Gore, Smith, Davis erase bitter memories

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Gore, Smith, Davis erase bitter memories

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Quarterback Alex Smith and running back Frank Gore arrived in 2005. The next year, the 49ers selected tight end Vernon Davis.The 49ers' unfathomable 36-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday at Candlestick Park was understandably emotional. And those emotions did not just being for Davis after his game-winning touchdown catch and cry-on-the-shoulder moment with coach Jim Harbaugh.Davis spoke to his teammates at halftime to let them know that this moment could not get away."It was very emotional," Davis said. "One shot. That was the message. We have only one shot and if we don't take advantage of it, we go home. There was a lot of fire within me at that moment."The 49ers defense has carried the team all season. But the 49ers defense allowed a couple of big-play touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Twice, the 49ers looked to be in dire situations."I think we got too excited," Saints running back Darren Sproles said. "We didn't think they could score like that, but they did. They proved us all wrong."Alex Smith.Vernon Davis.Frank Gore.The three players who came into the league within a year of each other experience plenty of frustration together. On Saturday, they experienced elation.Smith completed 24 of 42 passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his most passing yards in a 49ers victory. He also ran 28 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 2:11 remaining.Davis caught seven passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including the 14-yard game-winner with :09 remaining.Gore carried just 13 times for 89 yards. Gore opened the game-winning drive with receptions of 7 and 11 yards. It was a drive that began with 1:32 remaining on the clock. The Saints had taken a 32-29 lead on Drew Brees' 66 yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.It seemed like the 49ers had let their one shot get away."We had some time left, so we gathered up and said we had time to do it," Gore said. "Alex was calm. He kept telling us, 'We're going to get it.'"All that frustration over the years was erased with an expertly executed final drive. Smith to Davis made the big plays, including the 14-yard touchdown for the final points.The 49ers will be moving on to the NFC championship game next week against the winner of Sunday's game matching the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.Alex Smith cashed in with a 2.5 million bonus for taking the 49ers this far. But this victory meant a lot more than any dollar signs can capture. Yes, it is clear that Smith has a future with the 49ers."Along the way, there has been a lot of stress, doubt and criticism, especially for Alex," Davis said. "He has had a lot of criticism in his life. But when I look at that kid, I look at him as a warrior."Said Gore, "We've been down for a long time, knowing we had a great team. It never happened. It's a blessing. I'm happy. It's starting to happen for us, and we deserve it."

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

The 49ers reportedly continue to pursue Gus Bradley to serve as defensive coordinator on presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

The 49ers have increased their offer to Bradley, Mike Siliver of the NFL Network reported on Friday. Bradley wanted to work with Tom Cable, according to the report.

Cable interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday but removed his name from consideration on Tuesday after he and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner sensed their 49ers’ interest in them intended to receive a commitment from Shanahan, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Bradley served as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2009 to ’12. In Bradley’s final season on Pete Carroll’s staff, Seattle ranked first in the NFL in points allowed and fourth in total yards.

Bradley became head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. His teams went 14-48 before he was fired with two games remaining in the season.

The 49ers this week inquired with the Chicago Bears about the possibility of bringing back Vic Fangio to the organization to serve as defensive coordinator. The 49es were informed, according to a source, that the Bears would not let Fangio out of his contract. Fangio was the defensive coordinator for all four seasons with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh.

Report: Jim Tomsula interviews for Saints DL job

Report: Jim Tomsula interviews for Saints DL job

Former 49ers coach Jim Tomsula reportedly interviewed this week for the New Orleans Saints’ defensive line job.

Tomsula, 48, who was fired as head coach of the 49ers after a 5-11 record in 2015, spent last season out of the football. He interviewed with Saints coach Sean Payton to replace fired line coach Bill Johnson, the Alex Marvez of The Sporting News reported, citing two sources.

Tomsula was hired as head coach to replace Jim Harbaugh after the 49ers announced a “mutual parting” with Harbaugh following the team’s 8-8 season of 2014.

Tomsula was well-regarded as the organization’s defensive line coach from 2007 to ’14.