Manning takes pride in consecutive starts streak

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Manning takes pride in consecutive starts streak

Eli Manning has started 128 consecutive games, including the playoffs, so his inability to finish practice on Wednesday due to a "stomach bug" raised more than a few eyebrows in anticipation of Sunday's NFC title game.Two days later, though, the New York Giants' quarterback is "100 percent" and ready to face the 49ers in start No. 129 with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.So how does he account for not missing games in the brutal word of professional football?

"I haven't thought a whole lot about it," Manning told reporters on Friday in East Rutherford, N.J. "I think it's one of those deals. I try to work hard during the offseason and my training, continuing to work hard during the season. If there are things that are preventable, you try to stay away from those things. And that's muscle strains and just trying to stay healthy, heal up from hits, things like that. A lot of it is in your preparation also, understanding when blitzes are coming, when you're protected, when you're not protected, so you're not just taking hits that you don't have to. Some of it is definitely luck."You never know when someone hits you the wrong way or you fall a little differently. Just try to do everything you can with eating right, getting sleep, your workouts, your conditioning, everything that you can control and (hope) for the best."Counting the playoffs, Manning has started 127 of the 132 games in which he's played since being the No. 1 pick of the 2004 NFL draft by San Diego out of Mississippi. His rights were then traded to the Giants.Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the Giants have "always" asked a lot of Manning."Since the day he got here," Coughlin said. "He has been able to handle it and he has proven to us that he could. Anything that we felt we needed to put us in a position to play well or win, we put it on his plate and he has done the extra work in the classroom to understand everything and he has gone on the field and been able to create the mental picture again."We have always given him a lot and he has always handled a lot and there is nothing different about that now."And while he was criticized for the petulant, Elway-esque act that forced the trade, Manning has taken a certain pride in not missing game time."I think as a quarterback, as a teammate, you want to show your teammates that you're going to be here, be competing, be there at practice every day, focused every day, ready to get better and competing every day at practice not walking through anything," he said. "You can have fun. There's times where you can smile and relax, but when you're out there and you're running a play, when you're doing your stuff with the team, you want everything to go perfect."I think you do practice how you play. I enjoy practice. You go to meetings, you go to practice, you put in everything you just talked about -- 'Let's go compete. Let's get better. Let's go learn things.' -- So I look forward to going out to practice every day and getting better and competing."

Mark Helfrich provides insight into Chip Kelly's line of thinking

Mark Helfrich provides insight into Chip Kelly's line of thinking

Mark Helfrich had a strong indication he would be fired as Oregon’s head coach. And he said he told Chip Kelly recently he would have no hard feelings if Kelly left the 49ers to return to coach the Ducks.

Kelly this week said he is not interested in abandoning his job with the 49ers to coach in the college ranks. Helfrich suggested during a radio interview on Friday that Kelly told him the same thing privately.

When it was suggested that Kelly hated to recruit, Helfrich did not disagree.

"That's a fact," Helfrich said in an interview on ESPN Radio's Russillo and Kanell. "I don't know hated recruiting. . . a dislike. A strong dislike. But I think Chip has that challenge in his mind right now to make it right in the NFL.

"I had some of those conversations with him a couple weeks ago when it looked like this was going south. That was a very awkward converation, but (I) just wanted to let him know that to take our personal relationship out of it in every way, shape or form if he wanted to consider this.

"But, me, reading between the lines, I think he wants to make it right in the NFL. I think he wants to win at that level. He's had a rough go of it this year, but he'll get it right."

Kelly compiled a 46-7 record in four seasons in Eugene, Ore. He left after the 2012 season to accept the head-coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly was fired late last season and took the 49ers job two weeks later.

In Kelly’s first season with the 49ers, the club is 1-10. The 49ers are on a franchise-long 10-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Helfrich was 37-16 in his four seasons at Oregon after his promotion from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Kelly said he spoke with Helfrich the morning after he was fired.

“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother,” Kelly said. “He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, but he’s an even better person. Just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”

Kelly said he hoped his denial of any interest in the Oregon job would end all speculation about his future. When asked if intends to remain with the 49ers, Kelly said on Wednesday, “Yep. So we're all done with that, I hope."
 

Injury report: Dial set to return for 49ers; Patton, Lynch questionable

Injury report: Dial set to return for 49ers; Patton, Lynch questionable

Defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who sat out last week’s game with knee and neck issues, will return to action Sunday for the 49ers at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.

Dial was not listed on the team’s injury report after going through two limited practices this week. The 49ers had only a walk-through Friday in Orlando, Fla., but Dial was cleared to return to full activity, the team announced.

Wide receiver Quinton Patton (concussion) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) were both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Patton appears to be on pace to be cleared in the NFL’s return-to-play concussion protocol. He has returned to non-contact football activity after sustaining a head injury last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Lynch has already missed four consecutive games with a high-ankle sprain. Lynch has appeared in only three games this season. He sat out the first four games of the year while serving a four-game suspension for violating the leageu’s policy of substances of abuse.

The Bears listed six players as questionable for the game, including outside linebackers Willie Young and rookie Leonard Floyd. Young leads Chicago with 6.5 sacks, while Floyd is second with five sacks.

Quarterback Jay Cutler has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Matt Barkley will make his second career start.

49ERS
Questionable
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
WR Quinton Patton (concussion)

BEARS
Out
QB Jay Cutler (right shoulder)
Questionable
LB Willie Young (knee)
S Adrian Amos (foot)
WR Eddie Royal (toe)
LB Leonard Floyd (concussion)
CB Deiondre' Hall (ankle)
G Josh Sitton (ankle)