands, they've got to live with themselves and look in the mirror and realize they didn't take any chances," he once said. "They've got to look at themselves and say, 'Did I even deserve this opportunity?' If you just sit on your hands and say, 'I'm going to play it safe all the time,' you might be middle of the pack. But if you don't take a swing, you're never going to hit it out of the park."

Irsay appreciated Grigson's unconventional style and penchant for taking chances.

What he didn't like was the underwhelming payout.

In five seasons, Grigson made 15 trades for players and only one, Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis, played in Indy's season finale. Grigson also drafted 38 players - 18 of whom finished the season with the Colts. Eleven were out of the NFL.

Then there was free agency, where Grigson signed dozens of expensive players. Only 11 were still on Indy's roster when the season ended, 18 others were out of the NFL.

With an estimated $60 million to spend in free agency this year and a chance to get the Colts righted for the prime years of Luck's career, Irsay couldn't afford to roll the dice again with Grigson so he made the change.

The 44-year-old Purdue graduate's blunt personality didn't always mesh with coach Chuck Pagano. Irsay even acknowledged last summer that the two men needed to resolve their differences before he gave them the extensions.

Players didn't always get along with him, either.

"Thank God. 'Unwarranted Arrogance' just ran into a brick wall called karma," Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee posted on Twitter after word first leaked.

Grigson also drew the wrath of Patriots' fans by tipping off NFL officials that Tom Brady was using improperly inflated footballs during the 2015 AFC championship game. The Deflategate controversy eventually led to a four-game suspension for Brady as well as a fine and the loss draft picks for the Patriots.

And despite Irsay's repeated pleas to better protect Luck, Grigson, a former offensive lineman, never quite figured it out.

Luck missed 10 games because of injuries over the past two seasons and was sacked 41 times last season. The first real glimmer of hope appeared in December when the Colts held Minnesota and Oakland without a sack in back-to back games - the only times all season they didn't allow a sack.

When Grigson arrived, the Colts were coming off a 2-14 season and were about to release Peyton Manning and several other aging veterans in a salary cap purge.

So Grigson cleaned house.

He fired Jim Caldwell, hired Pagano and revamped the roster with low-budget free agents to work with the cornerstone of the future, Luck.

It worked. The man once dubbed by a previous boss as a "great" expansion team general manager, turned the Colts into a surprising 11-5 playoff-bound team.

Indy finished 11-5 each of the next two seasons, too, and advanced one step deeper in the playoffs each season.

The steady progression turned the Colts into a trendy Super Bowl pick in 2015, a trek that was derailed by a litany of injuries that forced the Colts to use five different quarterbacks just to finish 8-8.

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

The 49ers were willing to be patient in securing their next head coach.

Depending on the outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, they could be required to wait another two weeks.

The other five organizations with vacancies after the regular season have filled their head-coach positions with four assistants from teams that did not qualify for the playoffs and former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, whom the Denver Broncos hired after his team was bounced in the AFC wild-card round.

Early in the 49ers’ search to replace Chip Kelly, the top targets appeared to be Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinators for two of the top-three scoring teams in the NFL.

The coach-general manager team of McDaniels and New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was the runaway favorite to be the package deal, according to sources close to the 49ers’ coaching search.

But when Caserio chose to remain as Bill Belichick’s top personnel lieutenant – just has he has in the past when other opportunities presented themselves – the job became less attractive to McDaniels, according to those sources. McDaniels announced on Monday he would remain with the Patriots for at least another year.

With McDaniels out of the picture, Shanahan became the clear favorite over Seattle assistant Tom Cable. And once Cable publicly stepped aside due to suspicions he was only being used to secure a commitment from Shanahan, only one candidate remained for the job.

Since the middle of this week, Shanahan has been the presumptive coach of the 49ers. Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator two years ago when he was officially hired just hours after the Super Bowl. He knows he drill. And this week he announced to the Falcons staff that Shanahan would be the next coach of the 49ers, according to the NFL Network.

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game, the 49ers will be allowed to interview Shanahan next week – most likely, Tuesday in Atlanta. Shanahan will be involved in the process to hire the next general manager. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the favorite. The 49ers expect the general manager position to be filled early in the week.

If the Falcons lose, the 49ers would be able to hire Shanahan on their own time frame. It would not be expected to take long.

But if the Falcons win, the 49ers would have to wait until after Feb. 5, when the Super Bowl will be played in Houston, to hire Shanahan.

There is an advantage to being forced to wait. In the long term, the 49ers could benefit from their next head coach gaining the experience of a Super Bowl week and calling a game on the biggest stage in all of sports.