Can ex-49ers Carr, Baas assist Giants defense?


Can ex-49ers Carr, Baas assist Giants defense?

SAN FRANCISCO -- Center David Baas took a cross-country flight on June 10 to examine the 49ers' playbook for the first time.
"It was just one day, but it was good to be around the guys and get my brain working again," Baas said during his one day of attendance at "Camp Alex," the offensive seminar that quarterback Alex Smith held during the lockout at San Jose State.Less than two months later when the lockout lifted, Baas signed a five-year, 27.5 million contract with the New York Giants. Now, Baas' new team faces his former team in a game with NFC playoff implications. The 49ers (7-1) have the second-best record in the NFL, while the Giants lead the NFC East with a 6-2 mark.
So are there any secrets Baas can relay to his defensive teammates from his one day of studying the 49ers playbook?"David won't be in the huddle prior to the snap," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "I think they have what they have on tape and that's the bulk of what they'll go off of. . . There are eight games on tape that I'm sure they have a good idea of what we do offensively."The other David on the Giants roster would probably be more of a concern, anyway. Backup quarterback David Carr attended all of the Camp Alex sessions. Shortly after the 49ers released Carr, he re-signed with the Giants.But, again, the 49ers have played eight games. With the 49ers' variation of formations and shifts, there is nothing additional that Baas or Carr can do to alert the Giants defense about what to expect.Eye on Tuck: The 49ers took the high road, but you can be sure that everybody on the team is aware of the comments Giants defensive lineman (and captain) Justin Tuck made about Smith.The 49ers' line took offense at comments that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made several days before the team's met in October. "If you're not going to protect me from your quarterback, I'm going to continue to hit him," Suh said.And the 49ers mocked the TV commercials featuring Washington Redskins pass-rusher Brian Orakpo after last week's game. Leading up to that game, Orakpo said, "The two most important things I would have to say: No. 1 is Frank Gore, and No. 2 is Frank Gore. That's all we have to -- not all we have to do -- but their main thing is run, run, run the ball."It's difficult to figure out Tuck's motivation for saying less-than flattering things about Smith. Maybe he wants to get inside Smith's head. Maybe he wants to challenge Smith to take more chances in the passing game.More than Gore: The Giants are determined to end Frank Gore's streak at five consecutive 100-yard rushing games. As Tuck suggested, the Giants believe Smith will not be able to beat them. So New York's goal is to shut down Gore and force Smith to win the game with his arm.Smith is averaging 183.4 yards passing a game. He has done everything asked of him during the 49ers' 7-1 start. The 49ers believe they can win games in a lot of different ways. Smith threw for a season-high 291 yards in the 49ers' 24-23 come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.The Giants want to force him to prove it again.
In the spotlight: Jonathan Goodwin and Brett Swain have Super Bowl rings. Goodwin is the 49ers starting center. Swain, a wide receiver, will likely be one of the 49ers inactive players. Other than Goodwin and Swain, the 49ers are comprised of a bunch of players who have never played in big NFL games.So how will the 49ers respond to being in the national spotlight for the first time . . . in a long time?
"I think our team realizes this is a bigger stage than we've been playing on and I think they're looking forward to embracing that, and they have embraced it," Harbaugh said. "They understand you want to do well on that stage and continue onto even bigger stages. I think that's our team's mindset." What's the storyline that interests you the most?

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Colin Kaepernick began his silent National Anthem protests in late August.

For almost four months, his parents have remained quiet.

But after reports that Kaepernick did not have the support of his parents, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick reached out to ESPN's The Undefeated on Friday to set the record straight.

"Colin is carrying a heavy load and following a difficult path that he truly believes in. He is putting his entire future and possibly his life on the line for those beliefs. As his parents, it pains us to read articles and tweets saying that his family does not support him; this could not be further from the truth. We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others," the couple said in a statement to the publication.

Kaepernick's parents also commented on those you have called their son un-American or labeled his protests as anti-Military.

"Colin has chosen to kneel for the national anthem as a protest to the continuing racial inequality in this country. He has explained his reasons for this in multiple interviews, yet it seems some people still do not understand his point. For whatever reason, there are some who want to view this as an anti-military protest or an un-American stance. These views could not be further from the truth, but we know that people will believe what they wish to believe. The recent remarks (attacks) by Admiral Harris supported by the Pentagon are over the top, and we feel the desire to make a public statement in support of our son," The Kaepernicks said in their statement.

They concluded their statement by discussing the reaction the family received due to Kaepernick's protest, including detailing the hate mail that has been sent to them.

"When Colin first 'took a knee', his family was as surprised as anyone. We did not understand why he was doing this and were overwhelmed with the public reaction and hate. Colin not only received terrible racist tweets, but also received letters directly to our home similar to that recently received by [Denver Broncos linebacker] Brandon Marshall. We were truly shocked at the amount of racist hatred out there! Until this had occurred, we had naively believed that the racial atmosphere in this country was far better than it actually is. Prayer and talks with our son gave us a much better understanding of the reason for his protest and how we should view it."

The Undefeated's Martenzie Johnson also spoke to Teresa Kaepernick by phone on Friday and she threw her family's support behind her son.

"I just want to be on the record that we absolutely do support him," she said.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported. The actual contract terms and amount of fully guaranteed money is expected to be less than the reported figures.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”