Maiocco: 49ers Leftovers from London


Maiocco: 49ers Leftovers from London

Nov. 1, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comServing up some football leftovers from London while cruising at 35,000 feet over Greenland . . . and sending while I'm forced to spend the night at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (it's a long story, and I won't bore you with the details) . . . --Quarterback Troy Smith can really throw the football. His 27-yard fourth-quarter completion to Delanie Walker was a beautifully thrown tight spiral. It might have been the best pass we've seen this season.On the next play, his throw-it-up-for-grabs toss to Walker might have been the worst we've seen. Well, it was the worst until Walker went up to make the catch at the 1-yard line for a 38-yard gain."I don't want to put him in the same light, but it's kind of like watching a Brett Favre pass," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said after the 49ers' 24-16 victory. "Sometimes he makes a decision . . . he throws the ball. Am I going to go in there and say, 'Hey, don't do that?' I don't think so."When told of the comparison, Smith said, "I mean, that's not bad -- that really isn't. But to compare myself to Brett is doing Brett a disservice. I've got a long way to go to even come close to being mentioned in the same sentence with him."--From this morning's London Times: "Troy Smith became an instant star on a renowned British sporting stage last night, but the big question is whether many people in this country realised it."--When the 49ers took over with 2:14 remaining and up by eight points, it was pretty obvious they would run the ball three consecutive times. After all, they went to their personnel group that consisted of two backs and two tight ends.If they got a first down, they would clinch the game. If they were stopped, they'd have to punt the ball back to Denver.In the backfield, joining fullback Moran Norris, was not Frank Gore or even veteran Brian Westbrook. Nope, it was rookie Anthony Dixon who got the call."The thing that we wanted to do is get fresh legs on the field," Singletary said. "So we put Dixon in and said, 'Let's go.'"Dixon's three rushing attempts gained 4, 2 and 3 yards. The 49ers were forced to punt, and Eddie Royal's 78-yard touchdown return was nullified by an illegal block in the back. Cornerback Shawntae Spencer clinched the victory with an interception.Dixon played six snaps, and had five rushes for 11 yards. Westbrook was on the field for five plays, and he carried twice for 4 yards, and added one reception for 9 yards.--Tight end Vernon Davis aggravated his right ankle sprain and left the game in the second quarter. He did not return. It's a low-ankle sprain, according to Davis. He said it's not serious, that he felt he'd be able to play Sunday -- if the 49ers had a game. They don't. This is their bye week.--What impressed me most about Troy Smith was the feel he demonstrated in the pocket for sidestepping the rush and creating space to get rid of the ball. That is something Alex Smith needs to work on. The 49ers avoided getting sacked in a game for only the second time this season.A quarterback who can make subtle adjustments in the pocket and get rid of the ball on time can make an offensive line look very good.--The 49ers' offensive line looked good against the Broncos. Guards Chilo Rachal and Mike Iupati, along with Norris, all made nice blocks to enable Gore to plow forward for a 3-yard touchdown on a third-down play that gave the 49ers a two-touchdown lead with less than four minutes remaining.--They've known each other since they were 7, but Troy Smith certainly did not give any special favors to his old buddy, Ted Ginn. Smith directed just one pass toward Ginn, and it was incomplete. The 49ers were intent on running the ball, so they used more two-back, two-TE formations. Ginn played just 12 snaps, and Dominique Zeigler played solely on special teams.--The 49ers had 61 plays on offense, and here's the breakdown of the skill guys: Josh Morgan 58, Gore 50, Walker 47, Norris 29, Nate Byham 47, Michael Crabtree 42, Davis 22, Ginn 12, Dixon 6, Westbrook 5, Adam Snyder (reported as third TE) 4.--The learning continues for rookie safety Taylor Mays. It was pretty easy to predict when Mays took over as a starter upon the abrupt departure of Michael Lewis that he would have his ups and downs. He recorded seven tackles on Sunday, and he has forced a couple fumbles with big hits in his five games as a starter. But he has also struggled a little in coverage -- he allowed Brandon Lloyd to get behind him for a 71-yard pass play.--Speaking of Michael Lewis, he signed last week with the St. Louis Rams. Don't think it's a coincidence that the Rams signed Lewis with the 49ers coming up on the schedule.--Inside linebackers Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes are playing very well. Rookie NaVorro Bowman has been seeing action as part of the 49ers' nickel defense. But with the 49ers protecting an eight-point lead with less than two minutes to play, Spikes remained in the game. He made a tackle of tight end Dan Gronkowski to hold him to an 8-yard gain on the first play of that final drive.--Yes, there is a lot of heat right now on coach Mike Singletary. The most-asked question I heard leading up to the game was, "If the 49ers lose to the Broncos, will Singletary get fired?"I get the impression 49ers ownership intend to ride it out with Singletary. After all, there isn't much benefit to be derived from a midseason firing of a head coach and the insertion of an interim coach from the same staff.--The 49ers (2-6) take a week off, and then they begin the second half of their season against the Rams. Five of the 49ers' final eight games are against NFC West opponents. The 49ers remain in last place in the division, 2.5 games behind the Seahawks, who lead the way at 4-3.

