Dixon accepts challenge from 49ers coaches

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Dixon accepts challenge from 49ers coaches

SANTA CLARA -- When the 49ers brought in three veteran free-agent running backs for tryouts on Tuesday, it did not escape the attention of Anthony Dixon."I'm not going to say I didn't see it or I didn't hear about it," Dixon said Friday as he sat in front of his locker after practice."They want me to bring it even more. I feel like I have, but there's always room for improvement. I'm down for it, so I'm ready to go."Dixon, a sixth-round draft pick in 2010, carried the ball 70 times for 237 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL season out of Mississippi State. But rookie fourth-round pick Kendall Hunter beat out Dixon for the backup job during training camp.
Dixon said head coach Jim Harbaugh, running backs coach Tom Rathman and special-teams coordinator Brad Seely have each challenged him to improve every aspect of his game."Coaches are just trying for me to be perfect," Dixon said. "That's the way I see it. They want me to be perfect, and we all know how hard that is to achieve. But they feel like I can do it, and I feel like I can do it.""They want me to be just that much more crisp. I'm down for it. I've accepted it (the challenge), and I'm ready to go."Dixon has been primarily a special-teams player for the 49ers. He played just two snaps of offense while starter Frank Gore and Hunter have combined to take the vast majority of the plays.On a third-and-1 on the final play of the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys, Dixon gained 6 yards off left tackle. The 49ers went on to score a touchdown on the drive. It was the only time Dixon touched the ball through four games.With Gore hobbled with an ankle sprain, Dixon expected to see some action Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. But he never got onto the field for any offensive plays."Yeah, that was disappointing," Dixon said. "It definitely threw my attitude off a little bit. He (Harbaugh) challenged me to get my attitude back in check, too. I got to work on getting my attitude back into shape and being that much more polished on my plays."While Harbaugh and the coaches have asked Dixon to turn up his level of execution, the head coach has requested that he tone down his action on special teams. Dixon said Harbaugh has told him to stop talking to the opponent's sideline after plays."It's what he wants me to do," Dixon said. "It's the Harbaugh way. I got to learn to do things the Harbaugh way, and then maybe I'll see the field some more."I'm ready. I can't wait to get the opportunity. I feel like I can bring another dimension to the offense. I just got to wait for my opportunity. . . . It kind of messes with my attitude sometimes, but I know coach wants me to get (it) right, get special teams right, be perfect on that."So how did Dixon perform in the week of practice after accepting the challenge from the 49ers' coaching staff?"I definitely picked it up, working harder," he said. "I'm just trying to get perfect and hope I can go out there and deliver a perfect performance."

Snap count: Buckner never comes out

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Snap count: Buckner never comes out

CHICAGO – Rookie DeForest Buckner continues to be one of the most heavily-used defensive lineman in the NFL.

Buckner, whom the 49ers chose with the No. 7 overall pick, was one of just two defensive players to be on the field for every snap during the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Buckner is playing an inordinate number of snaps on the line, which generally consists of a handful of players who rotate in and out of the game. Buckner was credited with five tackles in the game.

Shaun Draughn, who opened the season as the 49ers’ No. 2 running back before briefly losing playing time to Mike Davis and DuJuan Harris, has returned to be Carlos Hyde’s backup. Draughn saw action on 25 offensive plays, while Hyde played 33 snaps.

Colin Kaepernick started his seventh game of the season and played the first 45 snaps before he was benched. Blaine Gabbert finished up, as he was on the field for the 49ers’ final 13 plays.

Neither quarterback experienced much success. Kaepernick completed one of five attempts for 4 yards. He was sacked five times and gained 20 yards on six running attempts. Gabbert was four of 10 for 35 yards. He was sacked late in the game for a safety.

Here’s a look at the complete playing time of every 49ers player on offensive, defensive and special teams:

Offense
58 -- LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Joshua Garnett, RT Trent Brown
53 -- TE Vance McDonald
45 -- QB Colin Kaepernick
39 -- WR Quinton Patton
38 -- WR Torrey Smith
37 -- WR Jeremy Kerley
33 -- RB Carlos Hyde
25 -- RB Shaun Draughn, TE Garrett Celek
19 -- WR Chris Harper
14 -- WR Rod Streater
13 -- QB Blaine Gabbert
5 -- TE Blake Bell
2 -- RB DuJuan Harris

Defense
63 -- CB Jimmie Ward, DT DeForest Buckner
62 -- LB Nick Bellore, SS Antoine Bethea, CB Tramaine Brock
59 -- SS Jaquiski Tartt, LB Ahmad Brooks
51 -- LB Eli Harold
48 -- LB Gerald Hodges
47 -- DL Glenn Dorsey
28 -- DL Chris Jones
23 -- CB Rashard Robinson
21 -- DL Ronald Blair
14 -- LB Michael Wilhoite
13 -- DL Quinton Dial
11 -- LB Tank Carradine
2 -- DB Dontae Johnson, DB Vinnie Sunseri, DB Keith Reaser
1 -- DL Mike Purcell

Special teams
27 -- Johnson
23 -- Bell, Aaron Burbridge
22 -- Wilhoite
20 -- Draughn
19 -- Sunseri
17 -- Marcus Ball, Streater
12 -- Bellore, Tartt
11 -- Bradley Pinion, Harris
10 -- Kyle Nelson, Celek, Robinson, Purcell
8 -- Ward, Jones
7 -- Kerley
6 -- JaCorey Shepherd, Reaser
5 -- Phil Dawson
4 -- Buckner, Brooks, Blair
2 -- Andrew Tiller, Staley, Beadles, Garnett, Brown, Dial
1 -- Harper

Did not play
OL Marcus Martin

Not active
QB Christian Ponder
RB Mike Davis
CB Marcus Cromartie
LB Aaron Lynch
T John Theus
TE Je’Ron Hamm
DL Quinton Dial

 

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.