SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith's passer rating continues to hover a shade below 100. And for the first time in his NFL career, he is the quarterback of a winning team.Even with a 6-1 record and a 95.6 rating that places him near the top of the NFL, the 49ers' passing game isn't exactly a sight to behold.On Sunday, Smith completed 15 of 24 passes for 177 and a touchdown in the 49ers' 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns."It was a hard-fought battle," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "They all are in this league. Not perfect, but beautiful."Smith continued to play with efficiency without being the least-bit flashy. He has thrown just two interceptions in seven games. But he has averaged 181 yards passing through the first seven games of the season."When you play quarterback, you're just trying to win games," Smith said. "That's all I care about. I don't care about style points, how I'm doing it, as long as we're winning."Frank Gore rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 31 rushing attempts. The 49ers rushed for 174 yards. Smith got into the act with some designed runs, as he gained 22 yards on five carries. And Smith threw for 174 net yards, too."This was a team that was second against the pass in the NFL and 19th against the run," Smith said. "And we aren't going to be cookie cutter. You're going to try to play to your strengths and where we match up against them."We felt like we had some good matchups in the run game, and I think we really exploited them in the first half."Gore, who climbed into second place on the 49ers' all-time rushing list, gained for 103 yards in the first half. But the 49ers' offense stalled in the second half.The 49ers managed just one first down in their first five possessions after halftime. Finally, they strung together three first downs to put the game out of reach on David Akers' field goal in the closing minutes.Receiver Braylon Edwards gave the 49ers another piece to the passing game, as he returned to action after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, which he sustained Sept. 18 against the Dallas Cowboys.Edwards caught four passes for 42 yards, while Michael Crabtree had five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown."You've got to get the ground game going to get the pass game going and vice versa," Edwards said. "When you've got a running back that's running for 100 yards a game and the offensive line is just tremendous up front in giving him room, it really opens up the pass game and allows us to do the things we did. And now you get us doing what we can do, it opens up the running game."
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.
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.