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

The New York Giants released placekicker Josh Brown, the team announced on Tuesday.

The NFL suspended Brown for the season opener in Dallas for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.  That suspension was based on his May 22, 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges, which were dismissed approximately five days after the arrest.

Brown served his suspension, returned to the Giants on September 12, and subsequently participated in five games. 

Last Wednesday, approximately 24 hours before the Giants were to depart for London, new information was released by authorities in Washington State.  The new materials disclosed a history of alleged domestic violence by Brown.  On Thursday, the Giants announced Brown would not accompany the team to London, where they played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. 

Last Friday, the NFL, at the Giants request and citing the documents released two days earlier, placed Brown on the Commissioner Exempt List. 

Today, the Giants released Brown.

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said team president John Mara. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided.  We accept that responsibility.

“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father.  We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.

“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter.  We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Statement from Josh Brown:
"The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life.  My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man.  I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way.  In the coming days and weeks I plan on telling more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic.  In the interim I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

New York Giants media services

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

SANTA CLARA -- In the early afternoon Monday after the 49ers’ day-after-game meetings concluded, the players were excused for the next seven days.

Coach Chip Kelly opted to give the 49ers a week break, rather than going through a couple days of practices before providing the players with a mandatory four consecutive days off during the bye week.

The 49ers on Sunday dropped to 1-6 on the season with a 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there will be no extra practices to attempt to sharpen their performance.

“They’ve been at it since July 31st,” Kelly said. “They haven’t had more than one day off in a row. So I think at this point in time that’s what our whole MO has always been.

“They’ll meet with our strength and conditioning coaches. They have their lifting programs in terms of what they can do and what they have to do. And I think at this point in time we need to heal up. I think it’s a good break for them to do what they need to do and that’s the way I’ve always done it and our teams have been fresh coming out of the bye week.”

While the players will be off for a week, Kelly said the coaching staff will continue to work through Friday in an attempt to identify areas in which they can improve and snap out of their six-game losing streak on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of self-scout that we have set aside,” Kelly said. “We’ll be in here all week kind of looking at what we’ve done in the first seven games, what have our opponents done to us in the first seven games relative to what we thought going into the game based on the break downs. Did they change?

“If they were 60-percent pressure going into our game and they were only 30-percent pressure in our game, trying to delve into how people are defending us. How are people attacking us from an offensive standpoint in terms of attacking our defense and what their tendencies were going into the game and then what actually transpired in the game. So we’ve got a lot of film work and a lot of studying to do here during this week.”

Kelly reiterated on Monday that he is not looking at leaving the 49ers after this season. He said he has not heard from any schools with coaching openings or potential openings. Kelly said he has tried to remain focused on his job through the longest losing streak he has ever experienced as a coach.

“No one’s happy, so I don’t know if the word’s anguish, but I mean obviously you try to keep it consistent in terms of your approach to everything that you do,” Kelly said. “I don’t think being consistent and being even-keeled means that it doesn’t bother you or that you’re not frustrated in terms of what’s gone on.”

Kelly said the 49ers have the talent to win games. When asked why the coaches have not been able to extract more victories, Kelly placed the blame for the team’s poor play on himself and his staff.

“That’s on us,” Kelly said. “I agree 100-percent in terms of what you’re saying. But our job is to put our players in position to make plays and we’re not doing a good enough job of that right now.”