Giants notes: Without Lincecum, the show goes on

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Giants notes: Without Lincecum, the show goes on

July 26, 2011

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Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Shortly after emerging from the visitors' clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, Giants manager Bruce Bochy stood on the top step of the stairs that leads from the dugout to the field and scanned the other side of the diamond, a mask of focused concern covering his face.Told he looked a little lost, Bochy winced and said. "Not lost. But looking."Turns out he was looking for his counterpart, Charlie Manuel, to inform the Phillies manager of the news he'd delivered to Barry Zito only moments before.With Tim Lincecum suffering from debilitating flu-like symptoms, Zito was bumped up from his scheduled start Wednesday to take the ball Tuesday for the opener of a three-game series that doubles as a rematch of last year's National League Championship Series and could serve as a preview for this year's playoffs."He looks pretty bad," Zito told CSNBayArea.com during batting practice. "There's no way he could go today."RELATED: Lineups: Giants vs. Philadelphia -- Fontenot at SS
Bochy didn't rule out Lincecum for the entire series; with Zito bumped up, it's possible that Matt Cain, the scheduled starter for Thursday, could be moved up to Wednesday to give Lincecum another day of recovery. If Lincecum is not ready by Thursday, Ryan Vogelsong could be bumped up.As Manuel noted, either way, the Phillies will be facing nothing but All-Stars andor former Cy Young Award winners in this series."They're known for their pitching, and we'll see some of their best," Manuel said.Big day for Belt: Rookie first basemanoutfielder Brandon Belt was thrilled to be part of the proceedings at the White House on Monday, and that he wasn't a part of the World Series team being acknowledged didn't feel awkward at all."That never really crossed my mind, to tell you the truth," Belt said. "I was just like, 'I get to go to the White House!' Who cares why?"Another highlight for Belt, a 23-year-old native of Nacogdoches, Tex., was the train ride from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia after the visit with President Obama."I'd never even been of a train before," he said with a huge smile while grabbing a bat in the dugout for his round of BP. "Very relaxing."No trade talk: Bochy gets asked about trades every day, and every day he makes it clear that it might be his least-favorite subject.He conceded that he and general manager Brian Sabean have a running dialogue about the team's present, future and needs, but asking him about the latest rumors is the quickest way to get him to clam up."It'll be nice when that July 31 deadline passes, I'll tell you what," Bochy said. Then we can go back to just talking about the game.

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”